I will say that there is the mechanism and opportunity for integrity, compassion and respect to be developed at CDM. Many student take advantage of these programs and are truly great individuals. There are a minority of students that bring a bad influence to the campus... unfortunately these children are often the popular children.
Homework is not clearly communicated and it is almost impossible to study ahead. In one instance for Common Core Math, I was told by the teacher that they don't get the homework assignments to distribute until a week or two prior to it being given to the students. The homework sometimes has errors. They used to have a ZAP program, Zeros aren't Permitted, which made sure students would complete their homework. The program wasn't followed by the teachers and it appears that the program has been eliminated as I could no longer find it on the schools website.
Our daughter is in 9th and just completed 7 & 8 there. Its such a mixed bag. Our daughter is outright gifted as well as very well adjusted so she does fine (straight A+'s in their most advanced classes) but we are constantly appalled at the lack of recognition and encouragement by the teaching staff. As an example; at the 8th grade promotion, they didn't even bother mentioning the "Honors", or even print it on the diploma. Instead, she quietly got a metal she picked up following the ceremony.
In fact; their actions are often outright discouraging! We can only imagine how difficult it must be for the "regular kids". I swear; they hand out zeroes like candy, sometimes unwarranted, often un-reconcilable.
There are a few stand-out exceptions such as Mr Ball (Choir - a treasure of a teacher), Mr Brudy (English, what an inspiration), and I forget her Science 7th grade teacher's name, endlessly encouraging.
In sports. They only care about winning. Period! If your kid made the team but isn't on the A list, prepare to have them "excluded" (benched) a lot! That's not what cherrished memories are made of.
The Accelerated Math is run by a guy who scoffs at all existing text books and therefore, there are none! Yes, they are expected to learn 2 years of advanced math in one year without a text! If our daughter weren't IQ 165 with a perfect memory, I really don't know how she'd do it. He actually reprimanded her once for taking a photo of the white board prior to class ending (when its blocked).
All that said; they have some fantastic pluses.
They do have great sports facilities and opportunities. Many graduates get full sports scholarships. We hear track program is more about participation than win at all costs.
Their online homework and grade monitoring solution is a dream come true!
The area is very safe and the PTA is highly involved. Many perks come from the huge donations.
Some of their teachers, as mentioned, are just exceptional. The kind that movies are made of.
I think these are all typical of any high school so I rank it 3 stars, "average".
Our two kids went to CdM the entire way through and both hated it. Cruel, clicky students who only care about social status, narrow-minded teachers who could care less about students wholistic well-being and are only into testing and grades, many drug abusing, entitled students driving BMWs and MZBs, etc. Avoid at all costs.
I am a senior of CDMHS, thankfully have only been here for 3 years instead of the regular 6 years at this school. There is no diversity, the students are cruel evil creatures and will do anything and everything to maintain their social status. Academically very challenging because the curriculum is so much more advanced than other high schools around the country. The news is always here covering the cheating scandals, prom drafts, etc.. Terrible high school coming from a student who isn't socially challenged or a 'Narnian' as called by other students from all high surrounding high schools including CDM. Go to harbor, it's better. Socially and academically. You won't be sorry.
The school is great. I enjoyed going there. I was really saddened when I was transferred to Etiwanda High school. CDM is academically high compared to other schools. The teacher are great. They help you any time you ask for it. They are really proactive they hate it when students are not doing anything. At first I though of it as an announce but after coming to Etiwanda high school I understand why they did. I highly recommend this school.
I love CdM, because it's a community school, and living in Newport Beach, the kids that I've grown up with on my street are the kids in my classes here. Sports are a big enough deal to be really fun if you're interested, but there are lots of other ways to get involved, like clubs (Best Buddies!) and the four leadership groups. Academics are good, but not great. Freshman year is pretty rough. It goes uphill from there, but the freshmen and middle schoolers generally get stuck with the bad teachers. And insider tip: if you're planning on taking honors bio, try and get in with janet dichiro - over 90% of the class does her study group, and it fills up really quickly! You'll want it, because the teachers have no clue what they're talking about. Most of the classes are pretty good, but there are little tips like the honors bio study group for everything. If you put in the effort, you can get what you need. That said, you can also skate by pretty easily if that's your objective.
i think this school gets a superficial rating based on it's location. I warn parents of children entering from many of the really solid elementary schools into this program. the touting of their academics is based on a philosophy of teaching by fear rather than teaching by encouragement. This may be a wonderful school if you have a child with disciplinary issues however if you have a child that generally follows rules and behaves they will be subject to the harsh scare tactic methods. The teachers are sub-standard and the students are generally out of control.