Differences between local high schools
Original post made by Los Altos Mom on Jul 26, 2007
on Jul 27, 2007 at 11:24 am
There are definite boundaries in place for the two high schools, but quite a few intra-district transfers are accepted each year as well. A majority of the transfers are LAHS students wanting to transfer to MVHS. This year was the first year that the district had to deny LAHS students the transfers, as MVHS is close to becoming over-crowded. No one can really put their finger on the trend. In terms of curriculum, faculty, programs, etc., the two schools are virtually identical, with the exception of MVHS having Freestyle Academy on its campus, but LAHS students have an equal opportunity to attent there as well. District staff told me that one of the differences between the high schools comes down to the students themselves. LAHS has a large group of high-achieving students and also a large group of low-achieving. There's a noticeable disparity there, I was told. The majority of students at MVHS seem to fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. This district official said she thought some families believed LAHS to be a less stable, safe environment. She said that wasn't true, but didn't know how to clear up people's misconceptions.
on Jul 27, 2007 at 12:06 pm
My son is an incoming freshman for MVHS & the difference I saw going into this "decision year" was that MVHS has a strong band program and LAHS has a strong choir program. The electives are also different. I have no input as to the quality of the teaching, we're newbies, but we know kids who go to each school & they seem equally fine :-) I think it comes down to what interest your child has & which school has the stronger program. I don't know anything about the sports situation, except that LAHS offers wrestling & MVHS doesn't. Good luck!!!
on Jul 27, 2007 at 5:03 pm
I believe that some people choose MVHS because LAHS has a somewhat larger percentage of low-income, English-language learners. I have had parents comment to me that they like the "demographics" better at MVHS. Both schools are excellent. In fact, the district has pointed out that, while MVHS has a slightly higher API score, LAHS has had higher SAT scores. Both schools are safe, have excellent teachers, excellent electives & high academic standards. Some kids who go to Blach or Graham live in the LAHS attendance area; since most students at those schools live in the MVHS attendance area, the LAHS-area kids often will transfer to MVHS so they can stay with their friends. That is part of the issue; that's because the elementary & high school districts draw their boundaries independently--which can't really be helped, as the elementaries have to balance enrollment between two schools each (4 total), and those boundaries won't match the boundaries that the HS district draws, also to balance between their two schools.