I am an alumni of USCHS, and since then I have gone on to received my Doctoral degree in Music. Having extensive experience at the collegiate level, I can tell you without a doubt that USCHS prepares kids for college better than almost any other public school. Also I was definitely not a jock or cheerleader, but I never felt that the teachers didn't care. In fact I still remain in touch with quite a few of my teachers, even though I graduated almost 15 years ago. Of course it's affluent so you will have the snobby cliches, but trust me there are enough students that you will find friends no matter what your interests. Is any school perfect? Of course not, but overall USC really does care and does a wonderful jobs preparing students for the future. When I attended quite a few of my teachers had doctoral degrees in their field. I thought this was normal until I went to college and learned that it's usually only at the collegiate level that you have teachers with a doctorate. If teachers whom are that educated are choosing to teach at USC. instead of the collegiate level, that should tell you something about the school and district.
If you have a gifted student, do NOT send them to baldwin/bethel/whatever. The experience there will not be the same. While the "regular" classes are absolutely comparable to what you'll find in Baldwin/Bethel, Upper St. Clair is distinguishable by the quality of their honors and AP classes. We had lots of them. And that's what gifted kids are gonna take. These gifted kids are getting amazing deals on colleges are consistently going to top tiers, so go to upper st clair. come one.
I can't name one teacher that was not prone to favoritism. It was downright annoying every single day coming to school knowing I had to face my snobby classmates. It is NOT a friendly atmosphere whatsoever.. I am so glad I go to a different school now because it reassured me the fact that it wasn't me that was the problem, it was the school.
I am a former student. I attended Upper St. Clair (USC) for grades 9 and 10. My father was then transferred to Canada. I would rate the school experience at USC as poor in comparison. Teacher quality poor, academic quality dismal. I found that there was a much greater focus on extra curricular activities over academic ones. While the school facilities were better than the Canadian ones, the teacher quality and involvement was far superior in Canada. I currently live in California. You can see why the American education system is so poor compared to other countries. The fact that a lousy school like USC can get such a high rating shows the problems with education in the USA. When it came to math, geography, history, English, writing etc. The Canadian school far out matched USC. I had to work much harder to succeed there, yet my experience was much more fulfilling. I found the teachers and the administration completely out of touch and in some case quite unprofessional. The classes too large, and disorganized. In the Canadian school you were expected to work more on your own but were offered more guidance and were expected to act more respectful.
One parent writes "the school is very highly regarded nationally"; I would be curious to know where that information came from ~ the realtor? This district, or state has a "blue ribbon" award program in place, that basically requires administration to pull a couple of teachers from a school each year to fill out the paperwork, so that the school qualifies for an award. Realtors love it, helps them sell properties in the area. I once asked administration if they ever followed up their AP students to see how many had placed out of their college classes. They had not, and secondly, they also did not acknowledge that most of their students did not even take the exams. According to the students they felt they were not adequately prepared.
One reviewer stated "students come from families who are committed to academic success". Well I can tell you that this statement is not always true. I am an alumni and I graduated in 2006. I had many friends who's parents did not stress academic success. Class size is not that big, teachers are willing to work with the students. There is a resource center where kids can go and get help on their free time. They don't have study hall. They want us to learn to manage our time. My freshman year the old principle (no longer there) told my class "You don't have study hall in college so why not learn time management now"
I am an alumnus of USC HS. Whithout a doubt, this school prepared me for college! The wide variety of class offerings, and extracurricular activities are excellent. I can't speak of the current faculty (as I graduated almost 20 years ago), but while attending, I found most faculty members very qualified. While the school is very affluent and has very snobby cliques, most students can find a niche of friends with whom they share interests.
The high school and district are vastly overrated. The secret to this district's success is that its students come from families who are committed to academic success and learning in spite of the mediocrity of the district. This school district's achievement scores would be modest if they didn't have the benefit of the most highly educated and affluent population to draw from. As one student said, if you're not a jock or a cheerleader, the teachers and administrators don't care about the kid. Also, the teachers and administrators give preferential treatment to kids whose parents play school politics. If you have an academically gifted child, save your money and go to a district with lower taxes and a stable population like Baldwin, Bethel Park, West Jefferson etc. Your child will achieve the same results at a much lower cost.
Upper St. Clair HS has excellent teachers and parents are active. The school is very highly regarded nationally which benefits students applying to top colleges. Extracurricular activities are popular and include traditional activities such as sports and band, to overseas travel for those students interested. I have 4 boys and have been in tune and very pleased with the school.