"Give students the power to shape their lives and the world around them."
Students enrolled 255
Hours 8:00 AM - 3:00 AM
School leader Teri Schrader, Head of School
Transportation options Yes

Contact this school

180 Bloomfield Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105

School website
(860) 236-5618
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Watkinson School address.

4 stars
Based on 15 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

July 02, 2013
Well, Watkinson is a great school, but if you are looking to go to a school away from cliques, this is not the place. There is still bullying. Anyway it is okay and go if you want.

- submitted by a community member
November 27, 2010
I am a senior at watkinson and I have had my ups and downs with the school. Sure, I have faced challenges making friends and with a few of the teachers, but to be honest, most of my problems at watkinson were my fault. Once i decided to break out of my shell, I met the most wonderful people imaginable. My advisor is the closest thing to a father I have ever had and my basketball coach is always there to push me. I made my closest friends at watkinson and will be extremely sad to leave this all behind in June, even though I know I will always have connection to the school. Being at Watkinson has given me a glimpse of what it is like to truly be loved by pretty much everyone around you. All the teachers know me and I know all of them, same with the kids. Watkinson is what you make of it. Dont listen to the negatives, and be wary of the positives. Just remember: Watkinson is what you make of it. i just know ill forever be in debt to the faculty at Watkinson for placing me on the right path to happiness and success--JMC

- submitted by a community member
November 12, 2010
As an alumnus from the 1970's who can both look back with reflection, as well as assess the school as a current supporter and as a parent (in another area) my still unchanged view about this school/community is that it is very much organized, to an unusual extent, around the student--and is very progressive in this regard. Watkinson has a very enlightened view of young adults and is somewhat "libertarian" in its relationship to the student body. It is especially, although by no means exclusively, organized very strongly for students in the creative or performing arts (music, dance, theatre, studio art) and its long-standing affiliation with the Hartt College of Music, for example, one of the finest such colleges in the country, is very unique. The school administration and leadership are utterly devoted to their community, mission and success and Watkinson has evolved smartly over the decades. This is really a luxury institution, in the highest sense of that word, and while I live in the midwest and Watkinson is not an option for my kids, I often ruminate about moving to Bloomfield Avenue and parking myself and the family there so they could go!

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 17, 2010
Watkinson's mission is "Giving students the power to shape their lives and world around them." They live this mission everyday by guiding students, teaching them, and learning from them. By showing the students respect in the course of learning, they model the power of interactive learning opportunities. Watkinson's curriculum is given strength by their philosophy of self-discovery and respect for all.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2009
This is my first year at Watkinson. I have not totally enjoyed the experience so far. Coming from a public school, i have had probably triple the amount of homework. I almost don't have a life outside of school. i get home so late now (5:15pm- glastonbury bus) and have commitments which i cannot get out of after that. Weekends have been swamped with a project every weekend. yes. Every weekend so far I have had a project to do. There goes my social life. The kids have not been the nicest either. I wore a sweater and the second i walked into my class 3 kids commented on how ugly it was. rude?

- submitted by a student
November 11, 2009
Watkinson is an exceptional school. Every student is accepted and valued as an individual. We have watched our child blossom in just a few short months, academically, socially and emotionally. Worth every penny of tuition and every mile of the commute.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2009
I moved to Watkinson after being at one of the many conservative, uncaring, and conformist schools in Connecticut. Like any school, Watkinson has a few problems. But have never met such a welcoming group of people. The classes are interesting and there is encouragement by not only teachers, but students, to be creative. It is so radically and amazingly different from any other place that it seems strange at first, but there is no place I'd rather be.

- submitted by a student
February 26, 2008
I'm a student at Watkinson now and coming from a nearby prep school, I could not enjoy it more. My teachers are both adaptive to learning styles yet firm in their curriculum. I do believe I'm getting a quality of education that exceeds some of the larger, more publicized private schools. I have high standards for myself and my capacity of learning and i can safely say that Watkinson has given me the challenges and flexibility that I need to grow and expand as a student and as a growing person. I wholeheartedly can say that I along with many of my peers feel that we are given opportunites here that are simply not offered anywhere else. i feel as though I am indebted to Watkinson for allowing me to perform as I have.

- submitted by a student
September 07, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 30, 2007
As a parent of a current HS student I could not be happier. The student body is much more diverse than most New England Prep Schools when comparing size, and its honors classes are challinging. All teachers have been excellent so far. Homework is on par with the more difficult public schools in the Hartford area (4+ hours a night), but participation in school activities and sports are a must with class sizes much smaller. With a number of Ivy League admissions this past year Watkinson has continued to evolve to not just attracting the alternative learning student, but also the high achiever.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2006
Watkinson is a school for alternative lifestyle families looking for broad acceptance and nurturing environment, but academics are marginal. Wat has an exceedingly liberal view of lifestyle/ student behavior and is closed to parental feedback that is remotely different. Thus, parental involvement is limited. Our two boys attended for two years; we are changing schools. We are disappointed in the quality of education they have received. Staff turnover seams high, quality of staff seems to be behind that of other school in the area. The LSP program is weak, we have seen it decline dramatically and have removed one of our sons from the program mid-year. Students are given an opportunity to shape their curriculum but too much time is available for study hall-free time. Watkinson has lost much of its luster as schools become more competitive, more engaging and well rounded; Watkinson has lost pace with its competition.

- submitted by a parent
March 19, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2004
Watkinson School is a school that truly practices what it preaches! Unlike other schools, students here are given the chance to shape their own destiny. As a current parent of two students, one with a learning differnce, the other a 'competitive student' with a straight A average as well as a highly competitive athlete, I can state with confidence that Watkinson is a school for students of all abilities. In absence of AP courses, qualified students earn immediate college credit at neighboring Universtiy of Hartford eliminating the requirement of AP exams. Watkinson students are accepted to some of the most highly respected schools in the country icnluding MIT, Vassar, Smith, and Haverford to name a few. The difference is, the school also acknowledges students who learn differently are an important component to the learning environment. As a result, Watkinson School offers a more real world view than the typical private schools.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2004
This is a good school for children with learning problems or who are artistic and want an alternative environment. Not a good school for very bright children who want a serious academic education or for children who are talented in math and science.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2003
This was my high school and I think it did a great job of preparing me for college and life. I had some great teachers that I will never forget, and that I still keep in contact with now.

- submitted by a former student
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About this school

In addition to earning a traditional high school diploma, students with serious interest in the arts or global studies can commit to going above and beyond in either of those areas, accomplishing a rigorous course of study that earns them a second diploma in their chosen field. Watkinson also has a distinct post graduate program, called The academy at Watkinson. It is part gap-year and part PG year and wholly an extension of Watkinson's educational philosophy.

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Last modified: October 30, 2014

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Watkinson School
180 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford, CT  06105
(860) 236-5618
Last modified Watkinson School is a Private school that serves grades 6-12
Watkinson School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 16 reviews. Top