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Old 04-10-2008, 01:40 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,035 times
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Red face Opinions: compare Woodward and Westminster for AA kids?

Hi folks, I'm trying to find out what the differences are between the experience for African American kids at these two schools (Woodward Academy and Westminster).

1) Each school reports nearly identical numbers of "students of color", but anecdotally, people say that Woodward has not just more, but many more AA students than Westminster. Is that true?

2) Much more importantly, for our family, it's not all about numbers. At which school do parents and kids really blend and could not care less about race, as opposed to merely co-existing and awkwardly tolerating each other? Either? Both?

3) Are AA students evenly distributed performance-wise at both of these schools? I'm looking for a school with parents and teachers that don't expect or tolerate different outcomes when students are given the same resources.

I would really like to hear informed opinions (such as from those with kids at these schools, or who know people there, or have access to detailed statistics, or who have at least visited the schools).

THANK YOU!
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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These are both very academically challenging schools - most of the kids I know who go to either Woodward or Westminster are more concerned with their studies and their sports than diversity issues. I think there is such a focus on perfoming well that there is little attention given to skin color.

Students would not thrive at either of these schools if they weren't academically sound. Therefore, AA students are distributed evenly among the general population. Parents typically bond around their children's activities or interests - the football moms are frequently in touch with each other, the parents of student council leaders probably interact more as a group etc...

I have never had a child at either Westminster or Woodward, but have had or do have children who have attended an assortment of three other private schools in Atlanta and I know many kids and parents at both Westminster and Woodward. My general feeling is that Westminster is probably the most race-neutral of the two schools. I have a close AA friend who pulled her children out of Woodward as she wasn't happy with the crowd they had started to hang around with (lots of money, little supervision...), but this can happen anywhere with any kids of any race!

Good luck and keep asking questions!
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
I have never had a child at either Westminster or Woodward, but have had or do have children who have attended an assortment of three other private schools in Atlanta and I know many kids and parents at both Westminster and Woodward. My general feeling is that Westminster is probably the most race-neutral of the two schools. I have a close AA friend who pulled her children out of Woodward as she wasn't happy with the crowd they had started to hang around with (lots of money, little supervision...), but this can happen anywhere with any kids of any race!

Good luck and keep asking questions!

Thanks for your input, that is very helpful. I've heard good things about both, just want to see which better aligns with our philosophy of parenting and education.

Anyone else have thoughts?
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
45 posts, read 136,584 times
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I am also an AA mother with similar concerns about private school. My impression is that Westminster is less racially and economically diverse than Woodward. I may be totally off, but Westminster would be on the bottom of my list of private schools for precisely that reason.
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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My daughter is going there this coming year, and my wife went to the open house last week. She said she was amazed at the amount of diversity at the open house. All races were represented and everyone was excited to be there. She said it felt like the United Nations. Pay a visit and judge for yourself - don't let rumors or old news affect your opinions.
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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7866AA,

What made you select Westminster over AIS?
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:26 PM
 
16 posts, read 52,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur2004 View Post
7866AA,

What made you select Westminster over AIS?
From the research I did (speaking with parents at both schools, talking to other Atlanta families about the reputations and reading up on them), it seems Westminster is hands down the top school in Atlanta, and in the Southeast. AIS is great, but we are already a global family and thus did not need the "global" aspect of AIS as much. Westminster has a strong focus on academics, more so than at other top schools, and I like that. If I am paying almost $20K/yr, I want academics to be the main focus. Their campus is excellent, and looks more like a private college than a school. They have also been around much longer than AIS, and I like private schools with history and time on their side.

Had we not gotten into Westminster, we would have been very excited to go to AIS, and we did have a tough choice to make.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
45 posts, read 136,584 times
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Aaah, makes sense. I'm really glad to hear what you said about Westminster. I'm relatively new to Atlanta, and had heard a lot about it being very heterogenous and classist. I'm a product and advocate of public schools and thought I would send my child to one, but now I'm pretty certain that I will send her to a private school. Obviously, academics are a priority, but I'm far from rich and do not want my child to be an outcase.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Where do most of the families live whose children attend Westminster?
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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Families live all over, but I would bet that most live in-town or in the close in suburbs of Vinings, Sandy Springs and a few in Dunwoody.
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