By Julie Washburn Souza
The Westfield School in Perry provides a college preparatory education in a Christian environment for students in grades K-4 through 12. As a non-denominational school, Westfield encourages Christian values and principles, fostering a strong foundation for children during their years at Westfield and beyond.
Founded in 1969, as Perry Christian Day School, the Westfield School began classes for grades one through 12 in 1970. Although the name changed in 1971 to The Westfield School, the mission of providing a college preparatory education for students in a Christian environment has remained constant.
Westfield is divided into three distinct divisions: lower school (grades K-4 through 4), Middle School (grades 5 through 8), and Upper School (grades 9 through 12). The curriculum and content delivery at each grade level are carefully attuned to children’s developmental and emotional needs. The school’s principal, lower school director, dean of students, and counselors work closely together to insure students have smooth transitions both academically and socially as they move from lower school to middle school and on to upper school.
Classes at Westfield are kept small to allow teachers to build personal relationships with students. Administration and staff at Westfield believe that bonds are vitally important to a student’s overall success.
Students have the opportunity to gain a well-rounded education incorporating a wide variety of subjects. Throughout their years at Westfield, students study art, learn to read music, perform on stage, play sports, speak before classes of peers, design and build projects on the computer, and write personal and critical essays. Through the Westfield experience, students become independent, and confident learners while building life-long friendships along the way.
Westfield has a spacious 28 acre campus which houses nine major school buildings. There is a separate pre-school building with classrooms for the K-4 and kindergarten programs, as well as an after-care facility.
The lower school building holds classrooms for grades 1-4 and contains a library and computer lab. There are also separate middle and upper school buildings, as well as an arts and sciences building, completed in the fall of 2006. The arts and sciences building houses two modern science laboratories, two foreign language classrooms, two art instructional studios including pottery wheels and a kiln, two music instruction areas, and provides wireless Internet connection and portable laptop computer labs. This facility also provides a 250-seat Recital Hall for the fine and performing arts.
Another facility on campus houses the school cafeteria, a gymnasium, three computer labs, a field house featuring a complete weight room, coaches’ offices, dressing rooms, and the school’s gymnasium.
The “gymnatorium” offers a multi-purpose space for physical education instruction, team practices, and student assemblies. Outdoor areas include playgrounds, tennis courts, a six-lane track, and fields for baseball, football, softball, and soccer, along with a multi-purpose practice field.
There are currently 598 students at Westfield. Despite the large size of its campus and facilities, Westfield staff strives to maintain the school as a close-knit community of classmates and teachers.
Rachel S. Deems, head of school, joined The Westfield School in July 2008, bringing 29 years of experience in independent education in both Pre-K through 12 and post-secondary education.
“Our students are fully engaged in programs of study, enrichment, athletics and service, led by dedicated faculty who inspire, challenge and celebrate with them each step of the way. Truly, this is the beauty of an independent school education—an education that inspires, encourages and promotes a life-long love of learning. We believe that developing a passion for learning creates independent, critical thinkers prepared for the demands of college and university. Coupled with our commitment to Christian values and character building, our students have the best possible world in which to prepare for their future,” Deems explains.
The Westfield School is committed to the belief that technology instruction is an enhancement of the educational process. Teachers and staff integrate technology whenever possible in each academic discipline, grade level, and course offering.
There are six computer labs on site at Westfield. One of these labs is used for upper level computer training while the other two are used by teachers to enhance their classroom curriculum. A lower school lab is used for computer enrichment classes in grades pre-K through 4.
To further integrate technology into the classroom, laptop computers are available for students in the science department and the foreign language department. Also to augment daily studies, labs and most classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards, LCD projectors and TV/DVD players. This equipment and the supporting peripherals allow students at all grade levels to utilize technology in their daily learning.
Overall, Westfield offers a strong educational program based on traditional practices, incorporating current educational research and technological advancements in order to prepare students for success and to encourage them to become lifelong learners.
Westfield complements traditional classroom learning with a full range of educational field trip experiences, extracurricular activities, and athletic opportunities for students at all levels.
Four out of every five upper and middle school students participate on athletic teams including basketball, soccer, football, swimming, cheerleading, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, track, wrestling and cross country. Lower school students have the opportunity to participate in basketball, football and cheerleading.
Westfield offers a challenging curriculum to prepare every student for college. Advanced Placement courses begin in 10th grade. Students’ SAT scores are consistently above the state and national averages, and the school’s graduates have had a 100 percent acceptance rate for college admission each year. Standardized test scores among the school’s lower and middle school students are in the 99th percentile.
Students have the opportunity to experience debate, drama, Bible, technology, chorus and other enrichment and elective courses. Westfield offers art and music to every student. Foreign language instruction is offered to every student from third through 12th grade.
Because Westfield believes in educating the whole child, emphasis is also given to spiritual growth and civic responsibility. During the 2008/2009 school year, students provided toys to the children of more than 50 families through the Perry Volunteer Outreach Kids Give project, sponsored a blood drive for the American Red Cross, and raised over $1,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.#
The Westfield School
2005 US Highway 41 South
Perry, GA 31069