Summit Tamalpais Charter School in Richmond

My son has been accepted into Summit Tamalpais Charter School in Richmond next fall. 

Would love to get some feedback and information about the school. The good and the not so good. He will be entering 9th grade.

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Hi there.  My kid has a spot at Tamalpias to, also for 9th grade.  They've only had one 9th grade class, so I suppose it's going to be hard to say.  They might put you in touch with current families. If you want to know about the Summit curriculum you might expand your scope to talk to K2 families.  I've heard the cultures between the two schools are different.  Hopefully, someone from the BPN community has a kid at Tam and can address the question, because I want to know too.  Feel free to contact me privately if you want.

Hi, my kid went to Summit K2 for two years, at which point we switched to another school. I can't comment on the culture of Tamalpais; another poster is correct that the two schools may be very different in that regard.

I can comment on pros/cons of aspects of both schools that are likely quite similar, so here goes: Pros: They do a great job of making the curriculum interesting for young people and applicable to today's world. Another pro: the homework load is generally quite light, unless you are falling behind. It's great to not have that weight on the family every evening. Each student has an online dashboard where they can see exactly where they stand in terms of their grades and when assignments are due. It's fantastic for anyone who has challenges with Executive Function.

The main con is the lack of clubs and enrichment, especially in the arts. At K2 there was no band, no choral music, no dance program, no theater program. They offer one sport per season. You should definitely ask about this at Tamalpais because they may indeed offer more than K2. Just be advised that these folks are good at sales so they will probably tell you about their clubs. Clubs (for instance, a drama club) are a great start but they're in no way equivalent to a full-scale dramatic production with costumes, sets, a/v etc. 

Even if your kid isn't so into the arts, or sports for that matter, enrichment activities like this help set the tone at a school. If the artsy kids and the sporty kids are excited & proud to come to school each day, that can spread to everyone. The lack of arts enrichment, in my opinion, contributes to the negative student culture at K2.