While the education and curriculum is very good, there are some issues on the way this school is run. First of all, the school puts a lot of money into anti-bullying programs that are useless due to a basically 0% of bullying at this school. Because of this, most of the teachers are blinded. Really it just gives students a chance to tattle. If they just say exactly what the program says to say, they can get the other student in trouble. This also leads to the Merits/Demerits. If a teacher gets a student in trouble when not at fault, when the student tries to say something, the teacher just checks another box saying, "Talks Back". When trying to get a merit (reward) students just get obnoxious. Only newer teachers or long term subs get these problems. Some of them even skip the anti-bullying curriculum because they know the students really don't get much out of it other than boredom. On the good side, some of the teachers are great and give support such as staying after school for 2 more hours so students can get help or study for a test. Money wise, this school also replaces APPLE technology every 2 years but still, there are no good, working drinking fountains.
This school is wonderful! Most of the staff is very good & cares about the students. They keep bullying to a minimum. Communications are outstanding. The kids can log into their class website & parent's can track their kids grades weekly if desired. I can't imagine a better school for my kids & feel very comfortable recommending this school to anyone! There are advanced classes remedial classes & everything in between. My daughter has ADHD & needs extra math support. We love the Academic Strategies (AS) option for kids that have executive functioning difficulties. An LBS works with a few kids during this period, to help organize their work, reteach difficult concepts & work on long term projects. Her LBS (Megan Spellman) was outstanding. There are so many options offered that other kids don't notice the pullouts. Her teachers were very supportive & understanding, with the exception of a surly science teacher. I am also very impressed with the principal Dave Palzet. He is capable, kind & approachable & the kids really like him. He is frequently seen roaming the hallways & greeting students. WJHS offers a ton of after school clubs & free before & after school study sessions.
My family recently moved to Wilmette from Skokie and my younger sister started 7th grade here. The first few weeks it was a bit rocky socially but after that she had tons of friends and liked it much better than her old school. The curriculum is much more advanced and some of the things she is learning I wasn't taught until my junior year of high school (investments and stock market operations for example.) The teachers teach the kids the basics but then expect the students to use that to teach themselves the more advanced topics on their own, which results in me having to tutor her a lot as she isn't much of a book learner. Class offerings are broad, such as Photography, Mathematics in Economics, and 2D/3D Art. She gets about 2-3 hours of homework a night, compared to the 30 mins to an hour she used to get.
With the exception of a few, all of the teachers are bad and very unenthusiastic. The administration will not take responsibility for anything that goes wrong, and the sports selections are unfair and biased.
This is a very good school. These reviews here are pretty old and lots has changed. The teachers care about the kids and are responsive to academic and social needs. The music program is great and even though my kid is kind of a band nerd, we've had a great experience at a time when lots of kids struggle.
While academic offerings may look good. Watchout. the teachers are not committed to delivering anything more than the basics. The algebra program for 7th grade is a poorly coordinated program which falls to the High School curriculum. The High School and the Middle School are different school districts. The Middle school has no control over what is taught by High School Teachers in the Middle School building. The High school teachers expect High School performance form 7th graders. The kids in this class are very motivated but struggle to keep up with a High School expectation. This system is not working for the students. The Middle School has no control over the situation. The High School doesn't care. Steer clear of this school it is not what it appears.
The school has an elite attitude from just inside the front door to the teachers lounge. There is no electronic grade book like K-12 Planet.com where parents can see grades on all homework, quizes and tests. When you email teachers not all emails get through or work properly. When there are issues about missing work or late assignments teachers don't want to send an email to help correct the behavior - 'Check in once every few weeks' is the answer. I guess in a 9 week grading period they don't want to be bothered too often. When parents ask for teachers meetings it takes weeks to schedule. Proactive communication from teachers is non existant.
Lots of opportunities for the kid who is looking for them. Shy kids may find themselves overwhelmed.
I am currently a student at WJHS, and I feel that our school could be a lot better. Some of the teachers that I had in seventh grade were great, but this year, in eighth grade, I am in team AA and this means I only have two teachers as opposed to 5. I strongly dislike both of them. One picks favorites and ignores the students that she dislikes, and the other doesn't know anything about the 3 subjects she teaches! Everyone is constantly correcting her and in Social Studies, she has to look simple things up all the time! Furthermore, I believe that WJHS spends way too much money on computers -- we get new ones each year! We could be using our money for better purposes. Finally, our school thinks that everyone bullies and teases each other all the time. In my 1 1/2 years at this school, I have never witnessed any bullying or teasing. (Sometimes I hear friends teasing each other jokingly, and a teacher yelling at them, and the students look at each other thinking, 'what is that teacher's problem?' WHJS coul improve!
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