Feedback on East Bay High School Options

Dearest BPN, 

My children are currently 8 & 6 and they go to an independent school in El Cerritto (thanks to my mother in law) and we currently live in Berkeley. We like our school and don't want to switch. Recently my mother in law was diagnosed with Meneire's disease (a degenerative inner ear disease) and we have decided that we to help her sell her house near rockridge and our house in Berkeley and find a home that will accommodate all of us. My hope is that this will be the last move we will have to make. 

Initially we thought that we would try and stay in Berkley in order to maintain the Berkeley High option. However we don't even know if Berkeley High will actually be a good fit for either of our boys. While I've heard many good things about Berkeley High Ive also heard that depending on the kid it can be overwhelming. Im also hearing that El Cerrito High is getting better all the time and I'd love to know more about what has improved besides the renovation of the campus. 

 One thought is that we try and pocket the money we save moving from Berkley to El Cerritto and set it aside so we can do St Mary's if for some reason El Cerrito High does not turn out to be be a good fit for us.  But I'm conflicted. It seems hard to give up on Berkeley High when it has such a great reputation. I'd love to get some current feedback on Berkley Vs. El Cerrito High.  Im also looking at St Marys High and would consider other independent high schools that don't cost 50K a year (I know that narrows it down a lot!) . My mother is law is helping us pay for independent elementary but we would be on our own for high school.

So far my kids don't seem to have any significant learning issues .I realize you need a crystal ball to answer these question fully but any feed-back at this early stage of house hunting for a multi generation home would be helpful. What would you do? Try and stay in Berkley or make the switch to El Cerrito/ Kensington?  

Thanks much!


Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

To answer your question of Berkeley vs. El Cerrito, I grew up in Berkeley, and it was super hard to leave so I completely understand your conflict! However, my daughter and most of her friends are El Cerrito "lifers," that is, 13 years of public school, classes and camps at the El Cerrito Community Center, participation in El Cerrito youth soccer and baseball. This has given them the best and most valuable feeling of community and place. We found this sense of community to be more important than worrying if anything was "the best" or not. El Cerrito HS has 1/3 as many students as Berkeley HS and has a closed campus, which helps it feel less overwhelming. The percentage of high achieving students at El Cerrito is the same as at Berkeley.