Investigators say the man grabbed the girl from behind Monday morning at Eucalyptus Avenue and Fifth Street.
The suspect is described as a white man in his late 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a stocky build, black hair, brown eyes with a full beard.
The student was able to get away. She ran to John W. North High School and reported the incident.
Anyone with information is urged to call detectives at (951) 353-7125.