The Harker School Reviews
Harker's high level of academic rigor and amazing STEM program puts most graduates ahead of other peers within the same age group. If you manage to survive the school, you'll be going to a fantastic college. The problem lies, however, in whether you are willing to give up almost everything for the next four years for this. The culture of stress and exhaustion permeates the entire school because a majority of the kids are pushing themselves to their very limit to stay afloat with the tough academics and time consuming extracurriculars one must undertake to even be considered average at this school. Going to bed at 2 was considered quite normal, with most students proudly flaunting how little sleep they get every day as a crowning achievement. To succeed or even be average at Harker you have to put in your all. It takes a lot to stay afloat in such a rigorous environment. You really need to push yourself every single day. Whether it’s worth it in the end is up to you to decide.
Harker provides the best in academics and extracurriculars. The students have so many options to explore their interests. The school provides amazing support and really has the best interest of the student at heart. Harker is a kind and nurturing place and prepares the students well for college, etc.
I graduated from Harker having gone here since kindergarten. Harker is a truly unique place because of its combination of school culture, top-level academics, and burgeoning athletics. While there is a sense of competitiveness and stress (mostly seen in the high school level), the teachers and students that go to this school are all wonderful, kind people who come from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. As a student, you'll find so many options to choose from here: the multitude of clubs and student-run organizations, nationally-ranked speech/debate programs, business/entrepreneurship programs, sports (both varsity and JV), and musical (both singing and instrumental) departments. And I haven't even mentioned the academics, which is the biggest reason for Harker's success over the years. I've had the best experience here for over a decade, and I am ready to go to college safe in the knowledge that I've been very well prepared to make my mark on the real world.
Coming to Harker in eighth grade, I was immediately impressed by the level of dedication that every member of the school community has for what they do. Whether it be research, debate, or athletics, the excellence and drive of all my peers is truly amazing and makes Harker an amazing school.
The racial divides run deep. This school looks nothing like a typical top 20 university. It's Chinese, Indian and a smattering of caucasian faculty kids.
I've been in harker for 5 years and I really enjoy the atmosphere. The vast majority of the teachers are extremely qualified and caring and genuinely want you to do well. The people who attend harker are almost all extremely motivated and intelligent. Harker is predominantly Asian, which isn't the best in terms of diversity but I have not encountered any problems with racism or exclusion. The food is also good.
After six years and a lot of tuition our kids asked to leave. We thought modeling balance at home could offset the school environment but we were wrong. Turns out you can't school proof your kids when they're exposed to kids crying in the bathroom over A-'s and being told they don't understand because they're not Asian or worse not Wh-asian. Not a good environment for bright, creative minds.
This school will give you hands-down the best education you can receive, at least in the Bay Area. I think you can only appreciate how supportive the teachers are after being at this school for a while. They also all have advanced degrees and are so educated. In just my first months at Harker, I learned so much more than I would ever learn anywhere else. However, the student environment is terrible. The mentality of the students is that you have to have a 4.5 GPA. If you're not taking x number of APs in your sophomore year, you're behind. You have to ignore your classmates who brag about their As in Calc BC in 9th grade. I think the pressurized environment makes it hard to maintain high self-esteem. Most people I've met at this school is superficial or entitled. They either don't care about how much money their parents are spending or are too ignorant to think about it. I think this school also worries too much about their reputation and fails to deliver the facts to the students.
I am a student at the Harker school ( a freshman to be exact) and I must say, this school is amazing.
With three kids in elementary school (4th, 5th), I am very pleased with the way the school blends high expectations with opportunities, support systems, and tools to exceed them. While they used to be bored at public school, my kids love being challenged and going to Harker. They integrated quickly after joining, made friends, and adapted to the pace well, thanks to the excellent and caring teachers and staff.
I owe a lot to this school. However, especially with the new recruits for sports and some of the advertising the school is doing, I am concerned with the lack of diversity and the racial divide on campus after athlete recruiting. I wish the school was able to foster a more naturally diverse and inclusive environment instead of seeking out underrepresented students to boast about to donors. The environment while incredibly supportive tends to often bring out the worst in students and create a sense of targeted competition guided directly at only Ivy-League schools.
When I was in middle school I hated it. The administration was awful and some of my teachers were the worst. From 8th grade and on I have only ever had teachers that I have loved and the administration at the High School is so much better. THANK YOU BIRTHDAYS!!!
I've been attending Harker since kindergarten (I'm going to be a freshman), and I really love it! The academics are amazing, and the teachers are committed to educating and are full of knowledge. The athletics program is getting better and better every year. However, some problems I have are the dress code and the administration favoring those whose parents donate lots of money to the school. Overall, Harker is an amazing school and is worth the exorbitant tuition.
Harker is a great school. Kids are friendly and hardworking. No bullying. Teachers actually teach (most teachers). Easy to meet up with teachers for any issues. Administration is so so...they have to do certain things their way.
From the earliest grade, the opportunities to explore different areas are endless. Although the school is focused more on STEM, the resources and talent in the arts and humanities are top-notch.
It's lit at the Harker School cause it's a pretty close knit community. Everyone understands the struggle of being a student in this day and age, trying to get that GPA up and getting that research project done. Everyone is also driven, so you tend to hop on that bandwagon and feel motivated to do something with your life as well.
I was fortunate to have two sons graduate from Harker in 2011 and 2013, and they were both transfer students into 9th grade from a small private school. I was extremely impressed with the academic offerings, the quality of teaching, the range of extracurricular activities and the engaged and supportive parent community. We received half scholarships all the way through and my sons and our family was consistently treated with the same high level of respect as millionaires' kids. While Harker is billed as a primarily science focused school, my sons were more interested in the humanities, especially in theatre and writing. Ironically, they went on to attend highly selective east coast liberal arts colleges and majored in the physical sciences and are now incredibly well prepared for careers and grad school. They are also socially conscious and are perfect gentlemen. I should finally add that Harker's college counselors are the best you can find.
The environment. Hands down the most important thing of any institution you could want. Everyone is focussed around you and as a result, you benefit from aquatinting yourself with the future leaders of the world.
Although the academics may seem tough, it really prepares you well for the college transition. The teachers are always open and friendly and are willing to answer any and all questions.
It's honestly an amazing experience being a student here and you can only truly appreciate it once you've left.