I just ended my freshman year at LAHS and it is super awesome!! I'm usually really awful in math but got an A for the first time ever! I was falling a little behind in Bio though, but my teacher helped me out at lunch :) Can't wait for sophomore year! :D
We've had 4 years at LAHS, and overall we have seen some great teachers that pushed our child to think and develop analytically, and some that appeared to be just going through the motions of teaching. That said, we have another child in a private high school and while the ratio is different, both categories of teachers exist there as well. The principal appears to work hard, but it also seems the challenges associated with motivating and educating the less prepared students to meet minimum standards comes at the expense of those able to handle more challenging work. This shows up primarily in the variety and size of some of the honors and AP classes. This is one of the most obvious differences with the private school. If you pick classes wisely, you can get a quality education at LAHS.
As a former student, I feel like I can truly comment on what the LAHS experience is. Yes, LAHS receives more funding per student but that's due to the area's property tax. I have several problems about LAHS. For one, they get rid of their 'problem students' by sending them to a different school (Alta Vista) so it won't bring down their API and SAT scores. The second problem I have is that most teachers don't invest time in their students. As long as you stay on the college track, they leave you alone. It's evident that some teachers teach here for the higher salary not because they care about the community or teaching. Another problem is that they quarantine the ELD students. The ELD students are in a separate wing and rarely interact with the AP students. Diversity? Yeah right.
As a former student, I realize in retrospect what a fantastic educational and social experience I had at LAHS. For a public school, it did a really extraordinary job of preparing me academically for college and beyond. I went to Stanford and felt that the education I got at LAHS was on par with some of my peers from fancy-schmancy east coast prep schools like Exeter and Andover, etc. The teachers are fantastic, especially Mr. Rosenberg (if he's still there). The opportunities are there at LAHS if you're a motivated student. I came from a relatively humble middle class background and was pulled up by the first class education I got there.
Currently we have our 3rd child enrolled in LASHS. Our experience continues to be excellent with high academic standards, excellent teachers, lots of extracurricular activities, an engaged and caring principal and a diverse student population. Definitely the best choice for our children.
I went to this high school for four years. While it does offer a variety of courses, sports, and extracurricular activities, there is only an adequate amount of leadership displayed by the school principal, Wynne Satterwhite, when it comes to discipline, regulating fairness, and keeping quality control on the teaching staff/resources.
This year our two freshmen entered Los Altos High and as the year is coming to a close I am still pleased by the staff, teachers, sports, theatre and the arts. My daughters academic programs are varied and suit both of them. The decision to go to Los Altos has been more than a good one. I look forward to our next three years.
Having had children in both the high schools in our area, I have to say they are both excellent. But while many consider Mountain View High the better of the two because of its scores, I must say that LAHS was the best... for a few reasons. First, LAHS has fewer students, and all that that implies, which is a lot. MVHS has too many students and the teachers and staff always seem overworked and a bit short. LAHS is more relaxed. Because of the community, LAHS has a lot more funding and seems to be using it wisely. Everything is less expensive there, because they have more money for extras. (A very small example is that mand. gym clothes were about 1/3 less there.) Also, getting to and from the school, there is considerably less traffic, because you are mostly on large streets. Overall they are both excellent academically.