I have stumbled onto this site and felt compelled to write a comment. I have live in South Walton for 10 years and have 3 kids that are in the public schools in SW. It has not always been perfect at any school they have attended here but it is with dedication and parent/community involvement that I believe SW will soon be the best school in the panhandle. The administration is changing, the accountability is improving, the classes offered is expanding and the college bound graduation rate is growing. I believe it was about 80% last year(class of 2012). My senior this year has had a wonderful high school experience, one that includes lots of friends, great teachers and wonderful memories that he will take with him as he enters college in the fall. No school is perfect, but it is up to us as parents and communities to quit trashing our local schools and step up to help improve them.
Came from a much larger school system in the Atlanta area. This is my 10th grade son's first year at SWHS. the teachers have all been very nice and helpful and one in particular will text or call me just to make sure I am receiving permission slips, etc. My son went on a school field trip to a local college in Niceville this week and came home excited for the very first time about going to college. The kids (and parents) seem to be lacking school spirit and my son was very disappointed that there wasn't a swim team. But overall, we are happy with SWHS and the teachers. The principle specifically was very helpful during orientation.
I beleive most FL schools in general are below par but I have to echo most of the bad reviews. It really come down to being lazy and the leadership not caring. When I say leadership I'm including the SW staff and the Walton County School Board and when I say lazy I'm including 90% of teachers and 70% of parents. The teachers only do what F-CAT requires and no more. Most of the parents are happy if their kids attend class but won't lift a finger to volenteer or fund raise. We have a senior there and two others in ECMS. I will not subject them to SWHS's laziness. They will be going to Freeport HS. That's right! Freeport HS is now rated better than SWHS. That show how far Freeport has come and how bad SWHS has sunk. The parents are really involved at Freeport and the staff is determined to help the kids succeed. Bye Bye SWHS.
I generally do not provide reviews but felt it only fair to speak up after reading the posts for South Walton High School. This is our child's first year at the school after moving from a much larger, "better" school in a different state and we are very pleased with the administration, teachers, and staff. What could improve is parent involvement and support. A low review for this school is undeserved. Our child is happy, involved, and taking honors/AP classes in a small school environment.
Guidance counseling is non-existent at South Walton. Forget about college prep. No one seems to know the rules for Dual Enrollment, Bright Futures, or anything that has to do with attending a 4 year university. Try setting up an appointment by phone at South Walton. You will be waiting the rest of your life for a return call. Great example of expedience at South Walton; after not getting a response, I personally showed up in the Admin office to make an appointment. I was told the counselor was not in and I would get a call back. Not a minute later she appears, walking towards the receptionist's desk. I was stunned when the receptionist stated "she told me to say she wasn't here"! The only way to get through is by way of the School Board. My daughter's second year at South Walton was the last straw when she was placed in the same courses she had taken in the previous school year. When the guidance counselor was approached she stated it would be 30 days before any changes could be made. She was withdrawn that day. If you want your child to attend a 4 year university this isn't the school for you. You must be selective and strive for the best. This school doesn't care!
I can only judge the school by statistics. Most students come from the middle school performing at grade level, and by graduation performance drops dramatically. Only 57 percent of students are reading at grade level in 10th grade. If I scored 57 percent, I would get an F, not an A under the grading system the state has created. Call it an A and the parents feel they have done what they can for their kids. Parents who are so pleased with AP classes need to get out of the stone ages. The best universities expect students to have IB diplomas. IB cirricula is something that is not even discussed in Walton County.
I totally agree with the previous ratings but they just held the election again for the superintendant and the same incumbent won who's been in 3 terms (that's 12 years!) You get what you (don't) vote for.
