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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.