This school is fantastic. The students, teachers and administration are friendly, down to earth and committed. No snobs and no heavy partying. The balance of academics, the arts and sports is just right. The teachers and Principal are committed to making Mills an excellent place to learn and thrive. I've been involved with PTAs since my kids were in elementary school, and by far, the staff at Mills are the most approachable and receptive to parent/student input. The Principal takes the time to "know" the students and parents, and listens to complaints and most importantly, works with parents, students and staff to make Mills the best that it can be. If you are looking for a high school without all the drama, but with academic, artist and sports excellence and spirit. this is the place to go.
My daughter is starting her Senior year at Mills. She has stuggled in school since Kindergarten. Dispite my best efforts she was never able to obtain an IEP from Millbrae elementary, but kudos to Mills for providing her with an IEP when she stuggled as a freshman. The faculty are very positive and flexible with alternate learners, and willing to work with the Special Education staff to ensure evaluations measure learning. The Principle is in touch with students and parents and comes across as very professional at school board meetings. Additional kudos to the Track and cross country coaching staffs for building strong individual and team work ethic and supporting growth in student athletes.
This school is very academically centered. That can be a good and sometimes bad thing however I found that being motivated to be the best and have good grades to be a very positive thing. I noticed a comment about classes being too big, as a former student I never saw a class above 35. I don't know where they found 40... The teachers made sure to get to know everyone and always payed attention to everyone. I absolutely love this school and am glad to be a Mills Alumni. By the way, the theater is the best!
I moved my daughter from this school after 9th grade. She did fine academically but the classes were not focused enough on learning. The class sizes were too large. There was not a class with less than 40 students. There was a non caring attitude from some of the teachers and a emphasis on teaching to the state testing.
Principal has excellent rapport with students, faculty, staff, parents. Knows most students by name. A parent himself, he understands the pressures families and kids face. He is very frank about challenging the notions of success in our competitive culture. Most teachers are excellent, though like at any school there are a few duds. But many go the extra mile for their students, especially the extracurricular advisors. Mills has terrific extracurricular programs like Model UN, Mock Trial, Robotics, FHA-HERO, Quiz Kids. As an active volunteer, I have met some of the friendliest, nicest, well-mannered young people at Mills. Student and parent communities are VERY welcoming. My kids transferred in but quickly made friends. I was readily accepted by PTO (not at all clique-ish, like many parent groups). My kids and I have really enjoyed experiencing another facet of California's diversity. (Our middle school was about 50% Hispanic/Latino, Mills is majority Asian.) Many people say Mills is "too hard" or "too competitive." Not so. My kids came from a middle school that is in program improvement and excelled at Mills, which is a welcoming, challenging and nurturing environment.