1. Who is my student’s counselor going to be; what is their role as we progress through Canyon HS and when can we arrange a meeting?

Specific Counselors for each of the grade levels will be announced as we approach the new school year. The counselor's role is multifaceted. Counselors assist parents/students with issues relating to academics, college and careers and social/emotional issues. You can find more details on how the counselor provides assistance on the Counseling page of the school website.

2. When are registration materials available for new OUSD students?

Registration materials are available for new students in the Counseling Office in June. Personnel in the office will assist you with filling out the registration packet as requested. The counseling office hours of operation are 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

3. What forms of communication does Canyon HS offer to parents?

Canyon's staff, teachers, counselors, etc. are all available via email and telephone. Messages for teachers can be left by calling the main number 714-532-8000 and you will be connected to the teacher's voicemail. You may also access teacher email addresses through parent portal and student portal if that form of communication is preferred.


4. How does a student qualify to get into honors classes?

If you are interested in being in an Honors class, please submit an Honors application with your course request form.

The following is the High School Honors Identification Criteria:

  • High Intellectual Category: 98% on standard IQ measurement; scores in the Advanced band on the Content Standards Tests in English/Language Arts and Mathematics; and strong teacher recommendation.
  • High Achievement Category: Scores in the Advanced band on the Content Standards Tests in ELA and Math; 3.6 G.P.A based on English, Math, History and Science; teacher recommendation in one of these courses.
  • Specific Academic Category:
  • Honors English or Social Studies: Score of 400 or above on the CST for Language Arts; 3.6 G.P.A. in English for Honors English and/or 3.6 G.P.A. in Social Studies for honors History; exceptional achievement in the specific academic area as evidenced by teacher recommendation and other supportive data.
  • Honors Mathematics/Science: Score of 414 or above on the CST for Math; 3.6 G.P.A. in mathematics, exceptional achievement in the specific academic area as evidenced by teacher recommendation and other supportive data.

5. How does my student get into college?

The CHS counseling department strongly encourages all students to achieve eligibility for 4-year universities by following the A-G requirements. This list of classes (A-G) follows:

  1. History/Social Science (2 years required)
  2. English (4 years required)
  3. Mathematics (3 years required, 4 years recommended)
  4. Laboratory Science (2 years required, 3 years recommended)
  5. Language other than English (LOTE) (2 years required, 3 years recommended)
  6. Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) (1 year required)
  7. College Prep Elective (1 year required)

This information is reviewed with each student formally once a year and through meetings as requested.

If your student has received a “D” or “F” in a core class (A-G list), they must remediate that grade to a “C” or better to remain eligible for the UC/CSU system. For those looking at the military, workplace or community college route, a Canyon High School diploma is all that’s needed and “D’s”, “C’s”, “B’s” and “A’s” are passing grades. Please have your student visit our Career Center, as there is a College Room with information on every college in the country! It’s an incredible resource.

6. Will my student be in the second level of a foreign language if they took it for two years in middle school?

Students qualify for a second year of foreign language if they passed 1A and 1B at the middle school level with a “C” grade or better. If a student took both levels at the middle school level and they struggled, it is advisable that they retake the language from level one at the high school.

7. When can my students start taking AP/IB classes?

Typically, students will begin taking AP/IB classes in their junior and senior year. However, students can take AP Euro History in sophomore year. All students and parents are required to attend a mandatory information meeting prior to taking an AP/IB class. These meetings will be held in the spring of the school year prior to taking the class. A make-up session will be provided on the Taking Care of Business Days for 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

8. What is the difference between the IB and AP classes?

The main difference between International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement could be best described as a collection of classes versus stand-alone classes. IB is a diploma program that requires students to take a specific number of courses to in order to fulfill the requirements. AP does not define a required list of classes a student must take and does not lead to a certificate or special diploma. Because of the requirements of IB, some would argue that it is more rigorous. However, both courses of study will allow students the opportunity to earn college credit by taking the classes and passing the end of year exams.

