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Westover School -CT

liddyb4liddyb4 Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Prep School Admissions
Anybody have some insight into Westover School in Connecticut? I love what I see on the website.
Post edited by liddyb4 on
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Replies to: Westover School -CT

  • tennis21tennis21 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    My sister got accepted there but decided against attending (not due to the school, but rather she did not feel like going to boarding school). Anyway, as far as I could from the visit tell the school is quite good. It has great facilities and smart students.
  • shelley14shelley14 Registered User Posts: 880 Member
    reach out to prepparent - a frequnt poster. His daughter is a rising junior at Westover.
  • KlementsKlements Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    Admissions Quest (if that's the correct name) ran a recent piece on their blog, noting an innovative Westover angle on the financial crisis. If memory serves, Westover was, in effect, bartering tuition/costs with parents in exchanges for services, e.g., parents who could provide accounting or other related financial services were granted some amount off tuition. Please check the above reg blog/site before taking on faith my recollection.
  • liddyb4liddyb4 Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    The reason Westover came to my attention is their alliance with Brass City Ballet and as the Bolshoi summer intensive location. It is very, very difficult to find a small school with a great dance program - that is not a conservatory environment. I hope that this school will be the answer.
    Shelly14 - thank you so much. I will send a message to prepparent.
  • liddyb4liddyb4 Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    Prepparent - are you out there?
  • Burb ParentBurb Parent Registered User Posts: 2,100 Senior Member
    Do an advanced search for his user name. Then, you can send him a private message. I don't think he reads these boards anymore, but he probably still has the email account he used when he registered.

    You can also do a search of "Westover," and you will probably find a few posts by him. Click on his name to send a private message from one of his posts. If you look under this post to "Similar Threads," you will find some posts by him.
  • liddyb4liddyb4 Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    I did message him a while ago - no luck. Oh well.
    Thanks.
  • linzoplinzop Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I am going to Westover this year.
  • exoveerotchexoveerotch Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    linzop: what would you say about the workload at Westover compare to other private schools(or public)? What's your general impression? thanks
  • linzoplinzop Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    well...I haven't actually gone yet. I am going this year meaning I start in September. But I'll tell you when I get there :) !
    Currently, I am at a public school, and from what I understand Westover has less busywork and more meaningful assignments but is still rigorous but not too much (unlike my school with all busy work), but I haven't been able to experience this firsthand.
    I hope that makes a little sense :)
  • campwcampw Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I'm a current Westover parent. Ask away!
  • liddyb4liddyb4 Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    I actually don't even know where to start with my questions. I suppose....
    1) What made Westover your daughter's final choice?
    2) Does a small school seem like a fishbowl after a while? There seems to be only one main building.
    3) The arts are a huge part of the curriculum if you choose them to be. How involved is your daughter in the arts? My daughter is a dancer, and it is the impressive dance program combined with the art history offerings that drew us to Westover in the first place.
    4) We will need some financial aid. Have you noticed attitudes towards the 'have nots' that were less than kind?
    5) Academics. She is a good student who needs encouragement and support to keep on track, and works best in groups and study sessions when learning new material in the areas of math and science. How do the girls there generally do homework in the evenings?
    6) Is there a typical Westover girl?
    7) I have heard varying opinions of single sex education. I think it may be a good idea for my daughter, however the thought of cliques and 'mean girls' is a constant worry for me. What are your feelings of either the existence of unkind girls, and /or the schools response to unkind behaviors?

    These are just a few things that popped into my head. I really want to know everything about this school that you would be willing to share. Thank you.
  • campwcampw Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Pleased to help.

    1. My daughter went to a small private grade school and felt comfortable with Westover's size. She actually wanted a girls school, and we had it narrowed down with acceptances at MPS and W'over. W'over was by far the warmest and friendliest atmosphere of all the schools she looked at. At MPS we both felt a certain air of social competitiveness (just my opinion, but I'm not the only one who's said this) that was absent at W'over.
  • campwcampw Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Whoops -- hit the wrong button. Cont'd ...
    2. Westover has only 200 girls, but there is such a range of different types of kids that it doesn't matter, I think. Yes, the girls all live in the main building, but it's a good thing I think. There's a dorm parent (often her family also) on each floor, and the girls are watched like hawks. Each grade year brings increasing levels of independence, and the seniors have the expected level of freedom.
    3. My daughter isn't artsy (more the academic, she's in the WISE program) but dance and art history both get a lot of administration attention. The dance recitals are very impressive, in my admittedly unsophisticated opinion. We had an exchange student last summer who went on to board for a year at W'over who danced. She took lessons every Sat. in NYC (very common for arts students) and was awarded a scholarship for this summer at Jacobs Pillow. Westover's alumni magazine just had a feature article about a bunch of former art history students at the school who now work as curators, museum directors, etc.
    4. Your daughter's status as a FA student will be a non-issue. She'll no doubt notice that some girls have more money than others, but it is not ostentatious at all like it might be at other places.
    5. Younger girls have required study halls, which gradually lighten up as they go on. The school has an advisor/teacher conference system which has worked for my daughter - she loves her advisor and has continued with the same advisor since freshman year. I appreciated getting a call from the advisor last year when she was goofing off a little too much. There are study groups and mentors, but the classes are already so small ...
    6. Typical girl? They're serious, which I think is the common trait, about academics and their interests. I've observed almost no "preening" - in fact, my kid and most of them look like bag ladies while on campus - a result of the single sex school, I guess.
    7. Cliques and gossip is a fact of life in any group of teenaged girls. My daughter's not very cliquey and she's doing just fine. I characterize it more as gangs of friends. The school does its best to keep the nonsense under control and maintain the warmth and lack of cutthroat competitiveness that is the school's stock in trade. There are no hazing incidents, such as the type that made headlines at MPS last year. My observation is that the school doesn't take any crap. One student acted out once last year, was warned, acted out again this time more outrageously, and was invited not to return. The Dean of Students gave the impression of being strict, but she left this summer, and we'll see what the new Dean's approach will be.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to come up with more ?'s.
  • Padre13Padre13 Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
    As an RPI alum I'm curious about the WISE program. RPI is marketed as a co-collaborator in the development of the program and a provider of preferential admission to graduates. Is there any interaction with RPI as the girls proceed through the program, such as guest lectures, video classes, internships, etc.?

    I was impressed to see that the program is nearly 20 years old. I assumed, incorrectly, that the relationship with Westover was established during the reign of Shirley Jackson, RPI's first female president. She has made increasing female participation in the sciences part of her platform - but it's good to see that the Institute and Westover were working on the issue years before.
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