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K-12
Private
San Jose, CA
Students enrolled: 1,853
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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500 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, CA 95129

School website
(408) 249-2510
(408) 984-2325
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Harker School, The address.

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December 10, 2014
Harker takes a different approach than other top private schools we have been a part of in the past. They run more like a business than a non-profit and this is a very good thing. In the past, school administrators have taken a "thanks, but we know what is best. You just need to trust us." attitude. There was even an air of you are lucky to be here so sit down and be quiet. At Harker, you can tell immediately that they have listened to their community along the way because there is little to find fault with at this school. They have through through every element of both the student and family experience and the attention to detail is amazing. Yes, the academics are strong. Harker is probably not for every student. We happen to have a bright child that consistently scores in top 5% on pretty much every standardized test, WISC-IV, etc. However, if your child is academically inclined and tired of waiting for everyone else to catch up this is the very best place they can be. We believe it is the best school in the country! We can't say enough good things and we are tough critics.

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2014
Based on my 15-year recent experience with Harker where my two children attended kindergarten through high school, Harker is a rewarding investment toward academic, extracurricular, and social excellence and toward admission in top colleges. Based on any metric, Harker is undoubtedly the best school in the Bay Area and is one of the best schools in the nation. The results speak for themselves.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2014
When we were looking at schools, our goal was to find a community that would take a whole child approach to education -- nurturing their character and curiosity as well as their intellect. We're grateful to have found that at Harker. As parents I believe we all have the same dreams for our children For them to grow to be creative, independent thinkers who regard learning not only as a core strength but as a life-long passion. For them to be continually inspired, and in turn, inspire those around them. And most importantly, for our children to be happy and resilient as they grow to pursue their own path.. Every year, we watch our children realize a little more and more of those dreams with a sense of awe and profound gratitude. We are grateful for the teachers who carefully nurture their curiosity and encourage their out-of-the-box questions; the athletic, performing arts, and journalism departments that foster their spirit and sense of team; and their peer group who serve as uniquely caring allies. We have 3 kids with very different personalities/learning styles. One of Harker's internal mantras is "Challenged, not stressed" and we have found that to be true.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2014
What I have been amazed by is how well my child's teachers really know her. For example, at parent teacher conferences, a few mentioned my reserved kid's sense of humor which is rather subtle. Teachers are quick to respond to parent emails and always go the extra mile to make sure my child is happy and confident. I love that she gets four days a week of PE where they really teach skills, and art instruction and music every week and a SEL component. The curriculum has age appropriate performing arts and public speaking opportunities starting in Kindergarten so the kids become confident in front of an audience. Finally, I was a little nervous about over intense academics and competition and cannot be more pleasantly surprised that it isn't the pressure cooker at all that I imagined. Harker stresses "challenge without stress" and there are three levels of language arts and math to meet their needs starting in K. My child started at the lowest level and has moved up after she learned to read (did not come in reading) and shown the ability to take on more challenge. Even at the first level, she was at least .5-1 year ahead of her public school friends. We are very pleased with Harker!

- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2014
Having graduated, I realize that Harker really is a special place. It has prepared me so well for college that all the classes I have taken at university so far have been easy. The details and facts every student learns in school don t matter, but rather, the way students think and analyze determines their success. When you get a job, your boss will not care about your GPA, but rather he will care about how you think. If I prize anything that Harker has taught me, it is that I know how to think. None of my friends at college understand how special Harker is, because in truth, nowhere really compares. Treasure every moment of your Harker experience, because sooner than later, you will graduate and you will be expected to live your own life, perhaps even to make a difference in the lives of others. I used to think that the Harker moto, K through Life was a little exaggerated, but now I see that we alumni will carry a bit of Harker within ourselves forever, and everything we do will reflect back on the school. That s something that can only be realized once you leave, so I urge all remaining students, make the most of Harker, because you will truly never be in a place like it again.

- submitted by a community member
August 01, 2013
If you want your kids to grow up with a love for learning, send them here. The "cool" kids here are the smart ones, and students legitimately enjoy helping each other and watching each other succeed. I attended Harker for many years, and I can confidently say that the classroom experiences and lifelong friendships I picked up instilled in me not only a passion for knowledge, but also a closely-knit network of amazing friends who are going on to do great things. Watch out in 10-20 years--many of our country's leaders will count themselves as Harker alumni!

- submitted by a community member
July 21, 2013
Fantastic school! Though it's very expensive and it pushes the students to the MAX, it's a great school where the students truly learn.

