No rating

GreatSchools Rating

Crystal Springs Uplands School

Private | 6-12 | 368 students


Living in Hillsborough

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $1,460,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,520.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
Based on 2 ratings
Based on 4 ratings
Based on 6 ratings
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

27 reviews of this school

Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted October 8, 2014

I'm a student in the Crystal Springs Uplands Middle School. Attending this school is similar to being placed in a bubble away from the rest of the world. Not a beneficial one. The school's atmosphere is competitive and suffocating. I am, by self-observation and the observation of peers, extremely competitive. I'm enrolled in Model United Nations, I strongly enjoy debate and arguing, I row competitively, and I go to Crystal Springs. The competition in this school disgusts me. The teachers, students, and atmosphere make Crystal an atmosphere where snobby kids are developed. Outside of the atmosphere, the homework load is too much. If a student is receiving 5+ hours of homework a night in middle school, there is something wrong. I, as well as many peers, get home at 8 or later due to extra-curriculars. I get an avg. of 6 hours of sleep, as do others. If you would like your child to be placed in a school where if they get a grade lower than 90% they will be made fun of, where they will drown in homework, and where they will be stuck with 35 other kids, who will slowly develop into two types: the ones who are disgusted by Crystal and the ones who slowly develop into snobs, go to Crystal

Posted March 25, 2014

I realize that some people think that only snobby and rich kids go here and yes, everyone here has to sort of rich to pay the tuition fee, but the learning expierence is something that can't be beaten. I know this for a fact that because I am a student at CSUS. One negative review is that you come home tired and you don't have any time to do anything else. Yes, it's true that you come home and you are extremely tired, but you still have time to do extra sports. I have friends who do other things right when they get home, but they are still amazing students just like the rest of us.

Posted November 4, 2013

Yes, I must admit that many of the teachers here are absolutely wonderful at what they do. There are also many genuinely kind people. However, overall, the school is SO overrated. My daughter is not attending public school and has had numerous teachers who are just as engaging as those she encountered at Crystal Springs. Also, the kids she has met are not snobby and judgmental like those at Crystal. The social environment at this school is absolutely ridiculous. The kids are mean, competitive, and have their heads up there a****. Mind you I am not saying this of all the students, but this accounts for 75% of the school's population. Overall, not happy at all. Save your 40,000 dollars a year for college. It isn't all about the NAME of the school. It's about where your kids will be happy, work hard, having an actual high school experience, and learn. The only positive comments on here come from those who have attended the school. Having spent so much money on it, they fear thinking it was anything but the excellent. However, they are wrong. I even have my second child attending right now, and he will be leaving the school at the end of the year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 28, 2013

The education one receives at Crystal is unparalled, but the students are judgemental, immature, and uninteresting. Your kid will not have a real high school experience (socially), but will be virtually guaranteed to matriculate to an amazing college. Nevertheless, the negative and competitive nature of the students is toxic, and can really take a toll on a child's psyche. Think twice before you send your child to Crystal.

Posted April 1, 2013

As my son finishes his time at CSUS as a senior, and can only concur that it is an outstanding educational institution in every way. Most recently the guidance he received from the college counseling office has been extraordinary. Their judgment, caring, insight, and devotion has been impressive and the results outstanding. Crystal shapes future leaders like no other school in the Bay Area.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 26, 2013

Look at the poor grammar that plagues each negative review of CSUS and decide for yourself whether or not each is worth regarding. Crystal Springs is the most amazing high school on the planet. As a college student, I have even more admiration for the high school education I was privileged enough to enjoy. The teachers are phenomenal and the academics are outstanding. Crystal's size gives it a distinct and vibrant community. Where else would seventh graders feel comfortable leading clubs full of upperclassmen? There is no doubt in my mind that my friends from Crystal will forever be my closest ones. I feel the same way about my teachers and classes. In my mind, the money my parents spent to send me to Crystal is well worth the consequence of having to take out loans to pay for my entire college tuition. I simply don't think that I can recommend something more fervently than Crystal Springs. It's an unparalleled high school education. It lives up to its mission to instill every one of its students with a love of lifelong learning. And, if you choose to send your child to Crystal, it will be one of the best decisions you'll ever make.

