People often note the positive, comfortable environment they feel when they walk inside our building for the first time. Our students are happy. They enjoy learning. They like school. What creates this healthy and encouraging tone at Whitfield?
High Expectations with Low Anxiety
Our expert teachers know how to challenge their students. Whitfield's rigorous academic program demands discipline and creates independent thinkers. During middle school, students gain the foundation they need for the next level of their academic career. In high school, students read college-level texts and grapple with real-world problems. Whitfield teachers set the bar high because they know Whitfield students can reach it.
Balanced with these high expectations are teachers' clear guidelines and willingness to help. Students call teachers at home, e-mail them with questions, and meet with them regularly before or after school. Teachers enjoy the learning process with their students, and students collaborate with each other rather than compete. Clearly defined expectations help students realize success without causing stress. A carefully crafted workload provides meaningful homework with a purpose. Assignments reinforce key concepts and prepare students for class, without adding hours of busywork to a full schedule. This balance of high expectations with low anxiety helps to define the Whitfield experience and allows our students to thrive in the classroom, participate in sports and extracurricular activities, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Whitfield classrooms are dynamic places. Tables are arranged in any number of patterns. Teachers sit down with their students, discussing a text in detail. Students collaborate with one another through a shared document they created. This is a Whitfield classroom. Socratic seminars, labs, and in-depth and authentic research assignments push students to grasp content in all disciplines and develop communication, collaboration, research and thinking skills. Students are engaged in the learning process; they do the work, make the discoveries, and create the solutions. Teachers guide the process, encouraging students to entertain alternate points of view or validate their own solutions.
Few schools in the country have graduation requirements as demanding as Whitfield's. Every year that students attend Whitfield, they study our five core subjects: math, science, English, history and a world language. In middle school, students also take each of the arts: visual art, theater and music. This broad liberal arts curriculum defines the college-prep experience. We help our students to use their minds well, to think in many different disciplines, and to find the connections between them. We push and challenge students in each of these areas, giving them the chance to discover their passions, develop a broad base of skills, and be ready to succeed in any collegiate program and their adult lives. Find out more about the Whitfield curriculum here.
Parents, students and teachers work together at Whitfield. Just as the students develop close friendships, parents know one another. It is easy to pick up the phone and call the parent at whose house your child is visiting. Teachers welcome phone calls and e-mails about students' progress and development. The Head of School and Assistant Principals know families well, work closely with parents, students and teachers, and are approachable and accessible to all members of the community. Parents are involved in their children's lives, and we all work together with students' best interests as the constant focus.