People are just scared of the low income families that send their kids to this school, but SLHS has some of the nicest kids I have ever met. The IB program at SLHS is incredibly rigorous and challenges students to do their absolute best. I don't know how a 4 star rating is equal to a 6 out of ten? Maybe the HS that the founders of Great Schools had a pretty bad Math Program? 4/5=8/10. simple math people.
I'm currently a junior at South Lakes and I have to say it's filled with a lot of people that genuinely care about the students. I have had such great teachers and have a found a great community on the track team. The facility is awesome compared to some of the other FCPS high schools, we are pretty newly renovated and well upkept. The athletics coaches and the counselors are great too, but I have to say the one thing that takes away is the Principal. Mr. Butler, who left in 2012 was excellent: personally engaged with the students, and clearly cared about us and our education. Now I feel trapped and constantly mistrusted by the principal and some of the office staff, as if the students are animals that need to be corralled with random, arbitrary rules.
My daughter is a freshman at South Lakes and we have found this school to offer a wonderful blend of academic challenge, nuturing support and a strong community. Led by a fantastic principal, the teachers and staff do a great job of encouraging and mentoring the students. My daughter is on track to receive the IB Diploma and has found the classes to be rigorous, but manageable. We have been pleased with the sports and performing arts programs as well. My daughter -- and our family -- are looking forward to her next 3 1/2 years at South Lakes.
South Lakes has a principal like no other that goes above & beyond to know his students, teachers, curriculum, parents, etc. Bruce Butler is the most aware and involved principal and cares about each student. The admin. staff is wonderful also. They work to keep the students & parents involved &i nformed. The IB program is very challenging & requires a large amount of writing. When an IB graduate student of South Lakes moves on to a challenging college they comment that the college don't seem so difficult in comparison. The students & teachers are welcoming. The facility itself is the best I have seen in Fairfax Cnty with it's high technology in each classroom, bright skylights, large & functional gym, well designed theatre, etc. With the newly re-districted students and new enthusiasm this school's test scores will soar!
I have always found South Lakes to be challenging and stimulating for my kids. Neither are in the IB program, but that does not exclude them from taking IB or AP courses. As a matter of fact, I found the AP courses much more demanding on them than the IB courses. The teachers are tough, but fair. They have always responded to my many inquiries and work hard to help my kids succeed. I could not be happier with the curriculum offerings at South Lakes. My daughter found her calling when she discovered The Academy for Communications and the Arts offered at South Lakes and other Fairfax County Schools. She now attends Columbia, continuing her dream in life.