Helix Charter High School – Complete Guide

May 10, 2022 | Turito Team USA

helix high school

Helix High School is located in La Mesa, California. It was established in 1952, but it wasn’t till 1998 that it received its charter. Today it is a part of Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) and serves as a mid-level socio-economic community. 

If you are planning to join this school, it is crucial to know how you can enroll in this top-ranked high school. In this article, you will learn various application requirements at Helix Charter and all the facilities you can enjoy here.

2022 Ranking of Helix Charter High School

All the national high schools are ranked according to their performance in state-level tests, how efficiently they prepare students for university application, and their graduation rate. Helix Charter is ranked #1,547 on the best national high schools list.

The following table broadly explains the school’s ranking on different parameters:

Parameter  Ranking 
Best National high schools 1,547
Best California high schools 220
Best Charter high schools 255
Best San Diego, CA metro area high schools 27

Student Enrollment at Helix High School

Enrollment at Helix High is open to all California state residents. The school conducts a lottery for admission where all the new applicants are required to participate. But, applicants need to note that the school provides certain priorities to the following students during lottery admission:

Priority acceptance  Applicant’s details
First-priority  Siblings of current Helix High grade 9, 10, and 11 students.
Second-priority  Residents of the previous attendance area of Helix Charter.
Third-priority  Children of Helix High employees.
Fourth-priority  Applicants who commit to attending a two-year bagpipe program at Helix.
Fifth-priority  Applicants who are residents of Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD).
Sixth-priority  All other applicants.

Every year around 2,499 students enroll in Helix Charter High School. This figure makes it a large high school. The huge campus size of this school makes it one of the top 10% of high schools in California according to size.

Most students feel like attending a good college. Here students have a great chance of engaging in multiple activities according to their interests. School admission trends are a great indicator of applicants’ acceptance there. In the past couple of years, the admission rate at Helix high School has increased sharply. 

The following table demonstrates the number of students who took admission in different grades in the past year:

Grade  Female students Male students  Total number of students
9 333 378 711
10 299 333 632
11 307 281 588
12 279 289 568

From the table, it is understandable that the first-year grade has 143 more students than the senior grade. This is evidence that the school is accepting more students for new admission. The increased admission rate might result from the school’s relaxed application review policies or an increase in the population of La Mesa.

Gender Split at Helix High

Schools with a balanced gender split provide efficient knowledge of equal human rights and help in students’ social, economic, political, and cultural development. According to the available data, Helix Charter High School has an even male and female student ratio. This means that the school is liberal in selecting either gender during the admission procedure. 

Male students at Helix High Female students at Helix High
51.3% 48.7%

Ethnicity of Student Body at Helix Charter

High schools that admit students from diverse ethnic backgrounds organically prepare students for the best global colleges. According to the available data, Helix High School has a varied student body. The school does not even have 50% of its students from one community. Students from the Hispanic community constitute the largest student group at Helix High. This is because nearly 51.5% of California students are from this ethnicity. Still, this community constitutes nearly 46% of the total student body at Helix High.

The following table broadly demonstrates the ethnicity of the student body at Helix Charter:

Ethnicity  No. of students  Student Percent 
Alaska Native/ American Indian 6 0.2%
Hispanic 1,153 46.1%
Asian 148 5.8%
White  486 19.4%
Black  444 17.7%
Pacific Islander/Hawaiian Native 28 1.1%
Two or more other races 237 9.4%

Economic Background of Students’ Family at Helix High

Helix High offers free lunches and reduced prices of meals to the students of economically weaker sections. To avail of these facilities, students must be included in the low-income groups, which the federal government of the US determines.

Students belonging to families with an income below 185% of the federal poverty line qualify for reduced-price meals. For a family with four members, this means an income below $45,000. On the other hand, to qualify for the free lunch program, family income must be below130% of the federal poverty line. It means for a four-member family; the income needs to be below $32,000.

From the latest data provided by school authorities, 19% of the total students qualify for reduced meal prices, and 34% qualify for free meals. Additionally, 52% do not qualify for either of the programs. This data shows that the school is in the middle 50% by income level of its students.

Schools with high-income students provide an excellent quality range of activities and courses. As Helix High is in the middle range of schools, it provides students with a decent set of courses and activities.

Academic Performance of Students at Helix High

The academic performance of a high school provides information about how well it prepares students to pursue higher studies. The major concerns of students while selecting schools include the following:

  • Does the school provide efficient preparation to excel in college admission?
  • How many AP/IB courses are available to students?
  • What is the level of education?
  • Does the school provide A-G college preparatory courses?

To make an efficient decision in selecting schools for admission, students need to consider the following aspects:

  • Graduation rate: It is a crucial benchmark for evaluating schools’ academic performance. Students who have graduated from high school have a better chance of getting into top-ranked universities or getting high-paying jobs. 

The state government wants most students of Helix High to graduate. According to the latest data, 90% of students complete their diplomas within four years of joining the school. The state’s average graduation rate is between 80 to 85%. Thus, Helix High has a perfect graduation rate and is counted under the top 69th percentile of the state’s public schools.

  • Standardized tests: Most colleges compare applications based on applicants’ SAT and ACT scores. These tests are designed to evaluate the knowledge of students. Schools with higher average scores are considered to provide better knowledge to their students.
  • SAT scores: The average composite SAT score of students at Helix High is 1430 out of 2400. This score is slightly below the national SAT average of 1500. This places Helix High in the lower 50% of all the schools in California. Merely 36% of the students here get their SAT scores above the national average.

The following table compares the average high school SAT score to the average national SAT score: 

Source  Math  Reading  Writing  Composite 
California  510 498 496 1504
US 511 495 484 1490
Helix High 489 475 466 1430
  • ACT scores: It is comparatively less popular than SAT in California. Most students who take the ACT are well-prepared for college applications. With a limited number of test-takers, it becomes challenging to efficiently compare the school’s average ACT score to the average national score.

The following table broadly compares the average Helix High ACT score to the average national ACT score:

Source  Math  Reading  English Science
California  22.8 22.3 21.8 21.7
US 20.9 21.3 20.3 20.8
Helix High 21 21 20 20

AP/IB Courses Offered at Helix High

AP and IB courses are essential for improving a student’s weighted GPA. Helix Charter High School is known to offer 20 AP courses. This is an impressive number, and more importantly, it includes most of the high-weighted courses that can improve students’ GPAs. 

A-G College Preparatory Courses  

Helix High is renowned for preparing students for college admission. The A-G courses offered here help students build a strong foundation for higher studies. These courses include the following subjects:

Area Course Duration 
A Social Science/History 2 years
B English 4 years
C Math 3 years
D Science  2 years
E Foreign Language 2 years
F Visual and Performing Art 1 year
G Political Science and Economics 1 year (1 semester for each course)

This school prepares students for top university admissions. With the availability of a diverse student body, challenging AP courses, college preparatory courses, etc., students can enhance their learning and get involved in various activities. Although average SAT/ACT scores are less than the national average, students can achieve excellent scores with rigorous preparation.


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