- submitted by a community member
July 17, 2013
Harker's learning environment is something unique. While I was a student, I always felt surrounded by creative, quirky, and passionate classmates and faculty. It was a great place to learn, challenge assumptions, and be challenged. The school offers quite a range of classes, and very thorough college counseling.

- submitted by a community member
July 16, 2013
I feel so lucky to have attended Harker. My experiences at the school helped me see that I am capable of so much more than I would have ever believed--academically, athletically, personally. I cannot adequately express in words how deep my gratitude is to the many teachers, coaches, and mentors who genuinely cared about me, listened to me, and made me believe that I can actually contribute and make the world a better place. I graduated from the high school five years ago and am happy to still be in touch with some of the faculty and many classmates. I hope to be friends with these people for many more years to come. They inspire me to be the best that I can be!

- submitted by a community member
July 16, 2013
I went to Harker from 7th thru 12th grade, and I wouldn't trade my time here for any other middle/high school. Here are a couple reasons why: - CLASSROOM SIZE: Small class sizes w/ extremely dedicated teachers - CLUBS: So many choices - everyone is welcome. - STUDENT COUNCIL: I landed a scholarship at Santa Clara University for my leadership experience in high school. - SPORTS: Never would have played all these sports at a big public school. - COMMUNITY: I don't know anyone that has as much communication with their high school alumni class as I do. The Harker Family is no joke. - COLLEGE READY: Most importantly, college was a breeze for me. We were academically challenged at Harker and it really paiid off. - INTERNSHIP/JOB READY: Landed internships easily during and after college and into my first job once finishing undergraduate school. High school is an important step. I can rave all day long about how much I appreciate the teachers, faculty, and friends that I have made about Harker.

- submitted by a community member
July 16, 2013
My Harker education (middle school through high school) provided access to the best teachers, incredible extracurricular opportunities and resources, and inspiring peers. The opportunity to customize much of my learning helped me focus on subjects of strength and interest, taught by teachers who are truly passionate about their subjects and are incredibly caring, highly-qualified people. I can't overemphasize how valuable it was to be around people who pushed themselves academically as well as in their extracurricular passions--music, art, dance, athletics, student government, debate, entrepreneurship, engineering, etc. Being at Harker may not be right for everyone, as expectations ARE high, but you can't find a more challenging, yet primarily supportive environment in the area.

- submitted by a community member
July 01, 2013
I love this school! The academics are great, and there is a lovely background. People who think this is not a great school just cannot stand the competitive background. However, there will be a competitive background in any top tier private school. Also, competition breeds innovation. I would definitely recommend sending your child here.

- submitted by a community member
February 20, 2013
After 14 years of a Harker education (we had pre-K, then!), I am an absolutely proud Harker alumna. As many people here have remarked, Harker is certainly an academically powerful institution. But, just as everyone also adds, it is so much more than that. When I hear about those dreaded middle school years or high school years from friends who didn't go to Harker, I realize how lucky I was. Sure, I had awkward days, and sure, I had days when I questioned myself. But, I never once questioned the value of who I was becoming. I never questioned my cool factor, whether I'd fit in with other people, or second-guessed raising my hand. I got to be fully me, on good days and bad. I had teachers who made me feel like my voice mattered, and that my peers' voices mattered just as much. That encouraged a high degree of empathy and respect, and an appreciation for a healthy discussion -- not yelling, not triumphant debate, just participating in a forum of intellectual curiosity. And, most importantly, I formed a family of my closest friends, mentors, and teachers. I couldn't have asked for more.

- submitted by a community member
January 25, 2013
Harker has managed to exceed our expectations. The Whole Child approach to learning works. At Harker, every child shines. Some are athletic, while others are artistic or musical. And contrary to popular myth, there is no homework in kindergarten, and only a few minutes (literally less than 5 minutes) for 1st and 2nd grades. There is zero tolerance for bullying, and it just doesn't exist. Most of the parents I ve met are working people usually two people working full time jobs. No spoiled kids with entitlement issues, just children from hard working families who make sacrifices to send their children to the school. A word about tuition... Harker is the only independent school where tuition covers the after-school program, field trips, etc. When you add in the aftercare program and classes offered at the other schools, along with the various extra charges and fees, Harker tuition is about the same as other independent schools in the area. The facilities and enrichment programs at Harker are clearly the best.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2012
I am a student at Harker, and have been since second grade. You may have read reviews alleging that Harker is an ineffective, over-priced school for snobby rich kids. In all honesty, Harker is nothing like that. Yes, the environment is academically competitive, but that doesn't mean that the students don't support each other. Also contrary to popular belief, Harker stresses a well-rounded education, complete with athletics, the arts, academics, and community. Because that's what Harker is. It's a big family where everyone helps each other. Unlike the stereotypical high school, Harker really doesn't have "popular" students. There is much less social pressure, and every person is encouraged to be themselves and do what they love. With the smaller student to teacher ratio, each student gets the help that they need. Also, I don't know where people have been getting their information, but coming from a student, the faculty and staff are absolutely phenomenal, well-qualified individuals. I'm not going to say Harker is perfect, but it's pretty darn close. You may come for the academics, but you'll stay for the people.

