This school has a great potential, HOWEVER, I believe it will either soar or sink in the next few years. School needs to hire somebody with a solid business sense to assist the principal with financial aspects and turn their dreams into reality. My advice to this school administration (and board of directors) is to get organized, follow through on your plans, address teacher turnover, and hire somebody with a business sense to keep this good school from going under.
This school is aweful. The Executive Director is never available when you need her. If you are not part of the Board or a volunteer than you are a nobody. Some of the admin staff are so rude and really need to find new jobs. They pull the wool over your eyes when you go in for visits. Just be careful before you decide to enroll your kid(s). Visiting it his school will look good during that time. But once you are there this school is not what you saw. They have no playground and probably never will, no custodial service so the student bathrooms are disgusting!!!!! These are all things you won't see. They clean the school and bathrooms before visits. If you join the schools Facebook page than you too get too get to read about all the B.S. That goes on. This is were you hear about all the things that parents are upset about. This is also were they ask you to come to this site and post your positive feelings about the school. So a lot of what you are reading is because they want to raise their score!!! Also this school does a lot of fund raisers. It is out of control. But they can't raise money because more parents are unhappy they just don't come out and say it.
DO NOT enroll in this school!!!! please save yourself the heart ache. This school is in trouble. Meant to be positive learning environment for TAG kids that have extra social and emtoional challenges. DO NOT BUY IT. I like a lot of the teaching staff but they do not have adequate training , if any, in how to deal with gifted kids. Leadership does nothing to support staff development. The school is badly organized and the classroom environment is chaotic and stressfull for my child. If you are a parent considering this school I would highly reccommend that you take a day when school is in session to visit and judge for yourself. Also, ask how they are doing with staff turn over. Many of the best and most experienced teachers have left. At the end of each summer we return to many new faces. My son has yet to make it through an entire school year without changing teachers. The last two years have been a disaster. Many of my sons best friends have left to go to other schools. We are seriously contemplating doing the same. Leadership doesnt communicate with the parents and they are inaccessible and unresponsive. We can't even adminster CSAP tests properly. Your child deserves better!
This school is exactly what our family needed! The teachers and administrators are so honest and hardworking. I have never been to a school where administrators are so accessible to parents. (Maybe some of the 1 star reviewers have never been in another public school before, but in my experience, I NEVER got to meet as a parent group with the principals and board members to have our questions answered). This is a rare and wonderful place. There are parent coffees twice a month, community volunteer days once a month, parents are welcomed to volunteer in classes and there are committees that parents can join as well. And most importantly, my gifted child is THRIVING. He is happy once again in school. There are no more tears and he has friends who think like him. He has found his educational home and we no longer fight over the kitchen table about school. Thank you Westgate - for being there for our kids who need you!
I had to give One Star... One word to define Westgate, Debacle. I feel sorry for the parents that had the wool pulled over their eyes by Ms. J 's sales pitch. Westgate sounds like, at first, that it is a wonderful learning environment where your child will thrive and grow. Let me assure you that is not the case. The classrooms are in a constant state of choas with zero structure. If your child is normal to gifted this is NOT a great environment. There is very very poor communication between teachers, staff and parents. However if you are the type of parent that doesn't want to know what is going on in your child's classroom or with their process, this is your school. Another fact that I find puzzling is the turn around with staff. I have NEVER heard of such high turn over anywhere. Teachers are running from Westgate. There are good teachers at Westgare. Westgate can't keep around. T
This is our third year at Westgate, and I feel we've now been here long enough to see both sides of the good/could use improvement sides of the coin. Westgate has had their fair share of growing pains, but I am continually impressed by the staff's efforts to address and respond to parent and student concerns. I also believe every school has its challenges, and nothing is perfect. I can't stress enough how much we've seen that this school can be the right fit FOR THE RIGHT CHILD. One of our children struggled last year, and we determined there was a better fit elsewhere. Our other child has absolutely thrived at Westgate, and loves it. I feel the greatest atribute of Westgate is their ability to embrace each child as an individual...the school and staff are great at recognizing and celebrating the unique personalities, talents and strenghts of each child.
It sounds like from the reviews posted that one either loves absolutely or really hates this school. It's definitely a different environment than most other schools, and we just couldn't stay there to the detriment of our children. We gave it a chance because our gifted son needed a bit more leeway than was allowed him in his previous school (which was very rigid). But there was so much leeway that it was chaotic. He wasn't required to do any work. I have to say we did like some of his teachers, and they did try, but the principal and other of her teachers were so unwilling to help us that we finally just gave up. I would say that if you don't mind not having any benchmarks for progress, and don't mind not knowing what your child is or isn't learning, and don't mind the discipline problems that come along with the disorganization at this school, then it's okay. But we needed more. Our current school, thankfully, allows for all of these things.
