The humanities classes are excellent. Biology is excellent. Support in getting kids into college is excellent. Art integration is good. The project-based learning and constructivist educational methods support good critical thinking and healthy collaboration skills. Use of primary sources (versus lousy district textbooks) is wonderful. The math instruction is poor. My daughter had a 4.0 and was accepted to top tier universities, but did not develop solid math skills in any of her math classes at HTHI. Language instruction is also poor. Worst of all is the draconian and uninformed drug policy. Like most schools, there is a drug problem at HTHI, as well as HTH. The administration thinks that zero tolerance expulsion and "just say no" is going to address the problem. Best-practice alternatives grounded in sound behavioral and educational theory and research have been presented to them, but they have thus far chosen to disregard. The result is ongoing drug use AND alienation of the few kids who they happen to catch, and none of the kids end up getting the support and guidance that a conscientious school community could provide.
Warning! If you are a Conservative and/or Christian, you WILL get highly offend when going to this school. Usually bias is out of education, not at High Tech High. Liberal Agendas run from, income equality (they want it equal) in Math, if God exists (they say not) in Physics, and in Humanities, how horrible the church was in the time of discovering America, not to mention, in my case my teacher made an offensive joke about the church. If you don't want propaganda infused in your education STAY AWAY from High Tech High.
high tech high is probably one of the worst school i ve ever expirienced in my life, the school is set up to seem abstract and progressive to visitors but the classes and content are very seirously lacking. the way that teachers and staff treat students is subjective, if they like you then the teachers are good but if they dont, they make it their personal mission to make your high school expireince a living hell. stay FAR away from high tech high
This school has been incredible for my son. The teachers go beyond mere academics and get to know their students as people. The students all have an advisor for 4 years and develop a strong bond. If I had to name one weak area it would be math but having had other children attend different schools Math seems to be a problem everywhere. My son is not afraid to speak to his teachers, knows when to ask for help, is able to work with people of all sorts of backgrounds and is curious and interested in the world around him. The college advisor is beyond great and all the kids are helped to get into a college that is the right fit for them. In an earlier review it was stated that sometimes the students have to take remedial classes when they get to college, again I have experienced that with my kids that attended other schools as well. That is a common problem that all the colleges talk about when discussing their incoming students. The fact is my son is happy to go to school, has met amazing students and teachers. I absolutely love this school and the way they teach. The teachers at HTH are excited to teach and their students go deep instead of just checking of state standards.
This school is not for everyone. Many of the negative reviews on this site are comming from parents who chose the wrong kind of school for their kid. High Tech High puts the learning into the hands of the student- it's a collaberation between the students and the teachers. Your student will get as much out of the education that he or she puts in. I have attended this school throughout High School and it's flexible curriculum and focus on following your own interests has allowed me to focus on research at UCSD, intern at a web develepment firm, and intern with Quallcomm Labs.
The HTH system is compiled of teachers who teach nothing and assign enormous amounts of completely meaningless work despite promises of a low homework load at orientations. You will most likely find yourself learning next to nothing in a sub-standard curriculum and having to take basic courses in college to make up for it. The "less structured approach" somehow also includes no choice in classes and a rigid dress code. I urge you not to even attempt sending your child to this school because if they do switch out after you find these shortcomings they will find themselves hopelessly behind the level they should be at due to the lack of history, science, language and possibly math received from HTH.
Our first student has now graduated from HTHI and is experiencing success at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. With acceptance letters from both public and private colleges across the country, she ultimately decided to stay close to home in CA. That said, she is a very astute, self-motivated and competitive student. She was able to navigate the many challenges (organizationally and socially) at HTHI with grace and an eye toward college. HTH schools perform a refreshing approach to school. Teachers are relatable to students and create challenging projects in every subject. HTH teachers are able to help students discover their personal interests in part due to smaller class sizes. These schools are not for every student however. If your student needs a regimented, impersonal, traditional school to graduate, than this is not the place for your student. Students here are learning not only about language arts, math, and science, they are also learning that money, looks, and social status are not always prerequisites for success. Anyone can achieve academic success at HTH Village schools if they are willing to apply themselves.
Our son graduated from HTHCV 2011 and was accepted on full academic scholarship to a very expensive private school back east - 100% of his friends were accepted into college and are attending college to some degree to this day. This school is NOT for every child. Forget the hype and focus on your own child and find a specific school that fits your child's needs. Our son was self-motivated, self-disciplined, and flourished at HTHCV because he didn't require 24/7 supervision to do his work. He was allowed to speak and be heard and very much needed the small class size to succeed. He loved the projects he worked on. He loved his teachers. He'd stay at school 10 hours a day if we let him. At the same time, we saw many students around him fail and leave HTHCV over the 4 years - why? They couldn't keep up with the course work and the requirements, they blamed the teachers and their parents blamed the teachers - none of these kids accepted responsibility for their own failures and none that I'm aware of ended up going to college. HTHCV has its flaws but for the right student it is truly the best program out there!
I m a parent of an 8th grader who attends HTMCV. This is a beautiful new building sitting in the outskirts of Chula overlooking big open spaces of the Otay Valley. All young, beautiful and enthusiastic teachers, safe environment for the kids but that s where the positive ends. I ended up pulling my 5th grader out of the HT elementary. He was having a hard time adjusting to the no text books, no homework and no real math mentality. He hated the school & didn t understand why at their age they had to sit around the carpet and have the teacher read & act out third grade reading level books to them. Not much really changes with the upper grades. HT Staff does not discuss school's academic performance; my questions to them have gone unanswered. Town hall meetings are about the beautiful school & how lucky we are to have our kids there rather than showing the accountability reports. Most parents do not question the school because they get caught up in the hype. The ones who are finding out the many faults of the HT schools system are the ones paying attention, questioning their kids and doing quite a bit of research. I ll be pulling out my 8th grader next year as well.
