As a substitute teacher of 6+ years, I have worked throughout LA, and am exceptionally qualified to compare Windward to other schools. Hands down, Windward is my favorite school to work at. The culture is friendly, supportive, academically rigorous, and there is almost never a problem of students acting out in class! They instill acceptance, compassion, and mutual support among students and faculty alike. The kids come to class prepared to learn and work, and I don't witness the same apathy and defiance I do at other schools. I've never seen students get in fights. And despite a diverse student population, racial tensions are nonexistent. The highly negative reviews seem fictional to me. In my 6+ years coming to Windward I have never witnessed bullying/mean-girl issues or excessive cliquey-ness. Some cliques will naturally appear in any large mixed social setting, but there's nothing outwardly malicious or exclusionary going on. People complaining about Windward are in fantasy land. Schools really don't get much better than this. As someone with a truly independent perspective, I can say that the positive reviews are consistent with what I've seen at Windward; the negative are not.
I gave the school 2 stars as they have some great teachers. HOWEVER the counseling program here is in need of a drastic overall as is their approach to dealing with teens out of control. The mean girl movement is in full swing with no control nor real concern by the school. The academic standard is high but so much so that if you don't shine you are left behind, not picked for various leadership roles, and your child's self-esteem is damaged. Boys fair much better than girls here. Beware!
Windward has been a more wonderful experience than my family could ever have dreamed. Our daughter was admitted for the 8th grade from an over-crowded Santa Monica public school. The teachers are beyond incredible and as my child observed, "The teachers treat you with friendliness and respect. They aren't always assuming you're going to screw around." As one of the three incoming 8th graders, my daughter could easily have been miserable if the grade was "clique-y" but she was fully welcomed. By the end of her first week she "knew" everyone in her class and felt completely at home. This welcoming attitude has continued throughout her current 11th grade year. She loves her teachers and they all go out of their way to help the students succeed. Last year my daughter was ill and missed almost 1 month of school and her teachers worked with her on their own time to bring her up to speed. I can't imagine a more loving and supportive environment (as well as a wonderfully challenging one.)
I feel incredibly lucky to be teaching at a school that really embodies its mission to offer a dynamic education and a nurturing environment. I ve been working at Windward for five years now, and I am energized and excited by the school s focus on assessing itself in order to best serve the students. Part of that examination has involved finding effective partners, whether in the world of business, government or academia. Those outside partnerships have enriched the whole community, and I know that I, as a classroom teacher and educator, have learned much from them and am better because of them, whether it is a faculty trip to Stanford s Program in Writing and Rhetoric or helping students to prepare for their presentation to a group from a consulting firm. How fantastic to work at a place that thinks about what it does because the students and teachers matter so much.
Windward offers something for every type of student. Excellent academics, great athletics and fantastic arts (theater, music and fine arts) departments make Windward a truly well rounded school. But more importantly, Windward produces well rounded students who graduate with the skills necessary to excel in the world. A wonderful sense of community spirit has made Windward the perfect place for my son (and our family) to spend the past five years.
I have been working at Windward for 6 months and I have been incredibly impressed by what this school offers its students. The academic programs are definitely exciting, but what has really surprised me is the community. From what little interaction I have with the students, it's easy to see that they all love being here. I chaperoned the senior trip last year and saw what a cohesive group that class had become. I work with many alumni and hearing them talk about their time at Windward, the connections they made with their classmates and teachers, and how well prepared the felt when they got to college is moving.
Windward is a great school for those students that are high achievers in either academics or athletics. It has a great group of teachers an the students there are very friendly. If you go, you get the opportunity to try many new things and be open to more ideas for the future. Its a great experience to go to windward and i definitely recommend it.
Without doubt, worst school ever!!!! My children hate this school. Both my son AND daughter have been bullied by students AND teachers
At the beginning of last year, I was terrified to attend a school like Windward. Up until then, I had only ever been to public schools, and the idea of making the switch was scary. However, the students at the school were quick to befriend me, and I have since come to love my fellow classmates, teachers, and administrators. Everyone has been so supportive, especially since the classes are challenging and the workload heavy at times. I love being here. The campus is beautiful, and I couldn't be happier to attend Windward.
I had a TERRIBLE experience at this school. All they want is your money. The kids are extremely cliquey and many of the girls can be really rude. While some teachers are good, a lot of them (especially the new hires) have been awful. The fact that the entire basketball team is all recruits that are on full scholarship is unfair to the numerous kids who otherwise would have gotten accepted. Having been to numerous schools, this school is by FAR the most materialistic, cliquey, fake and unaccepting school there is. The kids here are in a bubble, with no view of the outside world, or how people live without "daddy's money" paying for everything.
