Lowell High School is known for rigorous coursework and students looking for a challenge. Though there is some truth to that, people assume Lowell is great, but in fact, there is much more negative that outweighs the positive. Firstly, teachers here make Lowell like hell. Specifically the older teachers or the teachers who have had their positions for a long time. They expect students to know absolutely everything that is going on without properly explaining anything. Many teachers here do not care what is thought of them or if they even teach anything at all. Tenure is so outdated and it is ruining what could truly be a great school. Second, this school lacks diversity. When I walk around lowell, all i see are the faces of asian girls and an occasional white student. Im not kidding when I say black kids make up around 3% of the population or when I say I m the only hispanic in two of my classes. Third, expectations are placed very high for students at lowell. Some thrive with these expectations as they have some weird super powers, but many do not. It is not a rare sight to see someone doing homework on the bus and falling asleep or crying over their workload.
I love it here! I used to be bullied in middle school, and all of the movies and rumors made highschool scary to me. It's my sophmore year and I have to say that the Lowell community is amazing. Everyone is nice and helpful, and there is no bulliying. Obviously I can't say that there is no mean people, there are, but people are clear to them that it's not tollerated. People stand up for you, and you learn to stand up for your selves. There so many classes and programs that are available here compared to other public schools. We have the most variety in languages, science courses, english courses and math courses. Plus if that isn't enough or some of your interests are not met there are a ton of educating clubs, volunteer clubs, sports clubs, ethnic clubs, and clubs where you have fun! If you fall back on grades, there is a lot of support. There are tutors in the library, or if no in the tutoring table knows how to help me (if they haven't taken the class I need help with) you can litterally walk up to anyone in the library and ask them "have you or are you taking------" and if they say yes they'll happily agree to help you (if they can). The wellness center is super cool too.
After finishing my first semester at Lowell, coming from a small private school, I am pleasantly surprised. While most of my friends are attending cushy private high schools, I am enjoying being a public school student. I have made amazing, down to earth friends who I can rely on for everything. Yes, the school is run down, but it has heart! I am gaining a much better understanding of math and enjoying biology for the first time. My English class is quirky and interesting and my history teacher is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. I am involved in several clubs and the homework load is manageable. Lowell has definitely taken me out of the private school bubble, which I hugely appreciate. I have become more independent and open to the world. Do not be afraid to come to Lowell!
Lowell is not measurable to its reputation. My daughter arrived at this school an honor student and is leaving as one. It isn't because of this school that she is successful. Her counselor is ineffective. My child has been racially profiled by a profanity using teacher. It's her senior year and we couldn't be happier to leave. The courses are challenging but as far as prepping for college it's no different than Galileo. I have two children in SFUSD and my experience is Lowell is really not worth the hype. All of the hoops you must jump in just to get in is not worth it's salt. They have a practice where some students are allowed to skip lunch and take a class so potentially as a minor you can go the whole day without eating. My bottom line is if your child is already a model student, you don't have to further prove it by sending them to Lowell. This was my mistake. Once she is in college no one will care that she went to Lowell. Lowell will not provide you with a better opportunity to a UC than any other school will. Especially if the counselor is lazy. I've shared my experience so do as you please.
Lowell high school is a great school with great encouraging students and teachers. This school is very challenging but it prepares you for your future. Also, it pushes us as students to look on our future to become very organize and successful. Lowell can be difficult to some students but at the end, they attend to look back and say " Everything here, was worth it!! " . Lowell is a friendly community. I recommend every student to enter Lowell High School.
I agree with the previous post: For all the hype and self-regard, Lowell hasn't been a fabulous experience for my son. He is an intellectual person who loves ideas, but he's found many of his courses dull and many of his teachers uninspiring (he's had a number of good teachers, who I'm grateful for, but too many Lowell teachers seem to be just putting in time.) SAT's, GPA's, and how many AP classes you can cram into your schedule seems to be the major preoccupation of students, parents, and administrators alike. What ever happened to the joy of learning?
The best asset of this school is the student body. They're motivated, well behaved and I feel safe to have my child here. However, you're on your own to find out and to get what's right for you. There's not enough school support when issues come up. Some teachers are really bad but if you get the good ones, this is a great school with lots of opportunities. We're disappointed with some teachers in the math department who just don't care about students and their potential and development. It's very disheartening. Another veteran parent has told me before that she's not sending her second child here just because she found the math department so broken. All in all, it's still a very good place because of the wonderful peers any child will find and you'd still have your share of good teachers.
Lowell is lauded because it's rated one of the top high schools in America. Unfortunately, although it's rated so high, the mantra there is "GPA, GPA, GPA." (At home, we cal lit the GPA factory.) and SATs. The focus is more on the grades and numbers, not the education. This has led to widespread cheating -- my son tells me. There are some excellent teachers but many surprisingly terrible ones (for such a supposedly great school) and because of the way students sign up for teachers, one semester they may get a really bad batch of instructors. On the plus side, it's a school filled with interesting students and your child can probably find her/his "people." There are so many clubs and organizations. Most students are focused on doing well and so, at least so far, our experience is that they stay out of trouble...well, in general.