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PK-8
Private
Annandale, VA
Students enrolled: 264
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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3819 Gallows Rd
Annandale, VA 22003

School website
(703) 256-3620
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Westminster School address.

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October 09, 2014
Westminster School has high standards for students that are fostered in an environment catered towards a classical education. They believe students should be independent both academically and socially. On the outside it seems like a wonderful place to send children with kind and caring educators that believe in the schools mission and pushing children to achieve their ultimate best. However the reality is is that if your child is not a "high performing student," then he or she will fall behind and face academic difficulties. These hardships students would not otherwise face in a different academic environment. Children are taught to "fit the schools mold," if they don't then they are considered outcasts. The expectations for students are often unrealistic and developmentally inappropriate however the administration and dedicated staff members stand by it and will twist any information or situation to demonstrate that "their way is the right way." Teachers constantly put on a facade of "happiness," for parents in order to put forth a particular image and fight a decreasing student enrollment. The truth is the enrollment is down and quite frankly, there is a reason for it.

- submitted by a teacher
May 05, 2014
Excellent school, excellent teachers! We are so happy we made the right choice for both of our children.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2014
Sending our son to Westminster School was the best decision my husband and I made. He has thrived in a "classical education" setting. The school does everything it says: nurtures the child's innate abilities while truly caring about each student. Character and manners really matter throughout Westminster's hallways and classrooms. The program offers so much - reading and discussing classical literature, handwriting (which is taught in the early grades), daily PE class, foreign language and hands-on science. Coupled with an active theater department, music and high quality fine arts makes it an enriching experience. In the 5th - 8th grades, our son took great pride representing his school on the athletic field. Middle school JV/Varsity sports programs competing against other schools is not typically offered in local public schools or other private schools. School team sports was so meaningful with his classmates (and very different from local club sports). The academic program is well-rounded and demanding. We highly recommend Westminster School!

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2014
This school upholds high standards of conduct and academic excellence. It was never my intention to look for an easy school. I admire that it encourages the students to expect much more of themselves. Some times are challenging, however I know my son will graduate an assertive and well rounded student ready for his high school years. I personally think this is a testament to the school and its commitment to a better education for our children.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2014
I cannot say enough good things about this school. My child came from public school, with poor study skills and non-existent note-taking skills. Since then, my child has flourished at Westminster School. The school teaches the whole child, from science to math, but also manners, interviewing skills, responsibility, pride in self, public speaking, languages. My child can launch into enthusiastic discussions about many classics, with passion and a deep understanding on the subject matter. Her handwriting is beautiful and she will easy carry the organization skills she learned at Westminster to high school, college and beyond. A++ school.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2014
Westminster School Teachers and Admin. truly care about and genuinely pour their hearts into the children. With each passing year, it has been amazing to watch as each child grows, develops, and blooms.

- submitted by a teacher
April 22, 2014
Westminster creates a wonderful environment for our child to learn and grow. The small class sizes provide teachers the opportunity to quickly head off any academic challenges a child might be having. The school's culture is one of respect and order... Our daughter loves it there and has really matured into a lovely young lady.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2014
I am a parent of Westminster graduates, as well as a proud grandparent of two current Westminster students. The wonderful academic pursuits at Westminster include sequential history, French beginning in kindergarten, Latin in 7th and 8th, public speaking in plays, performing in music programs, Physical Education daily, and multiple field trips. More important to the development of young people is the attitude of respect which permeates the entire school. Respect is shown to each student, and this is then echoed in the students' behavior toward each other, toward the teachers, toward the administration, and toward their academic assignments. The high expectations for each student result in self-respect and high performance by all. Respect for ROUTINE which is so important throughout life is one of key components of life at Westminster - beginning with how students line up to change classes or go to PE. Children respond positively when they know how they are expected to act, and they are surrounded by others who are also acting appropriately. They are encouraged to do their best, and they do ! Learning becomes a JOY in these circumstances !!!.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2014
I love the community spirit at Westminster school! My children are happy and thriving! We love the PE daily, art, music, accelerated learning and most of all the teachers.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2014
My son has attended Westminster for K and 1st. We are extraordinarily pleased at the level of engagement the teachers have with my son and with us. The curriculum is excellent - advanced compared to the public school programs we examined, with a broad spectrum of study beyond math, science and language arts. My son loves art, music and French classes several times a week, and we particularly appreciate physical education classes daily. Field trips are a wonderful complement to the program. The lower school teachers achieve a smooth and efficient harmony, integrating the curriculum across ALL classes so the message is reinforced in many different ways. My favorite aspect is the annual play presented by each class where EACH student has a substantive role, including solo lines, chorus and sometimes solo singing, and choreographed dancing. You can see the confidence growing in every student - they clamor for opportunities to speak in front of the school and the head of school offers a variety throughout the year. I look forward to my daughters starting K next year and getting this great educational start - a love of learning in a respectful, tolerant and demanding environment.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2014
Excellent teachers and staff. The school is challenging but my kids are safe, respected, and happy. With anything, there are things that you have to get used to but overall you will find an amazing group of teachers with a true desire to see our children be the best they can be.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2014
Just finished up Greek Day in the fourth grade today. What a great and fun way to help the kids remember details of Greek history, not just memorize! One of the great supplements to the "book" education at Westminster is the creative experiences the teachers put together for their students that inspire and excite the imagination. Today they participated in chariot racing, discus and javelin throwing, ate Greek food, dressed as a character from Greek history, and painted Greek pottery. This follows Egyptian Day last year and Native American Day in second grade. History days join interactive field trips, physical challenges like Inner Quest, and a class play each year to become comfortable speaking in public. Westminster turns out well-rounded, thoughtful citizens and is truly a gem. My kids love going to school every day!

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2014
Westminster School holds high standards of conduct and academic excellence. It believes in allowing each child to rise to the challenge of meeting and exceeding expectations. It has a team of strong leadership to include the headmaster and wonderful, wonderful dedicated teachers and administration. We have a 1st grader and a pre-k (4) student attending the Griffin Academy of Westminster, and our experience has been beyond what we hoped for with both of them. They are each challenged academically and they each have art, music, French, and theatre performances that involve every child. What I love the most is their excitement and joy in going to school and in learning! I know it will get harder as we progress through the grades, but nothing easy is worth doing. Wtih added focus on manners, civility, comraderie, and trying their best, this school outshines so many other private schools in my opinion. It has so many graduates working for the school as teachers and such longstanding traditions of value, we couldn't be happier with our decision. We look forward to our years ahead and our future Westminster graduates!