9. How does my student join a sports team?

Each spring an Athletic Information Night will be held at Canyon to inform all incoming/current students about the sports offered. Athletic teams are offered in the following sports: Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Football, Wrestling, Water Polo, Swimming, Lacrosse, Track and Golf. For all sports, a student will sign up for a team, attend a summer camp and/or attend tryouts as scheduled. Summer camps are highly recommended, though not required, if your student is interested in participating in a sport. It gives the coaches an opportunity to better evaluate the student’s abilities when it comes to selecting the students who earn a roster spot. Any further questions related to sports should be deferred to the Athletic Department. For additional information regarding athletics, visit: CanyonAthletics.Org

10. Can my student take classes at the college level over the summer before attending Canyon HS?

Yes, students may take certain classes at the community college level, but all classes must be approved by a counselor or an administrator at Canyon HS prior to the student enrolling. Students cannot take any classes at the college level to advance in high school and they will not receive high school credit for the class.

11. If my student fails a high school class, how do they recover the credits?

There are several options for your students to recover missing credits. When your son/daughter fails a class the counselor will inform your student of these options. The options include summer school on a limited bases, credit recovery and night school.

12. Can my student be retained in a grade level at Canyon HS?

No. Orange Unified School District does not retain students at the high school level. Students that cannot recover lost credits in time to graduate at the comprehensive high school will be referred to continuation high school (Richland HS) or adult education programs.

13. If I am enrolling my student from a school in another country, what is the process I follow?

Students should report to the high school counseling office first with all documents that have been translated in English (i.e. transcripts, immunization records, etc.). The records will be reviewed and our office staff will communicate a course of action. Typically students will be referred to the Language Assessment Center at the district office to determine next steps.

14. What support services are available if my student is struggling in classes?

Canyon High School Counseling Office maintains a list of tutors (student tutors and professional tutors) that are available for pick up at any time. We also offer tutoring after school. Additionally, teachers are available before and after school upon request for additional help. The school counselors and the school psychologists offer a myriad of resources upon request for specific issues.

15. Does Canyon HS offer school tours?

Canyon High School offers school tours for both students and parents. Tours are available in March and April, dates to be determined. Please call the front office at 714-532-8000 to reserve your place on the tour guest list.

16. What test(s) does my student have to take or pass in high school?

  • SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) – Students will be tested in English, Math and Science at the end of their Junior Year.  Outstanding achievement on these tests is a requirement for several academic awards that are awarded during student’s senior year.
  • College Entrance Exams: The two official college entrance exams are the:
  • SAT I and the ACT plus writing:
    • SAT Subject Exam(s) are another set of exams that selective colleges/universities require for admittance. We advise taking 2-3 different subject area tests, depending on the individual university’s requirement. You will find an advisable testing timeline for all of these tests below:SAT Reasoning Test and / or ACT Plus Writing: Beginning of 11th grade (November or December) for the first attempt. Both the SAT and ACT are offered 6-7 times each school year. These tests can be taken as many times as needed for best score.
      • For SAT registration, cost, locations & dates, use: www.collegeboard.com
      • For ACT registration, cost, locations & dates: www.actstudent.orgSAT Subject Test(s): It is advisable that students take a specific subject exam in May or June of the same year they take that subject in school.For SAT subject test(s) registration, cost, locations & dates, use:www.collegeboard.com
    • Prep classes for SAT and ACT: Prep classes are available from various private companies at various costs. Visit the Career Center at CHS.
    • PSAT Test: Canyon High School offers the official prep/practice test for the SAT (the PSAT) in October every year. Students are welcome to sign up for this assessment but it is not required for them to do so. The junior year is when the PSAT test acts as a qualifying test for a student to earn the designation of “National Merit Scholar”. This designation is noteworthy and it definitely enhances a college application.

17. Who do I contact first if my student has an issue with a teacher?

Parents must contact the teacher first when any issue arises. Teachers are accessible most readily via email but also by contacting the switchboard where they will be transferred to an individual teacher’s voicemail. If satisfaction is not achieved after a discussion with the teacher, the next step would be to contact your student’s counselor.