- submitted by a student
August 16, 2012
Harker is an awesome school! The teachers are very helpful and encouraging and the material is good. The sports coaches are excellent too. There's fun events, parties, concerts, after school activities, student council, a school newspaper, ect... it's awesome.

- submitted by a student
August 12, 2012
I am a student who currently attends The Harker School, and regardless of what other people think, I am so fortunate to go to such a great school. I am completely aware the tuition is far higher than most schools, but if it weren't for Harker, I don't think I would ever have such great self motivation to be the student or person I am today. The competitive environment is great for those who seek a challenge, yet never too much to "burn you out." The students there share the same ideas towards education, but contrary to popular belief, we don't let our grades dictate our lives. The teachers there are well chosen and are always ready to help students who ask. Harker has allowed me to not only excel in school, but also in creating lasting friendships and important skills, such as communication, (time)management, and maturity beyond my years. This school is not for everyone. It's for parents willing to make the financial sacrifice to prevent placing an anchor on their children's educational growth. and yes, it's true. If your child excels in a certain subject (i.e math), the school will push your child forward until the student feels challenged (7th grader taking AP Calc BC).

- submitted by a student
August 12, 2012
The Harker School provided my two adult children an excellent education, excellent work ethics, strong foundation and love for learning. Was it worth the money? Yes it was. Was it worth the hard work? I believe they would say yes. Some day they want to sent their children to Harker. That's saying a lot about a Harker School education.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2012
Very disappointed with this school. I won't go into details due to the terms you must agree to on this platform, however, there is a lot to be said and I would strongly consider other schools.

- submitted by a teacher
November 30, 2010
I was definitely not satisfied with the sort of education they provided my child here. Teachers are unresponsive and despite requests by my child to get help, none was given. Only some teachers are good here and for the price you're paying, it's not entirely worth it.

- submitted by a teacher
November 27, 2010
With two sons in Harker's Upper School, I can now look back and comment on the stereotypes I heard prior to their entry to Harker. I had heard that it was a school for kids who did nothing but study, that it was a high-stress, unhealthy environment and that the average student was a rich, spoiled brat. I can state without hesitation that those characterizations are utter nonsense. Harker puts a premium on kids having a balanced life, with athletics, the arts, and many extra-curriculars being highly promoted and supported by faculty and adminstrative leadership. While many families do have considerable wealth, it is not a dividing line for friendships or for popularity at school. If anything, the typical Harker family is Asian (Indians and Taiwanese being strongly represented), with two-income earners who make the sacrifices to put their kids' education first. As a family whose kids did not attend Harker K-8, it was a highly competitive process to gain admission. Typically only 10 to 15 percent of all applicants from outside schools are admitted into the 9th grade, and a personal interview, three strong recommendations and high scores on their admission test is required.

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2010
There is a common misconception that attending a private school will increase one's academic progress. One must also realize that the surrounding atmosphere of the school heavily impacts the student's learning experence. Through the past years I have attended Harker, my fellow classmates have stigmatised me as one who has no life because I love to read books. With this kind of influnce from my peers, how was I to feel confident in my abilities? Harker fails to realize the level of negativity that flows around the campus stifling individual development. This school was not a pleasurable experience for me as a student.

- submitted by a student
June 10, 2010
Through my own experience here at Harker, I'd have to say it's a wonderful school. I'm not going to praise it like a worshipper would to a god, but it is definitely an excellent school if you're willing to work extremely hard. Ultimately the reward of accomplishment is what makes my experience at Harker worthwhile, not to mention the life-managing skills gained in the process. I have learned how to manage my homework, do well in school, and still keep up in extracurriculars and my social life. However, if you're unwilling to work hard, or if you are too thin-skinned to tough out all the challenges and setbacks Harker may sometimes throw at you, do not come. From what I've seen, it's a very painful experience if you're a slacker or if you can't handle the pressure.

- submitted by a student
June 07, 2010
The Harker faculty team is so committed, I can't express it in words. Everyone - teachers, advisors, heads, other faculty - is always there to help. They are kind and caring, and will make sure your student gets THE best training! They prepare your students VERY well for college! I have to admit, even those students who aren't the best get into pretty good colleges like UCLA, UCSD, USC, or UCB! ;D

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2010
This is a wonderful and fantastic school if you are very academic based. However, there is too much focus on the grade on the paper. If you get a bad grade, automatically you are the stupid one. The teacher is never to blame. If you came from challenger then this is the best school for you. I fou came from Pinewood or Hillbrook, stay there.

