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9-12
Public
Mercer Island, WA
Students enrolled: 1,453

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9100 SE 42nd
Mercer Island, WA 98040

(206) 236-3394
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Map of Mercer Island High School address.

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November 12, 2014
My kids went through this school and it is making some very good changes to make it even better. It has all the benefits and drawbacks of a upper-middle class school district.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2014
My child has had major issues being confronted with drug and alcohol use on a daily basis while at MIHS. It is a very unhealthy culture of wealthy, spoiled, substance-abusing children. All the good teachers in a school cannot compensate for a hostile learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2014
Mercer Island High School is what you make of it. In terms of education, our school excels in most subjects aside from math. The main problem I have with the education at my school is that the regular classes are very easy and the honors are very hard. There is no in between. You either have little homework or 7 hours a night. For the most part I have had very caring teachers who do their best to help me learn. The main problem I have with my school is some of the students that attend it. In terms of drugs, I would say Mercer Island is about the same as every other public high school, no worse or no better. It is very easy to avoid doing drugs if you are a student, but if you want to do drugs, it is very easy to get them. The thing I dislike is the cliques. A lot of the people at my school are very rude and condescending, and a lot of them lack empathy for others. Granted, you can find people who are not like that, but those who are make Mercer Island High School a very negative place. Attend Mercer Island at your own risk, our school looks good on college apps and we have great statistics, but at times it can be very bad.

- submitted by a student
April 28, 2014
As an active parent in the PTA I see the hard work put in by the administration, staff and parents to provide quality educational, sports, and leadership opportunities and programs in a positive environment with a culture of success. Go Islanders!

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2014
Amazing! Our staff does everything they can to ensure students are feeling welcome, included and are engaged in the classroom. The administration makes sure we have clubs and activities that support all different types of students and personalities.

- submitted by a student
April 08, 2013
My school is amazing. Went to Issaquah High for two weeks and realized what a mistake it was and moved back to this district. Kids are much better dressed. Teachers are amazing... Don't know what's up with all the other people saying it is bad.

- submitted by a student
January 26, 2012
Mercer Island High School is not as good as the principal said; it is a lousy school and some of the math teachers don't know what they are doing.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2012
Compassionate, dedicated teachers, and high standards, I'd like to give this school a higher rating. Unfortunately, there are over-crowded classrooms, incredibly spoiled kids and the place is riddled with drug-use/drug deals. The attitude of parents seems to be "If the kids are achieving in sports and academics I'll look the other way."

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2011
Very good school with engaged students, parents and teachers. High achievement rates in and out of the classroom -- extracurricular are strong as are music, debate and athletic programs. Typical challenges for suburban high schools exist...but they are generally handled well. Always some areas for improvement (currently: some language areas, consistency among teachers, more reading/writing assignments in all levels of classes). There is a principal opening....the previous one left after 6+ years to get on the superintendent track in another district. Should be a great job for a leader who has a vision for the future -- is willing to make some important changes (see above) but most of all wants students to learn, love learning and be successful for their next step 9nearly 100% go to college).

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2011
Mercer Island is an absolutely fantastic high school! I could go on for pages describing why it is. Let me break it down for you. 97% of MIHS grads attend a four year college after high school. It is an expectation at MIHS to do well in school and not slack off and skip. Our school has won the Washington State Scholastic Cup for the past two years that means our athletes grades averages were the highest in the state. Athletically Mercer Island is a true power house. We won state in 5 sports last year and won districts in many more. Around 80% students are involved in some form of athletics. MI also has a great culture. Kids usually enjoy school for the most part. Another cool thing is that all new kids find friends to hang out with within 3 days easy here. The students at MI simply are really nice, there is little to no bullying, no fights, no gangs. The kids are no where near to being spoiled little rich kids like so many of you believe. Our Achilles heel however is drinking. Its true that a lot of people drink alcohol occasionally on MI but its just because their friends are. Overall Mercer Island is a great school but i believe it is the Students that make the culture so good.

- submitted by a student
May 16, 2011
To justify drug and alcohol use by saying "well, everyone does it" is a huge cop out. Everyone doesn't do it and there's simply no excuse not only for the rate of drug and alcohol use here, but for the parents who allow it. MIHS is a good school; but only if you fit the mold. The Mercer Island mold, is rich, pretty/handsome, athletic, and rich. Anyone else is in for bullying, being ignored by teachers, and left to drift. MIHS is not a great school. Kids do well because they have parents who can afford outside tutoring. It's well known on the island that we have a private/public school system. The faculty here are mediocre at best.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2011
As a former principal of MIHS, I am proud and pleased to see thisForbes.com objective measuring of schools rather than the Newsweek rating. That rating is determined by dividing the number of seniors in a school, into the number of students that took AP exams that year. A simple quotient does not fully measure the quality of a school. Having lived in the shadow of our neighboring school district placing two or three of their high schools on the "Newsweek Top 100 High Schools" list for years, it is gratifying to see this truly deserved recognition. A significant factor of this recognition is that it includes all of the schools in the city. This reflects the very high level of parent support and interest we have consistently seen at MIHS.

