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1980 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 644-6120
(510) 548-4221
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Map of Berkeley High School address.

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May 03, 2014
Berkeley High is amazing in so many ways. Students are able to find such interesting classes: afro-hatien dance, video production, computer programming, forensic science. My kids (a junior and a sophomore in AC) have had an amazing experience overall. The principal is very engaging with the students and very communicative with parents. The staff, counselors, and volunteers are very helpful. Many of the teachers are excellent. The down sides are that it's an enormous school, so you really need to watch your kids on powerschool and communicate with them about typical high school problems (drugs, feeling lonely, trying to fit in, and so on...). If you advocate for your child, they will come out of Berkeley High being independent and worldly.

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2014
BHS is diverse; racially, economically, immigrant and intern'l (children of foreign scholars, expats), whose mastery of English is developing. This nuance is not reflected in the test scores, but it is one of the things that make the school and community rich and amazing. The extensive offerings of AP, honors classes ensures that the smart kids that test well of all backgrounds will be engaged and challenged. The sports, arts, and language programs are beyond belief in the many opportunities from beginner to advanced levels. Each year, 100s of college admissions counselors from all over the US and foreign arrive to meet with and recruit BHS students. Our student has attended both private and public schools, and I can say that BHS offers a world-class private school education for free. The extra taxes that Berkeley homeowners pay ensures class size reduction, full-time librarians, field trips and more. It's very easy to get involved at the school as a volunteer, so you can see for yourself. It's a large school and at first very confusing to sort it all out, but after 2 yrs, I can say that we're thrilled with the academic and citizen of the world experience our student is receiving.

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2013
BHS has many students from outside the district who are there without permission and contributing to overcrowding. They do help raise test scores, so...there you go. They are mostly in IB and AC. The school has many good, committed teachers, and are terrific examples of their profession. The principal is an excellent communicator and seems to really care about the well-being of the school community and stakeholders.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2013
My granddaughter is a freshman . I am a retired teacher (from another school district) and really impressed with the leadership, the extensive programs offered by Berkeley High school and the amount of parent and volunteer participation. I just attended Back to school night and the quality of the curriculum and the teacher koowledge and organization of the curriculum was outstanding.

- submitted by a community member
January 21, 2013
I've heard great things about this school! I know someone who used to teach here and has spoken highly of the small school movement.

- submitted by a community member
March 12, 2012
Hello, Do anyone knows how is the rating for Berkeley International High School by itself? I have tried to look for an opinion on that, apart from BHS, but seems that ratings and opinions goes always under BHS name, all together. Many thanks Rafael

- submitted by a parent
December 28, 2010
My daughter is a junior in Academic Choice. I have found the teaching staff and curriculum to be highly inconsistent. She has had poor instruction for math her first two years and teacher after teacher after teacher for Spanish. They all quit. I wanted to love it. I needed to love it. But all in all, it's an urban school with urban problems and it's too large to care about any student, most especially one that's struggling. At 4400 students, how can they possibly manage? New principal might be nice, but the kids just don't get what they need. Period.

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2010
It is October 2010, we have a fantastic new principal with a wide base of support after an extremely controversial one, and a district admin that wants to clean up the problems and keep supporting the greatness. Lots of evaluation will be done this year due to accreditation cycle. What an exciting time to be part of this great big, diverse, interesting place, in a community that supports schools with its pocketbook (no thanks to Arnold S.) Last principal failed to do adequate evals of teachers so accomplishing that is a new priority. Things are looking up.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating October 21, 2009
The diversity of students and teachers and class offerings is wonderful. The teachers care about their students. Despite the challenges of a huge student population, this was a great learning environment -- academically and socially -- for my children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 05, 2009
Berkeley High has departments, courses, and teachers that rival any school in the nation!

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2009
A great school with wonderful kids, smart teachers and caring administrators.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
The school has the best students in the nation and we in Berkeley are committed to ensuring that everyone graduates.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
multi-culti as heck, and the small schools (schools with the school) are amazing

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 23, 2009
Berkeley High has so much variety, diversity and excellence in teaching, it can meet each child and provide them with a great school experience

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 20, 2009
It was the first public high school in the United States to have fully integrated classes. Duke Ellington and his band came to celebrate this with us!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 19, 2009
Students in the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High impress me daily with their creativity, compassion and community spirit.

- submitted by a teacher
September 16, 2009
It's a great school with diversity! We have small schools in this big high school. Girls Soccer, Football, and Badminton teams are very competitive and bring lots of joy to school. Spirit Days bring fantastic events at Berkeley High!!!

