We ve had a great year at Westridge! We looked at GT programs and visited numerous schools in DPS, LPS, Englewood, and Jeffco finding it difficult to get information and compare GT programs offered in districts around Denver. I hope this post might help others searching for public school GT programs. Of all the districts we spoke with and visited, we felt Jeffco offered the most proactive, accommodating, and most welcoming GT program. We visited many of the Jeffco GT center schools and found Westridge to be a friendly, welcoming, rigorous yet not high pressure school, with experienced GT teachers more than happy to talk with us and let us observe their classrooms. Our daughter is not highly gifted but she is really benefiting from the less repetitive more advanced nature of the GT classroom. She is learning new things every day, her teacher is phenomenal and really knows how to juggle the different levels of ability in the classroom. GT classes don t have access to any more resources than regular classes do, not sure why a previous post said opposite. Many after school activities are offered and our daughter has made many friends inside and outside of GT at Westridge.
We moved our son to Westridge after finding out that the elementary school he was in was not meeting state standards. What a difference a year made! The school has high standards and the teachers work really hard to make sure the kids meet (or get caught up to) the standards. Teachers in this school tend to function as a group rather than individuals and complement each other in their teaching. This means that all teachers in a grade teach mostly the same things. Rigorous education even if your kid is not in the gifted and talented group. Not sure where the parent below is from, but my son has full access to everything GT kids do. Many kids move up to the GT class for math or reading because they are above grade level. Love that they openly welcome parent volunteers here, too. My son is not a GT kid and I volunteer. Many non GT parents volunteers. The school is full of new technology. I am so happy we moved schools.
I chose Westridge my daughter's kindergarten year-our neighborhood school was rapidly "going downhill." Westridge was "highly rated" in the district. What I didn't understand, is that the GT program is where all the high scores are coming from! The GT center boasts extraordinary resources (tech &other) that the "average kids" do not have access to. The previous principal quit long before leaving. The new principal is sweet, but has no concrete plan to increase the educational rigor. All resources and attention continue toward GT. Parent involvement is good, but again, it is GT parents! My daughter's education is suffering! She entered kindergarten reading at a 2nd grade level.... and left first grade saying things like, "I don't have to TRY mom! It doesn't matter." Now in the 2nd grade (barely testing at 3rd level), after I have expressed my concerns, she is challenged more by my supplements than she EVER is in the classroom. I volunteer weekly and see it firsthand. Several teachers are preparing to retire in the next couple/few years...and it shows. My son will enter kindergarten in the fall. Both children will begin at a new school...one with rigor for education... not apathy.
Westridge Elementary ,it's entire staff rock! Anyone who has a negative comment about Westridge has never been to a school that really has problems! Our principal does know the parents and the kids! We came from a school three years ago that had a really lousy principal and a staff more inclined to climbing the ladder than helping and looking out for its kids. Barb Biolets old fashioned, no nonsense approach to having the kids show respect and honor the rules in unmatched. She is the first to lend a hand in times of trouble and the last to take credit for it. The entire staff at Westridge really cares about each individual child. We have had to work with two seperate issues that required extra encouragement and I am proud to say we were never let down.You get back from your relationship to your school what you put in.
We've had children in the school for more than 5 years. A very small minority of mediocre teachers is handily offset by an otherwise outstanding staff and a caring, knowledgeable and professional principal. There is also a GT Center on site.
This is our first year at Westridge and I can not say enough good things about every aspect of the school. I have observed the principal in the school and she not only knows the parents, she knows the children. They conduct their staff as professionals and lead by example. The children are expected to do their best and with the GT program are given the opportunity to do so. PE, art and Music are exceptional programs and the kids love them.
We are new to this school. The secretary have been a great helper. We are here since August, the principal never say HI to me or even a smile, I don't even know who's the principal or vice principal until three months later. Ok school, but if you are new, you have to work your way to find out all the info you needed. Needed a new leader!
I have two kids at Westridge. I agree with the comments that a new principal is needed! As for the teachers, out of the 8 teachers we have had, several were fantastic teachers and two need to be replaced ASAP! Overall, this is an ok school.
I do not understand any negative comments about Westridge. My student transferred there in the middle of the school year after losing a parent, and had serious personal problems as a result of this loss. All of the staff, Principal and Teachers, were concerned and helpful in getting her over this period. She was ready when shemoved on to Middle School. A GREAT PLACE!! while keeping her on the learning track.
We have two children attending Westridge. Our second oldest is in the GT program and doing very well. He is a year and a half ahead of the typical 6th grader. My oldest attended two Jeffco elementary schools and my second oldest attended three. Westridge is the best overall of the different schools. My youngest (3rd grade) has had three great teachers in a row and is very happy at Westridge. I find the 'leadership' references a little confusing--of course, none of the remarks are specific. I guess that parents base their experience on their child's experience alone. I have had three children (eight years difference between the youngest and the oldest) attend four different Jeffco schools and I believe that Westridge is the best of the four.