West Seattle High School Quality?

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    Hello West Seattle High Parents,

    My daughter is starting high school next fall. My wife and I live near WSHS, so it’s the obvious choice. However, it’s reputation, while improving, is still quite dicey (at least according to the few parents I know). Can anybody recommend this school? Is it any better or worse than most other high schools in the city? Would you send your kids there? All opinions are welcome. We need to make an informed choice.





    My friends daughter goes there and they are very happy. She is a freshman. I know a few others who have freshmen there and are happy too. I think you’re going to find good opinions and bad opinions about every school. Good luck!



    If your daughter can whiz through academically and is socially outgoing, it might be okay.

    If you’re concerned about her ability to push back against negative influences, I’d stay away.

    If she has any problems in learning and/or is not socially outgoing, WSHS will ensure she is scarred (for life? we have yet to determine that).

    Overall, I give WSHS a well-earned F in all areas.



    I have had both good experiences with West Seattle (my younger son) and bad experiences with West Seattle (my older son). In the end, you are going to find most of the same kind of kids, teachers and administrators at all of the public schools. It’s up to you and your child to make the best of their education.

    We looked into sending our younger son to private school and to be quite honest, I wasn’t impressed with any of the private schools either. He is doing well as a freshman, mostly A’s with a couple B’s, taking all honors classes. He has made more friends – some I do not like and some I do. And he has seemingly responsible teachers who have worked with him and supported him.

    Our older son was a different story. He hated school, skipped as much as possible and in no way, shape or form tried to get an education no matter what we did or said. This was also acceptable to the school and somehow he managed to just barely graduate…. this was his choice.

    Again – at the end of the day – the school can only do so much, it’s up to the kids to make the most of it.


    I had a great experience at WSHS (graduated in 2002) and especially loved the teachers in the honors classes. I would recommend it!



    Granted, this was about 10 years ago, but my brother found that it did not prepare him for college at all. It was not challenging and they did not teach their students to write (he basically described it as a warehouse with drug dealers). On the plus side, any Seattle student can do Running Start, so junior year, ditch the high school as much as possible and get your child into classes at South Seattle Community College. It doubles as both high school and college credit.



    “(he basically described it as a warehouse with drug dealers)”

    Oh boy, get ready for the WS PC Police……….never, ever disparage any particular school or neighborhood.

    Even if it’s the truth, it’s not very nice! ;~)



    It’s really hard to say, some kids do well at one school. I know I wasn’t challenged at all when I went to WS so I transferred to Sealth, also because there was a large amount of kids in my grade who just didn’t care and were bad influences. But I had friends that stayed at WS and did just fine. If your daughter went to Madison she probably already knows most of the people that will be at West Seattle so that can either be positive or negative. I loved Chief Sealth, but the awesome thing about both schools (a comment above said the same thing) is that you can do running start.



    Curious about the Running start Program here is what I found out on the qualifications:


    To qualify for the program a student must:

    •Be under 21 years of age and enrolled in any Washington State public high school or school district.

    •Be a junior or senior in high school.

    •Place in English 101 and / or college level math on the COMPASS TEST.

    •Have parent/ guardian and counselor signatures and approval to participate in the program.

    Procedures for Acceptance:

    1.Come to the Running Start office (1102 C1) with a picture ID to get a student ID number for testing. Testing fee is $19.00 – however, a fee waiver eligibility form for students on free or reduced lunch is available in the Running Start office (note form must be signed by student’s high school counselor).

    2.Take the COMPASS TEST. No appointment is required.

    3.Take test results to the Running Start office, fill out an Enrollment Packet, and schedule an advising / registration appointment with a Running Start Advisor.

    4.Meet with a high school counselor and complete the Enrollment Verification Form included in the Enrollment Packet.

    5.Bring the completed application packet and a copy of your test scores to your advising / registration appointment.

    6.Attend the mandatory Running Start Orientation



    I did running start YEARS ago and loved it. I was not a fan of high school (not a local high school) and getting some college experience along with credits my last two years was invaluable. I highly recommend to anyone with high schoolers that are good self starters and want that experience. I know it kick started my college education and when I switched to a four year school I was very well prepared and did well. Seems to me that WS high will improve as families invest in the community and work to improve it.


    Genesee Hill

    I think high school is a drag for many boys and girls. Unless, you are prom queen or prom king.

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