- submitted by a parent
April 15, 2014
Westminster is as good a school as I could ever have hoped and dreamed to find for my children. Its academics are advanced and its teachers are enthusiastic, caring, and well-versed in their subject matter. The policies may be stricter than at other schools I have encountered, but they are extremely fair and my children are thriving in such a developmentally and academically stimulating environment. The challenging classroom structure is balanced by the many body and soul activities. At Westminster, the children have athletics every day and it places a great value on the performing and visual arts as well. I am confident each day I drop my children off for school that Westminster is helping them grow not only intellectually, but ultimately preparing them take their place as citizens of the world. If you are the type of parent who appreciates firm, but compassionate guidance and who wants your child to learn that the point of doing anything is not necessarily the outcome, but rather the work that has gone into it the process of striving to attain a goal, the journey itself as it were - then Westminster is the place for your family.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2014
I am the parent of two very different young men. Westminster School meets the different needs of the boys beautifully. The school sets high expectations of the students in all areas. It is always exciting to see my boys rise to meet these expectations. My older son needs constant challenge and the school provides it. He is confident and thinks he is ready to conquer the world. He is learning important foundations of the value of strong writing, organization, and responsibility. My younger son has confidence issues and is shy - never wanting to be in the limelight or singled-out for anything. The school has worked wonders to bring him out of his shell. In addition, he is learning valuable skills in getting organized. He has struggled with this and his teachers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help him hone this important skill. The school is not for everyone, but if you are looking for rigorous academics, and an environment where personal responsibility, kindness, respect, and being able to THINK are valued, I STRONGLY encourage you to take a look at the school. It is great value for the tuition.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2014
A loving environment which feels like a second home to our family. My children enjoy going to school each day and look forward to the many special events and field trips that compliment their studies. They are receiving the best education and are being taught my caring, loving, and talented teachers. We have never once regretted the decision to send our children to Westminster School; a true treasure in Annandale.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2014
An excellent school with a truly classical curriculum. The teachers are wonderful, and my children have thrived in this environment that teaches them how to be the very best they can be in all areas.

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2014
I do not recommend this school. If you are considering this school please do your home work prior to committing.

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2014
As a parent of a former student of Westminster I do not recommend Westminster for a multitude of reasons. Mainly the school is about one thing and one thing only Shakespeare theatre. However if you do decide to attend I recommend strongly the first year you guard your child's emotional levels as they will surely be tested.

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2014
Westminster School really is a special place. The teachers and administration are so dedicated to the children that it shows in every aspect of school life. High expectations are coupled with tireless support. This formula yields remarkable results in the children. Not just in outstanding academic achievements but also in developing their sense of poise, kindness and social responsibility.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2013
I would give this school all the stars in the Universe if I could. Westminster is the best thing that has ever happened to my daughter and my family in general. This is our second and, unfortunately, the last year at Westminster and I only have two regrets that this school does not last until 12th grade and that I did not find it sooner. We love everything about Westminster: strong academics, incredible teachers who know children better than their own parents do and bring out the best in each and every one of them, students life beyond academics a fascinating journey with talent shows, class plays, field trips, school dances, dinners with the Headmaster just to name a few. It is truly amazing how much time, energy and soul the Headmaster Mr. Glover, and his deputy Ms. Glazier invest in children in an effort to turn them into highly educated, confident, well-rounded individuals, to teach them all the important life skills and, most importantly, to celebrate the beauty of life. So I just wanted to say thank you, Westminster, you have been an amazing journey and we miss you already.

- submitted by a parent
July 05, 2013
My daughter joined the school in the 5th grade, and my only comment would be, why didn't we move to Westminster earlier. The school's headmaster and teachers truly inspire the children to be the best that they can be. The teachers are the very best and the curriculum is very traditional. My daughter has exceled and become so interested in school since joining. They have even shown us talents we did not know she had. There is a very strong academic focus, and they have high expectations of the children, This is mixed with school plays, fun field trips, a love for the classics and other fun activities. There is a true sense of warmth when you are in the school and they make it their mission to know each child individually and bring out their strengths. The Westminster children have a lot of confidence and poise, that the school as helped them to acquire. Westminster has made a really difference for my child. There is also a strong parent community if you wish to be part of it. If you considering a private school in VA, look no more, this is the best.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2012
Westminster School provides a loving and nurturing environment in which children thrive. The faculty and staff are motivated to provide an education of excellence and dedicate themselves to ensure that each student reaches his or her optimal potential. It's an honor to work in a school that is completely supported by the administration and parents.

- submitted by a teacher
September 09, 2012
Also, please don't think the negative reviews are just because it is "strict" and "challenging". It is the mind-games Admin. engages in, and the refusal to allow any forum for question, that ultimately makes people leave with a bitter taste in their mouth. (The meeting with parents by grade is set up to run out the clock so there's no time for questions!) And, fyi - the 45-min after-school detentions (which also mean missing the bus and must pick up your child, hard for working parents) are for *every* infraction; e.g. missing pencil - can't borrow from your neighbor. Several times, over half a class didn't understand an instruction - teacher, if you're holding half your class in detention, maybe it was your instructions that were off base? The strikes are the extra-bad ones, three strikes and you get Saturday detention, but that is of course much more rare.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2012
My daughter graduated in 2012 after eight years at this school. She has just been admitted to Mary Baldwin College at age 14 to study Renaissance literature (which includes English Renaissance theater performance) and will minor in French. Westminster gave her an excellent background in French, Latin, math, history (both European and American), English literature and a very refined sense of English grammar: a claim supported by her SAT scores (taken in the middle of 8th grade she scored far better than most high school students planning to enter college). She was admitted to one of the most elite high schools in Fairfax, but personally assessed that it would not provide the intellectual stimulation she craves. My daughter is not a genius, she simply has an intense desire to learn. Westminster completely satisfied that desire for eight years by keeping her with great books, great teachers and a real sense of intellectual accomplishment. We love, and deeply respect the headmaster, who takes a serious interest in the development of each child.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2012
Working here was a nightmare. The turn-over rate is high and staff operate within a ticking time bomb of stress. Ask how many of the staff are licensed by the state (or any other state) to teach OR ask how continued development is fostered. Besides a yearly workshop, staff are not encouraged to grow, compete, or develop professionally. In fact, many are "not asked back" for doing just that. Look into how the "reading specialists" are trained and you might be surprised. Ask how ofter the teachers are evaluated, or (even more rarely - as in NEVER) the administration is evaluated. There is no room for constructive concern in this institution. Once you learn the 6 degrees of seperation that connect all the long-timers, you will be less impressed with the Italian tile in the bathrooms and the green blazers.

- submitted by a teacher
July 25, 2012
I was very disappointed in the head staff at Westminster. They are extremely rude. The focus is on discipline, but it's over the top. I was reprimanded twice and I'm an adult with good manners. The first was for having "inappropriate" discussion at lunch and the second was for answering a child's question about my hand. Apparently, I wasn't suppose to have any interaction with the children while standing in a line. I want to find a warm, welcoming school with a strong academics. I don't need to place my child or money into a school that reprimands me or crushes my child's ego. The discipline is very harsh and I imagine is akin to a 19th century orphanage run by strict nuns or a bootcamp for children. The arts, which is their other focus, lacks because art and creativity don't fit neatly into a disciplined box. I can tell you from experience the "art" is just a throw in to make their school appear solid. It's nothing you can't find at another school. There were a lot of bad reviews before. They seem to have been taken down and replaced by a plethora of good ones. While attending Westminster we were sent several emails encouraging people to write good reviews.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2012
Westminster has provided my children with a great education and has helped prepare them for high school and even college. They learned many wonderful lessons that truly help them in every day life as well. I am so thankful for finding this school and I know my children are as well.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2012
Westminster School has blessed our daughter in SO many ways! Words simply cannot express our appreciation for the unbelievable dedication and love the teachers, staff, the Headmaster, and quite frankly, the parents, have for all the children in the school. Our only regret is not finding Westminster sooner. We are forever grateful.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2012
It is pretty amazing that I am a freshman in college and I still hold this school very dear to my heart. Westminster School has enriched my life in ways that one cannot imagine when simply seeking a middle school for their child. The teachers I had the pleasure to be taught by and the pleasure to work with are compassionate, intelligent, unselfish, and extremely capable. All members of the faculty are happy, loving, and nurturing. The environment of this school is welcoming and promotes a positive atmosphere for learning. The education I received there stays with me today for we covered topics so diverse and enriching that they have still remain relevant to my life. The relationships and bonds formed at Westminster are unrivaled and the memories I have are irreplaceable. If you want your child to receive a top notch education consider this school, however it is not just an education they will receive, it is an enrichment in character and family. I am so grateful to have and to have had this school in my life.

