The West Linn-Wilsonville School District has an 'open library' plan in which a library without walls sits at the center of every school. Study areas with lots of computers radiate off the library at WLHS and classrooms surround each of those study areas on three sides. It's a relaxing, sensible plan with no long scary halls to traverse. It seems like the openness of the building affects the staff here, as I find the teachers, students and administrators at WLHS to be very open, friendly, and enthusiastic. The principal, Lou Bailey, communicates with parents regularly via emailed newsletters and teachers respond promptly to emailed messages from parents. My kids go in early or stay late for help from teachers, whenever they feel the need, so I can tell that the teachers make themselves available. Bottom line: I like Wlhs, I've had my kids in a total of nine schools in four states over many years and I know a good school when I see one. As far as test scores, AP classes, etc. just check the web site.
Overall, this school is a circus. For the academically focused students there are a lot of opportunities and great teachers. The average student floats through with inflated grades (look at the number of "honor grads") while the administration pays lip service to helping the struggling students, but there are no programs to actually help them in any meaningful way or get them experience toward anything useful after they leave high school. There are few rules, no consequences and subsequently the student body as a whole has little respect for the building. Walk the halls after lunch and you'll get an idea. Students and staff that come from other schools as well as foreign exchange students are shocked at the things that are allowed to happen here on a daily basis. I and many other former staff members are glad to have left and work at a "real" school again where all students have opportunities, not just the college bound, and there is structure and discipline in place. The students have fun while they're here, but are they actually learning?
WLHS is a great, well rounded school. The academics are outstanding, the athletics are pretty good (for being a public school), the teachers and staff are very effective and helpful. The teachers actually care, and the staff take care of everything. Cliques exist. But they exist everywhere. The only thing is, there's a lot of racial tension towards some students, being that hispanics/ african americans/ orientals, ect. are a minority. However, all kids seem to find their way and be happy. The course loads can be challenging, which is great. Many classes are offered. The sports coaches are overall great. Just watch out for the girls basketball coach, he doesnt let you play multiple sports. (or at least he doesnt want you to)Theis school will prepare you very well for college! It is quite a textbook high school, which is great. However, it still stands out.
Yes, West Linn High School is rich, has some cliques, and the school is very demanding. It's also the best school I have ever attended. Most of the students just are not that wealthy. And above all, most of the students are caring, fun and intellectual people. Cliques exist but I would not consider them important or prevalent. As for being a tough school, I find this a blessing. Never before have I been so challenged. Never before have I accomplished so much. The school prepares its students for success and the focus is where it should be: on the learning. If families are worried about the school being too hard, they should not be. The staff is both friendly and accessible. They are willing to do whatever it takes to help us and they put forth enormous amounts of effort. There is free tutoring every day as well. Overall, the school is challenging without being impossible. It is truly a top-notch school. Out of all the schools in the greater Portland area, West Linn High School is at the top. I am so grateful to all the wonderful teachers, administrators, staff and students who help make West Linn High School what it is today. I am so lucky to have received such a super education.