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The Harker School Reviews

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AWFUL SCHOOL! I had the worst experience at Harker. My brother went, and quit as well. This is a horrible school only for rich snobby brats and also the teachers give you so much pressure. I wrote a review like this but it disappeared. I have suspicions...
Best school ever. I go here, and everything there is fun. I recommend this school because it has strong academics and good teachers.
I go here. It is the best school in the whole wide world. I love it so much because it is cool. This school is da best! I love it. It is so good. I recommend everybody to go here because it is awesome.
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I'm currently at student at The Harker School. The food, academics, and teachers are all great, but the school makes everything so difficult and puts a lot of stress on us, then tells everyone not to be stressed. Like hello??

I would love it if Harker put a stricter limit on tests and homework. It definitely overprepared students for the AP exams, except in history. In many history classes, students are woefully underprepared due to the ineffective flipped classroom approach where students are expected to read the textbook on their own with no teacher instruction. Instead, we have useless discussions which produce absolutely no useful discussion since no one has read the chapters or assigned reading (which accounts for more than half of my homework time).
I went here as a student 10 years ago and would not send my kids there today... because the parents of the kids treat the teachers like they own them. It creates an environment where teachers are basically at the merci of parents, which usually don’t know anything about pedagogy. As a result teachers often can’t get to the important lessons because they are catering to specific parents. Good schools empower their teachers and protect them from over involved parents. Not the case here anymore. Money speaks.
I had an amazing experience at The Harker School, partly due to my transformative athletic experience in the high school. Harker's athletic directors and coaches work hard to facilitate a high quality student-athlete experience, and they are constantly improving the facilities so that the available equipment is state-of-the-art. I am sure that the skills of time management and teamwork that I developed as an athlete bolstered my performance in the Harker classroom, and since I was studying so much, it was very healthy for me to be committed to a physical extracurricular activity through team sports. From my experience, like the teachers who work at Harker, the coaches in Harker athletics care deeply about the overall well-being of Harker students and understand that rigorous sports not only can complement but also can support and extend the rigor of intellectual pursuit. I can't recommend Harker athletics and Harker coaches enough!
I went to Harker from junior kindergarten to 12th grade. This place is truly amazing! I was heavily involved in the sports programs and Harker does a great job in hiring top notch coaches and giving you the opportunity to play multiple sports. I was able to go to play division 1 baseball from Harker and I always finished at the top for our team GPA. My coaches didn’t need to worry about my academics and that imporoved my overall play time and trust level.
The school lacks diversity and has grown to embrace a pressure cooker culture that has aggressive parents pushing grades over learning and trying to teach ahead to give their kids a leg up over others. Teachers at this school are a mixed bag, which is astonishing considering the fees being charged. The school does an excellent job of marketing itself, but the reality is far from what is sold at orientations and parent meetings. It takes a couple of years of enrollment to actually understand the administration and the parent community. The experience at Harker has changed considerably over the years, but the administration seems reluctant to make any changes given the demand for admissions based on past reviews & performance.
We have found Harker to be a fantastic blend of high academic standards, huge array of extracurricular options and solid values. The students at large are excited to learn and the teachers are specialists in their field. Opportunities to take your passions as far as you want, runs through the sciences, humanities and sports. We are proud to have our children educated at Harker. The chatter about Harker being only for Asian and Indian science and math geeks is absolutely not the case. There is support for all to stretch and shine in whatever they choose, if they choose.
I transferred to The Harker School as a sophomore and couldn't be happier with my choice. From the start, I knew my teachers cared about me and always wanted me to succeed. Additionally, everyone on campus was welcoming and the administration was very helpful.
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.
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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.