Private Bay Area High Schools

In the Bay Area, there are plenty of private high schools for parents and students to choose from. Some are among the top schools in the nation, and others provide students with unique learning opportunities and ways of teaching that are different from what you could find at many public schools. Private bay area high schools are so abundant that it can be difficult to choose which schools to apply for. Here are just two of the innovative private schools in the area that you may want to check out:

Lick-Wilmerding High School

Lick-Wilmerding High School, known as Lick by its students and teachers, has plenty of unique educational opportunities for its students. Students can, for instance, take a variety of design classes ranging from architecture to jewelry design. Students can also be a part of the athletic community at the school, or they can participate in a variety of service learning projects that better the surrounding community.

One of the interesting things about Lick is that it has been, over the past few years, slowly phasing out traditional Advanced Placement courses. The reason for this is that Lick doesn’t believe in teaching to the test, and AP courses are all about passing AP standardized tests. Rather than teaching to the AP test standards, Lick has created its own honors courses with curriculum every bit as challenging and quite a bit deeper than what you’ll find in a traditional AP course.

While some parents may be concerned about the lack of AP courses, the school has taken them out only after talking to tons of college admissions officers – some in the Ivy Leagues. These schools say that honors courses will still count as more weight in a student’s transcript and that high schools should be more concerned with offering a broad curriculum and real learning than with having students pass AP tests for college credit.

Through careful consideration, Lick now offers a broad range of honors courses, as well as many technical and hands on courses. It’s definitely a school worth looking at if you want your student to be prepared for college and life beyond academia rather than just for the next standardized test.

Stellar Learning Academy

The Stellar Learning Academy in Campbell is a private school based on the Applied Scholastics method. This is a method where each student essentially learns at her own pace. Upon entry to the school, students are thoroughly tested to find out what they know about core subjects. Sometimes, students are required to go back and fill in parts of certain subjects that they missed – even as far back as elementary school! However, rather than holding students back, this helps rocket them forward. Once the misunderstood or missed material is learned, students have a better grasp on the subject and often end up well ahead of grade level within a few months.

This independent learning style teaches students to be self sufficient and allows them to look more deeply into subjects that interest them. Tests and study materials are tailored to individual students, and teachers are available to answer questions and clear up confusions whenever necessary.

One other interesting thing about Stellar Learning Academy is that it operates year-round. Students can enjoy monthly field trips during the summer, and the summer months are full of swimming, activities, and projects, as well as weekly trips to the pool. In this way, students can both have fun and keep learning over the summer.

This is a great option if your student is behind in one or more major academic areas or if you have a child who enjoys learning at her own pace. This school is great for students who need to learn to overcome obstacles independently in order to succeed later in life.