I am going into my senior year at Los Alamos Highschool. In my opinion over all, I am impressed with the school systems. I have learned a great deal and I feel that I am more prepared for college then I would have been in another school of lesser quality. I would warn though, it is a tough school and a lot of the teachers expect you to try hard in their classes. As a junior I received about 2-5 hours of homework a night.
Right now I'm a student at Los Alamos High School, and it's challenged me a lot. Success here completely depends on your motivation although I have to agree that there is less focus on non-overachieving students. For high-achieving students this is a challenging school that prepares you well. For less-achieving students, this school is tougher than other schools in the state, so as long as you stay motivated, then you'll be really prepared as well. The teachers for most classes are really hit-or-miss, especially the regular classes. Half of the teachers are very outgoing, independent, motivated, really awesome teachers while the other half are just in it because they need something to do. The bureacracy here is the most common complaint, especially by the teachers and parents. Most of my teachers have negative opinions about administration. If you look for them there are actually plenty of opportunities to do whatever activities you like, and most of the extracurriculars are the best in the state. Overall, if you're motivated, LAHS has everything you need to succeed.
LAHS and Los Alamos have its share of problems. Defenatly not the best at dealing with ADD/ADHD students, but then who is? Expect to be pushed very hard to over medicate your child if this is the case. This town and school will ignore the average student if they can not conform to "Future PhD Scientist" mold that is held a little to tightly. The town of Los Alamos also has no issue with trying to run off anyone who can not conform to this mold as well. If your child gets singled out by either; their life will be very rough as neither the schools nor the town are going to be very forgiving. Student/teacher interactions are hit or miss here. I feel this is more about personalities than about the quality of teachers. Being the BEST public school in the State allows LAHS to be rather selective with their teachers. So nothing to really worry about here. The homework load here is heavy. As are all the books your student will carry. Expect a minium of 1hr of homework a night for EVERY class. Many schools say this, LAHS does it.
There are pitfalls to Los Alamos High School: certain electives and departments are neglected (the theatre department and writing electives among them), general ed. classes are taught by the worst teachers on staff, and the entire high school is set up to poop out college students, ignoring kids who want to find jobs directly after high school. However, the emphasis placed on learning is one that simply can't be beat. I am about to graduate this year and I am so thankful for the teachers I have had. I feel more than ready for college. I have loved my experience here.
I graduated last year and have very mixed feelings about the school. But everyone has the right to know the TRUTH about schools their children are attending. If your child is an over achiever and plays many sports this is defiantly the school for them. Teachers there only care about the extremely smart kids that play over two sports. Students that have a learning disability or need an extra push with school i highly encourage you to take them some where else. The school system could care less about the kids that struggle. The principal staff is seriously a joke and every parent and student and staff members realize that. The councilors are amazing. They truly cared about the students. Last year there were a lot of kids that were dropping out because the ciriculum was to difficult and required to much from the students. Also security is horrible.
We moved to Los Alamos NM from California to get a quality education for our two daughters. Each one has a very different learning style. The oldest was an average student with a 3.0 grade point average in high school. She just completed getting her masters. The youngest was a 3.6 student and has excel in college plus spent 3 summers in interning in D.C. That is proof enough that the Los Alamos Schools did their job. Thank you.
Public high schools do not get any better. With the limiting education policies in the state, LAHS is doing the best it can. To get a better education, one would need to spend a lot of money on a place like Alb. Academy, and even then I do not think that the education is 16,000 dollars a year better. Plus, LAHS is not only science oriented. We have a great music department, and though I do not know much about the theater department, I do know many people who have been accepted to acting programs from LAHS, so I can say that the school can prepare students for more than just a career in science or engineering.
As a former student and now a parent I have to agree that the major pitfall of all Los Alamos schools is their apparent lack of caring for any student who does not carry an above average GPA. My 3.0 was not nearly enough to warrant any counselors attention during my senior year when it was needed most. I was told to simply apply to UNM because apparently that was the best I could do (not to say that UNM is the worst out there- it's not), but a 3.0 in many others schools in nearby areas would be more worthy of attention. I could have tried harder, but why- it didn't seem to matter to anyone there. It does provide the workings of a top quality education, but it needs to be focused on bringing up those that need the help instead of focusing solely on those that excel.
There is a new Administrator at LAHS now. I moved back to Los Alamos, NM just so my daughter could go to high school here. The curriculum is challenging, as well as flexible for students with learning disabilities. Great school!
I have just graduated from Los Alamos and I didn't believe it then, but now in my first year in college, I feel that the school prepared me for it, even with my learning disability, I have earned a spot in National Honor Society at my college! If you want your students to have a good education, Los Alamos is a great school, but if your student is into sports (other than football and basketball) Los Alamos is not the school for your student