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GreatSchools Rating

Western Branch High School

Public | 9-12 | 2115 students

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Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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22 reviews of this school


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Posted August 22, 2014

The staff is incredible, WBHS has the best teachers and staff! My son loves it there also.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2013

All three of my children graduated from WBHS and with each one came different challenges. My oldest has a terminal lung condition and they went out of their way to help when he was hospitalized. My daughter loved many of her teachers; one was even a retired FBI agent. My youngest son has Autism, you would think that he would automatically be put in a special needs class. Oh no! You see, WBHS was the last link in a chain started years before. In his IEP every year they would keep challenging him, some of which I didn't think he was ready for...but he accomplished every one. The Chesapeake Public School System is the absolute best! I should know because me and my 5 other siblings all graduated from OFS (ages 64 - 42). In fact, my son had the same English teacher I did when I was in high school. He ended up graduating with a 2.97 GPA and that was a regular diploma having 26 credits! I also appreciated the fact that when my oldest son got into trouble, that they did NOT go easy on him. For every action there is a reaction.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 4, 2012

As a current sophomore at WBHS, I have no complaints about any of the teachers; however, having been in the honors bubble which is clearly set apart from the rest of the student body, I haven't seen the worst of what can happen. I do know that there are fights, drugs, and other such things throughout the school, but as many others have said prior to this review, that is the parent's issue. As for security and safeguard of the students, the high security is required in a school with so many students in it. Also, Western Branch is very good at making sure us students are out of harm's way. Just yesterday there was a 'gas leak' during home room, the worst time that could have happened. All students were sent to their first bell and then evacuated from the school calmly. My only complaint is that my parents were not informed of this , even though I turned in my emergency card. There is room for improvement, but you will find that in any school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 27, 2012

Western Branch High School showed little leadership when it came to the curriculum. It let students clown around in class and say whatever they wanted out of their mouths, using up precious time to write them up a reforral to the principal's office. Also, for that school to need so much security, makes students wonder whether or not they should tell the bus driver to go to a different Chesapeake school.


Posted August 25, 2011

I taught at WBHS for 10 years and had 2 kids there as students. The student population shifted during my 10 year tenure. WBHS is known as "Tidewater High" because parents from neighboring cities unlawfully enroll their "troubled" kids ay WBHS. These parents hope that the goodness of the WBHS kids will rub off on their own kids. Unfortunately, the reverse happens shifting the student population in a negative direction. The administrators and teachers are very dedicated. Parent involvement lies at opposite extremes. Student success and behavior is the primary responsibility of parents. The administrators, teachers, and community are more in a support role. Unfortunately, some parents do not hold themselves to the same standard of accountability as they hold the administrators and teachers. Come on parents. Take a stand. Reclaim WBHS and restore its excellent reputation from past years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2011

Three of my children have graduated from WBHS. The teachers were patient and thorough. There were times when I was concerned about the kids' grades, but the teachers stayed late and tutored them. For those who are looking for a staff that cares, WBHS is the place to send your children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 21, 2010

We came to Virginia as a result of a military move in 2001. Finding good schools was our HIGHEST priority. At the time, we had two children in High School and one in Middle School. Through our research and visits with principal, teachers, coaches, and staff, we determined that Western Branch was the school for us. Our children have graduated from high school and they all received scholarships to good colleges. Our son is an officer in the USAF, our oldest daughter is in Law School, and our youngest daughter is a Junior at University of North Florida. We couldn't be happier about the decision to trust our children's formal education to the teachers of WBHS!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2009

I have a daughter who graduated from WBHS in 2006 and I also have a daughter who is currently a junior. I'm happy with our Bruin learning community. Both of my girls have had good experiences through the school and became involved in clubs, music, and sports. Diversity is offered in academics and extracurricular activities. Plus, we have a talented and diverse population of students. My daughter is building relationships with people of many different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. I feel she is a better, more well-rounded person for being at WBHS. All Chesapeake high schools are overcrowded and I applaud the administration and staff for managing this crowded, pressure-cooker full of teens with raging hormones. I don't know how they do it! These days, schools are being asked to do more with less. Their doors have to be open to all students and I fully support their efforts!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2009

i used to be a student at western branch and that is the reason i movedd i thought the work was way to hard and im not just saying that because im a student im serious,it difficult.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 4, 2009

