There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation on this site regarding Monta Vista High School. The high marks it gets are well deserved, however if one is to look at how these are garnered, he/she would sincerely question the merits of the administrative and teaching staff. To get things out of the way, let me first state that I'm a former student, and though I excelled here (2 Engineering Degrees), I've realized that the image this institution has is really a facade to hide the incompetence that festers inside. Now, things may have certainly changed in the decade or so since I have left, and likely for the better, but my experience here wasn't particularly positive and thus this writing serves as a bit of a warning for future parents.
In all honesty, I had TWO terrific teachers that ingrained an indelible mark on my childhood whilst there. This is 2 out of (7 periods x 4 years) 28. And judging from the fact these two teachers are STILL THERE, it goes to show that their efforts are beloved. Their names are April Scott and Scott Deruiter for those who are interested.
Unfortunately however, the vast majority of the faculty during my time there served as little more than "Gate Keepers". They lacked motivational skill and relied purely upon parental involvement and peer to peer competition to get results. The end result was that that child who really "NEEDED" extra help was left behind and those who excelled were not necessarily great on their own accord, but were "coached up" to be brilliant. For better or worse, I was one of the latter ones. Similar to many of my colleagues, we had PhD parents who coached us daily on Math and Science. And if it was a subject our parents were weak in, private tutors would be hired to fill the void. Summers were spent in Boarding and Cram Schools to "Preview" material for our upcoming year thus making the actual year "easier". Therefore I ask, who deserves the credit here?
I'd also like to bring up that many of the teachers were so insistent upon "their ways", that they left little room for creativity. Quite honestly, I'll be the first one to say that if I used "their methods", I would never finish a College Engineering exam let alone the SAT or GRE. In other words, they knew little else than to teach "from the book". -GREAT SCHOOL, but for the wrong reasons...
beware of the post below - he states that he takes ap classes and gets straight a's. you are not allowed to take ap classes as a freshmen at MV-no matter how brilliant you are. as a matter of fact the only ap class you can take before junior yr is comp sci which you can take as a soph. not sure which Monta Vista high this student is talking about but it is not the one in cupertino. you may want to remove the post as it is bogus. also there are a far amount of drugs at the school.
MATADOR PRIDE!!!! People outside MV think that MV is a "cookie cutter" school that only produces doctors and engineers and believes people with less than all A's are failures. THIS IS NOT TRUE! MV is the best school ever! As an incoming sophomore with straight A's taking AP classes, I've never felt stressed or depressed. For those people who can't handle high standards, I suggest them go to Fremont High. People may think we're nerds, but we're going to be the ones that will be successful in real life. I do agree that some teachers are harder than others but if you try hard enough, you will get all A's. I totally agree with the other student saying that at least we go to college. The sports programs are excellent and most of the jocks are also nerds. :) There is no gangster activity, drugs, or alcohol here! Freshman year was great, and I hope that sophomore year will be the same. People who say that us Mats overrate grades, GPA's, and extracurriculars way too much are people who will not get into a good college in the future. I love this school and would not trade going to this school for anything! PREPARE TO BE BULLDOZED!!!!!
Beware of the chemistry honors department. They do not teach anything, but put unreasonable questions that were not in the textbook on the tests. In addition, your GPA at Monta Vista will depend solely on which teachers you have. Some teachers are unreasonably easy, and give automatic A's, while some make sure they give none at all.
I have son who is a junior a MVHS. He is doing well, but the amount of stress and lack of social life (due to kids doing only homework) concerns me. I will not be sending my younger children to school there as the kill and drill/memorization focus and the focus on "being stupid if you re white" or "Stupid if you don't have a 4.5 and 2300s on your SATs" is just old and does not foster the type of education I wish my children to receive. While some of the teachers are amazing, an equal number are unprepared, don't teach or just plan mediocre. If you want your child to get great test scores and be able to spit back facts, then MVHS is a good fit. If your child is creative, likes to think outside of the box or does not work well just memorizing facts, then look elsewhere. In addition, while my son has great friends, there is a culture of underlying racism and exclusions by some of the kids. BTW, I don't think this stems from the kids, but from their parents. Class choice is very limited given the size of the school and there is no individual attention. If your student cannot advocate for themselves, no one will do it for them. There are just too many kids here for that.
This school is over hype. Many families can afford private one on one tutoring for their high school students. This school is not responsible for their steller students. The students along with good parents are responsible at 80%. The staff really have nothing to do with it . Too bad these high schools in the local area got good ratings and the property value are getting way too high. . It has nothing to do with the schools, but the type of students that move into the area. This school cannot turn around those students that are incline to learn. I want the truth to be told. Most of the Asians in this school are Chinese, korea, Japanese, but Chinese being the higher percentage due to population size. The other large group of Asians are South Asians which are Indians. And about 10% of these students here are just born smart.
Monta Vista High is one of the top schools in the nation, ranked as among the top on usnews website. I wasn't so sure what to expect when i entered as a freshman, but after four years, it's amazing to see how much ive grown as an individual. ppl here are very respectful and open and willing to work with you, and the teachers are also willing to help you if you ask them for it. academically, it can get a little stressful, but when i asked former monta vista alums about it, they said that mv really helped prepare them for college. everyone here has something special about them, so it's hard to stand out but it also makes for an interesting campus. it is possible to take hard classes, have extracurriculars, and enjoy high school life - football games, dances, prom - i know a lot of ppl who do all of those things. all the departments are well-organized, so you'll be kept busy all four years, with ppl to meet wherever you look. there are a lot of clubs on campus - something i didn't realize until junior year, so you can always find friends who have the same interests as you. bullying/drugs/sex/violence/racism is NOT a problem at this school at all - never seen any of that here.
I will try to be as objective as possible in this review for potential. I'm a freshman student and I really enjoy my time at Monta Vista. It's a challenging school, there's no doubt about that, and if your child is not getting As or better in most of their subjects, Monta Vista is not the school for them. Of course, it's not really all about intelligence though. To really excel here, your child needs to be dedicated or hard-working. If you aren't prepared to put in the effort, there's absolutely no point sending your child here. The teachers are very dedicated, nearly every single one has an afterschool club or lunchtime club, dedicated to helping students understand everything; which is definitely necessary, I spend nearly 3-4 hours on homework every day, excluding the extra-curricular clubs I do. I will say this, allegations of racism and bullying is really not true. Everybody here is so open and so friendly with everyone, simply because they haven't got the time to waste on making someones life difficult. They're much more likely to be studying!' However, with around 600 students in every year, the campus is loud and noisy, and it can be difficult to get the personal touch.