This is the finest public school in San Diego County. Bar none. Tippy tippy top academics. Huge numbers of ivy league/top university acceptances, National Merit Winners, collegiate athletic commits, etc. etc. The athletic teams are well funded, well coached and award winning. The arts programs are outstanding. The student body is caring, supportive, well-parented. This school wants for nothing, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anybody over any private school in the county. Of course, you have to be able to afford the real estate to attend!
I've gone here for 3 years and every year is the same.. Students are rich snobs who do not care for one another much. Teachers and not well funded (yet this year they renew the design of the campus and can't even afford printer toner for the teachers). I'm not sure about all of the councilors but the one I had wasn't very helpful, also a very condescending tone with students. I'd say a lot of the students partake in recreational drug use. Not the majority but there is more than one bad apple in the bunch. Enough with the negatives... OK well some good things are the campus is big and it's open lunch for juniors and seniors. Some teachers are good and some are bad though.
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.