Westridge is reviving! This is our second year at the school and I cannot believe the difference I've noticed with the new principal! The teachers (and I've spoken personally spoken to several) are much happier and the mood is so much lighter. New teachers have been hired including the addition of two teachers dedicated to autistic students. I've never had a problem volunteering or checking on my children in their classrooms. Every teacher is different and some are ok when you show up spontaneously while others may prefer a scheduled visit. It is what it is. Do not have any apprehension sending your child to this school. It really is a great place!
My school has blossomed more this year, with new leadership, effective changes and more vitality.
Westridge is one of the best elementary schools in Northern Virginia!! This is the school you want your kids to go to!!! Mrs. Zhikharev is an amazing teacher!
The Westridge learning environment is excellent. We've been at this school for ten years with multiple kids and are still impressed with the teaching staff, the parental involvement and the extracurricular activities. The principal has hired engaging teachers and provides numerous opportunities for creative learning - the chorus is exceptional and well attended (two separate choral groups due to the outsized interest), elementary strings frequently outperform middle schools, 24 club mathematics competition, running club, excellent support for Odyssey of the Mind (they always have multiple highly creative teams), well represented at the County art fairs and science fairs and all around expectations of student excellence. Mrs. Hayden has also instituted an anti-bullying program that has worked very well - bullying is not a problem at the school. Our kids moving to middle school are more than prepared for the increased academic requirements. When you expect excellence from the students, they respond to the challenge.
This is my son's first year in school and he loves attending Westridge. His teacher is wonderful (Mrs. Forvour). There are a lot of activities that reinforce his learning. I am a first time parent and new to all these things, but I have always been able to get my questions answered by calling the school or emailing his teachers.
I was very disappointed in this school--so much so that we pulled our Kindergartner out mid-year. The teacher was nice, kind, caring, and good at her job but the classrooms are large (25+ children) and the entire school only had 5 teachers assistants to share between all of the classrooms. My son had an IEP for PDD-NOS and yet when I requested opportunities to observe my child and his ability to interact and cope in his classroom I was practically frozen out and every request or action to see him in his classroom was hindered. I was later told that to see him in his classroom I needed to use the phrase "hang out" or I would get the same reaction. The school has poor communication and seems to dislike when a parent wants to know more or details about their child's day or interactions. Maybe they're too used to dual working parents and aren't accustomed to a SAHM who has always been involved and knowledgeable? Also, I felt the curriculum was lacking and that my child was bored in the classroom because of all the sit and wait time. I can not recommend this school to any actively involved parent and/or any parent who has a child with special needs or an IEP!!
I too am disappointed by the remarks by some of the parents here. My first experience was with the Assistant PRincipal, Mr. Kahn, who is just fantastic! He took a personal interest in my 7 year old, and now he has a buddy for life - and the whole staff is that way, including the Principal, who takes no guff from the BMW/Mercedes set that likes to think they run the school - maybe that is wher ethe comments come from. The teachers are great and so is the community if you can get past the many snobby parents - the teachers are EXCELLENT, and it was clear that much though and time was put into their hiring. Now I know why - the only other school I might consider is Springwoods, but this one is within walking distance ina a pleasant neighborhood!
So far I'm disappointed. The communication with this school is the worst I've ever had with any of the three elementary schools our family has atteneded. The reputation was excellent but the reality is falling short of all of my expectations.
It makes me sad to see the negative reviews from other parents; I don't agree with them. I have felt VERY encouraged to participate and volunteer ever since my daughter began school. My daughter's teacher, Mrs. Forvour, is absolutely amazing; my little girl loves going to school! I am so impressed by the efforts made by the PTA to raise money for the school and get everyone involved. I once had a question for the administration and the assistant principal, Mr. Kahn (who is new this year), returned my phone call immediately and was very kind. This is a great school so far! Great job Westridge!
