Westminster School - Review #3

Read more details about Westminster School on their 2018-19 profile page.
Westminster School
5

About the Author:

College EnrolledConnecticut College
Home Town, State New Canaan, CT
Years Attended Boarding School3
Activities During Boarding SchoolAt Westminster I was one of the heads of Black and Gold (the tour guide program), the President of Serving Our Neighbors (SON), Dorm Proctor of Memorial, Associate Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, and captain of the swim team.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
While Westminster, is a similar size to many schools, the general atmosphere on campus is one that cannot be replicated at any other school. The faculty and staff are committed to fostering relationships with the students that focus on their growth as students and individuals. They are your friends, mentors, and teachers. The school prides itself on its commitment to building a community and they truly succeed at that. The students greet each other warmly and simple acts like holding the door for the person behind you create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that puts the newest faces at ease. On top of Williams Hill it feels like a family, and credit for that is due to everyone on campus.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Westminster has changed me in so many ways, it is hard to think back to that day when I first arrived on campus. I have learned to push myself, to ask the hard questions, and to not be afraid to try something new. I was taught how to lead, and how to live and grow in a community. The core values at Westminster: community, character, balance and involvement are all ones that I still carry with me today in all facets of my life. and the motto grit and grace remains engrained in my mind. So put your faith in the school and its people and you'll be surprised how it all turns out, and how you change.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Be open minded, boarding school is a chance to try something different and to be who you want to be. There is no typical student, find your niche and your passion and commit to it.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
At the end of the day, if you take away the beautiful location and the facilities that Westminster has to offer, you are left with the people--and that is what really makes the school what it is. The community at Westminster is why so many people hold it close to them and continue to return to campus, donate to the school and speak its praise to to many people interested. It is a fantastic place, and has had a positive impact on my life- and played a major role in the values I have today.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Memorial is great!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
My favorite part about academics at Westminster was the size of the classes and the attention that each individual received. There was no room to hide, and even timid students were required to participate in discussions. The teachers truly enjoyed teaching their classes and each brought a different approach to the classroom. I will add that, I wish during my time at Westy that there was more flexibility in the classes offered, however I feel as though they have made improvements to the amount of class offerings.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
One unique aspect of Westminster is that everyone is required to have some sort of afternoon commitment, whether is is athletics, arts, or community service. While the school does not offer as wide of a variety as other boarding schools, the teams that Westminster does field are very strong. While some years are considered "building years," the track record for most of the teams is good. Our facilities are nicer then some college facilities! Most notably are the squash courts and the swimming facilities. While the hockey rink may not be new, the character of the building makes it stand out, through extensive use of wood in the interior. For the most part there are not faculty at Westminster that simply coach, this allows for coaches and students to interact in the classroom or in other areas of school. I think this provides an opportunity for the relationship between the coach and the student to develop in a more solid way. Many coaches played their sports at a collegiate level and their passion and commitment to the Westy teams is evident.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I really liked the fact that it was easy to get involved in some type of arts program whether you were new to the activity or were a Broadway hopeful. Through singing groups, dance clubs, and One Act theater options anyone could get involved with the latest production or concert. As an added plus, the theater is a great space, fairly new, with a fantastic rounded shape that has great acoustics.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Student organizations have certainly grown and developed since I graduated, but I always felt like there was something for everyone; and if there wasn't Westminsters environment allowed for a window to create something new. There were ample volunteer opportunities at Westminster, my personal favorite was working one spring at the magnet school in hartford, helping students with their homework and playing outside with them.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The beauty of my complaints about some of the outdated dorms on campus is that due to a donation in the fall of 2011, the dorms that need updating are all going to be renovated. However, I will say that I really enjoyed living the the dorms. It was a very familial environment, and I liked that the corridor supervisors and dorm prefects did a good job balancing community building and rule enforcement. As a college student, I miss being able to head down the hall to my dorm parents for a "feed" where they would cook something for their hall and we would all gather together to enjoy it.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall at Westminster is very cozy and avoids the institutional look that many schools have. Dark wooden tables and portraits of former headmasters add a lot of character to the space. The food was pretty good, sometimes light on options. The dining servers were always very friendly and quick to learn your names. We had sit down dinner, which didn't seem that fun at first but you meet a lot of people through it and get to enjoy a "family style" meal.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Simsbury CT is a great town, very typical for Connecticut--most stores are walking distance to school (about 10-15 minutes to the farthest stores). This location is key if you want to walk to get coffee or pick something up at the grocery store.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the variety of weekend activities available. Including school vans to the movies and other field trips such as haunted houses, and apple orchards.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:30 AMWake Up
8:00 AMBreakfast
8:30 AMClass
9:30 AMClass
10:45 AMChapel or Assembly
11:45 AMClass
12:30 PMLunch
1:30 AMClass
2:45 AMSports
5:30 AMDinner
Weekend
10:00 AMWake Up
11:00 AMBrunch
1:00 PMHang out with friends in the dorm,
3:00 PMTake a school van to the movies
5:30 PMDinner
8:00 PMStudy Hall, work in the library or dorm
10:30 AMIn room, bed time
Read more details about Westminster School on their 2018-19 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Westminster School Alumni #1
    Class of 2012
    5 Stars  
    New York University
    The atmosphere of the campus was amazing. The actual layout of the campus made it very easy to feel like a close community. We gathered as a school pretty often and that made us a. . .
  • Westminster School Alumni #2
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars  
    Elon
    The teachers are always available and more than happy to help any student with anything even if it's not for their specific class. The sense of community between the students, faculty, and staff is like. . .
  • Westminster School Alumni #3
    Class of 2009
    5 Stars  
    Connecticut College
    While Westminster, is a similar size to many schools, the general atmosphere on campus is one that cannot be replicated at any other school. The faculty and staff are committed to fostering relationships with the. . .
  • Show more reviews (4 reviews)
Recent Articles
Readers' Questions
Readers send dozens of questions via Facebook, Twitter and email. What do they ask? Readers want to know which is the best school in a particular country or region. A close second is figuring out how to pay for a private school education. Here are some readers' questions with my answers.
School Mottoes
Private school mottoes speak to the high-minded purposes for which most schools were founded.
Boarding Schools at a Glance
If you are just beginning to explore boarding schools, this article will give you an overview of the subject. We also point out a couple of things to watch for as you begin your exploration.