- submitted by a teacher
February 20, 2012
I am a former student of Westminster, and I have to admit it wasn't horrible. However my experience there was not very pleasant. I liked that the school was clean, and I appreciated the discipline, but after I left that school I was very unprepared for my next school. I didn't know how to use powerpoint, and I could barely type all that well since we had just started typing lessons. At my new school instead of giving out detentions, the people turn in their assignments, b/c they realize that their grades will be hurt if they don't.

- submitted by a community member
February 07, 2012
My children are thoroughly enjoying their experience at Westminster School. They look forward to going to school, and enjoy participating in the many special events the Headmaster and/or Parents' Club sponsor for the children. Westminster has become an extension of our family and is often thought of as our second home. The teachers, staff, and administration have always treated us with kindness and respect. My children's lives and futures would not be so bright if it were not for Westminster.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2011
This is an unusual school that upholds high standards of conduct and academic excellence. It is lead by a strong leader, the headmaster, who is dedicated to the students beyond any other private school we visited when considering schools for our child. Our experience has been beyond what we hoped for. Our child is being challenged academically, but mostly, it is his excitement about school and his teachers that has pleased us the most. He has a graduate of the school for a teacher. I personally think that this is a testament to the program. She is enthusiastic and dedicated. We couldn't be happier with our decision.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2011
As a student who went there 2 years before i saw a change from how it is at a normal school and this school. i recivedsome education and at the same time.... i lost hope i just felt like none of the teachers there belived in me. one day i missed my ride and i heard some of them talking about me and i sat there unnoticed for about 10 minutes and some of the things they said about me were awful and hurtful. i may have been one of the most unlikley students that was there but the things they said were uncalled for and rude.

- submitted by a community member
July 15, 2011
Westminster School provided an excellent education for my child, who went on to high school with superior academic and personal preparation. The school emphasizes a classical education, meaning a well thought out, challenging curriculum in all the subjects plus an emphasis on the basics: clear thinking, reading for depth, being able to speak and write clearly, study skills, self-reliance, perseverance, and pride in his work--all crucially important to long-term success in school and work. But the school gave much more than this. It also provided a nurturing environment for my son as a developing individual. He was known and cared for by all the staff, expected to exercise good character and good manners, and given myriad opportunities in athletics, art, drama, music, outdoor adventures, and many enriching field trips. By the time of graduation, he had discovered a lot about himself, his deepest interests, and his own ability to make his dreams come true. That's a lot to receive from your elementary and middle school education. It wasn't always easy to come up with the tuition, but what a golden investment it has proven to be!

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2011
As a graduate of Westminster School, I can confidently say that no other school could have better prepared me to succeed in life. My education here was not only in academics, but also in social responsibility, art appreciation, and most importantly personal integrity. I can understand that some parents might feel the school's strict academic codes and detention punishments are too harsh for their children, but unfortunately the real world is not always forgiving and learning to be thoroughly prepared for whatever might come next is not a bad skill to perfect at a young age. I was always steered in the right direction by the truly wonderful faculty and staff who had my best interest at heart and remain some of my favorite people even almost ten years later. I will always be grateful to have gone here and I hope future graduates continue to feel the same.

- submitted by a community member
March 23, 2011
I am very disappointed in this school and had to remove my children from their program. I found the program to be too academically intense and felt the children are far too pressured. Though I liked many of the teachers, there were also several who I felt were uncaring and distant with their students. I was also very disappointed with how unavailable I found the headmaster to be. He seems to have little involvement with the day to day operations of the school.

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2011
The academic focus, is of course, very good and every teacher my son has had has been excellent. But the best part of school is that my son loves to come to school every day and learn. He is excited about his schoolwork and actively seeks additional information on the topics covered. For instance, my son's class recently covered the solar system. Last weekend, my son asked to go to the A&S museum and spent hours (literally) in the exhibits that focused on the planets. I'm fairly certain that type of motivation is not to be had everywhere.....

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2011
Westminster School is founded on the principle that a total education is one that develops all aspects of a child's interests and academic needs in a structured setting. Within the course of the academic year there will be plays, field trips, sports, special days that correspond with themes taught in the classroom, technology and,of course, emphasis on the core learning needs that are age appropriate. Like all independent schools this school is not for all students. However, the policies are clear and well presented not only in the tours but also in the Student and Parent Handbook. The school provides extra help for all academic subjects on a daily basis and teachers take an interest in helping their students develop interests outside of the academics. The Art, Music and Physical Education Departments provide many opportunities for the students to pursue their interests in these areas by having after school sports, musicals, art shows and other various functions to display their talents. I have taught for 35 years and have been at Westminster for the majority of this time and I would enroll my own child to take advantage of this program.

- submitted by a teacher
March 08, 2011
I recently revisited Westminster School out of a volition characterized by a dire yearning to reconnect with my childhood of yore. As I walked in and peered into the various classrooms throughout the school, a medley of memories rushed to my mind. Clairvoyantly, these eerily beautiful memories reminded me of the extent in which the breadth and depth of classical education fostered at Westminster had essentially molded the very worldly and intellectual character that I am today. A flash of jealousy struck me as I witnessed, in envy, the students enjoying and absorbing topics taught by emphatic teachers who nurtured these students as if they were their very own. Even now, as a current junior attending Columbia University, I have yet to experience such a benevolent instructor/student relationship that Westminster has come to canonize. As a token of my ingratitude for the invaluable effort Westminster had inputed into my upbringing, I leave them this good review. Also, let me point out that most of the negative reviews made on this website are either from angsty adolescents currently enrolled or from parents who are locked in a dispute with the school and are attempting to tarnish it.

- submitted by a community member
January 26, 2011
Westminster was the best thing that ever happened to me; I can t imagine having gone to any other school for those critical nine years of my life. It was a friendly environment that I could always refer to as home , where the staff was not only qualified in terms of teaching, but they were also extremely caring and supportive of all the children. The education was phenomenal; I was especially able to recognize that aspect once I graduated and moved on to high school, where I found myself to be ahead in all of my classes, due to the preparation Westminster had given me. It is a magical place that produces well-rounded individuals, where students can thrive in the arts, gain sportsmanship in athletics, become more confident individuals overall, and learn valuable life lessons through enrichment classes. The standards at which Westminster holds and values music, art, and drama is incomparable to any other elementary/middle school arts programs. The Headmaster is such a loving person and genuinely not only cares about the entire school and each grade as a whole, but he also deeply cares about each family and the development of every individual student.