Do you hate your kid? If you answered YES to this question then you should send your kid straight to High Tech High! Why? Well if you really wanna send your kid a message about how much you hate them dump em at HTH. HTH employs a never-before-seen smoke and mirrors tactic that everyone will love! Parents think their kid is learning and preparing for college while the student believes that he or she is actually learning, it's quite genius! But wait there's more! If your kid can stand 4 years at HTH they'll be ready for one of the biggest letdowns of their lives, the realization that HTH has screwed them on all learning and most importantly, study skills! They will be stuck at JC's for years, not re-learning, but LEARNING the material from square one. Years behind and frustrated, you will finally be able to have the last laugh!! On a more serious note, as a former student of HTH I loved it until I hit college and the real world. I spent years in the JC system and had to completely learn how to study thanks to HTH's textbookless learning regime. In closing, I hope you can detect the satire in the above story, it's the only way I know how to spin my experience in a happy way.
In its favor, High Tech High provides a safe and clean environment. However, it is also an environment singularly lacking in imagination, which turns the possibilities of discovery in education into drudgery. The faculty piles on assignments without apparent regard for the long term or for the students' grasp of the material. If your child needs extra help, you can get it to the letter of the law if you press the administration, but don't expect generosity. There is no spirit of community among the parents. The sole function of the parent organization is to raise money. I went through an entire year without learning any parents' names, despite numerous attempts on my part to involve myself in the community.
I'm disturbed by so many of the reviews found in this forum, as they are misguided and, frankly, wrong. Someone entered erroneous stats about community college rates (and CC is great for some kids, by the way). Also, HTH has always been clear that this school is not for everyone. If you want your child lectured at and filled with facts that s/he puts on a test and then forgets, by all means send them to your local school. Thanks to HTH's energetic and passionate teachers and leadership!
High Tech High has been one of the best places for me to grow and be inspired. I have been a student as well as a tutor here and for the past 8 years I have always been greeted with kindness and people with a strong dedication for education.
I have worked at HTH for 10 years, and most of the complaints are correct. However, we have gotten more organized, but we don t have a draconian set of rules. We use some textbooks, but more primary and secondary sources. In college the most important skill you need is to interact with your professors, and our students are great at that. Everyone has a hard time with the college paper chase, but if you can communicate openly with your professors it is golden. We only have Spanish and we don t have football. When a college sees the students took 4years of math, science, English and met the A-G requirements, (you can t graduate with out meeting them) they real like our students. I would take any advise about a school with a grain of salt, even mine. We actually teach the students this too, know the source.
I believe this school did an excellent job of preparing my daughter for the UC system where she starts in a few days. Many parents have noted issues below with the emphasis on presentations over tests and other day to day organizational issues all of which can present a few problems. However there is no comparason with the other public school in Pt Loma, (with regards to academics) which my son attends. The test scores at PLHS are much lower, the classes are alot bigger, crime is a big problem. In all fairness though the gap does appear to be closing some based on the latest API scores and PLHS has a great sports program
I agree to disagree with the previous review. ALL DO NOT end up in fine colleges; unless you are not considering the 33% attending junior college. 57% accepted to public colleges and of that 57% only 14% accepted to the uc system and less than 10% accepted to private universities. The kids do learn excellent presentation skills; however I wonder how these kids transition to college with NO text book experience. If you check the Star Testing website, a parent will have a clear idea if their kids overall are learning math and science at HTH.
Where else would my child have worked with researchers in Africa to do DNA testing on bushmeat to help catch poachers, co authored a field guide on the San Diego Bay, designed and built an apparatus to enable a young man with CP to eat by himself, designed a computer game, interned for a non profit and designed their Website? Where else do students of every race, economic level and geographic area come together to learn and get along and ALL end up accepted to fine colleges? These polished presenters and enthusiastic learners are very impressive to colleges. (my son's friends are all off to Berkely, UCLA and other top schools this fall ). Yes it can be disorganized. Yes, we did get some tutoring to fill in math gaps in 11th grade. But the preparation for life and learning is second to none.
I am pulling my child out of this school because of the teacher and academic quality. Too many teachers w/no experience. Courses are blocked and integrated and my experience has been my child is taught very little in each subject. I am concerned my child will not be fully prepared for college because too much time is spent on projects and group work and little time is spent on learning a particular subject in-depth. The things I do like are that there is a great deal of writing done in the classes. They learn great computer skills which includes power point presentations often. It has a small good diverse student body and the kids seem to all get along. As much as I hate changing because my child enjoys the school very much, I feel it will be best for my child s academic success to move.
There are great things about the school - class size, student engagement, higher-than-normal testing results for 9 & 10th graders. Problems exist however. In addition, the school is very unorganized. Examples - teachers who do not turn grades in many times over; school forgetting to put on their web calendar that students have a day off; school allowing students to publish one price for the yearbook and then telling parents that the price is actually much higher; right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, etc. I'm mulling over taking my student out. There is some question whether classes meet A-G requirements as well -
Our child did not end up going from HTM to HTH for a number of reasons. First we were concerned about the lack of text book use, lectures and note taking... skills that are very important for college. Languages, music and sports are also not very far along at HT and these are areas that our child likes to participate in at a level not offered at HT. For example; if you go to High Tech High you can take Spanish, but only to a certain level. No French, no German, etc. If you go to High Tech International you are offered Spanish and Mandarin. Music is something that can be done during X Block, but there is no formal class. Sports are new for HT and while I applaud the fact that they now exist sports are still new to HT and need a few years to season.
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