Carmel High School has so many strengths, especially through the 9-12 grades curricula, beautiful campus, and many dedicated teachers and faculty. Coordination amongst teachers regarding class projects and test schedules needs to be strengthened. However, the greatest weakness from my viewpoint is the school climate being one that neither acknowledges or celebrates diversity. If the Carmel School District would commit to the education that is needed in this area, then model that for students and parents, we might (in years to come) find the CHS community to be a more "endearing" one, filled with wonderful academic and social experiences. Perhaps then, more families representing a diversity of backgrounds would remain in the Carmel community.
My son attended CHS for 2 years and as a family who moves a lot, we found the culture of the Carmel schools to be closed to outsiders. People are nice, but are less willing to include outsiders. The teachers are mostly fantastic, the education and the extras the schools offer like "Rachel's Challenge" are amazing. The campus is beautiful, technology forward and open. It is an awesome school, but the social aspect can be challenging for newcomers.
Some of the staff and teachers here are wonderful, and I have nothing but praise for them, but Carmel High is severely lacking in intelligent leadership, and it is plagued by racism and a class based system in which all but the wealthiest students are treated poorly. I do not blame the students, because they are only following the example their snobbish parent's set. However, anyone who is perceived as different will be an outsider and will be targeted for harassment and bullying. They also do not listen to the majority of parents. They only listen to board members and the wealthiest parents. Each year there is a parent survey. Each year parents make their feelings known. Though most of us are concerned with bad leadership, poor communication with that leadership, and a horrible counseling department, the admin and board instead say their primary goal is to beautify the school.
I find many kids are doing some for of illegal activities including under aged drinking and use of marijuana. The rate at which these kids do this seems to be 50% or higher, which is awful. The classes offered there are nice, but limiting, as most schools are these days. There is a general lack of discipline and the 'bullies' go either unpunished, or not punished severely enough. Over all, I found the school to be a terrible learning environment.
Five stars! Incredible academic counselors that go above and beyond the call of duty, engaged active student leaders, friendly warm environment and a welcoming of diversity in all ways. Anyone paying for a private school tuition is wasting their money when they have CHS as an option. My son just graduated and was accepted into a program at a private University in Southern California with a 5% acceptance rate, obviously he was more than prepared. The creative arts, music and video production programs are impressive. There is also a great ROP program so obviously CHS gets that kids want viable options. They also have impressive programs for addressing alcohol, drugs and teen depression issues. They are realists! Still have two more there and I could not be happier!
I think this High School does a good job of including a more diverse population than you would think for Carmel. It is all there. Something for everyone. A lot of AP courses and ROP courses for those wanting to work. THe expectations for this school are unrealistic. People are looking for a private school in a public school. The principal keeps it together. You can go anywhere from here. Why go to a private school?
I read the reviews, something that has changed in the last 2 years is adding Mary Bull to CSUD in charge of curriculum. She initiated changes, backed by PADRE Parents that support the academic accomplishments over the teacher comfort zone. Also PADRE Parents provides a system to award teachers that are innovative and interested in teaching. I think the foundation is there to improve the results in this school. As far as parent involvement, we have an average of 30 parents at the PADRE Parents meetings, all are welcome. We have a smaller group at the business meetings. Currently there is no one from the school board who is running the meetings. They attend, but, are not in charge.