West is an underated school. I have had many great experiences with Ms. Meredith and i feel she is very caring and envolved with the children at West. I have two children who have been there since 3rd grade and now are in 8th and 9th grade and my youngest has been there since 1st now going into 5th grade. All the times I've been in the school and seen her, she's smiling or always talking to kids/parents/staff. A few times that there have been issues at school, she's been very open to hearing how I feel and to help addressing the specific needs my children may need depending on the circumstance. She is flexible and understanding. I have also had many close relationships with many of my children's teachers and there definately some great teachers who love what they do. My older children miss it and love to visit still. They both left the school with straight A's and Presidental Silver Awards (being above a 3.4 gpa from 4th - 6th grade). I am very proud and confident my last child will do just as awesome. I feel that West is a great school and of the many schools my children have been to, this one is high on my favorite list.
I agree with both the positive and negative comments of West. I attended West when it was a Jr. High, All three of my daughters attended West Elem., and now my grandkids go to West. When Mr.Ingles was Principal the school was run very well, the staff was very caring, worked with the children 1-on-1 and were great with special needs children. Mr.Ingle's was very well organized, the kids really liked him, and he was a very positive role-model. I really wish they would bring him back to West. I do not believe that the new principal, Ms. Meredith has done a very good job at West and she does not seem very child oriented. Kids don't seem to interact with her as well as they did with Mr. Ingles. I, also have witnessed an office staff grabbing a child by their arm, and screaming in their face. This is just not acceptable, it shoots down the moral in the school and it's already hard enough for some of these children who come from low income families! They sure as heck don't need the added stress in school. Please bring back Mr. Ingles or another more positive role model principal to give back the great leadership they once had and deserve.
This school lacks leadership that cares. Teachers are leaving left and right. The poor students are suffering from lack of leadership which actually seems to put the students first. The principal does not show a caring attitude about the students, staff or the school. Look for other schools first before moving to this school. Best of luck. PTA is a joke too. This school has gone down the past few years.
Not a school for special needs kids at all. Teachers and staff had no clue how do handle kids that had disabilities! Not happy, had my children all transferred elsewhere! Staff was caught on multiple occasions screaming in children's ears or shoving them through the doors.
I currently have two children attending West on permissive transfer. My oldest will be heading to North in the fall and I am considering moving my 3rd grader to Sacajewea since it is only four blocks from our house. I am quite hesitant as our experience at West has been wonderful. The staff and teachers are involved and my children have excelled in all areas. I have heard wonderful things about Sacajewea and am sure the move will be fine for my daughter, but wanted to post re: our very positive experience with West Elementary.
I had the opportunity to work at West Elementary, not for the school directly, for many years. I am surprised by some of the poor reviews on here. I have worked at several schools and can attest that Mr. Ingles is one of the most involved principals that I have ever seen. They do in fact have an honer roll at least for the upper grades. They post in in the trophy case each quarter. They also do the dog tags which the kids love. I think the school does an especially great job at encouraging student's love for reading. Yes it is a title one school and has some of the struggles that go with that. However if you were to compare the schools discipline problems with that of say Longfellow or Whittier, you are much better off with your child at West.
As a concerned parent, reading the negative reviews of West Elementary,disturbs me. We have been fortunate to have had wonderful experiences at West with all three of our children. The current principal, Bob Ingalls, is not only a very good administrator, but an individual who truly cares about our children, their school and staff. It is unfortunate that a web site such as this provides a forum for several individuals wth their knickers in a twist and a personal axe to grind. Given the choice of any school in Great Falls, for a child whos future I cared about, West and it's administation, Teachers, and staff win hands down.
I have 2 children attending West. The school has many great teachers but Montana pay is so low that it is hard to keep the teachers. West is, to my knowledge, one of the only schools that does not recognize students for honor roll, attendance, good behavior. They do have 'dog tags' for recognition but the procedures and passing out of these are very inconsistant. The school is one of the lowest income schools in Great Falls with a wide range of culture.
I have to agree with the GreatSchool ratings on this school. I have three children, one of which still goes to West. West does not do anything for students. I know that they used to and I find it very disappointing that they do not. I have my last child almost there and really am dissappointed in the school these past couple of years. My recommendation is if you are moving to the area try to send your children to another school.
I am a former teacher at West, retired, and now volunteer 14 hours a week listening to students read at the school. The staff is excellent and each teacher cares about the children in their room. The principal is very aware of everything that goes on in the building as he is in and out of the rooms on a daily basis. Each member of the staff has the highest regard for discipline and safety and they have a sound discipline program in effect. This year the school has many volunteers who are listening to students read at all levels. It has made a great difference not only in the students' reading fluency, but also in the love for books and reading.