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


A modern design of a public school,[Non-canon 1] Shaw High School has since become a super mutant encampment. In August 2076, students at Shaw High School were achieving very low test scores. Ronald Tanner, a failed Vault-Tec salesman and the 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.[1]

Principal Tanner believed that if he could raise test scores, 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,[2] to distribute the Mentats initially in exchange for a longer lunch period and removal of certain permanent records.[3] Rusty later caught wind of Principal Tanner's full plan (due to an intelligence increase from taking the Mentats himself), and sought to blackmail him in exchange for half of the embezzled money.[4]

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. The forged memo ordered all faculty to cancel all of their classes and take the week off, and also changed the grading curve in Mr. Wellborn's history class from A through F to A through A-.[5] 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.[6] Tanner ordered the staff to change their terminal passwords, and suspended Rusty Burton from attending Mr. Wellborn's classes.


Upon entering the two-story entrance area, the Sole Survivor will see a hallway leading north, a 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 (the key to both doors can be found in Rusty's lunchbox on the second floor). Farther west the hallway is blocked by debris, so the only other room to navigate is the cafeteria. The cafeteria may house a super mutant and a mutant hound, and connects to the northwest cafeteria basement and the west hallway. The west hallway leads to stairs in the northwest heading up to the second floor.

Back to the north hallway, several rooms are to the east: a science lab with a chemistry station (beware the tripwire at the entrance), and a classroom that connects to a kitchen. At the end of the hallway is another set of stairs leading to the second floor.

From the northwest staircase, the Sole Survivor enters the second floor on a small landing leading to a room with a super mutant patrolling. To the southwest is a long walkway leading to two classrooms, and a closet at the southern end. To the southeast is a staff break room. To the east is a cafeteria overlook. From the overlook, the Sole Survivor can go farther east to find the stairs leading back down, as well as a couple of classrooms, with the northern classroom containing Rusty's lunchbox.

To the north off the cafeteria overlook is a Master-locked door which leads to the library (the key to the door can be found in the principal's office). A turret, traps, and mines are located in this area. The library connects to two rooms to the west. The southern room has a Novice lock (which can also be opened by the key from the principal's office). 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 workbench.

Notable loot

  • Library key - In Principal Tanner's Novice-locked desk on the first floor, behind an Expert-locked door. Opens the Master-locked library entrance door and the Novice-locked room in the library.
  • Super mutant light body armor - In the cafeteria, against the east wall.
  • Two Nuka-Cola Quantums - Both are on the floor between an angled Nuka-Cola vending machine and a green trash can in the northwest stairwell.
  • Property of R. Burton holotape - In the library, in the Novice-locked room behind the book return terminal.
  • Unstoppables issue #1 - In the library, in the northwest room.
  • Super mutant chest harness - In the library, in the northwest room.
  • Principal's office key - In the classroom on the east side on the second floor, inside Rusty's lunchbox. Opens Tanner's office and desk.
  • Eight Vault-Tec lunchboxes:
    • Five are in the cafeteria on the first floor in the center of the building.
    • One is on the second floor on a desk on the west side, in the classroom with wires hanging out of the ceiling.
    • One is on the second floor on a desk on the east side, in the only classroom on that side.
    • One is partly buried on the bottom shelf of a locker on the second floor, just outside the classroom on the east side.
  • Eight overdue books:
    • One is on a toilet in the last stall of the first-floor bathroom next to the cafeteria.
    • One is on the second floor on the floor near a locker on the west side, near a frag mine.
    • One is on the second floor on a desk on the west side, in the classroom with wires hanging out of the ceiling.
    • One is on the second floor on a desk on the east side, in the only classroom on that side.
    • Four are in the library. One is in the main section on an overturned bookcase to the left of the book return, and three more are in the northwest room with the perk magazine.
  • 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. The overdue book return terminal also rewards Mentats for 100 tokens, as well as three other unlabeled items for five tokens each.

Related quests

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lost Soul: Doctor Carrington has a lead on a synth that's in danger and sends the player character to save them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 in the storage room under the cafeteria basement. The storage hatch is in the back left corner past the three stoves. The bodies of a male and a female trader can be found here.
  • The school is one of the possible locations to find weapons as directed by 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."


Shaw High School appears only in Fallout 4.


  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One 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]
  • Playstation 4Playstation 4 The frame rate may be lower than normal throughout.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Random crashes may be experienced when exploring the area.[verified]




  1. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition pp. 377-378: "[6.15] Shaw High School
    A modern public school structure, now in rusting ruins with a strong Super Mutant presence in the halls. Do they seem more intelligent than normal?"
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)