Westwood High School (Austin, Texas)

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Westwood High School
Westwood HS Logo.jpg
Address
12400 Mellow Meadow Austin, Texas 78750
United States
Information
Type High School
Established 1981
School district Round Rock Independent School District
Principal Laurelyn Arterbury
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 2,451
Color(s)           Burnt orange & White
Mascot Warriors
Website

Westwood High School (abbreviated WHS) is a public, four-year secondary school in Austin, Texas, and is part of the Round Rock Independent School District.

In 2013, Westwood was ranked the 57th best high school in the nation and the 8th best high school in Texas by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.[1] Children at Risk ranked Westwood as the number 2 public high school in Austin in 2012.

Westwood offers honors and Advanced Placement courses to all students and further houses a district level International Baccalaureate magnet program. This combination of honors, AP and IB courses supports not only a robust college matriculation rate but also imparts a college preparatory element to upper division courses. As of the 2012-2013 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,431 students and 165 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 14.7.[2]

Academics[edit]

In the class of 2009, 73% of Westwood seniors took at least one Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam, averaging 5.1 exams per test taker, with a participant pass rate of 91.2%.[3] For the class of 2010, the mean composite SAT score was 1801 out of 2400, and the mean ACT score was 26.4.[4] In 2013, Westwood produced 50 National Merit Semifinalists, one of the highest numbers in the nation.[5] Westwood has also produced USAMO qualifiers as well as physics and chemistry olympiad semifinalists.

Advanced Coursework[edit]

Advanced Placement[edit]

Westwood has a highly developed Advanced Placement program, offering 25 AP classes.[6] Several IB classes at Westwood are coordinated with AP classes in the form of AP/IB classrooms, providing students with the benefits of both programs.

International Baccalaureate[edit]

Westwood is also home to the a school district wide International Baccalaureate diploma program which operates under its own admissions process. Unlike the high school as a whole where matriculation is determined by a student's address, the IB program at Westwood is open to all prospective students residing within the Round Rock Independent School District's boundaries, with spaces being made available to those pupils demonstrating requisite academic aptitude.

Academy Program[edit]

Westwood's Academy Program allows students to explore interests in different fields. It is divided into four areas of study: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); Professional Studies; Visual and Performing Arts; and International Business and Economics.[7] The purpose of the Academies is to provide students with opportunities for learning "hard" and "soft" skills through elective coursework.

Class Ranking and GPA[edit]

Westwood has a class rank system that may contribute to the academic competitiveness of its student body. A student's class ranking is based on his or her Academic Average (6.0 weighted scale; AP/IB classes are linearly scaled to 6.0 while On-Level/Regular classes are scaled to 5.0). On the other hand, GPA is determined on a 4.0 scale corresponding to the average of a student's letter grades (A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0, etc.). Whereas all classes are included in GPA, the Academic Average only includes core/related-subject classes. However, students coming from out of state or out of country will not be given credit towards GPA for courses studied prior to Westwood.

Athletics[edit]

The athletics department at Westwood has dominated many sports in the past, winning multiple district, bi-district, area and so on championships including one volleyball state championship. The Westwood Warrior football team has won a handful of district championships, most recently when the 2006 Warriors qualified as area finalists after winning the first playoff game in school history. The 2009 Westwood Warrior football team again qualified for playoffs but lost to Cy-Woods. The Warrior basketball team has also had success throughout the years, obtaining a record of above .500 since the team began in 1981. The Warriors baseball team has made the state playoffs almost every year in the team's existence. The Warriors Swimming and Diving Team continues to dominate the district and consistently produce state champions. Between 1999 and 2008 Warriors Swimming and Diving dominated 9 consecutive district meets and had multiple perfect regular season records. The Warrior Athletic site is operated by the football booster club and can be found here [6].

