There is way too much homework given. The kids are stressed and not learning. No importance is placed by the school on kids spending time with their family or doing work for their family's home or business.
I wasted precious resources - money, time, energy - towards what I thought would be a good experience for my daughter at Bishop O'Dowd High School. Instead, my daughter's self esteem and courage was destroyed.
Counselors do not engage with kids and with families and do not respond to emails or phone calls in a timely fashion (if at all). Teachers do not respond to emails, and if they do it's to explain to you all the ways they are doing their job and you are not doing yours. Administration points fingers at the families for low performing kids. After school "support" consists of the support teacher telling a student to do her homework and turning away from her.
The counselors and prior Principal spent more time investigating the whereabouts of my daughter's father - who doesn't participate in her life - than they did investigating why she was struggling with her courses. Even after I requested a meeting to discuss her grades and our feelings of being an outsider in the school, walls were put up and communication was impossible. We were told that perhaps she didn't belong at the school.
Bishop O'Dowd has a sour administration that shows you the door when you ask questions, teachers who abusively berate children in hallways when questions are asked, while families who do their very best to make ends meet paying precious money to Bishop O'Dowd High School struggle to find their way . . this school that cares more about its website and its outward appearance than it does about its students. Nothing is free or part of tuition at O'Dowd; an evening "Finals Prep" class costs $50 (if you can get a spot). It's easy to get left behind at O'Dowd without even realizing it and then it's too late because of the lack of support.
After leaving O'Dowd mid-semester, I had a conversation with parent at O'Dowd who said "I went to O'Dowd, so it's easy for me to navigate the administration. . . you need to know people to get help." I admonished her - and the school - for playing favorites for children of alumni and not welcoming the new families or helping the kids who are excited to go there but don't have an "in".
Please message me if you'd like more information or hear more detailed stories of our O'Dowd ordeal. Skyline High has been fantastic transitioning my daughter back into high school and we are hopeful that her feet are back underneath her.
The way the school treats its families leads me to believe that it does not develop character in the students. We left mid-semester to get out of an unwelcoming and at times openly hostile environment.
BOD is ALL about compassion and respect. They seem to be careful in accepting students who have a strong moral compass, and they celebrate one another's differences each and every day. It's one of the most caring and nurturing environments you could imagine, especially for a high school.