Frequently Asked Questions
What academic opportunities are available at Willow Glen Middle School and High School?
Willow Glen Middle School is a unique learning community focused on engaging students in intellectually challenging courses and activities. Programs include English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education. Willow Glen offers advanced English Language Arts courses for students in eighth grade. Students are empowered to discover and develop new talents in a wide array of elective courses that include Computers, Art, Speech & Debate, Drama, Yearbook, Leadership, Robotics, and a full music program. Students may also enroll in both introduction and high school equivalent courses in Spanish and French.
Willow Glen Middle School also offers students the opportunity to accelerate their skills in Math and Foreign Language, by partnering with Willow Glen High School. Through this accelerated program, students are able to take advanced Math, French, Spanish, and Spanish for Native Speakers classes at the High School, earning high school credit and getting a head start on completing college requirements.
Willow Glen High School provides outstanding academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs, as well as sustained college entrance advising and personal guidance support for all students. The school’s comprehensive instructional program supports every student to meet all state academic standards and four-year university entrance requirements, with college preparatory courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as well as Biomedical Innovations and Computer Programming. Students also have access to an extensive program of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in addition to Theater, Band, Dance, and Visual Arts electives.
Willow Glen High School’s mission is to provide every student with a powerful high school education and a pathway to success. Approximately 7% of the 2012 graduating class opted for military service or employment, while 93% matriculated to a 2-year or 4-year college or university. Students were accepted to programs within the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems, as well as other prestigious public and private schools in the state and across the country.
Why is the Foundation asking people to contribute private funds when taxes are supposed to provide for public schools?
Funding for public schools comes from a combination of public and private sources, including local taxes, state and federal funds, grants from industry and other organizations, and private donations. In some districts (for example, Saratoga and Mountain View/Los Altos) public schools benefit from millions of dollars raised by nonprofit foundations. In San Jose Unified, many individual schools (such as Leland High School, Lincoln High School, and Castillero Middle School) receive significant program funding from private sources.
Willow Glen Middle & High School Foundation believes that the community benefits significantly by investing resources toward helping our schools – and our students – achieve their maximum potential. The Foundation is dedicated to the philosophy that when students and schools have resources that allow them to thrive, the broader community also thrives. Thus, the Willow Glen Middle & High School Foundation acts as a vehicle for private and community investment in our public schools, and asks that each and every Willow Glen resident consider contributing – through donations of time, money, skills, or other resources.
How does bond money support our schools?
Measure F bonds (approved by voters in 2002) support physical repairs to public schools. In recent years, Willow Glen Middle School has received new heating/air conditioning; paint; restroom repairs; major gymnasium and locker room renovations; and new windows. Willow Glen High School has received new walkway surfaces; a state-of-the-art track and football field; and upgraded locker rooms, pool, and other fields. Both schools have been significantly upgraded not only in outward appearance, but with major improvements to classrooms. In addition, the Mickey Long Center was built using funds from the Gene and Mickey Long Foundation and includes a community room, TV studio, multimedia lab, and art gallery. The High School opened a state-of-the-art science wing in 2010. Bonds generally do not support academic and cultural programs.
Who attends Willow Glen Middle and High Schools?
Willow Glen encompasses a diverse population, creating opportunities for broad cultural awareness and rich friendships and experiences at neighborhood schools. Students attending Willow Glen Middle School (and later, Willow Glen High School) come primarily from Booksin, Schallenberger, Willow Glen Elementary, Hacienda, and Galarza. In recent years, both the middle and high school have maintained waiting lists.
Do all Foundation funds go directly to school programs?
The Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose board members volunteer their time. As indicated in the Annual Report (pdf), with the exception of minimal printing, mailing, and administrative costs, all funds raised are allocated to academic and cultural programs.
What other groups does the Foundation support?
The Foundation has created a “Branch” effort that includes the Willow Glen Performing Arts Boosters and the Robotics Boosters.
What other groups support the schools?
The following organizations support Willow Glen Middle and High Schools, and the Foundation coordinates its work to ensure consistency and effectiveness.
- Middle Glen Middle School PTA
- Willow Glen High School Parent Club
- Willow Glen Performing Arts Boosters
- Willow Glen Athletics Boosters
- School Site Councils
- School English Language Advisory Committee (SELAC)
- Willow Glen High School Associated Student Body (ASB)
Does the Foundation support sports teams and facilities?
Athletics are supported by the Willow Glen Athletics Boosters (WGAB) at both Willow Glen Middle School and Willow Glen High School (wgab.org).
Does the Foundation benefit public elementary schools in Willow Glen?
While the Foundation was established to support academic achievement and cultural enrichment at the Middle and High Schools, its efforts have benefitted elementary schools in Willow Glen by offering an ever more attractive program to students as they matriculate. In addition, the Foundation’s community outreach activities allow elementary school families to enjoy what the campuses have to offer.
If I don’t have any children in Willow Glen Middle or High School – and I already pay taxes schools – why should I support the Foundation?
The Foundation encourages all families who live in Willow Glen to consider Willow Glen Middle and High Schools as educational options. Both schools have excellent teachers and academically rigorous programs that have grown significantly in recent years and will continue to grow – with the support of the community and the Foundation.
That said, the most important reason to support the Foundation is that an investment in neighborhood public schools is an investment in the neighborhood. Foundation membership is comprised not only of parents and school officials, but of Willow Glen neighbors, who believe in this premise; indeed, membership includes numerous area realtors who know that good schools attract home buyers and help maintain property values.
The Foundation is committed to enhancing neighborhood schools so that all Willow Glen residents will be proud of our schools and our students; and take advantage of the tremendous resources offered, including performing arts events and community activities.