I went to Winchester High and graduated in 1997. I remember having a few excellent teachers - as good if not better than some college professors I had. I also remember some horrendous teachers who weren't worth their salt. A lot of people commenting on this thread echo that sentiment, but what do you expect? That would be the same in any school in any community. It's Winchester. It's the top of the food chain. If you can't thrive academically, you will probably be ignored. Not the teacher's fault with 30+ kids in a classroom. Classrooms are bulging in most high schools all over the USA. Thank your lucky stars you live in Winchester and not Chelsea or in rural Mississippi. Your children are being more than prepared for college and beyond.
My child is in freshman year and teachers have been as word of mouth described, half excellent, half atrocious. I have been told sophomore year will be the same, but there are better teachers in the upper grades. School is challenging, competitive and big. Easy to get lost if your child is not at the very top or bottom. A lot of homework. Facilities are terrible. Principal poor. Parents very involved. Many hire tutors for their kids. Sports extremely important. That said, the school is still above avg.
I have been unhappy with my daughter's education. I agree with the student who felt that our success is based on having a fortunate population which can afford to pay for tutors and test prep. Leadership is poor; one administrator has been applying elsewhere for years without success; his heart is not in his job. Music, art and technology very limited. Almost every music program is audition-based, even the ones after school. No intramural sports at all. Not a place to explore new areas or take academic risks, if you are not a star the teachers ignore you. My freshman met her guidance counselor only once in the entire school year. In transitioning to electronic grading software they neglected to give access to the guidance counselors, so my daughter's counselors did not see her grades or progress reports. The emperor has no clothes.
My sister and I both graduated from WHS within the past couple years. The students do well on the MCAS, but this is not surprising in light of the fact that most of the students at WHS are middle (or upper) class people who speak standard English, and their math classes are not too disruptive. The teachers are not all phenomenal, but most students come from families that gear them toward getting into college, and so students get by in school, and tend to get into college. Being in an environment where many students have academic goals, tends to help other students along the same tract. Also, most students don t have as many obstacles toward academic achievement, like poverty, gangs, violence, unsupportive parents, difficulty speaking English (or speaking it correctly). Winchester could be better, if they had more teachers (who were more effective), and had nicer facilities.
All of my 3 children have attended WHS and I have to say that I cannot share in the praise of some of my fellow parents. I have been very involved in the high school in recent years and have come to see some very disturbing behavior of the students.
We are very pleased with all aspects of WHS. My children have attended schools across the country and overseas, WHS is by far the best public school they have attended. Very easy to get involved. Highest academic standards.
The school tends to support the highest achieving students more than other groups. This is pushed by the high level of parent involvement. Although programs exist for diversity and cultural affirmation, the tone is more of exclusive groups - varsity sports is the prime example. The teachers are very competent, but little individuality is shown. The school budget by many accounts is less than needed, but tax overrides are more successful for libraries and town halls than for school support. Many who benefit from significant home values fail to see the connection between high real estate prices and the quality of the school system. Winchester is a very good school that could be excellent if town support can become more wide-spread. Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.