My 3 kids have truly been transformed through the experience they have had at Westgate. They now know what school should feel like. It should be a place where they feel loved and accepted, a place where they know the teachers are on their side and not against them, a place where they can learn and explore and be challenged in the safety of the knowledge that if they try and fail, they can get back up and try again, they will not be judged or given up on. It should be a home away from home, and that is truly what Westgate has been for them. So I just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
It is inconcevable to me that anyone can post false accusations on this site and others believe these things. I have recently read some incredibly ignorant posts that are inflammatory and libelous to put it mildy. ALL teachers at Westgate are highly educated, licensed professionals who undergo many hours of additonal training to help gifted children have their special needs met on a daily basis in aloving, caring, nurturing environment. Students are very well behaved: take a tour! Every school has a naughty child at least once a day. My own children have attended several different schools in six different states over the years and I have never come across a school whose standards for caring and education are higher than at Westgate. If you read a negative post, ask yourself: have I seen this with my own eyes? Who takes the time to post such nonsense? What is it that (if it even is a real parent, or is it another school?) they hope to achieve by posting such negativity? Call, go online to the website, take a tour, attend a parent info night; see for yourself! And for heaven sake: don't believe everything you read on the internet.
I am sad to say that I'll be moving my child out of Westgate after 3 years there. There are exceptional teachers on staff. They are truly caring about the kids, but its shortcomings far outweigh the benefit. There is no consequence or reward structure for behavior. Bullying and disruptive behavior goes unchecked. The chaos there is overwhelming. Teachers turnover is alarming. And if it weren't for the parent Facebook page, no one would know what is going on because of the culture of silence set by the administration. The ED has a brilliant vision, but manages very poorly, does not do well with parents, though she's great with kids, and is very defensive and controlling. I'm so disappointed in her. This year has been a net loss for my child which I attribute to inept management. It has been 6 weeks since the end of the last trimester and we have yet to see progress reports. I can help but wonder, because they're not telling us (parents) anything, is that they didn't like the results on the MAPS testing that saw, so they decided to retest. I wish them all the best, but am not going to risk my child's education until they get their house in order.
After seeing a recent review, I feel compelled to provide some feedback. The review states that teachers are not required to have certificates or register with the state. I am sorry, but this is so completely off the mark. All of the teachers have their teaching credentials and are deemed "highly qualified" in their areas of teaching. This is done through certification exams, such as the Praxis. As people, we work in different ways and have unique opinions. Even though many students (and parents) thrive at Westgate, it doesn't guarantee that every single person will. But I can't just sit back and read blatant inaccuracies and not correct them. Trust me, this school is different in a good way.
Moving to Westgate was a horrible mistake. My child went from average grades to below grade level and I was told to put her on an IEP. There's a lot of testing that goes on at this school (often without parents' knowledge or consent) to "place" the kids in various classes. The average experience of teachers here is 3 years, and that's including a couple of long-term teachers. It is a revolving door or poorly qualified or unqualified teachers who act like a group of high school kids- rumor mongering and treating parents like they are stupid and they are subordinates. There is no respect, no accountability, deplorable communication, absolutely no leadership, and absolutely no true learning going on. If you're looking at this school, ask yourself why there is no Principal or Vice Principal, why the teachers are not required to have certificates or register with the state, or why the teachers come and go every year. I regret the day I ever heard of Westgate.
I am not an administrator, just a parent who is thrilled with our decision to move our second grader to Westgate and have our kindergardners start at Westgate. We have two gifted children with sensory processing issues who are happiest when moving and expressing themselves creatively. I believed Westgate would be the best fit for them, and it is. What has been a wonderful surprise is what a great fit it has also been for our third gifted child. His ability to move through material quickly has been encouraged and his placement has changed as he masters material. That's possible because of the universal design. The teachers we've worked with are amazing: warm, loving, creative, fun. We are looking forward to the program becoming even stronger as WCS settles into and takes advantage of the great new space in its own building.
What I absolutely love most about this school is that it dares to think outside the box. Westgate gets our children, loves our children, and fosters their emotional and educational growth. Thank you for daring to break the cycle of what the "norm" (as read below) has sadly become. This has been the absolute best year of my daughter's educational life. Thank you for having the foresight, strength, and courage to bring your dream of what a school should be into reality. "People are not being educated; they're being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short term and repeating it. The bulk of how you are graded is by completing daily work. Obedience is, in fact, work force's most important quality in a worker bee."
