CHS Academic Decathlon teams broke their own San Bernardino County record in the 32-year history of county Academic Decathlon competition, winning its fourth consecutive title. In results announced February 12, 2015, Chaffey won the title with 50,480 points, topping its record by 1,727 points set in 2013. It finished ahead of runner-up Redlands East Valley for the third consecutive year. Chaffey has won six of the last seven county titles under coach Steve Mercado. It matches the most dominant run of championships by any school since Redlands won six titles in seven years from 2002-07.
As county champion, Chaffey advanced to the state Academic Decathlon competition in Sacramento in March 2015. At the state competition, winning teams from counties competed to qualify for the national Academic Decathlon to be held in April 2015 in Garden Grove. At the state competition, Chaffey finished in 10th place, the only San Bernardino County school to place in the top 10. In previous state competitions, Chaffey has placed 6th (2014), 7th (2013), 8th (2010), 9th (2009), 17th (2010) and 20th (2011).
Academic Decathlon teams are composed of nine students, three each from grade point average categories of “A” (Honors), “B” (Scholastic) and “C” (Varsity). The competition consists of written tests in the areas of math, economics, science, language/literature, music, art and social science. Students also wrote an essay, faced a panel of interviewers and gave impromptu and prepared speeches. The final event of the competition was the Super Quiz, a team test of knowledge.
Like the Decathlon of the ancient Greeks, the San Bernardino County Academic Decathlon consists of ten competitions. While the Greek events were contests of physical strength, the San Bernardino County event is a test of academic strength and endurance.
The goals of the Academic Decathlon are: to encourage students to develop a greater respect for knowledge, to promote wholesome inter-school competition in academic areas of study and interest; to stimulate intellectual growth and achievement; and to encourage public interest and awareness of outstanding programs in secondary schools.
Seven core-curriculum areas (Math, Economics, Science, Music, Art, Language and Literature, Social Science) are tested for academic strength, as well as three areas of communication skills (Essay, Interview and Speech). Teams compete for individual and team awards.
A full team consists of nine students from the ninth through twelfth grades. The team may be comprised of all freshmen, all sophomores, all juniors, all seniors, or a combination. These members can be any combination of males and/or females. Each full team includes three Varsity (GPA 0.00 to 2.99); three Scholastic (GPA 3.00 to 3.74); and three Honor students (GPA 375 to 4.00).
As it did in 2013 and 2014, the CHS Alumni Association donated $5000 to assist the Academic Decathlon teams in expenses associated with the State competition in Sacramento.