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Old 08-01-2020, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,958 posts, read 8,089,005 times
Reputation: 4599

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Firstly let me state that I have four kids ALL either graduated from one of the top school districts in the state or currently attending---all age 15 and up. There's no difference in how well they're all doing in life or how much they "know". Teachers are ALL the same--you get good ones, bad ones, young ones, older experienced ones, boring, same as when you were young I'm sure---there's NO difference in the material--the California standard is the same. Books--same--teachers--same--lunch--same--

What you want to look for is if it's SAFE, if the teachers are dealing with issues of troubled children--a lot of family strife, poverty, homelessness, disruption, etc. This can take away focus from learning. Also, how much $$ the parents give to the programs--you know, performing arts, drama club, athletics...obviously more parental income helps to supplement extracurriculars and special programs... This, unfortunately is what you'll find in more expensive areas, where parents are highly educated and supportive of the schools financially. If your kid is not into these extracurricular school things then don't seek it out.

Also, take advice from parents--not people that don't know (there are several on this thread that don't even live in California let alone have teens attending school here)

I have a child (17) that can't stand being around snotty, entitled children with workaholic parents where the children are narcissistic or just so stressed out over being different or not "performing" as expected. I have another child--19 graduated from same-- one of the top high schools in the region--hated the dynamic of entitled spoilt children--jocks,racist, educated but culturally stupid. Another child, now early 20's graduated from a UC with a highly sought after degree but can't find a job--super smart--BUT NOT BECAUSE of the school. My youngest isn't particularly motivated or academic...more social and struggling not being around his friends over Covid--probably more inclined for music (but not what's offered in the school--orchestra- (more rock/punk/drums/guitar).

So please don't judge a school solely based on a number--it's b.s. In fact, from what I realize in hindsight, is that your child might be more socially happy and look "better on paper" after graduating from a less competitive school where they can shine without an enormous population of kids that are pushed to succeed with grades and college choices, etc. Highly competitive schools are breaking kids. The pressure is horrible. Our high schools has to have a "wellness center" now--because there are so many depressed, sad, stressed out kids- whether societal or peer or familial.

Just move where you can afford and that YOU like...maybe a nice downtown, or access to the outdoors--your kid will be fine wherever you move.

I used to believe that a top school district made a difference when I first moved here--IT DOES NOT. Top school doesn't equate to top child, nor does crap school equate to unsuccessful child. I have plenty of successful friends that went to mediocre schools--it's about the child and the parents.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Martinez, CA
50 posts, read 34,091 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStat View Post
Commuting from Pleasanton to Cupertino would really suck.
I must have misundestood. I thought OP was working in Fremont?
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 275 times
Reputation: 10
Default Perspective on schools from Fremont native

I'm also a current Fremont resident. In fact, I've lived here my whole life except for college. My mom is also a retired Fremont public school teacher, and my oldest child is starting at a public junior high school in Fremont this fall. (Younger kids attend parochial school.)

Like some previous posters, I would not recommend most of the Fremont public schools, particularly the junior high and high schools, for a child suffering from anxiety. My own daughter has fairly severe social anxiety, so I empathize. Fremont public schools when I was a kid were like most CA public schools--they weren't the worst, but they certainly weren't great. Now they mostly score very highly, and that is due almost entirely to the huge influx of Asian immigrants (mostly from China, Taiwan, and India) over the past 30 years or so. The downside is that most of these same immigrants who greatly value education, which is generally a good thing, take it to an unhealthy extreme, in my opinion.

A few years ago, there was a spate of suicides of high school students in Palo Alto, just across the bridge from Fremont. The suicides were attributed to the extreme academic pressures placed on young people in Palo Alto high schools, in the shadow of Stanford University. These tragedies were well-publicized in local media. What most people do not realize is that Fremont high schools have also had many suicides and suicide attempts, but these, for whatever reason, do not make their way into the press like the suicides in PA did. Granted, I believe it is the pressure put on these poor kids by their families which is the real culprit, not the schools or most of the teachers, but being surrounded by classmates who are nearly all experiencing similar pressure cannot be healthy, especially if a child already has anxiety and is focused on academics.