I am currently a senior at Windward. I would like to take the opportunity to respond to a few complaints common on this site: "Academics are not challenging enough:" Simply put, Windward is as challenging as you make it. Since coming to the school in ninth grade, I have only taken honors classes and, by and large, had wonderful experiences at Windward. I will concede that I have had a few "duds," but these teachers were few and far between. I have heard anecdotally that middle school teachers are not completely up to par with the high school teachers. My experience has been "Windward's new hires are not great:" Au contraire! One of my best experiences with a Windward teacher was with a new Physics teacher. He was one of the driving forces in inspiring me to pursue science. I have him again this year for Senior Physics, and I am really enjoying the class. I will note, however, that I have had a subpar new teacher. A new biology teacher, who was a very nice, helpful man, had never taught high school students before and taught the class in a style that was too easy for eleventh graders. I have heard that in his second year, his class is much more challenging and exciting!
Windward has been the perfect school for our family. The size of the school, and the dedication of the faculty and administration, has enabled my son to learn about what is important both in and outside of the classroom. It is the balance between strong academics (without a cutthroat atmosphere) and a supportive sense of community (without coddling) that makes Windward a special place for students to learn, gain self-confidence and explore a variety of interests. My son has made life-long friends, experienced success in athletics and the arts, and feels well prepared for the academic and social challenges he will face upon graduation from Windward next spring.
Windward is a terrific place to work. One thing that makes it so good is the support faculty and programs get from the administration. We get a lot of support to help us advance in our fields of study, and we get a lot of support with whatever we need in the classroom to do our jobs well. In addition, resources are distributed very equitably across all of our programs; no program suffers at the expense of another. Academics, arts, and aethletics are all supported and championed equitably. And this plays out in the way students at Windward feel very free to choose their own passions and paths, exploring the full versatility of their talents across a variety of activities and pursuits, without feeling like they have to choose between one thing or another for fear of being judged negatively for it. The students benefit greatly from the open, collaborative, and respectful attitude the administration and staff promote and imbue.
I have two daughters at Windward, an 8th grader and an 11th grader. We have been at the school for 5 years and during this time I have proudly watched my children grow into caring, responsible, intellectual young ladies. Windward encourages them to take on new challenges and is supportive if they fall short. Windward provides a solid foundation that allows each student to go out into the world confident and passionate and eager to help others. We have all made meaningful relationships at the school and feel very blessed to part of the Windward family.
We have been a Windward family for over 5 years. We considered many independant schools and through the process Windward became our first choice. We have two very different boys and Windward offered the balance that we were looking for. Windward has an outstanding faculty and administrative team, educators who truly care about the students and while they have expectations for the students, they help them to develop and strive to do their personal best. As a result of this environment, we have watched our children grow and develop into young adults that are engaged in their work and the larger world around them. Their confidence, self esteem and independance continue to grow. The passion of the faculty towards their particular subjects is palpable. That energy and enthusiasm is conveyed to the students and in return the students are interested and engaged. We also enjoy the greater community at Windward. The families are generally a very grounded group. Our children have made some wonderful friends. When checking in with our children about their experience, they are very positive about Windward.
We have been members of the Windward family for four years now. Our oldest son is in 10th grade and our younger son just started 7th. We are grateful to be a part of this wonderful community. When researching schools, we wanted to find an academic environment that was challenging yet supportive of all of our children's needs. Our boys, with different interests and learning styles, both play team sports, yet are able to try other classes such as arts and debate, while managing their required school work. We loved that Windward encouraged students to find their passion. Too many schools, particularly on the westside of Los Angeles expect entering students to be experts at one thing or another. Windward has truly provided them a dynamic education in a nuturing environment. I highly recommend this school.
I have two very different daughters, an athlete and a scholar, and both have found their way at Windward. We targeted the school over 8 years ago when my wife and I split up--we were determined to find an environment that would serve as our family meeting ground. We love the small-school feeling, we love the education, and we love the way that each of our girls feels like a valued member of the community.
Windward is an outstanding school. Both our daughter, who graduated a few years ago, and our son, who attends currently, have had great experiences at Windward. The faculty, good to begin with, has steadily improved over the years. The facilities are fantastic, especially with the recent addition of the state-of-the-art science and performing arts complex. The administration is attentive and responsive, the support staff excellent (including a three-person college counseling team), and the athletic program consistently first rate. I can't say enough about this school.
After more than 3 years I can say with certainty that Windward is academically disappointing. While a few teachers are outstanding, my child gets more than one dud every year. The school is particularly sub-par in terms of new hires: it doesn't seem to be able to pull in the best and brightest. BTW, AVERAGE academic class size for our student this year is 20. I don't like that it advertises 16:1 but my child has had classes of 24 or 25. Also, beware: many upper school sports teams don't have a JV - just because this school is small doesn't mean your child will get played on Varsity! On the upside: the school has a culture of "nice" -- it avoids a lot of Los Angeles private school social pressures. ps I am really trying to be honest in this review, not out to trash Windward.
Windward is awesome! Kids have a wonderful experience and parents enjoy a supportive, caring atmosphere from an excellent teaching staff. School spirit is amazing, Go Wildcats!!
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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