- submitted by a community member
May 07, 2011
BEST SCHOOL EVER! MIHS is the best school in the entire nation. It is filled with the most intelligent, athletic, social, and well-rounded students around. I have never seen or heard of a better school!

- submitted by a student
April 10, 2011
This school is an incredible school all the parents and students who criticize Mercer Island High School probably did not do well academically. Our school is well known for the excellent teachers and our school does give out hard grades, but these grades are weighted so colleges know Mercer Island is a tougher school system and look at your GPA in a different way. Parents freak out when their child doesn't get an A and they pull them out and put them in private schools where they think they are getting a better education. They really aren't. You may say there's a lot of drinking and drug use but really its just as normal in many other ares and they are TEENAGERS. Honestly students are going to be introduced to these things in college so wouldn't you rather have your child learn their lesson in high school instead of in college when your future career depends on you being successful in college? moving to Mercer Island is a big obstacle but life's full of them so put on your big girl panties a deal with it.

- submitted by a student
November 17, 2010
Now people might think that because of the high test scores and the student drop out rate that MIHS is a great school, but it is not. MIHS has one of the worst drug and alcohol problems I've ever heard of, mostly due to parents. Parents on Mercer Island are more into defending their children rather than protecting their children. If there is a problem they simply hire the best lawyer they can get to keep their children out of trouble. The Mercer Island police department also does not do much to combat this problem as I have rarely heard of somebody actually getting in serious trouble. If I were a parent, I would consider it after looking at how great the academics are, but reject it after how terrible everything else is.

- submitted by a student
September 03, 2010
We moved to Mercer Island from out of state and to Mercer Island solely for the school system. While I am more than ready to believe it may be the best the State of Washington has to offer-- the "best" here is so poor compared to average or below average on the East Coast, that it is not worth the cost of moving to MI. If I had know this two years ago, we would have chosen to live in a less expensive neighborhood, per haps in Seattle, and gone the private school route, which we are now doing anyway! It is the only way to get a decent education in this state!. IE in An underperforming highschool in New Jersey they have a 13: 1 student ration because they do not meet the norm of 11:1 here we out per form at 21:1 even thought the STate average is 19:1!

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2010
I was somewhat skeptical about MIHS because I know Bellevue's AP participation is great. But my two kids (one a senior and one a sophomore) have absolutely blossomed there. They've had great teachers; the principal provides the right balance of leadership, management, and connection with the kids; and the coursework has challenged them to think and expand their horizons. The school has an ethic of always trying to improve that I think is important. It used to have the reputation of "resting on its laurels," but as far as I can tell, that's in the past. Math instruction could still improve; the curriculum's good and the teachers know their stuff, but some aren't too engaging with the kids.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2009
I am a student at MIHS and I can proudly say that it is an amazing school!!! I love it!!!

- submitted by a student
October 03, 2009
The students respect teachers, strive to learn, and aim for academic success. Teachers, administration, and students work together to accomplish students' preparation for life's goals, both social and academic. All take pride in success.

- submitted by a teacher
April 03, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
no rating March 14, 2008
My two kids attended MI HS. They liked most teachers, and respected the high bar they set, even when they complained about the difficulty or volume of the homework they got. I agree with the March 1, 2008 post by a student -- in the end *parents* have the responsibility to educate their kids to know to stay away from drugs and alcohol. One important thing that I havent seen mentioned yet is that BMW's in school parking lot put a lot of pressure and is cause for a lot of family discussion over priorities, over what car the kid should get and what is wrong with riding the school bus.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2008
I am a student at Mercer Island High School and I have only good things to say about this amazing school. The academics are spectacular, and are very accommodating for a public school. The sports are also quite fantastic, with devoted coaches and athletes. Spirit is also very prevalent at the school, and you will always see people sporting their maroon and white. As far as drugs and alcohol go, the school is no better or worse than your average high school. Those who say that drugs are everywhere and that you have to use drugs to be 'cool' have no clue what they are talking about. The statistics show that Mercer Island High School is right smack in the middle for drug use. Get your facts right!

- submitted by a student
September 01, 2007
My daughter just graduated form MIHS, and is now attending USc. She loved the environment, academic challenge, sports and the many good and close friends she made during her high school years. Some of the teachers she had were five stars in every way, and the present principal is a warm, welcoming person, who really cares about kids. I am so glad my daughter had the chance to spend her high school years at MIHS.