- submitted by a community member
January 18, 2011
Is Westminster perfect?? no, but it was certainly a better fit for my child than local public county school where its the luck of the draw with good teachers and decent class size. Westminster is indeed structured and expects kids to work hard. Yes, they expect good behavior and your child to do their homework - if you don't believe in structure, its probably not the school for you. Your child will learn to write, something they don't teach in public school anymore. Yes, its hard on the parents with the detentions and lots of homework but the teachers are always available. Your child will learn good study habits, respect for others, appropriate social behaviors.

- submitted by a parent
December 25, 2010
This school was not a good experience for me or my family in general. I am a former student from a couple years ago, and left because I was moving somewhere where the commute would be too far. However, that was not the only reason my family and I decided to leave Westminster. That school had taught me that if I did not live up to their ridiculous standards that I was not good enough for the world and that I would ultimately fail. It wasn't just the uptight dress code, it wasn't just their disregard for students' needs, but it was their complete and total lack of understanding. Don't think just your child will feel bad about going to this school, you as a parent will be just as involved as they are. My mother has been yelled at, and has been threatened to take me out of that school simply because they didn't like her. They make students feel insecure for simple mistakes that all children make and are consistently over dramatic. If you go there, you better love it, because if you don't they'll just try and brainwash you until you do.

- submitted by a community member
December 13, 2010
I looked at Westminster quite seriously, but did not send my kids there. I was amazed at how the administration prided itself on not changing in the last 40 years. Their approach to education, believing hard work must be good work and little to no accommodations for any differences in learning styles or speeds was disheartening. When asked about how they deal with kids multiple intelligences (one of the great advances in education theory in recent times), I was left wondering if they had learned anything in regard to the advances in education over the last 40 years. I have heard of friends who have had great experiences there, and many of the kids who come out are very well prepared for their next school.

- submitted by a community member
November 18, 2010
We were a part of this school community for many years and became increasingly disappointed with its administration. There is so much stress and emphasis placed on appearances that the students and teachers are constantly under fire. The homework load is draining on not only the children but the parents too. Your child will find it difficult to participate in outside activities because of it. In fact outside activities are forbidden during parts of the year for the upper school students. Some of the teachers are encouraging and helpful, but I have actually witnessed others who openly criticize students in front of their classmates. Activities that are meant to be fun such as the play and field trips become torture as teachers yell and threaten the students. My children are now in a new school. We have found all the benefits that Westminster professes to have but in a much warmer and accepting environment. They now enjoy going to school, and we are all working to erase the damaging effects that Westminster had on us.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2010
My children went to Westminster from Kindergarten through the 8th grade. They are now in high school. What a wonderful preparation Westminster was for them! They are doing very well academically. They are organized and self-reliant. They are confident and ready to try new things. Mostly, I am grateful that my children are kind, tolerant, thoughtful, respectful, and well-spoken young people. Was it easy climbing that mountain? No. Was it worth it? You bet.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2010
If you value hard work and a challenging curriculum, consider sending your child to Westminster. I benefited from three years of Catholic education back in the 1960s/70s, and from private high school on scholarship in the late 70s, so I definitely value private education. My son went to Westminster for one year, then went to a local elem. school for one year. He seemed to go backwards and missed out on learning cursive, which was taught at Westminster that year. The public school was DISMAL. He's back at Westminster, thank goodness. The workload is challenging, but that's not a bad thing. Don't be afraid for your child be challenged!

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2010
A traditional and enriched program from K to 8 will leave you wishing it would go until 12th grade. I have put 2 kids through this school. I believe that if the school discipline is combined with home structure, it ll lead to a well trained young adult ready to tackle challenges in life. I experienced it with my older child. She and her classmates still are visibly different, when observed among their peers from other schools. Their Westminster experience has clearly helped them raise a notch higher than others in behavior and conduct as well as academics. The majority of teachers and school administration will become an integral part of the student s life, and their teachings will remain with them forever. This is a school focused on the whole person, createing a well rounded individual, as opposed to just certain aspects of a child.

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2010
I attended this school awhile ago, and then my family & I decided to leave because we moved somewhere where Westminster would be too long of a commute. When attending my new school, I noticed that these kids were just as well behaved & just as intelligent as the students at Westminster, without the scars of being belittled by students & faculty at this school. One star may be harsh, but not in my opinion. This school brainwashes you to think that if you don't attend it, you will fail in the real world. And in some cases, the opposite is true. The textbooks are ridiculously outdated & so are the policies. I do not recommend this school at all.

- submitted by a community member
July 29, 2010
I'm glad we picked Westminster School for our girls who are now in college. They both started out in Kindergarten and continued through the 8th grade. It wasn't the perfect place for everyone, it wasn't always easy, but it was very good for them. Yes, the school is strict and there are rules, but kids need rules. And they learned so much! An appreciation for art, music and literature won't ever go away. The ability to write and communicate with others is something you use all your life. And they had fun, too. The opportunity to play sports and perform in the plays is priceless. And sometimes it wasn't fun. But they knew they were cared about and that hard work was going to pay off. They made wonderful friends, too, and they've remained close to them. I'm glad to be able to recommend the school to parents of young children.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2010
My daughters just completed their first year at Westminster. I had two girls in second grade (now going into third) and one girl in kindergarten (now going into first). I have been very impressed by the school and its academic foundation. My older two daughters came from a good public school in Fairfax County and were still substantially behind their classmates at Westminster due to the school's advanced curriculum. The school spent significant time and resources catching them up in the first semester of the school year. Not once did they complain about my kids being behind. They took the affirmative step of catching them up and now my two older daughters are well-adjusted academically. My youngest one was reading in no time and I would venture to say that she, as a rising first grader, reads better than my older two after they had finished first grade at Fairfax County.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2010
Yes, I'm one of those parents who spent three years researching the right school for my son, and there is no doubt that I found it in Westminster. It's not that there is an advanced and incredible curriculum at Westminster. The school teaches more than what to think. It teaches how to learn, something that will carry my son throughout his life. Research the website, and visit the open houses, but do not miss meeting the Westminster children. To the child, you will not meet a more confident and impressive group anywhere.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2010
By any fair measure, Westminster possesses all the qualities of a great school. It has a committed and strong administration that articulates its vision with clarity and conviction. It has qualified, motivated, and passionate teachers who teach students how to learn. It features a strong curriculum focused on traditional academics and the arts. It is committed to the classical educational philosophy of training student s minds and preparing them advanced study. It has high expectations and knows that all children, regardless of ability, can learn if taught. It maintains a school environment that is safe, clean, well-organized, and conducive to learning. Fully reaping Westminster s benefits requires participation by all concerned, especially students and parents. Families willing to make this investment and commitment will be rewarded not only with the benefit of a superior education, but with children who will be well prepared to meet life s challenges and wholly embrace life s journey.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2010
I have a first grader in this school and I have to admit that I have been happy with the school thus far. Yes, the school administration is strict and our child gets strikes once in a while, but our child has also learned a lot in just one year in this school. Drama progam is wonderful and instills confidence in kids. I wish their math and science program could be strengthened too. That would help in rounding up the entire program for every child in the school.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2010
The Westminster School has been the right choice for both my strikingly different children. Our older child was accepted into every private schohol to which we had applied, including WIS and WES, but the criteria for selecting Westminster was the product. Westminster's eighth graders impressed us with their poise, confidence, purposefuness and camraderie. Westminster instills the virtues of self-reliance and responsibility, and teaches the essential discipline of courtesy towards each other and adults. The children are fully supported in the goal of achieving excellence and the value of perserverence in academics, the arts and sports. The teachers have been mostly excellent, and the 7th and 8th grade curriculum in particular develops analytical, writing and and study skills that already serve my children well in non-school aspects of their lives. It was well worth moving from the District to VA 9 years ago to attend Westminster.

