West Nottingham Academy - Review #1

West Nottingham Academy
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled currently in high school
Home Town, State (Country) Potomac, MD
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School I played 3 varsity sports while I was here including: basketball, lacrosse and volley ball. I was also captain for all these teams my junior and senior year. I joined many student clubs like the culture club, DIY (do it yourself/crafts) club, French club, Basketball club and Bleacher creatures, a school spirit club to support sporting events. Along with all of this I was also president of my junior class, and vice president of my senior class.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
I think the size makes it very unique. There are only about 130 students in the whole school which I thought sounded crazy at first, but really appreciated as time went by. You form really close relationships with people and literally know everyone one campus. Another thing is that 95% of teachers/faculty live on campus. I like how convenient that is for getting extra help and building relationships with the teachers as well who will sometimes hold dinners or study sessions at their house!
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I definitely feel that I have become more independent since coming to boarding school. I find myself going home and doing things for myself and just kind of moving at my own speed because I'm used to my parents not being there for me 24/7. I think that an amazing thing! Because that's life and the earlier you're prepared for it the better. I also think that this school has helped me meet people that I would consider to be life time friends. Its such a loving community and something I would never regret.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
GET INVOLVED! GET INVOLVED! GET INVOLVED! Sports, activities, clubs anything! Both in school and outside of school. The earlier and more you make yourself known the better it is for you socially and the more experiences you have to right down when college applications come around. I made sure I always played a sport, joined clubs, and ran for leadership positions. This wasn't just for the titles, it really helped me get to know everyone around me. Having good relationships with both students and teachers will make your life a lot easier both at WNA and probably any other school you may go to.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I really like the teachers. I think this school is fortunate enough and lucky enough to have teachers who care about the kids! The teachers here make it known that they genuinely care about and love their students and go out of their way to show it. Personal relationships with teachers are a big deal especially for boarders whose parents are away! That plus the community is the closest thing you have to family. There are teachers like Mrs. Moore who's main job is a freshman English teacher and learning disabilities director, but someone has managed to help almost every student on campus at least once both with academics or personal issues even though she didn't have too! Or faculty like Dr. Hooks and Mrs. Dvorak who work in college counseling and with their help and support are the reasons some of these seniors are going to graduate and get into college! It's great knowing that someone cares about you when they don't have too, and that is one thing the teachers at WNA are good for.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Be yourself! The school may be small but there are so many different personalities on campus! There's someone for everyone and you're sure to find someone just right for you! Get involved and just have fun, its high school. Every day won't be perfect and there is nothing wrong with having a few break downs here and there, but make the best out of every situation an enjoy yourself as much as you can!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The professors a West Nottingham are the heart of the academics. They really put the students first and will go out of their way to give extra help and lead you in the right direction. The largest class size is about 13 kids so imagine your typical English or math class with about 6-9 students in it, sometimes even less! This is great because you get individual focused attention towards your needs and the teacher can run the class at a convenient pace. There is not a strong sense of competition academically so students never feel inferior to others and each class helps them find their strengths and work on their weaknesses. There are AP courses offered in every subject from math to music theory, so it really gives students a challenge and chance to show off their academic abilities for that subject.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Sports offered at WNA are soccer, cross country, volley ball and weight lifting in the the fall; basketball, cheerleading, karate and weight lifting in the winter; and lacrosse, tennis, badminton, and zumba in the spring. There is also a separate skating programs for specific students arranged with the school. Because of its size, WNA doe not have as wide range of sports as other schools might, but if enough interest is shown new sports options are always considered. The sports are coached by the school teachers who are familiar or have played the sport before. Like other schools we win some and loose some (games) and have our big games and pep rally's when playing against our rivals! The sports are mandatory each trimester but are worth it because of relationships you build, and fun you have as a team!

