The Webb Schools - Review #28

Read more details about The Webb Schools on their 2018-19 profile page.
The Webb Schools
5

About the Author:

College EnrolledHarvard University
Home Town, State Claremont, CA
Years Attended Boarding School4
Activities During Boarding SchoolHonor Committee (co-chair), Varsity Football and Track (captains), Varsity Basketball

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
I'm sure college guidance is great at many other boarding schools, but I can't stress enough how absolutely phenomenal the college guidance office at Webb is. In my Harvard admissions interview with an admissions committee member in Cambridge, my interviewer started off by asking how Webb's counselor was doing (by name) and recalled how he had toured the campus and was fond of Webb's physics lab and my physics teacher - I was stunned! The counselor is fantastic, both as a personal mentor and as a counselor dedicated to finding the RIGHT college fit for YOU personally, be it a small liberal arts school, a UC, the ivy league, or a school closer to home, and leading you through the application process.One thing that makes Webb unique is its connection to the outdoors. All freshmen and sophomores start the year with 3-4 day camping and hiking trips up local mountains, reaching over 10,000 feet in elevation - a true team-building and bonding experience. Every student goes on at least one overnight peccary trip camping in the desert hunting for fossils as part of the museum program - and you can certainly do more trips. The campus itself is set at the base of the beautiful San Gabriel foothills. The school really takes advantage of its location.A second unique aspect of Webb is the volume of opportunities for students, the most unique of which are the Raymond M. Alf Museum and the observatory. It's great for curious students, who can develop a truly wide range of passions and interests.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me was gaining a set of valuable mentors and friends. My teachers and coaches were amazing people who mentored me academically, athletically and personally throughout high school. The college guidance counselor and his office are absolutely amazing, both as a college counselor and a mentor. And I graduated with a small set of incredible friends from all over the world, who continue to be my best friends today, which is most rewarding of all.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
One thing I would've done differently is to build closer relationships with the students that were older than me. Boarding students certainly have more opportunities to do this than day students. Another piece of advise for students is to take advantage of all the different experiences that Webb offers. Get off campus often, check out the observatory, try a new sport.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The community at Webb, and the connections that last well beyond high school graduation. This community fostered a holistic learning experience, which I did not fully appreciate until well-after I graduated. Academically, it offered a wide variety of interesting and challenging classes as well as smart peers to learn from. Athletically, I developed into a recruited Division 1 athlete, and more generally I improved in how I balance competing priorities, which prepared me very well for Harvard. Morally, the Honor Code pushed me to think about broad ethical principles and my own moral beliefs at a pretty young age. The close-knit community of teachers, staff and students ties these all together.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Listen to the chapel talks, many of them are quite good.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
It is a tie between working with extremely smart students and learning from great teachers. Working with the amazing faculty and equally capable students, as well as the time-management skills I developed at Webb, truly helped me adjust to a challenging college environment with ease. My favorite class was an AP Physics C Mechanics class I took my senior year. At most schools this is a semester-long class, but our teacher stretched it to a year-long course that incorporated philosophy and ethical reasoning. We'd meet as a group at the beginning of the week to talk about physics principles, then work in small groups on experiments in and out of class for the next few days, and then gather as a group at the end of the week to discuss a philosophy reading or film we watched, often with an outside speaker. We also took trips off campus to visit museums and see performances. It was a pretty holistic learning experience, which is how I would describe the Webb philosophy overall.The majority of classes I took at Webb had equally amazing teachers who were experts in their fields, be it calculus, statistics, European and U.S. history, English, Spanish, etc. They offered plenty of individual attention and extra help or tutoring when needed (the workload can be very challenging!); they were also really, really funny! And beyond that, they are wonderful people - advisers, coaches, mentors - who care about the development of their students both in and out of the classroom.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Webb's athletic department stresses participation and positive experience, and excellence plays a role for those who want to compete at the next level.Participation: Webb stresses participation in athletics as part of its required after-school program. It's great if you enjoy playing sports but might not be able to play regularly at larger schools, and coaches always stress improvement and being positive. The one-year athletic requirement can be hard if you're not into sports, but after that there are plenty of non-athletic options.Excellence: It varies, but about 2-5 Webb students each year go on to compete in college sports, ranging from D1 to small schools. I was recruited and competed in division 1 track; a classmate played ivy league football; friends in younger classes competed for Stanford, Boston College, Harvard, the Claremont Colleges, etc. The facilities have improved dramatically - they completed a new outdoor track and football field a few years ago - and you can't beat the weather!All that said, I enjoyed working with the coaches the most. My track, football and basketball coaches at Webb heavily influenced my life, and both athletics and academics played a central role in my college applications. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I took a basic art class and I thought that the dedicated art space was pretty cool. The choir and theater performances were always fun to watch. Some of my classmates and I started a rock band, outside of the normal programs offered, which was a lot of fun!

