This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mission San Jose High School3
Posted November 19, 2013
- a parent
This school is average. I would rate it as a 7. Do not be fooled by high API scores. The high API scores are because of private tutoring, not because of the teachers. The students are very competitive and often not willing to help classmates.
This is a very competitive school and the poor kids are competing against each other. Some teachers are good but others are quite unreasonable. The PE teacher, is quite unreasonable. Not sure what she expects out of these poor kids. Swimming in the cold winter months ( Oct/Nov) in the first period, in an outdoor pool is illogical...running miles each day and keeping up with the mile time so that it doesn't affect grades is also ridiculous. Each child tries really hard to do well and I think that the PE teachers should understand and applaud that rather than stressing them out all the more.
I graduated from Mission in 1981. It was academically-oriented then too, balanced with a strong sports program and a number of outstanding athletes. Now, my son attends Mission & is a thriving junior - academically, socially and in sports. It's a much more competitive environment than 30 years ago (the demographics have changed dramatically in Fremont). Many parents work professionally in silicon valley, putting high value on a great education (strong STEM focus), and are willing to do whatever it takes to give their students an edge. Parents are very involved - pushing their kids to excellence academically, volunteering time, and donating to supplement funding for Mission. Overall, the experienced teachers are caring and dedicated. The administrative staff are excellent at what they do, and are responsive to students and parents. The school grounds have improved. There are even new buildings on campus. Mission has earned a reputation for being one of the best public high schools in the nation, being rated highly in several national publications. However, it could improve by emphasizing teamwork and collegiality among its very competitive student population.
I attend MSJ, and from personal experience, this is definitely a competitive school. I am not saying I hate it or love it, but there really are students and teachers that are not willing to help you. However, I like the competitive vibe, but no matter how great you are, you can NEVER be the best at mission. The competitiveness I feel will help in the future, because this IS reality. Go to a different school, perhaps irvington, and you will be on top. The standards are so high here that taking 6 APs won't even put you on top. Everyone is extremely good at some kind of talent, and basically, without finding something to be dedicated to and having a strong academic background as well, it can be really hard to succeed and fit in. All the sports here are amazing as well, except maybe the football team... Just remember, if you are planning to attend, you will have to exceed all limits.
Sending my kid to MSJ was the biggest mistake I have ever made. The academic success is the contribution of the students and their parents. My kid was there for two semesters. The teachers are very experiences. (probably spent 20 years at other schools to accumulate enough credits to transfer to MSJ.) Teachers spent half the time teaching. Half the time were given as in-class exercise. Unlike other families in this school district, we don't send our kid to SAT or other classes after school. My kid finished all homework in class and break time. If you have the money to find private tutors or after school classes and you don't expect anything from school teachers or school activities, MSJ the one for you. The kids in this school compete with each other hence unwilling to help other students. If you want your kid to be successful in the real working environment to be a team player or leader, you'd better move to irvington High or Cupertino City. Better facilities and culture. By the way, it is the most BUREAUCRATIC public organization I have ever dealt with. The clerk told me that I must return home to make appointment with their registrar while I was standing in office.
This school is the best of the best. It's strong academic programs are not the only reason why many parents and children are drawn to this school; Mission also has a great athletics program in which almost all the sports teams have gone to NCS. Mission's homecoming is one of the best in the FUSD. Although it's true that some of the teachers are less than stellar, most of them are willing to put in the extra time to help students in need ( even in Honors classes). Overall a really good school that truly pays off in the end.
MSJ is no doubt an extremely strong school, with 46 AIME qualifiers, 2 USABO Finalists, and 2 USNCO Finalists this year alone. The teachers are very educated and experienced: the faculty includes a number of Stanford and Berkeley alums, several doctorates, published authors, former lawyers, and even the son of the co-founder of Adobe. With a number of talented students and teachers, a higher standard is to be expected. Some might call it positive reinforcement. Smarter students lead to harder classes, which lead to more competition and even smarter students, which lead to even harder classes, and so on. The unhealthy level of competition means that some students will ultimately be unable to catch up with their peers and will fall behind, never to regain their original pace. The competition breeds occasional cheating and other unethical behavior as well. Still, MSJ is a good school for people who are passionate about academics. The overall atmosphere is safe and there is plenty of school spirit, especially during homecoming week. MSJ is also in the process of expanding its course offerings to include more AP and dual-enrollment classes with the local community college.
I am a graduate of MSJ and with no doubt in my mind Mission San Jose High School has lived up to its reputation for known as a very competitive school. This school truly taught me to go beyond my studies. Of course, I was accepted into a prestigious university as my peers pressured me to. This school is full of arrogant and pretentious students. I was always upset and furious because I could never be the best and there would always be someone in my class that would surpass my grade. No matter how hard you try, there will always be someone in this school who will make you feel inferior. Of course, I was bullied at this school, but I did not let it weigh me down. But, that is just me and I am a very reconciling and calm person. I have seen many fights at this school, but what can I say, people will be people at this school. I made a pretty nice amount of friends and there was always someone to hang out with, but I felt that no one really understood the real me. Sorry to be cynical, but no one can really be trusted here. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Carroll because she really cared and her tests were so challenging, I expected no less from one of the hardest teachers on campus.
I'm currently a junior at Mission, during what's supposed to be the most stressful year of my life. It's going much more quickly than I thought it would, and I don't feel particularly crushed by the workload. The students and staff are generally friendly, I can't say that I don't feel safe here, and--aside from our football--our athletic programs are stellar. We captured All-Sports last year, and I am looking forward to being a part of a MSJ boys volleyball team making it back to the NCS title game.