Torrey Pines High School (TPHS) is a great school!. Most of the teachers are excellent, and strive to bring the best out of their students. The English Dept. is up there with the best across the nation. The art department also, from regular art to electronic art. My daughter's goal in life is to be an author/illustrator and at 17, has already written/illustrated and published several children's books partly due to the wonderful English program at TPHS. Their ISOL program (Independent Study On Line) is a fantastic option for students who prefer to take a subject on line using the internet. My daughter is taking ISOL now and also previously completed several ISOL courses the year before with a resulting high learning curve. Independent study doesn't work for all students, but it definitely is a superb option for those that have good time management skills. TPHS has a good cross section of students from various economic levels and supports all equally with various program to assist those students needing help study-wise and also economically. As a parent I feel fortunate to have my child enrolled at Torrey Pines high school. My daughter feels the same.
Torrey Pines High School is a powerhouse in academics, sports, and arts. It has received various awards for its clubs, Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, journalism, and more. There's a very friendly and diverse atmosphere with people of various backgrounds and cultures. One thing I will say though, is that some teachers, especially at the Honors and AP level are very hands off, and unless you seek help yourself, you won't get any. It is very competitive here, and several friends are taking over 4 AP courses as a sophomore, plus extracurriculars. A problem is that if you aren't extremely motivated and can't handle higher level courses, there's a huge gap between Honors/ AP and college prep level courses. I'm taking AP Chem this year along with a full set of AP and Honors courses and it is seriously overwhelming. I switched into AP Chemistry from general chemistry and the difference in difficulty is astounding. In general it took a month to learn metric conversions when in one block between classes, we were assigned Chemical Nomenclature, Scientific Notation, SigFigs, Mole to Gram Conversions, and Metric Conversions. The next day doesn't get any easier, so choose your classes wisely.
TPHS offers a solid opportunity for students, and a high percentage of quality, dedicated staff. A number of students earn regional, state, and /or national recognition while a high percentage of students graduate, and go on to matriculate in prestigious university programs. A weak link appears to be its open enrollment initiative, and the corresponding detachment of prerequisites for advancement to classes of higher complexity. Parents need to be mindful of beneficial skills for advanced courses even as formal requirements are undefined.
Teachers here are not involved. They do not interact with the students rather, they just pass out worksheets and expect the students' tutors (paid for by the parents) to teach them the material. These teachers have abdicated their responsibilities. Moreover, I would like to know what percentage of TP kids are receiving tutoring as a result of the poor quality of teaching taking place at this school. I wish other parents would observe what is going on in the classroom rather than be so consumed with making $$$. Wake up parents, money doesn't tell the whole picture. Parents, ever wonder why you need a tutor for your kid? Sit in your kid's class for a whole week and you should have it figured out. Also, there is a huge drug problem that is underground here. Don't be fooled. Lastly, look at the break down of the SAT and CST scores. It's pretty much the same for each group in all schools across SD County. As one kid put it, "At this school, the fear of failure is more heavily emphasized than the desire to succeed."
I transfered here from another school in the middle of my junior year and I would have to say this school was a big improvement. After being to 3 schools, a charter, a private and here, I find Torrey Pines to be the best. Personally I feel that Torrey offers a wide variety of paths for students to take wether they plan to get into a prestiges university, or just achieve a diploma, but its up to the student to take the initiative to take the right classes and find his/her way to there goal. I will say, some of the teachers here are just god awful. I have had 1 or 2 that clearly are there only to collect a paycheck and want no part in helping students learn in any way. On the other hand, I have also had some great teachers here who are more commited and sincere than any other previous teacher I've had elsewhere. So when it comes to faculty its a hit and miss but overall I'd say it scores pretty steady. The caliber of education at Torrey Pines is nothing vigorous, I myself wish I challenged myself with more AP classes but I should mention that it is in no way lousy. The school is probably the best of all SDUHSD schools with the exception of Canyon crest.
The teachers at this school are pathetic. My chemistry teacher acts as if we already know how to do the problems that he assigns us just by reading what is in the book. His style of teaching is very flawed and confuses a lot of the students. They way he helps us learn anything is just going over the HW which nobody understood because he assigns us new material before even taught any of it. the only way to get a good grade in his class is to get help from a tutor or someone who could guide you through it.
My daughter is in her second year of AP classes. In her history class she watched popular (not history) movies and taught herself the course. In her biology class she had to hire a tutor to teach the material because the teacher sat in her office and let the class figure it out on their own. In her statistics class she is teaching herself since her teacher has never taught anything more advanced than algebra in an inner city school. In her English class her teacher has her write 2 essays a day and returns them without comment. She has received the same score for 6 months and has no idea how to get better. Those great test scores coming from this school are coming from kids and families who do the work on their own at home. If you don't have a genius, save the brain damage and go to a private school. At least there the teachers have to teach or they don't get paid.
AWFUL. My son has attended both Canyon Crest and Torrey Pines. At TP the non-AP classes are literally a joke. My son had just a few teachers that I would consider "teachers". The rest were just collecting a paycheck. The classes consisted assigning book reading (she could have done that at home), watching movies, and more often than not over an hour of time with literally nothing going on. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Check for yourself. Manufacture a reason to be on campus and then walk by your kids' classroom a couple times. I'm incredulous. These kids don't stand a chance in the hyper-competitive, flat world they'll live in. IN CONTRAST CCA was pretty good. There was actually instruction going on in all the classes. I don't know where a lot of these reviews are coming from but this school is seriously flawed and needs to be completely re-examined. I like to think I'm a focus-on-the-positives person and I can't remember the last bad review I gave, but this education from a supposedly "top tier" school is truly appalling. LOOK for yourself. TP is resting on its laurels. Kids are succeeding in spite of the place.
