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Public district
West Lafayette, IN
Students enrolled: 1,041

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1105 North Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906

School website
(765) 746-0400
(765) 746-0422
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Map of West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School address.

January 07, 2014
A very disappointing experience. Our child had special dietary needs and the school/principal was not responsive and did not provide appropriate accomodations. The quality of instruction is also poor with several teachers who pile on mostly rote work without any imagination. Great pressure and tons of meaningless work.Teachers are not willing to give any extra help and do not respond to parent emails.There is a total focus on test scores at the expense of a focus on the total student experience. A very conservative and unsupportive environment. If you are a newcomer to the area and your children will enter at the high school level, don't come here.

- submitted by a parent

January 07, 2014
Horrible! Needs new leadership and a change in philosophy where students come first and not the ego of administrators with bragging rights on test scores. Student test scores are high - despite the poor quality of instruction - because smart kids go here. But there is no creativity and no encouragment of critical thinking - just tons of pressure and busy work. School is very conservative. If you want your child to blossom, if your child has a spark of creativity do not attend this school.

- submitted by a parent

October 29, 2013
Fairly good teachers and academic standards are high. This school has a large Chinese and Korean population but remains mostly Caucasian, some blacks and very few if any Latinos. Most students excel regardless of background, which I attribute to hard working students. Too much pressure to have outside tutors. If teachers were doing there job better and the pace was appropriate then over half the students wouldn't need Purdue tutors. Very low key socially, I haven't heard of any serious bullying or fighting at all. Teachers sometimes can be sexist in their comments. Participating in comments about "pretty girls" or "who likes who " comments. Administration is all male which sets a certain tone in many parents' opinion. The teaching staff is not diverse. Good sports program. Good class size as it is a small school (grades 7-12). The upper grades don't interact very much with the younger students. Overall the environment it's very competitive which suits my kids but some students may struggle with that.

- submitted by a parent

April 20, 2013
Update to Horrible School. Girls cutting wrists. My two daughters in 7th and 8th grade each know several girls who cut their wrists regularly. They do this to release the pressure they feel they are under. A big part of that pressure is because they are average students and the demands of the school is driving them to this self destructive behavior. To the poster below, West Lafayette is the only school in West Lafayette, so it is the best and the worst. To the next one down, I never thought a high school should be harder than an 18 credit load at Perdue, one of the best public universities in the nation. If you have self motivated, high achieving, very intelligent kids, this is the place to be. If not, they might end up like these girls and start cutting their wrists.

- submitted by a parent

April 19, 2013
This is the best school in the west lafayette . I learned a lot from this school. This school gives every student a lot of encouragement . Best faculty and student.

- submitted by a community member

January 18, 2013
I attended this school from 7th grade through 12th grade. In my opinion, it is true that this school carries and communicates a sense of superiority in addition to having many cliques. One of the major negatives for this place. But it is also true that this school will challenge your children and will hold them up to a high standard. This standard is what will prepare students for a demanding college education and career. I, like a majority of my peers, attended Purdue after graduation. Despite carrying 18 credit hours my first semester (in addition to a part-time job and a couple of extracurriculars) I never felt that my workload was beyond my capabilities. I believe that this is largely due to the exceptional preparation that I received from WLHS. WLHS will challenge your kids and may cause some of them to put academics first (behind sports and clubs) but that is what school should do. Having spent the last several months working in the Detroit school system, I can say that those people who complain about WLHS have no idea what a struggling or troubled school looks like and thus fail to see the distinctive excellence of WLHS.

- submitted by a community member

October 26, 2012
This is a horrible school. At first glance it looks like a school that is trying to get the most out of every student, but what they really are doing is grinding down the average student, and forcing the better students into a regime of constant school work. My two sons used to have a life outside of school work. They have had to give up piano lessons and sports to keep up with the school work. The principle and assistant principle are the two most arrogant and self important people i have ever talked to. To them any mention of disapproval of their gulag style of teaching they see as an immediate challenge to a fight. The only people I have encountered who are worse are the Lafayette principals. If you are moving here, go straight to the county schools or plan on private schools. (As an aside, my sons are straight A students, even here.)

