This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 09, 2014
- a teacher
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !!!.
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.