Balboa High School, colloquially known as Bal, is an American public high school located near the Excelsior District in the Mission Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Balboa serves grades nine through twelve as part of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).Balboa is a comprehensive school located in an urban working class district. It educates a greater proportion of the city's disadvantaged and minority students relative to other city high schools. Mirroring conditions in the areas it serves, the school has a history marked by periods of violence, controversy, and low academic performance.The school motto is "First on the Pacific". The campus is the only historic landmark school in the district and the only one operating in the city. Following the dismissal of the entire faculty in 1999, it became the first school in northern California to embrace and convert its curriculum to the concept of small learning communities. It was the first in California to start a school-based student health clinic. In response to the AIDS pandemic, it was the first school in California to distribute free condoms to students. In the last decade, Balboa has experienced a turnaround and has improved its reputation and academic performance. The school achieved placement on Newsweek's "America's Top Public High Schools" list in 2007 and 2008.
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