Great teacher, horrible administration. If you want to feel unwelcome from the minute you walk in the front door, this is the school for you. If any school ever needed a shake up this is it. Think that the teachers do the best they can under the oppressive grip of this principal. Don't be fooled by the awards. Glad that I never have to step foot in that place again and hopefully now they my kids are out of that Stepford environment, they can grow and thrive and fulfill their potential.
We moved to our new home because we wanted our kids to attend Westridge. However, the school performance has been a disappointment. The test scores have been going down the past few years. Teachers seem more concern about children behavior (such as not touching a friend while standing in line) than academic improvement. School works that my kindergarten brings home are the same thing he did in Pre-K. I expect a lot more from school that claimed to win so many awards each year. So far, Westridge is just an average school at best.
As a professional educator in many schools and as a parent, I appreciate the warm caring environment in THIS school. The unreasonable expectations are far surpassed by this excellent staff. By all measures from- teachers to admin they keep the students learning at high levels. Thankfully they follow safety procedures so you need your id, and you are welcome in classrooms; they enjoy your help.Mrs. H has been here 8 yrs and knows the community and works tirelessly well with everyone.
Westridge used to be the best school in the Lake Ridge area but the current administration leaves a lot to be desired. There are many great teachers there but many have left because they don't like working for the current administration. I have heard now that Springwoods, Antietam and Penn Elem are more kid friendly and much more welcoming to parent involvement. As a whole the PWCS district leadership needs to work on those concepts as well and don't get me started on the fuzzy math program they are pushing into all the elem schools!
Thank you Mrs. Hayden and the wonderful staff at Westridge Elementary. I cannot say enough great things about this school. The entire staff is dedicated to making sure each child has the best expereince possible. The focus is on making our children safe and responsible for their own learning. The school has received many honors and awards and has some of the highest test scores in the state. Well done Mrs. Hayden and the dedicated staff of Westridge. Go Knights!
There are many excellent teachers at Westridge although the administration leaves a lot to be desired. This has been the most unwelcoming school and administration that I have ever come across.
Westridge has been a great learning environment for my child for several years. As mentioned by others, this school benefits from active participation of the community that it serves. Parental involvement has been discouraged during the current school year due to a change in one the the administration positions, which has led to declining morale (voiced by both parents and teachers). This school has held its place as one of (if not the) best in PWCS. Don't get me wrong, this is still a very good school, but I think it has lost its high standing to other surrounding schools, such as Antietam (which has a much better student teacher ratio) and Springwoods.
As a proud parent of a fifth grade Westridge student,I will be sad to leave this warm, caring community of teachers & staff working together to give our children a love of learning & a strong scholastic background. My older daughters found the transition to Middle School a breeze because they were well prepared. After moving to Woodbridge from a top Fairfax County school district, we were impressed with the individual attention & excellent instruction our girls received at Westridge. The music, art & PE programs are fantastic. The PTO is very active supporting Cultural Arts Programs, before & after school Spanish, OM & Theater/Chorus Clubs.The school has an in-school TV News Show, a great Computer Lab & high-tech Smart Boards. Teachers, Principal & staff are all extremely responsive to the needs of our students -focusing on safety & character while inspiring a love of reading & academic success.
This was a very good school. Parent participation is excellent and the teachers are very good. The principle problem is the large class sizes. Parents and teachers have tried to address this issue with school leaders. Class sizes may be lower last year because some families are leaving the school. There will also be new teachers in 2007-08 as they are also looking for a better learning/teaching environment.
Westridge is a terrific elementary school located in a wonderful community. Their academic program is good and their test scores show it. The children have art, music and PE classes. In the 5th grade, they can learn to play a string instrument for their music class credit. Westridge has a very strong PTA and they do a very good job at fund raising. If something is needed at the school, that isn't supplied by the county, the parents and PTA step up to the plate. The school also has a very well stocked school library with a librarian on staff. We've been very happy with the education our child has received at Westridge.
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