It’s not (just) about getting in.

At The Winchendon School, college counseling takes a different approach, because “getting in” is just the beginning.  We seek to work with students to find the college or university where students will succeed best for their entire experience. Because we have an individualized approach, we work with students for two years on understanding what type of school will best fit their needs—their style, their goals, their motivations, and their strengths. Then we help identify the best mutual match: we’ll guide your student to the school your student wants, and the school that wants them. It might be a large school where they’re going to play D1 sports, or a small school with a specific arts program, major or pre-professional program. Our goal is to find the place your student will flourish in the same way they do here.

A Path to the College of Your Choice

Just like everything we do, the college counseling experience is individualized.  We begin our conversations with students upon enrollment to help them set personalized goals and benefit from two or more years of:

  • Early one-on-one planning
  • Individualized coaching throughout the application process
  • SAT, ACT, and TOEFL preparation
  • Exposure to 250+ colleges/universities through on-campus mini college fairs
  • 3 experienced and accessible staff members:
    Anthony Lambert 
    Keeley Chretien 
    Mary Lee Harrington  
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Congrats Class of 2018!

The class of 2018 earned acceptance, scholarships, and athletic positions at prestigious colleges and universities

College Acceptance Profile:

Gymnastics at Stanford

“I learned a lot from Mr. Lambert and Mrs. Harris about focusing on what you’re good at, and focusing energy on my strengths.  The Winch always believed in me.”

Bryan Perla, a West Boylston, MA native and a member of the Winchendon School Class of 2017, was accepted to Stanford University with a spot on the gymnastics team. Home to the country’s second-ranked gymnastics program, Stanford was a fitting place for Bryan to land. “I was bouncing off the walls and beds when I was younger,” recalls Bryan, the 2016 Junior Olympics Horizontal Bar champion.  “My parents needed to do something constructive with my energy.” 

Bryan enrolled at The Winchendon School his sophomore year, citing the low student-to-teacher ratio as a deciding factor for both TWS and similarly-structured Stanford. 

“Winchendon taught me a lot about independence, about time management, and creating relationships. It definitely helped get me to where I am today."

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College Counseling Program Overview

The College Counseling Program at The Winchendon School assists each student in gaining admission to colleges where the student will thrive. To accomplish this, we offer a multi-step, individualized counseling program that extends throughout the high school years, with the most active time being the second half of the junior year and the senior (or PG) year.

Freshman Year

Students adjust to being in high school, making it a good time to assess academic strengths, personal interests, and environmental preferences.

  • We ask students to think about the following questions:
    • What am I good at?
    • Where do I need to improve my skills and performance?
    • How am I going to do that?
  • In close coordination with their teachers, students are evaluated and equipped to excel to the best of their abilities in the classroom, which positions them for optimal academic trajectories.
  • Additionally, we encourage students to pursue activities that express their personal interests.
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Sophomore Year

Students are enrolled in appropriately challenging classes and supported to do their very best.

  • We focus on building effective study skills and adapting to learning styles.
  • We encourage involvement in co-curricular activities corresponding with particular strengths and/or interests.
  • Through research and/or job-shadowing, students begin to explore professions that might interest them.
  • Sophomores take the PSAT for the first time (results are not disclosed) and lay a foundation for SAT/ACT preparation.

Junior Year

Students are focused on maintaining good grades throughout this year of a challenging, college-preparatory curriculum.

  • We place more emphasis on co-curricular activities and opportunities for leadership or special recognition.
  • All juniors take the PSAT in October.
  • We begin individual meetings with juniors in the winter when they begin working with Naviance, our college counseling software system.
  • In the spring, each junior will spend at least one free period each week working with College Counseling to identify colleges to research and visit over the summer.
  • Juniors should take the SAT in May.
  • Students for whom English is not the first language need to take the TOEFL before the end of the junior year.

Students use the summer for college applications: researching and visiting colleges, working on college essays, and preparing for college admissions testing.

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Senior Year

Of course, senior year is the busiest time for students! During the first semester (until they have completed the process as stipulated by the Director of College Counseling), Seniors and PG’s will spend at least one free period each week working with College Counseling to guide each step of the process.

Individual circumstances - like athletics, scholarships, and/or research interests for example - will add variations to this general outline:

  • Seniors finish college admissions testing by December
  • Finalize college application lists
  • Complete and submit applications to colleges by November 1
  • Apply for financial aid as needed by January deadlines
  • Decide what institution they will attend and finish necessary paperwork by early spring.