News & Media

Summer Programs of the Week

Lower School Program
Book Club – Who wouldn’t want to spend a week with Mrs. Shaver devouring stories? Join her for a fun-filled week of entertainment, crafts and snacks related to a few of your favorite books, and some new ones. For rising first- and second-graders on June 8-12 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Middle School Program
Sewing Basics – Learn to be “sew” crafty with this new program. Mrs. O’Neil will teach you important life skills that you will be able to use again and again. Campers will learn how to make a pair of pajama pants and more. This course is offered June 15-19 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Upper School Program
Careers in Business – Join Jane Brown, Westminster’s director of finance and operations, for a week of behind-the-scenes tours of real business occupations. Campers will travel each day, learning about careers in the business field from accountants to executives. Business lunch etiquette will also be mastered by campers. This is a great way to investigate a possible career path for our rising sophomores through seniors. Offered the week of June 8-12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Learn more about all of our summer programs and register here.


2015-16 Student Leadership Team Selected

Congratulations to the Upper School students selected to the 2015-16 Student Leadership Team (SLT):

  • Benj O’Neil – Head/Chapel
  • Justin Gaffney – Service
  • Caroline Head – Service
  • Seth Robinson – Student Life
  • Catherine Paulk – Student Life/Middle School
  • Michael Hitchcock – Chapel
  • Carlos Zayas – Fine Arts/Communication
  • Noah Lee – Athletics
  • Abbey Robertson – Admissions/InReach
  • Elizabeth Carter – Admissions/InReach

Students underwent a detailed process that including an application, references and two rounds of interviews. Our goal is to have a student team that is willing to work hard, influence other students, provide insight and feedback to faculty concerning school issues and provide valuable leadership in school events.


Mrs. Whitcomb and Mrs. Shaw Win Grants

Mrs. Shaw

Mrs. Shaw

Mrs. Whitcomb

Mrs. Whitcomb

Congratulations to pre-k teacher Caroline Whitcomb and fifth-grade teacher Ashley Shaw, who were both recently awarded with individual “innovative teaching mini grants” from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS). The program supports innovative teaching methods by funding projects that enhance elementary and middle school science, math and technology programs. A selection committee, comprised of Savannah River Site employees, reviewed hundreds of grant proposals and selected roughly one third to collectively receive a total of $75,000. The grants are provided through corporate funding by the parent companies of SRNS: Fluor Federal Service, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell.

Mrs. Whitcomb plans to use her $1,000 grant to combine students’ love of technological tools and exciting nature studies to expose our students to many lessons that the natural world provides. This grant will fund the purchase of an iPad, trail cameras and digital cameras to be used for a variety of environmental studies that focus on the theme of habitat conservation.

By using three apps: Project Noah, Creek Watch and What’s Invasive, grades pre-k through fifth will learn how to be citizen scientists and practice environmental stewardship. In addition, our students will help real scientists by tracking wildlife, finding invasive species, collecting creek data and identifying pollution. This model will expose even our youngest students to project-based learning and STEM education.

Mrs. Shaw’s will use her $500 grant to encourage her fifth-grade students’ love of coming up with problems and solving them through hands-on inquiry investigations. She plans to use the grant to purchase large-scale measurement items to enhance this inquiry experience. Students will use the tools and instruments for observing, measuring and manipulating objects in scientific activities, including an investigation to determine if air has mass.

The grant title, Making Measurement Count, will encourage the use of science equipment at a young age, teach students to gather information and to communicate clearly as well as to come to their own conclusions using hands-on inquiry investigations.


Class of 2015 College Acceptances

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Congratulations to our senior class for their acceptances to the following:

