I will add my voice to those expressing concerns that Westside is failing students who are not interested in a traditional 4-yr university. With both my sons their claim of opportunity for all learners was hollow. The courses and support for skilled tradesmen is limited as these students seem to be written off as second-class citizens. If your child is scholarship or advanced placement focused this is the right place. If your child takes high school as a necessary stepping stone to a trade and the real world they will likely struggle. I have four degrees to include graduate levels; my son is passionate about turning wrenches. This would have been a great school for me, he has been through four years of hell. This school has a lot of work to do to keep from losing non-college bound students and become an all around good high school.
Been in higher ed for over 25 years. Sent my children to WHS - arguably the best public high school in the Midwest. High quality teachers, counselors, administrators, programming. The community supports it big time educationally and athletically.
I attended Millard North Hugh School for my freshman and sophomore year and I can tell you first hand Westside is head and shoulders over MNHS. The scheduling gets you prepared for college while the student body supports one another even though they have differences. In my time at Westside I was able to truly come out of my "shell" and be who I wanted to be and still I was more than accepted by everyone. The staff is tremendous! In my time at the school I came closer with some of the teachers than I did some of my peers which sounds wierd but they are very down to earth people and are open for discussion at all times. The last thing I will say is if you attend the school you should definitely take a marketing class! The teachers are fantastic and the environment is more than welcoming. I feel as though you wouldn't get the true high school experience without having marketing without Mrs. Harmon or Mrs. Schau!
I agree with the previous parent posting. Westside has enough money to give each student a laptop. Yet when my son took a carpentry class a few years ago, the students weren't allowed to use the table saw because the on/off switch didn't work. My daughter is naturally organized, and so she excelled. Mod scheduling allows students huge flexibility in course selection. However, the schedules are so convoluted that any students who struggle with organization will face extra challenges just keeping track of which class they are supposed to be going to. Additionally, sometimes students have to miss one class each week because of conflicts. Because of this schedule system, it can be harder for teachers to get to know their students. It was the rare teacher that I felt really knew any of my children at Westside. It may have changed, but when my students were there, the math, science, arts, and foreign language departments were strong. The English department was extremely weak.
Westside is a great school if your son or daughter is going on to college and is self-disciplined. Modular scheduling does prepare your child for college but for the students who need structure and motivation, modular scheduling can be a nightmare. Also, the school is not for those who aren't going on to college but instead seeking a trade. My four children all attended WHS. Two were very successful and two were not due to the reasons above.
I go there now and we are 10 times better than OPS high schools. I had to choose between Central and Westside and I'd made the perfect decision going to District 66.
After graduating from Westside last year, I can honestly say that the school prepared me for college. The modular scheduling put me ahead of my college peers in that I know how to manage my free time and I'm not dependent on others to get things done. Also, teachers helped prepare us for college coursework (Westside's AP classes were very helpful and got me ahead on credit hours). Of course, there are flaws with the school (occasional unfair discipline/rules and unnecessary required classes) but the programs are great (especially the fine arts) and overall Westside is a great school.
Westside is a relatively strong school within the public school system, but for young men it pales in comparison to Creighton Prep, which provides a far better academic and community environment. If your son is accepted to Prep, by all means you should do whatever it takes to see if you can make it happen -- there is no question that a Prep education is truly a transformative experience not just academically but on the so-called intangibles that make a fully-formed human person, whereas 4 years at Westside should not be expected to provide much beyond academic preparation (and then only if the student is completely self-motivated). At bottom, Westside is merely adequate.
Westside is an amazing school. The modular scheduling really gets you prepared for college and the varieties in class sizes ranging from a small class room of 20 to a large group class of about 500 students. This gets you involved as an individual and as a group. Another amazing quality of having modular scheduling are the open mods. These are free periods to basically get your homework done (for those of you who procrastinate), eat lunch, get a snack from the warrior hut, meet with teachers for help on an assignment, or maybe even just hang out with your friends. Seniors and juniors are allowed to leave the building during these times. Also, Westside High School has many classes to chose from. These ranging from multimedias to tough language classes. you don't have to take a class you don't want to take. There are many electives including choir, swimming, art, computer sciences, fashion, science, weight lifting (in the highly equipped workout/training room) and maybe even cheerleading/dance/step/show choir and track/soccer/basketball/baseball. Whatever you want to do, I'm sure Westside can provide it, whether as a class or a club that you feel is important. Best school, by far!!!
Central is a much better school than Westside. I feel bad for my brother going here because I truly believe he would be getting a much better education at Central than at Westside.
Westside is the best! They have an AMAZING music program! There are 4 choirs, 3 show choirs, and many band and string groups and classes. Our varsity show choir ATSC was just named national champions! There are classes about cars, welding, woods, arts, fashion, science, math, and computer classes!! Anyone a fan of CSI? We have a forensics class! Do you like tv production? We have lots of classes about broadcasting and productions. We also get Apple laptops. With the laptops we can do so much more with the classes, and we are also going very eco-friendly with the laptops and recycling bins in every classroom! Though there are many rude bouncers and students, if you want a quality education, go here!
Westside is an awesome school! each student gets a new Apple laptop, and its really high tech there. For how big it is, the class sizes are small, and you get a hands on education that way. It has a lot to offer!!!
I don't know why kristina is, but Westside is, in my opinion, the best school ever. And no, if you are late to homeroom, you don't miss a whole day of school. That would be a joke.
I am currently a student at Westside High school, and it is by FAR one of the greatest schools in the nation, the staff's main goal is to help support you and help you understand the material that we all will need as we go on with our lives.
We moved last year and as a senior, I choose to still attend this school, although it is a 20-mile drive to and from each day, sometimes twice for a sporting event. I believe Westside High School is preparing me for the real life and do not mind spending $4 a gallon for gasoline. Also, to 'Kristina,' you do not miss a whole day of school - you only receive ISS if you have consecutive tardies or unexcused absences from homeroom.
To contradict what a parent has previously said, Westside offers a wide range of vocational courses and an open schedule that can easilly accomodate a wide range of classes. I am currently attending Westside and have noticed while many students claim to dislike it, after switching schools, many find that they prefer Westside. While Westside has a great academic atmosphere it has, like most schools, a closed minded social environment. Many teachers are lax in punishment and often pick favourites.
I graduated from Westside in 2005. After the preparation and challenge the classes at westside provided, my undergraduate classes have been a breeze. I was well prepared for my future and challenged to think for myself. Plus, the teachers will go out of there way to help you and really care. Also, the extracurricular activities are extensive, and if you don't find what you want in an extracurricular activity, it's easy to start a one.
I go to westside and it is a horablie school they will tell you that will not be able to do in life. if you are late to homeroom you will miss a whole day of school.
Both of my sons attended District 66. The district doesn't offer a wide range of Vocational programs like Omaha Public Schools does which is what my sons are interested in. If your child wants an academically challenging environment, then by all means, this is where you want them to go. But if your children know what they want in life, and want to enter the job market after high school graduation, then send them to Omaha Public Schools as they take both academic abilities and vocational abilities into consideration for students.
The academic programs at Westside are amazing. Westside is far ahead of all of the surrounding school districts on every front. Westside also this year began the '1:1 Initiative' which gave each and every high school student a Macintosh ibook that they could take home with them and use all school year. Every teacher I have come into contact with was brilliant at getting a lot of material across to the students. Westside proves to be the top educational facility in Omaha.
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