Reactions to universal 9th grade at Berkeley High?

Can anyone speak to their kid's experience of the universal 9th grade at Berkeley High? My high-achieving middle schooler really wants to go with his friends to Berkeley High, but I have heard anecdotally that 9th grade is now pretty much a wasted year, academically speaking, if your child is advanced. But I would welcome more opinions from a wider group of parents. I am also concerned that no history courses are offered in 9th grade. Thanks,

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