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San Marino High School10

San Marino, CA | Los Angeles County

November 1, 2013


As a current student at San Marino High School, I only have two words for the families looking to register here: STAY AWAY. The teachers used to be great, but as each year goes on, the quality declines. All of our greatest teachers are either gone, or are about to retire. The only reason why we have such a high API is because we are fueled by tutors. My peers are extremely close-minded and I have seen my friends being bullied because he/she was gay/lesbian/transgender (my friend moved out because of this). Most of the student body is loaded with money, so don't be surprised if you see a student dragging his $900 leather backpack across the dirty grounds of the hallways. The environment is not supportive- everyone is whispering behind each other's backs, trying to beat someone else in the college application process. There is also a lot of cheating in the school. A lot of people have moved here recently, citing that our academics are top-notch, but they have been lied to. So please. If you want your child to have the best education possible, stay away from San Marino High School.

Submitted by a student

April 26, 2013


My school is epic, amazing, exciting, and fulfilling. It is truly a wonderful high school. The guys around here transcend stereotypes. You have the "jocks" taking calculus, the "nerds" in varsity sports, and the "average" guys who have more than a lot to show. The teachers here are phenomenal as well. They know what they are teaching; it is all reflected in the curriculum, environment, and collective eagerness of the students. Also, haters, please simmer down. We do pretty well on tests, but come and sit down in our speech&debate, media arts, and language classes. We are learning the fundamentals and much, much more. *peace*

Submitted by a student

March 17, 2013


As a former student, I can attest to the wonderful academics SMHS has to offer. The environment is definitely one for over-achievers in academia, but nonetheless does not provide the support and critical-thinking needed for students to succeed in college and beyond. Much of the process is memorization, however, I rate this school 4/5 because of the people I've met, the support of the entire city for SMUSD, and the location. This is a great place for children and teenagers who are well developed into academics and are self-starters when it comes to studying and working hard. But for those who struggle with academics, it may be a bit of a challenge to find the necessary help to compete with your classmates. Advice? If you plan on sending your child to SM, you should also consider getting a tutor to help them with their homework AND additional advancement to stay ahead.

Submitted by a student

June 9, 2012


As a former student associated with SMHS, I can definitely attest to the fact that their educational model excels at producing wonderful test scores. If you wish your child to become wonderful at memorizing answers to pass tests, then SMHS is for you. If you wish to become a true post-educational success, able to use critical thinking to solve real-world issues and problems, then stay away. The staggering amount of endless repetitive, memorizing style of homework, even well after the student has a full grasp and knowledge of the subject matter truly retards a students full true potential. Yes, SMHS produces wonderful "cubicle-dweller" type of employees rather than entrepreneurs and risk takers. It is a microcosmic representation of the causes behind Americas decline as a producer of industry and innovation. The graduates who succeed only do so because of parents involvement or financial backing, Not as a result of the education they received there. If you don't have your own resources independent of the school system, and are solely relying on the school to provide the best well rounded education and teaching, you will excel at becoming a great employee for someone else.

September 11, 2011


Most of the teachers here know what they are doing. There are also some teachers that are really fun and nice. The dance and drama productions are amazing. The community really supports the school, that's how SM has been able to maintain it's status. There are also many different clubs available for kids to participate in. There are also leadership opportunities and they are evident when the students and ASB put on and organize their own pep rallies, assemblies, fundraisers, and events.

Submitted by a student

December 5, 2009


This schools has it's strong points and it's weaker points, just like any other school. Some families love it, and some families decide to send their children to private schools. Do your research and make your own decision.

May 10, 2009


I graduated from San Marino High School a few years ago and I have found that it has not helped me (or other people I know who graduated from this school) to really be mature, self-confident, self-directed adults. This school was more like a factory of test-taking, essay writing, spoiled overachievers. I did not gain much life experience, socialization, or critical thinking skills from this school. I remember most students just doing what their parents expected of them. The sports teams were for the most part coached by teachers without much coaching experience. The visual arts program had little to no supplies and little to no support. Most of the teachers at this high school simply met the parents' demands. There is major grade inflation at this school. Whatever happened to life skills, life experience, global education as well as social or civic awareness?