  • Agnes Scott College – Donnyell Miller
  • Auburn University – Bryce Barinowski, Annalaura Cranford, Emily Forrester, Jon Gibbs, Sibley McCallie, Anna Plunkett, Addison Powers
  • Ball State University – Jonathan Anderson
  • Baylor University – Palmer Brigham
  • Belmont University – Palmer Brigham, Emily Forrester
  • Berry College – Amber Davis
  • Clemson University – Bryce Barinowski, Palmer Brigham, Sam McCartney, Chris Plummer, Anna Plunkett, Addison Powers, Aaron Reynolds
  • Converse College – Margaret Daniel
  • Emmanuel College – Jonathan Legg
  • Full Sail University – Tanner Myers
  • Furman University – Palmer Brigham, Annalaura Cranford, Michael McCraith, Chris Plummer, Brielle Smith
  • Georgia College – Amber Davis, Sibley McCallie, Anna Plunkett, Addison Powers, Aaron Reynolds, Brittany Rich, Jacob Woods
  • Georgia Institute of Technology – Palmer Brigham, Sam McCartney, Brielle Smith
  • Georgia Military College – Grant Hall
  • Georgia Regents University – Amber Davis, Deven Fernandez, Grant Hall, Aaron Reynolds, Brittany Rich, Ivan Syritsyn, Carter Wilson, Tanner Wilson
  • Georgia Southern University – Amber Davis, Anna Plunkett, Josh Jackson, Jacob Woods
  • Gettysburg College – Brielle Smith
  • High Point University – Aaron Reynolds
  • Huntington University – Jonathan Anderson
  • Johns Hopkins University – Brielle Smith
  • Kennesaw State University – Haley Hall, Summer Hall
  • Lee University – Jacob Criss
  • Mercer University – Amber Davis
  • Oglethorpe University – Jonathan Anderson
  • Pace University, NYC – Jason Liu
  • Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg – Jason Liu
  • Pratt Institute – Margaret Daniel
  • Presbyterian College – Michael Almond, Palmer Brigham, Michael McCraith, Aaron Reynolds
  • Purdue University – Doris Liu
  • Samford University – Palmer Brigham
  • Savannah College of Art and Design – Margaret Daniel, Tanner Myers
  • Spelman College – Donnyell Miller
  • St. John’s College – Ivan Syritsyn
  • The University of Georgia – Bryce Barinowski, Palmer Brigham, Jon Gibbs, Charley Gu, Sibley McCallie, Sam McCartney, Donnyell Miller, Anna Plunkett, Addison Powers
  • University of California, Riverside – Chuqiao Huang
  • University of California, Santa Cruz – Chuqiao Huang
  • University of Colorado at Boulder – Alexis Richardson
  • University of Denver – Chuqiao Huang
  • University of Florida – Donnyell Miller
  • University of Illinois at Chicago – Chuqiao Huang
  • University of Mississippi – Annalaura Cranford, Jon Gibbs, Jacob Woods
  • University of Pennsylvania – Brielle Smith
  • University of South Carolina – Michael Almond, Annalaura Cranford, Jacob Criss, Chris Plummer, Anna Plunkett
  • University of South Carolina at Aiken – Bradley Carter, Zach Kimbler, Aaron Reynolds
  • University of Virginia – Donnyell Miller
  • Valparaiso University – Jonathan Anderson
  • Wake Forest University – Palmer Brigham
  • West Virginia University, Institute of Technology – Zach Kimbler
  • Wheaton College, IL – Michael McCraith, Donnyell Miller, Aaron Reynolds
  • Wofford College – Chris Plummer, Aaron Reynolds, Brielle Smith
  • Young Harris College – Zach Kimbler

Listings are reported based on information obtained through April 16. Names that are underlined are to indicate intention of enrolling in that college.

Note: Seniors, if you have received an acceptance that is not listed, please update your result status in Naviance as soon as possible.


ERB Testing Preparation for Grades 2-5

During the week of testing (April 20-23), students in grades 2-5 will take the ERB test.

ERB (Educational Records Bureau) is a global educational services provider that produces achievement tests. The CTP4 test (Comprehensive Testing Program 4) is common among independent, public, faith-based, and boarding schools, and is recommended by SAIS, our accrediting body. The purpose of the CTP is two-fold. It provides extra information about students in order to better meet their needs and serves as a means to evaluate a school’s performance.

To minimize anxiety, all teachers will provide sample testing to allow for practice. Parents are asked to make sure that children get a good night’s sleep each night and a healthy breakfast. We would appreciate your support by avoiding late arrivals and early dismissals due to appointments and/or lessons.

In June, enclosed with a child’s final report card, parents will find results from the ERB. This will provide some helpful information about your child’s individual performance compared to other students across the country, in the same grade, who were tested at the same time of the year.

