This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Torrey Pines High School5
Posted July 25, 2014
- a student
This school is amazing for high achievers. To address some of the other reviews - yes, all the best teachers are with the higher AP/honors classes and are more hands off. I've taken 15 APs (gotten all A's), and found that the AP teachers expect you to self study more, like you would in college. For example, some make homework optional, but if you were wise about it, you would do it. If you are unable to push yourself, don't take the class and then blame the teachers. The non- honors/ AP teachers will go slower and make baby steps. About the work load, sometimes there is a lot, but it all comes down to time management. My teachers have all been GREAT and have definitely taught me a lot and are always willing to help. Same with counselors - go talk to them - I visit my counselor throughout the year and she knows who I am and is really nice. As for bullies, I personally don't know any and haven't seen any. And, extracurriculars at TP are very strong. They look for dedicated and passionate people. And, in all, I think TP really pushed me a lot. If you are a student that is not motivated and doesn't want to do any work, you might have some issues at TP - stop blaming the school.
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.
Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at
school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs
in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.