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Palo Alto Preparatory School

Private | 8-12 | 60 students


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Living in Mountain View

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $575,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,660.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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26 reviews of this school

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Posted August 12, 2013

My son has just graduated from Palo Alto Prep and is currently enrolled at Foothill College. This school has been an incredible experience for all of us, my son in particular, and it happened at a time when my son had suffered rejection from the public schools and gone through experiences that had left him depressed and with low self esteem. Going to PAP a new world opened up for him, he felt included and understood and the nurturing environment allowed him to make connections with peers and teachers alike. The school has a young, vibrant faculty, and all the teachers have been friendly and extremely helpful to my son, they have travelled together across the world during their yearly trips oversea and we as a family will be forever grateful to PAP for the great place it was for my son to spend four wonderful years.He has grown emotionally and he is no longer the traumatized kid that came from the public school system, thanks to Palo Alto Prep.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 10, 2013

"My older son has serious anxiety issues that resulted in avoiding school and all social situations. Palo Alto Prep made my son feel like he found a school where he belonged. Their teachers are top notch and work with each student to accommodate different learning styles. The administration worked closely with our family and my son to ensure that he graduated and that he has options for a bright future. Every family who has a child struggling to "fit in" at their local high school should consider Palo Alto Prep. It is a safe learning environment where individuality is encouraged not ridiculed."
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 5, 2013

Not all who apply to Palo Alto Prep are accepted; the admissions team makes a concerted effort to find students who need what PAP offers, have something to offer & who will fit in with the student body. Public schools must take all comers (initially); PAP students are hand picked. My son attended Palo Alto Prep his junior and senior years. He was happy there. Having built a strong academic and personal base at the private school he attended between public school and Palo Alto Prep, he continued to flourish and maintained an excellent GPA at PAP. He benefited from the smaller, more intimate campus and student body. At PAP, parents have multiple opportunities yearly to confer with teachers, ensuring that progress is acknowledged and other issues addressed and brainstormed to maximize the potential for success. PAP offers school-led field trips that included Italy, Poland, Germany, white water rafting, kayaking in the Monterey Bay, and skiing at Lake Tahoe in the last two years. All schools pay lip service to a "No Bullying Policy" - my experience is that of 4 public & 1 private school and PAP, ONLY at Palo Alto Prep is that policy taught and enforced. Lauren (a parent)
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 17, 2013

Our son is a bright and articulate child, with no learning issues. However, he was not happy in his public high school, seemed bored, unmotivated & certainly not performing to his full potential. He went to PAP as a sophomore & has really done well. The teachers at PAP are a wonderful group of caring educators. The small class size helped him in 2 ways. In math and science, which are not his strongest subjects, he has improved greatly as the teachers are able to devote the time it takes to make sure the kids fully understand the material. English and History are his strongest subjects, and in this (especially English), his teacher took the initiative to work on material outside of the curriculum, at a higher level, so that he was not bored! Thanks PAP!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 26, 2012

They promise a lot at the beginning but following through is a whole other issue for them. It took ALOT of nagging for them to even read my sons IEP!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 17, 2012

I am the parent of a student who transferred to Palo Alto Prep as a sophomore, has just graduated, and is going to Calpoly in the fall. PAP has small classes, and their dedicated teachers are able to go from firming up the basics, to advanced topics. Smiles and enthusiasm permeate the school. They have a rock band, do all sorts of fun trips (ski, backpacking, rafting, abroad, etc), and recently moved into new facilities. The staff has a patient and encouraging attitude accross the board, and the students are friendly and accepting of differences. Kids who might have floundered elsewhere, in this environment grow emotionally and academically. I am very happy with the process and the outcome!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 9, 2012

Palo Alto Prep was a wonderful, life-changing experience that has given me an opportunity I would not have found anywhere else. Next week I am graduating and in the fall I will be attending Cal Poly SLO. If it weren't for the unique and eclectic learning environment Palo Alto Prep provided me, where I was able to thrive and succeed in a multitude of ways, I would not be the person I am today.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 30, 2012

I am a parent. My son transferred from Palo Alto High on his Sophomore year. He was down, discouraged and had lacked confidence at PALY. PAP has put a lot of effort and time in building my son's confidence back both personal and academics. Today he is accepted to one of the top universities, he is a soccer player, he speaks a new language. He is a happy, positive individual with a bright future. We could not have achieved this without the support of PAP and the wonderful teachers who have been a teacher, a mentor and a friend. I am grateful to PAP.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 28, 2010

My son has been at Palo Alto Prep (PAP) for two years and is now entering his Junior year. I can't even begin to express what a positive difference PAP has made in his life on the academic, social and emotional level. My son has a progressive neuromuscular disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, which does not affect intelligence, but definitely affects his physical body. Grade school years proved to be challenging due to the fact that he felt different than his peers. So when I called PAP for the first time, I was relieved to know that the Admissions officer not only was familiar with CMT, but encouraged us to visit the school. We immediately felt accepted and welcomed by staff and student body. As a parent, it is a great relief to know that my son is happy, academically challenged, physically comfortable and making friends for life. An awesome experience.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 20, 2010

