I guess you can't go back - WHS is gone

About Our School

Welcome to the Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets… home of the Comets. At the start of the 2011-12 school year, Westchester High School went through a rebirth, embracing a new identity as a series of high-performing science magnets.

At Westchester, we offer a high school experience unlike anything else in the Los Angeles area.  Our three magnets provide individualized learning opportunities within their small, thematically-aligned programs. But, together, our magnets form one school, providing the widest possible array of athletic and extra-curricular opportunities.  We are LAUSD’s only magnet that offers an authentic comprehensive high school experience.

At the Westchester Magnets, we embrace project-based learning. Our students synthesize content from all of their classes to create projects and conduct experiments with real-world applications. Our students engage in hands-on learning as they experience instruction aligned to the themes of our three magnets: Aerospace and Aviation, Environmental and Natural Science, and Health and Sports Medicine.

In our Aviation and Aerospace Magnet, students will have the opportunity to participate in flight simulation. They also take a shop class where they learn applied physics by working on the engine of a real Cessna airplane, which is located on campus.

In our Environmental and Natural Science Magnet, students will monitor renewable electricity generated by our on-campus solar power plant. They also take courses focused on urban ecology and green construction.

In our Health and Sports Medicine Magnet, students will take Athletic Training classes using our state-of-the-art Training Room and Sports Medicine Clinic. They also study nutrition in our Culinary Arts kitchen.

We are able to offer these innovative programs through partnerships with local organizations and businesses like Loyola Marymount University, Boeing, Chevron, and the Team Heal Foundation. Because of the contributions of our partners, our school is able to offer opportunities for internships, field trips, guest lectures, and demonstrations by scientists and other professionals.

Our teachers are among the best in LAUSD, and, on a daily basis, they challenge themselves to match the commitment and motivation of our outstanding student body.

But life as a Westchester Comet isn’t limited to the classroom.  We require every student to be involved in at least one extra-curricular activity. Students participate countless organizations, including clubs, student government, band, drama, cheerleading, drill team, and our nationally renowned athletics program.

We believe that a great school produces well-rounded students, ready to succeed in college, pursue careers, and enjoy life. Being a science magnet, we teach students to view life as experiment, to explore the world’s possibilities with a spirit of scientific inquiry.

At Westchester, we are “the future of scientific thought… today.”


Proposed new fight song;


Fight, fight on Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets School of Enriched Sciences and Magnets High,

Keeping them planes in the sky.

Send a volley ball cheer on high,

Shake down the nets from the hall.

What though the game be, science or ball,

Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets High School of Enriched Sciences and Magnets  will win over all.

When the brainy team comes marching,

Home from the science discovery victory ball.

Westchester is a suburban neighborhood in western Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the location of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Loyola Marymount University (LMU), and Otis College of Art and Design.



Westchester is located in the eastern part of the Del Rey Hills also known as the Westchester Bluffs. The Westchester community is separated from the Pacific Ocean by Playa del Rey on the west. Its northern border is defined by and includes the area now known as Playa Vista, as well as Culver City, and the unincorporated area of Ladera Heights. The Playa Vista community is located within the northern portion of Westchester. The city of Inglewood is to the east, and the city of El Segundo is to the south. The southern portion of the neighborhood is taken up by the Los Angeles International Airport (a.k.a. LAX). The San Diego Freeway runs through the eastern portion of the area.[citation needed] The Westchester Neighbors Association defines the Osage area of Westchester boundaries as "the area within the City of Los Angeles: east of Sepulveda Boulevard, north of Manchester Avenue and west of the I/S 405 Freeway (San Diego Fwy)."[1]


Westchester began the 20th century as an agricultural area, growing a wide variety of crops in the dry farming-friendly climate. The rapid development of the aerospace industry near Mines Field (as LAX was then known), the move of then Loyola University to the area in 1928, and population growth in Los Angeles as a whole, created a demand for housing in the area. Westchester hosted the cross country part of the eventing equestrian event for the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[2]

In the late 1930s, real estate magnate Fritz Burns developed a tract of inexpensive prefabricated single-family homes on the site of a former hog farm at the intersection of Manchester and Sepulveda Boulevards. This community, dubbed "Westchester", grew by leaps and bounds as the aerospace industry boomed in World War II and afterward. A Los Angeles Times article in 1989 described the development as "a raw suburb", "created willy-nilly in the 1940s".[3]

The area was predominantly residential. When the area had 30,000 residents, it was still lacking a police station, fire station, or hospital. It lacked a barber shop even by 1949.[3]

Howard Hughes, the famous aviator, movie director, and tool company owner, operated a large manufacturing plant in northern Westchester in the area now known as Playa Vista. Hughes Airport (IATA: CVR), a private airport, was part of the manufacturing plant. The street named Runway Road is laid out in the approximate location of the former Hughes Airport runway.

The Hughes facilities were commonly called "Hughes's Culver City" facilities, even though this area has never been part of the City of Culver City. This appellation continues today in any number of publications that discuss Howard Hughes himself, or his companies. The Hughes facilities were owned by Hughes Tool Company, operated by Hughes Aircraft, a company that specialized in building aviation navigation and communication systems, and the profits went to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Hughes's nearly spruce-free "Spruce Goose" wood-bodied transport airplane was built in the Hughes facilities. The plane was disassembled into major components in 1947, transported to Long Beach on then-rural roads, and reassembled. Howard Hughes himself flew the H4 for little over one mile (1.6 km), but the plane was never flown again.

The famous "Jet Age" style Theme Building opened in 1961.

