I am very impressed with Westowne. I have a very good opinion of Mr. Boyd, the principal and my grandson's teacher, Mrs. Menton.
Recently, we had a wonderful time there for Grandparents Day and my grandson appears to be doing well there. The atmosphere is friendly, supportive and the quality of teaching, judging from what I've seen is high.
I too have found terrible inconsistencies in the quality of teachers, grade level standards, and school rules. The principal does not provide the leadership that is needed. Parents can be involved as long as it's with PTA activities and things that generate money. Start asking questions about curriculum, classroom management, and school policies and you are stonewalled. The school population is ethnically diverse, but the administration is not - definitely a red flag. If your child needs special education services, like a 504 Plan or an IEP, be prepared to advocate quite strongly to make sure your child gets what he/she needs. The only way to get results is to escalate concerns outside of the school i.e. the BCPS Superintendent. If I could afford private school, I would have pulled my kids out of Westowne.
Westowne Elementary School is hit or miss with regard to teacher quality. Some teachers are incredible. Others are absolutely terrible. The principal does not appear to make an effort to improve the situation and parents have had to go to the district level to see changes made to ensure consistency among teachers within even the same grade. Parental involvement is not encouraged in most classes and starting in the 2012-2013 school year, parents must get the principal's permission to be in the school building. There are no room parents in most classes nor are class lists standard. The first after school activity in many years has just been added. This is a Lego Robotics Club. Unfortunately it is a pricey activity.