Westwood High School (Williamson County, Texas)

Westwood High School (Williamson County, Texas)

Infobox School
name = Westwood High School
established = 1981
type = Free public
district = Round Rock Independent School District
grades = 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th
principal = Becky Donald
location=12400 Mellow Meadow Austin, Texas
country = USA
campus type = Suburban
enrollment = 2,511Citation | title=Round Rock ISD | newspaper=Community Impact | volume=1 | issue=6 | pages=18-19 | year=2007 | date=17 July 2007] | mascot = Warriors
colors = Orange and White
website = [http://www.roundrockisd.org/westwood Westwood High School]

Westwood High School is a secondary school in Anderson Mill in unincorporated Williamson County, Texas. WHS is located in a suburban community. The community is largely composed of business, technical, and professional people who commute to jobs in and around Austin, Texas. Westwood High School is approximately 17 miles (27 km) north of downtown Austin and 12 miles (19 km) west of downtown Round Rock, Texas.

"Texas Monthly" as well as "US News & World Report" in recent years have listed Westwood amongst their top 10 high schools for the state of Texas and top 100 in the nation, respectively. This is a result of the school’s robust college matriculation rate, as well as honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Westwood was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 1994-96. [ [http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/list-1982.pdf Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002 (PDF) ] ] The school is a part of the Round Rock Independent School District.

Two Middle Schools feed into this school:
*Canyon Vista Middle School
*Noel Grisham Middle School (NGMS)

Block Schedules

Westwood High School uses a type of academic scheduling in which each student has fewer classes per day for a longer period of time. This results in more time for teaching due to less time wasted due to class switching and preparation. Each class is called a block. On "Orange" days students have blocks 1 through 4 and on "White" days students have block 5 through 8. "Orange" and "White" days alternate each day. This is also an advantage for students who have "off blocks" or free periods, as it allows them a longer free period.

International Baccalaureate

Westwood also houses an independent, district wide International Baccalaureate academy that operates under a selective admissions system. In recent years, the program has achieved, or fallen only a single tester or two short, of a perfect pass rate amongst those sitting for the Diploma examinations, with many scoring in the highest levels of the point schema (including perfect scores). Hence, it has frequently placed amongst the best IB programs in North America by median score (although this rate is bolstered by a majority attrition process over the four years of study). Almost all students who receive the IB Diploma also receive the AP Scholar Award with varying degrees of additional attainment, with the school having several AP National Scholars each year. The Academy likewise produces many National Merit Scholars, as well as numerous winners of major American math and science competitions. In general, the 50 or less graduates from the program each year make up the highest ranked graduates in each class, and go on either to attend state flagship honors programs on merit scholarships (primarily at the University of Texas in Austin), or selective, private colleges (Rice University and Ivy League institutions being the most popular). The IB class of 2008 will be the first cohort to graduate more than 50 seniors with a programme diploma (projected).

However, Westwood's IB academy also has what some consider to be negative effects on the student population. As highly talented and gifted students transfer to Westwood from across the Round Rock Independent School District to join the IB program, a distinct disadvantage drops on to regular students since their class rank is not disaggregated from these magnet enrollees. As a result, many otherwise strong students' (often carrying a significant number of honors or Advanced Placement courses) class ranks drop dramatically vis-à-vis where they would place in nearby local schools given their performance. This topic has been highly debated in light of state colleges such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M University rarely accepting students outside of their top quartile of class rank, largely due the legal limits imposed by the Texas State Legislature's mandated top ten percent rule.

Journalism Department

Westwood's journalism department includes newspaper, yearbook, photojournalism, and Journalism 1 class. Judy Gaines serves as adviser to the department. The 2006 yearbook won the top Columbia Scholastic Press Association award, the first time in Westwood history. Also, four journalism students founded Candid Austin Teen Magazine in the summer of 2006.

Musical Ensembles

The student orchestras and bands of Westwood High School have earned several statewide distinctions, the most recent of which has been the title of 2006 State Honor Orchestra award, 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 2005.

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 the prestigious all-state orchestras, recently Westwood students have held the titles of statewide first-chair viola and e-flat clarinet players.

The Westwood Marching Band made it to the finals at the Westlake Marching Festival in 2005, and won 4th prize for their show, "Rhythms of a New Era." They won the contest in 1998. In 2006, the band took 4th place at the Cedar Park Marching Festival with their show, "Chain Reaction." Also in 2006, the Westwood Drumline won 1st place in the CBS 42/Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q Marching Band Challenge. This was a competition that featured 15 other high school drumlines throughout the area.

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, 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. 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). Every year for the last six years, Westwood has boasted at least one student as one of the top five singers in the state.


Westwood High School Speech and Debate has long been a part of school life and offers events in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Policy Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Original Oratory, as well as other events.

Westwood is actively involved in the TFA (the Texas Forensics Association) where participants compete against debaters from other schools. The tournaments that Westwood attends attract quality competition. Many students have received multiple awards through success at the tournaments, including qualification to attend the most prestigious national tournament, the Tournament of Champions, in 05-06 for CX debate. Other schools in the area include McNeil, Akins, Round Rock, LBJ, and Stony Point.

The team went through a particularly strong period in the late 1990s through early 2000s when several students dominated the national LD circuit. Three students repeatedly qualified and placed at the Tournament of Champions and took finishing places at significant national tournaments.

The Westwood Policy Debate team qualified the maximum of two teams for the 2007 UIL State Tournament. The teams placed 3rd and 1st in the 5A league.

In 2008, the Westwood Policy Debate team once again qualified the maximum two teams for the UIL State Tournament. Westwood once again won fifth and first place to complete the back to back championships.

Westwood Athletics

The Westwood athletic department has dominated many sports in the past, winning multiple district, bi-district, area and so on championships including two volleyball state championships. 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 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.


External links

* [http://schools.roundrockisd.org/westwood Westwood Web Site]
* [http://www.roundrockisd.org/home/index.asp?page=310 Westwood High School Page on the Round Rock ISD website.]
* [http://www.roundrockisd.org/ District Homepage]
* [http://www.myspace.com/westwoodhsband Westwood Band MySpace]
* [ WW Alumni]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7444461213394103856&q=westwood+band Westwood Marching band at Westlake Marching Band Competition 2005]
* [http://www.tx861.com TX-861 AFJROTC]

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