Let me begin by saying the academic program and JROTC are wonderful and supportive. They strive to have a risk free environment. Now, if you want to send your student for fine arts, think again. The band touts that it is a big family. Not true, there have been disturbing incidents with making jokes about specific cultures and the band director participating and laughing, that is until called upon by the parents. Even then he is not strong in addressing the issue and ostracism continues for those students. Also, if you want to make plans, this is not the place to be. Scheduling is next to none existent or very last minute, last minute requests for money etc. Sure the band is good and sometimes great, but this is due to the assistants who volunteer their time. In the classroom it is entirely different. This is not an environment that promotes risk taking. In that way the band teacher has let the students down. He tells them to handle it themselves, which in many instances creates more tension when they do as there is no respect being promoted. Having said that PUSD has let him down. He needs to have a mentor that can show him how to manage classroom behavior and show mutual respect. He needs to understand that he is a teacher and not one of the popular band kids.
Both my husband and I went to Cactus High School. We were so excited for our daughter to start there this year! We have been so happy with her experience so far. The new administration is doing an excellent making academics a priority at Cactus. They have hired some fantastic teachers who teach with enthusiasm and passion. Her teachers have gone above and beyond their job descriptions and helped her fall in love with most of her classes- not an easy task! The guidance counselor are always available and even know her by name. She is involved is student council, which has been amazing, and is proudly inheriting the Cactus traditions! We could not be happier and look forward to the next couple of years at CHS.
I had 3 children go to Cactus High School and graduate from there. Now I have a granddaughter who goes there. It is a good school. The teachers are involved with their students and give them the tools they need in life to move forward and make good citizens and become successful in life. They have a good sports program also.
The school has done a moderate job of protecting it's students. my teenage daughter had been threatened and bullied on several accounts and very little was done about them. the district and office continues to have some outrageous ideas about dress code and recently, i was told that my daughter (junior) would need a vaccination while my other daughter (senior) would not need one. giving us only a week, we got my one daughters vaccination. then a month into school i am verified that my senior daughter will be kept from school until she receives a vaccination. ridiculous! the school needs to get organized. i am not a stay home mom, these unexpected requirements are not easy to accomplish.
As a previous student, class of 2000, I have to say this is probably the best school in the area. Teachers there are/were amazing. They care very much about individual student progress and push them to reach for the stars. If I didn't live 3000 miles away now, my kids would definitely go there!