I transferred to Palo Alto Prep because I was not a very good student in public school. I guess i was too social, and had a tendency to skip classes. At Palo Alto Prep however I actually wanted to go to class. The small atmosphere helps the teachers actually teach the students. The student body is a mix of social kids, anti social kids, and everything in between, and that is a good thing. i made a lot of good freinds whom otherwise would never have spoken to. And the teachers are grade A. Never ever thought someone could teach me chemistry. Every teachers knows every student. I am now a senior at Arizona State University, so if you want your children to get a great education, meet some good people, and go to some amazing places (White water rafting ..scuba diving..ITALY), Then look no further.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 10, 2010

My teenager, who is gifted, has several learning disabilities and ADHD, has blossomed in the first year at Palo Alto Prep. At the end of last year, my teen was very shut down and angry due the almost daily bullying in public high school. At Palo Alto Prep, the small class sizes, the supportive culture, the personal relationships with the teachers and students have all been a springboard for positive change. The staff and teachers have very artfully responded to any challenges so that my teen has felt heard and supported and even when the challenge involved a consequence. My teen is now out - going instead of distrustful and sullen, making A s and working independently, has friends, feels safe and LOVES the school. At Palo Alto Prep, my teen is on the path of being a successful student and well rounded person.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 21, 2010

Yes, one should ALWAYS do your homework before you join a private school. Our son was there for two years and we found that the student body was as advertised, some different, some needing extra help and we did not encounter any that had problems that were not addressed during the enrollment process. They DO ask kids that cannot follow the rules to leave.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 26, 2010

Before you enroll your child in this school, do you homework and ask the questions that I didn't ask. Ask about the credentials of the administration. Ask about the credentials of the teachers. Ask about the make-up of the student body. Don't listen to why the administration says the student body is there - it isn't because they are different, need extra help, were bullied in their last school - these kids have problems, serious problems. I didn't ask any of these questions; however, the administration made the school seem perfect for my child. It wasn't, she was introduced to a group of kids that I would have never wanted her to be associated. It takes a special, well-qualified teacher and administration to deal with children from these backgrounds and the administration in particular are not academically qualified.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 25, 2009

Our son came here with multiple LDs and associated issues. Educating bright kids, who function so differently from the average student, requires experience, flexibility, a socially safe environment, and the ability to meet kids where they are, and move them to where they need to be, which is what we found at Palo Alto Prep. Our son was finally able to succeed here and is now a successful and engaged student at Foothill College, thanks to Lisa, Chris, and a dedicated staff, who because they have overcome difficulties themselves, can serve as believable and authentic role models. You can find schools with a more attractive physical plant and amenities, but what really counts is the soul you can feel in a place, and the spirit an organization serves. At Palo Alto Prep that spirit is about making a difference in the lives of individuals, while preparing them for the future.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 23, 2008

Palo Alto Prep takes the time to research any special needs a child may have. They know each child by the 2nd week well enough to help guide them through the school year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 21, 2008

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Palo Alto Prep for the invaluable guidance i received during my time there. I credit Palo Alto Prep's guidance for the 2 (soon to be 3) Dean's List Academic Awards that I received at Menlo College, as well as my near 4.0 cumulative GPA. Your institution allowed me to adopt a strong work ethic that I will use for the rest of my life. Give the staff my best wishes and I hope to see you all in the near future.
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 19, 2008

Palo Alto Prep is a fantastic school. We have been searching for an alternate school for our daughter . She is extremely intelligent but unfortunately, the public school system could not meet her needs. Until we found PAP we didn't think we could find a school where she could thrive both academically and emotionally. The Founder Chris Keck and Dean of Students, Lisa O'Hearn Keck have been incredible. They have literally turned our daughter's life around. Mainstream high school became so overwhelming for her, we couldn't get through a day without phone calls wanting us to pick her up. Since attending Palo Alto Prep, our daughter not only makes it through every day with the special attention and encouragement from the staff, she is smiling again and looks forward to going to school. I highly recommend PAP. We consider this school our lifesaver!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 19, 2008

As far as schools go, PAP is a ten in my book. We wanted to find a drug free and academically challenging school for our teen and that's what we got! Many alternative high schools are filled kids who do drugs. PAP has a zero tolerance policy. Our child is getting an excellent education along with many extracurricular activities not offered at other schools such as outdoor ed. and travel to other countries. PAP is a perfect fit. We feel confident our child is getting the best education possible at Palo Alto Prep!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 19, 2008

My daughter was a competitive gymnast and very dyslexic. I needed to find a high school that would help her with her learning disabilities and still allow her to train, travel, and compete. PAP and their amazing teachers did just that. They worked with her one on one, encouraged her when she became discouraged, and cheered her on in her sport. The result was that she was accepted at Cornell University and graduated last June. Sending my daughter to PAP was the best decision I have made.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 18, 2008

I went to this school for 2 years and I have to say I am pretty amazed with it. When I went to public school I was having trouble keeping up with the careless teachers they had. When I came to Palo Alto Prep Chris and Lisa where very helpful as were the teachers. Their ability to adapt with their students and connect with them is amazing. I am now a successful college student and am pursuing my career choice. I am grateful for the things Palo Alto Prep has done for me and I thank Chris and Lisa. With out this school I would have graduate a year late, but PAP helped me get back on track and make up my credits.
—Submitted by a parent

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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.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 97% 26%
Hispanic 3% 52%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 0% 11%
Black 0% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 3%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mr. Christopher Keck
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

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  • College preparatory
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2462 Wyandotte Street
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: (650) 493-7071


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