I really had to think long and hard before posting this review. Schools are about an individual fit, and this school really did not work for my kid. Maybe it would work for your kid.
We had several red flags before we figured out the school could not work for us: first my son had issues with being called racist names, and when we wrote to the principal we only got an email back eventually saying he could meet with his counselor. The second huge red flag was when an English teacher accused my son and a large percentage of the class of plagiarism (when she clearly did not teach proper citations), and we could not get in to meet with anyone for FIVE WEEKS. The third red flag was when dealing with the Vice Principal, she was nasty, sneering, and angry, and talked to us in a way that was totally unacceptable and unprofessional. She denies and cuts you off rather than addressing serious issues, which pretty much sums up the school culture.
The fourth red flag was when we asked the English teacher who does the insane thing of accusing students of plagiarism when they don't make completely accurate citations why she gives out the grades she does, and she proudly told us that there is a department-wide policy of no copy editing. When we asked her how students were supposed to learn how to write better if they never get any feedback, she had no answer, and the Vice Principal's response was, "You just don't understand the way we do things at THIS SCHOOL. And if you don't like it, you should LEAVE." So we left.
I don't know how this school can call itself a college prep school. My kid never understood the reason he got the grades he did and neither did I. The teachers can never explain why they give the grades they did. His grades never reflected whether or not he knew the material.
This school has a horrible bullying problem. The school is fully aware of this and does nothing to stop it. They held one assembly last year and asked the bullies to raise their hands if they planned to behave better. This sums up how effective the administration is.
The administration won't deal directly with you to solve a problem or put out your fire. There is a reason this school is hemorrhaging students. Could be your kid would go there and the school would work great for him or her. I feel obligated to share my experience in case you find yourself in my situation. It's not just you.
Freshmen year, it was the best education I had throughout my high school year! After that the whole education gone down hill. The teachers are biased towards "smart" well known students, and pay little no attention to students who try so hard to achieve to go honors and ap classes. They were highly biased and they added additional meeting and course to prep them for SAT Score. They won't help students who NEEDED help. I know all the "smart" students dread going to the meeting, unlike me I always wanted be there to learn more and improve my skills. I kill to get that additional help to improve my scores, ect.I've worked hard to get into honors & ap classes. Overall, they denied my request getting into honors class because of my "'grades", whereas I got straight A's. When they added placement test for honors class it screwed me over big time. I hadlittle to no information to study for, &the test was so unfair. Another thing is, all the good teachers are retired or got fired. New teachers are inexperience and unfairly don't give a dam about the students. I'm glad that I graduated from the horrible school.
My son has attended SJND since 9th grade, he is now a senior. We have had lots of ups with the school but unfortunately some downs. Most teachers are well seasoned and wonderful, yet others are new and are not the best at handling all students but honestly that is to be expected. The counselors very very good. The recently hired college counselor is young and definitely needs experience but she too will probably be fine over time. I was personally pretty disappointed in her (lack of) assistance with our college prep. With that said, no one could ever in a million years touch the disappointment that i experienced with Don Lippi, the varsity basketball coach. I will not go into details but folks, if you are looking for a good basketball program for your son, SJND is not the place to go until Lippi is gone. This program is not what it used to be and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Lippi needs to retire, as his coaching style is dated and the boys are not having fun. He will degrade your son if he is not up to par and he will do it in front of others. Tread lightly as you've been warned.
SJND is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The environment is perfect full of happy and caring people. Granted there are a few clicks but they aren't hostile and everyone is accepted regardless of background. One of SJND's strongest attribute is its strong teaching staff. After four years, I have never had a bad teacher and countless great teachers. The work is challenging but it is what you would expect. The Athletics at SJND are fantastic. They may not have a home field or track but the gym is one the best in the area and the teams use fields/tracks make due. Sport teams (from basket ball to tennis) all get good recognition and support from the student body. I would say SJND is the place to be.
SJND is a gem of a school. Good kids, by and large; faculty is responsive when concerns are voiced, academics are solid; sports are fun and challenging. My kids are happy there. The homework level is high, especially "summer work." The kids need the summers to recharge, not prepare for AP classes - some of the work was understandable, but some was busy-work and unnecessary. That is the only serious complaint. Students at other schools also have summer assignments, but SJND's seem to be more voluminous. All said, though, very happy with the education my kids are receiving.
What a wonderful school and environment! I note that only one person has rated this less than 5 stars, and that person obviously didn't go to this school, or he or she would have learned proper diction. I suggest that writer research the difference between "too" and "to". I presume they teach that at Bishop O'Dowd and Head Royce "too".
SJND High School is a smaller high school with all of the bells and whistles that a bigger high school has (ie, sports, drama, music, clubs, high acdemic standards as well as support for students who have some learning challenges. My daughter made a good transition from middle school. This was possible due to the strong adminstrative and faculty team. They get to know the students and challenge them to do their best.
SJND is an excellent school. I am a sophomore there, and am in 2 honors classes, and 1 advanced. Both the honors classes and the regular classes are challenging, without being overwhelming. The teachers are supportive, and make extra time for students who need help. There's a broad range of extracurriculars, from sports to clubs to the arts. I am a member of a variety of clubs, and perform in the plays and musicals whenever the opportunity arises. There are trips outside of the state offered by many clubs, and there are yearly trips to locations such as Costa Rica and Spain. I have been on one such trip, a historical tour through the American South focused on the Civil Rights Movement. I recommend this school to any student serious about their academics.
This school is great. My kids have received incredible support from the staff, faculty and students, both academically and in extracurricular activities. The college prep curriculum is engaging and interesting. The school's small size is a plus, giving the school a feeling of community that you can't get in larger, High School Musical-sized schools. This is a school where your child will be known and greeted by name and will know that they are individually valued as a person, not just a student.