August 25, 2003
For the outgoing, motivated, disciplined, well-behaved teen, Newport High is great. It has very high test scores, and in comparion to other school districts in the state, I believe it has the highest success rate in college, and is certainly one of the 'best.' It also has mny activities, as any large school does. I do not, however, think this makes it a good school. Like its students, a school must be well-rounded, and this one is not. The work load is tough, and there is a lot of pressure to not only succeed, but be involved in all these other activities, take harder classes and do lots of community service. That can be very good, but only when it still feels voluntary, because these things are not right for everyone. Classes are fairly large, and it is easy to dissappear in the crowd. It is tough for both parents and students to find the time to meet with and get help fom a teacher. When a student is falling, or has long since fallen behind, action is not taken and parents are not notified until it is almost too late, and the problem is often overwhelming by then. In addition, Bellevue School District's (and possibly Wa state's) attendance policies are excessive, a waste of everyones time, ineffective, and unfair. It is ridiculous. If you are wondering who this source is, I am a 19 year old former student. In the middle of my sophmore year, I transferred to an alternative high school, because I was shy, depressed and I had motivation issues (all of which still affect me today), s I was faling 4 of 7 of my classes. Gradually, with a little more ATTENTION and CARE AND COMPASSION, along with a few other changes in my life, my grades lifted. I graduated on time with a poor track record, but then I earned a 3.39 GPA at a community college, and earned a space on the dean's honor list in the winter. I will be starting my second year shortly, and hope to transfer to WSU in the spring. Regardless, I will earn my masters in architecture. Oh, and one more VERY subjective thing. The social atmosphere at Newport (with its often well-off students) was rather suffocating, whereas the alternative high school, filled with those who did not fit in at regular schools, was substantially more welcoming (although still high school, and everything that means), even though I am simply a shy, good girl, at heart, with little confidence or motivation. Anyway, draw your own conlusions, and, as always, please think carefully about the shool, its environment, and your teen's unique personality and situation before making any decisions. All I know is, I intend to work very hard to put my future children in smallish private schools.
- submitted by a