Student Life

Student Life at Westminster

A Special Community

Students quickly learn to recognize all of the exciting opportunities present at a boarding school. Their days and nights are full, challenging, and rewarding, whether they live on or off campus. In addition to work that might eventually appear on a transcript or application, students are also learning about and becoming responsible citizens. Westminster has always provided an organic structure for this important personal growth, as students are fully immersed in a community in which they are known for their varied contributions and have close relationships with each other, faculty and staff that reinforce a sense of accountability.
 
Through the shared experiences of attending classes, family-style lunch, participating in athletics and the arts, and being involved in community service and student organizations, our students are supported and build self-identities in the context of a place where they make a difference.

Student Life Curriculum

List of 10 items.

  • Social and Emotional Learning Programs

    Anti-Defamation League Training for Student Leaders: The training program provides diverse groups of students the opportunity to facilitate and sustain positive social change on campus. Students are trained to lead developmentally appropriate activities and discussions with their peers on bias-related issues such as bullying and cyberbullying.

    National Alliance of Mental Illness: Ending the Silence is an engaging presentation that helps students learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition.

    YWCA Healthy Relationships Program: Community parters from the YWCA discuss different types of relationships and the warning signs of when these relationships move from healthy to unhealthy. Through this discussion, leaders offer ways to respond to disclosure, educate the community on services offered, and how to get help.

    Courage to Speak Substance Abuse Program: The Courage to Speak® Foundation provides substance use education programs following their mission of ”Saving lives by educating and empowering youth to be drug free and encouraging parents to talk to their children about the danger of drugs.”

    YWCA Consent Program: Primary prevention of sexual violence stops violence before it happens and requires addressing the root causes of violence. We can do this by creating communities where people feel safe and respected, and by promoting safe behaviors, healthy relationships, and respect for others.

    One Love Program: One Love educates young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, empowering them to identify and avoid abuse and learn how to love better.
  • Home Groups and Peer Facilitators

    Home Groups are led by Sixth Form members of the Prefect Board, Peer Facilitators and Students on the No Place for Hate Committee.

    Peer Facilitators are Fifth and Sixth Form leaders who provide and facilitate a supportive atmosphere for group discussions on health and wellness as well as diversity and identity. Students on the No Place for Hate Committee are comprised of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Formers. Peer Facilitators occasionally help lead the Fourth Form Health Curriculum sessions and small group discussions on equity and inclusion. In preparation for these conversations, they meet regularly with the Dean of Student Life and Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for peer facilitator training.
  • Community Conversations

    Community Conversations provide opportunities for the entire community to engage in structured discussions on topics that impact members of the community.
  • Advisor Meetings and Corridor Feeds

    Students meet weekly with their advisor in both group and individual settings. These meetings provide time for questions and discussion, and these small group interactions allow students to talk about time management, social media and other topics in a comfortable setting. In addition, once a week in the evening, boarding students gather for corridor meetings with their corridor supervisor. This meeting at the end of the day gives students a chance to relax, decompress, and talk about school and about life. These gatherings include food and drinks!
  • Third Form: Choices

    Third Formers are broken into groups by gender identity to attend a program called Choices every other week that is led by faculty members. Eight to 10 students meet with two faculty members in one of the teacher’s classrooms to discuss such topics like relationships, conflict resolution, identity and bullying. Faculty members use questions to prompt discussion within the group.
  • Fourth Form: Health Curriculum

    Students in the Fourth Form participate in a focused health education program that incorporates peer education elements. Topics include nutrition, personal hygiene, self-care, mood, stress management, anxiety, depression, sleep, alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, time management and relationships.
  • Fourth Form: Civic Engagement Courses

    A selection of Fourth Form seminar courses help Westminster students learn to engage in meaningful dialogue and to better understand who they are and for what they stand. Students also study both the compositional elements of speech writing and the rhetorical devices that make for effective delivery.
  • Fifth and Sixth Forms: Decisions

    Fifth and Sixth Form students are divided into large groups and talk about topics such as anxiety, stress, sleep, impaired driving, financial literacy, budgeting and fitness. The format usually involves a presentation by one of the faculty coordinators of the program.
  • Sixth Form: Transition to College

    Throughout the school year, Sixth Form students meet with College Counselors, representatives from the Health Center and from the alumni office, and other faculty members to talk about life after Westminster School. These talks include student health, financial literacy, philanthropy and other related topics.
  • The W Book

    The W Book is every student, parent and faculty members’ guide to living within the Westminster community.  Beyond the rules and expectations of school life, the W Book provides information about how the school works and why, and details the standards and expectations Westminster School students should meet. 
     
    All students and their families should be familiar with its contents.  Students who are serious about their work, who pay attention to the school’s rules and customs, and who show consideration for others should have no trouble living up to Westminster’s expectations, and Westminster should have no trouble living up to theirs.

    A copy of the W Book is available for download to current families and students through the Portal.

Health and Wellness Curriculum

In addition to the organic programs, the school's student health and wellness curriculum provides an intentional curriculum for students to learn about topics that involve their personal wellness, their character development, and their healthy relationships with other people. The multifaceted curriculum is coordinated by a team that includes the Associate Head of School, Director of Health Services and Medical Director, Dean of Student Life, Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Director of Athletics. The school’s schedule allows most programs in the curriculum to take place during the school day, generally on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Prefect Board 2022-2023

Kade Smith '23, Head Prefect
Emma Mason '23, Junior Prefect
Oleh Atamaniuk '23
Ava Beckford '23
Oliver Hocking '23
Ryan Jainchill '23
Tia MacDonald '23
Josh Mason '23
Gabe Mays-Sanchez '23
Maggie McCarthy '23
Catherine Rodrigues '23
Wade Volo '23
 
All current students, faculty and staff of Westminster School automatically receive Westminster Weekly through Community News each Friday morning. 

Contact Us

995 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, Connecticut 06070

P. (860) 408-3000
F. (860) 408 3001
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students
In keeping with our support for a diverse community, Westminster abides by all applicable federal and state laws and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, color, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national and ethnic origin, ancestry and/or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered program. Westminster admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. 
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