SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta commenced as a school under name of SMA Negeri VIII/ABC on 1st Augustus 1958 in compliance with the letter of order of Minister of Culture and Education numbered 26/SK/B.111. The school was originally located in Slamet Rijadi Park.
In January 1959, it was moved to a new site next to SMP Negeri III Jakarta (State Junior High School III) on Jalan Manggarai Utara IV/6 Jatinegara. On 30th March 1971 SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta was permanently established on Jalan Taman Bukitduri Tebet where it was offially opened by Governor Ali Sadikin.
The following is a chronological brief history of SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta as of 1971 onwards;
• 1971 - 1984 The school faced years of long struggle and hardship in search for a path leading to a perfect and ideal character
for its own sake.
• 1984 - 1989 The school announced itself as one of the educational institutes readily obeying all laws and orders of the government which prohibit students delinquency and fight.
• 1989 - 1994 The school created harmonious collaboration among all residents of the school in order to pursue both academic and non-academic achievement.
• 1994 - 1996 SMA Negeri 8 Jakarta was appointed by Kanwil Depdiknas DKI Jakarta (A division of Department of Culture and Education) as one of the leading senior high schools throughout Indonesia’s Provinces.
• 1994 - 2000 It won top position in terms of the most students who passed EBTANAS (National Baccalaureate) and the most students who passed entrance test to Government leading universities throughout the provinces of Indonesia, as well as extended its service to include acceralerated classes (a class with two years of study which is cut down from its normal three years).
• 2002 - 2003 It initiated a pilot curriculum of 2004
• 2004 The opening of international classes, and the school was made as the center of astronomy study.
• 2005 - 2006 It won top position as one of the schools throughout Jakarta in terms of the most students who passed UAN (National Baccalaureate).
• 2007 It was officially appointed as one of the center for international class program and started to implement KTSP (curriculum based on the levels of education units)