I'm sorry to say, but I have to agree with recent posts. We will not be returning along with the many teachers who have been terminated or have decided to leave of their own accord. It is unfortunate that few families seem to have the school board in their pockets. I would be curious to see with whom the departing teachers are replaced. Can anyone say nepotism? I wish the remaining teachers and students luck as this school will certainly have more challenges in their future.
How sad to watch a great school die. Westlake has always lived by the IB philosophy. That is until they were overrun by a new administration. Over 20% of the staff has left since the overthrow. It is obvious that the new administration cares nothing for the students or the staff. Please look beyond the pretty buildings before you consider sending your child to this train wreck of a school. There are some excellent schools in the area. This is not one of them.
I have been attending this school for a few years now and at first I was so impressed with the teachers, (some) students, as well as the administration. This year ever since our MYP principal "left" the school has snowballed into a huge mess. The new heads of school are not great and do not even compare to what we had. Teachers who are amazing (all of them) are being fired left and right. When they are firing them they give them pretty much no notice what so ever, up to the point to where they are scrambling and stressing trying to find another job. The new heads of school have not been communicating with students at all. They are a name not a figure at the school. As previously stated there is such a lack of communication. For us to be one school TOGETHER we need to know what will be happening on a day to day basis. Ask any student who currently attends and they will say that nothing has been the same for a long while now.
We have only been at the school about 6 months, but so far it has been fantastic. Administration, teachers, kids, parents, all have been incredibly welcoming. Our child has fit right in socially, and the teachers have challenged from the beginning. Really an incredible experience for us so far.
These teachers think they are the "epitome" of teachers. Well, let's just say that they should each be given watches, courses of proper behavior/etiquette (how to properly "speak" to parents" - yes - they are not 'Gods') and be brought a little back down to Earth when they are hired. I sent one polite, e-mail to a 10-th grade teacher, questioning an "incomplete" grade that my daughter had on her on-line grade-book for THREE months - just trying to see if the assignment was turned in, etc., and I was bludgeoned with "Westlake handbook policy".....That "incomplete" grades were gives THREE days to make up, and then they were turned to "ZEROS".. Why, I ask, did this specific teacher not post this ZERO and lead my daughter to believe that she could still make up this grade???? POOR, POOR, POOR example and time management on the teacher's part. Plus, the teacher has ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to BLAST the parent via e-mail for politely voicing concern! This school shows EXTREMELY inconsistent enforcement of policies and educational principals. I made a horrible, horrible mistake ever sending my child here. My money could have been better spent by being donated to the local penitentiary!
The school is still struggling with implementing 504 and Special Education. It is a constant battle for parents to get the school to follow federal and state laws.
Westlake Academy is obviously very academically rigorous, which isn't always a good thing. Because the classes are so small; students are very competitive. There were some wonderful teachers in the past, who were constantly helping troubled students, but most of them have left the school. Some teachers that remain are neglecting these students, and they just keep getting further and further left behind till the end of the year when its almost impossible to help them out. The teachers always talk about how great students need to be if they want to succeed, in a way that can be a real self-esteem issue for most kids. If a student is less academically driven or committed then the other students, they will have a hard time. This school has no focus at all on the arts, and in my opinion, has a very close minded idea of a "well-rounded student" in which they pride themselves on creating. This school is a great idea for those who top their class, and are constantly devoting their time to work. But for the student who doesn't commit themselves to toping their class, this is not the best idea. Those students will just be neglected and keep falling behind.
The post from December 8th, 2012 noting AP curriculum is incorrect. While the Diploma Program (DP) is the curriculum of instruction, AP curriculum is supported indirectly where the same content overlaps with the DP. Students may choose to take any AP test on campus. Dr. Clint Calzini Secondary Principal
There are some wonderful dedicated teachers, however, in recent years a high turnover of faculty, administration,as well as MYP/DP coordinators. Class sizes are small, which is ideal for learning environment, but not a welcoming arena for students who are new to the school. IB curriculum is exceptional especially the DP program. The school is not for everyone, especially for children who do not have a strong personality. Curriculum is competitive to neighboring school districts, be aware that Westlake is focusing only on IB curriculum, no longer supporting AP curriculum or testing, which is a disadvantage to the graduates as many of the university's offer very limited credit for IB classes and diplomas.
As a recent graduate of Westlake Academy I can say many things. The academic strength of the institution is high, but as with any school, what you get is equivalent to what you put in. The teachers care more than anything in the world, which is great. Yet, the school does little in regards to peer bullying and caters greatly towards those without learning disabilities. A beautiful school with faculty that really care, but with students who would rather pave their way to a bright future than to lifelong friendships or balanced lifestyles. If I did it again, I wouldn't go back. Surrounding schools have on par academic programs, stronger arts programs, and the possibilities of having a class size greater than 28. A good place for those who don't have trouble in academia, but not for those who wish to have a diverse group of friends.