- submitted by a student
March 10, 2010
Harker is truly a wonderful school, however, it is meant for smarter students that are willing to work hard. The school places students in different levels for different subjects, depending on how they perform. If the student was smart enough, he or she could study Calculus in middle school. Truthfully, the amount of homework assigned isn't too bad. In middle school, the amount of time it takes to finish homework usually ranges from 1-3 hours. Some parents may think that a couple of hours spent on homework a night is insane; however, if that is the case, Harker is not the right school for their children. On the other hand, if the student is efficient enough, they can finish most of their homework before school even ends.

- submitted by a student
December 22, 2009
My daughter, currently a sophomore in a 4 year college, went to Harker for four years during her high school. She had a great high school experience and the school prepared her very well for college. She got admitted to top colleges and has been able to handle the academic rigour of college life very well. In my experience, schools like Harker which focus on academics are not for everybody specially kids who cannot handle the psycological pressure and intensity that comes with having so many smart kids around them. The one area that I would like to see more improvement is improvement in athletics.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2009
Harker is a place where you can be taking Multivariate Calculus and Differential Equations senior year and have half the class filled with sophomores and juniors. The school has forced me to develop a sense of self unrelated to grades or GPA, something most students don't develop till college. For example in 2008, about 1% of students nationally achieved an 800 on Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT. At Harker, 14% of students got an 800 on Critical Reading, and 13% got an 800 on Math. The top students at Harker are the ones submitting research papers to Seimens and the Intel Talent Search, to traveling to international Climate change or Peace talk forums for teens. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is not competitive, and student's social lives are healthy.

- submitted by a student
October 11, 2009
My children have been at Harker since kindergarten and first grade and are now in the high school. I am 100% pleased with the school. Their teachers have been phenomenal. Last year, I think every one of my older child's teachers had Ph.D.s in their subjects. When I talk to the teachers, it is obvious they absolutely love what they do and it shows in how they treat the kids. When I see how beautifully my children write and the concepts they come up with I am always floored. When I go to the performing arts shows, I can't believe the talent and thought that has gone into the programs. Harker has brought out the best in my kids. I really do think Harker made all the difference for my children and I am really thankful that I made the financial sacrifices to send them to Harker.

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2009
Kindergarden through 2nd grade is amazing. My child had a wonderful time and developed academically and socially. Starting in third grade is when it gets scary. My 8 year old was given a locker, had 9 different periods and 7 different teachers. There was homework in 4 different classes and test and projects due regularly. Homework was about 1.5 hours M-Th. 4th grade homework went up to 2-3 hours per day and the 5th grade homework load was an average of 3-4 hours per day. The school will not admit that there is this much homework. They say just do 15 minutes per subject and have a parent sign it off. However, if you don't do your homework you will not understand class and fail the exams because you will not be prepared. In grades 4&5, Harker is tough and your child will quickly grow-up and their childhood will be lost.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating August 18, 2009
While I loved my experience as a student, Harker also gave me the skills and confidence to succeed once I left. Harker indeed helped me get into a college I was very happy with, but it also helped make college a positive experience. For example, Harker s rigor prepared me to major in math, making me very rare as a female and non- classic nerd type. I saw many friends struggle in or avoid courses that were too intimidating. Many skills Harker cultivated leadership, critical thinking, a firm belief in personal integrity, dedication to my community have helped me succeed at work and shaped who I am as a person. Harker is expensive, is academically difficult, and keeps students busy from morning until night with extracurricular commitments. But it s also true that it s worth the effort. Thanks so much to my parents for the sacrifices they made to send me to Harker!

- submitted by a community member
August 03, 2009
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- submitted by a community member
May 26, 2009
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- submitted by a student
May 21, 2009
The best prep school on the west coast. My daughter is graduating in 2009 from the high school. She loved the school, its resources, excellent teachers, world class labs and an opportunity to involve in plethora of extracurricular activities. She has been saying each day this week that she will be missing the school. We will miss it too. Every day while dropping and picking her up from school; we always felt a connection with the school. The atmosphere, the new technology building, the athletics facilities, the student body, and the teaching staff were all so overwhelming. She is matriculating to a top college this fall along with 13% of the seniors who are matriculating to one of top 6 (HMSPYC). There will be another 15% of the class matriculating to rest of US News top 20. Around 12% will join UCB and another 15% will be joining USC. Even

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2009
Like all high schools, it can be difficult to fit in and assimilate into the atmosphere. Yet this is not the case at Harker as a 'We are Harker' mentality includes people from all spheres of friends. Harker's reputation for excellence in extra curricular activities and academics prove to be more than enough reason for you to send your child to this prestigious school.

