Have you ever stopped to think that one of the reasons that West doesn't have all of these extra-curricular activities and Fine Arts, and after school classes is because there is absolutely no funding available! You can't blame the school for that. It does what it can with what it has...and doen't even think that they give all the money to the sports. The new football field house is being financed by the community and the Touchdown Club. I'll agree that TAG isn't challenging but that doesn't make West a bad school.
I totally agree that athletics are the school's priority (not that I think that is a bad thing - I'm sure it keeps a lot of curious teenagers out of trouble). My children previously attended school in Ridgeland, MS - and there is a major difference - regardless of the level 5 status. Tag is not challenging to the students; no extra classes are offered after school (we were afforded the opportunity to take art, spanish, etc. after school if we chose.) They learned spelling words in the 2nd grade in Ridgeland that are being taught in the 6th grade at WLMS. WLMS is a good school - but it is not challenging.
If athletics is what you think of as extra-curricular activities, then this school will suit you very well. If you are looking for a school that offers extra-curricular activities in the arts, then this would not be a good choice as there are no activities in the visual or performing arts other than a band program.
I graduated from West Lauderdale last year and I was more than prepared for college this year. West is by far one of the best schools in the state...LEVEL 5 in academics, excels in athletics, and very involved in extracurricular activities. I do understand that all schools have problems...yes...there are cliques but what school doesn't have cliques...cliques are a part of youth and teens and growing up. And as far as the administration goes...you couldn't ask for a better administration. They will help in any way possible, whether it's helping a student with a problem, helping a concerned parent, or helping a teacher. 30% of the teachers at West have Master's degrees in the their subject area and 15% of the teachers are National Board Certified. People pay much more to live in the West district and I can see why...I would recommend West to anyone!!!
This school is sub-par at best. Cliques are prevalent but that is generally expected. However, as a warning for parents who have kids who are a bit shy--either counsel your kids on social effectiveness or send them to another school. If not, expect their academic lives to be stifled and painful. I concur that those who have a problem learning (I do not mean a mental problem, I mean a motivational problem) will fall through the cracks at this school. The teachers here have their favorites and generally do not care to help poor students, whether or not the students have potential. Besides all of that West Lauderdale may be an above average school for Mississippi, but if you compare it with schools from across the country (not to mention schools in Europe) it is low in quality on every level.