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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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...).
Education is a top priority for the school and the community. It takes a group effort. We're in it together! :)
Great academics; consistently top performace; great community; my daughter graduated from there
The teachers have high expectations for the students and deliver lessons in a variety of ways to meet the different needs of the students.
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!
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Join GreatSchools to participate in the parent community and other discussions on our site.
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!