College Prep, Less Stress

Teacher with students in the classroom


Dedicated to the belief that all students belong with expert and compassionate teachers, Mid-Peninsula High School empowers students with the knowledge and purpose to impact a complex world.

College Prep, Less Stress

The 21st century’s proverbial “race to nowhere” has shifted the emphasis from learning to arbitrary notions of “rigor.” Competitiveness has replaced collaboration, and anxiety has replaced self-confidence. For 40 years, Mid-Peninsula High School has successfully inspired students along their individual paths to college in a supportive manner that de-emphasizes stress and emphasizes a love of learning.  

Access to Co-Curricular Programs

Smaller schools are sometimes limited in their ability to provide mainstream programs for students interested in sports, arts, or music. At Mid-Pen, we provide all students with these opportunities by offering competitive no-cut athletics and comprehensive arts, music, and drama programs, inviting students to play a significant role in the life of their school.

Creative and Adaptive Approach

When high schools teach without considering the various stimulating ways to engage students, and the many ways in which students learn, the results are disinterested students rather than critical thinkers and problem solvers. We provide a collaborative, creative environment that challenges and stimulates students in their classes, relationships, and activities.

Small School, Big Benefits

Large public high schools fail to support a diverse student population and have become a one-size-fits-all proposition—kids who don’t fit the “one-size” get lost in the shuffle. At Mid-Pen, our students are afforded close relationships with their teachers and each other in a close-knit environment that would not be possible in a larger school. We are committed to providing students with individualized attention that empowers them to realize their full potential as learners and people.

Diversity Leads to Educational Excellence

When schools prioritize diversity and inclusivity, the result is an enriched school culture. Moreover, diverse perspectives bring about deeper understanding and closer connections in the classroom. Our campus serves an intentionally diverse student body where students thrive academically and socially by virtue of the richness that surrounds them.

Core: The Heart of Our Program

Every Mid-Peninsula student is assigned a Core Teacher, who serves as academic advisor, guidance counselor, advocate, community builder, and family contact. Core meets every day, giving students an opportunity to set goals, understand and develop their unique learning styles, strategize with their teachers about progress toward graduation and college, think about life beyond Mid-Pen, and obtain support, counsel, information, and referrals. Think of Core Teachers as your student’s partner in learning.

Core Values

Mid-Pen is a community for learning. As such, we place certain values at the center of our community. We perceive these values as vital for a supportive, productive, and educational environment. These values are:

  1. Respect 
  2. Kindness
  3. Acceptance
  4. Responsibility



Mid-Peninsula High School prepares students for successful college careers. Our accreditations and memberships communicate our high standards for educational excellence to our families. Below is a list of our current accreditations and certifications that verify our program meet the standards for empowering students to thrive at the next stage of their education.

  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, WASC
  • Accredited by the California Association of Independent School, CAIS
  • University of California, Approved A-G Course List
  • Certified by the State of California to award a valid High School Diploma
  • Course list approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse 


School History

Mid-Peninsula High School began with the closing of Cubberley High School in 1979. Phil Bliss and Herman Ohme saw a need for student services that were not being met in the post Prop 13 world. Families were looking for an alternative to the public system. Attempting to meet this need, Phil and Herman began working as advocates for families with students who were experiencing difficulty and dissatisfaction in the public school system or those who had undiagnosed learning differences. 

Typical to the Silicon Valley start-up culture, Herman began schooling the first three Mid-Peninsula students in his living room which would eventually transform into Mid-Peninsula High School. In the early 1980s, Herman and Phil leased space at the then closed Cubberley High School in Palo Alto. By the end of the 1979-1980 academic year, the school had 40 students and one graduate. Because Prop 13 caused many public school districts to abandon summer school, Mid-Peninsula experienced a very high enrollment for summer school in 1980, which translated into an increased enrollment for the Fall semester. 

Because there became an immediate need to accommodate a growing number of students, the school's founders leased a new site on Ross Road in Palo Alto, which was scheduled for demolition after five years. After 15 years, the school relocated to the 870 North California Avenue campus in Palo Alto, and during that time, Mid-Peninsula's home was scheduled to be reopened as a public school site. After having its first capital campaign, Mid-Pen was able to purchase, remodel, and shape our current home located at 1340 Willow Road in Menlo Park on January 31, 2001.