Bayhill vs BHS for autistic + ADHD kid?

Hi out there,

Our kid has autism and ADHD and some rough challenges.  She has never really recovered since the COVID year and a half, and public middle school has not prepared her well for high school, either academically or socially.  She is a huge book and theatre person, and so the lack of a library and drama program at Bayhill are definite minuses in our equation.  We've also been through both private and public schools, and are under no illusion that small/private is necessarily "better" than large/public. 

If you have a kid with an IEP at BHS, what has your experience been?  Is there ever enough supervision for someone who needs a LOT of it?  Like constant reminders to stay on task?

What do you wish you had known before sending your kid to Bayhill over BHS, or vice versa?  HELP!!!  Thank you so much.

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My kid has an IEP at Berkeley high for adhd and dyslexia. The program there will definitely not provide a lot of structure or reminders to stay on task. And the drama program is ok, but there is only drama classes. They don’t have annual drama productions. We get outside help and constantly think about moving to a different school. But so far we have stuck with it because of money and because we know that if he goes to college, he will need to figure things out on his own. 

Hello! I had a kid at Bayhill, and he only lasted there for two weeks.  However, he was primarily there for his severe dyslexia. The school was too small to give him what he needed for his ADHD. He transferred to BHS, eventually graduated, and even took some classes at BCC (although I had to read his textbooks out loud to him).  

Our girl with severe ADHD (but no LD) ended up thriving at one of the SMALL SCHOOLS at Berkeley High. However, since Berkeley High has stopped offering the small school option to 9th graders -- a bad decision on their part, IMHO -- I would consider placing your child in a private school (whether Bayhill or another, like St. Mary's High School, which is not far away) for 9th grade, and then consider transferring to BHS in 10th grade, but REQUESTING A SMALL SCHOOL (not AC or IB, which are large).

What I liked about BHS was that our teen had the same cohort, and *many of the same teachers*, throughout her four years there. King had instituted a 504 Plan for her towards the end of 8th grade, and it was a lifesaver for us.  We had 504 meetings once a year, that included her private therapist as well!  Her counselor, Dwayne Byndloss, was always available to help.  (For example, we were able to switch math programs in 10th grade when her small school program was just not working out.) 

I was also in frequent contact with her teachers, to make sure that I knew what her assignments were, so that I could help her stay on task during homework time.  One of her teachers said to me, "I don't mind you contacting me, because your support ME!"  

As you might imagine, I was spending a lot of time supervising her homework every night, but she got pretty good grades throughout high school; she ended up in the top 12% statewide, which for her was an accomplishment.  She enjoyed taking chorus and Afro-Cuban dance classes as electives, and she ended up excelling in chemistry, which we never would have predicted. 

Good luck!  (And check out St. Mary's -- I know a number of teens who've gone there, and they just absolutely loved it.)

No. BHS is overwhelming. Severely cognitively challenged kids might stay in a classroom all day but otherwise I don’t think a higher functioning kid would be supervised. She’ll get marked absent if she misses class- no one would look for her. She’s free to leave campus anytime.

Hi, our teen went to Bayhill for two years then left to go back to public school. First year at Bayhill was pretty good, second year was pretty awful. It’s such a small school, I think the population (kids, teachers and admin ) that’s there at any given time can really influence your child’s experience. There seemed to be in an inordinate number of kids being expelled. This was a few years ago, but a teacher there was having some pretty significant mental health/perhaps substance abuse issues and lashed out very inappropriately. The teacher was subsequently let go but it had a pretty traumatic affect on our teen. Kids are allowed off campus (with provisions) and some teachers take kids off campus (for example PE). This seemed like a neat feature but my teen later told me that when the class stopped at a convenience store, kids in the class routinely shoplifted. The qualifications of the teachers who provided extra educational/study support varied (eg at one time it was an educational therapist, then it was the band teacher). Also, if your child needs therapy/counseling, that is an additional charge. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the quality experience we hoped it would be, especially if you’re privately paying. 

You may want to check out Holden High School also. It’s a very small school but it provides a lot of individually focused support. It was a good alternative for our son with ADHD and social anxiety. We were able to get BUSD to pay the tuition for Holden using a great lawyer.