This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Weston High School1
Posted October 02, 2014
- a parent
How a top rated school with the highest tax base in the state, highest property values, highest per capita income and highest per pupil expenditure can fall out of the ranking in such a small amount of time is alarming. This school, and it's administrator's made the mistake of resting on their laurels and assuming parents wouldn't notice. The superintendent was prematurely handed her title and ruined the schools. Now she's leaving; and this remains her legacy. There is no school spirit and students are unsupported and unhappy, and most faculty and administrator's don't appear to care. The principal (who can't even make an appearance on back to school night) cares only about the teachers and won't advocate for a student, no matter the reason. This school keeps promoting unqualified faculty (some with very little experience) to higher administrative positions, while manipulating the process so as to avoid outside hires who may actually improve the school. Here, if you are a town parent or a student, you're bottom of the barrel. Most faculty behave very negatively toward students and parents (especially guidance). This school needs a complete overhaul to bring it back into favor.
My youngest child will be graduating from Weston High School in June. I find that each student is appreciated for his or her individual strengths. Although my son was not in the top 25% of students academically, he thrived with the help of his teachers who were always available for him to meet with. The bonds that he made will last forever. He is definitely ready to make the transition into college life. Our entire experience in the Weston Public Schools has been superb!!!
The quality of this public school has greatly diminished. They were once #1 rated in the Boston area. They took a big stumble to #11 in recent years. No surprise to the community. The negative aspects such as declining test scores, low AP scores, etc. are blamed on the students! Logic will support that the issue is the teaching and the weak leadership. There are some fantastic teachers, and some truly mediocre ones. The principal allows department heads to control the school with no accountability, even to him. Teachers are allowed free reign and faculty dept heads work around him to circumvent his authority. This school needs a true leader who supports STUDENT'S needs first and foremost, not a host. The other issue is a very weak superintendent who is uninterested in the community. She is leaving soon and it will take a while to reverse the damage. Let's hope there isn't another internal promotion of one of her inexperienced subordinates. One can only hope the school committee learned their lesson last time. Guidance department is useless, irrelevant, horrible, works against your child. The guidance department head is downright rude to parents and students, with no recourse!
Parents and the students ensure this school stays in the rankings. A handful of outstanding teachers that really shine but the Teacher's Union protects the bottom of the barrel and they seem to have quite liberal sick leave. Principal is trying to make it more personal but it still reminds me of an assembly line. Many requirements that are not useful and lessen opportunities to meet with teachers. The guidance department is useless. Many parents hire outside help for tutoring and college counseling.
Weston High School has been established as one of the best, if not the best, public high school in the state and one of the top public high schools in the nation. That's no small feat, and as a current student, I absolutely see how WHS achieves that lofty status. The teachers are, contrary to what many other reviews say, willing and eager to personally and actively connect and engage with students on an individual level. The electives, diverse and popular, add to a rigorous, challenging, top-notch academic repertoire. WHS facilities are kept modern through constant funding and facilitate a great education. Not only does Weston focus on bringing the bottom up, the top students are also challenged, with AP courses, college-level independent studies, and many other courses of action. I couldn't be happier with my high school education, and I know many others who would say the same.
This school is just like many other public schools and struggles to address any individual needs and doesn't really care about whether the student is actually learning. The language program is a joke where no one can actually speak the language that they are taking, what's more, it appears that both the faculty and administration don't care. One line report card evaluations are meaningless.
As a current senior, I am afraid I must disagree with several of the comments below. The school does have strong academic departments, but the school seems only focused on academics. Sports aside, our extrascurriculars are a joke. We have 1 45 minute block once a week for clubs to meet. Other schools often have 2 hour-long blocks. Activity block, as it is known, is also the first thing the administration will cut if they need time for something. There is a growing culture of 'No' in the school, as students are increasingly restricted in what they cannot do. As a student, I feel that my voice is unheeded by the administration. If I have a complaint, I go directly to my parents, because the school will listen to them, but not me. I don't have more space, but the comment below, about the school's 'socialist agenda' is completely ridiculous.
What is good about Weston High School is: The mathematics department, the Science Department,the awesome arts and music departments. All are excellent! The math and science departments are great about encouraging able and passionate students as well as helping those who need an extra push to succeed. Most Math and Science teachers are fantastic. What needs to change? The English and history departments. Weak, pedestrian administrators who don't seem to focus on the student's needs. There are varying degrees of teacher quality in these departments and this is most unfortunate. The principal is strong, but still needs to listen to parents more. I agree that there need to be fewer internal promotions. The recent ones have not been well received. We need a parent-friendly, inclusive superintendent, Most parents are unaware of decisions made within the school.
The school used to be strong, supportive and produce very academic students who were well prepared for college. What happened? Much has changed in the past 5 or even 3 years. We can only blame the Superintendent and the School Committee. HS students are being limited to classes they can take, many having to drop levels or opt out of an over-crowded class. Here is what other similar schools do in wealthy towns: they ADD MORE CLASSES. Cut back the programs that are unneeded...no matter how PC they are! Where is our tax money going and why isn't it being spent on the children of Weston? No child should have to be bumped out of a class based on poor planning or poor fund allocation. We pay enough taxes and contribute enough to WEEFC, prioritize children and learning again, like it once was! Hire from outside. TOO MANY internal hires.