My daughter attended this school. I rate this school with one star because as a former teacher and having worked in schools where the principal and all teachers have always been on board to make sure each child is equitably receiving the support, communication, and respect to ensure the best is done to ensure children succeed, you just don't get that here. I took my daughter out due to regular bullying occurring at the school as well as lack of support and leadership in addressing the 90% of students, putting their focus only on the top 10%.
My son went here from 1st-middle of 5th grade. First off, it is in a nice area with people that have money. I was a single mother and not able to donate large sums (they requested a large donation each year that I was not able to meet). In 2nd grade, he was dx'd with ADHD, and while there were some teachers and administrators that were helpful, others I felt labeled him. My son would complain about bullies and was depressed and anxious. Though he had an SSP, his 4th grade teacher stated he was below grade level and wasn't doing well at all. By the end of 4th grade, and with me fighting for it, he received an IEP. We moved to Valencia mid-5th grade. At the new school, my son was more cheerful and no longer seemed depressed or anxious- he even told me about the new friends he had made and "there aren't any bullies at this school like my old school." We met for the IEP and they couldn t understand why he had one. They stated he was bright, happy and totally at grade level. They put a hold on the IEP and now he seems happier, his grades are better, his work is neater and well developed, all without accommodations. Make of that what you will. I'm out of space to write. :)
Today our school and district came together to find short term solutions to resolve overcrowding in the TK & K programs. That was a WIN for the community and school. Longer term - we need better planning to ensure that future classes dont encounter the rough start we had this year. I look forward to the new year. Support our kids!
Westwood Charter is a wonderful school that teaches the whole child. My children have flourished academically, socially, and emotionally. The school is large with 900 students but feels like a much smaller community school.
This school says they are Anti Bullying but is simply untrue, both of my children were bullied here and told it was there fault. Also if your child has an IEP it will only be followed if it does not inconvienence the teacher, My child of was behind 3 grade levels because of this. Also the Mom Mafia is out of control here! if you child is in the lower mid teir this is not the school for you!
I cannot think of anything significantly horrible or wonderful that personally happened while our child attended Westwood Charter. The thing that has kept this school thriving with wonderful reviews is the parent involvement. It feels very much like a co-op/community type of enviroment. We made lots of friends we will always adore. Your experience does heavily rely on which teacher you get. Communication is below average between parent/teacher and parent/office staff. The cirruculumn is outdated and its sole purpose is to produce high test scores at the end of the year. And unfortunetly I have witnessed (4 times) and personally had to intervene (1 time) a teacher who was screaming for an extended period of time at 2 of her students in an older grade. Safety measures are in place but rarely used. If we stayed at Westwood Charter we would be accepting below average and hoping for something better. We are looking for a more progressive school with better safety measures and consistency in teachers who really want to love and teach our children.
Westwood is about community. The parents, teachers, administraiton and students all work together to create a safe but challenging environment for the students to learn and flourish. Westwood is a place where all kids can grow, make friends and learn.
This school is only as good as the teacher you get each year. Two kids can go to this school and get completely different educations. My oldest son had a wonderful education here. I pulled my younger child from the school-he didn't have the luck of the draw when it came to teachers. Another issue is that the teachers and administration support each other to a fault-if there is an issue, even if a teacher or administrator is off base, the staff rallies around one another and turns the issue around so that the child or parents are the culprit. It is only natural for professionals to look out for each other, but at Westwood Charter this is done to a fault, and to the detriment of the students. We experienced it as have a few of our friends. That said, if you get the "right" teachers there is a good education to be had-it's the luck of the draw.
I have been very impressed with this charter school, it is run by a strong group of involved parents and caring, creative teachers. My son has done well in K and now 1st grade and has formed lasting friendships and blossomed in his learning. There is much here to be admired, including the innovative ways the community raises money, stays organized and takes action -- the new principal this year was just ousted for not stepping up and being a positive, present leader. The only cons for me personally -- the large number of students, the lack of real-world diversity and the ongoing issue of campus security.