Watkinson At A Glance

List of 6 items.

  • Coed day school, grades 6-12/PG

    Founded in 1881
  • 244 students

    from 47 towns, reflecting a wide range of academic, personal and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • 47 teachers

    27 of whom hold master’s degrees or above
  • student:teacher ratio is 6:1

    Average class size is 14
  • Advisor system focuses around the school’s core values.

    Each advisor guides 5-7 students; advisors and students meet daily.
  • 31%

    Students of color
    • Teri Schrader gives welcome message to prospective parents.

A Message from our Head of School

Welcome to Watkinson!

A Watkinson education is fueled by the unshakable belief in the power excellent teaching and in the central goal of helping students to learn to use their minds well.

It has become increasingly rare in education today for teachers to be given the latitude, authority, and freedom to use their best professional judgment about what their students need to know, how to teach, and how to assess students in their learning. External testing, scripted curriculum and pacing guides have created a standardized approach to teaching and learning that is by nature antithetical to fostering inquiry and investigation and stands against cultivating critical thinking, meaningful analysis, and deep research, reflection, and synthesis. Political mandates have increasingly overtaken the landscape of many schools, and it has become counter culture to trust teachers, to allow them to make important decisions about what their students need to know and be able to do.

Watkinson is the school that believes otherwise.

At Watkinson, responsibility for the educational program is placed in the hands of our excellent faculty. We are a community of educators who pay close and constant attention to our students — who they are, how they learn best, what challenges they most need to tackle as they grow into their smartest, most curious, capable, and resilient selves. It’s no small feat, but this is what’s at the heart of a Watkinson education.

From our classrooms to our advisory groups, from our rigorous dual diploma programs in the Creative Arts and Global Studies to our distinctive Learning Skills Program, Watkinson students are known well by their teachers and by one another. By balancing our commitment to personalizing learning with a strong sense of community and the primacy of relationships, Watkinson places each student in the center of her or his education. Our students are always in close and enduring proximity to brilliant teachers who know precisely how to design learning experiences that are rigorous, meaningful, and always driven by their students’ needs.

I invite you to come to campus — attend one of our many information sessions — and see for yourself the difference a Watkinson education makes.

Best regards,

Teri Schrader
Head of School

Awards & Accreditations

  • Founding Member of the National Center for Independent School Renewal
  • Named a Lead School by the Coalition of Essential Schools
  • Member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Received the 2010 CT Association of Independent Schools Award for Leadership 

School Publications

A current parent describes attending a Watkinson graduation: "Graduation is an event that is extraordinary and to experience it is to refresh your faith in education, community and our future. I was alternately overwhelmed with emotion, prouder than I ever thought I could be and unimaginably humbled by what I saw and heard. I sat next to another current parent and—thank God for that—she handed me tissues at every possible opportunity and I needed them all."