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Westminster Blog

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Westminster: Pioneering a Culture of Connection, Challenge, Control and Commitment
Bob Vernon

The ISAS Visiting Committee’s first recommendation after its ten year reaccreditation visit to Westminster last year was this:  “Westminster enjoys an enviable stability and has captured a unique position in the local educational market.  As an institution, the School exudes a level of confidence about its core values and the way in which they drive instructional programs.  At this moment in its history, Westminster is uniquely positioned as an institution to take some risks, embark on new initiatives, and move in bold directions.  We were surprised to discover that, despite the School's encouragement of students to take risks and embrace failure, the institution seems reluctant to exhibit this same quality.  The visiting team strongly encourages Westminster to be a pioneer for the local, regional, and national independent school community.”

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Education Upside Down & Flipped Learning
Bob Vernon

Those of you who know me know that I am not a fashion guru, so I was quite surprised last month when an eighth grader commented that she liked my shirt.  At first I thought she was joking.  I was wearing a madras shirt, but then it dawned on me that madras shorts seemed to be popular so maybe madras shirts were as well.  My shirt was probably twenty years old, and I suspect that some of you are not old enough to remember the OSCC—Old School Clothing Company—or for that matter, its parent company, Harolds, where I bought it.  I was reminded of this incident when I saw this headline recently in the morning paper—“Back to the Eighties”—which went on to explain that “oversized jackets, track pants, and Oxfords now set the pace.”  Who knew?  But what it really reminded me is that in education, like fashion, there is very little that is truly new.

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50 Years and Counting
Bob Vernon

Westminster School was founded fifty years ago as an alternative Montessori preschool and has gradually and purposefully evolved through the years.  The Lower School grew one grade at a time between 1970 and 1975.  The Middle School began in 1978 with sixth and seventh graders and graduated its first eighth grade class in 1980.  Thirty-three more have followed, and the School now has over 1700 alums world-wide.  From its beginning in 1963 with ten students and four teachers, the School has grown to over 550 students with a faculty and staff of 90, but it has never lost sight of its purpose—to teach kids to think well, work hard, and work well together.

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