|Your child is unique.|
So is Watkinson.
Our mission is to give our students the power to shape their lives and the world around them.
A clear mission is essential in order to do great things. And the more deeply a teacher or a coach—or, indeed, a student—understands that mission, the more effectively he or she will meet it.
Watkinson is a mission-driven institution.
The mission directs our academic program and grounds our community in a set of common values and attitudes. Every decision we make comes home here. Does this program/this hire/this technique help us meet our mission better? It sets the focus for our evaluations and assessments of student work. Is this student gaining in her power? It helps us design curriculum and programs. Does this approach help our students shape the world?
Four Questions Every Parent Should Ask
|Q. ||What is the object of your curriculum and how does your program support it?|
|A. ||Our rigorous college-preparatory curriculum keeps the bar high for every student in every class. A focus on your child is the key; the knowledge of each student’s learning style is essential to helping her or him realize full academic and personal success. With small classes (12-13 per class, on average) and small teacher loads (55 students per teacher, on average), heterogeneous classrooms—classrooms with students of diverse talents and approaches—are the best source of stimulation and collaboration. These small, diverse classes create an atmosphere of “unanxious expectation” where students are encouraged to think critically and creatively. Content is, of course, essential to all learning. At Watkinson, however, it is only the beginning. We go beyond the test, the “right answer,” to challenge students to be adventurous and mature in their thinking.|
|Q. ||How does your daily schedule support your mission?|
|A. ||In 1999, Watkinson redesigned its class schedule in order to create a more active and vibrant learning environment. Our 80-minute "block" classes allow students and teachers more opportunity for projects, discussion, debate, collaboration, critical thinking, analysis, and reflection. Substantial and compelling educational research supports our belief that having fewer classes per day (our four versus the traditional six or eight) helps students focus and work in greater depth in their studies. Longer periods allow students and teachers to work together more supportively and engage more deeply in the experience.|
|Q. ||How does the diversity of your school further the mission?|
|A. ||The makeup of a school’s student body says a great deal about its commitment to diversity. At Watkinson, we believe in maintaining a diverse educational environment in the broadest sense of the term—which is to say that there is no such thing as a “typical Watkinson student.” Nearly one third of our student body receives financial aid of some sort, 28% are students of color, and we draw students from over 35 towns yearly. At “The Wat,” athletes, artists, techies, extroverts, introverts, activists, intellectuals, and inventors are all respected as individuals—not funneled into a particular group. In fact, as students gain confidence and begin to explore unfamiliar ideas and activities, such labels often disappear completely.|
|Q. ||What core values drive your mission?|
|A. ||At the heart of Watkinson lie the core values of respect and integrity. By living these values, our school grows a sense of community, an appreciation of diversity, a commitment to service, and the practices of healthy living. We work to help students develop the tools they need for ethical decision-making. |