Easy A: Is Ojai North a Real High School?

In the 2010 romantic comedy, ‘Easy A,’ Olive Penderghast, a 17-year-old teenager, gets embroiled in a massive misunderstanding with her peers in Ojai North High School when false rumors about her sexual promiscuity get released into the public. The hallways of the school become the primary battleground for Olive’s reputation as she embraces her new identity while also helping those in need of a status reformation. Unfortunately, the judgments passed in the school corridors also threaten to unravel her life, friendships, and relationships with her teachers. With a whole host of events swirling in the belly of Ojai North High School, the origins of the school are worth diving into!

The Fictional Ojai North High School Has a Real-Life Counterpart

Ojai North High School in ‘Easy A’ is a fictional high school crafted by scriptwriter Bert V. Royal. The high school serves as the central backdrop to Olive’s rise in notoriety as gossip surrounding her sex life is leaked to her friends and schoolmates. Although sharp-witted and strong-willed, the young teenager is steadfast in her opposition to the judgemental comments about her lifestyle and dressing sense. As the lie about her promiscuity spreads to all corners of the high school, Olive uses her reputation to help those who have been bullied or targeted because of their lack of sex life or being perceived as gay. The school is an airy, open institution with large window spaces and corridors that look into the outdoor courtyard.

Although there is no school called Ojai North High School, Nordhoff Junior High & High School doubles as the fictional school attended by Olive. Like Ojai North, it is a public school whose name Nordhoff is derived from the original name of Ojai City, where it is situated. It was established in 1910 at 703 El Paseo Road. In 1966, the school transitioned to its current location at 1401 Maricopa Highway. Several students and alumni from Nordhoff were present in the scenes featuring Ojai North High School in ‘Easy A.’ However, some shots of the exterior garden and open hallways were filmed outside, as those could not be found in any high school in California, as the director had requested.

At the school, Olive spends most of her time with her friend, Rhiannon Abernathy, with whom she has difficulty connecting as the narrative progresses. Todd, her childhood crush, who also happens to be the school mascot, keeps her company occasionally when she is lonely. Olive’s favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith, is a friendly, jovial, and encouraging personality who believes in Olive regardless of the rumors about her. The young protagonist’s primary issues stem from her run-ins with Marianne Bryant, who runs a devoutly Christian club and passes judgment on Olive for her reported acts of sexual deviancy. Mr. Gibbons, the school’s principal, also has it out for her because of her inability to conform.

All the elements stacked around Ojai North lend it a sense of a lived-in, bustling high school atmosphere that offers a glimpse into Olive’s fight to maintain her dignity. However, despite its fictional roots in ‘Easy A,’ the real-life counterpart to Ojai North High School can be found in the classrooms of Nordhoff Junior High & High School in the same city.

Read more: Is Easy A Based on a True Story?