Albany High School OK for kid with ADHD?

Hello AHS Parents,

I have a daughter with ADHD and social anxiety. We live in El Cerrito and we are considering moving to Albany this coming summer 2023 just for the high school. We are also looking into some private schools but we don't know if she will be accepted.

From reading old posts it seems AHS is a mostly an academic focused school. I am thinking my daughter will probably just take the "normal" classes in AHS, not many AP or honor classes due to her ADHD. Currently, at her public middle school, my daughter is an all A student. However, other than math, I feel she is not really learning that much.

Can any parent in AHS let me know their experience there with kids that are "different". Are all classes engaging? Or do you need to be in an AP class to be engaged? Are teachers engaging/caring with all students or do they only engage with top of the class students? Is the student body receptive to new students out of the district?

Also, my daughter, despite her ADHD condition, has never qualified for IEP or 504 plans due to her good grades. She is taking her classes the same way as everyone else since elementary school.

Thank you very much in advance for any advice.

Parent Replies

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I have a current 9th grader at AHS with a 504 for ADHD/anxiety. It's fine. The curriculum is not challenging (aqlthough a motivated student could figure out how to go above and beyond, but that's not my child). That might change in upper grades and when AP classes are available. I don't think it is a super welcoming environment for students new to the district, since Albany is a small town and many of the kids have been together since kindergarten or 6th grade, or know each other from club sports. Based on what you describe of your daughter, I wouldn't say it's an obvious perfect fit, but every child is different and everyone's ADHD might be a little different. Definitely no need to move to Albany to attend AHS, they are handing out transfer permits pretty easily if you can get released from your home district.

The parent advocates at DREDF are very helpful. In my experience as a parent and teacher even high achieving students with a specific LD are eligible for 504 plans. In a competitive high school like Albany or BHS, the accommodations are often necessary even for a student who was successful prior to high school.