What to Know at West


Kristina Karol

Living it up! Seniors Kylie Seckinger, Jessica Harker, Justin Rothe, Ilse von Heimburg, and Alexis Hollinger enjoy the West environment through Ecology Club.

Tyler Levin, Staff Reporter

Starting your first day at a new school can be overwhelming, so here’s a guide for what you need to know at Downingtown West.

Student Resources
Student resources at West are a great place to start. If students are looking for tutoring or extra help, West has National Honor Society students that volunteer their time during the school day to
meet with students 1:1 on any subject they may need help with. Also, students often forget that their School Counselors are available to talk about personal concerns or help navigate difficult situations — and not just for schedule changes and college prep.

Student Assistance Program
West also offers the SAP (Student Assistance Program), which is made up of a team of specially trained teachers who work as mentors when students are struggling academically or socially or may be at risk for making negative life choices.

Clubs are a great resource that most new students don’t take advantage of. Clubs are a great way for new students to make connections and new friends based upon similar interests. Also, new students can be given a “buddy” for their first few days of school to help them navigate the building, lunch room, etc.

Community at West
West has a special focus on student life and community. “I don’t think there is one program or activity that sets West apart from other schools, but rather West’s sense of family and welcoming nature,” guidance counselor Ms. Kristina Carter said. “From the moment I set foot on West’s campus last fall, I was welcomed with open arms. I felt a sense of family and commitment to students and each other that sets West apart from other schools. I’ve heard students talk about this, as well.”

College Prep
When applying to colleges, West doesn’t drop the ball. Here are just a few of the resources offered to students ready for the next step. During a student’s junior year, all students have a Junior Meeting with their School Counselor. A follow-up meeting for all students is scheduled with their School Counselor in the fall of their senior year, as well. In addition to these meetings, students can attend sessions with college representatives during the school day. College reps visit West starting in late September and go through December. A listing of these visits is available in Naviance, and students can register for these sessions right in Naviance. West also hosts an annual “College & Beyond” night in November. Ms. Christine Wick, who is West’s College & Career Center adviser, is also available for questions Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday mornings.