This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Westside High School1
Posted December 11, 2014
- a student
I go to Westside and honestly it is not the best school in omaha. The deans will say they will help you with a situation but they really don't. I believe Westside is also really racist. If you aren't white you get treated differently. The deans let kids bully you and they let people torment you. People have tried or have committed suicide that went/go to Westside because when they tell someone that they are getting bullied or that they feel suicidal they don't do anything except run there mouths saying everything will be okay and not to stress about it.
Anybody notice that the Superintendent Blane McCann just repeats the same stories from Shore wood and Kanosha Wisconsin? He's a babbling brook of cliches and tired stories. And like most small minded people you had better agree with him. Good things will happen here but not because of him.
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.
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.