“Does this house go to Carlmont?” It’s becoming more and more of a frequent question in San Carlos. A few days ago I had a buyer walk into one of my open houses and ask that very question. When I responded with “Sequoia,” the buyer stated that she “was out of here,” turned around, and walked right out the door.
It’s really too bad because Sequoia has worked very hard to make improvements and many San Carlos families do have a wonderful experience there. The reality is that many buyers are not willing to give Sequoia a chance. For many, it’s Carlmont or finding an appropriate private high school.
Most of San Carlos is now designated for Sequoia High School. There is a small section of north San Carlos that is still assigned to Carlmont. However, with recent impacting issues at Carlmont there is speculation that Carlmont will eventually be off the board entirely for San Carlos. Carlmont was originally designed to service both San Carlos and Belmont. Even the name was born out of combining the names of the two towns. Currently, Carlmont, Sequoia, Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools all fall under the umbrella of the Sequoia Union High School District. Students are pre-assigned to one of the schools based on their address. Students are also allowed to apply for an intra-district transfer to any of the four schools as long as space is available. Until a few years ago, many of the students living in San Carlos who were pre-assigned to Sequoia, freely transferred to Carlmont. When Carlmont became impacted a few years ago, those transfers were no longer granted.
As mentioned, the truth of the matter is that many San Carlos families do not consider Sequoia an option. With Sequoia off the table many families have started to look toward private school possibilities, rather than a transfer to Menlo-Atherton or Woodside.
The private high schools getting the most attention from San Carlos families are: Notre Dame, Serra, Mercy and Saint Francis.
Notre Dame High School
Notre Dame is an all-girls high school located in Belmont on Ralston Avenue. Tuition and fees for the current school year are $16,650. A link to their site can be found by clicking here.
Serra High School
Serra High School is an all-boys high school located in San Mateo on 40th Avenue. Tuition and fees for the current school year are $15,540. A link to their site can be found by clicking here.
Mercy High School
Mercy High School is an all-girls school located in Burlingame. Tuition and fees for the current school year are $16,592. A link to their site can be found by clicking here.
Saint Francis High School
Saint Francis High School is a co-ed high school in Mountain View off of Miramonte Avenue. Of these four private high schools, Saint Francis appears to be the most difficult in terms of admission. Tuition and fees for the current school year are $13,400. A link to their website can be found by clicking here.
I have a child in grammer school in SC. I’m wondering why Woodside & Menlo-Atherton are not options for most parents? I remember when I was in high school (in the 80’s) these schools both had a good reputation. What happnened?
Also, I did a search on the Sequoia High School District website and found out that kids in Redwood Shores & East Palo Alto were assinged to Carlmont. That seems unfair as kids in San Carlos are located closer proximty to Carlmont than kids in Redwood Shores or East Palo Alto. What happened to being assigned to the school that is nearest to you? That is how it was done when I was in high school.
PS – I agree about not wanting to send kids to Sequoia. I understand that many kids may find it a good experience…but it’s hard to get past such a bad reputation.