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.
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.
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
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.
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-
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.