Miramonte High School (Orinda, CA)
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Miramonte High School (Orinda, CA)
Miramonte and Struggling Learners
Any feedback on Miramonte in Orinda would be greatly appreciated. My teen
was recently diagnosed with ''slow processing speed'' and now has part of an
explanation why he has always struggled and had to work much harder than his
class mates. The test results would qualify him for extra test time and some
classroom accommodations. He managed to get good grades and has been
accepted to Miramonte on a district transfer, but before the report came
out. But how well do struggling learners do there? I was thinking that since
it is a public school that there would be a wide range of learners, but I
recently met a very bright young man that is going to Miramonte whose
well-off parents pay for various tutors even though he doesn't technically
need them. I don't want my kid to crash and burn, but was hoping that he
would be challenged academically in a safe environment. How do ''different
learners'' cope there? Are district transfers able to get resource services
there or in their home districts only? Thanks very much.
Worried, but hopeful mom
My child recently graduated from Miramonte HS. She, like your son, has been
diagnosed with slow processing speed. In fact, I could have written your
message, almost word for word. We were very pleased with her teachers and the
education she received at Miramonte. Her class, in particular, was very strong
artistically, academically, and athletically. I was glad that my daughter could
compete with the very best, even though she had to struggle a lot harder. She
did get extra time on tests when she requested it. Having said that, the school
did not bend over backwards to grant other accommodations we requested. In
fact, it was implied that if she needed much more than that, she might be
better off at a different school. What I heard, anecdotally, after the fact, is
that Miramonte is not the most welcoming school in the district for kids with
learning disabilities. Campolindo HS has a better reputation in that regard. I
know families that have chosen to go to Campolindo for exactly that reason. By
the way, I highly recommend that your son avail himself of the accommodations
granted to him from Day 1. If not, you will have a hard time getting
accommodations from College Board when it comes time for SAT's, AP's, etc.
My daughter graduated from Campolindo High. I am also in special education as a
professional. I have to tell you that the Acalanes Unified High School District is
not the best district for students with learning disabilities. The teaching is very
traditional. And, the district is quick to say no to accommodations. I cringed with
the previous post. Evidently, the district said that if her student needed more than
extended time for accommodations that Miramonte may not be the best school. Last
time I looked, Miramonte is a public school bound by California and federal law.
And, a district does not get to say they will only provide one accommodation nor can
it weed out students- it's a violation of IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA. Ouch.
Caveat Emptor, for the attitude of this district, as the above statement says it
all. And, Campolindo is not a better choice for students with learning issues. Be
prepared to fight and insist on accommodations. As for the best, well there is a lot
of memorizing, fact learning, a dearth of creativity, hours of homework, and angst
regarding Ivy League schools.
Will my daughter fit in?
My daughter will be starting Miramonte High School in Orinda next
week.I am concerned about her attending this school because I am not
sure if she would fit in. Knowing about Orinda, if you are not rich,
beautiful, athletic and super smart - you just don't fit in. I don't
live in Orinda and it was not my choice to have her go there. Can
anyone give me any feedback about their experience with the school?
Not the decision maker
dear not the decision maker,
from multiple parents of kids who've attended Miramonte, and from the
mouths of these students themselves, I've heard the same - over and
over. Hopefully she'll find a few friends and it won't be bothersome
to her, but the general gestalt of the place is that which you are
concerned about. What to do? I'd take her out as soon as you can if
she seems intensely unhappy, don't wait. On the other hand, try to
encourage her out the gate. Perhaps she'll find the good things and
people who are there. If you're not the decision maker, at least be
the advocator for your daughter if you see that she's miserable. 9th
grade's not an easy year for many, so it's important to try to
separate that from the issues of Miramonte. good luck.
I woould never, never send my child to Miramonte AGAIN. I must
say the education is stellar, but the kids are really worse than
Mean Girls, the film. Also, the DRINKING, DRUGS AND SEX is
overwhelming. It is not just a few kids, it is a pervasive sense of
entitlement. If your kid is pretty and smart, then the other girls
will cyberstalk, trash talk the girl to other girls, bully etc.
This is NOT A GOOD place to send your child for any healthy
emotional development. Having said this my child is extremely
attractive, athletic , very smart and very sophisticated and
reasonably well off. I WOULD NOT SEND MY CHILD AGAIN, even though
academics are terrific. I am sorry to confirm ALL, probably, of your
worst fears.... not a nice place and the mothers, particularly
perpetuate this sense of nastiness and entitlement.
As a parent of 2 children that, as inter-district transfer students,
have gone and are going through the middle and high school years in
Orinda, I understand your concern. I can't say there is any overt
exclusivity among the ''native'' kids towards kids from out of the
District. In fact, may new kids come in at the start of High School.
While some are, not everyone in Orinda is super wealthy. There are
folks out there that have been seriously impacted by this dip in the
economy, and many two pay check families are sacrificing a lot and
working hard to have their kids in that district. The academic and
counseling programs out there are good for the most part and many
have been saved from the worst ravages of budget cuts by the
financial contributions of the parents. (Be warned, the many parent
organizations will expect you to contribute too.)
That being said; how your daughter will react will depend on her.
Some kids are outgoing and will make friends whatever the situation.
The kids there aren't all beautiful, athletic and super smart; some
might just have parents who will pay for stylists, coaches and
Good Luck, It's hard sending your child into a new environment.It's
a large school and since there are many diverse programs, your
daughter is apt to find some kindred spirts.
Is your girl coming in as a Freshman or did you just move in?
Dispell the myth and please don't let on to your daughter that you
feel that way or you'll be setting her up for failure. Yes, Orinda is
LaLa land, and she deserves a portion of her life to be educated well
and be amoungst kids that have been raised by supportive parents in a
climate not unlike the French Riviera.
Email me and I'll set her up with a Big Sister. She's gonna LOVE it
My daughter entered Miramonte as a freshman a few years ago via an
interdistrict transfer. We're not wealthy, just middle class, and
we told her ahead of time that there would likely be things that
other girls had there that she wouldn't (extravagant Sweet 16
parties, new cars, expensive closthes). She had no problems with
the other girls, made plenty of friends among boys and girls, was
not excluded, and was INcluded to an astonishing degree. The
classes and opportunities were very good. She went there all four
years and got a great education and made great friends and had no
regrets. I think you can have a wonderful or terrible experience at
any school. We had her in a middle school that was much ''poorer'',
and she was so pleased to be in a ''nice'' school, with beautiful
facilities. As for peer pressure and bullying, most girls have had
plenty of experience with ''mean girls'' by the time they reach high
school, so I think your daughter's going to deal with that wherever
she goes. But avoid the stereotypes, and let her find her niche.
My daughter is now a junior at Miramonte High School. We are not
wealthy, and she is an average kid, who is very shy and quiet. Yet,
she fits in quite nicely at Miramonte, has many friends, and is happy
there. While there may be a higher percentage of overachievers at the
school, there is a whole range of students. There are students who do
well, there are those who slack off, and there are students who
struggle. It's just like anywhere else. Not everyone at Miramonte is
My daughter and I have discussed the fact that some kids at her school
come from incredibly rich families. I tell my daughter that there
will always be people that are richer, prettier, smarter than she is,
but it shouldn't keep her from achieving what she wants for her life.
She is at Miramonte to avail herself of the strong academics and all
the opportunities the school has to offer. We are happy that we are
able to send her to such an excellent school.
this page was last updated: Sep 20, 2012
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