- submitted by a student
April 13, 2009
This is my eighth year at Harker. I haven't really been to any other school to know what it's like, but Harker is an average society. Harker has created an image for itself: an academically rigorous school with lots of challenges and lots of extracurricular activities all under a big hood of care. Harker is a big private school where kids can become cliquey, mean, and just down right horrible. The new administration doesn't really care about the kids, but they care about the parents spending an extreme amount of money. Harker is a good school, but only if you have the right teachers. If not, you won't really learn anything, and that course becomes useless. Harker can be extremely easy too, but only if you got into Harker based on how smart you are, not because your parents were willing to pay extra money for their annual fund. Please reconsider.

- submitted by a student
March 24, 2009
I have attended Harker for 5 years now, and I am in high school. I actually look forward to coming to school every morning, which is not something that can be said for the average teenager. The focus is on academics, but I am able to take honors/AP classes while also participating in sports, journalism, and performing arts. I love this school, and would recommend it to all

- submitted by a student
March 06, 2009
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- submitted by a community member
March 04, 2009
This is the worst school my child has ever attended. She went to the Harker Elementary school and attended for 2 years. In 4 grade, she had 3-4 hours of homework. 3 to 4 hours! All the other children that go to different schools have to do half of that. So at 9 years old, she became stressed. Harker's way of teaching was incredibly vacuous. After 3rd grade my daughter became so stressed and depressed at school that she started cutting herself and crying all the time. She gained a lot of weight. She was also having a friend problem. Harker has a major clique and stealing issue. My daughter has had 2 sweaters and about 10 mechanical pencils stolen. She only gets 7-8 hours of sleep per night without watching tv. So please think twice next time you want to admit your child to this terrible school.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2009
Harker is an excellent school for motivated students who find academics interesting and rewarding. The milieu of the middle and upper schools are wonderfully supportive of 'smart kids'. The arts are highly supported, with top level dance, drama, and music departments. Debate is very strong; every branch of debate is represented and highly ranked. The science department is amazing; this year there were the most Intel semi-finalists in the country, and a thriving research division. Staff make sure that no bullying or negative relationships take root at the school, and create a safe and positive environment. The high school has elements of a college campus, with an abundance of opportunities to challenge oneself endlessly. I can't say enough about how much our children have benefited from this school, from top college acceptances for our older children, to the wonderful life long friends all our children have made.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2008
Consider before you send your kids to Harker. Overall, it's an exceptional school, especially for those academically focused. However, the 3 levels within the grade creates side effects. First, it's a bit of a myth that it's fluid -- kids do change levels, but it's not as easy as it sounds. It's easier to move down lthan to move up because of their grading requirement. Even in 1st or 2nd grade, the kids are very well aware of which level they are in, and they tell each other they are 'smart' or 'dumb' depending on which level they are in. When the kids are moved down a level, their entire schedule gets changes (3rd grade) then their social world changes because their friends are no longer in the same schedule. It feels punitive. The best teachers are reserved for the top level. For the best students, the best teachers.

- submitted by a parent
November 21, 2008
I'm a student in the 7th grade, and this is my second year at Harker. The academic coursework is good for students like me who are lucky enough to have great teachers. Some teachers aren't very good, but the students don't report it and the school doesn't know. The sports program could be better; in 7th grade we only have 3 days of PE and only really sporty kids can get into the teams. The atmosphere is pretty competitive, with awards for almost everything. I enjoy going to school every day...school is fun and the food is good.

- submitted by a student
November 12, 2008
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- submitted by a student
October 24, 2008
If you value your child's education, Harker is the school for you. Yes, it is expensive and It has not been easy for me. However, Harker provides so much more than other private schools and the facilities are amazing. I have no regrets of selecting Harker as the school for my children. The teachers have been wonderful, who have communicated with me well. There also seems to be good communication between the teachers and counselors. The after school program is unlike any other..offering karate, private music instruction, dance, gymnastics, art, cooking, yoga..just to name a few. Harker has helped me to have a child who is confident, respectful towards others, and strives to do her best. I cannot think of any other school who will better prepare my children for college and give the children so many opportunities.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2008
Harker is an excellent school.High performing learners matching its highly qualified faculty.It maybe true that Harker is expensive but you get the best in academics and athletics. If I had kids and the money, I would definitely send my kids to this very prestigious school.

