Transferring to Berkeley High from Another High School

Parent Q&A

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  • We live in Albany and have a middle school daughter (at Black Pine Circle) who is very into Robotics, Makers Club, STEM, and Art.  Berkeley high school has a stellar robotics team and double the resources of Albany high when it comes to those areas and she wants to go to high school at Berkeley.  I have heard kids turned down for transferring out of Albany, even if Berkeley is OK with the transfer.  I would love to talk to someone and hear about advice about how to do a successful transfer, including what things to go for that Albany does not have, but Berkeley does have.  Open to thoughts/comments about our thinking too.Thanks

    You know, the Albany USD registrar is pretty helpful when it comes to transferring in; I feel like you could try reaching out for guidance on transferring OUT and get some info - after all, you are still a taxpayer! That said, the AHS course catalog is online so you can see what is offered there (to contrast to BHS) [I believe there is a clubs list too - no robotics that I am aware of, but multiple science subject clubs and art club for sure]. You and your daughter could also sign up for one of the new student tours on the first Monday of the month (pre-registration required) just to do your due diligence on AHS and make sure you and she are making the right choice for her. Just FYI my 8th grade daughter is also desperate to get a transfer into BHS from her private middle school - does BHS send recruiters or something?! LOL.

  • how likely is it that my child from a neighboring affluent district be granted an interdistrict transfer in to Berkeley High for the 21/22 school year? We've got no circumstances (no job in Berkeley, none of her family went there, etc) that would put her in a position to be admitted over any others who were applying. She's having a rough time in her district with feeling very different and some bullying in the past. She wants to be somewhere else and her mental health is suffering. She comes to Berkeley and feels at home there. Thank you. 

    In the last year or two, everyone I know who applied on time to transfer from Albany to Berkeley was accepted. I think Berkeley is like a lot of districts with declining enrollment and associated budget problems, which usually makes districts more friendly to transfer.  What I don’t know is how the pandemic will affect this.  Districts will receive funds based on 2019-20 enrollment again next year but not after that, so I don’t know how long-term the thinking will be.  I also don’t know how the push to keep classes less crowded for covid safety will interact with the budgetary drive to raise enrollment.  

    I think it’s really hard to know. With COVID, BHS may have seen a drop in enrollment and might be granting them. BHS is so huge tho - 3200 kids - I don’t see her feeling more at home there. Just because she likes Berkeley doesn’t mean she’ll like Berkeley High. It’s a bit of a zoo. It can be really hard to find your place. I say this as a mom of a current BHS student. 

    Currently enrollment is down in BUSD schools. I think usually they are impacted so it seems that now would be a great time to try for an intradistrict transfer. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Daughter wants to transfer to BHS, but parents don't

April 2005

My 15-year-old daughter is unhappy at her present high school and would like to switch to Berkeley High for her sophomore year. Her father is opposed to her going to BHS. How can I convince her that it is a ''good thing'' to remain at her present school, at least for next year, and then we can discuss it again? anonymous

To the parents who have a daughter wanting to go to BHS as a sophomore next year and is unhappy at her current school: You didn't say why your daughter is unhappy or why it would be a good thing for her to remain at her current school. Why not Berkeley High? Have you visited the school? What are your concerns? Berkeley High has something for everyone. How might you engage your daughter in the process of deciding and taking responsibility for her education? My children have all graduated from Berkeley High. The youngest will graduate from college in May and the others have advanced degrees in law, English and one is working on a PhD in medicine. I would have been just as proud if any one had gone directly into the work world after high school as long as he/she was prepared to work hard, be responsible and contribute to society in positive ways. I would want them to follow their hearts. They are supportive of their parents and each other. They work hard and are caring, loving and sensitive people. Their experiences growing up with an education in the Berkeley public schools, yes, Berkeley High, make them the wonderful adults they are today. Anonymous

I believe BHS is a great school, academically and socially, for students who can handle many choices and mostly make good ones. I would suggest letting your daughter try BHS for her sophomore year to see if it is a good fit. Work with her current school to save her spot in case BHS is not a good fit and she needs to return. Attending BHS as ''an experiment'' in the 10th grade is a better idea than later because there will be more time to recover from bad grades, if that is what happens.
--BHS grad and supporter

Our three kids went to BHS, in the days when the bathrooms were locked, the principals changed every year, and the sports facilities were sub par...but they all are proud of their BHS education. The oldest went to UCD, the second daughter to UCB (and now UCSF med school) and the youngest is currently at USF. They now say that there is nothing that happened (drugs for example) at BHS that those in private school didn't have access to in spades. They say BHS prepared them for the ''real world''. The parent group at BHS was always a fabulous group of smart dedicated individuals, and their kids fun to know.
vicki, bhs parent