Students enrolled 1230
School leader Dorene Basuino

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1450 Terra Nova Boulevard
Pacifica, CA 94044

School website
(650) 550-7600
(650) 550-7690
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Terra Nova High School address.

4 stars
Based on 35 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

July 05, 2013
I had planned on transferring my son in for his Freshman year instead of Oceana. Unfortunately one of your teacher's has left a very bitter taste in my mouth during her extreme lapse in mental judgment on the 4th of July when this teacher (graduated in 2007 from SFSU, specializes in mathematics. We won't say any names...) decided to start screaming out of her window at my children enjoying the fireworks the rest of the neighbors were lighting off. Saying "you need to teach your kids to stop being so selfish and shutup". And then after we were all inside around 1030pm and the neighbors were still lighting fireworks, her husband starts screaming at the top of his lungs all sorts of obscenities towards us, in front of my children and she calls the cops on us accusing us of using illegal fireworks when we were inside at the time! She didn't like me correcting the address for her and came storming outside and her husband was right behind her with GOLF CLUBS. YES, IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN! Her husband then tells me to learn how to use birth control and I told him he should actually leave the house and take a look around before accusations are made. A mental health evaluation is needed.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2013
Our 3 children have gone to Terra Nova and I have to say that you can get a very good education here. The AP teachers are fabulous. My son's Spanish teacher was dedicated and excellent. Another Spanish teacher was bad, but he is retiring, thank goodness. TN has an impressive array of sports, and there's a sport for everyone, from competitive badminton to water polo to football (which helps pay for the rest of them)! TN also has a competitive Mock Trial team, a consistently award-winning Band, and a Robotics Team which just won First Place in Design, Internationally. Yes, #1 in the world. So, students can choose to party if they want to--there's going to be that choice at any school--or they can get involved with the challenging opportunities that Terra Nova provides. It's really up to them.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2011
The system for monitoring my student;s grades is great. Thank you for getting it up and running. Also, all six teachers have been great at communication with me.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2011
Still can't access my son's grades. This makes supervising one's child extremely difficult and frustrating. They also allowed my son to play sports when he had below a 2.0 gpa. Of course, they said this could never happen but it did. Also, communication with the teachers is difficult because of the junk mail filters they have. So, if you want to know anything about your child's education/progress, you're going to have to get the information from your child themself.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2010
This school is horrible. I went to Terra Nova my freshman year and then I transferred out at the end. Terra Nova is the number one party school in the Bay Area, I feel. Terra Nova's students practically have parties every night, kids show up to class high, drunk, etc. Aside from that, the school's curriculum is desgined for kids that do not wish to excel in life. Terra Nova offers basic education, and nothing more. There are smart students at Terra Nova, sure, but the school itself focuses more on sports than they do academics. So, if you care more about your child's ability to throw a football than their education, then this is just the school for you. I transferred out because I simply was partying too hard, and not getting enough work done. I attend Ocean now, and there is a vast improvement. I am now a senior with a 3.7 GPA, I am motivated about school and life after high school. Even though Oceana pushes me to my limits academically, I am glad they do. Terra Nova is a horrible school that as an ex-student, I really know what it's all about.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 03, 2009
They manage to help their students at every angle to succeed!

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2009
Responsive to student needs, still offers after-school programs, despite budget issues without compromising other programs, very good sports teams, distiguished GreatSchools high rating, and more....

- submitted by a community member
no rating September 21, 2009
I love the small town feel at a fairly large school, the semse of community and the strong support of the athletic programs

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 21, 2009
My son is really enjoying high school at Terra Nova. He is active socially and is doing well in his classes. He has also taken advantage of the sports programs available and there are lots of them to choose from. It's a great scholl.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 20, 2009
TN is a great school with lots of wonderful, caring, dedicated staff/faculty and even more enthusiastic, involved students!

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2009
Great administration, great location, my 3 kids, nephew and friends love it.....super colors and mascot - traditional school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 20, 2009
They have something to keep every child challenged!

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2009
Many dedicated professionals who put students first.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 18, 2009
A truly dedicated staff who work their magic on a shoe string budget! I enjoyed my 4 years there, and all my kids have too! GO TIGERS!

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2009
At Terra Nova, the students, teachers, parents, and Pacifica community all care about TN and do their best, and more!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 18, 2009
Two of my kids made National Merit Semifinalists out of Terra Nova.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2009
Terra Nora is mediocre academically, but has few safety problems because it's in a small, lmiddle-class town. It underperforms academically despite having few low-income or bilingual students relative to elsewhere. Math was the best-taught subject since it's 'objective.' So-called AP English classes are terrible. Students read very little literature and almost no classics. Almost all 'literature' is popular works of the last fifty years (best-sellers). For 4 years AP classes assigned nothing before 1900 except Shakespeare, 2 Dickens novels and 'The Scarlet Letter.' No classic poetry was read. Nothing is presented in chronological order. The teachers could easily offer chronologically-organized American and English literature reading Chaucer, Milton, Romantic poets, Austen, etc. or in American literature Twain, Dickinson, Whitman, Faulkner, etc. since it costs no more to read classics than bestsellers but teachers are afraid to challenge students. Also, assigned papers were absurdly short (typically 3-5 pages!)

