“This school exists to be different – for an experience that will prepare you for what life really is.” – Lesley Fowler Nesbitt, Director of Admissions and Marketing at The Winchendon School
It’s important for a school to appreciate that every child is unique and different. For most parents, trying to find the right school for their kids can prove more than stressful, but upon consideration of The Winchendon School, they often rest assured that their child will be in good hands, for what sets this coeducational, private boarding and day school apart is its dynamic and forward-thinking setting.
As stated by the School, it’s important for parents to pinpoint an academy that truly understands its kids, and at Winchendon, Faculty pride themselves on their ability to form close relationships with students, ensuring every mind lives its full potential. And how do they do that? Through an academic curriculum that centers around three core practices: practical learning, individualization, and self-reflection. The curriculum is specifically-designed to develop essential skills that students will find useful at college and beyond, such as the ability to quickly access relevant information, to problem-solve, as well as to develop diverse perspectives and develop clear ideas, all of which give them an edge in a competitive employment market.
Accepting students from Grades 9 to 12, the School boasts an average class size of just eight students, giving the individual every chance to shine in their own unique way. The small student-teacher ratio means each pupil builds confidence as his or her voice is heard. Each child tremendously benefits from the intimacy of Winchendon’s classroom setting, where teachers have more time to tailor each assignment, as well as provide feedback and focus on what each student needs most to help them improve.
For parents feeling slightly nervous about whether their kids will be able to cope, note that Winchendon teachers are specially-trained to recognize and support learning differences within the classroom. Smaller classes allow teachers to understand each child’s strengths and weaknesses as they learn how to engage and help them learn in the most effective manner.
But it’s not just teacher attentiveness that makes The Winchendon School a special place for your kids; it’s also important that your kids enjoy studying after all, and the School whole-heartedly believes that students’ ability to learn and retain knowledge will be far better if they are able to make a distinct connection to their work.
To make learning highly engaging, the School has introduced innovative programs such as the ColLABorative Learning and Internship Program (ColLABs) that allows students to go far beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Here, students are encouraged to develop skills by working in various fields of interest, encouraging them to discover areas they truly enjoy which ultimately leads them to future college majors and possible career paths.
In addition to the workshops, students work on ColLAB projects that are self-directed opportunities for them to design and execute work in subjects that they love most. Examples of current and recent ColLAB projects include the Three Week Theatre, The Blues and the Birth of American Expression, Innovation, Adolescent Addiction, Reducing the Carbon Footprint: Carbon Sequestration of Our Land, Science and Culture of Food, and more.
Students are also urged to participate in internship placements throughout the year, often leading to further opportunities that run throughout the summer. Not only does this start to build on their future employment portfolios, but also provides a sense of what real-life professions are about. Previous students have interned at a regional animal hospital, a marine mammal rehabilitation center, a national marketing firm, and a school in Vietnam, developing a strong foundation in whatever their chosen field.
At The Winchendon School, you’ll find learning is not limited to the classroom; your children can expect to spend heaps of time outdoors, applying what they’ve learned to real-world situations. Students here learn everywhere from the National Marine Life Center in Bourne, to the Health Clinic in Haiti. “Sure, we are a boarding school like many of our peers – with passionate faculty, great facilities, rigorous and interesting programs, and wonderful inclusive communities. However, the similarities end there,” says Headmaster John A. Kerney.
“At Winchendon, you will find some of the most ground-breaking and engaging programs, based on some of the most contemporary brain science, all informed by the experience gained over 90 years of working with high school students.”