Clubs and Organizations[edit]

Westwood offers a wide range of clubs, several encompassing state, national, and international levels of recognition and student achievement.[8]

Band[edit]

The 1997 Westwood Marching Band performed "Visions of Flight" in the Westlake Marching Festival's finals, along with the Golden Arrows Color Guard. The band as a whole came in an astounding 3rd place, while the color guard won the award for "Best Auxiliary". The Westwood Marching Band advanced to the finals at the Westlake Marching Festival in 2005 winning 4th prize for its show "Rhythms of a New Era." In 2006, the band took 4th place at the Cedar Park Marching Festival with their show "Chain Reaction." Also in 2006 and later in 2010, the Westwood Drumline won 1st place in the CBS 42/Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q Marching Band Challenge—a competition that featured 15 other high school drumlines throughout the area. The Westwood band also placed 9th at Westlake finals and 10th at Area finals in San Antonio in 2010. In 2011, the Westwood Band unexpectedly placed 22nd out of 27th in Bands of America with their show "Harvest".[9] The Westwood Band consistently places members into the Texas All-State Band. It has performed in conjunction with the Westwood Orchestra, collaboratively winning the 2010 State Honor Orchestra award. The 2012 show is entitled "Finding Balance". Music is written/arranged by Daniel Montoya Jr. and drill is written by Thomas Turpin. The show's music "finds balance" between Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade", Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", and Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited." The band placed 7th at the 2012 UIL 5A Area D Marching Contest, missing state qualifications by one point.

In 2014, The Westwood Band reals-ed their show FORE!, A show about the story of a golfer who battles the sand traps and water hazards to finally win the Westwood open. Not only did they make Division D Finals, but for the first time in Westwood history, They made it to State qualifying rounds.

Outside of marching season, the members of the band participate in ensembles to entertain guests and attendees at social gatherings, such as banquets or parties. Members also enter in competitions hosted by local organizations, such as radio stations or news networks. In 2011, the Westwood Wind Ensemble's trombone section won 1st place for the Group Ensemble caption in the MUSE Awards competition(hosted by MAJIC 95.5). In 2012, the Westwood Wind Ensemble's Saxophone Quintet won 1st place in the same category.

Chess Club[edit]

Westwood's serious appearance at the competitive chess scene is relatively new, but its chess team instantly leaped to the top. From 2007 to 2009, Westwood has ranked amongst the top three high schools in the state in the annual Texas Scholastic Chess Championships, the largest such tournament in Texas; in 2007 Westwood tied for first. In the 2005 Texas State Grade & Collegiate chess tournament, a Westwood student tied for first in the 12th grade sections, while the 6th and 8th grade sections were both won by students from Canyon Vista Middle School, which feeds into Westwood. Westwood won first place in the 11th grade section of the 2008 Texas State Grade & Collegiate tournament.

In 2009 Westwood traveled to the National Scholastic K-12 Championship, where the 10th grade team won first and the 12th grade team tied for first; the 9th and 11th grade teams placed third and fourth in their sections respectively.[10]

Choir[edit]

The Westwood Choral program has long since proved itself to be one of the most outstanding high school choral ensembles in the State of Texas. Currently directed by Dr. David Means who came on board in 2007 and Linda Hester who came on board in 2008, the choir regularly places students into the highly competitive All-State Choir, and the choir itself has achieved high marks in nearly every state singing and sightreading contest. Westwood choir boys are some of the best choir boys in the state. The choir has been selected to tour nationally to several cities including Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The entire choral department (some 200 singers) has also been asked to perform at festivals in the United Kingdom (1998) as well as Germany and Austria (2004), and has also performed in New York City as part of the Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival (1995). Westwood has often boasted at least one student as one of the top five singers in the state.

Debate[edit]

Westwood High School Speech and Debate offers events in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking. Westwood is actively involved in the Texas Forensic Association (TFA), where participants compete against debaters from other schools.

