I am surprised at some of the reviews I have read about The Westwood School and feel compelled to add my own here. I am not an administrator or a teacher or a governor and I only have experience of the Westwood High School, both my children having previously attended public school, and I am very happy with the academic standards and expectations of Westwood. The IB DP and MYP are rigorous programs of learning and are very demanding, which is why they are so highly recognised worldwide. Parents are the primary educators of our children and we should support and enhance what is taught at school. It is not enough to drop our children off at school each day and then expect them to get an excellent education just because we are paying for it. We must take an interest in what our children are studying and support them with learning in areas that they find difficult. Our children all learn at different rates - mine are slower learners but they are getting to where they need to be. The teachers here have taken the trouble to get to know my children and understand what makes them tick, as a result, my children are happy here and are thriving. There are good and bad teachers in every school and Westwood is no different, but once you have aired your concerns all you can do is to support your child and encourage them to keep working hard. We value the discipline, the curriculum, the opportunities to learn in and out of the classroom and the small class sizes - our children are more involved and more visible - and therefore more engaged - than they ever were in their previous school. We especially value the good manners and independence of the children who attend Westwood and are delighted with the friends our children have. This year's graduating class is testimony to the academic excellence of the school, to the hard-working students and to the teachers and parents who have supported them.
After attending Westwood for over 11 years we are leaving the school with very few positive things to say about our experience. Through the years the grumblings and undercurrent of negativity has turned out, sadly, to be true. My children are behind their grade level (by more than a few months, one may not be able to catch up even with expensive tutoring programs this summer), have learned to skate by doing just the bare minimum of work, have been overlooked and left behind even with active parents expressing our concerns and asking what we could do.
The administration is beyond unprofessional in how they communicate, and it is the children who suffer. When the promises we are made are not fulfilled the situation is glossed over and we are told to just trust in the school. We trusted for far too long. My children do not struggle with learning challenges, and we are not dealing with attention issues. Families complain that we feel we are just a paycheck, and when concerns are brought to the school we are systematically excluded until leaving becomes the best option.
This school has robbed us of tuition money and left us with confused, uneducated children who will likely flounder just as other classmates who wised up before we did and escaped. There is a reason a record number of long-term families who have wised up this year and are not returning.
It is shocking to see all of the positive reviews when I hear all the negative talking in the hallways among the parents. My family will not be attending this school next year, it has come to our attention that the school is below average in regards to teaching staff and curriculum. Once you look at other schools, you soon realize the poor quality you are receiving from this "Montessori" school. Policies are overlooked, children with behaviors issues and bully tactics are allowed to stay. The curriculum is so behind that parents feel trapped into staying here because the quality private schools will not allow them in because of the difficult time they will have catching up. This school will close one day, soon, it can not continue to operate with staff that is not knowledgeable and administration that that is ill equipped to run a school.
Very disappointed . I have training in montessori and some of teacher approaches are as far from it as possible . And all the projects/special interests that some reviews refer to do not reach the general student population - they are focussed on a few student groups- this I know from personal experience. I am sure that there will be ten other reviewers that disagree with me as soon as this is posted.
I just found this site/our school listing and was very surprised at some of the negative reviews. As a Westwood family of 11 years, with intent to stay through graduation and could not love our school more. One thing I have learned along the journey is that not every family is going to feel comfortable in a curriculum that is not in line with the traditional education most of us received in our own childhood. That is certainly understandable, but sometimes not fully understanding the curriculum/philosophy/process that is new to us can lead to a negative image of what is being offered. I strongly encourage prospective families to tour Westwood, ask questions, meet the students/teachers and judge for yourself. It has been a priceless experience for our entire family from the education, to emotional development of our child, to the application of real-world experiences that are preparing our child for the future. Westwood has been part of the "village" that has helped us raise a responsible, respectful, and intelligent child. The children we see graduate from this school are fantastic models of the "end product" of our program. We are excited to be a part of it!
Westwood is a fabulous environment for children and families. The school offers singularly unique curriculum that blends Montessori in the lower school with the acclaimed International Baccalaureate program to insure that Westwood graduates meet or exceed academic standards for students in the program worldwide. The IB accreditation process is on-going and students' IB exams are graded by instructors across the world, without the bias and grade-inflation that can occur in isolated academic environments. Westwood also encourages the development of the whole child from preschool through grade 12, allowing students to pursue interests in the arts, athletics, academic competition, and clubs such as Model United Nations and Mock Court in addition to their academic studies. Westwood a culturally-diverse community that embraces individual differences as well as learning differences, providing students with the broad foundation necessary to succeed and give back as citizens of the world.
I have had the pleasure of working with the students of The Westwood School and the teachers and I am constantly in awe of the ability, the verbal communication level, the cognitive skills and the temperament of the school. They consistently work to strive towards their goals of character, excellence and community and it is seen throughout the student body- from the little ones to the oldest. The Westwood School is doing education the way everyone else wishes they could. It has been an honor to work with the school and to have my boy be a part of the student body.
Children are flourishing here! This school becomes your family. Public schools teach the test, this school teaches to educate and transform! The Westwood School prepares the students to not only learn but to think as well. The staff cares. The teachers are well prepared to teach and to work with the students in preparing them for life. These children are ahead of kids in public school, not by a grade but, by several grades. They learn to how to dream and how to set goals and the hard work it takes to accomplish them!
I attended Westwood for many years and was a proud member for the high school. This school not only taught me math, science, English, etc. it also taught me to be the independent person I am today. The community that this school provides not only for the students but also for the parents and alumni is outstanding. I continue to come back and volunteer to give back to such an amazing place. I not only got into my first choice college, I also got college credit for a course I took at Westwood. I owe all my success to the great staff and encouraging teachers.
I have to chime in and agree with the negative reviews of this school. Children are taught at a lower level and I guess I am just now realizing this fact. We have spent a lot money on a joke of a school for our children. Time has been wasted and self esteem has been played with by the "teachers". As a parent I am embarrassed to even say my children go to this school. We will not be contributing to this school next year. My children will be educated in a decent school, with decent teachers, and decent children.