This is my 8th year at Westlake Academy and I love it here! The faculty is amazing and the care about each student and their learning. They guide you at your own pace of learning and you are taught directly from the IB curriculum. Students fit in with each other and you get to know everyone in the entire school. I really recommend this school to everyone because of the faculty, students, IB curriculum and it is an amazing school!!
Appalled that an adult would use this board to "name" a specific teacher (who hasn't been at the school for over a year) and call them out. I had the same teacher for two different children and found her to be nothing like was mentioned in the disparaging review below. Sounds more like a personal attack than a "review". Our children have been at WA for 7 years. We find it to be challenging and they are learning to be well rounded students. They are taught to be good citizens and learning much more than simply math, reading and science. Each year this young school improves and there are plenty of opportunities for parents to get involved and be active in their children's education. There are negative people wherever you choose. Pick the school that works for your child and one which WANTS you, the parent, to be involved.
All I have to say are good things about the school. I feel my daughter is now getting a better education in terms of strong and solid curriculum. I feel she's going to be prepared to compete with Other students in college and will be better prepared. I love that it's small and students have this ambiance of small community and fellowship. I specially enjoy the topics they are discussing in world history. I feel that the school is really preparing them to be international citizens. An this is the least I expect for my child. I am bilingual and my daughter is trilingual . There's do much more you expect from your kids and it's our duty to offer them the very best. This is why Im proud to say that she's a student at Westlake academy !
Westlake's second graduating class (May 2011) of 32 seniors received over $4.5 million in scholarships. The Academy is rated EXEMPLARY again this year. The teachers are invested in their careers. Parents are invested--they helped contribute over $500,000 this year. What's not to love??
Confused re: low performance comments. The school repeatedly attains exemplary status, regardless of the fact that the focus is not on teaching to the TAKS. Recently, last year's first senior class returned for a visit and reported that they have had an easy transition to college life and academics, despite the fact that many of them are enrolled in challenging &/or honors college programs. That alone has sold me on our decision to send our child to WA. He has been there 2 yrs, & the level of work to which he has been exposed (in primary) has been much more complex and cognitively challenging than that of his same grade peers in the local "exemplary" public elementary. I don't disagree that some amount of parental involvement is required for success in this setting, but, then again, why have children if you're not willing or able to spend time them, helping with schoolwork or otherwise??
Our son attended school here for one year, and after a disappointing year, we decided to leave. MANY other students and families have also recently left the school. Although we believe firmly in the school's mission statement and are impressed with the IB program, their execution of the program is abysmal. The school is run by a Board and Town CEO with absolutely no background in education, changes are made seemingly at a whim, turnover of teachers and administrative staff is high, and a small group of wealthy parents enjoys a disproportionate amount of influence over decision-makers. Our son actually did well at Westlake, but the lack of structure, proper supervision, and truly rigorous academic instruction led us back to our local public school in Carroll ISD.
Best learning enviornment and most involved parents I have ever seen.
My son attended a private K-12 school in the Northeast, so when we learned that we were moving to TX, we had high expectations for his new school. Westlake Academy has not disappointed! We sought WA out specifically for the IB curriculum offered K-12 (our old school was IB for 11th and 12th only). WA is a place where students learn to understand, respect and appreciate their own and other world cultures, where they are taught to take responsibility for their own learning, and where critical thinking and interdisciplinary work is the norm. I've loved the creativity and depth of my son's projects and assignments (and he's really enjoyed them, too!). Yes, the curriculum is rigorous. But how refreshing to heighten expectations about student potential and achievement, see these kids meet every challenge...then show you how high the bar really can go? That's why our son is at WA.
Great school! Great faculty and wonderful students. The curriculum is challenging because it is not taken straight from a textbook. Students are pushed to use their own minds rather than memorizing from boring textbooks. Heavy focus on critical thinking and community/world responsibility.
If you can even get in this school, you'll see that children who lack self-motivation will probably have difficulty here. This school is really effective for more advanced learners who are self-motivated, but children whose parents cannot be as involved in their lives tend to struggle in such a demanding academic atmosphere that requires personal responsibility. We were forced to remove our children because typical area public schools will cater more to students who need more external motivation. I wouldn't recommend this school for 'average' students or parents who do not have time to work with their children at home. This type of school was too much of a committment for my family because my job requires me to spend much time out of town and my children are not as self motivated as most of WA students.
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