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Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM
 
28 posts, read 8,966 times
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My son is in 8th grade at a private school that doesn't have a high school. He has applied to two private high schools that we both like, but if he doesn't get into either one, he'll need go to a public high school. Btw I'm not saying public schools are bad, but my son has done better in private school than public because of the small classes, etc. I'm a public school teacher myself and I know that there is no "one size fits all" in education.

Because his father and I live separately, and because I'm a teacher, there are actually three public high schools he could possibly attend next year: Anderson, Lake Travis, and Westwood. Would anyone who has had children attend one of those like to share their thoughts on the academics, safety & social experience at those schools?

Out of the three, I'm most familiar with Westwood because I teach at one of its feeder schools. So I know the vibe & values there, and the type of student body it has. But I'd still very much welcome more input if anyone has any.
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Old Yesterday, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
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Just an FYI, if you have an address within AISD your kiddo could transfer to any AISD school that isn’t closed to transfer (I think that’s Akins and Bowie but if you’re north those wouldn’t make sense anyway). If he does better private what about applying for LASA?
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Old Yesterday, 05:41 PM
 
Location: central Austin
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AISD High Schools closed to transfer for 2019-2020 are Akins, Austin, Bowie, Lanier ECHS and McCallum.

(Austin was open to transfer last year and I was considering it for my 8th grader but now it is out,



Anderson is a solid choice. Westwood has some weird dynamics, and I don't know a thing about Lake Travis other than their football team.
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Old Yesterday, 07:17 PM
 
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I don't think my son could get into LASA. Since it's the one of the best high school programs in the state and also free, I imagine that entry is extremely competetive. My son is an average-ability student, not academically gifted or a top achiever.

What weird dynamics are at Westwood and what is solid about Anderson? Thanks.
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Old Yesterday, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centralaustinite View Post
AISD High Schools closed to transfer for 2019-2020 are Akins, Austin, Bowie, Lanier ECHS and Macallum.

Dang. I guess I havenít looked over the list yet. So that leaves Anderson, Reagan, Travis, Crockett, Lbj and eastside, right? I know AISD touts the ability to transfer in from surrounding areas, but itís not such a great option when the good ones are closed.
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Old Yesterday, 09:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzeltwist View Post
What weird dynamics are at Westwood and what is solid about Anderson? Thanks.
Relative to "weird dynamics," I think she was referring to the Westwood=Stresswood reputation. It's an excellent school but is known for having a large population of academically intense students who are highly focused on gpa, class rank, test scores and the like. For some, that's a turnoff. It can also make it more challenging to be a top 10% student, if auto-admission to Texas public universities is a priority.

Last edited by blakely; Yesterday at 10:14 PM..
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Old Today, 09:54 AM
 
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I went to Lake Travis and my goddaughters recently graduated from Westwood (in the past 4 years.) Westwood's nickname of Stresswood is well-deserved and if your son is thriving in private school because of the more relaxed attitude towards testing/grades/etc. I would not recommend Westwood. It's easy to be really smart, motivated, and above average in intelligence and overall accomplishments and still NOT be in the top 10% there. I really wish that both of my goddaughters (extremely bright, compassionate, ambitious girls who were also athletic) had gone to a different high school. I feel like Westwood kind of beat them down and taught them they weren't good enough. The youngest one purposefully took extra credits and graduated early because she wanted out.

I have a friend whose twins go to Anderson right now and of the three public schools you mention, it's one I would choose for my own daughters. My oldest child also attends a private school which ends in 8th grade, and I will someday be in your shoes.

Lake Travis is a good school largely filled with upper middle class and very rich kids. As a district LTISD is obsessed with football and sports. These two things have not changed in the past 30 years.
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Old Today, 11:54 AM
 
Location: central Austin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eirenecat View Post
Westwood's nickname of Stresswood is well-deserved and if your son is thriving in private school because of the more relaxed attitude towards testing/grades/etc. I would not recommend Westwood. It's easy to be really smart, motivated, and above average in intelligence and overall accomplishments and still NOT be in the top 10% there. I really wish that both of my goddaughters (extremely bright, compassionate, ambitious girls who were also athletic) had gone to a different high school. I feel like Westwood kind of beat them down and taught them they weren't good enough. The youngest one purposefully took extra credits and graduated early because she wanted out.

I know kids who were at Westwood who ended up going to TAMS (Texas Academy of Math and Science, basically LASA on steroids) as way to have LESS stress! The culture at Westwood is toxic, especially for high achievers. Maybe if you are a laid back kid you can kinda float along at Westwood? I don't know.
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Old Today, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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To echo the other posters - Westwood has the worst reputation as far as stress and culture is concerned. If I were looking at your choices with my kids, Westwood is at the bottom of the list. For very high-achievers or naturally 'competitive' (scholastically-speaking) kids, it might be a good choice.

Lake Travis and Anderson are more of a toss-up, although very different. I have multiple friends that have (or recently had) kids at both schools. Both have some very affluent families, although Anderson also has a significant percentage of economically disadvantaged students and is more diverse. Given the option, I would go for Anderson for my kids. I actually subbed there some years ago, and it has more of the 'normal' HS vibe that I recall from my own youth. It is also the smallest enrollment (2,300ish vs 2700+ for the other two), but far from small. Obsession with sports is well below LT and obsession with grades is well below WW.
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Old Today, 04:31 PM
 
28 posts, read 8,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eirenecat View Post
I went to Lake Travis and my goddaughters recently graduated from Westwood (in the past 4 years.) Westwood's nickname of Stresswood is well-deserved and if your son is thriving in private school because of the more relaxed attitude towards testing/grades/etc. I would not recommend Westwood. It's easy to be really smart, motivated, and above average in intelligence and overall accomplishments and still NOT be in the top 10% there. I really wish that both of my goddaughters (extremely bright, compassionate, ambitious girls who were also athletic) had gone to a different high school. I feel like Westwood kind of beat them down and taught them they weren't good enough. The youngest one purposefully took extra credits and graduated early because she wanted out.

I have a friend whose twins go to Anderson right now and of the three public schools you mention, it's one I would choose for my own daughters. My oldest child also attends a private school which ends in 8th grade, and I will someday be in your shoes.

Lake Travis is a good school largely filled with upper middle class and very rich kids. As a district LTISD is obsessed with football and sports. These two things have not changed in the past 30 years.
That is extremely helpful information. Thank you.
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