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Shaw High School is a location in the Commonwealth in 2287.


A modern design of a public school,[1] Shaw High School has since become a super mutant encampment. In August 2076, students at Shaw High School were receiving very low test scores. Ronald Tanner, a failed Vault-Tec salesman and current principal of Shaw High School, devised a plan to raise test scores by smuggling Mentats into the school and coercing delinquent students to distribute them to the student body in secret.[2]

Principal Tanner believed that if he could raise test scores then the school district would increase the funding to the school, most of which he would then keep for himself. Tanner decided to use five delinquent students, one by the name of Rusty Burton,[3] to distribute the Mentats initially in exchange for a longer lunch period and removal of certain permanent records.[4] Rusty later caught wind of Principal Tanner's full plan (due to an intelligence increase from taking them himself) and sought to blackmail him in exchange for half of the embezzled money.[5]

Earlier in the year, Rusty had also broken into Principal Tanner's terminal and sent a fake memo under Tanner's name to the faculty staff. The forged memo ordered all faculty to cancel all of their classes and take the week off, as well as changing the grading curve in Mr. Wellborn's history class from A through F to A through A-.[6] The forged memo had obvious signs that it was not written by Principal Tanner not only because of the outrageous decisions but also because the memo had Tanner mocking himself and even advertising Rusty Burton as homecoming king.

Despite those signs, most of the faculty took the memo seriously and did not show up for work for the rest of the week. Principal Tanner was disappointed with the staff for their gullibility and docked their pay for the days they missed.[7] Tanner ordered the staff to change their terminal passwords and suspended Rusty Burton from attending Mr. Wellborn's classes.


Upon entering the two story entryway, the Sole Survivor will see a hallway leading north, cafeteria to the northwest and an office to the west.

The office to the west has an Expert locked door that leads to the principal's office which contains his terminal and a Master locked closet. Further west the way is blocked by debris, so the only other room to navigate is the cafeteria. The cafeteria may house a super mutant and mutant hound and leads to either the cafeteria basement or to the west hallway. The west hallway leads to stairs taking the Sole Survivor to the second floor.

Back to the north hallway, it has multiple rooms to the east - a science lab with a chemistry workstation and a classroom that connects to a kitchen. At the end of the hallway are stairs leading to the second floor.

From the northwest staircase, the Sole Survivor starts on a small landing leading to a room with a super mutant patrolling. To the south is a long walkway leading to some classrooms with terminals and eventually a closet at the southern end. To the east lies the rest of the upstairs.

From the super mutant room there is a kitchen to the south and a cafeteria overlook to the east. From the overlook, the Sole Survivor can go further east to find the stairs leading back down or a couple of classrooms, the northern one of which contains Rusty's lunchbox.

To the north is a Master locked door (the key can be found in the principal's office or in Rusty's lunchbox) which leads to the library. A turret, traps, and landmines are located in this area. The library connects to two rooms to the west - the southern room has a Novice lock. The northern room is open and has the mini-boss for the building, as well as a steamer trunk with leveled loot and an armor workstation.

Notable loot

  • Property of R. Burton holotape - In the Novice locked room behind the book return terminal, at the library.
  • Unstoppables issue #1 - In the northwest room of the school library. Go down the north corridor, up the stairs and turn right and the library is on the right.
  • Principal's office key can be found in Rusty's lunch, located in a classroom on the second floor, east on the local map. Opens Tanner's office as well as his desk.
  • If the Sole Survivor is unable to pick Master locks, the library key can be found in Principal Tanner's desk, directly west of the main entrance behind an Expert locked door.
  • Seven Vault-Tec lunchboxes:
    • Four can be found in the cafeteria which is located in the center of the building and surrounding classrooms.
    • Another two can be found on desks in classrooms on the second floor. One is on the west side, in the room with wires hanging out of the ceiling, the other is in the only east-side classroom.
    • One can be found on the bottom shelf of a locker, just outside the east-side classroom, half buried.
  • Eight overdue books:
    • One is on a toilet in the last stall of the ground-floor bathroom next to the cafeteria.
    • One upstairs on a desk on the east side of the school.
    • One upstairs on a desk on the west side of the school, in the same room as the Vault-Tec lunchbox and the sparking wire.
    • One on the second floor, west side, on the floor near a locker, there is a frag mine nearby.
    • Four are in the library, one in the main section on an overturned bookcase to the left of the book return, three more in the room where the comic book is.
  • The overdue book return terminal contains Mentats for 100 tokens and three other unlabeled items for five tokens each.
  • Super mutant light body armor - In the cafeteria against the east wall.
  • Super mutant chest harness - In the library to the left of the steamer trunk.
  • The school is an excellent source of Mentats, as a minimum of 29 boxes can be found throughout the location, 13 of which are in the locked closet in the principal's office.
  • Two Nuka-Cola Quantums - Both can be found laying on the floor between an angled Nuka-Cola vending machine and a green trash can in the north stairwell.