- submitted by a parent

December 02, 2011
My oldest children attended and graduated a long time ago. We witnessed too many negatives, especially in the social area, to give the school a high rating. Students who do not match the school's need to be great usually get transferred out to a county school by the end of eigth grade by the parents. The parents who could afford to pay tutors to keep their children up to par in some classes were common. The competitiveness of the parents trickled down to their children and that caused a lot of the social problems our children experienced. There were some excellent teachers but most have either retired or moved to Harrison High School in WL. There were way too many teachers who expected the parents to teach or find other avenues (like tutors). The hidden culture of drug and alcohol use was prevelant . Parents seemed to think that since their child is doing well in school they are not abusing drugs or alcohol. I do have to say that even if one's child is not of the super caliber some of those kids are, they still absorb enough to have had a good education. So, if they graduate and don't drop out along the say or get expelled, they should do fine in college.

- submitted by a parent

July 21, 2010
I recently graduated from this school. Westside consistently has students going to the Ivy League. It's no surprise because the community, with influence from Purdue, is extremely dedicated to learning. Recently the city passed a referendum that levied tax to fund the schools. Everyone was involved! From teachers to the school board, to parents, to students, and even city officials. I wholeheartedly recommend this school, having experienced other ones not so great. Students generally complain about the guidance; they are inflexible and a bit impersonal. But they get the job done when it comes to scheduling and college apps. There are an array of teacher qualities. The school doesn't weigh and there are way easier AP than others. The environment is cliquey, but that is to be expected. You find your niche, but you are friendly with others. That's general how it goes. No apparent bullying, no fights (except once...).

- submitted by a community member
no rating
May 01, 2010
Education is a top priority for the school and the community. It takes a group effort. We're in it together! :)

- submitted by a teacher

April 19, 2010
Great academics; consistently top performace; great community; my daughter graduated from there

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 16, 2010
The teachers have high expectations for the students and deliver lessons in a variety of ways to meet the different needs of the students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
November 05, 2009
unearned rating! Parents expected to do the teachers work for them. teachers unwilling to go even an inch for students. treatment of students with learning problems hideous!

- submitted by a parent

April 10, 2009
I have seen the west side from both perspectives: my oldest daughter was academically gifted and benefited tremendously from this school. My son is very bright but is LD. The support he has received from his teachers and classmates is wonderful. Yes, WLHS is academically very challenging, but, in my experience, it cares about all students, irrespective of ability.

- submitted by a parent

February 23, 2009
The school does a phenomenal job of teaching the students the basics. We moved from the number 1 ranked publis school system in NJ and the West Lafayette school system is far better.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 02, 2008
As mother of students involved in West Lafayette Community Schools > 15 yrs, this system is comparable in size, achievement to one of my youth in the 60's, 70's in ABSD AK (where some schools--my school was one of them--in which opportunities abounded for those interested in attaining high levels of academic/other success, were well-funded, well-supported by parents and community, and a product of expectations in a land of ''free-thinking opportunists'). Class options are available, parental involvement is encouraged, stepping out of line is discouraged, and high levels of academic success are realized. For brightest, however, some fall in the cracks. For those that are academically challenged, I don't know what is available--maybe they don't attend Westside in great numbers. There is loyal student body. The school preps kids for engineering and managerial positions, not necessarily for philosophers, idealists, nor virtuosos...

- submitted by a parent

October 17, 2007
This school is just academically oriented and have not good atmosphere for some children from middle and lower economical class. They are simply not welcome here , and after feeling rejected they may want to go away. From personal experience.

- submitted by a parent

August 14, 2007
My daughter is new to W. Lafayette High School. My daughter was sooo impressed with the councillor, staff, and most of all the teachers and students, along with the atmosphere there, as well as the variety of clubs. Today is only her second day, and the only complaint was that her Choir class didn't seem to have much discipline and the students were talking so much she said she couldn't hear herself think. She is hoping it was just that the teacher was getting to know the students on the first day. She is very excited about this school.