DECA[edit]

Westwood's chapter of DECA has grown in recent years to have a membership of over 150 members in 2009-2010 school year. Westwood DECA takes the most competitors from District 5 to district and state competitions. It had the most competitors from Texas qualify for the international DECA competition in the 2008-2009 (36) and 2009-2010 (33) school years. A past international president, past state presidents, and numerous district officers have come from Westwood. The Texas DECA state president for 2009-2010 was a member of Westwood. Westwood DECA excels especially in written events, and has produced multiple preliminary finalists, and usually one finalist team each year at internationals each year for the past several years.

German Club[edit]

In the spring of 2008, German students became regional champions at Sprachfest for the 17th year in a row.

Journalism Department[edit]

Westwood's journalism department includes newspaper, yearbook, photojournalism, and Journalism 1 class. The 2006 yearbook won the top Columbia Scholastic Press Association award, the first time in Westwood history.

Orchestra[edit]

The Westwood Orchestra has earned several statewide distinctions, the most recent of which has been the title of 2010 State Honor Orchestra award,[9] given to the top Texas high school full orchestra each year by the Texas Music Educators Association. The Westwood High School orchestra consistently ranks among the top student groups in the state; it also held the State Honor Orchestra title in 2000 and 2006. Since Susan Williams took the podium in 2001, it has continuously been a finalist in the State Honor Orchestra contest and received full sweepstakes at UIL.

Also, participating student musicians have earned places in region and state orchestras. Each year, Westwood students number nearly a third of the local all-region orchestra, an ensemble determined by an audition process. In addition to the several students each year who qualify for and perform in the prestigious all-state orchestras, Westwood students have recently held the titles of statewide first-chair viola and violin players. In 2006 a Westwood junior was the first chair violist of the Texas All State Symphony Orchestra, and in 2009 a Westwood junior was the first chair violinist and concertmaster of the Texas All State Symphony Orchestra.

Skills USA[edit]

Westwood has 16 students who won at District and State levels in Texas. In the summer of 2010, 16 students proceeded to the National level to compete in their competitions. There were 10 students that metaled, 9 with gold. Westwood Students placed first in competitions such as Robotics, and Opening & Closing Ceremonies (OCC).

UIL Academics[edit]

Westwood has a remarkable performance in several academic contests of the University Interscholastic League. The school usually does exceptionally well in Computer Science, taught by Jeff Mickel and Julia Blanco. In 2006 a Westwood junior won first place in the state, and in 2009 the team ranked third. In 2010 the state meet saw a 9-way tie for first place in computer science: two of the co-champions were Westwood students, and the team again ranked third. Westwood is also able to produce state qualifiers in other subjects, notably in Mathematics and Science.

Feeder Patterns[edit]

Two middle schools feed into this school:[11]

Six elementary schools feed into this school:[11]

It is also possible for students attending other schools in the district to enroll in this high school through the IB Academy or Fine Arts Academy, unless either of the two programs are offered at their home school.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2013 America's Best High Schools - Newsweek
  2. ^ [1], National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 21, 2009.
  3. ^ [2], US News and World Report. Accessed December 17, 2013.
  4. ^ [3][dead link]
  5. ^ [4]. Accessed March 10, 2014.
  6. ^ APBooklet2013-14
  7. ^ [5], Westwood High School, Accessed 12/17/2013
  8. ^ Organizations[dead link], Westwood High School, Accessed 8/26/2009
  9. ^ a b "2009-2010 Honor Orchestra Results"[dead link]
  10. ^ ""2009 National Scholastic K-12 Championship Results"
  11. ^ a b School Tracking Chart[dead link], Round Rock ISD.
  12. ^ "Clevlen sees old friend at park". MLB.com. May 15, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Cantu, Rick (May 6, 2014). "Bratcher, Westwood’s only baseball coach, retires after 33 seasons". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ Hoch, Bryan (February 27, 2014). "Johnson: Teaming with Jeter is amazing". MLB.com. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ Shapiro, Sean (May 6, 2013). "Vera set for bout with Chavez Jr. in August". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°27′20″N 97°47′51″W / 30.4556°N 97.7976°W / 30.4556; -97.7976