August 22, 2003
One of our two children will graduate from FHS. Our other child graduated from a school in another district because we believe that not every school matches every student. This school, although offering a fair amount of accellerated course study, did not offer the International Baccalaureate program. FHS has wonderful opportunity for students who wish to be very involved with extracurricular activities--sports, music, yearbook! The instrumental and vocal-jazz programs, in particular, are far superior to most programs throughout the state, and a strong contender country wide. As an interracial, Jewish family we found FHS to be a place of few who share our identity, but many who embrace it. Tolerance by the student body at this school of religious and / or ethnic differences is above expectation, but infrequently not well informed. As for the tolerance of other differences, (ie:sexual preference) the students uphold their very conservative upbringing and tend to mock sexual choice. Teachers, and other staff tend to also be conservative and white. They are very nurturing and committed to each student's opportunity of success. The educational strengths of the school are its growing computer and technical classes. They hold their own in the traditional studies area, but they do not set the world on fire. Most students seem to graduate with a well rounded, average education and move on to higher education within the California college systems--UC's, Cal States, or JC. Overall, the quality of education when compared to other schools we have encountered throughout the country (Massachusettes, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), seems average. However, when compared to other schools in the state FHS is far exceeding the state standard. Our experience with FHS has been mixed. I can say that we are grateful for a committed staff, approachable principal, functioning guidance office, strong parent participation, and an increasing focus on diversity. All of these components make for a strong base to continue building the quality of formal and informal education offered at FHS.
- submitted by a