Moving to Albany - Albany HS or Maybeck?

My family of four is moving this summer from NY (Hastings on Hudson / Westchester) to the Bay Area because I have a new job in SF. I have a 16 year old and a 14 year old.  I have many friends and family in Berkeley, so was thinking East Bay. We want to rent for at least a year. I've been talking to one person in Albany about her house.  Any input on Albany versus other towns?  Any input on Albany High? And my 14 year old son is looking at the small private high school, Maybeck.  I would so appreciate input and advice.  Thanks!

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I would recommend Albany or El Cerrito high schools for students new to the area because the towns and schools are smaller and easier to navigate. Both Albany and El Cerrito are near Bart/bus so it will be easy to commute to San Francisco.

Your 14-year-old should give the public high school a try, I think the commute by Bart and bus to Maybeck from Albany/El Cerrito will get to be a drag, and both Albany and El Cerrito are very walkable.

Berkeley High or Oakland Tech are fine but might be overwhelming to students who don't know anyone or the area or have friends already at the school.

Hi There,

Maybeck and AHS are really really different. Friends have loved both. Additionally, for private schools also look at College Prep and St. Mary's. Many friends have sent kids there and been really happy.

Albany High School (as all of AUSD) is very very focused on academic achievement and test score. For a CA public school it is well resourced with several local foundations that help support Art, Music and additional programs. The school is a great fit for some kids, but not such a great fit for others. Albany is a wonderful community to live in. It's walkable, close to BART, safe.. etc.

And with all that, I would like to bring attention to current conflict at AHS regarding recent two racist incidents at AHS. In the first incident, a group of 9th grade boys were giving each other nazi salutes for several months before anything was done.  In the second incident very racist images and words were posted along with photos of African American students on Instagram.

Have look at the videos from recent AUSD school board meetings to get a sense of the climate.

Good luck with your move.

An Albany Mom

Yes I have lots of thoughts for you- best to email me directly at gretchen_davidson [at]

I have had kids in both Albany and Berkeley schools as well as input on local private schools.

My son is at Maybeck, and it's a wonderful small school with a welcoming environment and lots of personal attention. The school has some of the best teaches I've ever come across. Two are Oxford grads, and another has a PhD from Cal. For the most part teachers do not assign busy work. Maybeck has a flat organizational structure, which has its pros and cons. Your tuition dollars are not going toward an over paid administrative layer, but there's not always someone who can make a quick decision. Overall it's a great school for the right type of student, and my son is thriving. Perhaps you should consider trying out public school for freshman year, and then if you are unhappy, transfer to Maybeck as a sophomore.