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Polytechnic School Reviews

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My experience at Poly has been unforgettable. I entered as a freshman and immediately became involved in the sports and clubs they offered. The school offers several ways for students to follow their passions including student-run clubs, classroom projects, and service opportunities. The school also ensures students grow outside the classroom through international trips and outdoor education trips. I traveled to Nicaragua for a week with peers and teachers to teach the students there English, and it was an eye opening experience. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to go on the trip, and I'm thankful Poly made it financially possible for me to go too! The teachers are also incredibly supportive and make it their priority to help students reach their full potential. My chemistry teacher met with me before school at 7:30 in the morning just to go over topics that I was struggling with. Overall, Poly is a great place, and I could not imagine high school anywhere else!
Polytechnic School is a remarkable institution for students who strive for excellence, whether it be in academics, athletics, or elsewhere. High schoolers at Poly are all passionate about something, and the most successful students let that passion lead the way. Moreover, the college preparatory school culture makes Poly a great place to go if you want to go somewhere even better afterwards. As a result, the community can be competitive and sometimes elitist. Overall, however, Poly is a fantastic school, especially for its teachers.
Great at preparaing kids for life. The focus on critical thinking skills is amazing. It is not just about academics.
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Poly is a very nice school with great academics, teachers, faculty, and resources. Poly not only greatly prepares their students for college, but also offers many opportunities to be a part of different things, while still being able to perform in school. There are many clubs to be a part of, arts, sports, as well as extra-curricular activities to be involved in outside of school. Poly is a great place all around and the only flaw I would say is the diversity. There are a significantly lower amount of minority students compared to non-minority students, and that is something I think should change. However, change takes time and overall Poly is a great school.
I entered Poly in 9th grade, and overall I have had a positive experience there. I was very involved with extracurriculars and activities on campus - I was a section editor for the Paw Print, served on the ASB, was captain of an athletic team, and ran two student clubs. I traveled to Nicaragua, which was an incredible experience. The small size of the Upper School (95 students/grade) allows you to become involved in different activities and to expose yourself to new experiences. I became a student leader and loved being involved with the school with the hopes of making it a better place. The faculty cares so much the students' well-being. However, I sometimes had a difficult time collaborating with the administration, and I felt like I couldn't push my agenda as Chief Justice of the ASB without complying with their requests or opinions. The administration is not very connected to the students and faculty.
Loving community, close knit but large enough to be challenged socially every year. Academics are also challenging, but once you get to the highest level of every subject, theres a great support network
Great education. Excellent resources, qualified teachers, and motivated students. Students are very well-rounded. Poly has a very academic, competitive atmosphere, and there is sometimes too much focus on college.
Poly's community is wonderfully open, accepting, and vibrant. I've met some of my best friends here. The academics are challenging but rewarding. It's a tough school for sure, but nearly always a positive experience.
Yes, it is challenging, but I know I will be well prepared for college. Aside from that, the opportunities and resources available in and outside the classroom are invaluable. The teachers are always available to meet with you outside of class, ensuring that you are well prepared. However, keep in mind that you will have to be in charge if your own success, they will not chase you. If you need to meet with a teacher outside class, you need to schedule that meeting and be responsible in attending.
High School was hard. Very, very hard. If you are not ready to work your butt off for more than 3 years, do not consider attending Polytechnic.
It's hard to be happy at Poly if you aren't doing your work and staying on top of your classes. If I worked less hard and weren't at the top of my class, my experience would've been much different. If I weren't very smart, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed my time at Poly due to its extremely competitive, college-focused nature.
But all people are different, so I cannot say that people who aren't all-star Poly scholars are having a bad time, but I CAN say that if I were doing poorly, or even doing "just fine," I wouldn't have been happy. You are surrounded by some of the smartest kids in the country, and for me, not being one of them would be demotivating.
Note: It's extremely difficult to move up and down the "academic hierarchy". Kids who establish themselves as smart in the beginning, stay at the top.
Poly is truly an academic utopia. The teachers treat their students like people, not just kids, and the array and quality of curricula offered is outstanding. The campus is small but beautiful, and while attending can be intense, especially as a high schooler, the community is generally supportive and positive, and the faculty is committed to making sure students develop as people, not just college applicants. I love my school.
Poly was highly reviewed and recommended to my family. However, Poly is little more than an high academic façade. Every aspect of the relationships and culture within Poly are fake and upsetting. There is little to no positive vibe, and kids can't seem to focus on more than grades. There are extremely disrespectful kids and the teachers are very dull and sad. I wouldn't recommend this school.
Poly is a highly academic school that offers a rigorous curriculum in the high school. It fosters academic competition among its student body, culminating with a very proficient and successful college admissions division. It has a very solid performing arts program but a lesser sports program. Poly is a very liberal school with a very liberally-minded faculty. It is an excellent school -- but for the right kind of student.
I came to Poly in 6th grade, and it is definitely a place that has changed me a lot. I really enjoy being at this school, and I have made friends that will last a lifetime. There is definitely a lot of pressure at this school, and the atmosphere is VERY competitive. The workload is a lot, but if you can manage to balance out your work with sports and your social life, you will find that Poly really has so much to offer. The majority of the teachers are amazing, although I have to admit that there are a notable few teachers who don't take teaching very seriously. There is also a slight lack of diversity, as the majority of people come from white Pasadena families. That being said, I have never felt discriminated against because of my race, and Poly has an overall very welcoming community. I really love this place, and it honestly is a great school.
There are so many opportunities at the school, that you can honestly do anything you want to pursue your passion. The teachers are always there for you, and are there to help you improve all the time. The academics are strong, and it's honestly so manageable.

Poly does truly have a really competitive environment. Because the school is so small, you get to know everyone, and you realize the amount of competition that exists within every grade. Sometimes, you really just feel stupid in a class (I know I have). But I love this school so so much, and I have honestly met some of the best people in the whole world. Though it is competitive, everyone is welcoming, and once you feel a part of the Poly community, you feel like you can conquer the world. I am so happy I chose this school and don't regret my decision to come. GO POLY!
I had an overall great experience at Poly. I have to say the social life is not what I really wanted as it was too cliquey and the grades too small to change friend groups. The academics are great and really help set me up for college.
Administration pays lip service to this issue.
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Extracurriculars are available but not exciting.
There are definitely some teachers who should not be here. To pay private school tuition for some of the teaching that is occurring is disheartening.
I've never felt unsafe. We did have a teacher who committed sexual crimes at another school, but that's a separate incident.
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