I am the parent of 2 current students and I am a teaher at WBHS. The crowding issue was addressed before Grassfield HS opened. The school board suggested rezoning and sending the Dock Landing/Airline students to Deep Creek HS. Many WB parents flooded the school board meeting and vehemently opposed rezoning. As a result, millions are being spent on a new wing to accommodate the masses. As far as student misbehavior, the blame rests on the parents' shoulders. Parents are responsible for teaching their children to behave and be respectful. Many extracurricular activities are offered. There is something for everyone. Teachers volnteer to sponsor most clubs, etc. This builds school spirit and keeps kids off the street. We (teachers) do the best we can to educate kids and pick up the slack for the lack of parenting. Give us a break!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2009

We have had 3 children graduate Western Branch High School. They were accepted to the following colleges/universities: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg and Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. One of our children took advantage of the Governor's School for the Arts (jazz music) offered through the high school. Western Branch is a safe place to raise a child and one where property values continue to increase due in large part to the great schools here. I should know I'm a Realtor. BTW the high school is currently undergoing renovation to address the need for more space issue.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 18, 2008

We bought our house just for the Western Branch schools. What a mistake that was. The schools are so over crowded, with more portables on the way. During our first parent/teacher night the first thing out of my sons history teachers mouth was I have never had a student fail the assesment test. My question to her are you teaching the test or are you teaching history as a subject? I have not been pleased with the administration trying to get a handle, it seems like a losing battle. To many children, in not enough space. It doen't seem to be getting better. Summer school was a teacher of the week attempting to teach. During this class my son had several teachers teachng the subject during summer school. This didn' allow the children to become comfortable with a teachers processes or requirements. Everytime the teacher changed the method of teaching changed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 8, 2008

I agree that WB is not the school that it once was. It is extremely overcrowded. I also agree that if your child is in the honors tract, they will benefit more from there time there. But those students who are not, are often lost in the shuffle & have to put up with teachers having to spend more time disciplining poor behavior than teaching. This high school is no better than a zillion other high schools in the area, but if you were to ask anyone who lives in the area, you'd hear it spoken about as mecca. As a transplant to the tidewater area, I can say from my experiences of being educated all over the east coast, that parents of students at this school have delusions of grandeur. If you truly want to find a good education in hampton roads, you should seek out private education or homeschool.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 31, 2008

Wonderful atmosphere for children to learn. The school administration works well with parents and the children to ensure that the child is obtaining the goals the student sets.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 2, 2007

My daughter who is in the 9th grade has had an illness to where she is homebound for awhile. Thanks go out to Mrs. Keys to set up a tutor to come to our home to work with my daughter.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 25, 2007

Western Branch High has been under the same leadership since the late sixties. The school is extremely crowded (we have over 26 portable classrooms). However, the quality of education varies. If your student is on an honors track, they will have better opportunities. Students outside of this track must struggle with various unfavorable distractions. I would like to see the school clean up some of their problem areas--students have pressures that I feel are potentially harmful, which go unaddressed and are ignored.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 25, 2007

Western Branch is a wonderful school. They have really great teachers, and students can feel safe when they go to school. The teachers and the community around the school is awesome. They have very good academic programs to fit the needs/wants of any student. The violence is under control. The sports are not pushed too much. The students there are just very into sports. If your not in sports you do not become very well known. But academics is what Western Branch is all about.
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 27, 2006

Westren Branch is a great school. The teachers really care about the students. They have programs to meet every students needs.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 13, 2005

WBHS is very diverse, and has a very nice afterschool tutoring program for students. The problems it's had in the past, due to the school's enormous student body that keeps growing, and the administration unable to keep up with it. After school programs aren't a joke in WBHS like they are in other schools, and there are plenty of activities to get into besides sports. The neighborhood is also very supportive of the school, and it shows at the football games.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted July 2, 2005

I graduated from this school last year. I had some GREAT teachers but most are retiring/have retired. As long as I stayed in my own little honors class plastic bubble everything was fine...but outside of that things were not too pretty. There are some rough crowds and it seems to get worse every year. Because of that the school seems to become more and more like a prison where the administration is just doing its best to keep things under control. Also, way too much emphasis on sports!
—Submitted by a former student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
  • In 2009-2010, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".
  • In 2007-2008, this school was rated "Fully Accredited".

About the tests


Virginia school accreditation ratings reflect student achievement on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and other assessments in English, history/social science, math and science. The 2009-2010 ratings are based on passing rates on tests taken during the 2008-2009 school year or on overall achievement during the three most recent years. Schools are identified as either Fully Accredited, Accredited with Warning, Conditionally Accredited or Accreditation Denied.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 76% in 2013.

