Acalanes, class of 1951. Great faculty, administration, and support staff. I lettered in tennis and B basketball. after Acalanes I enrolled at Cal Berkeley. I could have been better prepared for university academics, but overall the experience was a good one. I took public speaking as part of the English requirement, which was a very practical way to study English, but the highbrow English at UC left me cold, and I had trouble coping. I have a 5-year-old granddaughter living in the Acalanes District who I hope to see enter Acalanes in 2021 or hereabouts - if I live that long. I may be partial, since my father was the district superintendent.
Going to a UC was a piece of cake with all the preparation Acalanes gave me in writing skills, problem solving, and critical thinking. Mrs. Challacombe and Mrs. Dunston are amazing teachers!
I bought home in Lafayette for the school system. I am glad I did that. Both my kids attended Acalanes. My son got into a 6 year medicine program and my daughter is in UC Berkeley. I am thankful to the school for preparing them well.
I've read multiple reviews that claim Acalanes students are spoiled rich brats. While there may be a few, I strongly disagree. This is an assumption made because the community is generally wealthy according to outsiders. Well, Lafayette, and Acalanes High are both much more liberal than outsiders expect. Students at Acalanes come from both broke families in tiny apartments and $3 mil homes. What is fascinating about Acalanes students and the culture of the school is the expectation of social service and justice. I know few schools who require volunteer work to graduate. In my personal experience, I was NOT a privileged girl. My family was always struggling and all of my clothes were from second hand stores. I was never teased for this. By junior year, and throughout senior year, my graduating class was one big clique-less group of friends. My brother and sister, who attended 6 and 8 years after me, found the same experience. Acceptance, respect and friendship across "groups" that divide other schools. To the person who claimed a high acceptance rate to college is due to rich parents: Silly. Acalanes kids MOSTLY go to public schools, and those are not schools who take bribes.
It's really nothing special. It's pretty much like any other school. Same credits, same quality of education, great teachers and terrible ones, save the 70,000 dollar cars owned by overtly spoiled children in the lot. The high College acceptance rating may or may not have something do do with the fact that the parents can actually afford it. Just a theory. The majority student body, a group of rather captious individuals, have absolutely no tolerance for others who's parents don't make the 2% of America who are considered "wealthy". They are an unnecessary burden to be easily avoided. Another thing to consider is the ridiculous drug usage. I have never seen so many drugs used in my entire life. To relate a personal experience; I make my life as a musician and have played with very influential people, and have assisted in movie scores, and do rather well. Yet, the last thing my music teacher told me, after I had quit the high school band due to a tiring amount of ridicule from both the teacher and the students, was that I would most likely never do music again.
I have had three children attend Acalanes. While a good school in many areas, it does have its weaknesses. The language department is spotty at best. Most classes are geared towards high achievers and there is a bounty of AP classes but students with special needs are shuffled aside. The school is big and parents may have to be the squeaky wheel to have their kids' needs met. Conformity is highly regarded. Parent involvement is high and expected. Acalanes was a good match (not excellent) for two of my kids but failed miserably at serving my third.
Acalanes encourages students to think, consider and be creative. They have a high standard while providing significant support for academic challenges of all kinds. Teachers are compassionate and teach well, coaches truly mentor the athletes to be the best they can be.
Acalanes has a great curriculum, a great learning environment, mostly warm and directed teachers, an abundance of non-academic extra-curricular programs, and a very helpful and enthusiastic administration led by a terrific pro-kid principal. Parents are involved and supportive. Wonderful experience.
My children have been enrolled in Lafayette schools for the past 13 years, and I've always been impressed with their schools and with the talent and commitment of their teachers.
Outstanding educational experience for my two children. Strong caring principal.
I had my son go to A with an inter-district transfer. The staff cares and admin, although stand off ish, is good. The teachers that I met on show time-parent nite, were good and answered all my emails; at times short, but answered. My son has not done well socially, not bad, but he takes the most challenging classes, tons of homework, and has played some sports and is very focused on college. I have had my son in expensive private schools, touchy feely charter schools and now here. With one and moving, one does not know the game, but I have been thrilled with the staff and teachers who seem to really care here.
The Acalanes High School provides a wonderful balanced environment. The range of offerings allows all students to find an academic and social 'home'. The parent community is very involved with lots of potitive opportunities for involvement. I wish there were more periods to take additional classes of interest.
This is my daughter's third year at Acalanes and I have nothing but good things to say about the staff and academically. They have a great arts and sports program and parent involvement is wonderful. Personally I feel exactely how the school is rated A++
Acalanes has been a great school for my son. He came from a private school and knew very few students as an entering freshman, but the school is friendly and welcoming and his social assimilation was easy. There are so many activities that it was easy for him to try different ones and find his niche.
I have just graduated my third and last daughter from Acalanes and only have positive things to say about the school. My kinds have become independent, educated, cultured and caring people.
I would highly reccommend attending Acalanes if you or your child is interested in attending a good college. They prepear you well for your future. The teachers are great for the most part. Socially, groups can be uninviting, but you must weigh what is most important.
Academics are very strong, bolstered by a recent bond measure that added more AP classes and general class sections. Overall teachers are extremely competent, but tend not to connect with parents as much as I'd like. In other words, if your child is having an issue, a teacher won't make the effort to let you know first, you must contact them. Music/art/sports/extracurriculars are multiple, varied and strong. Many student clubs are available. Chorus teacher has developed an incredible program and is dedicated to bringing all skill levels along. The resource dept. for kids with learning challenges is generally available and very supportive. Parent involvement is high (raising funds, supporting staff and programs). Parents put a lot of pressure on their kids to succeed academically.
Acalanes provided me with a tremendous foundation to both get into, and succeed at a top university. While there were a few sub par teachers, most are extremely nurturing and knowledgable. I also played two sports and enjoyed the extracurricular activites that Acalanes has to offer. I highly recommend this school.
The schools in this affluent community are not as good as most people would like them to be. Poor leadership and frequent administrative turnover for a number of years allowed weak teachers to slip into the ranks of the great teachers. Thus, the education a student gets today, is hit'n miss. Additionally, administrators lack the skills to assist weak teachers to improve. An active but inequitable parent group controlled by a handful of exclusive parents, further weakens this school. The strengths of the school are the truly fabulous & committed teachers, who outnumber those that only serve their own interests. An exceptionally strong elective program and enrichment activities also contribute to its strengths.
I couldn't have asked for a better, more well-rounded high school education
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