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2010
The comments posted here speak more about the parents than about Westminster. Westminster works great for those who want their child to be treated the same as everyone else. For those who expect special treatment and demand that the school excuse poor behavior and suffer no consequences they are bound to be disappointed. Westminster parents didn t get to their current station in life by slacking off and cutting corners. Don t they want their children to experience the same level of success? Prospective parents think carefully about what you want. At Westminster there will be rules to be followed coupled with a lot of homework, projects, quizzes and tests. The end result is a self-confident child who can handle enormous workload and write and talk clearly. If this won t work for you, find a school that would best suit your child and I don t mean that with malice.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2010
Our son finished kindergarten at Westminster and is eager to start first grade. We have found the teachers to be loving, kind, and considerate -- while also having high standards of behavior and engagement. Our son was behind when he started, but both of his teachers worked hard with him afterschool several times a week to get him caught up. His progress was astounding, as was their dedication and interest in helping him learn and grow. He is polite, mature, social, respectful, and responsible -- all qualities that were nurtured at Westminster. We look forward to our youngest son attending the new preschool this fall.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2010
Westminster School is everything a great school should be. Westminster has excellent, dedicated teachers; a strong headmaster and school leadership; challenging academic programs. Westminster teaches to the whole child. Your child will learn through a rigorous academic program, while also being taught humanity, kindness, how to be respectful of self and others (siblings, other students, teachers and parents). We chose this school for our son who is rising first grader. We have a younger son who will be in the new preschool program, and cannot wait to become a true griffin. We could not be happier with this school. Westminster is a true partnership between the school leaders, the teachers and the families. If you are prepared to be a partner in the school's curriculum and philosophy, this school is an excellent choice.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2010
Westminster is teaching my child life lessons and self-discpline, while providing him with an excellent education. Westminster teaches my kindergartener he has to work to succeed and assume responsibility for commitments. As a parent, I work on these things at home as well with my child. If my child learns this now, then I won t have to call his university to complain how unfair it is that he has weekend work or fails because he didn't turn his work in on time. Life is not fair and not everyone can get their way, but if you want your child best prepared for what life has to offer, send them to Westminster. If you research the school ahead of time and ask questions in the admissions process, you will surely understand the methodology and purpose of the means and realize the ends the Westminster curriculum will bestow upon your child.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2010
I enrolled my 2nd grader last year when he needed a quieter, politer, less chaotic environment than was offered in the public school he attended. Overall, our experience has been so positive. Our son is polite, kind, hard working and really loves school. The teachers are kind and very supportive, but they are strict. He went to school every day with a smile on his face and came home the same way. I was amazed to see how he rose to the challenge of an accelerated curriculum. I was amazed at how well he handled getting one detention this year. Every school has positives and negatives. This school is not for every family, it is rather old fashioned in many ways, but if you are interested in your child developing into a polite person with a great work ethic, than I would suggest checking out the school.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2010
My child attends Westminster and enjoys going to school everyday. The curriculum is extremely challenging and is not for all children. I advise that any parent visiting the school, make their own decision based on the visit. The bad reviews posted, were done so in poor taste and are malicious in intent. Read the bad reviews carefully, as most of the complaints pertain to the the workload. Or, they complain about the fact that their child forgot their binder at home and received a detention. You have to do more than forget your binder to receive a detention. Also, pay close attention to the grammatical and spelling errors in the negative posts. It makes one ponder. Ask yourself one question. If twelve families are asked to leave because their child can not meet the challenge of the school's curriculum, where would they turn? Exactly. Count the negative reviews.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2010
My son graduated from Westminster last month after nine years there. He went into Kindergarten and sweet little boy, and left Westminster a polished, polite, well educated, respectful young man. Westminster is EVERYTHING I had hoped it would be for him. My daughter is making her journey through Westminster now, and once again, it is everything I had hoped it would be. This is an excellent school.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2010
I worry for the emotional well-being of the children who attend this school. I worry that their little souls and voices are crushed as they go from grade to grade. I worry that the teachers are under so much pressure from their team leaders and dept. heads and the admin that they don't have time to nurture, they must go forward to the next quiz or test. The children aren't allowed to work together to learn essential team-building skills or figure out how they work together, they aren't allowed to speak unless spoken to, they aren't allowed to express themselves. I had to release my child from this oppression. Feel the energy of the Admissions Director and you'll know the mood/energy of the school. Beware...don't let the advertised curriculum and manicured campus fool you.

- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2010
Westminster School was a life changer for my daughter. Now, a successful, self-supporting recent college grad, she still sings the praises of the school, its staff, and headmaster. Not only did it provide her with a top-notch, well-rounded education, it equipped her with the life skills necessary to succeed in today's challenging world. To this day, she still maintains a close friendship with several of her Westminster classmates. The personal attention to each student's needs by staff and teachers is extraordinary. The West Minister experience provides students with a strong educational foundation, self-confidence and the discipline necessary for exceptional achievement in their high school and subsequent college years.

- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2010
I am a former student of Westminster School. Even though i only attended for 7th and 8th grade, i think this is an excellent school. It prepares you for life. This school teaches you moral values. Some of you claim that the Headmaster is not qualified. That does not matter. The headmaster is a great man who only wants to share his knowledge with the children that attend this school. And he loves every student like if he were their father. The parents writing bad reviews are just ticked off about one little incident. Yeah. Very mature of you "parents". This is such a childish way of behaving. Just because the school made a decision that not everyone agreed on does not mean you can write horrible reviews about it. So if you are considering of enrolling your child at Westminster, do it. You will not regret it.

- submitted by a community member
July 13, 2010
This school is a great institution. The teachers really care about their students and make every effort to help them succeed. When I started high school after 4 years at Westminster I was way ahead of the other students. The school helped me prepare for entering into honors and AP classes throughout high school. Westminster helps give students good work ethic, respect for others and confidence by encouraging students to be involved in their classes and present their opinions, etc. The headmaster is a very good man who really pours his heart into the school. There were hard times with challenging classes and what seem to be some dated rules but in retrospect, these things really worked well to teach me to be successful in high school and college. Parents have to really visit the school and see it for themselves. I only wish I could have gone there earlier!

- submitted by a community member
July 12, 2010
You show me a parent or a student that doesn't like The Big W and I will show you parents that have given birth to a child that can't rise to the excellence that Westminster represents. You sound so childish that the school is better off rid of your whole family. Anyone can retaliate in anger and post harmful comments on a website, but it takes an adult to walk away from a situation and accept defeat. You have proven yourselves less mature than the children that walk the halls. Sean Michael Dugan Westminster Alumni.

- submitted by a community member
July 09, 2010
I am a former student and my family was apart of this school for over a decade. Now I am sure if you are reading these posts you see either 5 stars or 1 stars only. That is because this school appeals to only a very set "crowd" of people. They are very elitist and discourage any views that differentiate from what they believe in. They have been known to kick families out who have disagree with some of the obscure methods of teaching or pretty much anything that the inept "'headmaster" does. The sports program is strong or at least once was and is headed by a great man. The teaching methods are out of date and their teachers mostly have little or no credentials, the headmaster has NO academic credentials. I do not recommend this school to any one who wants their child to grow up prepared for life.