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2009
I am currently a Senior at TN and I have nothing but great things to say about this school. The teachers here have helped me without hesistation whenever I was confused, and they really do care about their students. The sports at TN are great (especially the football program) and it only makes the school spirit vibe even better. Coming from a very small middle school of about 200 kids, TN seemed huge to me as an incoming freshman, but I got used to it after about the first week. I have made so many friends here and I feel like this school has prepared me for UC Berkeley (which I will be attending in the fall of 2010) and the real world.

- submitted by a student
December 16, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 24, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2008
I graduated from TN a few years back. The school curriculum wasn't too challenging (my average GPA after 4 years was a 3.8) and there were only a handful of good teachers. I think most of teachers there don't really care if the student learns or not as long as they get their paycheck. Only a handful of them would care if the student learned anything, Mrs. Tom and Mr. Ellison to name a couple. I don t think TN prepares students well enough to succeed at the top tier schools like UC Berkeley or UCLA, but do a decent job at preparing students for lower tier schools like UC Davis or UC Irvine and the CSU s. The school is also very sports oriented which is nice, but really lacks diversity, which is a shame.

- submitted by a community member
March 14, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2007
The school is alright i went there for three years caused my troulble but i woulds ay that some of the teachers have a lack of respect for students and some councelors are rediculous.

- submitted by a student
October 09, 2006
My Daughter is a freshman at Terra Nova. I really like the school and what it is doing for her academically. She is in a special program and the two teachers involve really work with the students. I have another daughter coming in the fall and I really look forward to her going there.

- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2006
Just another public high school. In two short disappointng years, our child has had three horriblly discouraging teachers. His efforts have been trounced from the love for learning, which was encouraged and nourished in grade school and middle school experience. The only positive is taht the students are mostly middle class, thus high marks for safety an discipline. I actually wish we could afford to pay a private school for maturity and constant encouragement. Please pardon any of my spelling mistakes.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2006
I have two children at Terra Nova. It is a good school for a motivated student, but it helps if you, as a parent, are motivated and stay involved in the education process as well. Many of the teachers offer afterschool tutoring classes to help students that are having difficulties. Make sure you have the email address of each teacher and do not hesitate to established a constructive and positive dialog with each teacher. Terrra Nova does not offer a study skills class for freshman, so help your student understand that what may have passed for effort in earning an A in the lower grades may not be enough energy to earn even a C or B in High School. Help your student to stay on track by monitoring homework and class assignments and Terra Nova will do a great job of educating your student.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
Very crowded, some good teachers, some medicore, some terrible. Admin is focused on discipline and sports. They need more inspiring academic leadership and vision.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
June 17, 2005
I feel that Terra Nova High School did a great job of preparing me for college with a rigorous curriculum and a wide selection of classes. There were numerous extracurriculars, and a strong sense of school spirit. The teachers really cared about and worked with the students, and I feel I received a fabulous well rounded education and had a lot of fun while I was at it.

- submitted by a former student
June 12, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
May 02, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2005
This is the second year my daughter attends Terra Nova High School. As far as academics the teachers are excellent. The class sizes are so large they don't have a problem changing the schedules of the children. Safety and drug use is a big concern.

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2004
My entire extended family has gone through TN and everyone has been extremely happy with it. Most teachers are very helpful and happy to be there, though like any school, there are a few bad apples. Because it's a relatively large school, there's a wide variety of choices in classes, activities, teachers, and friends. TN can and has prepared students for all kinds of school, from tech/art/cooking schools to Ivy League and everything in between. Though the counselors are overburdened, if the student makes a bit of effort to meet with them, they will really help you out and remember you. Many people on the staff have been there for years (though I'm saddened by the recent retirement of some great teachers) and they are really dedicated to the students and education. TN can provide the 'typical' high school experience, but you can mold it into whatever you want.

- submitted by a former student
December 10, 2003
I am sorry that I am not a parent, but I do have to really back up TN. Even though occassionally the teachers have really bad flops, I truly know that the principal, Ms. Segalas, and Mr. Haun do try their hardest and give their all to make sure that the students do get good support, and help from counselors. It is a very diverse school, and sports does play a huge role, but this does not replace academic needs. TN staff is sure to make sure that all students keep their grades up, otherwise you don't go out on the field.

- submitted by a community member
October 25, 2003
Having come from a religious parochial background, TN is/was a bit overwhelming. It's a big school however with lots to offer for the student who wants it. For those Christian parents who cannot afford parochial school any longer, you may try out TN but be sure you get your message across on paper and in person about your rights to managing your students education and health care needs. Gratefully, the Principals at TN (Dr. K has moved on and now the incomparable S. Segalas is on seat) are/have been great. Parent group is kinda clickish however. Tried to get involved but it just hasn't happened in two years so...I've given up. They are active though and involved. Academic rigor is there if your student wants the college career. The counselors will work with you (mom & dad) but you must stay involved in the process all the way...they've got way to many kids for whom they are responsible. Yes, sports are a huge part of the TN experience. (Well kept secret...they even have swimming...and they offer German!)

- submitted by a community member
September 18, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
August 26, 2003
There is a diverse range of academic groups from special ed to AP. Sports plays a big role in the school ( maybe a bit much.)

- submitted by a parent
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Terra Nova High School
1450 Terra Nova Boulevard, Pacifica, CA  94044
(650) 550-7600
Last modified Terra Nova High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Terra Nova High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 43 reviews. Top