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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
Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek offers Japanese. My daughter, who is planning
on taking it, says they offer 4 years of Japanese.
We are considering either school and would love any comments in regard to your
experiences at these schools.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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