- submitted by a parent

August 13, 2007
My child loved this school and was sad to have to leave it. The teachers are devoted and have high expectations. Beyond academics, the schools is friendly and offers an excellent range of exta-curricular activities. Great band program though overally competative.

- submitted by a parent

July 10, 2007
West Side tends to evoke strong responses: parents tend to love it or hate it, depending on how academically-oriented their children are. With a population that draws heavily from children of Purdue professors, this school can be something of a pressure cooker. In fairness, though, the pressure comes more from families and the kids themselves than from teachers and administrators. What's most wonderful about this school is its diversity (the Purdue factor again) and its serious commitment to foster academics and enriching extra-curricular activities outside of sports. Music programs, despite what other reviewers have maintained, are excellent, and there are also some wonderful faculty and fabulous courses in the liberal arts. If you are looking for a school with high academic standards, a relatively small and diverse student body, and opportunities for quirky interests, this is the school for you.

- submitted by a parent

July 05, 2007
Though students from this school system consistently perform well on standardised tests and most graduates go on to earn a college degree, West Side does not, by any means, achieve excellence in education. A grossly competitive spirit and elistist attitude from parents drives most of these high outcome rates. The school is characterized by a lack of organization at the administrative levels, mediocre teachers (with a few shining exceptions) and a lack of diversity and acceptance. Music is poorly organized and underfunded, and students who do not excel in the typically science and math based curriculum tend to be labeled negatively by the school system, as well as other students and parents. Though public schooling has seen worse, in general, West Side does not live up to the overblown reputation its parents and alumni give it.

- submitted by a community member

May 17, 2007
The quality of the academic programs at West Lafayette is good. This probably has more to do with the community demographic (West Lafayette is the home of Purdue and many professors live there) than with the curriculum. Many students achieve at a high level but this has much more to do with what is happening in the homes than what is happening in the school. Extracurricular activities are very solid, with the exception of Music. Music is not a high priority to the parents in the community which is attested to by the fact that many students join band and choir in middle school only to drop out in High School. Too many people think that music is not something that will prepare students for college, which is not only a shame...it is not supported by research. Parents tend to be elitist, aloof and pushy when advocating for their children's educational advantage.

- submitted by a parent

March 20, 2006
West Lafayette is a very nice school. The academic standards are high, and there are many music, art and sports programs available. The schools is run for the good of the students and is a very clean and approachable environment.

- submitted by a student

December 19, 2005
Parent involvement in the school system ranks highly of which the majority are college and post-grads, professionals, students, and scholars expecting high performance from public school system. Teachers are highly respected, in some case 'run-of-the-mill' but, accountable to parents. The school board is continually in disarray. Much of of public funds are 'wasted' with spotty and divergent project plannning. A school building is renovated at high cost to taxpayers, next year it is closed. With a long history of high expectations, competetiveness, and opportunity to succeed, there is nearly 90% involvement in music. Art, other activities are widely available despite limited accees to specifically premier level of instruction. All sports teams rank highly year after year. Counseling staff--very knowledgable. School rules may be rigid, but even-handed. The best thing about the school system is opportunity to observe highly competitive diversity succeed on the background of parent support.

- submitted by a parent

December 06, 2005
West Lafayette High school benefits from its proximity to Purdue University. Located about two blocks from campus, West Lafayette High school gives students the opportunity to take college classes at Purdue for duel credit. (High school and college). West Lafayeete High School has a very diverse population of students from all over the world. The majority of foreign students are here because they have a parent who is associated with Purdue so education is highly valued in these homes. There are also many professor's children who attend WLHS for its academic environment. Year after year, WLHS students rank at the top of the state on the ISTEPS and SATs. The graduation rate is above 95%.

- submitted by a parent

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West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School
1105 North Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN  47906
(765) 746-0400
Last modified West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School is a Public school that serves grades 7-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 30 reviews. Top