- submitted by a community member
September 06, 2008
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- submitted by a student
September 04, 2008
I've been Harker for about eight years now, and I could not feel more comfortable with the setting. We're used to the overload of homework. The students have way too much control though, and I honestly think some abuse it. Yeah, it's expensive, but we have a lot of aspects to explore. Some teachers are amazing while other lack skill. Harker teaches so much more than English or Math or Science. The vast expanse of opportunities makes Harker what it is, regardless of its strive for more money.

- submitted by a student
July 10, 2008
Despite all the reviews about Harker's outstanding academics, it is truly a place that lacks the integration of crucial critical thinking skills. The work that the teachers assign takes almost no thinking and the teachers also do not have high standards for their students. Also, many teachers are too close to their students. Students believe they are the smartest people but it's not true at all; it is a fake illusion.

- submitted by a student
July 02, 2008
I have to agree. Harker is all about money and although their academics are standard it is highly over-rated. If you want a strong academic school try challenger. However, challenger does not offer all of the extra activities offered at Harker but then their tuition isn't as high either. With the tuition Harker charges of course they can offer all of the extras. Challenger's academics are way above Harkers but be aware it is very challenging and not for your average student. However, if your child is very bright challenger will serve your needs at

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2008
'More flexibility with class choices?' Are you kidding? Harker has many scheduling problems and way too often are seniors unable to take certain classes simply because not every class is offered every period. Just because Harker offers so many AP's doesn't mean that each AP can be taken by however many students. Hardly, this is the case.

- submitted by a student
June 03, 2008
With the number of teachers without credentials or professional experience, my child did not receive a better education than public school. Harker equates heaps of homework as good teaching. Since most kids must be far above average to get in and be conformist, it's the kids who make the place look good.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2008
I'm a lifer at Harker, and admit that Harker does have it's faults, but it's just a great school. I've compared Harker's courses to those of other private and public high schools in the area. Nothing comes close to what Harker offers. More flexibility with class choices, more teachers who really care and are dedicated, more APs that students can take, and more languages. I'm really into that because I've learned to love Japanese, and most other schools don't offer it.Same with latin. Too bad it's a little too expensive. Harker kids are just so kind, caring, and understanding. We do know how to have a good time and are just not 'stereotypically' nerdy. We may be sheltered, but Harker is a great environment to foster life lasting relationships. Harker gives me a structured environment that I can trust. I love it and will miss it when I graduate.

- submitted by a student
no rating April 19, 2008
my kids have attended harker upper school and my daughter is now a senior the performing arts dept is amazing the sports program is excellent it is an amazing school the other students in the school are superb I'm so happy I have the chance and opportunity for my children to attend the harker upper school

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2008
some teachers are good and others aren't. i was given a lot of opportunities in my time there, but not enough to make up for the poor teachers, or the promises they fail to keep like the myth that it is easy to move between levels.

- submitted by a community member
February 05, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating January 19, 2008
Harker is a very warm, friendly and top-notch college prep school in the heart of Silicon Valley. Hosting a superb faculty with a highly motivated student population, it scores at the top every year among high schools all over the US. Very impressive guidance counselors, school sports and spirit. Worth every penny of you value your child's education.

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2007
At this school everyone is alike. There is not a variety of students. It is very expensive for such little education. It costs $85 a day

- submitted by a student
September 26, 2007
I cannot say enough good things about this school. Our daughter has attended four different very highly regarded private schools in as many states, and Harker stands well above them all. Most importantly, the teachers (at least at the high school level) are superb. Of the dozen or so teachers she's had so far, all have been at least very good and 8 or 9 have been truly exceptional. These teachers are dedicated and excited about their subjects They also demand excellence of their students, and, from what we can see, the students mostly deliver. Without question, the student body at Harker is both talented and highly motivated. Students are at school to learn, and Harker accommodates them, offering an incredible depth and breadth of coursework, particularly in math and the sciences. But language arts, the social sciences, and fine arts are well represented, too. Great school.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2007
The Harker is a wonderful school! I'm loving it!

- submitted by a student
June 13, 2007
Academic programs are overrated. The tuition is very expensive at 25,000 dollars not including food and other expenses. Extracurricular is only available for the extremely skilled performers. Parent involvement is limited to volunteer work.

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2006
Harker has a strong academics program and there is intense pressure to excel. There are many sports opportunities, but sports-focused students tend to go elsewhere. The arts program is very good: theater, dance, and music. The faculty is responsive to student's needs but students need to be self-motivated. Despite high tuition, donation pressures are constant. A protected and somwhat insular environment.

