I am currently a freshman at West Springfield, I honestly can say it is awful! To start off this is the last school to be renovated in fairfax county and lets just say it not a lovely sight, most classrooms are to cheap to even have white boards and they still have old fashioned chalk blackboards! But looking past the building it is still horrible! I took three honors classes and had to switch out of all but one because it is way to much to handle on top of all my other classes! I have been taking advanced placement classes for a very long time with no issue, but here the honors program is just a lot of extra work and nothing but work! Each honors teacher at West Springfield treats you like their class is your only class and loads you with on a average at least an hour of homework for each class a night! The regular classes are not much better with I would say an average of 30 minutes or more each night! Add that all together with seven classes! THATS A LOT OF HOMEWORK! That does not even count for the many projects they assign you! Also THE TEACHERS DON'T TEACH! I just moved here from out of the area and in a 55 minute class I feel like we got more done than in their 1 hour and 30 minute long classes here! The teachers barley teach for example they will say something once and never repeat it and if you did not happen to hear it then you are screwed for your next test because that thing they mentioned ever so briefly will certainly be on there! Moving on from the horrible teachers, you would think since Springfield gets a lot of military families moving in and out frequently they would be used to getting new students set up with all of there online programs, but NO THEY ACTED LIKE THEY HAD NEVER HAD A STUDENT THAT WAS NOT FROM FCPS ATTEND THEIR SCHOOL! It took me forever to be able to log on to the school computers and I still have no idea what my school e-mail is! ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS I AM A STUDENT ATHLETE, there is no possible way to mange practice for 2 hours everyday after school and for 2 hours from 8 am to 10 am on Saturdays with all of the HOMEWORK! We just had a for day weekend and my family and I could not enjoy it because I was doing homework the whole time! Furthermore, I have also not felt welcomed at all by students or staff, this is my 7th move and I can easily say its been the WORST! In conclusion, DON"T SEND YOUR CHILD HERE!
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.