Quora: What is so special about The Harker School?

Melissa Kwan

Melissa Kwan, studied at Harker School (2018)

Updated Oct 28, 2017

Harker is special to me for these reasons:

  • Size. Harker’s high school is slightly under 800 people, or around 200 students per grade. To me, this is an ideal size for a high school. It’s big enough to offer specialized classes, from Food Science to Game Theory to Computer Architecture. But it’s small enough to know almost everyone in your grade, which creates a sense of community. It’s easy to find a niche. Most organizations (from yearbook to DECA to the cross country team) consider themselves families and jokingly refer to their senior leaders as “Mom” and “Dad.”
  • Lots and lots of resources. Due to the generosity of its donors, Harker has the money for anatomy tables, gel electrophoresis demos, Nikon DSLR’s in the journalism room, choreographers for dance productions, and (most recently) a fancy new gym.
    • Sidenote: Harker also offers many advanced math courses that public schools don’t. If you’re taking calculus in 8th or 9th grade, you might want to consider coming here.
  • Students. I love the people here. Yes, there are blatantly grade-obsessed people like at any other school, but I’ve found most people to be down-to-earth. My biology lab partner has won numerous science competitions, played violin in Carnegie Hall with the school orchestra, and become a Near Mitra scholar—and she’s one of the sweetest and most humble people I know.
  • Teachers. I’ve learned so much from my teachers here. From the required freshman Study of the Arts class (I took Study of Theater), I learned what makes a great public speaker. From my eleventh grade English teacher, I learned how to analyze quotes word by word to add depth to my essays. From my Comp Arch teacher, I learned the transistor hardware behind AND and OR gates. From my APUSH teacher, I learned about March Madness brackets.
    • I’ve also had meaningful conversations with most of my teachers outside of the classroom. One time, I interviewed my past Euro teacher about the election for journalism, and we ended up having a fifteen-minute discussion about it. I’ve talked to my calculus teacher about everything from litter to happiness, and to my English teacher about the role of screen time in our generation.

All that being said, Harker comes at a cost:

  • $45,877. I can’t profess to know the true value of these many thousands of dollars, because my parents pay for my tuition. Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, thank you! All I know is that Harker tuition costs about 5,000 avocado toasts, rent in San Francisco for a measly 11 months, or, if you prefer, half a Tesla Model X.
    • Is it worth it? I think it depends on what your other options are.
1 Like

I wonder how it compares to good public schools, like la schools

Public schools can never be as good, simply because they have to admit everyone living in their district.

Also I have never heard of a public school offering computer architecture classes.

There’s a math-centric private school in SF offering classes in topology. I took topology only in my junior year in college.

Uh, Lowell, Sire…

Daaaymn, ok Harker I give it to you (this time only!!!)

I don’t get the appeal of private school. What’s the ROI?

Big sounding name. I learned those during secondary school under basic electronics. Did she learn how to use a lathe, and what is a butterfly and dovetail joint? Do she know what is a gear system?

It doesn’t really what they learn or not learn in high school. If they get into Harvard or Stanford because they went to Harker? That’s all that counts.

computer architecture meh.
I was doing full blown websites with database and all at 6/7th grade. had quite a bit of a name too.

Where did you go to school again?

mit. see?

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Geeks working for bosses who went to Harvard and Stanford. :smile:

You think so? I can count plenty examples where it didn’t quite happen that way.

My Harvard potato cousin is making less than me (and he is older too).