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Is my son better off going to Lowell (with it's excellent academic program) or going to a smaller SFUSD public school where he will be a "big fish in a small pond" taking AP classes, student govt and sports (well rounded)? Does he have a better chance at a top UC school (Berkeley, UCLA) from another SFUSD high school or from Lowell (assuming he has the grades and decent SAT scores from both situations)?
I believe he has a better chance going to a smaller school, public or private. Go for the big fish in the smaller pond, that's what we did this school year and I have great feelings about it, thus far. First day of school, they took the freshmen on busses to Berkeley while the kids spent the whole day realizing what a college prep high is and a great "show and tell" if you will. They want the kids to know from day one...college is the goal for ALL!!! At Lowell, they say "Ok there are only 5 A's people will get on this assignment, let's see if your one of them". I have spoken to a few students that tell me it's stressful, and homework is unbelievable. They feel like they started strong and are realizing they aren't as good as many of the kids, so it discourages them, to the point of not trying as hard as in the past.Ugh. Discouraging for my son and me. I decided I'd rather have my son stand out with his current GPA he is so proud of and can improve upon in the future, so when the colleges come to our schools recruiting, he has a REAL chance of being noticed, perhaps even for a scholarship?! Who knows? I have hope here, class size 22, 87-90% of teachers have a masters and they raise a lot of money for the school, so they can put the money right where it belongs- into the teachers, students and school. We have tutors available around the clock if needed, the credits our high school requires to graduate are 25 more than the UC system requires, and our kids must complete 100 hours of community service over 4 years to graduate, unlike public high schools. I happen to believe that if all the public high schools required students to complete 100 hours, like the private and charter schools do, just maybe some students and parents, would have their minds opened in a positive way, and/or have their hearts touched that they would have more goals or at least be more compassionate adults. I've learned a lot about the application process for good schools, and it can be stressful. Good luck to you and your student.29995
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