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
This school has so many different nationalities together studying peacefully.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
we're such a diverse school, always accepting anyone who's different, doesn't matter what color or race or anything. the classes can be mind-blowing, but because we have about 3000 kids at our school, we need all the financial we can get.

- submitted by a student
no rating September 16, 2009
the teachers really care and make an effort to get the students the education they need...and do it outside the box in many cases,

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2009
Great diversity of programs and activities. Strong academic options, solid athletic options, great performing and visual arts programs.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2009
Love this school, I went there for 4 years and it prepared me well for college. I feel that the English program needs work though.

- submitted by a student
November 01, 2008
I absolutely love this school, because it prepares me for college in they way of self-motivation and academics.

- submitted by a student
October 30, 2008
Berkeley High School can be good or bad. Some of the programs are better than others, but if you are in one of the better ones, it can be great. However, if you are in one of the not so great programs, then don't expect to get much learning done. Most of the teachers are wonderful, with a few exceptions. Some of the classes are extremely noisy, but not all of them. There seems to be not nearly as much 'bullying' here compared with other schools.

- submitted by a student
August 21, 2008
I am not pleased with this school. So far, I have met only one helpful person. The administration does not know anything, and rude when you ask them for some help. The idea of small schools is not that great; especially the whole idea with the lottery. That is a very controversial system because of the way that students are chosen into the schools. I had very high expectations of this school, and I was l extremely disappointed with this school. I am considering changing schools as soon as possible.

- submitted by a student
no rating July 31, 2008
I am a teacher entering my 2nd yr at BHS. I often find myself dumbfounded by the responses I get when I tell people I teach at BHS. They range from the, 'Oh, I'm so sorry for you,' to, 'Geez, that must be rough,' to a frown. Yes, BHS is big and loud and crazy. However, we are an academic powerhouse (look at our AP and soon to be IB programs, as well as our extraordinary college placements), our arts programs are second to none, our sports programs are huge and varied (from your traditional to lacrosse, crew, and rugby), and, like most reviews say, we are very diverse (possibly our biggest strength and struggle at the same time). The administration, under the leadership of Jim Slemp, is wonderful and the teachers are dedicated. There is a reason why BHS students do so well at the next level.

- submitted by a teacher
June 10, 2008
BHS is a great school for focused and Motivated students. Small schools can be problematic for student if they are a high achiever because these program tend to make honors and AP/IB Courses difficult to take. It teaches kids about being a self-advocate and independence.

- submitted by a student
May 01, 2008
as a student who completed my Freshman and Sophmore years of high school at Berkeley High School in a small program called CAS i can honestly speak from a level of experience and truth when i say they best way to deal with Berkeley High is to not go here,There is little to no teacher restriction and students freely roam the halls being loud and unruly

- submitted by a student
February 27, 2008
Berkeley High School was a fabulous and positively diverse experience for my children. Tons of activities available for all kinds of children.

- submitted by a parent
December 12, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2007
Berkeley High School has a vast variety of extra-curricular activites and student support services available for students who are pushed by parents to navigate them. There is a huge achievement gap that has been in existence at BHS for over a decade, yet the school has failed to fully address this issue.

- submitted by a former student
March 28, 2007
Academics only ok. Must be self directed. Teaching uneven. Wide variety of program possibilities. Violence --a daily event; no effective intervention.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2006
Great theatre arts program. Excellent selection of classes. Small schools offer interesting programs and great community for new students. Arts and Humanity Academy has wide range of performing and visual arts. Some kids are very disinterested in learning, while others are headed to Ivy League colleges. Berkeley High can be whatever kind of high school experience your child desires.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2006
The school definately has a lot of programs going on. It is huge and varied. There is so much going on constantly, that a student must be disciplined to do well here.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 20, 2006
Nirvana and nightmare. Possible to find superb instruction & bright, dedicated and creative students. At the same time, BHS can manifest the worst aspects of political correctness, low expectations, racial politics, weak teachers. Some students will thrive and blossom, many will be overwhelmed by the socio/political issues as they affect the average student. Rating the school below is a huge challenge because it can be a 1 or a 5 depending on how much due dilegence a parent does, the personality of your child, and the luck of the draw. At it's best, BHS is a great school. At its worst, it is a nightmare. I can't don't know how to calculate an 'average' or 'median' in this situation.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2006
The bottom line with BHS is that it is a 'real world' high school with many bright spots but also many problems due to the broad demographics of its enrollment.

