Westwood is a great school with rigorous academics but families and students need to know that if you attend WWHS and are not in the top 7% you WILL NOT get into UT and have a hard time at Texas ATM Especially if you do not have diversity and or adversity. Please learn from our misfortune! Our daughter was rejected at both schools with a 4.9 GPA 1400 SAT and volunteer leadership galore. Her rank was 26%. I spoke today with UT admit officer and she explicitly said "HIGH SCHOOL DOES NOT MATTER, ONLY RANK & RIGOR OF CLASSES". We were told over the years at Westwood that the academic rigor is noted at colleges...that is not true. Again --- if you are super genius and do not have any life outside of school or if UT or ATM do not matter than go there. Looking back we would have transferred our daughter to another RRISD high school where, with a 4.9 and good SAT scores she would have very likely had a higher rank & admitted to both schools.
Have you ever heard the saying " The inmates are running the asylum". Well, that's exactly how it is at Westwood High School. There is a new principal but the students don't need a friend, they need direction and structure - not what Westwood offers. Rules are out the window. I can't imagine what this school will be like when the freshmen are seniors.
I actually struggled somewhat academically and socially in Middle School. I was a bit apprehensive about attending Westwood because of it's reputation and my family and I didn't really know how I would do. After three years here, I think it's amazing and I am so glad this is my school. I guess all schools have their problems but I think all of my teachers (Pre-Ap and AP) really do care and have taught me a lot. One teacher and course or program has really helped me so much more than any other so I have to mention them. The Air Force JROTC program here is truly amazing. We got a new Senior instructor and he is doing so many things for us and this program. He really cares about us and pushes us to not only do our best, but make mistakes so we can learn from them before we graduate. I would probably have been lost in high school and not ready for the real world if I had not taken AFJROTC. The life skills they teach will definitely help me no matter where I go after this and I am having a blast while doing it! We receive academic credit and learn useful skills and information. We do a lot for the community and have a lot of fun and, I am earning a Letter in JROTC too! I think you will find your place wherever you look. I found mine and am so thankful! To me, Westwood is a challenging school but can be fun and eye opening as well. It is definitely helping prepare me for my next steps in life!
Team work is near-essential to staying near or above the rest. Flying solo is almost not an option entirely. While this seems anarchic, it actually creates an honor system in which mutual benefaction is prioritized over everything else.
Let me give you a rundown of the school from an inside perspective.
-We have an enourmous amount of clubs, many of which remain undocumented on the website and are at times a myth except to only the members of said club. Regardless, there are more than enough to satisfy you.
-Our sports teams are usually hit or miss. Some years they're amazing, others, not so much. Regardless, the football team is really the only one who suffers from such a heavy academic atmosphere, and most others actually benefit of the energy that students exert on their studies.
-Fine arts has always been a strong point for us, as we have one of the best marching bands in the district, an orchestra that formed almost 50% of the All-State orchestra, and extremely intricate drama and choir programs.
-IB. Ok, we get it, one of the few schools that offer the IB curriculum, so you should take it, right? No. Most upper level IB classes can be, or definitely are more work than standard AP classes. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. But if you are a GPA-grinder, its best to just take AP.
-Everyone has heard of it, the heavy academic pressure that is placed on many students. It has to be expected, when the difference between top 7% and not is close to 0.01 GPA points. If you are not prepared or do not want to be in the top couple percents, you either give up and deal with the ranking that you get, or move to a different school. It is not wrong to move, as many of my close friends who could not deal with the pressure did exactly that.
-Finally, westwood truly is a unique experience. I have had friends from many different districts, counties, states, and even countries, and it really doesn't compare. Though the experience is taxing and can ruin all but the dedicated. You really need to find a way to balance your life ASAP or you are unlikely to find success here.