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are a ton of extra-curricular options available, which means that there are many opportunities to pursue your interests and also develop as a young adult and a leader. I was most involved in athletics (see my above post) and the Honor Committee, which was an extremely challenging and rewarding experience. Most of all, these are great opportunities to have fun and get to know a great group of classmates and teachers. It can be challenging to balance these activities with your academics, but that process helps develop independence and maturity needed in college.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student but I spent a lot of time in the dorms before and after practices, meetings, classes, etc., and I felt very well-connected to the boarding students. Dormitories are all single-sex. Boy dorms have single-room, mostly one-story configurations. Some of my international friends would stay with my family over Thanksgiving or spring breaks, when they wanted to get off campus but didn't have time to travel home. A group of us recently met in Taiwan for a friend's wedding, so many of these bonds are truly lifelong.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
As a day student I usually only ate lunch at the school. It seemed to have a pretty good variety, and I loved the soft-serve ice cream. I was always extremely jealous of the frozen strawberry parfait desserts that the boarding students got at formal dinners!

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Claremont is a small college town with lots of beautiful homes and trees - it's a very a-typical LA suburb, feels more like small east coast town. Claremont has recently doubled the size of its (small) downtown area, adding a movie theater and a bunch of new shops and restaurants to what it calls "Village West" - this is about 3 miles from campus. It's still a small college town, but there's a lot more to do locally now. It's nice to be somewhat close to LA and the beaches for the occasional day trip, some of which the school organizes on weekends for boarding students.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The school organizes trips on weekends for students to get off campus, and the student body works hard to throw dances and events on campus.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:30 AMArrive at school, walk to class
8:00 AMClass
10:00 AMChapel Talk or School Assembly
10:30 AMClass
12:00 AMLunch, Study
1:00 PMClass
3:00 PMSports practice
5:30 PMGo home, or shower and eat on campus if I have a meeting
7:00 PMStart homework at home, or start meeting on campus if needed
11:00 PMSleep
Weekend
9:00 AMWake up, breakfast
10:00 AMTravel to sporting event - track, football, or basketball game
5:00 PMGet home from sporting event, eat dinner, study
7:00 PMGo to movies with friends if Saturday, study/homework if Sunday
11:00 PMSleep
Read more details about The Webb Schools on their 2018-19 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • The Webb Schools Alumni #1
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars  
    Occidental College
    The Webb Schools is unique in many ways different than other boarding schools. One being that it is a boy's school and a girl's school on one shared campus. This allows the freshman and sophomore. . .
  • The Webb Schools Alumni #2
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars  
    UC San Diego
    I think there was generally a good work-life balance, or more like study-life balance at Webb. The community was small enough that we would know most everybody, teachers cared tremendously for the students, sports were. . .
  • The Webb Schools Alumni #3
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars  
    United States Military Academy
    The classroom setting of a round table discussion instead of lecture based teaching. I believe it really puts the pressure on the student to understand what is going on in the class and bring an. . .
  • Show more reviews (26 reviews)
Recent Articles
You need to know what is being taught before you decide which boarding school is best for you.
Spotlight on boarding schools in Canada.
The quality of a summer camp depends very much on the quality and experience of the folks running it. When you select a summer program run by a boarding school, you are getting a program with experienced, well-organized professionals at the helm. More here.