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.
This is my kids first year at Westowne. I believe Westowne is the next best thing to private school. The principal runs that school with an iron fist. They always have fun activities going on. The teachers are on point and my son is doing better curriculum wise since he's been there. My daughter's kindergarten teacher is good with the kids in her classroom. I have no complaints with Westowne other than they need air conditioning. But I hear they are working on that.
I love Westowne for many reasons. My brothers and I went to this school and now so do my children! My son is now in High school, but he learned so much from the teachers, and staff at Westowne. My son has ADHD and BiPolar, but they helped him through school with no problems. My daughter has Autism. She is in Westowne as of now. This is her third year. I was so worried about how she was going to learn, and about her saftey. I didn't even want to leave her there alone. So for the first few weeks of her 1st year of Pre-K, the teacher let me hang around, and even help out. Just so I could make sure that my little girl was comfortable. I am so happy with the Special Ed classes and the wonderfull teachers they have! They all are so great! My daughter has come so far in the past couple of years, all because of thier help. I would recomend sending any child to this school! A+++
My daughter started Kindergarten at Westowne in the Fall of 2006. I am so impressed with everything she has learned. The staff at Westowne is terrific. They are warm, friendly and always courteous. There has never been a time when I felt uncomfortable or when I requested information or anything else, that it wasn't addressed promptly. The standards at Westowne are comparable to sending your child to Private School. Sometimes I wish I could spend the day there........and I would if I wasn't working. It is the warmest place I know. Thanks Westowne for being so GREAT!
All 3 of my kids go to this school now and so far my son and daughter like it. However there are no sports programs for them to participate in which I'm not too happy about. Outside is as important as inside class time.