Our daughter recently graduated from SST--this school was outstanding and the teachers went above and beyond to ensure our daughter was challenged and encouraged along the way to graduation--Every teacher found ways to connect with the students in a individualized manner and truely cared about the their success as students.
My son is a freshman at SST so we have only been there for a few months, even so we are thrilled with the school. The work is challenging but not overwhelming and there seems to be more of a team attitude. The only downside so far is having fewer elective options of a larger school.
I have a graduate of SST and a Junior. Students have alomost no class selection and they do not teach higher level classes as one would expect. Example - math, calculus 1 is the highest. If your student needs to go further then they head off to either PSU (at your cost) or PCC (Early College Program). But, if your student is struggling (with SST classes), the parent is responsible to locate help. The biggest drawback is Merlo HS is made up of a number of other programs. There is no cohesiveness between the programs as they serve a vastly different population, which in turn creates no cohesiveness let alone synergy at the teacher and staff level. For parents there is very little communication from the school or teachers. The prior Principal specifically said no to a PTO and that feel still prevails. Being small I expected a more individualized program.
I have a student who is completing her freshman year at the School of Science and Technology. It is a great small school for students who want to learn. Teachers really get to know the students and are able to help them both develop their potential and work on their weaknesses. The curriculum is more challenging than a non-magnet high school in all areas (not just math and science). The school works very hard to create an atmosphere of acceptance and bonding which means any student can talk and work with another comfortably.