We're new to Woodson, but so far I'm impressed by what I've seen -- kids holding doors open for other kids entering the school in the morning, kids using the crosswalk to cross, most kids driving carefully and abiding by the rules of the road. A very polite group of children, so very different from our experience at Stuart HS!
While this school is challenging academically, there is a real sense of community and caring - both by the active families and the teachers (all long term teachers).
The students truly care about each other and each other's causes and issues. This is a great school that gets kids into the best colleges in America.
My daughter goes to this school and it is outstanding. I retired from the US Air Force and chose to live here because of Woodson HS. I made a great choice for my kids. The academics are challenging. The counselors and teachers genuinely care. The Marching Band is world class and teaches skills that will last into adulthood. The Marching Band is a great way for your child to ease into high school. The school is diverse and the international population brings up everyone's game. If your son or daughter is taking honors and above courses...they will be challenged. I track what my daughter is learning and compare it to what I learned and other schools in the US...wow these kids are going to at the top of the pyramid. Woodson is teaching at levels that I never saw in my high school 30 years ago.
Woodson is an excellent school. The facilities since the renovation are very good - although the school os now very big and it takes a while to figure out where everything is. The teachers are consistantly top-notch, though they seem to need more guidance counselors, as the current ones are overloaded. Sports are great and varied - they have active art and theater departments - and options for after school help and activities. I only wish they had after-school busses daily instead of only once a week, it would help out working parents whose kids want to participate in after-school activities. I appreciate the change in the grading system last year to make it mor ein line with the rest of the country. I do find the atmosphere to be academically very competitive and pressured, typical of a good high school in Northern Virginia but sometimes very stress-producing for the kids.
I am a current teacher at Woodson and the previous comment was an overgeneralization. The only teachers who have ever been out of school for over a week have been teachers who have had SERIOUS medical issues, one of whom passed away last year. Unfortunately, teaching a high school class isn't done effectively through correspondence, just like learning isn't, which is why student attendance is so important. Teaching is what I've always wanted to do, but it's really hard especially when parents email every other day. It's easy to send a quick gradesheet, but pedagogical questions are not welcome. It doesn't seem right to have to defend why you've assigned something or how you've graded an assignment. Did your parents do that when you went to school? Having been a military child, I know what other schools are like, and Woodson is as good as it gets.
Truly the worst school in regard to teachers and administration that my children have ever attended. The counselors leave much to be desired, do not rely on them to assist you in an academic plan. Some teachers had excessive absences, weeks long,this led to subs in and out which is not conducive to learning especially at an AP level. Teachers and staff do not respond to emails or phone calls. They do not care about the individual students, especially new or transient students. Sports- do not go to Woodson if you are an athletic male. If you are not a 'returning' student, you will sit the bench no matter what your skill level. Important if you are trying for a sports scholarship for college. Try Robinson or West Springfield.
It's definitely not the best school, the students are pretty discriminatory. I do make a few friends, but the amount of cliques there are is insane. Also there's something wrong with style, not many people care about it or they just go with the trend, people only stick out within their cliques. Also, the are really rowdy, I mean not that they get into fights but more that they take everything as a joke. Career planning is left up to the student to figure out and counselors are in limited quantity. the educational environment really isn't appreciated. Many schools like oakton and robinson seem to do better in having influential friends that support you (not to mention their diverse personalities!) overall it's a so-so school. I've heard about schools where kids fight every day so this can't be too bad.
I graduated last year from Woodson High School and can truly say I had a great 4 years. The school is mid-construction so things were a little crazy at times. Woodson is a very competitive school, but i believe it pays off in the end. I have just completed my first semester of college and found it fairly easy compared to other that came from different schools. Woodson does a great job preparing you. As far as cliques go, there are definitely many different groups, but from my experience none were ever mean to another. I personally thought the groups cohabiatated very well. My best advice to anyone that is going to go there or goes there is to get involved in anything! It makes you feel so much more a part of the school that you go to and will make your experience ten times better.