Don't get me wrong, every school has it's issues and problems and SHMS is not any different. All three of my children had some sort of disability and on a 504 or IEP. Due to this, I had to be very "present" in my childrens education and there were times that I had to go head-to-head with faculty. But I would have had to do that at ANY public school, it's just the nature of the beast within a public school setting.
As far as the previous posts about teen prenancy, that just makes me furious. While I too had first heard of these rumors upon my children entering the HS, I found out that that report was OVER 20 YEARS AGO, get over it! That report is NOT relevant to today. San Marcos HS today is ranked as one of the top schools to go to. Currently, the school is under construction but will be beautiful (college like) once it is complete.
For anyone reading this, I hope it helps!
As far as the education aspect of the school - I thought it was slow paced & boring and I ditched a lot but I felt that way about all the schools I went to except for private school. I ended up going to independent study after missing my first year a half, caught up and graduated on time then went on to college and graduated from CSUSM.
I choose not to have children but if I did have kids I would make private school a priority and eat top ramen every day if I had to. But this is nothing against SM high school particularly but my opinion about public schools everywhere in the US (sad to say). I went to a lot of school (Ohio, TX, CA) and private school was the only place I felt challenged and interested (up until college - college was different and much better).
As for gang activity - I saw way more of that at SM Jr High than I did at the HS. There was also a higher rate or pregnancy in Jr High too (from what I saw with my own eyes, not 'statistical data' or anything). Those people didn't make it to HS. SM JR HS also gave out 'jr hs diplomas' when I went there so that those people who didn't make it on to HS at least had some kind of certificate of achievement before they moved on to raise their families. That's kind of a nice thing for those kids raised in a culture that emphasized family over education and hopefully it encouraged some of them to continue on despite the new family responsibilities. But gang activity in the school (SM HS) while I was attending was not extreme and barely noticed by me and my friends. We noticed it more in Escondido,Oceanside and Vista than we did in SM.
Anyway, the town has changed enormously since then - there's a lot of new businesses, a lot of new homes and nicer neighborhoods so I'm sure that the level of education has gone up due to increased revenue, and as was mentioned by another person, demanded by the homeowners in these nice communities. I moved back to SM and I love it here. The addition of the university and the development that has occurred so far has definitely made SM a better place to live & learn and I am happy to be here.
One of our agents has two sons who recently graduated from San Marcos High School. She is very pleased with the school and the progress her sons made there. One is about to graduate from college and the other is on his way to becoming a master chef.
I treasure dinner invitations to her home--and her family's great stories about San Marcos High School would put many fears to rest.
Best wishes with your decision!
I have two kids attending SMHS and both of them are getting a great education, are very involved on campus, have incredible friends, and they and their friends are getting into great colleges. My son is going to CSUN next year (excellent music program), and of his best friends who have attended SMHS and SM schools, one is going to USC, two are going to UCLA, one to San Jose (aviation), another to UCSD. Also, the older sisters of one of these friends, and graduates of SMHS attended Stanford and one was accepted to Harvard (but turned them down.)
Also San Marcos High as has been said it two different high schools. Students have graduated from that school and gone on to all the colleges and universities that let's say Torrey Pines students have gone to. It really comes down to your involvemend and their dedication.
Try dating your kids like you date each other. Try family vacations which include their friends. Try parties that you supervise with their friends or outings.
Of course they want to walk 10 feet behind you didn't you.
Of course you know nothing.
Of course the teachers and everyone else knows more and nothing is more important then loud music, text messages and cell phones.
BUT you are the parent and never give up that right. Remind them there are only two of them in this world that have the right to call you their mom and dad.
One last thing when they turn around 21-22 they begin to get their minds back even though you might have lost yours!!!!!
If I can help you with any more specific info. please call me.