It’s that time of year, when eighth grade parents get really anxious about high school (as do their eighth grade children). I just wanted to give you my perspective as the parent of an 11th grader at Culver City High School and a CCHS grad.
In a nutshell, please feel confident that your child will thrive at CCHS. My children’s teachers have ranged from good to fabulous. They are both strong language/social sciences kids, and the have had great experiences in English, Spanish and social studies. My son went through AP Statistics in math and did well, and they both did fine in science (although it was never their thing). My daughter has friends right now in AP science classes, and although the classes are difficult, as Advanced Placement should be, the kids are thriving.
There is a multitude of activities to get involved in. First and foremost there are the athletics/cheerleading and the AVPA (Academy of Visual and Performing Arts). I am a theater mom and a baseball mom, and watched both of my kids develop through their four years in their respective programs. The high school’s production of RENT this week is an example of the positive qualities of the theater program. There are performing skills, technical skills, musical skills, leadership skills, and a massive dose of compassion on stage. I could not be prouder of the kids and more grateful to their teachers. The AVPA also has programs in dance, film and fine art.
Then there are clubs and organizations that meet at lunch and participate in local and statewide competitions. The only three that I am personally familiar with are Robotics, Speech and Debate and Mock Trial, but I know there are many, many more.
Parents worry about their children’s safety. I have never, ever worried about whether my children are safe on campus, except when my daughter wants to run to her locker at 9:00 at night after an activity, and then I just worry because it’s dark. I have walked with her at 9:30 p.m. and have found the campus to be completely safe, even then. When she did run into some issues (once) with some peers she reported them to the school’s administration and they were handled promptly and appropriately.
By high school our kids don’t necessarily want us around, but there are many ways to get involved. There is a booster club that raises money for athletics teams and the robotics team and the AVPA has a foundation that supports the kids and teachers financially, through publicity and wherever else it can. And of course, all those clubs still need drivers:)
If you are feeling anxious and you haven’t been on campus yet, please find out whether you can take a tour. It might feel loud. It might feel crowded. It might feel overwhelming. I work in a middle school and believe me, I sometimes feel overwhelmed when a sea of early adolescent humanity overtakes me. But look at what’s happening in the classrooms. Teachers are teaching amazing lessons about all kinds of incredible things, many of which we were not event exposed to in high school because standards have become so much more demanding. Kids are wrangling with ideas and concepts in creative ways, through debates, presentations, computer work and a simple paper and pencil.
In case it’s not obvious, I cannot speak highly enough of Culver City High School.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected].
Oh, and by the way, there is a CCHS yahoo group. It’s [email protected]. Please join.