Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Why do students like your school?

    Students enjoy the after-school Athletic Program; the many field trips and special assemblies; the aesthetic environment; the celebrations of curriculum, such as Egyptian Day, Science Week, and Sports Day; the drama presentations; and, most of all, the sense of close community and caring possible in a small school.

  • Do the students wear uniforms?

    Yes, students in all grades wear a school uniform every day. Students in grades 3-8 change into athletic uniforms for P.E. class.

  • Do you offer after-school care?

    The after-school care program (3:00-6:00 p. m.) is available to students in grades K-8.

  • Does Westminster provide transportation?

    Door-to-door bus service is available to most parts of Fairfax County. Many of the remaining families participate in car pools whose organization is facilitated by the school.

  • How long has your school been established and is it accredited?

    Westminster School was established in 1962. It is a fully accredited member of Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and is a member of Independent Education (IE), an association of independent schools of greater Washington.

  • What is the background of the school director?

    Ellis Glover has been the Headmaster of Westminster School since 1992. Educated in the classics and humanities, he served for 16 years as Assistant Director of Westminster School prior to taking over the headship upon the death of the school’s founder, Jane Goll.

  • Are you planning any changes?

    Westminster’s long range plans include adding a new, state-of-the-art athletic field and an addition which will accommodate expansions in art, science, and technology.

  • Are you full? What are the provisions for new registrants? How much is tuition?

    Most grades usually have some openings for new applicants. Registration is limited to 18 students (16 in kindergarten) per class (2 classes per grade). Tuition for 2013-2014 is $19,152 or less (depending on grade level), well below the median for independent schools in the greater Washington area. Various payment plans are offered. Financial aid is available. Financial aid awards are based on need. More information about financial aid is available on the admissions page of our web site, www.westminsterschool.com.

  • Are there special requirements for admission to Westminster school?

    Admission to kindergarten is based on birth date, order of application, and readiness testing. For grades 1-7, admission is based on order of application, the results of a qualifying exam, a writing sample, teacher evaluation, and an interview with parents and child. Westminster School does not admit new students to the 8th grade.

  • Why should I pay to send my child to a private K-8 school?

    The years from age 3 to 14 are the most formative in a person’s life. Character, attitude, sense of self, work ethic, and expectations of life’s possibilities are all shaped during this crucial span from infancy to young adulthood. The right school environment can make a profound difference in a child’s development and future. Public schools strive to serve large populations with widely varying needs, all within a huge, cumbersome bureaucracy. An independent school is a more accessible and effective partner in helping parents raise happy, confident, well-educated, and high-achieving children. The highest quality education is not guaranteed by the latest educational trend or the most computers in each classroom. It is not defined by numbers. It is one which teaches the child how to think clearly and independently, how to make good choices, how to develop and direct one’s talents to good purpose, how to present oneself with poise and articulation, and how to live in a way that is beneficial to oneself and to others. It is the result of a well-honed philosophy and a carefully designed program, consistently and effectively implemented. An independent school is more likely to offer a well-defined, consistent, and effective approach to child rearing and education. A school that shies away from discomfiting anyone has a difficult time upholding high standards of integrity, comportment, courtesy, and presentation. In trying to achieve the laudable goals of inclusion and tolerance, public schools have suffered diminishment of both academic and behavioral standards. An independent school can set and uphold high standards for students and staff. A school that must accommodate everyone cannot best serve anyone. Large populations with vastly differing needs, shifting educational theories, the pressure for political correctness, and the one-size-fits-all approach of government regulations hinder the development of a strong and effective educational program. Public schools are under enormous pressure to fulfill widely varying public and governmental agendas. An independent school is free to strive for genuine excellence.

  • Why should I choose Westminster School for my child?

    For more than 50 years, Westminster School has provided a superior elementary and middle-school education whose fundamental goals for each child are a disciplined and well-informed mind, strength of character, dedication to learning, generosity of spirit, and joy in the possibilities of life. A well-trained and dedicated staff know how to translate these ideals into daily reality for each child. Westminster provides an accelerated academic curriculum of exceptional quality and depth. Students are challenged to meet high expectations of effort and accountability. At Westminster, striving for excellence is not just a bumper sticker; it is a way of life. Westminster students are steeped in classic literature, study in depth the great civilizations of the Western world, learn French and Latin, relish hands-on science labs and advanced math classes, enjoy daily Physical Education. They go on numerous field trips each year, learn to dance, attend weekly art and music classes, and thrill to outdoor adventures. Extra-curricular activities include Sports Teams, Builders Club (community service), Orchestra, Chess Club, French Club, Mathcounts, Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad, and more. Every student performs in a play every year, building poise, confidence, and the courage to share his or her talents. In Westminster’s well-rounded program, strengths are celebrated and weaknesses are strengthened. At Westminster, a well-honed philosophy and firm, yet loving teachers guide children toward good character, kindness, courtesy, a strong work ethic, and excitement about their own potential. Westminster offers a truly exceptional learning experience for one of the lowest independent school tuitions in the greater Washington area.
     
    To learn more or arrange a visit, contact the Admissions Office at 703-256-3620.

    A WESTMINSTER EDUCATION—IT’S WORTH IT!