ISO Public high school

We can move to any neighborhood, and are looking for which public high school might be the best fit for my daughter.  We have time to move to enter 2022, but would like to move sooner rather than later as am looking to buy a house.  Daughter is coming from an independent middle school, Afro-Latina, ADHD, loves sports and music, sensitive to socio-emotional environment (some place warm, supportive and inclusive vs cliquinsh or competitive), average learner vs high performer.  Would prefer a smaller school vs large, but not too small that doesn't have sports.  Diverse and left leaning preferred.  I work in Oakland, so something within easy commuting distance.  Are there any public HSs with relatively smaller class sizes?  Would El Cerrito High meet these criteria?  What other schools would you suggest?  Thank you!

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RE: ISO Public high school ()

Let's see, if I've done the math right, my 7th grade son is the same age so take all my info as the secondhand report that it is from someone at the same stage of research. We live in EC and I am not inclined at this point to send him to ECHS mainly because of large class sizes and his learning disabilities (including ADHD diagnosis), and I see class size is one of your criteria. However, maybe for somebody new that might be a plus as they will need to meet other kids. ECHS does have a counseling center "on site" (or did, pre-COVID) which is unusual and probably a benefit. We'll see when the time comes; I haven't made up my mind for sure. Middle College High School is the smallest WCCUSD public HS I am aware of near El Cerrito. It is on the campus of Contra Costa College and the students graduate with an AA, very diverse student body, no school sports, it is considered to be good on academics but to be painfully honest, if your daughter's middle school was academically challenging at all, I think she'd be fine. We went to a secondary school fair last year and it had administrators there who seemed very warm and welcoming. You might also look at Hercules High, relatively small in the WCCUSD family, and move asap as the junior high is very integrated into the HS. Albany High is on the small side but had very public racial problems two years ago, and a reputation as an academic pressure cooker. I have been hearing good things from friends who have a 9th grader & 12th grader at Jesuit (? I can't really tell my Catholics apart) St Marys College HS (Albany-Berkeley border), both with learning differences, so I will be looking at that in detail next year. Everything around here leans left so that wouldn't be a big deciding factor.

RE: ISO Public high school ()

A public school outside of your designated area and district is going be challenging —,the majority of schools are at capacity with their students. 

you can try charter school

summit K2 high school is the smallest in WCCUSD - the school has 400 students total and is relatively in a safe location - 2 blocks up the hill from del Norte Bart station

the other option is private pay schools but they are ridiculously expensive 

RE: ISO Public high school ()

Just a note about a previous reply: the Albany High Instagram incident happened during the 2016-17 school year, not two years ago.  This means no one who attended AHS during that time will still be a student there in 2021-22. The freshmen from that time graduated last spring. These involved were mostly juniors, I believe, so they finished HS several years ago.  I don’t think it’s really representative of the current school climate. But it can be kind of a rat race academically, that’s true.  

RE: ISO Public high school ()

I would recommend checking out Encinal High School in Alameda. It's a smaller public high school (~1,100 students), with the full range of sports and music, and with a diverse student body, and a supportive environment. I'm not sure exactly what the class sizes are, but I think they are consistent across all Alameda high schools, and I know there has been a lot of attention to creating smaller class sizes when possible. Nice community on the west end of Alameda (where Encinal High pulls from), and quick commute to Oakland.

RE: ISO Public high school ()

For small public schools in Oakland, check out MetWest, and the charter school Latitude. I don’t think either have a sports program, though, but I think they have special arrangements with Laney and Merritt Colleges for kids to take PE (and other classes) there. I know Latitude has an outdoor program with class camping. All private schools have financial aid so it doesn’t hurt to look at those! Maybeck High School, near College and Ashby in Berkeley, is private and only has about six kids per class (110 kids in total). It has a robust outdoor program with a dedicated outdoor teacher and it has an arrangement for kids to participate in PE or sports at Berkeley High if they want to.

RE: ISO Public high school ()

Hi there.  Your kid sounds like my kid, Latino with a learning difference who did elementary school in progressive private schools.  He goes to K2, an El Cerrito charter school mentioned in one of the posts.  We picked that HS for a few reasons, but one big one was that it was time for him to connect with people that looked like him.  No matter how sweet the private school or how much they push the diversity and inclusion angle, the fact is that they are mostly white and middle class.  If it's important that your daughter start to build her identity as a person of color, then you should put her in an environment that will allow that.  So back to K2.  There are pros and cons.  The staff are very left leaning and the school is majority minority as the school draws from local community.  The principle is Afro-Latina. The curriculum is rigorous and well tested, and they have a strong college admissions program.  There are out gay and nonbinary kids there, and nobody seems to care. The kids have mentor groups with one adult that gets to know them throughout HS. The cons are that sports are limited to soccer and volleyball.  There are no music or drama department; instead they have clubs and electives where kids could do things off campus.  The other thing is that the school seem chaotic at times and it's takes a while to adjust to the online curriculum. Don't underestimate the transition; if you're both used to a gentle, mostly white private school, you may be in for a shock, even if you think you're woke and ready.  Have you looked at Holy Names HS in Oakland?  They have lots of sports and extracurriculars and are genuinely diverse.  EBIA is a charter in Oakland you might look at.  They would keep your commute short.