A Message from the Director of Admissions

What is your greatest hope for your child for middle school? For high school? These are the questions I discuss with parents everyday.
 
At Watkinson, our philosophy is 100% centered on your child.  Starting in the admissions process, we want to know as much about your child as possible.  We pride ourselves on knowing our students better than any other school; you will see that in every aspect of our school. Let our admissions team discern if we are the best match for your child, for you and for the school.  It seems simple; but at Watkinson it’s also very genuine.
 
A hallmark of our admissions practice is that every student does a full-day visit during the application process.  We know we are unique and we want your child to see and experience the school in action.
 
The admissions process shouldn’t be stressful.  I have 31 years of experience talking with parents about their child’s needs, hopes, and dreams...and about all related matters: social life, financial matters, etc.  It’s a particular joy when I am working with a parent who I admitted as a student 20 or 30 years prior!
 
While not every student may choose to come to Watkinson, any type of child and learner can come to Watkinson and get what they need to thrive.

Please register for an Information Session or contact the admissions office (admissions_info@watkinson.org) to schedule an individual visit. We look forward to meeting you!

John Crosson
Assistant Head of School and Director of Admissions
Watkinson is not a sound-bite school; we have a lot to tell you, and talking about educational philosophy can be complex. But feeling the Watkinson difference is a simple matter.

Watkinson News

While we still print Watkinson News once or twice a year, now that many families opt not to receive magazines (supporting sustainability efforts of both the school and their own families), we also make the printed issue of Watkinson News available as a downloadable PDF for your convenience. 

Four Questions Every Parent Should Ask

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the object of your curriculum and how does your program support it?

    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.
  • How does your daily schedule support your mission?

    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.
  • How does the diversity of your school further the mission?

    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.
  • What core values drive your mission?

    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. 

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