Truely a great high school. There are so many great and knowledgeable teachers.
Too many 'mean' teachers with no humanity and I must apologize to those handful of wonderful teachers. But when you use your 'power' to 'disempower' children you should be ashamed.
One of the best qualities of this school is it's teachers. My husband and I, along with our new middle schooler, have spent countless hours talking, visiting, and developing a plan of action to keep our daughter on top of her schoolwork since September. We shake our heads when we realize how tough their job is...and only people who really care about our kids..would stick this career out. There is never anything easy about the real world.....but my daughter is learning some valuable lessons that we can talk about now.....before that time comes when she heads off to college.
CDMHS is a good school operating under the constraints imposed by an aged facility that has not been properly maintained; too little field space to properly accommodate the sports and a smattering of teachers who have been there too long to really care any longer about their students. The leadership there I think is very good and committed. While CDM suffers from the pecking order and status issues with all high schools, the students I have encountered are universally pleasant and well spoken. The academic culture in the school is somewhat split with a number of real 'strivers' working very hard and lots of kids doing what it requires to get through the program. It is not a school that will hand hold a student into performance.
I think the curricula is challenging, but there is not a lot of support for children with learning disabilities. The administration and teachers seem to feel that if your child requires help, he or she is 'choosing' to do poorly. Administration and teachers do not seem to be cognizant of research-based strategies used for children who learn differently. I have been profoundly disappointed with the lack of real help. Although the school did put in place a great communication tool (SchoolLoop), only 1 of my child's 6 teachers actually used it. Most of the time, I felt that I had to beg for information from teachers who didn't seem to understand that I needed information to come directly to me. They continued to send things home with my child who lost items time and again, even though I pleaded for direct communication.
This school is not challenging at all. The academics are iffy, but most of all what turns me off from this school is the quality of the students themselves. They are all snobs, and only care about money and appearances. It is a fact that if you do not have 'cool clothes' (which constitutes outrageously expensive designer apparel), you will not have any friends, or be doomed to be a 'freak', even if you're actually cool. You have to be ostentatious at CDM to fit in.
CdM is a good school. I think the new administration is pretty effective. One thing I greatly disapprove of CdM is the way they raise funds, and the amount the kids have to contribute for sports. Just because the school is from Newport Beach does not mean every family can afford 300 dollars per sport per kid per season. Money issues are way emphasized there and it is unfortunate. I know they have great programs enabled by privately-funded foundations , but the way they spend their raised money is also wasteful ( fancy invitation cards, sending out duplicate packages of college information to families with more than one kid in HS..and fancy chairs and desks for the front office..)
Mark my words, every student that attends CDM will be pooped on by a seagull at one point in their time there...its a little messy and the lockers are gross. lots of snobby people: 'look how rich i am everyone!' but also lots of really nice people. Aside from the seagulls and that stuff its pretty rad...i don't have any boring teachers.
I'm a 7th grader at cdm i absolutely love it. All the teachers are amazing and the environment is so friendly and accepting. I also think that one of the great things about cdm that you can't find in a lot of other schools is, the age range. We have grades 7th-12th and its so cool being able to talk to kids who are older than you and can give you advice on all the crazy stuff that goes on. -Go seakings!
CDM provides excellent preparation for College. Strong focus on educational excellence with very strong extracurricular activities around sports, arts, etc. Facilities improvements are finally here which is nice. The administration does focus on recognizing excellence in many different forms. It's just been a great place for my 3 kids.
I think CDM is a great school if your child doesn't need any help. If your child is wanting an educaton and knows where they are going in life, its a great school. But if you have a problematic child that needs testing and counceling then forget it. You will find that CDM is great at letting those students fall through the cracks. I called the Vice Principal, I wrote the school board and nothing was ever done. The was an incomplete test done for learning disabilities, and no couceling at any time...finally I just got tired of emailing and calling and withdrew him and enrolled him in Homeschool, the insanity did not stop, then CDM would not take him off their enrollment, they kept calling telling me he was absent, etc...and the letters from the state, stating he was truant, which is $500. fine/1 yr in jail.
School is geared to high achievers and this has created two classes of students. The average student is often left out. Since just about everyone is pushed to take AP classes those students who do not are considered low achievers. If your student is headed to the Ivy league this is a great school otherwise you may want to consider a high school where students of all different academic abilities are valued.
I went to CDM from a very small private school of an 8th grade class of 3. Moving into a big school was different for me, the class sizes were over 35, and there were so many people. I love CDM. I just finished my freshman year and it was so much fun. I took honors classes, electives, and had so much fun getting involved. The only downside is the dicipline/drug problem, the younger kids, like the 7th and 8th graders are involved in way too much of that for their age, I wouldnt reccommend sending your child there for 7th or 8th. They have a great campus, a little dirty, but big and the teachers are exceptional. The dance program is awesome, and the sports teams are great. I recently moved out of state, but if I had the choice I would have continued at CDM, Its a great school.
My daughter transferred to CdM, entering in 9th grade, from a small private school. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that she was still academically challenged through the honors courses provided. She enjoys the numerous opportunities to become involved in extra-curricular activies as well as in various clubs on campus. The students she has met appear well-mannered and very accepting, and she has received much support from the teaching staff as well as the administration. I, too, have been in contact with several parents who are very involved. The campus is much cleaner than it was when I graduated from CdM in 1980.
CdM is an excellent school, if your child chooses to make it that way. If your child wants to slack and then you complain about the teachers not teaching, it's not their fault. The school also offers a challenging curriculum if that is what you're after. CdM is all about what you make it.
Best Public school money can buy. For all the tutoring that is needed cause the teacher don't teach. If your child is lack in skills,the highest amount paid to the sport gets to play. You might as well go to a private school. Cause money is king with out it there is nobody that will support or protect you childern at this school. Stay away from football. Go anywhere else if you plan on playing. But if you have no skill this is your place.
I agree with the comment regarding our new administration. Our kids are suddenly confronted with an attitude that this new administration came in to our school to solve a discipline problem - and that's not what we need. Children live up or down to our expectations. And teenagers are especially vulnerable.
We have a new principal who seems out of touch with our kids. This is not Santa Ana, this is Newport Beach and we don't treat our kids like they are in prison. You want to learn, go to school. Our kids know they can afford to go to college. They don't have to resort to crime to make it in life. These are priviliged kids that have successful parents and know education is vital in getting those good jobs. And fix the parking situation.
I really enjoyed attending this High School, it was the best. I was apart of the first six year class 7th-12th Grade. I loved the teacher they really seemed to care. Both of my parents attendend CdM and graduated in 1969. I had several of the same teachers that my parents had. Midway through 7th Grade I transfered from Shortcliff's middle school in San Clemente and I was very behind academically. My counsler helped my parents get me a tutor and I did catch up, but CdM was much more advanced academically. There are plenty of activities to take part in. As far as the level of parental involvement goes my parents were rather active, considering the fact that I was from a divorced family. They made numerous attempts to attend quite a few of my swim-team meets. Parents it does make a diffence when you are there...
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