Mount Diablo School District
Re: Public High Schools that offer Japanese
Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek has a wonderful Japanese program. Mr. Schreiber is the teacher. My son took the class all 4 years and had hopes of continuing in college as a minor. Unfortunately, his college does not offer it. The school web site is www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/laslomas schroter
Hi there, Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek offers Japanese. My daughter, who is planning on taking it, says they offer 4 years of Japanese. WC Mom
We are considering either school and would love any comments in regard to your experiences at these schools. Thank you!
I don't know how you would get a real comparison, unless you found someone who had kids go to both, and there is very little crossover between these two (most seem to be Lafayette students choosing between Campolindo and Acalanes or Moraga between Campo and Miramonte). I know one Lafayette family whose daughter went to Miramonte several years ago because of their speech and debate program, and I believe they offer Latin, which none of the other schools do. If you haven't already, I would download the district catalog which will tell you which schools offer which unique courses. My daughter is at Acalanes, and we are reasonably happy there; they all have pluses and minuses in terms of social pressure, academic pressure, teachers, administrators, etc. It depends on what you are looking for, of course. I think Miramonte would be particularly difficult to start at if you did not have already have friends there, but that is just based on perception. It also depends on where you live; you should consider the complications to your life if every one of your child's friends and school events are not in your town. Hopefully you went to the presentations the schools recently did and got some good factual information. Good luck with your decision. Lafayette mom
Does anyone have current involvement in the Walnut Creek schools? We are house hunting in the area and have heard that the best public schools are in the Walnut Creek District (Acalanes). I'm just curious if the Mt. Diablo schools in Walnut Creek are just as good (ie Northgate). Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. A concerned parent
Re: Acalanes High School. Just to be clear, Acalanes is not part of the Walnut Creek school district. It serves the residents of Lafayette, and other students from the Acalanes district of Orinda and Moraga. There may be a few homes in the area of Walnut Creek that borders Lafayette that are part of the district, but please be sure before making any relocation decisions. Lafayette Mom
As a general rule, Acalanes schools are better than Mount Diablo. The Mount Diablo school district has a lot of problems, leading to a lot of teacher turnover. anon
Regarding the poster who said Acalanes High does not serve Walnut Creek. That is true (except for those WC addresses that are Lafayette schools -- Saranap area). However, Las Lomas High is part of the Acalanes Union School District, which is where the confusion may have arisen. Las Lomas High serves the same part of Walnut Creek as the Walnut Creek School District -- the 5 elementaries in WCSD feed into Walnut Creek Intermediate, and then all those kids go to Las Lomas. None of the Walnut Creek School District elementaries go on to Mt. Diablo middle or high schools. WC parent
A previous poster said that Acalanes Unified District may only include homes bordering the Lamorinda area. I don't think this is true, but you should probably check this out officially. The Las Lomas HS in WC is part of the Acalanes Dist. There are 4 HS in the Dist. and if you are in the WC Unified Dist (and not Mt. Diablo where some WC neighborhoods are part of) then you can go to Las Lomas, Acalanes, Campolindo, or Miramonte HS. Anon
We are moving to contra costa county. Our school district will be Mt. Diablo. My son is currently only 2.5 years old, but already I am worried and concerned about which school(s) he will attend. We know nothing of the schools in this district and would very much like to get feed back (both good, bad and downright ugly) from parents whose children attend schools in this district. I know this will be subjective but need a starting point from where to begin the process. We would prefer (of course) a superior academic program which also focuses on the arts, music and physical education (i know it's kindergarten, but...) which we don't have to pay for, but also may have to resign ourselves to paying for a private school. A friend, who's children are grown, said she had heard good reports about Wood Rose Academy (private) and Sequoia Elementary (public) - any reports about either and other schools greatly appreciated. Thanx to all those who take time out of your busy lives to respond. Truly appreciated. A
I thought I would reply from my external knowledge, as this listserve doesn't get many contra costa respondents. I know someone at Sequoia who loves it. This is a magnet or charter school and there is a long wait list. It is in Pleasant Hill. The Bancroft elementary and assoc middle/high school are excellent, but I have not heard many good things about the other schools. Th Montessori school in WC that is in the Mt. Diablo district is called Eagle Peak, and I did check it out as a potential school, but again there is a wait list. Anon
We are a Kindergarten family at Sequoia Elementary School. So far we have had a very positive experience there and look forward to that continuing. Please note that if you would like to have your child attend Sequoia, because it is not a ''neighborhood'' school, you will have to have your child placed on a wait list when he turns 3 and a lottery will be held to determine if his number comes up and he is able to attend. That said, I would look for houses in the Woodlands neighborhood of Walnut Creek (Valley Verde Elementary, Foothill Middle School, Northgate High), if you will be confined to Mt. Diablo schools. They are all good schools from what I have heard. I would shy away from Ygnacio Valley Elementary and Fair Oaks Elementary in Concord as they are two very poorly rated schools. I don't know about any of the others. Good luck in your search! Happy Sequoia Mom
When we were looking for houses 8 years ago, we utilized test scores as a way to find out what schools were better than others in the Mt. Diablo district. You can use http://www.mdusd.k12.ca.us/mdusd/schoolfind.php to find out what schools are assigned to what neighborhoods. Our realator was able to find a map so we could see whole tracts of street assignments at once and so she had an easier time knowing what neighborhoods we were interested in.
Bancroft Elementary, Walnut Acres Elementary, and Valle Verde Elementary are all outstanding elementary schools in the district, as far as neighborhood elementary schools go.
Foothill is one of the better neighborhood middle schools.
Northgate is one of the better (highest scoring?) neighborhood high schools in the district.
There are a number of alternatives to your neighborhood school to consider. Sequoia is one of the back to basics programs, as is Monte Gardens (but I think this school is only for parents in the neighborhood). There is Eagle Peak Montesorri, as well as Cornerstone Parent Participation elementary. Sequoia Middle School. I don't know about high schools; check the mdusd web site for additional information.
You should know that there is a movement to get Northgate HS & some of the feeder elementary and middle schools moved out of MDUSD into WCUSD (the idea being that WC schools would all be in WCUSD instead of three different districts). Moving into certain neighborhoods in Concord that feed into NHS may be excluded from NHS in the future (ie, Shell Ridge & The Crossings & any other housing developments in that area that feed into Foothill Middle & Northgate HS).
We ended up at Walnut Acres elementary and for the most part are extremely satisfied with it. There are large numbers of parent volunteer hours logged every year; they try to garner additional dollars through various fundraisers to pay for extra music, additional supplies, etc.; and have been named a CA Distinguished School on a number of occasions. My main complaint is the large amount of homework sent home, which if often a lot of busywork instead of an introduction to time management & additional experience with new concepts.
I hope this helps you and good luck. Stephanie