At Polytechnic School, our name conveys both a sense of our history and of our philosophical base. Polytechnic literally means “many arts,” and since 1907, Poly has been a place where students become multi-talented, intellectually ambitious citizens of the world. On any given day, our community overflows with activities and ideas that challenge and inspire us—adults and students alike. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a long-time member of our community, I encourage you to explore the Poly website, where the range of programs, events, athletic competitions, and performances put our name into action.

As a K-12 school, we are able to create a coordinated sequence of learning across all grades and developmental stages. Our Lower, Middle, and Upper School programs provide continuity for students and allow Poly teachers to invest deeply in each child's progress over the long term. One of the great joys of working for Poly is to watch children and families from all walks of life grow up here together, in a community that is full of friendship, creativity, and intellectual ambition.

While Poly is nationally recognized for the strength of its programs, the lessons we hope our students take with them transcend those measured by test scores and matriculation lists. A Poly education goes far beyond getting into college—it inspires a lifelong thirst for knowledge, an appreciation of individuality, and a true desire to be of service in the larger world. Our graduates leave Poly ready to fulfill the promise of their own talents and to lead meaningful, purposeful lives.

John Bracker
Head of School

Most Recent Posts

List of 3 news stories.

  • The Freedom of Imagination

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  • Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year!

    Dear Poly community,

    Greetings from 1030 East California Boulevard! I hope this letter finds you enjoying the run-up to our campus reopening and the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Over the last two-and-a-half years, we at Poly learned a lot about what it takes to be a community that honors the promise of its mission. To be sure, it wasn’t always easy, and we sometimes disagreed vigorously. Still, we finished each year with magnificent celebrations on Babcock Field, highlighting the uniqueness and talents of our students. After a successful summer with the return of an entirely in-person PolySummer and Partnership for Success!, the campus is quickly coming to life again. Fall sports practices, student leadership training, and orientations have begun, and the intoxicating energy of students doing what they love to do has continued this momentum. What a gift! 

    With heartfelt sadness, I wanted all of you to know that Aileen Peterson, our beloved Lower School coordinator, who had been at Poly since 2007, passed away at the end of July. She brought unfailing kindness and generosity to everyone, and her unapologetic optimism will be missed. When we have information about services and our plans to celebrate her many gifts to our Poly community, I will be back in touch.  
    Last spring, we conducted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion climate survey with the support of a nationally recognized organization, Education Elements. The senior leadership team met throughout the summer with our consultants to begin analyzing the data and crafting a DEI strategic plan for the upcoming school year and beyond. Early this fall, keep an eye out for an update from Dr. Michaela Mares-Tamayo on the key themes and areas of focus that emerged from the survey and the new initiatives and programming to be implemented this year.

    Over the last few weeks, it has been heartening to see the COVID-19 hospitalization numbers and the severity level decrease. With this in mind and recent guidance from the CDC, City, and County, we have arrived at the following guidelines for the opening of school:
    • We will fully reopen school with all K-12 academic and co-curricular programming, as permitted by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LADPH);  
    • Our north and south campuses will be open to Poly parents/guardians and invited visitors for school-related events and activities;
    • Face masking (indoors and outdoors) will be optional. Please respect each community member’s personal preference and decision about face coverings; 
    • Poly will not conduct return-to-campus surveillance testing. Families and employees are encouraged to self-test before the start of school if they have traveled extensively or experiencing any symptoms;
    • Poly will continue health and safety practices to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, such as increased classroom ventilation and routine cleaning of campus classrooms, offices, and learning spaces. In addition, we will expect strict adherence to our illness policy for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors;
    • Poly will continue to adhere to health orders from the Pasadena Public Health Department and LADPH, monitor public health conditions, and adapt school practices as necessary; 
    • More information and details about our COVID-19 protocols will be shared by Marcy Kwitny, RN, our director of health services, by the end of the week.
    In the fall of 1967, I started kindergarten at the Harvey Wheeler School in West Concord, Massachusetts. My love of being part of a school community began with riding the yellow bus daily. Of course, I wasn’t precocious enough to realize that education was where I would dedicate my life, but I was fortunate to feel welcomed and appreciated by my teachers and classmates. I hope every student at Poly will feel the same warmth and belief in their potential that I felt throughout my years of schooling and beyond. The transformative power of excellent educational institutions and their teachers challenges us to take risks and trust that others will appeal to us to expand our worldview with new perspectives and beliefs.
    For over 50 years, I have found that the opening of school brings mixed emotions for students and adults alike—excitement, nervousness, and wonder. It is also true that in these moments, we find people who believe in the gifts we bring and see things in us that we haven’t seen in ourselves. 
    Welcome back, and here’s to a great year!
    Be well,

  • Friendships Across Time

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Land Acknowledgement

A land acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of this land. Normally, land acknowledgements are presented at the beginning of public events, gatherings, and sporting events. Educational institutions like Poly should vocalize our land acknowledgement before any and every large gathering we have as a school for the following reasons:
  1. Indigenous peoples are in an ongoing genocide that has lasted for centuries, and as allies, we need to step up and join them; land acknowledgements are the first step to doing this. 
  2. Land acknowledgements are a necessary first step toward honoring the original occupants of any place because they help people recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ inherent kinship beliefs when it comes to the land (especially since those beliefs were restricted for so long). They aren’t about placing blame; rather, they are intended to recognize how systemic and institutional systems of power have oppressed Indigenous peoples, and how that oppression has influenced the way non-Indigenous people perceive and interact with Indigenous peoples.
We are on Tongva land. We recognize the Tongva people's resistance against displacement, erasure, and oppression by European colonial settlers. Members of the Tongva tribe are still here (those who never left and those who have returned), and we recognize them as the past, present, and future stewards of this land. As guests on these lands, we owe our commitment to caring for the environment we now share and upholding the indigenous legacy for the future generations to come.