We've been very happy with the academic environment at West High, but disappointed with the sports program: poor communication, disorganized, lack of empathy and arrogant attitude of coach, very discouraging environment unless your child is best athlete on team or has ability to kiss up to the coach. Would like to see a more participation-driven program with coaches who appreciate the fact that they have the power to directly influence a child's self-esteem. I never thought I would want my child to quit sports; I do now. It's unfortunate.
I'm a previous student and I absolutely loved my high school years because I attended West. I transferred into West for freshman year and was immediatelly accepted by students, teachers, and the administration. Yes it can sometimes be policitical, but is there any high school where it isn't political? I was prepared for College because of the school's acadmeics and counseling.
A superior school in an area of average schools. The St. Louis area isn't known for high quality education, but this and a small minority of schools buck that trend. West high has a higher than average number of national merit scholars and its graduates are accepted to some of the finest colleges in America. the programs at the school are innovative and cutting edge and the faculty are highly qualified and committed to kids. We have nothing but great things to say about this school and when moving to St. Louis for work were fortunate to have friends recommend West to us. We are glad they did.
The academic programs are superior. These kids have access to every imaginable learning tool possible. This is a very high tax based funded school. This is a 'cookie cutter' type atmosphere. If your child is the least bit creative, or prefers physical activities other then the 'head game' sports of Football, VB, Baseball, look out!The parents of many of the 'popular' act as if they are still attending this HS.
Sports is a big thing and it is taken serious, this is evident on awards day when most of the awards given out are for sports and not academic achievement. Race Relations could definitely be improved especially since Parkway is well known for its racial problems. As a former student, there aren't any teachers that stand out in my memory so that could mean that they weren't that fanatastic: same old, same old. The orchestra program under Mrs. Victoria Lottes was excellent, but once she left it, that ended.
My 4th child is a freshman at West High. Academics is the emphasis, then sports. Even then, sports is not taken seriously. The rest, music, art, etc. is extraneous. School spirit and participation is low, among the students, compared to other schools, but high among parents. West has a high percentage of teachers with Masters degrees. Most dissatisfaction with teachers is due to teaching style and personal-ity, not lack of qualifications. The student counseling services listen, but don't 'do' much. Attendance, behavior, class performance, etc. is not reported to parents until it reaches the crises level, when solutions are limited. This happens even if the parent is actively involved in many school organizations and contacts teachers, administrators, and counselors regularly. I have had my children in other schools that were much more responsive and took the initiative, when there was a problem that the parent would not be aware of.
I am a former student from the class of 1995. I complete disliked and have a lack of respect for the leadership as well as the staff from this campus. If you are an African American this is not the school for you. There was a lack of African Americans represented on the staff and adminstrative levels. The school has failed when it comes to race relations. As an African American, if you could not play a sport you were unimportant. I had one African American teacher (English) my entire high school carreer. If you can afford a private school there are many in this area. I hope this school will come into the 21st century one day and hire some minorities to represent their student body.
There is a strong head principal, however the grade level principals vary in their effectiveness and style. The school spirit is excellent, as is extra-curricular involvement. Selection in these activities is very political, though, and not necessarily based on ability, nor is the selection criteria consistent. Sponsors have free-reign to do as they wish. There is good parent involvement. The students value academic accomplishment and are competitive in this area. Drug, alcohol, and cigarette experimentation is common, but the school is better about enforcing consequences than some parents. Fighting is less of a problem than it was in Middle School, but is still prevalent. There is disparity between expectations and consequences placed on different groups of students. There are quality teachers and fairly good communication between students/parents and staff. Most give individual attention, especially when students self-advocates. Concerns are usually addressed, rather than dismissed.