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About Maine West High School

The School and Community

Maine Township High School West serves most of Des Plaines and a portion of Rosemont. Primarily residential, the attendance area of the school also includes some light industry, office developments, and shopping areas. Neighborhoods range from modest to affluent and include a mix of apartments, townhomes, and condominiums as well as single family homes. Maine West High School lies about forty minutes northwest of downtown Chicago.

With an increasing Hispanic population of almost 35 percent, Maine West also has an Asian population of about 10 percent. Maine West educates students who speak 35 languages; 45 percent come from homes where English is not the primary language.

Enrollment at West for the 2012-2013 school year was 2,184. The student-teacher ratio was 16 to 1. The average class size was 18.3.

The citizens of Maine West's communities demand a comprehensive, innovative, and rigorous educational program for their youth. Curriculum offerings at Maine West are extensive, with over 200 courses offered in 13 departments including the fine arts, and applied arts and technology. Educational horizons are broadened via West's distance learning and video conferencing capabilities, allowing student learning to expand into the larger community.

A rich curricula and outstanding programs provide students with multiple learning opportunities. Parental and community support further guarantee an outstanding secondary education, and the entire community benefits from West's outstanding cultural and athletic events, and from students' active participation in community service.

The Faculty

More than 200 talented and dedicated certified staff members provide the motivation for student achievement. About 75 percent of West's teachers have an MA degree or beyond.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement courses are offered in American History, European History, American Government, Macro/Micro Economics, English Language/Composition, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, Calculus AB, Calculus BC,  Statistics, Spanish,  Music Theory, and Studio Art-Drawing and Studio Art 2D Design.

Post-Secondary Education

In 2012, 30 percent of our graduates continued on to two-year college; 48 percent enrolled in four-year colleges and universities.

Ability Level Grouping

Maine West has four ability level programs which are organized in academic subjects by each year: the Advanced Placement Program, Accelerated Program, Regular Program, and Academy and Special Education Program. Students are selected for these programs based on previous academic achievement. Students may take courses at various levels in different subjects.

Grading System and Rank in Class

Maine West reports a weighted and non-weighted grade point average on the transcript.  GPA for all courses are calculated on a four-point scale. Accelerated and AP courses are given one additional bonus point, which is reflected in the weighted GPA. Class rank is no longer being calculated. Maine Scholars represent the top one percent of the senior class. Driver Education does not count in the grade point average. Physical Education counts in the non-weighted GPA, but not in the weighted GPA. In a Pass/Fail course, a passing grade does not affect a student's GPA; however, a failing grade will be figured into the student's total GPA as a zero.

ACT Results for the Class of 2013

In the Class of 2013, Maine West students earned a composite score of 20.6, or 21.2 without the inclusion of extended-time scores. 

ACT Data 
Score Comparisons
Maine West 20.6 (Composite)
Illinois 20.6 (Composite)
National 20.9 (Composite)


PSAT Results for the Class of 2013

In the 2013 National Merit Program, one Maine West student was named National Merit Scholar Finalist one was named a Semifinalist and three were named as Commended Students based on their PSAT/NMSQT scores.

Pattern of School Year/Length of Day

Two semesters form the 185-day school year. Nine 44-minute periods make up the normal school day, but a 19-minute half-period at the beginning of the day allows flexible scheduling for students to take additional courses that might not fit into a nine period day. Laboratory classes are 63 minutes.

Grading System

The weighted GPA calculation recognizes more difficult courses by assigning different grade point values as shown below. The non-weighted GPA is calculated on a 4-point scale.

Accelerated &
Advanced Placement
A 5 4 3
B 4 3 2
C 3 2 1
D 1 1 0.5
F 0 0 0

Detailed Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 23.25 academic units of credit are required for graduation. Coursework must include the following: English, four units; mathematics, three units; social sciences, three units; science, three units; two units of credit from any of the following—fine arts, applied arts and technology, or foreign language; one-quarter credit each of oral communications and consumer education; one-half unit of health; elective credit, five units; physical education each semester except when enrolled in health; driver education; and examinations on the Flag Code of the United States, the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois.

Maine West High School 1755 South Wolf Road Des Plaines, IL 60018|Main Office: 847.827.6176 Attendance Line: 847.827.7746
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