Central has had a bad reputation in the past, but if you actually spend time on the campus you will find that it is a very well organized and peaceful school. They embrace diversity and over 60 languages are spoken on campus.
The Principal is an awesome leader (Jones). He has infused the school with the community. Unfortunately, his assistant principals are more focused on their personal career advancement than your child's education. My children have been in honors, evening school, adventure club, bobcat town and the magnet global program. The teachers in these areas are the best I have seen. However, because the counselors and asst. principals don't care or communitate and are inflexible the parents must fight to get the education they want for their kids. The average teachers are just average. They try and will work with your childs attendance or in my sons case a teenage pregnancy. However, the assistant principals will make it difficult for the teachers to make the class achievable. It was an unbelievably negative experience to have to engage with the assistant administrator who has since been promoted. Principal Jones takes a common sense approach to problem solving. He is a caring man. He will stand up for you and your child. Take the honors classes your child will be around more motivated students. In our experience there was not much of a difference between regular ed and honors.
Central High School is a really friendly school, there's a lot of diversity amongst the student body which makes the high school experience so much better. Central High is also part of the prestigious Cambridge IGSCE, which is when a school from the UK works with the classes at CHS. By passing available CB exams we can take one more step ahead of others. I personally love the performing arts department at this school. I joined band my freshman year, and it was truly amazing. Everyone in band is amazing, when a new student joins completely amateur to band they become so much more mature with band (I wish more people could appreciate band). Central High has one of the largest choirs in the district. This year (2014/13) we received a new instructor, and choir is still growing strong. One thing Central does seem to lack that i have taken notice is school-spirit. Some people seem to just want to get this wonderful high school experience over with very soon. Though i think if they just slightly stepped into the actual school, rather than what they visualize as their school so much more happiness could be achieved together. CHS is a performing arts school, take advantage of this.
So out of touch with mainstream eduction. Curriculum 4 to 5 years behind national average. Drugs, encouraging kids to leave school at 16 for a junior college education preparing them for mediocrity. Pregnancy in 9th grade viewed as "part of life." Horrific environment.
Security and police are part of EVERY school. Don't "pass by", stop in for a visit. Central has SOME excellent teachers, SOME fantastic counselors, SOME effective administrators, and SOME kids that attend but aren't REALLY students. Without parental involvement, there isn't much chance for some kids. Don't judge Central by its reputation from the last millennium. Don't blame the teachers for not controlling SOME bad behavior. Most teachers do their part, and most teachers care. The parents have the kids for 16+ years and the teachers have them for 50 minutes a day for a semester or two. I've NEVER felt unsafe on this campus. Thank you security and administration!!
I owe a great debt to Central High for providing me with the college quality instruction that eventually lead to a career in Hollywood with offices around the world. Had I not attended Central I would not have 14 Emmys on my bookcase.
As a student of Central High School for the past three years, I can say that Central is a great school. Central really does work to serve its diverse student body. For students looking for a challenge, there are Honors and AP classes where students score as well as those from 'higher performing' schools. As well, the large ELL staff is extremely dedicated in teaching the students we have from countries who have never heard an English word. Extracurricular activities are limited as the school is stunted financially. Sports have a difficult time recieving enough funding and parent involvement, yet the teams still routinely perform well. The principal, Chris Jones, is extremely involved and truly cares what happens to the students. Overall, I can say that I have had a great education at Central and truly feel prepared for college.