Also, if you are not an Asian-American family, your child may be racially bullied in Fremont schools. It happened to my daughter. (She was one of seven kids in her elementary school class of 28 who were not Asian-American or recent Asian immigrants.) I have two friends who actually leased out their very nice homes in Fremont and bought houses in other cities (Livermore and San Carlos) a few years ago because their kids were being bullied for being white in Fremont elementary schools. And, a neighbor of mine recently complained that her grandson has been racially bullied for the same reason at Irvington High School, even though he is a tall, big kid. I am not saying it happens to every non-Asian kid--it's never happened to my other kids, fortunately--but it does happen. So, if one of your kids has anxiety, and you are not Asian-American or an Asian immigrant, that is another thing to seriously consider when it comes to Fremont schools, in my opinion.

Washington High School and Kennedy High School, which are not considered as "good" academically as the other high schools in Fremont, at least tend to have greater ethnic diversity. Kennedy for decades was considered the worst of the high schools, but recently I have heard a lot of good things about it. One of my mom's friends teaches Math and Computer Science there. I've usually heard Washington is only "so-so" academically, but the same parents and current students also tell me that the honors classes are generally good. If we stay in Fremont much longer and cannot afford a private high school (you need to commute outside of Fremont for those, btw), I will probably try to enroll our daughter at Kennedy.

Btw, school attendance in Fremont is based on zoning/neighborhood and is extremely strict for the "top" schools, but I do know kids who do not live in the neighborhoods for Irvington who managed to get in there because it is considered a "magnet" school for the arts, and both of these kids are talented at drawing and painting. They had to present portfolios to apply. Mission San Jose, despite its vaunted academic reputation, is currently open enrollment, as many students in recent years have flocked to Irvington instead.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
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Old 08-28-2020, 11:53 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, aka, Prog Heaven
48 posts, read 17,692 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smove-20 View Post
My DH’s office wants him to move to bay area and he is going to work in Silicon Valley .

Currently we are living in Houston (sugar land )Texas with good rated schools assigned to our home . We have 2 kids , one is in middle school and and other one is in elementary. Please suggest me some suburbs with good schools near Silicon Valley . Maximum we can afford is 1.5M .

i also read in some other forums that the school admission is lottery based in sfo , is it true for suburbs ?
Try Cupertino or any area with big asian populations in Silicon Valley
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
12,978 posts, read 7,894,478 times
Reputation: 7814
Quote:
Originally Posted by 510native View Post
I'm also a current Fremont resident. In fact, I've lived here my whole life except for college. My mom is also a retired Fremont public school teacher, and my oldest child is starting at a public junior high school in Fremont this fall. (Younger kids attend parochial school.)

Like some previous posters, I would not recommend most of the Fremont public schools, particularly the junior high and high schools, for a child suffering from anxiety. My own daughter has fairly severe social anxiety, so I empathize. Fremont public schools when I was a kid were like most CA public schools--they weren't the worst, but they certainly weren't great. Now they mostly score very highly, and that is due almost entirely to the huge influx of Asian immigrants (mostly from China, Taiwan, and India) over the past 30 years or so. The downside is that most of these same immigrants who greatly value education, which is generally a good thing, take it to an unhealthy extreme, in my opinion.

A few years ago, there was a spate of suicides of high school students in Palo Alto, just across the bridge from Fremont. The suicides were attributed to the extreme academic pressures placed on young people in Palo Alto high schools, in the shadow of Stanford University. These tragedies were well-publicized in local media. What most people do not realize is that Fremont high schools have also had many suicides and suicide attempts, but these, for whatever reason, do not make their way into the press like the suicides in PA did. Granted, I believe it is the pressure put on these poor kids by their families which is the real culprit, not the schools or most of the teachers, but being surrounded by classmates who are nearly all experiencing similar pressure cannot be healthy, especially if a child already has anxiety and is focused on academics.

Also, if you are not an Asian-American family, your child may be racially bullied in Fremont schools. It happened to my daughter. (She was one of seven kids in her elementary school class of 28 who were not Asian-American or recent Asian immigrants.) I have two friends who actually leased out their very nice homes in Fremont and bought houses in other cities (Livermore and San Carlos) a few years ago because their kids were being bullied for being white in Fremont elementary schools. And, a neighbor of mine recently complained that her grandson has been racially bullied for the same reason at Irvington High School, even though he is a tall, big kid. I am not saying it happens to every non-Asian kid--it's never happened to my other kids, fortunately--but it does happen. So, if one of your kids has anxiety, and you are not Asian-American or an Asian immigrant, that is another thing to seriously consider when it comes to Fremont schools, in my opinion.