The 1960s saw the introduction of airliners that could make trans-Pacific flights without refueling, causing a massive increase in air traffic at LAX. While Westchester residents successfully blocked a northward expansion of the airport, the increase in noise from jet takeoffs greatly decreased the desirability of the residential areas adjoining LAX. In response, the city of Los Angeles began a longstanding program of purchasing houses from noise-weary homeowners; as a result, a number of streets just north of the airport have been decommissioned, and the homes along those streets have either been demolished or moved to other locations. The 18-hole Westchester golf course became a 15-hole course. As a result of a 2007 Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) proposal to move the North runway into Westchester,[4] local opposition to LAX expansion (first proposed in the late 1990s) rose to fever pitch. In February 2010, a NASA panel found that the North runway was safe and should stay as it is.[5][6] That same month, LAWA broke ground on a $1.5 billion expansion of the Bradley International Terminal.[7]

As part of the 1960s expansion and modernization of LAX, the now famous landmark "Jet Age" style Theme Building opened. This iconic building has itself been modernized and is the location of Encounter Restaurant.

In the late 1990s, Otis College of Art and Design, with approximately 1000 full-time and 3000 part-time students, moved to Westchester from its previous location near downtown Los Angeles. What is now named the Kathleen Ahmanson Hall was designed by architect Eliot Noyes in 1963 to house an IBM research center. This well known local landmark, a seven story, 115,000-square-foot (10,700 m2) building, has a distinctive "punch card" window design. The two story Galef Fine Arts Center, designed by Frederick Fisher Architects, opened on the campus in 2001. The complex geometry and corrugated metal forms contrast with the "punch card" vocabulary of Ahmanson Hall. Together, these buildings comprise the Elaine and Bram Goldsmith Campus. Ironically, the Otis building has Westinghouse brand elevators.

With Loyola Marymount University and Otis only blocks from one another, Westchester has undergone a shift away from defense/aviation related industries (which have declined significantly since the end of the Cold War) and has become a college town. In 2004, a Graduate School of Pepperdine University relocated to the north-east quadrant of Westchester. The private college/university students, paying tuition typically well in excess of $30,000.00 per year, are a huge boon to local economy. Adding living expenses to tuition, merchants gladly count the $45,000.00 - $55,000.00 per student, per year, dropped into the local economy.

During the beginning of the fall 2008 semester, Westchester residents became more concerned with the off-campus parties hosted by Loyola Marymount University students. Los Angeles-based KNBC 4 interviewed approximately 12 Westchester homeowners over their concerns with LMU.[8] The piece aired on Friday, September 5, 2008. It was met with criticism by LMU students because KNBC did not interview a student in the piece.[9]



The 2010 United States Census[10] reported that Westchester had a population of 39,480. The racial makeup of Westchester was 24,136 (61.1%) White, 5,605 (14.2%) African American, 4,751 (12.0%) Asian, 148 (0.4%) Native American, 135 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 2,309 (5.8%) from other races, and 2,396 (6.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7,203 persons (18.2%).

According to a 2008 estimate by the Mapping L.A. Project, the median income for a household in the city was $77,473.


In 1975 Continental Airlines had its headquarters on the grounds of LAX.[11] Prior to its dissolution Western Airlines had its headquarters at LAX.[12]

Prior to its dissolution, regional airline Air L.A. was headquartered in Westchester.[13] Prior to its dissolution cargo airline Flying Tiger Line had its headquarters at LAX.[14] Prior to its dissolution Regentair had its headquarters in Westchester.[15] When Los Angeles Airways existed, its headquarters was in Westchester.[16]

Government and infrastructure

Local government

Los Angeles Fire Department Station 5 is in Westchester.

Los Angeles Police Department operates the Pacific Community Police Station at 12312 Culver Boulevard, 90066, serving the neighborhood.[17]

Los Angeles World Airports has its headquarters on the property of Los Angeles International Airport.[18]

County, federal, and state representation

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Westchester.[19]

The United States Postal Service Westchester Post Office is located at 7381 La Tijera Boulevard.[20] The United States Postal Service Airport Station is located at 9029 Airport Boulevard, Los Angeles 90009-9998.



View of Sunken Gardens at Loyola Marymount University.

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Westchester-Loyola Village Branch.[21]


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Westchester is served by six zoned public elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The area is within Board District 4.[22] As of 2009 Steve Zimmer represents the district.[23]

Zoned elementary schools:

  • Kentwood Elementary School
  • Westport Heights Elementary School
  • Cowan Avenue Elementary School
  • Paseo Del Rey Elementary School
  • Loyola Village Elementary School

Zoned middle schools:

Zoned high schools:

LAUSD-affiliated charter elementary schools:

  • Open Magnet Charter School [1]
Private schools

Westchester has several private K-8 schools and one high school, including:

Parks and recreation

The Westchester Recreation Center is in Westchester. The center includes an auditorium, barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, two indoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, a lighted American football field, an indoor gymnasium without weights, picnic tables, a lighted soccer (football) field, and lighted tennis courts.[25] The Westchester Pool, on the recreation center site, is an outdoor unheated seasonal pool.[25][26] The Westchester Tennis Courts in the recreation center consists of ten lighted courts.[25][27]

The Westchester Senior Citizen Center has a 200 person auditorium, barbecue pits, a 20 person community room, a garden, a kitchen, picnic tables, and a stage.[28] The 8-acre (3.2 ha) Carl E. Nielsen Youth Park is located in Westchester. In 1991 Los Angeles World Airports planned to pave over the park and use the lot as parking spaces and leased space to rental car companies. During that year LAWA decided to keep the park open.[29]


Westchester hosted the cross country eventing part of the equestrian event for the 1932 Summer Olympics held in the Los Angeles area.

Notable residents