The Fortuna Union High School District (FUHSD) is an integral part of a community that is both united and greatly varied in its physical and demographic features. FUHSD encompasses a 2,500‑square mile range from the northern tip of the south jetty of Humboldt Bay, east along Highway 36 to the mountainous ridges, which divide the Van Duzen and Mad River watersheds near Ruth Lake, and south along the Avenue of the Giants to the town of Redcrest. Approximately sixty‑five percent (65%) of the District’s students live over a mile from our school sites.
The makeup of communities within our district varies widely in age, income, education level and rate of growth. The city of Fortuna and its surrounding areas have seen an increase of many new housing and commercial developments. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Fortuna has decreased 0.8% from 2010 ‑ 2012. The development of one retail mall has completed and a commercial zone is currently under construction. The city of Rio Dell has been using funds from a Community Development Block Grant to fund the Gateway Improvement Project, a major project for its northern gateway, and continues to implement a downtown revitalization program as well.
The Forest Products industry continues to be plagued with uncertainties. The restrictions placed on logging have also reduced numerous other timber related jobs. The unemployment rate in the city of Fortuna was 7.5% in December 2013, according to homefacts.com. The Employment Development Department projects that these rates may increase as jobs shift from timber and agriculture to those in retail, health services and hospitality. The number of students receiving assistance is high: 46% receive free and reduced priced meals.
The City of Fortuna boasts two school districts: FUHSD and Fortuna Elementary School District (FESD). FESD is comprised of two (2) K – 4 schools, two (2) 5 – 8 schools and a charter school. Redwood Preparatory Charter is a K – 8 charter school. In addition, FUHSD has six other K – 8 feeder school districts. They are Bridgeville School District (located thirty miles to the east), Cuddeback Union School District (ten miles to the southeast), Hydesville School District (six and a half miles to the southeast), Loleta Union School District (seven miles to the north), Rio Dell School District (located eight miles to the south) and Scotia Union School District (located ten miles to the south).
The Fortuna Union High School District is comprised of three high schools serving students in the ninth through twelfth grades. Fortuna High School is a traditional comprehensive high school. East High School is a continuation school. Academy of the Redwoods is an early college high school located on the College of the Redwoods campus.