Washington High School and Kennedy High School, which are not considered as "good" academically as the other high schools in Fremont, at least tend to have greater ethnic diversity. Kennedy for decades was considered the worst of the high schools, but recently I have heard a lot of good things about it. One of my mom's friends teaches Math and Computer Science there. I've usually heard Washington is only "so-so" academically, but the same parents and current students also tell me that the honors classes are generally good. If we stay in Fremont much longer and cannot afford a private high school (you need to commute outside of Fremont for those, btw), I will probably try to enroll our daughter at Kennedy.

Btw, school attendance in Fremont is based on zoning/neighborhood and is extremely strict for the "top" schools, but I do know kids who do not live in the neighborhoods for Irvington who managed to get in there because it is considered a "magnet" school for the arts, and both of these kids are talented at drawing and painting. They had to present portfolios to apply. Mission San Jose, despite its vaunted academic reputation, is currently open enrollment, as many students in recent years have flocked to Irvington instead.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Thank you for the update. My impression was that Irvington was always considered to be a bit more "balanced" in terms of school culture compared with Mission - has that shifted a bit in recent years? I knew some of the IHS teachers and staff and they were often proud that they weren't Mission.

Also, there are kids at Hopkins Jr. High (feeder school to MSJHS) who know that they're not a fit for the hyperculture at Mission, and put in for transfers to IHS. Particularly if they're artistic oriented, and they're going for the VAPA core.

I actually like Washington quite a bit - as it's kind of underrated. It's the oldest HS in the district (I think) - which has the benefits of a loyal alumni group, and a more aethetically pleasing campus - sadly, much of the FUSD campuses built in the late 50-early 60s look pretty blah.
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Old 08-28-2020, 01:46 PM
 
23 posts, read 4,127 times
Reputation: 59
This is me being honest, good schools in California are more like mediocre schools in other states for a complex host of reasons. All of my cousins and neighbors growing up and all my friends and family with kids now, even those who live in nice suburbs in the East Bay and Marin County send their kids to Catholic schools or otherwise private schools and Catholic schools are pretty inexpensive especially if you’re a member of the parish, because property tax in this state is so cheap one way to look at it is that property tax here plus school tuition is still considerably cheaper than what you’d pay in taxes to own a home in a good school district back East.
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
12,978 posts, read 7,894,478 times
Reputation: 7814
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMicallief View Post
This is me being honest, good schools in California are more like mediocre schools in other states for a complex host of reasons. All of my cousins and neighbors growing up and all my friends and family with kids now, even those who live in nice suburbs in the East Bay and Marin County send their kids to Catholic schools or otherwise private schools and Catholic schools are pretty inexpensive especially if you’re a member of the parish, because property tax in this state is so cheap one way to look at it is that property tax here plus school tuition is still considerably cheaper than what you’d pay in taxes to own a home in a good school district back East.
Well, famlies may send their children to private or parochial schools for other reasons even if their public school district is quite good. It might be a personal philosophy or the particular culture. If you're a member of the parish then it follows that you may subscribe to the ideal of a Catholic education.

I don't know if you'd consider a Catholic school education at "inexpensive" - for example, St Francis or Serra High School is around $19K per year, but Sacred Heart in Atherton/Menlo Park is around $40K. It can vary.
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:12 PM
 
2 posts, read 275 times
Reputation: 10
@silverkris, sorry for my somewhat late rely. I agree that Irvington HS has generally been considered more "balanced", i.e. not all about academics and grades, than Mission. However, within the past five years I have been hearing that, although it is a magnet campus for the arts, that it has gotten just as bad (or nearly as bad) as Mission in terns of academic competitiveness. I'm even hearing similar things about American, which, as you know if you grew up here, was never known as an academically challenging school, at least not when my mom taught in this district. I agree with you that there are a lot of things to like about Washington, including the nicer-looking campus; it's just that I am concerned hearing from parents I know whose kids are currently there, as well as some young adults who've graduated from there within the last five years, that there are a lot of bad teachers at WHS. I don't hear that about the honors program, though. One good friend of mine has a son currently in Honors at WHS, who attended a parochial elementary and middle school, and she says his teachers and classes are very good.



