Westchester has great teachers in spite of the administration. As long as your child does not miss school for illness or death in the family, your child will learn a lot. The attendance policy is if your child 's overall attendance drops below 96% or if you child misses more than 3 days in a quarter, you get a letter sent home, a possible notation on you child's permanent record (report card) that attendance needs improvement and a possible visit from a BCPS employee to your home. Also, the no snack policy in the school is hard on young kids that could go as long as 5+ hours without access to food. For example, your 7 year old child eats breakfast at home (or at the before care program) at Westchester at 8am. They catch the bus at 8:45. You child may not get lunch until 1:15. Until late in the 2013-14 school year, children with late lunch periods had a late morning snack to hold them over, but that has been eliminated. Parents have tried to implement a healthy food allergy free snack program in the school but the administration does not want to make the effort.
I love Westchester. The teachers are so caring, smart, and have loads of patience. They use positive rewards and have a consistent and fair structure. The teachers recognized my son needed assistance in Kindergarten and guided us through the IEP experience. Wonderful people at Westchester.
I've had 2 children attend Westchester from Kindergarten through 5th grade. We were extremely happy with teachers. Both children were challenged. They were well prepared for GT classes in Middle School. The atmosphere here is very welcoming. Parent involvement is encouraged.
This school is pretty strong academically. It has some really great teachers and the students feel secure for the most part in their environment. The PTA is very active in the school. WES provides great services to kids with special needs on both ends of the spectrum. The school does have an issue with how it handles discipline. It can be at times applied unevenly and sometimes even unfairly. WES students are for the most part really good kids with very involved parents. That's why this issue seems so strange and out of character with the school.
My daughter has attended Westchester since it opened as a kindergardener. We have been pleased with the quality of education she has received and how the teachers will try to challenge the students to reach higher. If there is a problem there are multiple avenues to address the issue so it doesn't escalate. The specials have fabulous teachers that when the students move on to Middle School it shows the excellent training they received in the music and arts. I know she will be well prepared for entering middle school in the 2004-05 year.