Harvard-Westlake School review by Harvard University student. Harvard-Westlake School has an excellent student-teacher ratio; resulting in lots of opportunities for private instruction and specialized help. The school is run much like a college, with certain teachers teaching classes on certain days; allowing for student to customize their schedules. There really are no weaknesses in the academics of the school -- with resources ranging from multiple computer labs spread throughout the school, to the state of the art science labs, to the enormous library system. The students are a good mix of cutthroat competitors and kids who are there for the "Harvard-Westlake experience" -- which encourages all students to be well rounded in the arts, sciences and athletics. The work load varies greatly on the classes one chooses to participate in, with AP English and language classes producing the most work.
The quality of life at Harvard-Westlake is one of the best things about the school in my opinion. The facilities are some of the best I have ever seen, and are used to their full potential. The cafeteria is very good, with the option of getting pre-made food or ordering something from their grille. It is open all throughout the day (7:30-5), allowing students to get a meal or snack at any point through the day. The school attempts to have as much diversity as possible in the school, and does this with limited success. However, the majority of students in the school are Caucasian or Asian. Because of the cost of the school -- the vast majority of students are "middle class" or higher, but the school does give need based scholarships. The High School is located in a relatively upper - middle class neighborhood, providing much safety and stability for the students.
Harvard-Westlake offers an amazing array of extra curricular activities. They have a full range of sports including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, swimming, wrestling, tennis, golf, track and field, and many other sports. They also tout a symphony orchestra, theater group, dance group and even a skiing group. Harvard-Westlake has no general rivalries, but has rivalries in each different sport with a different school. Basketball has been the most important thing in my life, as I played every one of my years at Harvard-Westlake and continue to play at Harvard. Not only did being on the team teach me life lessons such as discipline and teamwork, but it gave me a chance to become close with many of my classmates and teachers, many of which I still in contact with today.