I also agree with the other person here who posted re: parochial schools--there are definitely reasons to enroll kids in Catholic and other private schools apart from academics or even religion. Some families I know who are African-American or recent African immigrants enrolled their kids in my sons' Catholic school because it is much more ethnically/racially diverse than the Fremont public elementary schools.



However, I also agree with yet another poster who noted that Bay Area Catholic high schools are no longer affordable unless you are quite well off. They were reasonable when I attended Catholic HS in the late 1980s here, but they are far more expensive now, even adjusted for inflation. I do know some families who are lower-income with kids in Catholic high schools here on scholarships or financial aid, but when I attended, a lot of lower-middle class/working class people could attend even without financial aid, or with limited aid. By contrast, Catholic elementary schools still tend to be a bargain in terms of private schools--much cheaper (including in Fremont) than other Christian elementary schools or non-religious private schools like Challenger, Stratford, etc. Still, a lot of families need financial aid nowadays even from the parochial elementary schools. It's not cheap to live in the Bay Area, as I'm sure anyone looking to move here has already discovered!
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
12,978 posts, read 7,894,478 times
Reputation: 7814
Quote:
Originally Posted by 510native View Post
@silverkris, sorry for my somewhat late rely. I agree that Irvington HS has generally been considered more "balanced", i.e. not all about academics and grades, than Mission. However, within the past five years I have been hearing that, although it is a magnet campus for the arts, that it has gotten just as bad (or nearly as bad) as Mission in terns of academic competitiveness. I'm even hearing similar things about American, which, as you know if you grew up here, was never known as an academically challenging school, at least not when my mom taught in this district. I agree with you that there are a lot of things to like about Washington, including the nicer-looking campus; it's just that I am concerned hearing from parents I know whose kids are currently there, as well as some young adults who've graduated from there within the last five years, that there are a lot of bad teachers at WHS. I don't hear that about the honors program, though. One good friend of mine has a son currently in Honors at WHS, who attended a parochial elementary and middle school, and she says his teachers and classes are very good.

I also agree with the other person here who posted re: parochial schools--there are definitely reasons to enroll kids in Catholic and other private schools apart from academics or even religion. Some families I know who are African-American or recent African immigrants enrolled their kids in my sons' Catholic school because it is much more ethnically/racially diverse than the Fremont public elementary schools.

However, I also agree with yet another poster who noted that Bay Area Catholic high schools are no longer affordable unless you are quite well off. They were reasonable when I attended Catholic HS in the late 1980s here, but they are far more expensive now, even adjusted for inflation. I do know some families who are lower-income with kids in Catholic high schools here on scholarships or financial aid, but when I attended, a lot of lower-middle class/working class people could attend even without financial aid, or with limited aid. By contrast, Catholic elementary schools still tend to be a bargain in terms of private schools--much cheaper (including in Fremont) than other Christian elementary schools or non-religious private schools like Challenger, Stratford, etc. Still, a lot of families need financial aid nowadays even from the parochial elementary schools. It's not cheap to live in the Bay Area, as I'm sure anyone looking to move here has already discovered!
Thank you for your input and updates.

Not really surprised that American High School has gotten more competitive, given that the Ardenwood area has seen an influx of many well educated families in the attendence area.

As for private schools, or non-Catholic religious schools, I've heard that Fremont Christian isn't any more academically rigorous than the FUSD schools - know of several FCS kids who transfer to IHS or MSJHS for that reason.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:24 AM
 
23 posts, read 4,127 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Well, famlies may send their children to private or parochial schools for other reasons even if their public school district is quite good. It might be a personal philosophy or the particular culture. If you're a member of the parish then it follows that you may subscribe to the ideal of a Catholic education.

I don't know if you'd consider a Catholic school education at "inexpensive" - for example, St Francis or Serra High School is around $19K per year, but Sacred Heart in Atherton/Menlo Park is around $40K. It can vary.
My nephew’s tuition at a Catholic school in the North Bay is less than $4k but that might be because that’s the parish they go to mass at, the school I went to in the City was something like $6500 for high school but I graduated 7 years ago so it might be more now. Still not bad
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