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Harker School

School rating 4 / 5 by

500 Saratoga Avenue San Jose CA 95129 United States
K to 12th


Harker School review by .

The academics is this school's strength. The class quality is very high; the difference is day and night between the public school I attended before and this one. The class sizes are small but not too small--about 16-18 per class, which is small enough to stay quiet if you'd like but also to know your classmates and to have your teacher know you very well. The teaching methods aren't innovative; they're time-tested and proven and generally fair. There are no terrible teachers or horrible pop quizzes and teachers are lenient with tweaking grades slightly. The teachers are excellent and many have said that you go to this school for the teachers, especially science and math, which we EXCEL in (like, 3 Intel winners in one year.) Languages is surprisingly a strong part of the school. I'd say I was better at French than all of my friends, who attended public school, because the classes were so small (10 people) and the teachers were of such superior quality. Especially Spanish. Also, you can skip a grade in languages if you do well (going from Spanish III to AP Spanish Lang, for example.)

College Counseling

Small class sizes help teachers know you better in order to write excellent recommendations. The....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted


Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

No housing. Campus is taken care of well, they seem to plant flowers every day and there are redwood-like trees bordering it, which is just delicious. Dining is very good for high school. Some memorable meals include delicious churros!, chocolate-covered strawberries, lobster, smoked salmon, deviled eggs, beef roast with carvers standing by, fresh strawberries almost every day. There's no crime in this neighborhood, seriously NONE, but we are also on the intersection of a major state highway so they don't let us cross the street much and the traffic gets pretty bad. Social events: not incredibly notable. Clubs are the....

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