I fell in love with Westwood Middle School during their Open House. I was impressed by how well the whole evening's program was planned and executed. I let my daughter decide on which school to attend and to my relief she chose WMS. She has been happy since she started 6th Grade in WMS and so have I. Her teachers are highly qualified, warm and nurturing. I get this sense that this school cares for its students not only to do well in class but as individuals being prepared for their future. I was told that middle school won't be warm and fuzzy and totally different from elementary school but the the bottom line is as long as they care for their students' well being, I'm happy. I'm definitely happy with Westwood Middle School.
My children attend Westwood by school choice, and the drive is well worth it. None of my anxieties about beginning sixth grade ever came to fruition. The children receive many positive referrals and rewards for good behavior. The teachers and administrators have all responded quickly by e-mail and/or phone call to follow up a concern. The extra activities have been good for my kids- baseball team, student government, news crew. The afterschool program and pre-school study hall enable my kids to get most of their homework done. It has been a great year!
Excellent school! Moved our daughter from private school to this middle school 2 years ago. The principal is WONDERFUL; he puts up with nothing, yet he loves the kids and respects the good teachers. The teachers use e-mail (all but one so far) to keep in touch, they respond QUICKLY, the textbooks are good (I am a certified reading teacher), the sports are SUPER, there are many clubs and the discipline is fair. This is a SUPER neighborhood school; our daughter is in the Cambridge program and I HIGHLY recommend it!
This school is awesome. This was a choice school for us and definately worth the drive across town twice a day. The teachers/staff are there because they want to be. They work as a team should together. Middle school is a time for many beginnings, trials and errors. The teachers do an excellent job of maintaining authority while helping our students transition to a new enviroment and greater expectations. The team work by principal, deans, guidance, teachers and auxillary staff can be seen from the classroom to the lunchroom and PE field. The key for parents is to continue to be involved. Parents complete the team. If you can't volunteer (and they love volunteers) keep yourself informed with whats going on and attend parent meetings. This is a multicultural enviroment with something for everyone, a well rounded place.
I am a parent of a second-year westwood student and I cannot say enough about how happy we've been with this school. The teacher support and enthusiasm is wonderful. My experience with middle schools has shown me that this is where all the sub-par teachers are located, but not at Westwood! The Principal of the school shows great leadership and RESPECT for both teachers and students which is really important for a healthy school environment.
This is my son's third year at Westwood. I have volunteered there for all three years as well. Pro: I find the staff to be experienced and dedicated, the principal and his staff work hard to keep the grounds clean and up-to-date. The guidance counselors work hard to put the kids into appropriate courses, and the teachers are very willing to communicate with parents. Their afterschool program is excellent: that's where my son gets his homework done. Con: The teachers don't all use e-mail (although most do), they all have different web page systems for keeping track of assignments (many don't use any at all), and so I don't start a real dialog with them until they notice that my son is having a problem.
Several of my kids have gone to Westwood. We like the professionalism of many of the teachers. The school now hosts The Cambridge Program . Despite this attempt to meet the needs of the better students, I notice an anti-intellectual attitude. Theft has been a problem for the years my kids have been there. Safety is the same as other schools in Gainesville: not as good as it should be, but not a huge issue. The principal takes an interest in individual students. The Art and Band programs are excellent.
I learned everything I know about grammar today at Westwood Middle School, and now I'm a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida. The teachers are excellent. Many of them have spouses who are professors at U.F., and they have decades of teaching experience in some cases. Also, U.F.'s strong education department sends graduate students to Westwood to test their sea legs under the tutelage of Westwood's seasoned teachers, providing students and teachers alike with exposure to the latest teaching methods. Their art, music, and other elective courses are strong, and their P.T.A. is very hands-on. Extracurricular sports are improving. Middle schools have traditionally been overlooked for funding in this area, but this is improving. This is a very good place to send your children, especially if you are concerned about their future performance on the S.A.T. and in college.
Many teachers are very good. However, administration protects the very worst teachers and does not address problems even when issue are brought to their attention. Principal act irrational about the new cafeteria, makes students life miserable during lunch.