Whatever you do, do not have your child take French. When you start a foreign language, you are saddled with it, and as a result I am now stuck with a teacher who never teaches us anything and expects us to know what we're doing 100% of the time. Honors classes are not as scary as they sound do not be afraid to take them. They are a great alternative to AP courses.
WSHS is on the safest HS in the county. We moved from Lake Braddock school because there were entirely too many students there 4500+. My daughter loves WSHS and the administration does a great job of keeping the parents informed, especially when something unforeseen happens. The school DOES NOT try to hide incidents that occur at or around the school to make the school look better. Student safety is WSHS #1 priority and I have the emails from the school to prove it. Anyone who thinks WSHS does not keep the parents informed must not have an email account. I have countless emails from WSHS. One could actually become annoyed from being too informed by the administration. Anytime something happens at our school or anywhere else, we receive an email from our school and the FCPS.
This school is crawling with an abundance of MS 13 gang members. BEWARE!!! Watch your daughters and sons very closely. They are constantly recruiting the boys for the gang, and the girls for underage prostitution. The administration refuses to acknowledge a problem, therefore, nothing is done about it.
I totally disagree with the person who submitted the review about IEP students. Our son transferred in this year (as a junior) from a very non-responsive high school in another state to WSHS. We have been thrilled (not exaggerating) with the support we have received from his case manager, counselor, SE director, special education teachers and general education teachers. The support we have received is outstanding. Not only has our son's academic confidence greatly increased, but his grades have shot up to A's and B's from mostly Cs previously. We have emailed the principal directly and he responded immediately to our comments. We thought about moving to a different area but will not until our son graduates.
Our three children have recieved above average education here. The vast majority of students enter college upon graduation. Most of the teachers work very hard but there is some teaching to the test. The staff are committted to the school's success and so are the parents and local community. There is a large variety of activities available to the students with high parent involvement. There is a balance between competitive sports and other offerings to include music, dance, language, debate, and many others. The students take on leadership roles and are invlolved in student governement as well. I would definately recommend this school to people moving into the area. This school is on the list of schools to be renovated too.
Now in my second marriage with the second set of teenagers--I believe this school continues to be solid academically, socially and physically. This is one case where smaller size is better, in my opinion, unlike some of the "secondary schools" in the county which have grades 7-12 on one campus - just too big and too much opportunity for interaction between middle schoolers and older kids. The school is closely tied to the surrounding neighborhood and gets great support from families as well as businesses. Sports are strong but not over emphasized.
This is one of the best high schools in the Northern Virginia area and that's saying a lot! One of my children graduated from West Springfield and another is there now. Both love it. The students support each other and most of them are good kids; the community supports the school as do the alumni, some of whom are now leaders in their fields; the teaching staff and administration are caring and dedicated. Most importantly, the student body is not so large that individuality suffers. Academics, extra-curricular activities and community interaction are excellent. The only problem, which will hopefully be resolved soon, is that the physical plant needs renovation. But I'd rather have my kids here than in a beautifully renovated super-school where they are one of multiple thousands