Standardized tests provide us with helpful information about student progress and academic programs, but they are not necessarily aligned with our curriculum. This means that skills and concepts that are covered on the standardized tests may not have been taught yet in the classroom. The better overall measurement of student achievement is the on-going feedback classroom teachers provide throughout the entire school year based on classroom observations, daily work, homework, projects, and tests.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email Craig Johnson, Academic Dean.


Summer Programs Early Registration Ends March 31

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Click the image above to review our program listing and register today!


GOAL Payments Due March 27

GOAL payments are due on Friday, March 27. Make sure and get your payments in to take advantage of the tax credit. Please email Maryanna Thornton with questions.


No Classes Monday, March 23 | Teacher Work Day

Dear Parents,

As we prepare for our SAIS-SACS re-accreditation visit next fall, the 2014-15 school year is our strategic planning year. It is very difficult finding significant blocks of time to engage the faculty with this planning, given their already very full plates as they serve your children so well.

In light of that, I have set aside Monday, March 23, as a faculty in-service day so that we might fully devote ourselves to this important vision and planning work. There will be no classes for all Westminster students that day (in other words it will be a three-day weekend for our students).

In hindsight, I wish I had communicated this to you much earlier and apologize that I did not do so. In that we have not had to take any winter weather days (hopefully that will not change) and have more school days than accreditation requires, I’m very comfortable having one less academic day this school year.

I hope this will not pose a hardship for any of you. In that it might for some of our families with Lower School students, we are working on a plan to offer some form of child care (school day and after school) for those families needing it. The cost will be covered by Westminster.

I do want to thank so many of you for completing the SAIS Parent Value Narrative Survey in the fall as we are using its results to help with our strategic planning. I hope to have a finalized strategic plan that will guide Westminster for the next several years, building upon our rich history and strengths and advancing us into new territory that will strengthen the Westminster experience for your children and for students yet to come. I desire to see us strike the right balance between tradition and 21st century innovation.

Again, thank you for your understanding, and I sincerely hope that this cancellation of school on March 23 will not create any challenges for your family. As always, my door, phone and email are always open for your comments, concerns and encouragement, too.

Warm regards,

Steve O’Neil
Headmaster


Literary Team Wins Region

FullSizeRenderCongratulations to our Literary Team for back-to-back region championships! All first- and second-place finishing students will travel to Valdosta for state competition on March 26.

  • Ivan Syritsyn – First Place International Extemp. Speaking (third year in a row)
  • Caroline McCully – First Place Personal Essay
  • Ellie Lynch – First Place Humorous Interpretation
  • Nathan Bailey – First Place Dramatic Interpretation
  • Chris Morgan and Nathan Bailey – First Place Duo Interpretation
  • Alyssa Carrad – Second Place Spelling
  • Peggy Chen – Second Place Piano
  • Evan Downs – Second Place Boy’s Solo
  • Grant Hall, Evan Downs, Jacob Woods, Jonathan Legg – Second Place Boys’ Quartet
  • Mary Garrett McLeod – Third Place Girl’s Solo
  • Katelyn Shiley, Maya Roberts, Mary Garrett McLeod – Third Place Girl’s Trio
  • Michael McCraith – Third Place U.S. Extemp. Speaking

To see a list of all students who competed in the tournament this year, please click on the image below:
2015 literary contestants


New Commons Building Coming Soon

Commons Building

Commons Building

The final project of our Bridge Campaign will commence this spring with the preliminary construction of a 20,000 square-foot facility that will sit on the footprint of Building 300 (the current administration building built in the early 1970s).

This new campus addition will serve both Middle and Upper School students with a multipurpose student commons area on the first floor that will house our cafeteria and chapel. It will include a more adequately-sized kitchen, a permanent stage in the commons and a space near the entry dedicated to faculty collaboration. The second floor will expand our academic space by adding a large library, four additional classrooms, a technology-rich classroom and a conference room.

With gifts now nearly totaling $3 million dollars from almost 100 Bridge Campaign friends, we are now in a position to launch the final and public fundraising phase for this campaign. More details on how you can participate will be coming soon.

Read more about this exciting new project and how it will impact the rest of this school year and the next by clicking here.