Westtown School

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Westtown School
Westtown Township, PA, USA
Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Quaker
Established 1799
Head of school John Baird
Faculty 80
Enrollment 632 total
Average class size 15 students
Campus size 600 acres (2.4 km2)
Color(s) Brown and White
Athletics 27 Varsity Teams
Mascot Moose
Rival George School
Publication Westonian
Newspaper Brown and White
Yearbook Amicus

Westtown School is a coeducational, college preparatory day and boarding school for students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

About Westtown School[edit]

Founded in 1799 by the Religious Society of Friends, Westtown’s 600 acre (2.4 km2) campus is located in Chester County, PA, 25 miles west of Philadelphia.

Westtown is a Quaker school affiliated with the Friends General Conference branch of the Religious Society of Friends. Students are required to attend Meeting for Worship (once a week for day students, and twice a week for boarding students). Westtown uses the traditional Quaker practice of coming to unity in making some high-level decisions.

Westtown has been a coeducational school since its founding in 1799. Students come from more than 17 states and 20 foreign countries.


Westtown School first opened in May 1799. It was founded by Philadelphia Quakers who raised the money to build a boarding school and purchased 600 acres (2.4 km2) of land in rural Chester County—a full day’s coach ride from Philadelphia—where they could provide a “guarded” education in a healthy environment away from the secular influences of the city. For many years Westtown was nearly self-sufficient, with the campus providing raw materials used in construction of its buildings and food for the people who lived and worked at the school.

Boys and girls had separate classes until about 1870. Boys learned skills such as surveying and bookkeeping, and girls had sewing class. However, Westtown recognized that students of both genders should know basic academic subjects such as reading, penmanship, grammar, mathematics, geography and science.

The 1880s brought physical changes to Westtown. The main building was replaced with a structure designed by architect Addison Hutton, which was completed in 1888 and is still in use today. During the 20th century, the student body and the curriculum both became more diverse. Visual and performing arts were added, for example, and non-Quakers, African-American, and international students were finally admitted.

Westtown’s Esther Duke Archives is a facility dedicated to collecting and maintaining materials relating to the people and history of the school. Students and historians alike use the Archives for historical research.

Notable alumni[edit]

Donald Baechler, (1956-), class of 1974, artist

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary 1945-2006

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′58″N 75°32′16″W / 39.9494°N 75.5379°W / 39.9494; -75.5379