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Students enrolled: 2,072

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30 Ash Street
Madison, WI 53726

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(608) 204-4104
(608) 204-0529
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Map of West High School address.
Amount of homework: Not enough
October 24, 2015
There is a range of the amount of homework. At times, the teachers assign very large amounts of homework because they needed to teach a large amount of the subject material before the semester is over, so during finals there is typically an intensely stressful workload while the rest of the year there is little homework.

- submitted by a community member
Develops empathy: Disagree
October 24, 2015
As I mentioned earlier, the opinions of most students are rooted in liberalism and emphasize fairness and equality. There is little traditional bullying but a lot of fighting still within the school. The school preaches a lot of very liberal ideas, including making a gender-neutral prom and encouraging LGBT issues to take prescience over anything else. While this is not bad, it is a distraction from the real issues in the school. Most of the time, the more outspoken voices in the LGBT groups complain that they are constantly being marginalized while this is not the case.

- submitted by a community member
Develops honesty: Disagree
October 24, 2015
The students come usually from very liberal backgrounds. Most parents of these students instill values of fairness and equality. However, there is a great deal of fighting and violence still in the school and little is done about this- but it is typically just small groups of students who perpetuate this type of behavior. However, on a given day there is a great deal of shouting, pushing, cussing and name-calling. On several occasions when I was a student I witnessed intense violence and fighting including a student being hit in the head with a crowbar and bleeding profusely. This was quite a traumatic experience and the immense level of noise and disruption was distracting to my schoolwork. In addition, the school officials disregard the unrest in the school.

- submitted by a community member

October 24, 2015
This school is overloaded with kids. The school has kids from Verona, Middleton, etc. in one small ish building. The building is very old and dirty with a lack of resources. There are smart students and a lot of students get very good test scores and earn high grades but this is because most of these children come from backgrounds of academic success, ex. professors or doctors as parents. There is a large achievement gap because the students who are underprivileged do not get the resources that they need at this school and do not learn at home as much as the wealthier students. Most students skip a lot of classes and there is a heavy amount of drug usage and drug dealing on school property with little done about it. The math and science departments are very weak and it is easy for students to fall behind. The school is overall too small to accommodate so many students and pulls statistics from its smartest to make it appear as though this were a very good school when it is in fact quite average.

- submitted by a community member

January 20, 2015
My kids are attending. There are a lot of professors' kids at West, and that makes it academically challenging, which is good. It is an extremely liberal school, which can make it tough on a kid from a moderate home. There is a strong bias among the faculty for liberal causes, which permeates the curriculum. US History for example is the history of the civil rights movement, heavy with scorn for traditional figures and the US government in general - Howard Zinn is revered and his works are required reading. Similarly, US literature is the literature of minority writers espousing favored political causes at the expense of commonly accepted literature. It's something to consider if you are not far left.

- submitted by a parent

May 29, 2013
Full disclosure: West also has one of the highest achievement gaps in the country. It's also probably the most liberal: largest Freedom from Religion club, Marxist Club through to Young Progressives but no Young Republicans Club. Required reading in Eng Lit = book on the expriences of 6 African-American women (2 of whom are lesbians). There's a place for everyone but the vocal diversity is significanly skewed left. Just so you know.

- submitted by a parent

October 17, 2011
I have two kids in West High School. My son is in chess club and my daughter is in cross-country. Neither of them could enjoy school more. There are over 2000 kids currently enrolled in this high school, so there are enough kids of each personality type that most everyone can find friends. For example, my son, who is on the autism spectrum, has never had a problem being bullied and is very happy with the level of social acceptance he finds. The teachers represent the whole range from good to bad, as well. The level of parent involvement - as well as the overall culture of this part of Madison - is great.

- submitted by a parent

June 20, 2010
It's the highest achieving school in WI; over 7% of the senior class were national merit finalists. (33 semifinalists-the most in the state!) There were 3 perfect ACT scores this year. Overall, there is enormous drive to succeed amongst the students, with a good majority of them being 3.5 gpa and above. The pressure to do well, not just from parents and teachers, but from fellow students as well, is noticeably great. It was a family joke that hardly any of the seniors skipped all day on senior skip day- they didn't want to miss their important classes, even with two weeks of school left!

- submitted by a student

January 16, 2008
I can't imagine a better school environment. The talent, diversity, and general culture of care and nurturing here are an example of what the world will be some day. All walks together striving for excellence. Public school kids going to Harvard, Yale, MIT, USC, Berkeley, Stanford and every school between.

- submitted by a parent

March 26, 2007
Great school with great teachers. Diverse student body, high test scores, and amazing kids. Get the kids ready for UW-Madison easily.

- submitted by a student

May 04, 2006
This is an excellent school with a great reputation, great college placement, and strong academics, especially the Latin program. Unfortunately, it has been suffering of late from some budget cutbacks. Nonetheless, one of the best public schools you'll find ...

- submitted by a parent

February 20, 2006
The academic programs in science, math and arts are excellent. Given the diverse student population the school is doing a great job teaching students to be well rounded adults. The H.S. always has has the most merit scholars of the district. The sports, Latin, science clubs are strong. Parents raise a good amount of money for the school.

- submitted by a parent

August 05, 2005
We have had three daughter graduate from Madison West. They were all outstanding student/athelets. They received a combined 6 High School All- American awards as both students and athelets. Their grades and ACT scores allowed them to look at most Major puplic and private colleges. They had swimming scholarships offers from many Divison I midmajor schools. They all received scholarships for their academics and sports involvement. Two of them received Swimming Scholarships at UW Milwaukee, a Division 1 college. Two have gone on to get Masters Degrees. The third is on track to graduate as a collegiate Academic All-American. She also holds 5 UMA Swimming Records. Their Madison West years were all made possible by one of the Nations finest puplic school systems.

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: October 24, 2015

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West High School
30 Ash Street, Madison, WI  53726
(608) 204-4104
Last modified West High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
West High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 23 reviews. Top