WJHS, in my two years, has been sorta hit and miss. There are a few GREAT teachers and staff who genuinely care about the students. In my two years, I've had some teachers who were so great and inspiring, I'd go as far as to call them life changing. Most of the kids are rather nice. However, the school is not without its faults. The building is rather old, and practically falling apart in some areas. there are holes in the walls, pieces chipped off of desks, dents in the floor that make it hard to move your chair, and a few other things. Bullying is also an issue. While the school has many anti-bullying programs running, the teachers often loave them, since they take away from class time. Little is done when teachers see bullying. Lessons often put WAY too much focus on the State Tests, and when I confronted a teacher on this she told me to "go back on the unicorn I came in on, the world's not perfect." While most students are well-behaved, there is a large number of bullies that make me, personally, uncomfortable throughout the day. I've been chased trough the halls by boys making fun of me, passing several teachers, who didn't do a thing. Fix those, issues, and it would be great.
We transferred here from a Manhattan junior high after the beginning of last year (7th grade). It was a delightful surprise. My son thought (and still thinks) the kids are so much friendlier and well behaved in this school. The teachers he says, spend less time disciplining and more time teaching. As a result he has excelled here. The teachers have been stimulating and very accessible for both of us when there are questions about the work or if he had some difficulty understanding the work. The guidance counselors have been supportive during the transition and the office staff friendly and helpful. . As a parent it is easy to find opportunities to volunteer and some of the fundraising activities are lot's of fun (love the Crazy Cake Auction). I find the school's daily emails home very helpful and in the 7th grade they had daily homework text/emails sent which was enormously helpful in keeping him organized and me abreast of his work. All in all it's been a very good experience.
This is truly a great school. Under the leadership of Mr. V. DiGrandi, my child had an excellent 2 years. He is the type of Principal that the student body feels comfortable talking to, and the staff at WJHS does a good job of encouraging parent partnerships. Excellent staff, excellent extracurricular activies, excellent academic programs.
Great if your child is a 'typcially functioning' student. This distrcit/school is not accomodating for students with special needs/requiring special education services. They expect the child to fit into the program, not change or create a new programs to meet the educational needs of the children. For example this district/school will not modify the curriculum to meet the students educational needs, the curriculum can not be deviated from because the teachers much teach to the state testing instead of meeting their students needs. I can only imagine the teachers frustration.
The academic programs are good as long as your child has no trouble functioning in school. Parent involvement is only welcome if you agree with everything they are doing should you question anything your involvement is not welcome.
WJHS has great after school activities for the kids to do. The academics they teach are gear towards the test the students must take for the state ane regents. They beleive all students should be studying for a regents dip. They have a great teaching program for kids in special ed who are average or above but still need help with their core classes. I feel that parental involvement is allowed only to the point where you are not questioning the teachers but agree with them 100%. If they feel you are questioning their teaching methods they seem to become short on time to answer you, this includes administration as will as guidence, teachers or CSE chairperson. I feel at CSE meetings you must fight for what you think is best for your child. If you keep asking they will either give in or ignore you.