Related quests

  • Kidnapping: Concerned settlers will ask the Sole Survivor to help them rescue a fellow settler that was kidnapped for ransom by nearby hostiles, hoping to have them freed without harm.
  • Leading by Example: One must clear an area of hostiles while accompanying a Brotherhood of Steel scribe.
  • Randolph Safehouse: The Railroad agent Mister Tims will leave dead drops in the form of six holotapes for the Sole Survivor, containing information about possible hazards to the Railroad's escort and escape of synths out of the Commonwealth. They can assist in these efforts by clearing out the location of hostiles.
  • Quartermastery: Scribe Haylen has identified the location of a piece of technology she wishes to retrieve and catalog. She asks the Sole Survivor for help in bringing back the technology in one piece.
  • Hypothesis: To aid in one of his experiments, Doctor Holdren of the Institute's BioScience division asks the Sole Survivor to obtain a tissue sample from a particularly tough super mutant and return it to him.
  • Cleansing the Commonwealth: Knight Rhys gives the Sole Survivor an assignment to clear the location of what he calls "abominations" to further the aims of the Brotherhood of Steel.
  • Greenskins: A group of super mutants has been terrorizing a group of settlers who are unable to defend themselves. The Sole Survivor is called on to make sure they'll never be a threat to anyone else again.
  • Lost Soul: Doctor Carrington has a lead on a synth that's in danger and sends the player character to save them.
  • Nuka-World (add-on) A Permanent Solution: One of the leaders of the Nuka-World raider gangs tasks the player character with neutralizing a target to further their gang's aims.


  • A supermutant radio broadcast can be heard in the vicinity of the school. The origin of the broadcast is a ham radio under the basement in the storage room. The hatch is located in the back left corner past the three stoves. The bodies of two traders can be found here, a man and a woman. The latter presumably was the one forced to make the broadcast.
  • One of the possible locations to find weapons found on a Gunner's note.

Companion comments

  • When at this location companions make comments, which are activated at two locations: at the cafeteria and in the library.
Location comments
Character Specific location Comment
Cait Cafeteria "I'm gonna guess that we shouldn't be eatin' anythin' we find in here."
Library "Smells like shite down here."
Codsworth Cafeteria "Moments like this make me thankful I've no stomach."
Library "My olfactory sensors are picking up quite the stench, sir/mum. You may want to plug your nose."
Curie Cafeteria "We've missed lunch, I think."
Library "Look at all the books. But where are the students? There is so much to learn."
Danse Cafeteria "This doesn't bode well for what we're going to find in the rest of the school."
Library "Super Mutant excrement... the pungent stench is unmistakable."
Deacon Cafeteria "Popular place. And look at me, I forgot my lunchbox."
John Hancock Cafeteria "You can bet your ass no one would've skipped if they'd had these meat bags before the bombs."
Library "Oh god. Were they using this place as their bathroom?"
Robert MacCready Cafeteria "Hey, look! It's today's special. Yum."
Library "Oh... god... I think I'm going to be sick."
Nick Valentine Cafeteria "Say what you will about the ambience, but you can bet the Mutants improved the freshness of the meals in here."
Library "What a waste of good knowledge."
Piper Wright Cafeteria "And I've lost my appetite."
Library "I've seen books used for worse."
Preston Garvey Cafeteria "Looks like we've got our work cut out for us."
Library "Good god, what have they been doing in here?"
X6-88 Cafeteria "There must have been a lot of children here to require a commissary of this size."
Library "In the Institute, we've advanced far beyond books. Children learn from interactive terminals."


The Shaw High School appears only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes

FB8 deco 301 color.pngThe following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and may be inaccurate.
  • This location is likely based on the Robert Gould Shaw Middle School which was located in West Roxbury.[8]
FB8 deco 301 color.pngEnd of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.


  • Icon pc.png Icon ps4.png Icon xboxone.png It is possible to access the terminal entries on Principal Tanner's terminal from every faculty terminal by selecting the [BACK] option in the [Memos to Faculty and Staff] menu.[verified]
  • Icon ps4.png The frame rate may be lower than normal throughout.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps4.png Random crash when exploring the area.[verified]