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Re: Moving back to the Bay Area - which high school?
Hi: I'm not sure that status consciousness is the big issue at Piedmont High. Among parents, I know that there are hundreds who work really hard to make ends meet and enable their kids to go to Piedmont schools. Among kids, I assume there are some who are into shoes, clothes, etc. (does this sound familiar somehow?) but tons of others who are focused, doing community service, having a good time w/ friends, etc.
A good source for substantive info would be PHS's recently completed WASC accreditation report. The process was taken very seriously by the staff and by the community of parents. See it at http://www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/phs/events/wasc.pdf. (I'm the mom of a 10th grader, work with high schoolers all the time on community service projects, and serve on the PTA) Maureen
My 14 year old son and I are moving to N. California this August and I'd like some information and advice about how to enroll my son at Piedmont High School. We will be living in the area but I don't know much about the school. What advice would you give to help make this adjustment as easy as possible for him? Jane
We moved here nearly 2 years ago so our kid could attend the schools as well. Some things you should know:
*Most of the kids have attended the piedmont schools since kindergarten, so the kids and their parents all know each other very well. It has been difficult to get ''in'' on what's going on for both our kid (started in middle school) and for us the parents. However, we are lucky our kid is very social and easy to make friends. also being involved in a sport (or other activities) has helped immensely - for us to get to know parents and for our kid to make friends.
*yes, most of the kids/families are very wealthy - and even if they aren't that is the predominant environment. i've heard ridiculous tales of how some kids believe they are not wealthy - when they are very very wealthy. for vacations many of them will travel abroad, to camps etc.
*there are many many stay at home moms here. they drive the community in many ways. just so you have a sense - there are no buses in the piedmont schools - the mom's (some dads) drive the kids to field trips, sports games etc. i've never heard of that before! there is some wildly high number of parents w/ master's degrees (over 50% i think!)
*pay very close attention to your child's transition the first few months and semester in general. if they tend to struggle academically, you should schedule a meeting w/ the counselor and teachers right away. they are very willing to help, but sometimes w/ new kids they aren't sure what to do. since most of their kids are ''trained'' from piedmont elementary and middle schools, new kids may not fit in to how they teach or may not know the same things in the same ways. it's important to let the teachers know from the beginning that you are involved and want to be notified the first instance there is any problem or questions.
in general there are blessings and curses to the Piedmont schools. the teachers are very attentive - your child will be well prepared for college. the kids are mostly well behaved - i have met many courteous, mature PHS students who volunteer as coaches for sports and other activities. the administration takes a very community/parent approach to discipline (for example their punishment may be to ''tell their parents'' what they did and they let the parents figure out how to discipline the kid, where in many other schools they would just suspend the kids). PHS has a high rate of alcohol consumption. there is very little diversity - 3% african american and latina/o 25% asian, and the rest are white. they do seem a bit naive on diversity issues, even as they are neighbors to the rich diversity of oakland, and california in general.
1000 blessings and curses!
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