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GreatSchools Rating

Holden High School

Private | 9-12

We are best known for supportive school environment.

 
 

Living in Orinda

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $895,300. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,530.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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10 reviews of this school


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Posted February 28, 2014

I worked at Holden for 36 years and retired a few years ago, so I am anything but unbiased. I continue to go to graduations twice a year and am delighted to see that student and family outcomes are as spectacularly positive as they have always been. I experienced Holden as a parent as well my daughter attended for her senior year, and the experience was transformative for all of us. My daughter had earned her UC course requirements previously while she was at Oakland Tech. Holden s part in her UC applications was to take pressure off her senior year so that she had time and positivity to dance and to create an audition dance which, along with her Tech credits, earned her admission to World Arts and Cultures Dance at UCLA. She has been dancing ever since. To me what it boils down to is this: if you want your kid to be at a high school where s there s a really good chance that they ll learn more about themselves and more about how to communicate with others of all ages, Holden is THE premier place in the East Bay for your child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 22, 2014

Not every kid fits into the mainstream educational system of Lamorinda. Whether they misfit socially or academically, Holden has created a place where they will fit in. Our son has attended Holden for just over a year; the transformation in him has been unbelievable. The supportive and caring staff at the school has been the source of this transformation. Before attending Holden, our son was so overcome with anxiety he could not attend the local public high school; he now is excelling in all subjects, has 100% attendance, and is on track to graduate in a few months. What a difference a proper placement makes! Thank you Holden, you have saved all of our lives.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 22, 2014

If your high school student is struggling in a traditional high school setting, I would strongly recommend Holden High School in Orinda. Classes are small, therefore giving your son or daughter the individual attention he or she needs. The students at Holden are there for various reasons. This can be from the unwillingness to cope, bullying and struggles with learning. Barely finishing middle school, even with the help of therapy, medication and a home school teacher, my daughter refused to attend high school. Depression was an issue, She would not get out of bed. We had no support from the school district. They had accused her of truancy, even with her history of behavior rehab. Thank goodness for Holden. My daughter attended Holden all four years. They prepared and gave her the tools to thrive and the willingness to learn. Because of this she received scholarships and is now attending a four year college pursuing a degree in Computer Science. Wonderful staff that cares about the success of each student. Everyone is treated equally and with respect. Holden is now a part of her family. For more info. log into http://holdenhigh.org/ or call (925)254-0199
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 21, 2013

Since my older brother has been attending Holden High School, he has been happier, easier to get along with, and altogether a better person. Holden has found a way to make it's students feel safe, and as if they belong. Their community is much like a family, with few enough students to make sure everyone is happy. Never before has my brother been so excited to go to school in his life. But now, he wakes up early on school days just so that he can get to this sanctuary sooner.


Posted May 7, 2013

Holden High school will turn your kid around. If your kid is struggling with depression, social pressures, insecurity, low self esteem, poor academics. This is the best school closest to the bay area that knows what they are doing. They offer parent support, additional counseling for families and kids. My daughter has completely changed after a few months upon enrolling-
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 25, 2011

Holden High School is a wonderful fit for my children. Their approach to education allows students to take ownership and pride in their work. The class content is accessible and relatable. Holden is a small, safe community where the teens are truly known and cared for which is not possible at a public high school. The staff at Holden are also excellent communicators with parents, always eager to discuss whatever is going on in your student's life. In fact, Holden High School supports the whole student in terms of their academics, their passions, and their struggles, whatever they may be. There is no peer pressure to conform, so the normal adolescent identity exploration can be much more authentic. As parents, we so believe in the philosophy and quality of Holden that we are sending our two teenagers there this year and when our youngest gets to high school we predict that she too will be at Holden.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 8, 2011

Holden High School is a remarkable place. Children enter, young adults exit, and are empowered to follow their own path/dreams. I love that students can individualize their program--so for my son, getting his passionate interest in computer programming and business into his transcript is wonderful. The academic support actively teaches students HOW to be students-all human beings can learn, but our system requires mastery of a set of tools to demonstrate proficiency. This "subtext" is often ignored in public schools--and for my child, is the place where he needs help. Most importantly, Holden teaches through and in relationships of commitment and caring--they understand that teens "mess up" and that those frontal lobes are still maturing--and they use mistakes as teachable moments. The strong commitment to a safe, bully free, discrimination free environment creates a real sense of family. Now WASC accredited, and with online courses available through BYU to supplement the curriculum, student can take charge of their own learning with meaningful support. Wonderful, life changing school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 25, 2011

Holden offers a rich environment for academic and personal growth. The small size and the close connection with teachers give students the opportunity to exercise leadership skills. They are challenged not only to take advantage of the opportunities offered them but also to share responsibility for building a healthy community. The support system is terrific. Kids learn a lot about navigating the shoals of adolescence. My daughter was a student at Holden for four years, the whole of her high school career. The teachers called her to account when it was necessary. They helped her see her behavior more clearly as well as the possibilities for change. There was room at Holden for the many facets of her character as she matured. She graduated from Holden a most remarkable young woman, confident, kind and excited about the future. She is now off to a four-year college, in large part because of the encouragement of her Holden teachers. It is easier to believe in yourself when others persistently believe in you.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 7, 2008

Holden High School (formerly Contra Costa Alternative Schoo) is benefiting my son greatly with their caring and supportive culture, varied curriculum and low teacher/student ratio. Students from all over the East Bay and a wide range of achievement levels are participating. The focus is on developing students to become achieving adults in whatever way best suits their personality. Holden touches student's hearts!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 2, 2004

Holden High School (formerly Contra Costa Alternative School) saved my life. The caring and supportive staff worked with me to overcome obstacles in both academic and emotional ways. The school gave me a true thirst for knowledge and empowered me to accomplish goals and make my dreams come true. The school fosters every kid's need to feel like a respected part of a community, while honoring each student's uniqueness. Definetly check it out if you are looking for a school that changes lives.
—Submitted by a former student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 59% 26%
Two or more races 30% 3%
Asian or Pacific Islander 3% 11%
Black 3% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 3% 1%
Hispanic 3% 52%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Colleges most students attend after graduation Bay Area Community Colleges
Dominican University
Academy of Arts & CCA
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Music teacher(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Kitchen
Clubs
  • Gardening

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Admissions Director: Kristin Lamoureux
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
  • Part-time study
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NCACS
Fax number
  • (925) 254-6130

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Special ed
  • Special eduction
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Transportation options
  • Close to BART
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Performance stage
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Intramural Sports
Girls sports
  • Intramural Sports

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Gardening
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Parent involvement
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer time after school
More from this school
  • Holden High School is a respectful, accepting, and emotionally safe learning community that fosters academic success and social emotional development. Engaging small seminar style classes; College and Transition counseling: Rolling Admissions.
School leaders can update this information here.

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TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
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What does it cost?

Financial aid offered
Yes.

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Bay Area Community Colleges
Dominican University
Academy of Arts & CCA
College preparation / awareness offered
Community college courses
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
College presentations or information sessions
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

10 Irwin Way
Orinda, CA 94563
Website: Click here
Phone: (925) 254-0199

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