Submitted by a student

January 22, 2009


As a student I must say the academics at SMHS are outstanding not only because of the test scores that are produced, but because of the staff. The teachers at San Marino are constantly challenging the students to look at the curriculum beyond the standards and use the material from the class room and apply it to world situations. Furthermore, the facilities/extra circular at San Marino are unbelievable. Moreover, the amount the school is able to provide in comparison to the average spent on pupil is amazing. And the great part about SMHS, the school doesn t remain complacent and always looks for ways to improve.

Submitted by a student

April 6, 2008


Having heard the level of excellence at SMHS mostlybrought upon the parent initiated tutors for their kids, I was apprehensive about moving to SM. However, having my 3 kids (ages elem to h.s. ages) at Carver and SMHS, for the last 3 years, I realized I was listening to the rants of a few outspoken parents who thought their kids were brighter than they were. As a 'minority' in the SM district (non-Asian), my kids have blossomed intellectually. The test scores are not as high bc of the high Asian population (though it helps), but, of my honest opinion, bc of the great support the schools and community provide for all of the kids. I thought I would have to get after-school tutors for my kids, but my oldest is in all AP classes and my hubby and I are happy to say that we haven't spent 1 cent on tutors.

Submitted by a parent

March 5, 2008


Sometimes it's just not about school teachers that create a great school. I was a student there only in my senior year but the environment is the envy of other school. I had to get extra tutoring to keep up with some of the advanced classes. The entire community and parents really support the school, raising funds to improve the school, either bringing in better equipment and facilities. The most important is the parents get involved in their kid academic activities. Kids don't get ostricized for having good grades. Heck, even the jocks have good grades. If I had kids, I'd would put them there. It's like being in a private school but none of the high costs these school charges. It's a bargain.

Submitted by a student

May 21, 2007


I had a complaint about a teacher who post a teenager girl in swim suit on the school homework website. I was not able to talk to the principal directly without first going through teachers, counselors, and vice principal. When I finally reached the principal, I offered to send him an email to let him know the inappropriate school website. His response was 'I cannot give you my email address. Can you imagine if all the parents have my email address?' Some of the teachers do not care about students' well being at all. The school is rated highly in academic area only because all parents send their kids to tutors.

Submitted by a parent

May 2, 2007


I spent the majority of my life growing up in the San Marino Unified School District. As the composition of San Marino has progressed substantially from affluent white families to Asian families, the academics have become unbearably stringent for some. I have quite a few friends that graduated from Polytechnic High School of Pasadena who note that San Marino H.S.'s education is at least equal to if not better than Poly. We had a few very competent Poly students transfer while I was attending who found it difficult to keep up in the advanced courses at SMHS. There are numerous instructors at SMHS who are top caliber, but there still remains some whom I would rate as average. The student academic mentality is what separates this high school from many in its region. Even at a standard class level entering students should expect an near-AP difficulty edu. in comparison w/ local HS's.

Submitted by a former student

December 19, 2006


I think that the San Marino schools are much overrated! Though the SAT scores are very high, it is not the schools that are teaching this, but the parents that are pushing them at home. Many of the children in San Marino are not exposed to much diversity. If you want your kids to have a better academic experience then go to South Pasadena or La Canada.

Submitted by a parent

June 13, 2006


Given that this school is in one of the most affluent towns in the country, I consider it mediocre. They often tout their high test scores as evidence of their excellent instruction, but that is just smoke and mirrors. One expects high test scores from students who have highly educated parents and who have unparalleled financial resources. I recently requested a list of courses offered and it was laughable. Compared to other public high schools their programs look pathetic.

Submitted by a parent

May 30, 2006


I loved my experience at San Marino High. The academics were tough but the class size was just right to provide us with the attention we each needed to succeed. The teachers really care about your needs. I hope my children can attend San Marino Schools.

Submitted by a former student

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Lynette Willliams
680 E. Colorado, #180
Pasadena, CA 91101
626-788-9288
323-256-1173
DRE# 00880613
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