|Los Angeles, California
|Motto||Possunt Quia Posse Videntur
trans.: They can because they think they can.
|Established||Harvard School for Boys: 1900
Westlake School for Girls: 1904
Fully Merged as Harvard-Westlake: 1991
|President||Richard B. Commons|
|Vice President||John Amato|
|Head of School||Jeanne M. Huybrechts, Ed.D.|
|Color(s)||Red, Black, and White|
|Athletics||California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section|
|Accreditation||WASC, NAIS, CAIS|
|2013 SAT average||688 verbal/critical reading
|Student to faculty ratio||8:1|
|Average class size||13|
|700 North Faring Road
Los Angeles, California
|Campus size||12 acres (4.9 ha)|
The former Administration Building, Middle School (demolished summer 2008)
|3700 Coldwater Canyon Avenue
Studio City, California
|Campus size||22 acres (8.9 ha)|
Ted Slavin Field, Upper School
Harvard-Westlake School is an independent, co-educational university preparatory day school consisting of two campuses located in Los Angeles, California, (San Fernando Valley) with approximately 1,600 students enrolled in grades seven through twelve. Its two predecessor organizations began as for-profit schools before turning non-profit and eventually merging.
Harvard School for Boys
The Harvard School for Boys was established in 1900 by Grenville C. Emery as a military academy, located at the corner of Western Avenue and Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. In 1911, it secured endorsement from the Episcopal Church becoming a non-profit organization. In 1937, the school moved to its present-day campus on Coldwater Canyon in Studio City after receiving a loan from Donald Douglas of the Douglas Aviation Company. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Harvard School gradually discontinued both boarding and its standing as a military academy, while continually expanding its enrollment, courses, classes, teachers and curriculum.
Westlake School for Girls
The Westlake School for Girls was established in 1904 by Jessica Smith Vance and Frederica de Laguna in what is now downtown Los Angeles, California, as an exclusively female institution offering both elementary and secondary education. At the time, the school was a for-profit alternative to the already-established Marlborough School, which had been established as a non-profit before the turn of the century.
It moved to its present-day campus located in Holmby Hills, California in 1927. The school was purchased by Sydney Temple, whose daughter, Helen Temple Dickinson, was headmistress until 1966, when Westlake became a non-profit institution. The Temple family owned the school until 1977, with Mrs. Dickinson serving in an ex officio capacity. In 1968 Westlake became exclusively a secondary school.
As both schools continued to grow in size towards the late 1980s, and as gender exclusivity became less of a factor both in the schools' reputations and desirability, the trustees of both Harvard and Westlake effectuated a merger in 1989. The two institutions had long been de facto sister schools and interacted socially. Complete integration and coeducation began in 1991.
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Currently, the school is split between the two campuses, with grades 7–9, the Middle School, located at the former Westlake campus in Holmby Hills and grades 10–12, the Upper School, located at the former Harvard campus in Studio City.
The Middle School completed a four-year modernization effort in September 2008, replacing the original administration building, the library, and the instrumental music building. The campus now features a new library, two levels of classrooms in the Academic Center, the new Seaver Science Center, a turf field, a new administration office, a putting green, a long jump pit, and a large parking lot. Another significant addition of the modernization project is the Bing Performing Arts Center which features a two-level 800-seat theater, a suite of practice rooms, a few large classrooms for band, orchestra, and choir classes, a black box theater, a dance studio, and a room filled with atomic pianos for composing electronic music. As of November 2006, a fundraising campaign has commenced for the modernization of the Upper School.
Remnants of the former Middle School campus include the Marshall Center, which houses a gymnasium, weight room, and wrestling room, the 25-yard (23 m) swimming pool and diving boards, the outdoor basketball court, and a tennis court. Reynolds Hall, an academic building which is home to history, foreign language and visual arts classes, began a modernization effort in June 2014 to be completed by September 2015. The building was then renamed Wang Hall in honor of two parents who donated approximately $5,000,000 to fund the project.
The Upper School features the Munger Science Center and computer lab; the Rugby building which houses the English department, 300-seat theater, costume shop, and drama lab; the Seaver building, home to the foreign language and history departments as well as administrative offices and the visitor lobby; Chalmers, which houses the performing arts and math departments, book store, cafeteria, beloved sandwich window, and student lounge; Kutler, which houses the Brendan Kutler Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research and the Feldman-Horn visual arts studios, dark room, video labs, and gallery.
The athletic facilities include Taper Gymnasium, used for volleyball and basketball as well as final exams; Hamilton Gymnasium, the older gymnasium still used for team practices and final exams; Copses Family Pool, a 50-meter Olympic size facility with a team room and stadium for viewing events for the aquatics program; and Ted Slavin Field, which features an artificial FieldTurf surface and a synthetic track and is used for football, soccer, track & field, lacrosse, and field hockey. In 2007, lights were added to Ted Slavin Field in order to reduce the amount of travel needed to allow teams to practice. The school also maintains an off-campus baseball facility, the O'Malley Family Field, in Encino, CA.
The Upper School campus also features the three-story Seeley G. Mudd Library and Saint Saviour's Chapel, a vestige from Harvard School for Boys' Episcopal days.
In the early 1980s, annual tuition at the schools that now make up Harvard-Westlake was around $4,000; by 1983 or 1984, this figure surpassed $5,000. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the annual tuition was $32,300, with typical costs for books and meals totaling an additional $2,000. In 2014-15, tuition was $33,500, the new student fee was $2,000, optional bus service for middle school students was $2,200-2,400, and other costs were estimated to be $2,000. Harvard-Westlake allotted almost $7.8 million to financial aid for the 2011–2012 academic year. Nearly 20% of the student body received some form of assistance, with an average aid package of just under $23,000, or three-fourths of the tuition.
Facts and figures
In 2010, 566 Harvard-Westlake students took 1,736 Advanced Placement tests in 30 different subjects, and 90% scored 3 or higher. In addition, the class of 2011 had 90 students out of approximately 280 receive National Merit recognition, with 28 students receiving consideration as National Merit Semifinalists.
- In 2002, Worth magazine ranked Harvard-Westlake number 34 out of thousands of secondary institutions across the country in sending children to top colleges and universities.
- In 2008, Harvard-Westlake was ranked one of America's 25 best independent schools according to www.prepreview.com, an education ranking aggregator.
- In 2008, Los Angeles magazine named Harvard-Westlake as one of the most elite prep schools in the Greater Los Angeles area.
- In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked Harvard-Westlake 12th among the country's top prep schools.
- In 2016, Niche ranked Harvard-Westlake 6th nationally among private schools.
- In 2017, Niche ranked Harvard-Westlake 4th nationally among private schools.
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Harvard-Westlake fields 22 Varsity teams in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section, as well as teams on the Junior Varsity, Club, and Junior High levels. The school won back-to-back California tennis championships (1997–98).
The 2015-2016 football team shared the Angelus League championship with Cathedral High School, the first league championship in football for the school since 2006.
Additionally, the Harvard-Westlake Boys Tennis team reclaimed their CIF championship title in 2017, and also currently holds a 188 match win streak in the mission league.
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