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
May 03, 2006
Great School . Great kids, teachers, administrators, parents, and community. All of the kids are very driven and get very high score ands grades.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2006
Having children attend this school, I have been really pleased with the overall education that they have recieved. Excellent teachers really do care about the kids.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2006
First of all, I attended Mercer Island High School from 10th to 12th Grade. It was a far better school than any of the previous schools I had been enrolled in - I was challenged, class loads were flexible, and the staff encouraged students to excel and demonstrate applied knowledge. The class offerings were more from a college catalog, in terms of electives. This school really set me up for success. Of my 300+ senior class, 98% of us were college bound. I hold a B.S. in IT now, and I am working on my MBA at Seattle University. I owe a LOT of it to Mercer Island High School, the staff, and the general environment that they established for me to learn in. Now I am desperately trying to get back to Mercer Island in order to afford my 3 young children the same schooling experience I had.

- submitted by a former student
February 12, 2006
I attended Mercer Island High School grade 9-12 and I thought the academic programs challenged the students enough. There were several AP programs and excellent knowledgable teachers. Sports is a huge part of this school. If you don't do sports you might not want to go here. However they have some great opportunities for performing arts such as drama and jazz choir. I especially enjoyed ceramics and photography class. A good balance here overall.

- submitted by a former student
December 07, 2005
Two of my children have graduated from Mercer Island High School(MIHS) and one is a senior there currently. MIHS is a great school, with blue ribbon status and great academic records with one of the highest in state.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2005
This is an excellent school in the district. The teachers are well respected, and teach our children well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2005
A unique collective of students in a unique environment

- submitted by a former student
September 13, 2005
Great school for academics. Improvement on sports programs

- submitted by a student
September 01, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 30, 2005
While Mercer Island HS may be the best in WA state, I would rate it as 'Very Good' and not 'Excellent'. We moved to Cold Spring Harbor, NY and found the public high school to be far better than MI High. I would not hesitate to send my children to MI HS, but having experience with a world class school district (CSH), I realize that I had an inflated view of MI when I lived in WA.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2005
Quality teaching and dedication to academic and civic excellence make MIHS a leader in public education in Washington State.

- submitted by a former student
April 20, 2005
The academics are outstanding. As an example, the Class of 2005 has 5 students accepted early to Stanford and others to Princeton, Dartmouth, Williams, Brown, Barnard, USC, Bowdoin. Critical thinking, problem solving and writing skills are prioritized. Courses such as Biomed and Humanities are unparalleled in excellence. I have two students at MIHS--the school's athletic code, among other things, keeps them on the straight and narrow regarding drugs, alcohol, etc. They have a wide circle of friends that is not dependent upon their partying skills. I feel fortunate that they have grown up with wonderful kids who have parents that care--one of the many benefits of being in a small community. A new principal has been hired for next year.

- submitted by a staff
September 14, 2004
As a student at MIHS, I disagree with the idea that drugs and alcohol are not problems at this school. I would say at least 80% of the 9th grade class drinks or smokes marijuana regularly, some starting as early as the 7th grade. The teachers and administration, although excellent, seem to turn their heads when it comes to this problem. Yet the coldest, cruelest, fact of the matter is that if a student doesn't drink or try drugs, they will not be considered 'cool'. Students have almost unlimited access to these things only because of the money that almost all families are equipped with here. Although our school certainly is academically outstanding, most of us students at MIHS simply serve as an example that drug and alcohol problems are more common among teens with money, than they are commonly thought of as being 'urban' and 'ghetto' school problems.

- submitted by a student
September 13, 2004
I am a former student who went all the way through the mi school system... Lakeridge elementary, islander middle school and mihs. I totally disagree with the parents comments about a rampant drug and alcohol problem. I made it through all 18 year without a single drink or drug, and i graduated and went on to usc. I think a student of the mi system has a choice, as does any individual in any school in washington state. Every single school has drug and alcohol users, and mercer island is no exception. However, unless a person is home-schooled, they will have those issues at any public high school. I loved every year of my mi schooling, and any parent should have confidence in the system. Children and young adults thrive there, and my classmates and I are proof of that. Go mi... I miss you!

- submitted by a former student
September 07, 2004
I have lived on Mercer Island for almost 20 years. I have 5 children. I loved the elementary schools - the teachers are dedicated and caring. I liked the middle school. Once again, great teachers. The kids changed. The once devoted parents became very lenient (Parents here have a hard time saying no when their children become teenagers). As a result some of the children started to become wild. Many parents have relinquished control to their children. This continues through the high school. Drugs, alcohol, expensive cars, parties, are common at Mercer Island High School. If I had to choose a school again I would pick a school with higher values over academics.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2004
Reading the other parent's review, I must agree completely, Mercer Island High has one of the highest drug and alcohol problems in the state. Despite parents attempts to keep drugs out of the school, there have been many accidents ending in tragedy, related to teens and drug abuse at this high school.

- submitted by a parent
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Mercer Island High School
9100 SE 42nd, Mercer Island, WA  98040
(206) 236-3394
Last modified Mercer Island High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Mercer Island High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top