High school for upcoming senior with ADHD
Hello everyone. I’m really excited to join this group. I am searching for a high school for my incoming senior. I’m looking for smallish high school with small class sizes and support for someone with learning difference, ADHD
we live in San Francisco but we are willing to commute and cross the bridge.
May 3, 2023
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I have only heard great things about Sterne School in SF. I believe it’s 7-12th? We live in the East Bay and the commute is not an option for my kiddo.
Look at Bayhill High School in Berkeley, and Orinda Academy. Orinda may seem far but it’s near BART and a direct ride from SF without transferring.
Good Luck and Welcone to the Bay Area
I recommend you check out Orinda Academy. It's easily accessible by BART, and they run a van to and from the Orinda BART station and the school (or it's a 10-15 minute walk). They are also expanding transportation options for the area, including the North bay.
The school is small, college-prep and supports kids with learning differences. Many of the kids have ADHD and the teachers and staff "get them." My kid (who has autism and anxiety) started in 9th grade and is now a graduating senior going onto college in the fall. I credit Orinda Academy for seeing my student's potential, providing individualized support, and helping my kid gain the skills and experience to be successful. Honestly, staff and teachers told me in 9th grade that they believed my student would be college-ready at senior year but I really didn't feel confident. I found a supportive parent community who shared similar stories and experiences and finally didn't feel alone. The school is growing and I know the school is taking applications for all grades for next year, and they still have financial aid available. They're also adding an 8th grade in the fall.Open houses May 16 at 7:00pm and May 18 at 12:00pm. Check out https://www.orindaacademy.org/ or (925) 254-7553, Happy to talk if you want to DM me.
We were in a similar boat - our kid has several learning differences, ADHD, and is on the spectrum. Middle school was a disaster, despite him being in a private school with an supposedly experienced learning specialist. He was bullied not only by the students, but also by the teachers.
Enter Mentoring Academy: if you are looking for a small school that truly focuses on your kid, this is it. www.mentoringacademy.org - near Rockridge BART in Oakland.
The school is tiny, and the teachers are very experienced both in academics as well as in working with neurodiverse kids. It's not a flashy school, and due to some unforeseen circumstances beyond their control (like water damage in their building that did not get fixed by the landlord), it might appear a bit scrappy. But my kid comes home bubbling over with facts he learned. And one true highlight this spring was a weeklong stay at Mount Wilson to work on the big telescopes there - just like Hubble and Einstein did. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for scientists .. made possible by John Muster's connections to the institution.
And people are kind - and work with you and your kid to provide a learning environment that works for the student.
And - a huge plus in my opinion - NO HOMEWORK!! Kids stay until 5 pm and do their homework with their teachers still around. So parents don't have to fight at home to get this done and teachers know exactly where your kid is academically and what they need to do to support them better.
As far as I know, two kids are commuting from SF to the school - so it might be good to hear from them how they structure their days.
Hello, I think I know the best school for your child because my child is exactly what you describe, and he is thriving! And commuting from SF.....My son is going to Mentoring Academy in Oakland (https://www.mentoringacademy.org). The school is currently located a short walk from Rockridge BART. It is a very small school focusing on kids that have struggled in the conventional school setting and need more attention to achieve their potential. Classes are taught to mastery, not to deadlines. Small classes foster strong connections between the kids and their teachers. The school also does a lot of inter-cultural experiences with field trips, retreats and museum or theater visits. My son has been there for 3 years now and is a junior and is doing great. My other son graduated from Mentoring a couple of years ago and is successfully attending a 4-year college.
Unfortunately Mentoring has lost their lease and is looking for a new home. Due to some circumstances beyond the schools’ control the building they are in currently is not great but if you can see beyond this you will find an extraordinary school with a special community and learning environment that is unique
You didn't mention public or private. I just toured the Sterne School in Chinatown, which has a great reputation. Also looking at Bayhill. Orinda Academy is beloved but apparently they're having some financial difficulties so parents aren't putting all their eggs in one basket. Fusion and Tilden are great if your kid needs individual attention.
We've found that while public schools are legally bound by IEPs when it comes to the EF struggles of students with ADHD the support just isn't there. At least not at Berkeley High.