Highly ranked and rigorous speech and debate and theater programs run by committed, talented teachers.
International Baccalaureate provides alternative to AP and attracts good teachers who deliver an integrated program.
Effective and proactive administration.
Great counseling department.
Wide variety of extracurricular and sports opportunities.
Some teachers have lost desire and enthusiasm for teaching and some others are simply not good teachers, particularly in math and science.
CHS is a great school, but you have to be willing to work hard! I have three kids who graduated in 2012 and they all did extremely well and went to some of the top universities in the country! I have to agree with other postings that the soccer can be cliquish, but the Cross Country team is amazing! Because of the XC coach, my son because a great runner and is on his college team. I think the staff is good and deals with most situations in a timely manner. We moved to Claremont just for the high school and they did not disappoint !
I personally don't like this school because of so much discrimination going on, especially in sports. The don't recognize the athletes talent, they only play their favorites and they don't care about the recognition of the school, especially in soccer.
Many of the teachers are great. There are, however some teachers who will intentionally discriminate against a student that expresses views they don't agree with or like. This particular teacher allowed other students in the classroom to ridicule the disfavored student, lowered his grade, conveniently "lost" assignments turned into her, and mathematically miscalculated the final grade. The principal Brett O'connor and vice principal June Hilton, covered up the misconduct and took no action to correct the wrong doing. This administration solves problems by denying that they exist.
Our daughter graduated in 2012 and we are extremely grateful for the education CHS provided. Students from 2012 were admitted in nearly every top ranked university including the Ivies and a high number to UC Berkley. CHS has had a turn around since the principal, Dr. O'Connor, and staff came on board. Staff is accessible and responsive. Our daughter was always able to resolve concerns on her own. CHS has on-line resources for every aspect of student life including attendance, homework assignments and grades. CHS now offers the IB diploma The testing in IB is heavily biased to written essay and understanding of concepts. IB requires a high homework commitment that a capable student can handle with time management skills. Our daughter often studied until midnight and on weekends, but she also participated in a myriad of extra-curricular activities. I can best summarize by describing our daughter's college transition. She placed into several advanced courses and initially protested but the other students are ridiculously smart!!! Now, she says with relief Claremont IB prepared me well, especially time management. Yale feels like a natural progression.
Our daughter has had an outstanding experience at CHS. The projects that she was completing her Freshman year were astounding. The teachers made all information (from Biology to Spanish to Literature) come to life by making the information they were teaching interesting and pertinent (and sometimes a lot of fun). She felt engaged by her teachers in some of the most difficult and potentially dry classes. She felt cared for and was challenged to become a better student. Regarding the bullying issue someone stated before: I have heard the opposite. My child didn't experience bullying at all, but we did hear a firsthand account of the principal handling a teasing/heckling situation quite handily and in a timely manner (hiding behind some bushes to catch the culprits red-handed to avoid having to involve the person that reported what they were up to). The administration is very involved in all that s going on at the school, and they really do a great job. They are at every banquet, game, performance...I'm not sure when they sleep! The sports programs were very positive as well. We have had an fantastic experience so far!
We had to remove our child from this school this year due to the inability of the administrators and staff to recognize or address bullying on campus. It was difficult to even get an appointment to see an administrator. Your child will be seen as "1 of 2,500". If you have a choice of schools, I'd take my advice and choose a different one.
If your child is big on any kind of instrumental music other than jazz band or guitar, this school is extremely weak. This has only been since the unfortunate hiring of a totally unsuitable music department director in 2008. He is gone, and the band and percussion ensemble are on their way back up, but the program overall has been decimated by the politics between staff and music booster parents. Here's 2 hints: Get your musical kids into Woodbridge HS (Irvine) or get them involved in CYMO/Intermezzo orchestras (Claremont) and private lessons on their instrument. As far as general education, I know of one Spanish teacher, one history/social studies teacher, and two math teachers who are great - otherwise there are a good number of duds left to tear down the kids' self-esteem.
Claremont High is a very great school for teenagers. The teachers are excellent, the principal and vice principal are very strong in leadership and very responsible. This school provides wtih very challenging academic programs as well as different kinds of non academic programs such sport clubs, music and theatory prorams, speech and debate and many other EC activities. Students will have plenty of choices based on different interestss. Plus, this is a very safe school with no voilence and drugs.