Posted October 1, 2012

Great school. Very smart kids. Great leadership and committed teachers. First class all around. These are your future leaders.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 21, 2012

I am a new parent at Crystal and my 6th grader could not be more pleased with his experience. He comes home feeling inspired and happy, and he has made friends who are interesting and fun. He loves having the opportunity to participate in athletics as well as music, and he has been encouraged to challenge himself by trying new things and moving out of his comfort zone academically and outside of the classroom. I think the Middle School is developmentally appropriate and treats Middle School students as middle schoolers, not mini-high schoolers. I have been nothing but pleased so far. Great school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 6, 2012

A fantastic school. Both my children attended, one from grade 6-12 and the other from grade 9-12. Academically focused, yet nurturing at the same time. Just enough offbeat to make it fun. My college sophomore has been unbelievably well prepared for college.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 24, 2012

I have no idea where these negative reviews come from. I am currently finishing Junior year at CSUS, taking all honors/AP courses and participating on 2 varsity sports and leading numerous clubs. While the academics are challenging, they are both rewarding and riveting and I have found myself blown away by the quality of the teachers each and every day at Crystal. I do not believe the school lacks school spirit; while we may not have the reputation of a "sports-school," the Homecoming day and dance is and amazing time for school spirit to shine. We have yearly lip synchs and snow days that greatly lighten the mood. In case you are wondering, I am not an "anti-social weirdo" as another student labeled us as. Even with Crystal's curriculum, I believe I lead a very normal life outside the classroom, one that is comparable to most public high schools. Ms. Richards is an excellent principle and she has really been leading the school in the right direction. Wonderful school and an excellent investment.

Posted January 19, 2012

This school is all about money. We have apply for financial aids which this school highly recommend but the truth is they do not want poor students unless you're the lucky one. If you are not rich, super smart or Micheal Jordon, don't bother. It's wasted of time and application fees.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 1, 2012

Honestly, this school is comment. They do nothing to make learning fun, and its all stress and freaking out especially if you didn't come from a private middle school. Some of the teachers are unreasonable and just teach badly and do not offer you the "help" the school is known for. If you are involved in after school activities, I would suggest quitting your extra curricular activites because you will be so tired and beat by the time you get home and then you have to start a ton of homework, and almost always preparing for a test since there's so many hard tests. The education part is really overrated and the parents don't see it because the school depicts themselves as perfect and ALL THAT when it so isn't. And if your looking for some sort of social life, your not going to get it at all because the school does a great job of accepting one personality type which is bland, really smart people. The kids are really smart (which is good) but it makes everything extremely competitive and it sucks. Parents...I would recommend you think more than twice about sending your child here given the ridiculously high tuition and the stress your child is going to face... good luck

Posted October 3, 2009

It is simply the finest school in all aspects. Extremely caring staff (teachers are the students' friends, close parent/child-support). Teachers and staff are very caring. Lots of hands on class activities. My daughter simply LOVES it and is thrill in such supportive, motivated, and engaging environment. It is an amazing place. You can't go wrong when selecting this wonderful school for your child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 5, 2009

Highly overrated. The selection of courses pales in comparison to other Bay Area High Schools (public and private). The excuse that 'Crystal is just too small...' is getting very old. Right now, Crystal is running on straight reputation. Eventually, it will run out and the school will have to take a look at its issues (of which there are many). Maybe then Crystal will become a respectable institution.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 11, 2009

This is a small, top-notch college preparatory school with excellent teachers, lots of opportunities for growth and exploration, and a warm and supportive community. It has all the advantages of a place where everybody knows your name and all of the disadvantages which are inherent in smallness. Both my kids adored their time at CSUS and are now thriving young adults.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 5, 2009

We have a daughter at Crystal who is just thriving. She is challenged and motivated by all of her teachers. The administrators are completely focused on the quality of the students experience. The parents are extremely involved. i just hope my son wants to go there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 5, 2009

csus is a great school. Has lots of friendly students and teachers. I recomend going there for middle school to get your child prepard for high school, and then send them to a public school so they can get all A.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 30, 2008

My daughter graduated from Crystal Springs and is a sophomore in Yale. CSUS prepared her well for college. She breezed through freshman year and has adjusted to her college workload without any problems.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 18, 2008

I understand why most parents would absolutely love CSUS. The academics are unparalleled and the competitive environment the school provides definitely prepare students for education after high school. The faculty is very well educated and passionate about their jobs as well. However, if you consider CSUS's program 'well-rounded,' you are gravely mistaken. Students have little to no school-spirit - or any spirit, for that matter - because they're far too busy competing. Sports, the arts and general pleasure are mere afterthoughts, coming in a distant second to schoolwork. Students should expect to spend all their time after school preparing for tests, essays, projects, etc. In addition, the growingly extreme conservative nature of the school restricts student freedoms unfairly and destroys most opportunities to enjoy oneself. I can only recommend CSUS for the extremely disciplined students and I urge parents to think wisely before burdening their children with the stress of CSUS.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 10, 2007

My daughter has received the finest liberal arts education imaginable at CSUS. It isn't easy and it isn't inexpensive, but it's worth it.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 56% 26%
Asian or Pacific Islander 23% 11%
Two or more races 14% 3%
Black 4% 6%
Hispanic 4% 52%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

400 Uplands Drive
Hillsborough, CA 94010
Phone: (650) 342-4175


Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »


Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

Borel Middle School
San Mateo, CA

Stanbridge Academy
San Mateo, CA