Menlo-Atherton High School is an outstanding academic institution where students are nurtured to their full potential. Located in a fantastic small-town residential neighborhood between San Francisco and San Jose, our students enjoy rich academic activities in a park-like atmosphere with attractive landscaping and tree-lined paths. There is an exceptional amount of parent and community involvement, which contributes to our calm, clean, and safe learning environment. Menlo-Atherton serves a community with high academic expectations and strong support for quality public education.
Menlo-Atherton High School is part of the Sequoia Union High School District, which includes four comprehensive and one continuation high school. The district draws most of its approximately 8,000 students from nine neighboring elementary/junior high school districts. District wide, approximately 850 credentialed and classified staff members serve the students and community. Located in southern San Mateo County, in the town of Atherton, Menlo-Atherton High School serves around 2,100 students in grade nine through twelve. The student body reflects the area's wide range of social, economic, cultural, and educational diversity.
There is deep support for public education in the community, which is reflected in the commitment of school volunteers, the financial contributions of parents and service clubs, and the passage of three recent construction bonds (2001, 2004, and 2007). Menlo-Atherton meets the challenges of students and its dynamic community through high expectations, quality teachers and staff, and an array of valuable support programs.
Menlo-Atherton is a four-year comprehensive secondary school. Our schedule is a modified block; Wednesday has three 95-minute periods and Thursdays has four 95-minute periods, while Monday, Tuesday, and Friday consist of seven 50-minute periods. Most students are enrolled in six courses. Students enrolled in seven classes are part of a support program, AVID, the Academy, or other specific elective courses.
Nearly half of our 120-person certificated staff have master’s degrees. In recent years, M-A has been named one of the top secondary schools in the nation by the U.S. Department of Education as part of its national school recognition program. In the last several years, Newsweek has consistently ranked M-A as one of the top public high schools in the United States. Menlo-Atherton is the only school in San Mateo County to be named a California Distinguished School in 2013 (also in 1986 and 2007).
Menlo-Atherton High School offers its students a broad array of classes that meet the highest academic standards. Classroom instruction is based on the framework of the California State Standards, and teachers align curriculum to the standards to provide strong and appropriate academic and career technical programs. Classes meet the University of California and California State University entrance requirements in addition to state and district graduation requirements.
We are proud of our rich curriculum. We offer seventeen Advanced Placement courses including Biology, Environmental Science, Calculus AB/BC, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, French Language, Latin Language, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, Art Studio, Art History, Computer Science, U.S. History, European History, and Physics. In 2013, 1255 AP tests were taken by 528 students with 85% scoring a passing grade of 3 or higher and 33% scoring a top grade of 5.
Electives are offered in Visual and Performing Arts, Industrial Arts, Media Arts, and Consumer and Family Studies. Other electives include statistics, psychology, gender studies, and Russian history/Cold War studies. Ninth and tenth grade academic support classes provide intensive math and English instruction for students performing below grade-level. Additional academic support programs include AVID, Compass, Honors Institute, the Computer Academy, 180 Degree Program, and Phoenix/NovaNet.
Technology has become embedded in the curriculum for both students and staff at Menlo-Atherton. In fall 2012, M-A opened its new Digital Media Arts Facility, complete with a video production classroom and a digital photography classroom, both with Mac computer labs, as well as two additional digital media classrooms with PC labs. We currently have five computer labs, 82 SmartBoards in classrooms and over 1200 computers available for instructional use including iPads, Chromebooks and laptop carts.
Many of our classes require students to create work and presentations using programs such as Dreamweaver, Final Cut Pro, Flash, or PowerPoint, and to conduct research using multiple online sources, to which all students have access. We also utilize GAFE (Google Apps for Education) so all students and staff have a Google account linked to Menlo-Atherton. Teachers can use their Google account websites to post homework, grades, class lectures, blogs and discussions, or additional resources for their classes. Parent volunteers at Menlo-Atherton ensure that each student has a working computer at his or her home, with access to the Internet.