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
With the visual arts, I love how student oriented it is! Majority of the paints, murals, pictures an even some furniture seen around campus are made by students! There is a gallery right when you walk into the school building filled with all the students are work from class which gives them to show case all their hard work and talent. There are many art courses like ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and digital design. The music and theatre program are also a huge part of the community. The Nottingham Theatre company puts on a play every spring (third trimester) with classics like Charlie Browns Christmas, Canterbury Tales and more. The music program, specifically choir, plays a huge role in performing at different ceremonies throughout the year, and even taking their talents off campus where they get to perform and record the songs they learn in a studio.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I like that the school gets us involved in big volunteer projects such as March of Dimes, Relay for Life, the Color Run and Habitat for humanities. These, along with smaller and more local service projects, are fun and become popular throughout the year! WNA also has an event called "earth day" in March. This is a day that is solely dedicated to serving the community and environment. We plant trees, flowers, visit different recycling companies, organize stuff around campus and essentially just a "beautification day" for both WNA and the community around us. The school also takes us on different cultural trips like museums, opera's, theatre plays, gardens and small cities in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The best thing about dorm life at WNA is the room sizes! The rooms are huge compared to what you will get at any college! There are four dorms (two girls and two boys) each with about 20 students in them. There are two to a room unless you are a dorm prefect or a selected senior who was given a single room. There is a laundry room that cost a dollar each for washing and drying. There is also a lounge in each dorm with a tv, fridge, sink and microwave. The fridge is free for everyone to use and clean outs are made daily to make sure all food is safe! There is a community bathroom in the dorm with 4 showers and 5 toilets. The room mates are set up by grade and location. You will never find a pair from the same country/city/state or siblings together unless specifically requested. You will also never have a senior rooming with a freshman; they try to pair you with someone slightly close to your age. You are allowed to have food in your room as long as its kept safe and clean. Dorm life is really fun and you become very close with your room mate and other girls/ boys in the dorms. Having a room mate is good preparation for the same experience that you will have in college!

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining at school is a self-serve/buffet style which I like because we can take as much as we like. The dining hall is set up with about 20 tables and free seating at each. There are three main means (breakfast, lunch and dinner) none of which are mandatory to attend. Breakfast is from 6:50 to 7:30 am, lunch is from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, and dinner is from 5:45 to 6:45pm! The food is pretty good for the most part. There is a variety of options to choose from outside the main course like a salad bar, fruit bar, panini/sandwich station and ice cream/ dessert station. One issue I do have however, is the limited options vegetarians have. Students are also allowed to order food from local food chains, but only during dinner time.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
I definitely feel like the location of WNA is a downfall that the school has. Being the oldest boarding school in the U.S, it is located what I consider the middle of no where. Ever heard of Colora, Maryland? I didn't until I saw it for myself. Farms and miles of rural area make up most of the surrounding area. The closest town (Rising Sun) manages to have a grocery store and macdonald's which the students definitely use to their advantage. Fortunately we are situated close to Delaware and Pennsylvania so many of the trips we take will be there.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
WNA can best be described as having a very "chill" atmosphere. Campus is very quite and you can usually find students in their rooms, or hanging out with a friend in their room or in the student lounge and sometimes up at the gym. Occasionally we have student run events such as culture night, movies in the lounge, and pep rally's for "Spartans vs Athenians" (or school teams). We do have well known events like spirit week, homecoming, prom, winter formal senior fair and more. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you're someone with a laid back easy going personality, its perfect! But for someone who is used to going out every day and currently on the move, it would be something to get used to.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:45 AMAdvisory
8:00 AMClasses Begin
9:45 AMBreak (until 10:00)
12:00 AMLunch (Until 1:00)
2:45 PMAcademic Day Ends
3:30 PMSports/Activities (Until 5pm or depending on your activity)
5:45 PMDinner until (6:45pm)
7:30 PMStudy Hall in dorms (Until 9:30pm)
10:00 PMDorm Check-In
10:45 PMLights out!
Weekend
11:00 AMBrunch
12:00 AMTrips (Mall, Movie, Restaurant, service trips) on campus activity
5:00 PMTrips return/Dinner (until 6pm)
6:30 PMEvening trips (museums, plays, movies etc) [These are optional]
11:00 PMDorm Check In

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • currently in high school
    I think the size makes it very unique. There are only about 130 students in the whole school which I thought sounded crazy at first, but really appreciated as time went by. You form really. . .
  • Currently in High School
    At West Nottingham Academy the campus has a very "close knit" feeling. When attending WNA you get to know your peers, teachers and their families very quickly. I was a day student for two. . .
  • None
    At West Nottingham Academy, students are required to fulfill two Culture Credits per trimester and fifteen hours of Service Learning per year. Culture Credits are fun weekend activities that students can sign up for that. . .
  • none yet
    West Nottingham Academy (WNA) is very much so unlike any other school I've ever attended. Now that might be because it only has (at most) 150 students per year. But you learn so much, not. . .
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
    West Nottingham's weekend culture credits were one of the most unique experiences I have ever encountered in my life. By requiring all students to sign up for trips to a historical or educational site during. . .
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