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Welcome to Westminster School. Thank you for taking time to explore our website. I hope you find the information helpful as you research educational opportunities for your family.

Westminster School, more than anything else, is a school dedicated to doing what’s best for children. Quite simply, that means creating a welcoming learning environment that focuses on joyful excitement and independent reflection. It is important that Westminster is a warm and welcoming place because children really do learn better when they are happy and secure and surrounded by caring friends and teachers. But children also learn more when they are challenged, and Westminster prides itself on challenging kids to think critically, creatively, and independently. Helping children develop an understanding of their world while giving them the confidence both to express their own views and question the views of others is at the heart of Westminster's mission.

Westminster is a stable place. We’ve had two school heads since we opened in 1963 and the average faculty member has taught here for 15 years. The division directors and I know our students well and see them as valuable and capable people because we are in the classroom with them every day. We look at them as individuals and we support their individuality. But we also understand that in an inclusive school where it is so important that everyone feels that they belong, honors and celebrations should not be bestowed on individuals but reserved for the group as a whole.

Convinced that the end really does depend upon the beginning, the faculty in Westminster’s Montessori primary division models the philosophical beliefs shared by our entire school — that education should be planned and purposeful, that environments should be carefully created to encourage thinking, that asking the right questions is as important as getting the right answers, and that learning should resonate with joy and insight. And so it does at Westminster School.

Education at Westminster is informal, child-centered, and developmentally appropriate. The willingness to work hard is instilled, and cooperation and responsibility are cultivated. Purposeful reflection is valued, creativity and curiosity are nurtured, questions are encouraged, decision-making is developed. As students progress through their years at Westminster School, Churchill’s belief that “success is not final and failure is not fatal — it is the courage to continue that counts” becomes more and more clear. The Westminster experience develops that courage to continue, to struggle, to take risks, to learn from mistakes, and to succeed.

I’ve been at Westminster for 42 years. I’ve taught every eighth grader who ever graduated from this School. I know how important a good beginning is for children to become successful adults. I also know how important it is for children, when they are besieged with difficulties and frustrations, to muster the courage to continue, and how much they need the support of caring friends and teachers if they are to be successful. That’s why I urge you to think carefully about the kind of education you want for your children. I invite you and your family to take a look at Westminster ... to see what we do and why. Perhaps you will want your children to embark on an educational journey with us. We’d love to visit with you about your children, hear what you hope for them, and let you see how the commitment to do what’s best for children plays out at Westminster School.

Bob Vernon