358 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
98%
Algebra II

The state average for Algebra II was 76% in 2013.

374 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
99%
Biology

The state average for Biology was 83% in 2013.

540 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
93%
Chemistry

The state average for Chemistry was 86% in 2013.

335 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
97%
Earth Science

The state average for Earth Science was 83% in 2013.

546 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
86%
English: Reading

The state average for English: Reading was 89% in 2013.

510 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
93%
English: Writing

The state average for English: Writing was 87% in 2013.

535 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
95%
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 76% in 2013.

382 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
96%
History and Social Science

The state average for History and Social Science was 77% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Science

The state average for Science was 59% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Virginia and United States History

The state average for Virginia and United States History was 86% in 2013.

514 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
96%
World Geography

The state average for World Geography was 85% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
World History I

The state average for World History I was 84% in 2013.

564 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
95%
World History II

The state average for World History II was 85% in 2013.

400 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
99%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Course tests to assess students in reading, writing, math, science and history/social science subjects at the end of each course, regardless of the student's grade level. The SOL End-of-Course tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. High school students must pass at least six SOL End-of-Course tests to graduate. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Algebra I

All Students82%
Female students81%
Male students82%
Black students79%
Asian students86%
Hispanic91%
Multiracial88%
White students83%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged76%
Not economically disadvantaged83%
Students with disabilities67%
Students without disabilities85%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English81%

Algebra II

All Students85%
Female students84%
Male students87%
Black students84%
Asian students92%
Hispanic81%
Multiracial81%
White students86%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged82%
Not economically disadvantaged86%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities86%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English85%

Biology

All Students86%
Female students87%
Male students86%
Black students71%
Asian students100%
Hispanic83%
Multiracial94%
White students96%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged68%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilities59%
Students without disabilities90%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English86%

Chemistry

All Students96%
Female students94%
Male students97%
Black students93%
Asian students91%
Hispanic93%
Multiracial92%
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged90%
Not economically disadvantaged96%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities95%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English96%

Earth Science

All Students88%
Female students84%
Male students91%
Black students76%
Asian students95%
Hispanic95%
Multiracial91%
White students97%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged72%
Not economically disadvantaged93%
Students with disabilities62%
Students without disabilities91%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English87%

English: Reading

All Students95%
Female students96%
Male students93%
Black students91%
Asian students92%
Hispanic96%
Multiracial97%
White students97%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged91%
Not economically disadvantaged96%
Students with disabilities70%
Students without disabilities97%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English95%

English: Writing

All Students93%
Female students96%
Male students91%
Black students91%
Asian students87%
Hispanic89%
Multiracial94%
White students97%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged89%
Not economically disadvantaged94%
Students with disabilities71%
Students without disabilities96%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English94%

Geometry

All Students85%
Female students84%
Male students87%
Black students71%
Asian students93%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracial90%
White students94%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged71%
Not economically disadvantaged88%
Students with disabilities68%
Students without disabilities87%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English85%

History and Social Science

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

Math

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
Black studentsn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

Science

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

Virginia and United States History

All Students90%
Female students89%
Male students92%
Black students85%
Asian students92%
Hispanic92%
Multiracial97%
White students94%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged84%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilities72%
Students without disabilities93%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English91%

World Geography

All Studentsn/a
Female studentsn/a
Male studentsn/a
Black studentsn/a
Asian studentsn/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
White studentsn/a
Students identified as economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilitiesn/a
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a

World History I

All Students90%
Female students89%
Male students91%
Black students84%
Asian students100%
Hispanic95%
Multiracial93%
White students94%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged82%
Not economically disadvantaged93%
Students with disabilities72%
Students without disabilities93%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English90%

World History II

All Students94%
Female students94%
Male students94%
Black students86%
Asian students100%
Hispanic82%
Multiracial100%
White students98%
Students identified as economically disadvantaged86%
Not economically disadvantaged95%
Students with disabilities89%
Students without disabilities94%
Limited English proficient studentsn/a
Proficient in English94%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Virginia used the Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Course tests to assess students in reading, writing, math, science and history/social science subjects at the end of each course, regardless of the student's grade level. The SOL End-of-Course tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia. High school students must pass at least six SOL End-of-Course tests to graduate. The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the Virginia Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Virginia Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:40 am
School end time
  • 3:38 pm
School Leader's name
  • Dr. Thomas A. Whitley
Fax number
  • (757) 638-7904
School leaders can update this information here.

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1968 Bruin Pl
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Website: Click here
Phone: (757) 638-7900

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