- submitted by a community member
July 09, 2010
The school just sent out a mailing to "family and friends" mentioning this site, and asking for good reviews in light of some negative ones posted. Note the "good reviews" posted in the last few days. Yes, some people like the school. Others are "brainwashed" by thinking it is good. Times have changed, and the school has not. The school simply has not kept up. I predict it will be closed within 10 years if philosophies are not changed. My kids were ill-prepared for HS after attending there. As far as sending a letter out asking for good reviews, what a joke!!! Kind of like stuffing a ballot box... If that doesn't show you the integrity issues of the school, I don't know what will.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2010
Of the all the education I have received up through my master's degree, the classical education I received at Westminster has left the deepest, longest-lasting impression on me. Though I am an engineer by profession, I think that learning subjects such as Latin, literature, and history so early on has been critical to making me a well-rounded person and significantly contributed to my becoming a thinking, contributing member of society.

- submitted by a community member
July 09, 2010
I am a parent of a rising sophmore in Fairfax County. My son attended Westminster from K-8. Westminster has a challenging academic program and holds students to a high standard, this was just what he needed. He sucessfully completed French 3 and 4 pre-IB classes. (english, geometry, biology and world history.) I recommend that you schedule a visit and decide for yourself if Westminster is the right place for you child. I would also suggest that you read ALL the information provided by the schools you visit. Westminster provides a parent handbook that clearly states all their policies.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2010
A mailer begging for positive reviews? PLEASE. When you have to elicit positive press, you know you're in trouble. Yes, a number of children have fond memories of the place and have gone on to success in high school and college. Of course there are success stories, BUT, this school is ONLY right for a small percentage of families. IF your child is a quiet, mild-mannered and highly focused learner (preferably a girl), and MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, if YOU as a parent are prepared to check your participation in your child's education at the door and NEVER question athority in ANY way, this may be the place for you. --However, many long-time supporters have been leaving of late, and many more will follow. It is only a shadow of the school created by one honorable woman many years ago. Look and assess VERY carefully.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
I attended Westminster School for eight years and I can say it gave me the most wonderful education that I could have had. The administration gave me confidence and were always there to provide academic and emotional support. I have some of my best memories from there and am still friends with many people that were in my class. I was extremely well prepared for a very competitive private high school and a college that is ranked in the top 20 in the nation. I have a BA, MA and a JD and have used my Westminster training throughout my career. In addition to academics, Westminster nurtured athletic and artistic talents. I am so grateful that my parents sent me there and I cannot imagine sending my children anywhere else.

- submitted by a community member
July 08, 2010
As a parent of a rising sophomore to VA Tech (Go Hokies!) who is majoring in Engineering and consequently made Dean's list both semesters; I am confident that Westminster gave my child the learning and study skills essential to success in furthering education. Westminster goes to 8th grade and the decision to move on to another school for 9 - 12 is challenging: where will my child get such special attention? where will my child get the appreciation for the arts at another school? where will my child get the learning skill in sports? I have heard many parents wish that this school went all the way to 12th. Looking back, I'm glad we made the choices we did, but sending our child to Westminster was one of the best!

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
Westminister School gives you exactly what they promise: a traditional education at a bargain price. The extras are impressive also: small class size, great facilities, motivated students and truly impressive diversity. The curriculum is challenging but teachers are universally ready to give personal attention to students. It is a school with a mission to provide a unique educational experience. The administration is serious about the curriculum,which is well thought out and established. Our son thrived in the atmosphere. We all have great memories of the plays and other events in which everyone participates. Great School!

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
Westminster is a school that has a definite philosophy. The curriculum is traditional and challenging. Students are expected to be polite and kind. Classes are small and children become quite close to each other and to the staff. Our family loved it.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
i am proud of Westminster school and will always feel i gave all 5 of my kids the opportunity to receive a first rate education and to equip them to be prepared for life.Standards are high, teachers are tough,and they have been given an opportunity to excel,and if they care an opportunity to succeed.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
I do not know how to express my warm regards for this school. It took my imperfect children and educated them. Educated them to have a deep regard for all cultures and all creatures. Was it always perfect? No, but when is life always perfect. As long as approached the teachers or administrators and calmly expressed my concerns, everyone worked with me or my child until my child was happily making progress towards becoming the great people they have grown to become.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
After carefully looking at elementary schools in the entire metropolitan area, our three children attended Westminster, and received an excellent***** education! The Head of Westminster has a clear mission to maintain high standards. The teachers are rigorous, kind and caring. When our three children entered in 2nd grade and K, there was an outpouring of welcome and warmth from the students, parents, faculty and administration. Wesminster is the very BEST!

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2010
I have had two daughters go through the entire process at Westminster School (K-8) and both have gained much from the experience. They participated in sports as well as the theatre programs and have thrived in their pursuits outside of school. We credit the school as well as our parenting type and their character with the successes they have achieved to date.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2010
Two of my children graduated from Westminster and we have never regretted sending them to this school. Yes, the academics is challenging and there is homework every night but the students rise to the challenge. My children learned self respect and self discipline. To this day, they can still finish the column in "Jeopardy" on Greek and Roman Gods! Their knowledge of French and Latin carried through to high school and college. They were very prepared for high school. The arts, athletic and theater programs are second to none. It's an excellent investment with lifelong outcomes.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2010
Alumnus, went to WS for 5 years. Thought I'd jot down some memories... Clean hallways; teachers smiling from doorways between classes; helping to edit the yearbook; wearing a toga and trying baklava for the first time on Greek Day; grass stains after capture-the-flag; frog dissection (yep, I did this!); feeling mature and proud in my "blazer and tie" for assemblies; introduction to Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice!); standing ovation for opening night of my 8th grade play; feeling amazed to be learning two foreign languages and actually *getting* them; extra help with algebra after school; crazy Halloween parades; being moved to tears reading "Romeo and Juliet" out loud with my 7th grade... & note to parents: I placed well, well above my peers in high school French thanks to Westminster. Was conversing en francais with juniors and seniors, while other kids in my year were in French 101!

