The most prominent of the schools is the Ed Roybal Learning Center in downtown L.A., formerly known as the Belmont Learning Center. The opening was long overdue after years and years of delay.
It is the most expensive high school in U.S. history at a price tag of more than $400 million.
"It's way better than Belmont because it's bigger and they have a park," said one student.
LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer said he's expecting excellence this year.
"I'm focused like a laser on boys. Boys have been underachieving in all ethnic groups, whether they're white, Asian, black, Latino, Native American," he said.
Officials said the new school has six small schools, each with its own theme, including visual arts and humanities, computer science, business and finance, the international school of languages, and activists for educational empowerment.