- submitted by a parent
December 04, 2006
Reading so many glowing comments, this doesn't seem like the same place that my child found so depressing. Not an open place. Very concerned about outward appearances. It seemed Harker wanted parents' money, but not input or involvement in the classroom. On the upside, Harker offers tremendous fine art and extracurricular programs. There are lots of good things going on, too!

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2006
This is the best school in pretty much all of Northern California. There is a very small student body with hands on teaching. The best private school in all of Norther California.

- submitted by a student
no rating June 04, 2006
Very clean campus with teachers who are dedeicated towards teaching. The coaches are also very focused on improving the skills of their kin.

- submitted by a student
June 04, 2006
This school is perhaps the best school I can think of in according to its academics and sports programs. If you want your child to be a college bound, I highly suggest this school. My child used to be one who used to get into fights all the time and would get GPA's less than 1.0. After enrolling him here, his GPA rose up to a 3.5 and is still going up towards a 4.0

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2006
This is a very good school except for the fees.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2006
Academics are top-notch at this college prep school. Classes rarely have more than a dozen students, the breadth of courses offered is staggering, and teachers across the board are excellent. However, the courseload is often very heavy, and the school is very expensive, even for a private school. For extracurricular activities, it has excellent performing arts and debate programs. There are also many service organizations, robotics, and sports. The college counseling here is also very strong, each student is given individual attention.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2006
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- submitted by a student
April 15, 2006
this is an excellent school, with a superb performing arts program that encourages students to participate. the teachers are exceptional and the students all look out for each other.

- submitted by a former student
March 11, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2006
The Harker School is an excellent school with high academic standards and great music, art, performing arts and other extracurricular activities. They have an excellent after school program with a variety of classes for all age groups. Some parents would like to see a more rigorous or competitive athletic program. What we like the most about the school is the fact that all children are divided into three different levels based on their skills and abilities. The groups are different for math and language arts. The more advanced children can be challanged based on their own abilities, while those who need more time/practice can take their time. The groups are fluent and many children move up as they mature. I believe this system works great and is wonderful for families with children who have different strengths and talents, but can attend the same school.

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2005
A cutting edge school all around. Very long history of achievement and excellence.

- submitted by a former student
November 29, 2005
The Harker school provides an excellent, well rounded education for its students. The tiered class structure ensures that kids can learn at their own pace and each child gets appropritely challenged. The extracurricular and after school programs are extensive and very well developed. There is a lot of emphasis on being 'good citizens'. I think the best thing about the school is a wonderful peer group that a student finds himself associating with. My son has been in Harker since he was in KDG and he loves the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2005
Excellent, well rounded school. Very strong academics but also a large emphasis put on a wide range of other programs including arts and athletics. Harker certainly provides a top quality education. My children had previously gone to a number of other schools in the Bay Area and there is absolutely no comparison. There is also a strong and wide spread parent involvement particularly in the lower grades. Parents donate a lot of time to helping with a number of activities including parties, field trips and the annual giving campaign. Lastly, but certainly not least, another aspect that has impressed us so much about Harker is the personal integrity they develop in the kids. The school is full of wonderful children that are a pleasure to be involved with.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2005
Very good academic programs. Varied extra curricular activites for individual talents. Definitely a good school.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2005
My daughter is in the kindergarten class. There are 3 levels for each grade: grade level, grade + 1 level, grade + 2 level. Each child is assigned to a level after the placement, so she/he can learn the most from his/her own level. There are also a lot of after school activities including Arts, Dance, Computer, Chess, Piano ... Many of them are free of charge. The teachers are all very professional. Different classes are taught by different teachers. My daughter likes Harker a lot and I definitely give it a 5 star!

