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Westminster School

Private | PK-8 | 264 students

Our school is best known for its well-rounded program.
 
 

 
 

Living in Annandale

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $355,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,520.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 8 ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 10 ratings
2011:
Based on 10 ratings

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102 reviews of this school


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Posted yesterday

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


Posted Tuesday, 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


Posted Monday, 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


Posted 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


Posted April 8, 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


Posted April 3, 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


Posted 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


Posted January 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted July 5, 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


Posted June 7, 2013

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
—Submitted by a parent


Posted 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


Posted September 9, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Oops! We currently do not have any student information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Korean
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Community service awards received in the past 3 years
  • Fx. County Volunteer Group of the Year (2012)
  • VDOT Award of Excellence for Adopt-A-Highway (2013)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Science club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Korean
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language and culture club

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:45 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Classical (e.g., focuses on the "classics")
  • Core knowledge
  • Direct instruction
  • Gifted / high performing
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Korean
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • softball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Softball
  • Track

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Community service
  • Foreign language and culture club
  • Math club
  • Science club
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer time after school
More from 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.
School leaders can update this information here.

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rolling basis

 
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What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$8000 - $19000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
St. Stephens & St. Agnes
Flint Hill
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3819 Gallows Rd
Annandale, VA 22003
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 256-3620

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