CPS - social life?

My son is considering CPS and while we like what we hear about the academics, it's not really clear how much of a life outside of studying kids have. It sounds like there's a trend towards school-life balance, but i'd love to hear current stories about this.

Assuming most kids live outside the neighborhood, do kids hang out together on the weekend? How many activities (sports, clubs, etc) are most kids able to do outside of school? Do alumni tend to stay in contact with one another?

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RE: CPS - social life? ()

I have two kids at CPS, and it's a great fit for both of them.  Academics aside,  I hear that the kids are accepting of others, interesting and interested, and socially things move right along.  There are school dances, which are fun.  Sports also help with finding friends.  In addition my kids are involved in sports outside of CPS, and that has been a broadening experience.  They do have meet ups outside of school, so I wouldn't worry about the social aspects at all.

RE: CPS - social life? ()

My daughter is a freshman at College Prep, and I'm happy to say yes! The kids have a life outside of school. Many of the students participate in sports and other activities. Mine for example loves fencing, debate, and in her free time, baking, hanging out with her friends and traveling. We live in Oakland and some of her friends are in Danville or El Cerrito; they make it work with Bart, carpooling, even Uber. We have found the school to be warm and supportive, even encouraging her to take time to travel for tournaments. Good luck with your high school choice!

RE: CPS - social life? ()

My son graduated from CPS in 2013 (actually both sons did, but the older one is so much older his experience is too dated to be useful).  The younger son was involved in theater and debate; that was an activity stretch as both were pretty demanding on top of school work.  His love for the stage won and he let debate go.  He sometimes got together with friends on the weekends, especially later in his time there.  But that was not a regular thing -- more a function of him (he is a bit nerdy and not super social) than the school.  Other kids were much more social.  He still is very close with his CPS friends: they are in frequent text/skype contact, and get together a lot when they are home from college.  

CPS is an awesome place for the right kid.  I am so grateful there was a school like that for my kids. 

RE: CPS - social life? ()

Hi, my kid is a freshman at CPS.   S/he thinks the kids are great: really nice, friendly, fun. It is an extremely welcoming and warm community of kids.  That said, s/he hardly sees any friends outside of school.  S/he has year-round sports commitments and between sports and schoolwork, s/he is spent.  S/he has gotten together with CPS friends during vacations and for the dances, and occasionally on a Friday after school, but that is about it.  S/he is in very regular text/snapchat communication with a lot of school friends. I think kids who are in drama or debate, or a school team socialize through these activities.  My kids also really feels that s/he needs sleep and will make sure to protect that time.  S/he wanted to do every club and join every group, but has  decided to stick to one club this year.

In short, my kid really likes and enjoys classmates (my kid is very outgoing and sociable); just feels there is not enough time.  Maybe when the newness has worn off a bit more things will change.

My kid also knows that some other kids do fit more socializing in.  I think a lot of this has to do with the individual student's studying style, their level of commitment to outside activities, and their own comfort levels.  My kid tends to be anxious, so s/he wants to keep life as non-frenetic as possible to ward off anxiety.  A more relaxed kid could probably socialize quite a bit more.

RE: CPS - social life? ()

It's been 20 years since I graduated so I'm sure other people will have more current feedback with respect to your question regarding academics/activities balance, but in my experience, most students definitely participated in activities and hung out together on the weekends, everywhere from N. Berkeley to Danville (there was lots of driving).  The school encourages life outside of the classroom/studying, in part by focusing on quality, not quantity, when it comes to the academics.  I did not find school to be easy in any way and had to work hard to feel like I was keeping up, and I still participated in sports and socialized on weekends.  As to your question regarding alumni staying in contact - yes, definitely.  It's one of the things I appreciate most about having gone there.  I recently attended a CPS graduate's 40th birthday party and there were dozens of graduates there, including four married couples from CPS.