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Harker School, The

Private | K-12 | 1853 students

A K-12 college prep school, we help students discover their passions.

 
 

Living in San Jose

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $794,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,650.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 9 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

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88 reviews of this school


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Posted August 1, 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


Posted 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


Posted June 7, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted December 2, 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


Posted 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


Posted October 4, 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


Posted 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!


Posted 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


Posted May 2, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted October 6, 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.


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 25% 26%
Two or more races 4% 3%
Hispanic 2% 52%
Black 1% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 4-year college 100% (2013)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Visual arts
  • Architecture
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Robotics club
  • Science club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Performing arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Dance club
  • Literary magazine
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • English Language Institute in the summer
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: Chinese, Japanese

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Swimming pool
Clubs
  • Gardening

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

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and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Mr. Christopher Nikoloff
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (408) 984-2325

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Classical (e.g., focuses on the "classics")
  • College prep
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Technology
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • English Language Institute in the summer
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
  • Swimming pool
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football, Track and Field
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Chess club
  • Dance club
  • Debate
  • Foreign language club: Chinese, Japanese
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Gardening
  • Gay Straight Alliance
  • Literary magazine
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics club
  • Science club
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Host social gatherings
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer in the classroom
More from this school
  • 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
School leaders can update this information here.

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What does it cost?

Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
4 year college - 100%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

500 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, CA 95129
Website: Click here
Phone: (408) 249-2510

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