Summit Preparatory Charter High School, part of the Sequoia Union High School District, is a college preparatory and charter high school. Everest Public High School is a sister school to Summit, also in Redwood City.
Summit was listed as the #132 high school in the country in Newsweek's 2011 America's Best Public High Schools and among the top three in Northern California. Newsweek counted Summit among the 10 Miracle High Schools for "taking students at all skill levels, from all strata, and turning out uniformly qualified graduates."
Summit was named in the top 100 public high schools in the US and top 10 public high schools in California in the 2010 Newsweek ranking. It is one of five schools to which families are applying in the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.
Summit was founded in 2003 and was known for its excellent teachers and curriculum. Now, the school has a high turnover rate and teachers only stay an average of 2 years since the change in curriculum in 2012. For school year 2010-11 it has 425 students, and accepts about 100 per year. The class size is about 25 students to one teacher. Unlike many typical schools with an elective for one period a day, Summit spreads it throughout the school year. Called "Expeditions", it is now taken in two-week periods, which are broken up by six weeks of regular classes in between.
During the summer of 2007, Summit moved to a new campus previously occupied by High Tech High Bayshore.
Summit's main goal is to have everyone try their hardest and to prepare everyone for college. To help with this, Summit has implemented many innovative practices to further this goal. One thing is the small class size, with only 100 students and 25 per class, allowing the teachers to know all the students and know how to help them out. The next is mentor time. Every day for the last 10 minutes, students see their mentor. For all four years the students are at Summit, they get the same mentor and mentor group students. This allows students to be more open to their mentor and tell them what's going on with their lives to better help them succeed.
The Summit Preparatory staff also encourage six primary core traits: respect, responsibility, courage, compassion, integrity, and curiosity. These aspects are assessed in each student periodically throughout his or her high school career.
Summit Preparatory runs all students through same or very similar curricula, with all students taking a standardized curriculum and some students taking extra/alternative courses. These extra curriculum courses aren't offered at Summit. Summit also doesn't have a Physical Education portion of its curriculum.
All freshmen will take Geometry, some placement of Spanish (with 53% of 9th graders being in Spanish 1 or 2 and all Hispanic freshmen students being placed in the Native Speaker class ), Physics, freshman English, and World History Part 1. Some students will also take Algebra 1, but slightly over half of freshmen have completed Algebra before entering Summit and thus get a free homework period. This period is called Independent Learning. Few students have taken Geometry upon entering Summit, but if they do, they normally opt for an online mathematics course, such as Honors Geometry or AP Statistics. No AP coursework is offered freshman year, but diligent 9th graders can choose to take extra online courses on their own discretion.
Sophomores take Algebra 2, World History Part 2, some placement of Spanish, Biology, and sophomore English. Coursework generally builds from freshman to sophomore year, as Summit Prep is a college preparatory school.
Juniors at summit are automatically placed into AP English Language and Composition, AP US History, Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, and some placement of Spanish. Almost half of students are enrolled in either Spanish 4 or AP Spanish Language by their junior year. Again, students may take extra classes online to improve GPA or increase college credit, but this is completely unnecessary.
Seniors will take AP English Literature, AP US Government, AP Environmental Science, some placement of Spanish, and EITHER AP Statistics OR AP Calculus. About half of students are either enrolled in AP Spanish Language or AP Spanish Literature for their Spanish placement. Senior year is supposed to be rigorous, and students should suspect roughly 15 minutes of homework each night.
All juniors are required to take the AP exam for AP English Language and Composition at the end of junior year. Those who are in AP Spanish Language or AP Spanish Literature must take that exam as well.
All seniors must take 2 AP exams, and the exams they choose to take can regard 2 or more of any of the 4-6 AP classes they take that year. For example, one student may opt to take AP exams for AP Environmental Science and AP US Government, whereas another student enrolls in exams for AP English Literature, AP Spanish Language, and AP Calculus AB.
About 3% of freshmen and sophomores take extra AP coursework. They may take AP exams at their own discretion, without any interference from the faculty.
2015-2016412 students: 222 Male (53.9%), 190 Female (46.1%)