- submitted by a former student
January 09, 2006
We have had three kids go through the Berkeley school system and have had mostly good experiences. The diversity is amazing. The class offerings and available activities are wide. And, as no child is like the next we have had each one in a different program with a different focus. The CAS teachers are amazing and have no equal. The Academic choice is challenging and the independent study was a life saver for one of them. All in all a good experience.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2005
BHS is an excellent school but it is not for everyone. My child transferred into BHS with a lot of difficulties. I thought the extracurricular activities at Berkeley High would serve as motivation for him. BHS does not do a great job of involving parents so teenagers that are not yet prepared to make good decisions on their own can make some serious mistakes. The discipline is laxidazical and expectations for 'troubled' students are very low. The teachers constantly tell me they are overworked with 150 students and that they are unable to meet the Individual needs of astudent. If your child KNOWS that they want to go to college and they are self motivated Berkeley is the school for them. If not go elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
My daughter thrived at BHS. She played basketball in their excellent sports program where her academic performance was stressed as much as her commitment to her training and playing. Academically, she had the opportunity to excell. The wide array of AP and honors courses in biology, chemistry and math kept her challenged. She was a member of the small School 'CAS' which gave her the personal attention I think children need being in such a large student body. The teachers and student of 'CAS' formed a fellowship where they cared about not letting anyone lose focus, fall behind or fall between the cracks. College admissions personnel told me over and over again that good grades from BHS are very competitive with good grades from any other HS is the country. Lastly, there is the wide range of diverity diversity at BHS...people of every race, creed, social and economic persuasion. A Great School!

- submitted by a administrator
August 19, 2005
My older daughter graduated from Berkeley High this June and on the whole was thrilled with the experience. Although some classes were chaotic or unchallenging, she had the opportunity to take advanced classes in math and science, which prepared her very well for AP exams. Her chemistry and physics teachers were particularly imaginative and dedicated. I recommend BHS for motivated, focused students who can take advantage of the many academic, arts, and extra-curricular offerings. Visual and performing arts are particularly strong, as are sports. My daughter made great friends through theatre, Model UN, and Rugby. The parent community is very active, raising money, supporting the curriculum (for example, by working as one-on-one writing coaches in freshman English) and arguing heatedly about the direction of the school. And we finally have a good principal!

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 16, 2005
My daughter is entering her second year in the CAS program. We have been absolutely delighted with the quality of the education she is receiving--even during the 'work to rule' period. Program Director Rick Ayers is a gifted and dedicated educator. Berkeley needs (and is thankfully implementing) more 'small schools' programs like CAS, because this is where our kids get the individualized attention and support they need.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
My son is in CP Academy, a small school at BHS. Mostly strong teachers and challenging, high standards work (and all core courses have an honors option and students can take AP or Vista College classes). The sense of community at CP Academy really helped counter some of the negative peer pressure to dumb down as well as kept teachers accountable. I admit though, that my husband and I invested alot of energy in keeping our son (and his teachers) all on the same page of academic expectations. From what I've seen at BHS, small or large school, parent involvment is key - both in setting academic expectations and in setting social parameters (ie: insisting on knowing who friends are, no hanging out on Telegraph Avenue, no parentless parties, etc.). Also, getting your kid involved in some type of extracurricular activity really makes a difference.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 14, 2005
This will be my first year at Berkeley High school as a teacher. So far I have been very impressed with the hiring process that I went through, as well as the enthusiasm and competency of Principal Slemp. The school's values of achievement and diversity are noble, and its willigness to experiment with small schools and other reforms are encouraging.

- submitted by a teacher
June 23, 2005
My son just graduated from Berkeley High and I let out a giant sigh of relief and gratitude. What a school. The first day dropping off I saw a blue mohawk, girls in saris, boys in turbans, you name it, every ethnic and cultural flavor on the planet. Kids are from houses where parents are professors at UCB and kids from crack houses. The education about diversity he received at BHS is the secret sauce of Berkeley High. It's scary to send your kid to this school but it's been worth it. He is very bright but has learning disabilities. Claims he did no homework in four years (an exageration). He did fairly well academically (passing about 6 AP courses) and very well socially. His BHS education will stand him in good stead as he makes his way in the world-aware computer industry - his chosen profession.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2005
After years of turnover, Berkeley High has gotten a gem of a principal to provide leadership at a school that has been as frustratinglty chaotic as it has been inspired in its programs. While some teachers seem unable to control their classes, others are truly gifted. The student population is challenging, the parent support terrific. If you keep a close eye on your child's education, this can be a wonderful place. But be prepared to advocate for what your teen-ager needs.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
April 06, 2005
Wonderful school. High quality academics. Great extracurricular activities. Could have more security

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
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Berkeley High School
1980 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA  94704
(510) 644-6120
Last modified Berkeley High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Berkeley High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 56 reviews. Top