Have had two daughters in this school. I have to say that you will get good results if you also plan to have the kids in supplemental tutoring during their experience. Math is not "taught" as much as "self-taught", a legacy of the Investigational curriculum the district uses. Emphasis is definitely on STEM subjects, even the "slow" math kids do AP Calculus AB. For any kid interested at all in arts, they pretty much have to abandon the "college-prep" track and go against the grain. Our oldest left and did Running Start to complete high-school and got into a Top 20 overseas school, but I have to say it was more to her credit (self-studied and got 5s in two AP exams) than anything Eastlake did. I agree, Administration is aloof and disconnected from the student body and teachers.
Moving our son into this school during 10th grade was a seamless easy transition. Not only did the quality of education my son received go up, but he was much more motivated to go to school with good teachers he said really cared about him.
I graduated from this school about five years ago and it appears that not much has improved since I went there. I will agree that the standards are high academic wise (in a good way) and I did appreciate some of my teachers. However, what I disliked were the attitudes. Some of my teachers would openly stereotype us as "rich spoiled kids" for going to this school. Granted I'm sure some of us were, but not all. It was also obvious that some of them just didn't care. There was a huge focus on sports, basically if you weren't on a select team or had your own personal coach...you wouldn't even think of trying out for a team. There were also a lot of cliques at this school and a high focus on money and status. I still remember begging my parents to switch schools half way through my time there. I stuck with it though, and I'm happy to say I never have to go back.
I've had one child graduate from here. After a job opportunity came about we moved. Our second child graduated from a school in a different state. We have an opportunity to move "home" and our third/last child could graduate from Eastlake. Without much thought my husband has moved back for work, the rest of the family is staying put until our last child graduates. Eastlake tends to concentrate too much on state and federal test scores and not on the students ability to absorb the material. If your student is one that does not have aspirations of going to a 4 year D1 or ivy league university, they don't excel in this environment. There IS too much emphasis on money, the (most) kids DO drive brand new expensive cars, and kids that do not fit the mold, are lost in the crowd. We still have great friends there and they understand and support our decision not to come back. I am looking forward to seeing them again.
Don't let the rating fool you. This is a top notch school. Eastlake currently has higher test scores in every area (except slightly lower in science) than neighboring Skyline with the exception of one math score. This significantly lower score skews the rating system and is due to the fact that EHS currently has no freshmen class. That math score comes only from the students who are already a year behind in math. Once the school adds a freshmen class (this fall), that score will fall in line with other four year high schools and Eastlake's rating will be back on the top again.
This school is really great if the student is willing to work hard. Many of these reviews have mentioned how difficult it is with little money, but it isn't all that bad. While most students are very privileged, the rest definitely are not looked down upon. Many people dislike it for the lack of diversity and care for one another (too haughty-taughty), but I disagree. Take it from me, students care about one another. There are many magnificent teachers. This school's weakness is its obvious priority of sports and test scores. The programs are clearly aimed towards 4-year college. Overall it is a wonderful school.
EHS has been overall a disappointment from an academic standpoint. We were told it was LWSD's rigorous academic school, this is our experience: * AP classes are not available until a student's junior year; honors program is non-existent. * Core classes lack substance and rigor. * Lack of leadership at the top -- Disengaged principal who is invisible to parents and students. * Lack of support for "academic" enrichment programs. Spotlight on sports, dance and cheerleading. * College prep limited - few students end up at top tier universities, become merit scholars, etc. * Teachers teach to a minimum baseline at the sophomore course level. There are a few exceptions. * Parent involvement is limited and they're kept at an arms length by the administration. Positives: Some teachers do "stretch" students and go the extra mile when it comes to their teaching strategy, communication with parents and availability to students--Particularly the Advanced Algebra teacher (Mr. Stratton), Spanish teacher (Ms. Meilleur) and Leadership/Biology teacher (Ms. Borden). All three are to be commended going above and beyond.