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2005
Harker has something most schools, no matter how prestigious, do not: a strong sense of community. Perhaps this is due to the small size of the school, but my children seem to know almost every other student by name, and always get along with their teachers. Harker is very science, math, and technology oriented, but they still have a fantastic performing arts department - my husband and I love to watch the upper school dance shows and conservatory concerts, as well as the spring musical and fall drama. The history and English departments are not lacking either; my children are reading true classics in their English classics and are able to discuss history thoroughly with my husband now, who was a political science major and history buff. While Harker is a bit pricey, I do not regret enrolling my children there, and believe it is worth every penny.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2005
My son is in the 6th grade at Harker and has attended since 2nd grade. We are relatively happy with the school. We moved to Saratoga for the public school system and quickly realized how bad even the top CA public schools are. Harker, although far from being world class was the best we could find in our area. The facilities are wonderful, up-to-date and safe. The teachers are OK. The school could do a better job of recruiting and selecting teachers (and keep the top teachers). The top 20% of the students get 80% of the attention and are given the top teachers. The average students get what is left over...The after school activities are very good. However, they could improve on the after school study hall. The Library usually open after school for the students, teachers/tutors are not available.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2005
My two children have been harker students since 1997, both continuing into the then-new upper school (harker high). One just graduated, the other will be a junior. While harker isn't perfect and won't be for everyone, i can't imagine a better school. In the high school in particular, my kids have had fantastic teachers (with very few exceptions), had access to the most advanced curriculum in the area while being surrounded by noteworthy opportunities in art, performing arts, sports, and other extracurriculars, and been challenged to do and be their best in everything. Their fellow students are sharp, respectful, clever, supportive, and fun, and they are turning into young people who care about the world, have the energy and drive to make a difference, and most importantly, who think. I can't imagine a higher compliment for a school. Harker is a vital and amazing place.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2005
Harker is a tough, competitive environment. While the administration says otherwise, do not expect any balance with quality sports programs or performing arts in high school.

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2005
The Harker school is a well-round school with a great focus on the academics. Kids are grouped for Math and Language Arts based on their level which is great because it allows for them to be challenged while staying with kids their own age.

- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2005
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- submitted by a staff
June 16, 2005
Harker offers a rigorous academic environment with top-notch faculty and students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 12, 2005
Excellent school with rigorous academics!

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
April 07, 2005
prepares you for the best colleges in the nation.

- submitted by a former student
April 02, 2005
The quality of teachers varies from outstanding to extremely poor. The administration is corrupt and treat students accourding to how much money their parents donate---the more money, the better treatment. I would not recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a staff
no rating March 29, 2005
Possibly the best school in the bay area. Heavy courseload, but the school's average SAT score is a 1410, making it very worthwhile. Performing arts program is very intense and excellent, but athletics program is not as successful. When I say that, I mean that the sports program itself is great, but they're not league title winners or anything. Very expensive: $25,000+ a year.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2005
Great school. Teaches independence, self discipline, pride, independent thinking, etc. Great performing arts program for all levels. Math focus is more on comprehension vs. rote learning in the early years. Very diverse student population...my guess 30% asian, 25% Indian, 35% caucasian, 10% other.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2005
Strong Academic focus Good after school program.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2005
quality of academic programs is great many different opportunities for a child to excel - art, music, sports etc. parental involvement depends on the individual - most parents (esp. non-working moms) are very active.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2005
We've found the school to be excellent - for sure the best in the south bay. Very, very strong academics, tremendous resources deployed in all areas - teaching, performing arts, sports, etc. Very involved (and affluent) parent community. Very qualified and committed teachers. The administration was quite good but above all the teachers and the outstanding quality of students is what made the school exceptional. Only, it might not be for everyone - a better fit for above average students and above average parent incomes on account of the high private school tuition. Also the stress on academics might be a bit much for a few parents who seek a progressive, less intensive, environments.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2005
Excellent academics and other activities. Can be too strict and too much pressure for young children. It is definitely one of the most excellent school if your children's personality fit in.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2004
Fantastic school--rigorous academics balanced with extra curricular activities

- submitted by a former student
November 15, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2004
Upsides: Fantastic teachers, excellent program including music, dance, art, sports (at no extra cost). Beautiful facilities. Targeted at bright and hard-working students. Downsides: Substantial homework (1.5-2 hours for a 6th grader). Very highly structured, even during after-school program; my child finds the extremely close supervision 'oppressive' on occasion.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2004
Excellent math and science program. Language arts program is not standardized and highly dependent on teacher and curriculum preferences. Great after school activities and sports program.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2004
Harker is an excellent school providing a highly academic program and high expectations while ensuring that the children are challenged but not stressed by the work. They are placed in varying levels for language arts and math, depending on their proficiency, but work at least a year ahead of the public schools. They have an excellent after school program allowing the kids to be kids with both informal playground time, drop in crafts, swimming, or computers, as well as formal activities like chess, gymnastics, dance, karate, and more. The children enjoy being there and the other students are a great, diverse bunch of kids.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2003
my son enjoys school because the classes are challenging and relevant, the teachers are enthusiastic, the after-school choices are myriad, and the high ratio of adult staff to students provides a safe and supportive social atmosphere. A+

- submitted by a parent
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Check out our summer programs including Camp+ for K-6, Summer Institute for 6-12, and English Language Institute for ages 6-16 at http://www.harker.org/page.cfm?p=167

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Harker School, The
500 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA  95129
(408) 249-2510
Last modified Harker School, The is a Private school that serves grades K-12
Harker School, The Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 104 reviews. Top