Some students choosing public over private school

October 12, 2009 — by Christine Tseng and Denise Lin

Unlike most students, for whom the transition to Saratoga was already decided without a doubt , freshman Eveline Ju remembers the time when she had to choose between high schools.

“Basically, I was accepted into Harker, but that’s really expensive,” said Ju. “ I also applied to Saint Francis, but it was one of the Catholic schools [where] you waste an entire period on religion, so I don’t think I would’ve really gone there anyway.”

Although most freshmen come from nearby Redwood Middle School, some came from private schools. While convenience plays an influence on the decision, the cost of private schools in the current economy (which often runs as high as $33,927) is convincing an increasing number to enroll in their local public schools. The student population is projected to be 1,391 next year, an increase of 22 students from this year, according to the district.

Ju attended Challenger School for her elementary and middle school years, but since Challenger goes only to middle school, she had to make a decision of where to continue.

Ju decided on Saratoga High among the neighboring public schools such as Monta Vista and Lynbrook because of its smaller size. So far, she is enjoying the change and the experience.

“Challenger put a lot of restrictions on us, so I like Saratoga High better because there aren’t so many rules. We [My friends and I] were all happy to graduate,” said Ju.

Freshman Oliver Chen came here from Harker for a different reason.

“Following my big brother’s footsteps, I also made the switch to Saratoga High,” said Chen. “I think that Harker’s only worth it if you work your butt off and go to really good college.”

Chen is also finding his experience in a public school to be enjoyable so far. Chen has found so far that the extracurricular activities offered at Saratoga are more interesting.

“The activities offered here are very different,” said Chen. “For example, I really enjoy the marching band.”

Chen chose Saratoga High out the other public schools for a different reason too.

“I live in Saratoga so I didn’t go to other public schools in the area,” said Chen. “I think that Saratoga’s education is very good and that it can be a better real-life experience than Harker.”

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