I liked this school the best when Dr. Richard was Principal. That year, the school had the highest testing gains of any HS in Mesa, he got so many kids to pass their classes and school spirit went up. He really worked hard and cared about all kids, not just the IB students. He also had coach Stowers there doing football and Stowers left the year after Dr. Richard. If they had both stayed it would have been a really amazing place. Too bad he left, I guess the school is just average now.
My child is now being taken out of Westwood. The teachers don't seem to teach,or communicate with the parents. There is drug activity on campus,the staff turns a blind eye to this. Numerous phone calls nothing in return.My advice if at all possible stay away from from Westwood high school.
My daughter is a junior this year and has attended Westwood since her freshman year. When her sophomore year ended, my daughter asked me to locate a free summer school alternative so she could move ahead with her studies and possibly graduate early. I found Primavera online and completed an online inquiry. After speaking with Primavera and discovering that the credits may or may not transfer, I declined to move forward with a summer school alternative for my daughter.
Today, I learned that Westwood withdrew my daughter from the 2015-2016 school year. I was beyond confused as to why Westwood removed my child from their school after I had just completed the annual registration packet that is mailed out 3 weeks prior to the start of the school year. (Please keep in mind that my inquiry occurred in May. The Westwood registration packet was sent out on July 20th).
After learning today, that my daughter was not enrolled, I questioned Westwood's rationale. I was blatantly ignored by the vice-principal when I specifically requested to speak directly with him 3 times. I spent 2.5 hours at the school waiting to speak with him. Instead, I had to resort to an email that explained my confusion and questioned their rationale. His response? It's Primavera's fault for requesting records. Please note that I never authorized a records transfer, never gave verbal consent or signed written consent for a records transfer. Why did Westwood jump to the conclusion that my daughter was withdrawn? What incompetent school official does not speak with a parent prior to withdrawing a student from the school? No consent needed?
Parents- Please be cautious when exploring options for summer school or even college. Westwood will unknowingly remove your son or daughter from their school- no parental/guardian approval is necessary.
I am an alumni from Westwood High. The majority of parents care about academics when it comes to schooling and Westwood provides many different paths to be successful if you strive to do so. At my time there my teachers helped me move from normal classes into CP/AP classes. Since, I went on to graduate with my BS in Computer Engineering and am a successful Network Engineer. Westwood's normal classes lack much of any supervision from the staff and the majority of the students in those classes are at best getting subpar education. In their CP/AP classes this is a completely different story. In the AP classes the teachers seem to care a lot more about their students and will work with them individually as much as possible to get them the information they are seeking. I feel that the CP/AP program is the best thing Westwood offers. I had many friends that also participated in their IB program and I would have to say that the majority of my friends that graduated with their IB diploma are not doing as well as myself or my other close friends who also took AP classes.
Gave them two stars just because there is a lot of school spirit. Teaching is lacking. Guidance and student leadership is lacking. Allowing groups of students to continually harass and ridicule other students is not acceptable at any level. If these children are our future, we are in trouble!
This is the worse High School. The bullying is out of control and the staff that should do something about it just wants to ignore it!!!! Kids dress horribly and there is not a dress code that is enforced, no one needs to see butt cheeks in school!! The teachers seem oblivious to what students are doing, as they snap chat constantly and instagram. This school is out of control!! We took our child out of the school and should have done that so much sooner. Our child is thriving in their new school!!!
Westwood High School is a diverse, endearing school in which students can full engage themselves in getting a proper education. It has many AP classes for honors students and is the only school in the entire state of Arizona to have the entire IB Programme for those truly wishing to extend their education. The teachers and staff really show their compassion for their jobs on a daily basis, and it is a privilege to attend such a school.
Dr. Richard just delivered what was probably the BEST high school graduation speech that I have ever heard in my years as a teacher. I know that there are a few entrenched "veteran" teachers on staff who did not care for him. In my opinion it is because, without really saying it, he called them out and challenged them to do more and to have a higher standard and expectation. Some teachers at Westwood have an attitude that they are doing the school a favor by "choosing to teach at Westwood" to "help these poor kids." It is that type of martyrdom mindset that becomes self defeating after a while and before long these good veteran teachers focus so much on their own created sense of self righteousness and "sacrifice" that they miss the forest through the trees and don't notice all of the bigger picture things that need to happen to improve the school as a whole. Dr. Richard pointed that out to many of these people. YES, at times, he could come across as arrogant and judgmental, and was too direct with the district probably when he should have been more political and strategic; but he LOVED kids and was totally passionate about making Westwood better, and, in many ways he did.
Hands down, without question, Dr. Richard is the BEST high school principal in our district. I have worked in this district for over 20 years. For the past 10 yrs I watched as our school became complacent with low expectations. Some of the veteran staff, long time staff were guardians of this culture. Dr. Richard issued a challenge, to expect more, from everyone and he has also provided us with the support and motivation that we need. Naturally, there will always be a few people who do not enjoy being asked to get out of their comfort zone, but the vast majority of people are very pleased with the very positive changes and leadership of our new principal. I know many other teachers in the district who would like to join the Westwood staff next year. Because of Dr. Richard, our school is, "On the Rise!"
Our new Principal, Dr. RIchard, has has such a positive impact on the kids and teachers at our school with his leadership. I am speaking as an 18 year veteran teacher and I can say that he is the BEST, kids first, principal that I have ever worked with!