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.
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.
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.
Our daughter just finished 2nd grade. She had a great year; she really has grown this year but I have to give credit to her great teachers. We love Miss Sapper and Mrs Baur, they do an amazing job. The lower school has been a great experience for our daughter. Our son is entering kindergarten coming from the Griffin Academy, which is a WONDERFUL preschool, and we are so relaxed and excited. We too were nervous prior to starting at Westminster because the kids are challenged to do their best and you worry how they will handle it but they handle it with tremendous ease. I cannot say enough great things about the preschool, k-2 program at Westminster. I'm sure third grade will have its own challenges but we think she is prepared to handle them. - Lori James
I am the parent of two children at Westminster School. We attend the school at great sacrifice on our part. We have found over the years, that the sacrifice is absolutely worth it. Our oldest has entered third grade this year. It is a difficult year for many of the students, mine included. Already, though, I see change in my son. Grades K-2 were not very challenging for him. This year, however, he is being challenged. He is learning very quickly that he needs to plan, be thorough when reviewing his homework assignments, and look ahead. He can no longer "skate through" his assignments. The foundations for great study habits and organizing oneself are being established right now! I can see him realizing their importance. This is such a wonderful gift he is receiving. It make the detentions he has already received pale in comparison to the far more important lesson he is learning. Yes, it is a hassle to pick him up 45 minutes later, but in the end a small price to pay for such an important life lesson.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 10+ years, I have never once regretted the decision to send my children to Westminster School. Every morning I drop them off at school and know that they will be safe, well cared for, and will be taught and guided by caring, dedicated, and qualified professionals. My children are thriving at Westminster. Above all, they are happy! I couldn't ask for more!
Westminster School is a beacon of light, in my opinion, and I thank everyone there involved with my children's education -- staff, administration, fellow parents, and fellow students. If you are looking for strong academics, a caring community, and a place that reiterates your own strong values and morals, this is the school for your family. And I say family. It's a commitment for the entire family. But one that comes with great reward. To see your child standing on that stage at graduation is a feeling like no other. You know that you have given him the best chance at becoming the person that he was meant to be.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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