West Side went through a big transition last year when another middle school in Groton was closed due to budgetary concerns. The student population is now much larger than it was in previous years. Nonetheless, this has been handled extremely well by the principal and staff, and the increased diversity in the student body has actually improved the quality of the school. My third daughter is now a seventh grader at West Side, and I feel that she is getting the same excellent quality of education as my two older daughters who were West Side Students. You could not find better teachers anywhere.
This school gets a bad rep. My daughter is currently in the 6th grade and excelling. The second she starts to fall behind, teachers are calling me to make sure she is ok and inform me on her performance. On top f that, you can monitor your kids performance online, where all homework grades and test scores are updated regularly. it doesn't matter if my child gives me her report card or not, caus all i have to do is log in and check it out. Bullying is not tolerated, this school and most in this district have STRICT zero tolerance when it comes to bullies. All the 6th graders were issued iPads and are implenting a new learning system which seems to be a success so far. Teachers are attentive, and when there is a problem they are quick and eager to resolve it. Yes, there are 8 periods, lots of homework and different schedules every day, but they are preparing the kids for highschool, which is a good thing! My daughter had a little difficulty in the beginning with the changing schedule, but they were very forgiving of it, she now has complete hang of it and will be ready for 7th, 8th and beyond. I'd prefer her to be challenged.
I just was graduated from this school in June, by the end of the day, i was crying buckets cause i didnt want to leave. this school was great. they provided great academics and help if needed. They had nice clubs and teams. they had amazing volleyball team that i was in and a great soccer and basketball team. I made so many great friends from my first day of school when i went to West Side. Amazing. ! (: This school was amazing and i would wish to go back in the beginning of the year when i was in 8th grade.
Two of my children graduated from West Side - the most recent in 2009. I strongly disagree with the comments of the poster who states that there is too much homework and that the schedule is 'confusing.' Did your child come from private school, or an elementary school that did nothing to prepare him/her for middle school? Neither of my children ever had a problem with the schedule or amount of homework. The sixth grade team of teachers is absolutely outstanding - you could not find a better groups of teachers anywhere. Middle schoolers should not be 'babied and coddled.' They are there to prepare for high school, and they need to start getting used to a higher level of instruction, and more demands.
West Side has some very dedicated teachers, but overall is not student-centered. There is an overall lack of consideration for how confidential info is passed out, too many daily class periods (8) (and no homeroom to allow the students to review their schedules, which change every day), and an oppressive, discouraging level of homework (for 6th grade). I almost took my child out to homeschool her. Enroll your child at another school if at all possible.
I have been very happy with West Side in general. My daughter has had some learning issues because she was adopted at an older age and did not speak English. The school has always made every effort to help her, and to accommodate her needs. The principal and assistant principal are extremely concerned with student safety, and disciplinary matters are well handled. It would be nice to see more field trips, more extracurricular activities, and classes for parents and students on bullying and internet safety. But overall the school is outstanding.