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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
'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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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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.
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