This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted January 12, 2015
- a parent
Where do I begin. So much change and not for the better. Communiques sent to parents about dress code, yet children of some teachers and staff wear what they want. Students are held accountable for late grades, yet numerous teachers are very late (2 months for example) in posting grades. The administration advises parents to keep up with their child's progress through Managebac, yet the grades aren't there. So here we are right before grades for report cards are due, and some parents are finding their child is struggling. Parents and students miss the teachers and administrators who were advocates for their students, who went out of their way to help every child succeed. Over the last 5 years those teachers and administrators have moved on.
This school is terrible. It is obvious that they have spent a lot of money on the exterior, but there are some things that you can t just throw money at and have it work. Although Westlake did pass state testing, they received no distinctions. IB results for some subjects are embarrassing. There has been a huge staff turnover (50%) in the past year and the exodus continues. Because Westlake is an affluent community it is assumed that this is a good school. Far from it, the surrounding school districts offer many more options for students and the staff at those districts are far superior. Westlake hired an administrator that was asked to leave one of the surrounding districts for ethical violations what does that tell you? Many of the teachers have no IB experience and some have openly stated that they do not feel IB is worth learning and have no intention of teaching it. One teacher went as far as to cuss out the program. THIS IS AN IB SCHOOL! If you don t like it leave. As soon as I can find another job I am done. Westlake is not what it used to be and is far from finding its way back.
Superb new leadership and staff! My children have been attending WA now for 6 years. We have seen much turnover of staff, most of which, I believe, were good choices. However, this year the staff chosen to fill those empty positions seem highly qualified, enthusiastic to embrace the IB curriculum, and caring of our school and students. This is the most positive start to a school year I've seen since we've been there, and I truly believe WA is headed in the right direction and look forward to many more great years!
I have a special needs child that attends Westlake Academy. The school has been extremely accommodating. My child is extremely intelligent but has a few special needs. I feel as though my child is thriving at this school. Having smaller classrooms has definitely helped. Plus, my child has begun to make friends. She/he had never had friends at school before.
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!
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.