Waltham, MA - Schools, especially Waltham High, any good?
June 22, 2015 8:04 PM   Subscribe

I know Waltham isn't regarded as highly as Newton, Lexington, Belmont, etc. This I know. What about the culture of the schools, especially the High School? Do they have a good.PTO? Is there much of an issue with drugs or violence? Are there any gifted or accelerated programs?

Thinking about moving there but schools are a big hang up.for us. It seems like larger groups of English language learners,.and lower socioeconomic status (esp. Relative to neighboring towns) may distort the ratings. But are.these kids slowing every body down? Or just testing.poorly?

We like diversity, but worry about the negatives sometimes associated with large urban schools.
posted by MasonDixon to Education (3 answers total)
I can't speak to that school but I knew someone whose kids went to a private Catholic school in the area and seemed happy with it.

More generally, the average student in any high school is a bad influence. I know a few people who went to high schools with poor people and gang issues, but focused on their work, got good grades, and now are upper-middle-class professionals. I'm also told at elite prep schools there are a lot of students who like to party a lot and blow off studying. So, sure, pick a good school, but to be "gifted" and "accelerated" it takes coaching the student to rise above the average, because the average is not "gifted". Guide them to pick good friends (uncool but moral and driven people), get all A's in their classes (put in more time on practice problems than 80% of the other students), and get recognized as a leader in one adult activity they think is interesting (do enough of a hobby or job to win awards and successfully teach others). This is hard to do at any school, but a little easier at some schools than others.
posted by sninctown at 9:49 PM on June 22, 2015

Response by poster: I think our primary concerns are how healthy a culture and environment it is. Is it safe? Do they only care about sports? Are there so many cultural, economic, or ESL issues it occludes everything else?
posted by MasonDixon at 1:34 AM on June 23, 2015

I don't know...but since no one else has answered I'll suggest looking for information on what colleges graduates typically attend, and I'll reiterate that the parents, not the schools, are the ones with the power to inspire the kid to get all A's and also get outstanding at one adult activity. Even the best schools do not have this power.
posted by sninctown at 9:40 PM on July 28, 2015

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