My child is now in her third (junior) year at TPHS. She picked TPHS in part because several good friends were going there and in part because it is walking distance from our home. Two+ years later I am very glad this was her choice. The education she is getting is top notch. Her teachers have very high expectations for students which her mostly very motivated fellow students enjoy meeting. Both academic and sports achievement are celebrated. In several different classes, she has been asked to do collaborative projects in which she has learned to work with teams of students with diverse capacities and skills, learning management and negotiation skills that I did not learn until my thirties. Her walking helps her develop independence and a community orientation, and is good for the environment. I also like that her sports training is done far from freeway (particle and chemical) pollution.
This is one of the schools that have alot of variety. Because of this, the teachers cannot discipline or answer students' questions very well. There is never a sense of honor, nor a sense of what it feels to be moral and great. Additionally, the students are provided with so much menial work that they become deficient at self-awareness. Furthermore, the teachers mainly try to provide care for the lower levelled students. For example, a teacher took 30 minutes lecturing the importance of homework. Our children are already in high school. They already should know this, and it's very scary that this is happening. Furthermore, some people may argue that the school has many Ivy Leagues and good students.That's because they do their own work. Any belief that the school can help them in any extracurriculars very deeply is a fallacy.
As an alum of TP, I still am filled with TP pride. Top notch academics, athletics, and extracurriculars combined with the motivation and drive of a significant portion of the student body makes TP one of the top high schools in the nation. The only thing that will hold your child back at this school is his or her motivation as essentially all the resources available to them are at their fingertips. I attend an Ivy League university, and TP did an amazing job to both academically and socially prepare me. In fact, I can say with 100% certainty that many of my TP teachers provided better teaching than my professors at college and some of my courses from TP (particularly in science and math) were more challenging and in-depth than comparable courses at my Ivy League institutition. TP was excellent preparation for college and the real world.
Great school with great teachers. Highly competitive; will get you into an Ivy League college if you do well here. Principal is open to all, fair, and consistant. Would recommend this school to anyone with super high standards.
I have been a parent at Torrey PInes for 6 years and it is the 'grand dame' of all public high schools in San Diego County. We moved to the area so our children could attend this high school.
The thing about Torrey Pines is that it is in one of the wealthiest (if not the weathiest) areas of San Diego county. Therefore, a lot of the students here have parents who have poured money into their education including private tutors and college counselers. This does make the academics very competetive for students who would be in the top 5% at other schools. This is the only thing that I have found that I do not like at TP, though. There are so many school-sponsored extracurricular activities to get involved in as well as a ton of clubs. There is a place for everybody as long as you find your niche. There is just a certain pride that comes with going to TP that other schools don't have and I am definetly proud to say that I'm a Falcon!
Torrey Pines really focuses on its high-achieving students. It pours many many resources into AP and honors classes, to the detriment of the average student who wants a high-quality yet not overly intense schedule. It is plainly obvious that TPHS funnels all of its best teachers to its advanced courses, leaving the average and sub-par teachers to college-prep classes. So, bottom line: if you are an average student, you will get the short end of stick from Torrey Pines.
Honestly, I don't think that TP does cater to the highly motivated students. Smart kids do well because they're smart, motivated, and come from good families. No matter who you are, it's impossible to get in to see your counselor...as to the review below, A students don't get in right away. But neither does anyone-- it's just a very unfriendly, cutthroat, competitive place, and it's incredibly easy (no matter who you are) to get lost.
Torrey Pines caters to highly motivated students that are doing really well. If this is your child then it is a good choice. But, if your child is simply average then they will be lost in the scuffle of making sure the best and brightest continue to get ahead. My child, a very average kid, received A, B, & C s and graduated with a B average. Why then, after taking placement testing at a JUNIOR College, were they placed in bonehead math and English? My other observation is that my kids either NEVER got to see their counselor or were finally given an audience with the pope after 2-3 weeks. Again, the A students get in right away.
i think that torrey pines offers something for everyone- exellent, average, and bad students. For those interested in particular subjects, there are teachers who are buffs in their field and can establish meaningful relationships with you. the teachers are of course, varied in their skill, like any high school. overall, i think the strength of this scholol is that it allows you to deterimine your own path and supports you.
I feel that something needs to be done about the homework load. Has anyone ever heard of balance? There are only so many hours in a day. We students are going to be burnt out before we hit college! Give us a break. We can still learn with less homework. How about the choices or options with homework and then you pay the consequences as far as a bad grade if you do not know your stuff? Or does that look bad for the school's reputation if everything is not perfecto as far as scores? In a nutshell, we need to get away from concentrating on test scores and start thinking about the overall success, confidence, and happiness of each and every individual student in this school.
TPHS is a good school in most aspects. The principal's a nice guy who respects his students, and in return they respect him. For the most part, teachers are good, but there are a few who aren't helpful or are disrespectful towards students. There are racial tensions at this school.
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