Palos Verdes High School

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CEEB Code: 052358 PVPUSD
Academics Info » Competition Teams

Competition Teams

Academic Decathlon

Academic Decathlon provides students of all learning levels the opportunity to excel academically through team competition. It is the premier academic competition in the United States.

Academic Decathlon was created for students that love to learn and for those that enjoy the challenge of extra-curricular competition. It is a rewarding program that is highly recognized by Colleges and universities around the United States. Successful teams advance to the state and then the national level.

Academic Decathlon is a team competition wherein students match their intellects with students from other schools. Students are tested in ten categories over two Saturdays in late January and early February: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science, and Speech.

Each high school enters a team of nine students: 3 “A” or Honor students, 3 “B” or Scholastic students, and 3 “C” or Varsity students. It is important to note that Academic Decathlon is not just for “A” students.

Each year the students are given a theme to study. The theme for this 2010–2011 Academic Decathlon season is the Great Depression. Last year’s theme was the French Revolution.

What is special about Palos Verdes High’s Academic Decathlon Team?

At PV High, the Academic Decathlon Team is a new addition to the school. Last year, for the first time in over 20 years, PVHS participated in the Los Angeles Academic Decathlon where our team proudly won “Best New School” for the Los Angeles county area.

At most high schools, it is very difficult to make the Academic Decathlon team, especially for freshmen. However, since this is a new program for us, participation in our Academic Decathlon program is wide open. All students that register for the program will be given a chance to make the team. In addition, we will be creating a “Junior Varsity” team in the near future that will be designed to encourage more participation for freshmen and sophomore students.

Mock Trial


Mock Trial continues to grow in popularity amongst the kids as well as challenging and competitive program amongst the student body. One of 76 schools in Los Angeles County that keeps yearly in the National Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial program, PVHS has but two years reached within the elite eight. Individual accolades have been constant as well. This year alone, PVHS took home 14 individual awards, including Defense Attorney of the Year, awarded to only one student who exemplifies the skills, demeanor and disposition of a criminal defense attorney.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations is an international program that allows high school and College students to compete and engage in debate about global issues in mock UN committees at conferences throughout the state and country. PVHS MUN students participate in conferences at UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Georgetown University among others. PVHS students enrolled in MUN earn social studies elective credit and are also able to satisfy requirements toward earning the prestigious Palos Verdes International Diploma.

“Model United Nations gave me the opportunity to interact with more students in my grade, and upperclassmen as well. I made so many new friends in MUN and that really helped me adjust to high school. It also helped me immensely with my public speaking skills, and it assisted me in engaging in diplomatic discussions with strong viewpoints. Model UN is an amazing program that really contributed to my high school experience” Lindsey Hoffman, class of 2011.

“When I was in the eighth grade and had to choose between Palos Verdes and Peninsula High School, one of the main reasons I came to PV was its strong Model UN program. The Model UN program at PV is a true force for not only educating students, but also for building friendships and relationships that will help guide you through your high school career. From the beginning, whole teams of upper classmen made it their mission to help freshman learn the ropes of MUN. More than that, the friendships made during MUN trips to places like UC Irvine, Berkeley, or Mission Viejo only made the experience all the better. So whether you’re looking for friends, guidance, an incredible learning experience, or more, PV’s MUN program is the place for you.”
—Ryan Low, class of 2011.

Speech and Debate
Advisor: Rebecca K. Jessop |
Debate Coach Jonas L.
Speech Coach Ben M.

Speech and Debate has been a growing program at PVHS since its transformation from a club to a 7th period class in 2014. Through the class, students develop and improve upon their public speaking, critical thinking, and argumentation skills. The program is split into two teams, a speech team and a debate team, each with their own coaches and practice schedules. Throughout the school year, both teams compete regularly against 20 other schools in regional tournaments and attend state wide competitions as well.