- submitted by a community member
June 03, 2010
This school certainly has a wonderful parent community, and the environment may be supportive of some children, but our child suffered from depression and anxiety there, and I would recommend it to no one. -(We were NOT 'one of those teachers who were fired or families who were kicked out'. We left of our own accord...although we know very good people in both categories.) The Administration of this school is completely closed minded, and nepostism rules. I suggest you look very carefully, consider all your options, and make the decision that is best for your family. I doubt this will be it.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2010
Westminster School is the right school for my family. I've been a community member of this small school for 8 years. Our family values what the school has to offer. It appeals to our core values that honesty, hard work & education will lead to a child's critical thought process & correct work ethic. What we have witnessed in our children has been exceptional. Do they make mistakes & get Detentions? Yes. That is part of the curriculum. It is part of a real life full of consequences. What we also have gained at this school, as parents, is an unexpected growth in ourselves. I've had the priviledge to grow as a person & I do not think that this would have happened elsewhere. I 've had so many whoppertunities to grow my family here. I agree that this school is not for every child & sometimes I get frustrated with daily life there. But, my children are happy & growing, so I put it in perspective. I 'm happy with 90% of the school. I believe that if you are happy with more than 75% of your school's curriculum, you have found the right school for you. I recommend this school & am proud to tell you that my name is Laura Clancy.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2010
Having had a daughter finish from Westminster and a son currently in Westminster, an involvement that spans 15 years, the school is exactly as advertised. Obviously there are different ways to educate a child hence the negative comments on the site. Any family that believes that a structured environment and the pursuit of excellence applied with caring and love would be beneficial to their child will love Westminster. Understandably some families and teachers will disagree with this method but frankly that's no reason to disparage the school. All you can ask of any organization is that they are upfront with their philosophy and remain true to what has made them successful, which Westminster does. As far as students leaving goes you might want to check with those families after they've been gone for a year or two and see what they think about Westminster then.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2010
westminster school is a caring, challenging, structured environment for my children. my children enjoy school and are motivated to do their best by their teachers every day.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2010
Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to discover Westminster School through my work with an area non-profit. It was love at first sight! No, the school is not for everyone.The curriculum is rigorous and the expectations are high. The children are challenged. They are expected to behave as young ladies and gentlemen. They are given the foundation needed to succeed in life. I often tell my boys, "If it is easy, why bother?" There is so much one can learn from struggle and even (GASP) failure. I can say that the teachers and adminstration care deeply for the children and want them to succeed. They have the best interests of our children at heart . I wouldn't send my boys anywhere else. I wish I could take advantage of the preschool, but logistics prevent it. It's a 70 mile round-trip commute to school and it's worth every mile!

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2010
Westminster School is a very special place where each student is cherished and guided. The teachers are dedicated to developing the whole student by providing rigorous academic instruction, nurturing the spirit of the child through great attention to the arts, and shaping the character of the individual through consistent and fairly administered standards. My daughter is about to finish her first year here, and when I was searching for a kindergarten, it was important to me that my daughter attend school in a diverse setting with children of varying cultures. Westminster certainly provides that. Most importantly, I wanted more for my child than just a superior education, although Westminster definitely delivers that. I wanted a place where the teachers were going to recognize the precious individuality of my child, celebrating her strengths and achievements, lovingly helping her when she made mistakes, always challenging her to be her best self. Westminster is that place, and I am so grateful that I found this school where her mind, heart, and soul can be fulfilled.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2010
Witnessing a group of enchanting Kindergartners gradually become earnest young students, and finally junior high adolescents involved in sports, drama, music, art and volunteering, brings joy and satisfaction, and belief in the Westminster program. As a teacher in this community, who has enjoyed several such cycles, and as the parent of Westminster graduates, I feel incredibly fortunate to have played a role in a school that continually grows and improves in its mission. In a culture which embraces mediocrity for the sake of comfort, Westminster does ruffle some feathers in its quest for excellence through effort, its insistence on good manners and respect, and its expectation of accountability and responsibility. However, very often the students who struggled the most, who required the most guidance and mentoring, are the dearest, the most loving, the most appreciative when they return, as alumni, to visit us. What an uplifting experience!

- submitted by a teacher
May 20, 2010
I have been fortunate enough to have been a teacher at Westminster School for nearly ten years. Westminster School not only dedicates itself to shaping the minds of children, it also nurtures families and staff. The daily atmosphere at Westminster School is loving, caring, and respectful. Teachers are responsible for working with administrators and parents centered around one objective, each and every child. No detail about the social, emotional, and/or academic progress of a child is overlooked. Westminster teachers, administrators, and parents are a team. Over the years, I have witnessed a team that stands by each other through ups and downs, to ensure that EVERY child becomes a contributing member of society. The program at Westminster has been refined and perfected for nearly 50 years! We are a true family.

- submitted by a teacher
May 20, 2010
Westminster provided me with an education that prepared me well for high school and college. The exemplary academic standards and work ethic helped me to face the competitive arena of today's work force with an advantage I would not have gained in a public school. I am thankful to have attended elementary school through the eighth grade at Westminster and have many fond and vivid memories of the exceptional teachers there. If I still lived in the area my children would most assuredly be attending. Westminster is a great school.

- submitted by a community member
May 19, 2010
The best way to learn more about our school is to come visit. All students have a visitation day as well as an open classroom tour and an extensive interview process. We have a lower turnover rate and a higher education level (per staff member) than the Nationally ranked FCPS. Instead of reading reviews from people who got fired or families that were kicked out, those considering schools should visit the VAIS and NAIS websites. Also experience the school to discern for yourself. Results and ratings from the most recent accreditation are available as well. Visit once and you will be impressed.

- submitted by a teacher
May 19, 2010
As a parent at Westminster, I would have to agree with some of the things said in all the other reviews - the school is difficult, indeed, however, our children are learning how to deal with the real world because of it. Let's face it, life in the real world is not easy and the children who are more prepared will deal with it much better. There are going to be children who are not capable of the heavy workload - again, I agree the load is more than any public school in the area. When I compare kids at Westminster to the education that I had in public school, there is no comparison - the Westminster kids are way ahead of where I was. If I could change anything, it would be to focus more on Mathematics and Computer training.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2010
I have been associated with the school for about 40 years, first as a parent then as a friend of the school and now as a grandparent. I have never been disappointed with anything Westminster. Its constant striving for the best in all things is superlative. I would recommend this school to anyone looking for quality.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 13, 2010
I have taught at this school for many years. Sometimes it's not the right fit for a teacher because s/he can't commit to our higher standards. We have a rigorous academic curriculum and have high expectations of our staff. Some teachers are just better suited to an environment where discipline, self-respect, and academic achievement are less valued. This is a school where children are loved, nurtured, and encouraged to reach their highest potential. I am thrilled to be a part of this school community, and I love watching my students grow and blossom over nine years. Don't let a few negative reviews put you off - if you want the best school for your child, come visit us today and see our school first-hand.

- submitted by a teacher
May 13, 2010
Westminster School is simply the best school of its kind in our area. I wanted to send my children to a place that was about more than academics. Yes, the curriculum is advanced - but, more importantly, my children learned good values. They learned to be polite, respectful, have self-discipline, work hard - even in the face of adversity. Westminster nurtures the whole child - and finds a way to bring out each child's individual gifts. This school is like no other. I am so grateful for all that the teachers and administrators have done for my children - the school simply helped them to become better people.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2010
This is an excellent school where children are taught the value of hard work. The head of the school maintains high standards which can prove to be too much for some people. But those who stick with the program will be rewarded with incredibly well-prepared young people ready to face high school with confidence. An amazing curriculum steeped in the classics and rich in the arts. I highly recommend this excellent school. Don't most people read the school handbook before signing up? The rules are not a big secret. In fact, after looking at many schools, I found the honesty of the admission office very refreshing. Westminster is not trying to please everyone. They are about doing what is best for the children and what is right. If you are not afraid of hard work, this is a wonderful school. There is plenty of support for your kids if you want it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
Westminster School is a great school for learning and teaching. I went to school at an elite Alexandria, VA prep school. It was an excellent education. The education at Westminster School is every bit as good as that prep school, even better now. The students who leave the school succeed in high school and in college. My former students come back and tell me that they were well-prepared. Some people don't appreciate the insistence on the rules and overall behaviour as seen in some of these posts. As a child I didn't particularly like being corrected, but it made me a better person! Westminster School makes children better people too! Good manners never go out of style.

