Sterne School, Maybeck, Drew and The Bay School

We’re looking at these high schools for next year:

Sterne, Maybeck, Drew, Bay School, maybe Orinda Academy. Possibly St Mary’s. 

I have an academically capable child who wants strong arts and is diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and possibly some OCD. Gender expansiveness / Q+ / non-binary / trans is also in the picture. 

I’d love to hear from families, current students & recent graduates— I’m interested in what worked and what didn’t, and how the schools handled both. 

What’s the drug use like at any of these schools, for real?

Anyone have experience with accommodations?

How did administration at any of these schools respond during a problem?

Thanks for all feedback.

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Maybeck was a fabulous school for my transgender kiddo with ADHD and anxiety. Caring and interesting teachers, quirky and kind other students, smaller class sizes and interesting classes academically.  They also have a learning specialist who gives students a hand as well as a loving therapist.  However, there was alot of drug use among the kids - Not sure if this is more than other high schools but was a concern.   They hired a new head of school this year so we don't know the new leadership. The relatively new Dean is wonderful and very kind, engaged. 


My child attended Maybeck all four years and is in college now. I have zero complaints. Overall it was the perfect fit. She is transgender but transitioned after high school. She also is neuro-diverse and 2E. Maybeck was very accommodating to her needs and allowed her extra time on tests. There are many gender-expansive, gender-fluid, transgender, and other LQBTQ kids at the school. It always felt like a comfortable place for kids who were a little different from "societal norms." She is curious and academically motivated. The teachers really try to understand each kid's unique characteristics. It's a small school, and I don't know much about the current art program. My kid did extra-curricular stuff outside of school. There was some drug use, which we were able to nip in the bud when we realized what was happening; like at most high schools, I think it really depends on who your kid decides to hang out with. Good luck!


My gay kid with ADHD and anxiety who was always academically capable but struggled in the classroom and socially has absolutely thrived at Drew.  Cannot say enough good things about the teachers and their approach, where they see and encourage my kid's strengths.  Teachers have been encouraging about trying new things and it has been transformative.  My kid has accommodations (time, computer use) and it works fine.  While I think the academic expectations are high, it is not the pressure cooker some of the other schools are.  My kid says that the prescription/stimulent drug use is much less than at other schools (though maybe not the vaping/gummies which seems to be prevalent everywhere).  Also, lots of gender expansive, fluid and LGBTQ+ kids and support from the administration, teachers and other kids.  The arts program is very strong/supported, both performing and visual (on visual, that's what I hear from others and see from the art shows).  We really love the school.