As always, any school system has room for improvement. As long as Westbrook recognizes those areas needing improvement, and progress is being made, that's what counts. All in all, there are some good things going on at Westbrook High.
Being a student at Westbrook High School I can attest to the fact that some teachers have no control over their students. Some students do not listen, always have their earphones in and do cause a ruckus. But, most teachers at WHS are very good and compassionate about what they teach. Students are involved in schoolwork and extracurriculars. Many students are great leaders because of supportive and good teachers. Many of the teachers deserve a lot more respect than they receive, but they still work at WHS because they are loyal and determined to teach where they have an attachment to. Not everything at Westbrook High School is as bad as it seems in the news.
As an experienced teacher of high school students who took some time off to be with my children, I accepted a long term substitute position to get back into teaching again. It was the worst place I have ever been in. The administration was so out of it- they were afraid of the kids and the parents! The kids were so out of control teaching was impossible. Students have earbuds and phones on all the time and acted like it was their right and almost dared anyone to make them put it away. I wouldn't send my dog to any school in Westbrook with House as Principal or Superintendent- he tries to micromanage everything and has no standards for learning.
As a student, and later a teacher in both the math and science departments, I have witnessed a significant and steady decline in the quality of teaching at Westbrook High. Today, the science department boasts 3 teachers who themselves boast about not teaching any evolution - two because they're creationists - and a chairperson who thinks evolution isn't a critical subject in modern biology. Finally, the principal single-handedly revised the daily schedule, making AP Biology impossible to teach just one year after it's first offering at the school. Overall, Westbrook High is significantly below the Maine state averages for all academic categories, and Maine is below the national averages for all categories, and the US is below the averages for the industrialized world... so if you have the opportunity, send your kids somewhere else. If it's at all possible, my wife and I will certainly be moving before our daughter reaches high school age.
My, how things change. I authored the review dated 11/20/08. My second (and last) child to go through this school system will graduate next year. I cannot wait! While credit should be given to the (very) few excellent teachers left, the apathy that exudes from both the students and most teachers is apalling. A few are so burnt out, they teach only one am class. This school needs a complete overhaul. I could never recommend it to anyone thinking of moving here.