What Is the Winchendon Difference?

The teachers and staff at The Winchendon School are committed to providing each of our students with a very engaging and individualized high school experience that will propel each to achieve his or her very best.   In order to deliver on this commitment we do certain things very differently than most other high schools.

Difference #1
It Starts With You, the Individual Student

Your high school education will be shaped in large part around you - your interests and passions.   Sure, there will be the basics that we will support your learning - great writing and expression skills, strong problem solving and thinking skills - we call these the Essentials.

But then there will be all sorts of your program that will be designed around your interests.

  • Have a deep interest in engineering or architecture?
  • Want to be a jazz musician or an actor, learn to animate comics or be a digital videographer?
  • Play high level sports or participate on a robotics, Model UN or debate team?
  • Maybe you are most interested in getting job experience or serving the community?
  • Or more likely, some combination of the above.

Few if any other high schools can support your individual goals and passions while providing you an exceptional education and ensuring that you are well prepared to excel at college and in the workplace.

(Try us!  Last year we had one student studying anthropology and evolutionary biology, another studying demographic trends in Japan, yet another learning web-design while pursuing a passion for Nerf Blasters, and a couple building social networks among a number of other business endeavors.)

Difference #2
Our Ideas About Classrooms Are Very Different

Yes, we have classrooms, but you and your fellow students will be just as likely to off learning somewhere in the community as you will be in a traditional classroom.  Our micro- classes that average 8 or fewer students per teacher provide the flexibility to get out of the classroom and onto the streets where often the most meaningful learning occurs.  A good classroom is only the entryway to the world beyond our campus.

Our local community and beyond will be your classroom, your playing field, your lab, your stage, your studio, your workplace - the canvas and screen for your individual story and high school experience.

Difference #3
Our Micro Classes Empower You

In a micro classroom of 6-8 students in most of your courses, you will have the opportunity to get to know your teachers really well - and they will know you well.  

  • Are you a quiet or shy student? There will always be room at the table for your voice.   
  • Ever have trouble starting complex assignments?  Your teacher will understand that about you and be there to help.
  • Understand a book better when you listen to it rather than just read it?  Our teachers help certain students access audio books if they will allow you to be more successful.
  • Better talking through ideas, or drawing them, rather than writing them down?   Your teachers will recognize this too and support you in getting better and better at organizing and expressing your ideas.

All Winchendon teachers, including those at TWS|Brooklyn, are trained in understanding and supporting the different ways that students learn.  It is a priority for all of us.

Difference #4
We Will Support You in Reaching as High as You Can Go

Do you think that you are a good candidate for taking college level calculus, studying Irish literature or Arabic, learning multiple coding languages or tackling AP Physics? If there isn’t sufficient interest to offer the course on campus, we will help you access the courses that you want to take. This may be through our partnership with the Hybrid Learning Consortium, which a number of Winchendon students have used to take courses through, or in conjunction with one of the colleges and universities right in our neighborhood.  

And it isn’t just in the classroom.  Your aspirations may be on the court or on the playing field, in the workplace or on the stage, or in the cloud for that matter.   Your advisee and others on the Winchendon team will make sure that you have the opportunity to pursue those aspirations in your personalized program.

Difference #5
Pursue Your Passion for Sports or the Arts to the Very Highest Level

  • Aiming to play NCAA Division I sports or higher?
  • Think that you want to try to be a professional dancer, actor or musician?
  • Ready to be the next fast-track entrepreneur?

Winchendon recognizes the importance of integrating these personal interests into your education.  Our program is structured to provide you with the flexibility and time to pursue passions to the highest level.  Whether it is creating the time to participate on a select team, practice with a top level artist, or intern with a local start-up, you will be supported in these pursuits - and it will be part of your Winchendon education.

And it isn’t just in the classroom.  Your aspirations may be on the court or on the playing field, in the workplace or on the stage, or in the cloud for that matter.   Your advisee and others on the Winchendon team will make sure that you have the opportunity to pursue those aspirations in your personalized program.

Difference #6
Regular Self Reflection and Feedback is Critical to Your Success

One of the most important aspects of becoming a successful student is to always understand how you are doing.   Where  I am doing well?  What do I need to work on?  No one can expect to do better if they don’t have a clear sense of how they are doing right now - not four weeks from now or at the end of the term.

Every week, students reflect on on their recent work and consider their success and struggles, articulating and documenting their thoughts in writing. And every week, teachers read, reflect, and respond to student self-reflection in person and in writing, facilitating an authentic dialogue designed to foster growth within each individual student.

Why? Reflection is critical to success.  It doesn’t matter whether you aspire to be an inventor, to serve your community, to be a star athlete or to grace the stage, none of us can be our best without both mastering the art of self-reflection and being good at processing feedback from others.