I've had two children go to SWHS. One graduated in 2007 and one is in 10th grade this year. I notice that many of these reviews are from a few years ago and so much has changed since then.We've had nothing but a positive experience. I wish they had a few more electives but other then that the teachers, administrators, and the new counselor are fantastic. Honors and AP classes are offered, college planning is available. What I have found is that most of the kids/parents who complain about the school are the ones who like to place blame on others for their failures rather then step up and take school seriously and as parents get involved.
school was horrible i was subjected to bullying at the extreme levels ansd nothing was done to stop it. The school had no good classes or electives even tho teachers picked on me and gave me a hard time STAY AWAY from this school do not go here it is hell on earth
School is awful..My child has been there 4 years, through controversial athletic directors & principals, non-caring counselor...Never get a call back from anyone. And if your child wants to go on to college, you can forget about anyone trying to help them prepare & inform them of possible scholarships, etc. They really seem to focus on the FCAT scores..to keep the school in good standing, while everything else a high school should be suffers. The student body pretty much mirrors the administrators (minus a few good teachers) not involved at all..My other children will NOT be attending this school..
Bad school. Went there, and eveybody is lazy and nobody cares about anything. If you want to have a career in ANYTHING don't come here.
I won't quite give it a 5 star but I have to say that it has come a long way. If your child is fairly clean cut and is a stickler for rules (like my son is) then this school is great. The counselor has helped my son immensely over the past two years to keep his eye on his goals and he not only graduates next week, he has already been helped through programs and will be attending college, something I was scared I would never be able to afford for him. Mrs. Fairweather is a great asset to this school as well. Now, if your child is more the free spirit and artsy type, such as my middle son, then this school may not be for you. He was never encouraged to explore his strengths and spent most of his 2 years there butting heads with teachers, including the obnoxious band director, and in 11th grade he wound up dropping out and finishing up online at the Florida Virtual School. So, what is good for some is not always what is good for all and if the school would learn to be a little more "out of the box" for the students that may not always be in the *norm*, then it would really have something.
i seem to have discovered this site by accident and i would like to state that while its by far not the best school, it has the absolute greatest, wisest,(and oldest lol) teacher ive ever met. thats right, coach friggin high lol. history teacher richard high. i sat and talked to him a whole hour about lon chaney and other classic movies (no1else in the class knew what we were talkin about XD). other great teachers were sally barrow (only1 in the world who can teach me math) coach kraig and nick (incredibly funny duo) and mrs. trafton cracks me up with her sarcasm. review was written by ~the guy whose entire wardrobe consists of nothing but Metallica t-shirts
SWHS is a great school. I was shocked when I read some of these reviews. Most of them do not reflect the current situation, but are from a time when the school was under different leadership. My son has attended other schools, and this one is by far the best. He receives the help and encouragement he needs. He enjoys sports here. I wish this site could be updated to reflect the changes that have occurred under the school's new administration. I highly recommend South Walton High school to parents seeking a quality education for their child.
i went to south walton and my sister graduates next year and let me tell you going to south walton is like sitting on a roundy round for 4 years until graduation when you just get thrown off in any random direction. i had very high hopes of attending a 4 year university and it was harder then pulling teeth to get any help or advice even at the 'senior meetings'. popularity is the number one priority for staff and students. favoritism rules over all and the student and parent voices are unheard unless your in that certain group. everything from scheduling conflicts and college goals fall on the deaf ears of the school counselors.
Ignore past criticism, this school has come a long way. There are some limitations because of the size and what courses can be offered but it is head and shoulders above other Walton County High Schools.
The school has improved and there is a great and positive attitude swarming through the hallways!
wow after looking at all the reviews since 2003 I think our school SWHS has improved tremendously I have two children who attend SWHS my oldest is a senior this up coming year and he is a basket ball player, our daughter is going to be in the 10th grade and she excells in school as well has enjoyed the softball team last year. All I can say is SWHS has been good for my kids, my son had an 'issue' in the 10th grade and with help from staff he really has come full circle. I prayed long and hard for my kids in high school, as it can be a trying time, and God heard me and gave us great favor in teachers and office staff, Thanks to Mr. Michie and Suzie life was good 07-08 school year. Thanks SWHS Robin parent
south walton is a wonderful school, full of great students. my child was new last year, and had no problom at all making friends. all of the children were very sweet and inviting.
SWHS is a terrific school. I have two kids there and my senior is sad she is graduating and leaving her friends, the teacher and the administrators. I have had nothing but positive experiences with this school. My kids have had an awesome high school experience and the teachers and support stafff are outstanding.
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