High school consultant (mostly public)?

My 7th grader is getting ready to consider high school. She's currently in school in San Francisco, but since I live in Oakland, we're looking for information on schools in the East Bay. Since I don't know much about them, I'd like to meet once or twice with someone who consults on this topic. Relevant details:

  • My daughter has ADHD
  • She would really value a welcoming LGBT community
  • We're mostly considering public schools (I'd move to a district if necessary), but are open to looking at one or two private

Can anyone recommend a consultant?

Parent Replies

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I am not aware of a freelance high school counselor focused on the East Bay. Our private middle school has one on staff, which I think is most common. You could start your research with greatschools.org.

I have a current 8th grader; my best advice is to get serious about this fast so you  can start attending school events (for public schools) and admissions events (for private schools) beginning in August/September to get a feel for school cultures and have your daughter feel comfortable with her options. My child is a slow to warm up person and it took lots of visits to campus for her to feel good about her two high school options. 

My older child has a 504 for ADHD at their public high school. The tricky thing about this in high school is that the student MUST self advocate to follow what's in the plan - teachers will not consistently read it or follow it without nudging. Students get embarrassed and don't want to remind the teacher they only have half-homework, for example. In any case, if your student doesn't already have a 504, you should get one in place for next year that follows them to high school (at least through the start of the 9th grade year, where there's a meeting at some point to review the accommodations to see what is still relevant).

I highly recommend Margaret Piskitel from MP Educational Consulting. She helped my daughter on her search last year and knows the public and private high school scene really well. She takes on a small number of private clients each year, and has hourly and package rates. Her email is mpeducationalconsulting [at] gmail.com (mpeducationalconsulting[at]gmail[dot]com)