I have been an educator for 11 years and my child is in his second year at WCS. The flexible model to meet the needs of students is one that I have never seen anywhere else. The students are carefully assessed and yet their social/ emotional needs are also considered when placing them for ability classes. My child is a first grader loves school! He is a mathematical child and is in 3rd/ 4th grade standards. For advanced students in most schools, they are given busy work or pulled for G/T. He is in a class with other 1st/ 2nd graders at his level and they are engaged in fun, challenging and exciting lessons everyday that is not busy work. he comes home and teaches us his new math games enthusiastically everyday. The Universal design in critical in order to truly allow for this to happen and I have not seen this design in any other school. it is brilliant! Also, the fact that they have 30 minute lunch in the classroom, quiet time, appropriate lengths of time for recess, he is not restless, agitated or distracted. All of these considerate planning based on children, creates an environment of ease, community and warmth for my child.
We transferred one of our sons to Westgate two years ago after he had a bad experience at the Studio School. I now have one son at Hulstrom and one son at Westgate. Each one is happy at the school he attends because each has different needs. The son at Westgate was originally accepted at Hulstrom but would have had his self-esteem crushed there. While he is gifted in science and verbal ability, his reading and writing abilities were abysmal and Hulstrom is not the place to nurture the love of learning in a child like that. The teachers and staff at Westgate worked with my son to improve his reading. The Studio school said he didn't have a reading problem but Westgate acknowledged his problem and the reading specialist worked with him to improve his reading to grade level on the standardardized tests. His self-esteem is much improved with his improved reading ability and he is not labeled as DUMB for his inability to handwrite. In fact, the school has been accomodating and cooperative. Prior to Westgate, we had a 7 yr-old who cried that no one understood him and today we have a happy 9 yr-old who loves his school.
Neither of my kids have an IEP or 504 and both are totally different personalities and learners....both as excelling and, most importantly, LOVING school....everything single thing about it. If you're looking for a traditional, pencil & paper environment, no, Westgate is not for your child. But, if you're looking for a place that creatively engages your child wherever she/he's at and however she/he needs, then this is the place.
My children are in their second year at Westgate. They are visual spatial learners, and reading comes harder to them. After my own personal experiences as a child in gifted programs that concentrated on achievement and reading and sadly in giving kids a fear of failure, I found Westgate, and am so incredibly happy I did. My kids' math skills are well accommodated, and scaffolding is given so they can be challenged even as their reading skills improve. They love school, they love their teachers, they absolutely love learning, and have none of the baggage of gifted programs that put scores and success the first time, every time, higher than actual learning, creating, growing, and not being afraid to try new things. I'm interested in growing creative leaders who are able to take on the world, and thankfully Westgate has the same goals, and so far, we've been thrilled with our experience. Now, to be fair, there are some communication issues the school has yet to work out, but we found when one of our children was being bullied, it was taken very seriously and was handled immediately with privacy and respect for both my child and the child doing the bullying. That speaks volumes to me.
Our daughter is a kindergartener this year at Westgate and we have been thrilled with our experience.The K,1, 2 teachers are highly committed & pour themselves into the meaningful work they do with students each day. The school is focused on making learning fun & meaningful while still holding kids to high academic standards.The master schedule is designed for students to be leveled for both literacy and math (instead of a schedule designed around a lunch or specials schedule). Gifted kids get to be gifted all day long, everyday not just for a pull-out program, reading group, or math club.When you are told that your child will be placed in the curriculum based on their individual needs, they deliver on that promise. Parent communication has always been timely, thorough and warm. Our little girl is moving right along and having her needs met as a gifted learner without any of the competition,pressure, or excessive homework that other gifted schools in the area demand of young children.She's allowed to be a happy, playful child and still make great academic progress. I am a teacher myself of 12 years, and I recommend Westgate for all types of learners!
My son is a kindergartener at Westgate, and we've had a great year. He has some mild sensory integration issues, and in preschool, his teachers did not know how to handle that. He wound up hating music and art. In Westgate, the teachers know how to best engage students like him, and now guess what some of his favorite electives are? :) He's made great strides in language arts and math as well. His teachers have been great, communicative, and supportive. He's made great friends with the other students. My only concern has been with the BASE program over the summer (I pulled him out in the fall). In general, I think this school is terrific!
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
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.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Westgate Charter School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for Westgate Charter School, including performance data and recently posted user reviews.