Woodward overall is a good school, and the middle school years are challenging however, if you have a child that doesn't "fit the mold" your child may get left behind even if you do everything you can to be a partner with the staff. My daughter was fine and had no real issues, however my son needed more individual help. He was met with a very harsh "you better do this work because that's just the way it is and you have to do this in HS". We spent plenty of extra time at home & with tutors and there were many nights of tears, with him struggling to keep up while his self confidence plummeted. It was the absolute worst 2 years of his school years and he pretty much fell through the cracks. I was accused of not wanting to help my son, which couldn't be farther from the truth. The teachers did not want to know his history, did not read his file and were not willing to meet him where he was so he could be successful and build his self confidence. He was expected to fit into the mold regardless and I found some of the staff unyielding and inflexible. I was dumbfounded and found Woodward a much more closed environment than Sakai or the HS.
WMS is an OUTSTANDING school. In more recent years, teachers are more up tight about getting prepared for High School. Nearly every teacher updates their website everyday. It is easy for me to go online and check my son's progress that is accurate and current. Only one thing: my son has wanted to take a language for many years, but he wasn't chosen (by random chance) to get into a class. Later in the year, many kids dropped out of their language class, but nobody was chosen to take their places. I think it makes a bit more sense to fill in empty spaces in areas where kids want to learn.
Woodward is a good middle school with the potential to be a great school. With funding cut backs, expecting additions and or improvements is probably not going to happen but a few of the things we would like to see added to the curriculum at Woodard are: additional foreign language choice(s), honors level language arts and social studies, and honors level science.
In many aspects this is a great school. However, I don't feel that students are well enough prepared for High school. At Woodward some of the teachers to do not hold students accountable. This leads to students to expect the same treatment at Bainbridge High School.
Woodward lacks basics such as textbooks. Teachers talk a good game but then do not communicate with parents or keep their Web Site current; often publishing assignments only after they are due. This combination ties the hands of parents trying to keep students on track. Administration admits that middle school students are disorganized; not developmentally ready for anything approaching perfect homework performance, but grades are weighted with homework completion, rather than mastery of material, making up the vast majority of academic grades. Unless changed for this year, there is a mandatary flunk policy for homework if it is late at all (50% off for up to the first day late and escalating thereafter). Students can ace the tests (a minority of their grades) and have perfect understanding of the material but if they are disorganized, they will still flunk their academic classes. This is a recipe for despair.
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