West Seattle High School? Parents' opinion

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    Hello everyone! My husband and I currently live in West Seattle. We are outgrowing our current townhouse, but love the neighborhood and would be happy to stay in the area. Our 1 year old daughter is far from attending high school, but we’d like to stay in our next home for the duration of her school years.

    The elementary schools in our area have great reviews, but West Seattle High School has a 3/10 “Great Schools” rating. I know that doesn’t paint the entire picture of a school, though, so I’d love to hear first hand from parents and/or students about what they love & hate about this school. Any insight would be really helpful! Thank you!


    Hi Ladyblue


    Once thing for certain, you are going to hear varying opinions about every educational choice you make for your daughter. The other thing is that a school can completely change over a period of years depending on the leadership and the population being taught.


    My youngest child is graduating from WSHS this June. It has been a wonderful school for her. She is highly motivated and involved in school activities. I have never worried about her safety at the school, or afterschool and evenings with sports and events. So far she has been accepted to five universities she has applied to with generous merit scholarships offered. She is well-prepared. The school also does a good job of communicating with parents. Their student population is growing.


    I think the biggest indicators of success are first the student, second parental involvement and third the school itself.


    I believe that WSHS and Chief Sealth will balance out and become more alike than different in the next few years. I say this based on my experience with both schools. My oldest child graduated from Sealth, and during his underclassman years there was much talk amongst the community about how Sealth was vastly inferior to West Seattle High School(which was not true). For the past few years that talk has flipped to Sealth being “better”. I refuse to talk this way about either school as they are both good. Our community deserves, and has, two excellent choices.



    Hello! I graduated from Sealth about 2 years ago and absolutely loved the school. I went to West Seattle my freshmen year and had a hard time feeling challenged in any of my classes. But I had a ton of friends who graduated from WSHS and I can tell the school has improved a lot. Either way both high schools are great. I’m a Sealth graduate so I’m a little biased, but that was because my personal experience was great. WSHS has AP classes and Sealth has a great IB program. Whichever school you choose I strongly support the running start program they both offer. :)



    I’m finishing a story this evening on the WSHS PTSA meeting from a couple nights ago during which the enrollment-equity issue was discussed, as well as many attributes that WSHS has been working on – will add the link here when done.

    One VERY IMPORTANT THING – if your daughter is indeed 13 years or so away from high school you can’t make any assumptions now on where boundaries will be, etc. The district is redrawing boundaries within a couple of years based on a variety of factors, including, in West Seattle, the plan to rebuild two schools if the BEX IV levy passes next month and to reopen two other elementaries (Fairmount Park, which is getting expanded capacity as part of its reopening plan, and Hughes, several years down the line when Westside moves to its planned new site).

    And you also can’t assume that because one high school is closest, it’ll be your attendance- area school. WSHS is three miles from our home, Sealth less than a mile, but because of how the zones were drawn three-plus years ago, WSHS is our neighborhood’s attendance-area school.

    Great to do research now but just remember, as my mom always said, “the only thing constant is change” … TR



    I couldn’t agree more with all of the above! Don’t labor over the decisions yet – your daughter will change so much over the years and so will the schools! They all cycle through “good” and “bad” so your choice will be best made when you look at what best matches your (gasp) TEENAGER. And I know it seems like a long time away but it goes in a blink. I always say to my customers with little kids, “I had a 5 year old last week too… and now she’s almost 18.”

    Find a home you love – worry about the rest as it comes!




    My son had a HORRID bully experience at Madison, absolutly criminal…there was no way we were sending him to WSH with its 3/10 score and terrible grad rate…and the bully issue.

    We have been very please with The Center School.

    I agree with the other parents that I could have never predicted at 1 year old that my son would need such alt. education 15 years later.



    Thank you for all of the responses! I am definitely aware that there is no way to know what kind of school my child will need while she’s so young, and yes, things definitely change. But it is an important consideration when buying the home where we hope to spend the next 20 years.

    I really appreciate reading about all of your experiences! They are much more meaningful than test scores alone.

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