This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted April 12, 2015
- a parent
If you are thinking about sending your child to Westlake Academy make sure you do some research first. A beautiful campus on a lovely background setting does not guarantee a solid educational program. I have had my children at Westlake since they were in the PYP program. We have seen a great deal of changes throughout our experience, but nothing has been as detrimental as the changes that occurred this year. New administration came through with no to little regard of the IB curriculum. This changed the dynamic of what made Westlake stand out from the local ISD schools. This school was once a rigorous program. My child was always challenged in all of his academic classes. He had homework every night and was held accountable for his work. Now, new administration has told teachers not to give students more than an hour of homework per night for all of their subjects. Students are not held accountable for anything anymore. Here is an example: A project was assigned. One student worked hard to complete it on time. The other did not turn it in until the end of the semester: Both got similar grades with no penalties. I am very disappointed with this school.
I was really hopeful for the education my children would receive at Westlake. What I've encountered is mass confusion and underquallified administration. Their goals of incorporating technology into every task seems to overshadow the task itself. Communication between administration and parents needs to be prioritized, so as to ensure parents are well-informed. There are too many paths of communication from Westlake to the families, which causes confusion and stress about making sure all the emails are read. I won't be sending my child back, and that makes me sad considering I applied for the lottery to this school for 7 years in a row.
As a student of Westlake, I have to say that I am extremely disappointed. I feel like I'm neglected by the school board and the principals. I also feel like I am unprepared for higher education. This school is a mix between ISD and IB! This is not what the founders intended, and this is not the kind of education that parents envision. So much money has been spent fixing the exterior, while the interior and crumbling.Think twice before sending your child here!
Stay away from this school. I have done a lot of traveling through other countries and the US. My children have been exposed to all forms of cultures and teaching. I can honestly say that this is the worst school I have ever seen. This school offers no stability. Rules change on a whim. The administration does not take time to know the students. There are some good teachers here but for the most part they are so overworked that they appear to have given up. I don't want my children taught by people who are exhausted, nor do I want my children to be exposed to an administration who will not take the time needed to get to know them. Save yourself the aggravation and find a different school. If you are seeking a job, it seems to me you can do better than this. You deserve to be treated with respect.
This is my 2nd year attending Westlake Academy, my 1st year here was fantastic. The teachers were great, my peers were friendly, although the curriculum was challenging, I learned a lot. The following school year, students came back with an entirely new admin, staff, rules, the list goes on. At first, the students and I were extremely excited to see what this "new" westlake had in store. But much to our surprise, it wasn't so great.. As we went into the year, admin began to be stricter. A few of our teachers began to "favor" kids over others as well as curve their grade higher due to the favoritism. The new admin ( as well as a couple teachers) have been treating the kids with such disrespect. There are teachers that make up lies and tell admin false things that never happened to get the "trouble makers" in trouble, just so they get favored by the administration. The disrespect and lies admin puts us through is becoming out of hand. The teachers that we love are slowly getting less power and some have been getting fired. Westlake is slowly becoming corrupt due to the new admin. Sad to see what has become of the MYP department at Westlake Academy.
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.