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West High School
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The mission of West High School is to assure educational success and personal development for every student by empowering students, parents and staff to exercise responsibility for learning, to provide a secure and supportive environment, to offer a flexible, interactive, multicultural curriculum comprised of a rich selection of required and elective courses,
- to encourage student participation in a variety of extracurricular activities,
- to ensure appropriate educational strategies and support services,
- to secure community support, and
- to guarantee opportunities for individual student achievement and success.
West's five year North Central Association School Improvement Goal:
"Each student will develop increased responsibility for academic achievement and personal behavior."
West High School is located on Regent Street (hence the "West Regents") on Madison's near west side, surrounded by quiet residential neighborhoods. The University of Wisconsin is a short walk away. With this proximity, West has a large international population. It is not unusual to have students representing 40 - 55 different countries enrolled at West at any time. West is a culturally rich and diverse community of learners.
West is a comprehensive four year high school with a current enrollment of slightly more than 2,000. Class size varies from a low of 12 in some advanced foreign language classes to a high of 40 to 50 in band, orchestra and vocal groups.
Many area middle and high school students use Metro to get to and from school. To avoid over crowding of buses, Madison Metro provides Supplemental School Day Service. Routes providing Supplemental Service are numbered in the 90's.
Breakfast and lunch are served each day. Students may choose from a food court. There is also a student-operated school store, the "Moosehead Shed," which serves a variety of snacks and beverages. West has open campus at lunch time and a number of students choose to frequent the local sub shop, neighborhood market, convenience store and various fast food outlets located nearby.
West High strives to offer a comprehensive curriculum for all. Every department offers some advanced or "Honors" courses, and a number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses are also available, including Spanish V, French V, Programming, Calculus I and II and Statistics. Each year, many 11th and 12th grade students choose to take advantage of Wisconsin's Youth Options Program by enrolling in courses at the University of Wisconsin or Madison Area Technical College. West also offers excellent school-to-work initiatives through such programs as Business, Marketing, Family and Consumer Education and Technology Education. In any given year, more than 70% of the student body chooses from among five foreign languages. West offers nationally and state recognized talented and gifted opportunities in all areas, including a unique fine arts curriculum and science and math competitions. Outstanding theatre, choral and instrumental performances enhance the extensive performing arts curriculum. The Art Department offers courses in sculpture, art metals, drawing and design. Numerous physical education opportunities, including dance, are offered.
The recently remodeled biology and chemistry labs, as well as the computer enhanced laboratory facilities in physics, further strengthen the outstanding science curriculum that includes unique offerings such as aerospace, earth science and biotechnology.
Five periods each day, an English teacher staffs the English Writing Lab to work individually with students on writing assignments. The English and Social Studies Departments offer a wide choice of single semester electives, including Multicultural Literature, Honors Shakespeare, Philosophy and Social Psychology.
Comprehensive programs in ESL, special education and guidance support students at all levels.
West students consistently test well above average in all areas on statewide and national measures. Approximately 66% of seniors score above 600 on the Verbal SAT and 72% score above 600 on the Math SAT. Approximately 39% score between 28 and 36 on the ACT. West produces approximately thirty National Merit Semi-Finalists annually. Approximately 79% of graduates go on to four-year schools and 16% enroll in college transfer technical schools.
West has Local Area Network and Internet Access in six of its seven computer labs and computer classrooms. Access to networked computers is also available in the 38,000 volume Library Media Center. In Technology Education West has a growing Principles of Engineering program and has the first Material Science program and lab in Wisconsin.
Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program
The goal of Talented and Gifted (TAG) programming is to make certain K-12 students consistently have learning opportunities that are challenging, systematic and continuous based on learning profile, readiness and student interest.
Student learning experiences include a broad range of opportunities that pushes a student to their next level of challenge and allows them to develop their talents. TAG programming may occur in the classroom, or in other settings. TAG programming is determined by ongoing evaluation and assessment of individual student needs. Each school has TAG resource support for ongoing consultation.
Safety Is Always A Priority
A Safety Committee of students, parents, staff, administrators and community members has developed a comprehensive and proactive safety plan that is reviewed and amended annually. West also offers peer mediation and a multicultural conflict resolution course. West has a very successful program that places an Educational Resource Officer in the school as a staff member. This police officer is involved in educational presentations, conflict resolution, safety and enforcement. A hall monitor program places two teachers in the hallways during most of each school day to assure an orderly and safe learning environment.
West offers a wide range of athletic opportunities and extracurricular organizations, many of which have gained regional as well as statewide acclaim. Award-winning organizations include Mock Trial, Chess Club, Science Olympiad, DECA, Foreign Language Competition, Math Competitions, and Forensics. A school-wide Student Council attracts as many as sixty members each year and involves itself in numerous projects that benefit the student body. In addition, each grade level supports a Class Council, which plans activities that serve the class, the school and the community. Each Class Council sponsors one of the four major school social events, including Homecoming, Mid-Winter, T.W.I.R.P., and Prom. Twice each year West students participate in a multicultural retreat. West also sponsors a number of clubs and support groups to build the school community. West has a full-time coordinator who supports students of color in curricular and extracurricular activities.
West benefits from very active PTSO and booster organizations which help with financial as well as classroom and school community initiatives. Other opportunities for parent involvement include a Parent Advisory Group at each grade level and an active Parents Reaching Parents networking organization, which sponsors community suppers featuring cross-generation discussion of important timely topics.
You Are Always Welcome At West High School!
Every student has the opportunity to succeed at West. We guarantee that we will provide challenging and innovative educational experiences for your youth. We also ask for your participation in our many school activities and programs, including musical, dramatic and athletic events, PTSO and other parent meetings. School tours of our building are open to all. We encourage anyone interested to meet with staff or take a guided tour of the school.
Be sure to check out our beautifully remodeled Christopherson Auditorium and our very own art gallery, the Colucci Gallery.
We encourage you to talk with parents of our students to learn more about our school. Please see the Principal/Parent information on this web site for current names and phone numbers.
For answers to any question or to request written material such as school profile, school handbooks and Course of Study Guide, please call the Communications Office at 267-7001 or fax your request to us at 267-1632.
"One of the most important parts of my education at West was participating in theater. I learned teamwork, problem solving and all sorts of things that will help me later in life."
-- West Graduating Senior
"Not only did West give me a strong education, they allowed me to take courses at the University with little bureaucratic difficulty."
-- West Graduating Senior
"I feel lucky to have attended West. It seems students from West were much better prepared for the challenges we faced after high school."
-- West Graduating Senior
"My high school (West) wasn't perfect, but it was better than anyone else's I know."
-- West Graduating Senior
Remember, you're "At Home At West High School!"