May 30, 2015
This is a mediocre school in a prestigious district. We have four kids and my husband recently retired from the military, so we've had a lot of exposure to different schools. The teachers at this one are fine (and some are great, as at any school) but don't have super-high academic expectations just because this school is in a high-performing district. The campus culture discourages homework, and students who are significantly above or below their grade level will not be given the special attention they need (again, this is like at most other public schools). There is almost no diversity in this school, and no effort on the part of the staff to create awareness of diversity or a social conscience. Quarterly school spirit assemblies typically feature kids singing school songs to the tune of 80's pop songs, then on to the raffles to see who wins treats (money for lucky teachers, goodies for lucky kids.) Our kids' peers were overwhelmingly focused on parties and sports, with little interest in academics. When I volunteered there I noticed students were often rowdy, and my son told me about a boy in his class who was bullied all year- cliques and social pressure are big at this school. The negative comments made by other reviewers about the principal are accurate- the parents are the ones who run this school (that's for the worse-it needs real leadership). I could go on, but I've stated my basic case. If you want your kids ensconced in a 99% white, affluent school that is permissive of their behavior issues, rewards them for just showing up every day, and ignores both the world around them and the importance of working hard to prepare for the future, then Forest Trail is your school. If you want a more studious environment for your child, who may not spend the rest of his life in the social bubble of Westlake, then go elsewhere. After two years of giving FTE a fair chance, we left and our kids are much better off.
- submitted by a community member