- submitted by a teacher
May 12, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
Before enrolling your child in Westminster, I urge all parents to make every possible effort to get to know the administration of this school, including their educational backgrounds, extra-professional relationships to each other, and whether their academic experience extends beyond Westminster. You also should consider whether any members of the Administration are parents of Westminster students, and how often they post as 'parents' in defense of the school. Prospective parents should attend school events and insist on meeting the Headmaster. Had I done so before coming to this school, I would never have considered this school. When I did take the measure of the Headmaster and his methods, I left. There is a reason why so many families and teachers are leaving this school. Do your homework, be critical, meet the people to whom you will be entrusting your children, seek out parents and teachers who have left the school. Beware.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
I went to this school for 6 years, and i must say it was a very strict school, but it helped me be who I am today, and they really have strong academics.

- submitted by a student
April 28, 2010
I have two children that graduated from Westminster School and I can t say enough positive things about this school. Westminster successfully balances the rigors of demanding academic work with a supportive and nurturing environment. It blends academic, athletic, creative, and social learning opportunities into a cohesive experience that helps students make the most of their individual potential. My children received an excellent education and gained priceless lessons, which they will carry with them throughout their lifetime. I can t imagine sending my children somewhere else. I highly recommend Westminster School!

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
Westminster is an academically rigorous school with an innovative curriculum and a very strong sense of community. The school is full of master teachers who change lives. The school does an excellent job of teaching values and nurturing the child to develop a sense of self and respect for others. There are few educational institutions that provide a deep focus on ethics and academics in the manner provided by Westminster. I highly recommend this school!

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2010
I attended this school for eight years, and I cannot say enough nice things about it. My life has been touched by each and every teacher I had the opportunity of being taught by. Mr. Glover, the headmaster, enriches every students experience and teaches valuable lessons that one would not learn at any other school. He has a great love and passion for what he does. Everything I learned, I learned from Westminster. It's a school full of love, character, creativity, and warmth. I'm thankful for having the opportunity to attend such an amazing establishment.

- submitted by a student
April 15, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 15, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
April 13, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2010
I must agree with the previous parent who wrote such a glowing review. There is no other school that is putting such an emphasis on character education. Westminster does have a rigorous curriculum, yet with the loving guidance of the teachers and administration, the children are able to succeed and thrive. My own children had the most amazing teachers that were warm, compassionate, kind, intelligent, as well as experts in the subjects that they taught. My children have all gone on to some of the best high schools in the area and were better prepared than many of their peers. They were taught to strive for excellence and to take pride in their work. They look back at their experience at the school as a very special time that has helped to make them the responsible, kind, and successful young adults that they are today. Thank you, Westminster!

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2010
Wow, I'm not surprised to see that another parent feels Westminster is too rigid and lacks a healthy balance between hard work and fun. It's sad to see your child be scared or stressed about attending elementary school, or cry because she arrived at school without her binder and will likely get three detentions for her oversight. Some of the teachers are compassionate within the rules, but many are mean-spirited and show little empathy for growing children. Some teachers are also euphamistically called 'old school,' which really means a lot of name-calling and yelling. I think the negative atmosphere and the tone-deaf administration are the reasons that the school loses so many students every year - just look at the dwindling class sizes in the upper grades. No need to worry about securing a spot at Westminster.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2010
I am an 8th grade student and have been attending this school since kindergarten, and lovin' it!!!!! It is such an amazing experience. I recently went to a curriculum night at a high school that I am hoping to enter and am sooooo happy that I am here. Those who think high school will be simple are in for a surprise. I on the other hand will move smoothly if I continue using the work ethic taught here at Westminster. The teachers here are passionate about each student and hold after school help sessions weekly. The principal is extremely devoted to this school. He is kind, but can be strict if the situation calls for it. He's only so to make us better citizens, and trust me, it works. If I could I would have given my home away from home twenty thousand stars.

- submitted by a student
March 25, 2010
This is a great school. I have a graduate and at their young age says that Westminster not only prepared him well enough to have a great high school experience but he is now having and equally great college experience. He gained confidence through the theater and drama program, although it was not his favorite part of the experience and he excelled both academically and with sports all through high school and now into college. Everybody can have a different experince, but we found Westminster to be an excellent fit for us as parents and for our son.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2010
Any parent considering Westminster should first read the Parent/Student Handbook and take it to heart. The rigid, oppressive atmosphere created by endless detentions, strikes and demerits weighs on young children. Starting at 7 years old, your child will get detentions (and have to serve them after school) for not having a sharp pencil, leaving one question of homework unanswered, or forgetting to bring a book from home. Children must be silent in carpool line, on school bus rides to field trips or games, and often as a punishment at lunch time. Parents who have sent their children to Westminster since Kindergarten cannot appreciate the difference that a less punitive and more supportive atmosphere of positive reinforcement can make.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 01, 2008
im attending the school and its just an amazing oppurtunity to go to a school and have fun but be diciplined at the same time

- submitted by a student
May 17, 2008
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- submitted by a student
May 09, 2008
WestMinster is a culturally rich and diversified school that fosters an environment of respect and learning. The school adminstration and teachers are all very dedicated to each student's well being and personal education. The curriculum is generally more advanced than that of the Fairfax County public schools, which is also considered well above average at a natioanal level. The physical plant is also new and impeccably maintained. My daughter has attended 5 years now and loves the school. She has also done exceptionally well on national testing programs. I would recommend this school highly and without reservation.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 17, 2008
Westminster is a fantastic school - I had the pleasure of attending Westminster over twenty years ago and have visited recently and the place is better than ever. I honestly feel Westminster prepared me for a lifelong love of learning - wish I could still go! If only I could afford to send my kids, we would be there in a heartbeat!

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2007
I am an 8th grader at this school and I have been attending here since kindergarten. This school is awesome. Everything about it is great. No kid is left behind. They have individual help sessions for those who struggle. The teachers really care for the students and want the best for them. They give alotta homework, but it really pays off. We go to high school really prepared- most kids go to TJ. Every year, they make us all participate in a school play which really boosts our confidence. We have Enrichments classes to really discipline us. the headmaster is close to every student. There are absolutely no social problems and everyone has their place here. In the upper school, the students really bond while taking French AND Latin. The curriculum is beyond amazing...though we may not be the best in sports- since there are no tryouts, everyone can join sports.

- submitted by a student
October 24, 2004
My children have attended Westminster for the past seven years; they love it. The drama, rich curriculum, caring teachers, athletic department, community service program, and loving guidance have shaped their lives forever. They have art, music, library, and French each week. Also emphasized are good manners, kindness, respect, and tolerance for others. The students are extremely diverse and come from regions from around the world. Their headmaster takes a personal interest in each child and could tell you a little something about each student. Westminster is educating the whole child - not just putting the emphasis on academics, but about each student achieving his or her personal best. In the words of one of my children, 'I can't imagine going anywhere else.'

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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About this school

Westminster School, founded in 1962, presents a challenging, structured program of academics, arts, athletics, and personal development in an atmosphere of courtesy and kindness. French, Latin, Art, Music, Drama, Daily P. E. Classes, Orchestra, Chess Club, Sports, Multiple Field Trips.

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Westminster School
3819 Gallows Rd, Annandale, VA  22003
(703) 256-3620
Last modified Westminster School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Westminster School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 123 reviews. Top