“Westover creates an environment where I know that everyone cares about me."
- Patricia '17
Considering making the transition from homeschooling to an independent school?
At Westover, girls find a range of opportunities that provoke thought, spur discussion, and help build skills and expertise. Innovative programs such as WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), IIG (Invest in Girls) and our Independent Senior Projects allow students to pursue specific interests while preparing for college (and beyond).
Our visual and performing arts programs offer the opportunity to both study and share creative work. And our enduring commitment to social justice and community engagement comes to life through the many activities sponsored by the Rasin Center for Global Justice.
At Westover, girls are comfortable taking risks. They don’t worry about looking silly. They feel completely free to be themselves…and to let others do the same.
Interested in learning more? Contact Assistant Director of Admission, Tammara Gary at 208.577.4520.
Home schooled until the ninth grade
Current sophomore at Purdue
Why did you decide on Westover?
When I was applying to high schools, I was very interested in the arts (dancing, drawing, and music), so the reason I looked at Westover was for their arts programs. Additionally, my parents really liked that it is an all-girl’s school, that it is small enough that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed, and that it offers so many opportunities outside of what I was even looking for in the first place. Which turned out great because now I’m majoring in Civil Engineering, something I didn’t even think was a possibility until Westover.
As a homeschooler, did Westover's smaller size (200 students), have any sway in your decision to come?
My parents noticed the importance of Westover’s size more than I did initially, but after my first visit to Westover for a tour and an interview, I could already sense the feeling of family in the community. Just in the way students and faculty would smile and say hi, even though they had never seen me before. It made the community a lot less intimidating and definitely influenced my overall decision.
Freshman year at Westover, how was the transition?
My transition to freshman year at Westover could not have been better. I was terrified that I would have no friends, and that I would be eating lunch all alone. But Westover integrates you into the community so effortlessly. They keep you busy doing activities that encourage you to get to know your classmates and really develop a meaningful relationship with the people around you. My freshman year at Westover was the start of so many friendships that I still have today. On top of all of that, the academics were challenging, but Westover offers so many resources to help you succeed. Teachers are always available one-on-one if you needed extra help, and they showed that they really cared to help you succeed.
Looking back, coming from homeschool to Westover, what were the benefits to you, now a sophomore at Purdue?
Coming from Westover has helped me so much in college and in life. High school can often be a place that really breaks your self-confidence, but at Westover mine grew, and coming to college I can see how much of a difference that confidence continues to make in my life. Instead of being concerned with trying to impress my classmates and peers with my clothes or my makeup, I could focus on succeeding academically and developing my confidence in my abilities. On top of that, we encouraged each other to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Even hundreds of miles away, if I’m having a rough day or get a bad exam grade, the first people I call are my Westover friends. They are my biggest cheerleaders and I know they will always be honest with me.
Graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy
Tufts University '16
Home schooled until the eighth grade
My educational career began in a traditional school setting but in middle school, my mom chose to homeschool both my sister and me. We enjoyed many field trips within and out of state, the highlight of which was our personal Lewis and Clark expedition to Oregon in our 32” Winnebago.
By eight grade, my progress in math inspired my mother to seek a more challenging math program for me, as I excelled through basic middle-school math and pre-algebra.
I was offered the opportunity to audit the ninth grade algebra class at Phillips Exeter Academy. I enjoyed the collaborative and often times debate-based classroom so much that I decided to enroll full time.
I also enjoyed having friends who not only shared the same classes but also played on the same sports teams with me. My independent school experience even gave me the opportunity to discover new loves such as squash (the sport) and a cappella, which I continued to pursue in college.
I graduated with special recognition in the music and arts and went on to study vocal performance and composition at Tufts University. Now I work in admissions at Westover School, an independent school that fosters passionate discussion in an inclusive community. By sharing my story I hope to introduce other homeschooled families to Westover School and the opportunities that independent school education can provide.