When going to North, you have to realize that there are essentially TWO schools which go here, not just the one which shows up on a piece of paper. There is the IB and AP program and the rest of the school. Within the IB/AP program you meet a huge amount of good students who are always willing to help anyone out, but outside of this group, you have a population which is introverted and isolationary. Fights are uncommon, and as long as you stay away there are few issues. As for the administration, there are some rough patches, including a now revised zero tolorence policy for electronics, but otherwise, they are there to help. The last rough patch was Dr. Sheffield, who's idea of what this school needed was distinctly different from the idea about half of the school had for it.
I have been involved with North for many years, currently have a student enrolled and one on the way. No, it's not a perfect school. North has hit a few rough patches, especially over the last few years, and the last principal abandoning ship after promising otherwise, wasn't very helpful. However, the school has an even better principal now; I believe Dr. Sheffield has the students' best interests in mind instead of her own advancement. My son's counselor is awesome; she seems to get to know her students and finds the right fit for them, not only with their classes but with teachers as well. I have found the experience here that the teachers maintain good contact when parents show an interest & make themselves available. There is a good curriculum available, too, including many AP, IB & ROP classes. As far as students go, there are good and bad ones everywhere. I like the diversity on campus; it feels like a true Southern California atmosphere and not the "bubble" that's typical of this area. When I've been at the school, the majority of the students have been polite and respectful. Once again, the school is far from perfect, but I'm happy with my choice to send my children here.
This school is not meant for someone who wants to get a true education. If you would like your child to be safe and in good hands, you should think of sending them to other schools. Children here carry weapons and some are even gang related. I am writing this because i want you to fix the mistake that i made. Coming to this school was probably the biggest mistake i've ever made.
I am a student barely about to begin my 2nd year at North, and I liked my first year overall. During my first day there the teachers and staff were very nice. My only issue was that it seemed like the teachers never gave out enough homework and we weren't being challenged enough. Sure the assignments were easy, but as a freshman, I was too lazy to do the homework assignments. One of my teachers failed to make it apparent to the students WHEN to turn in our big projects/essays, and that's one of the reasons I didn't get credits in one of my classes. Now I know that high school should be taken seriously. One thing I like about the staff is that, even though they have a policy for no electronics, I got my iPod stolen and I knew who had it. I told the cop that they have in the discipline office, and he helped me get it back, and told me, "If this happens again I can't help you, we do have a rule here," and I understood. At North I only witnessed 2 fights, and there are not as many bullies as everyone assumes. I had an issue with one girl who got physical, but I ignored her and told her we weren't friends anymore. Other than that I had the best first year, and I made lots of friends.
1. Great teachers who really want to help the students. 2. Horrible vice principal who thinks if you make one mistake you re a criminal (threatened me to take out my earphones or he d take them and keep them and not give them back) 3. An office that doesn t know the rules (i had my earphones in because they said it was alright) 4. Horrible students with really bad attitudes that don t like to meet new people. Which was bad considering i was a new student who had no friends. For 30 minutes in the morning and for another 30 minutes at lunch i just sat against a wall near my next class crying wondering why i had to go there, wishing i had music or friends to comfort me. It was the worst experience of my life and im glad i dont go there anymore
As a former student who went through the IB program, I'm not surprised that less than 10% end up with a diploma -- it's a tough program. If you're willing to work hard, you'll learn a lot and be prepared for college and beyond. The IB diploma grads I've known have gone on to various top colleges (Yale, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, etc) and have thrived. I'm certainly grateful for the IB program and North in general as it helped make my undergrad and grad years a lot easier as I was better prepared to handle the challenges.
It's a shame that ex-IB Students bath mouth the program. Could it be that they did not receive an IB dipoloma and are sore about it? in my opinion that's what it is. John Wesley North is an excellent school, the principal and staff go out of their way to help the students/parents in every need they have. As a parent of 2 wonderful and successful young men i highly recommend John Wesley North High School to anyone. It's unfortunate that the school is judged by it's location not for the curriculum it offers its students.
I wouldn't go to this school unless there was an IB program. And I even know that the IB program is a sham. Less than 10% actually receive the diploma. Far more go for the certificate which doesn't really count, in my opinion. They do offer rigorous classes but only if you're in IB. The football team and the track team is one of the best in the state. There are many clubs on campuses but the majority of them are inactive. The Mock Trial and Academic Decathlon are actually very good extracurriculear activities that look good on college applications. There is a huge lack of funding at this school. The principal is very very good. Very little parent involvement unless your kid is in IB.