Watkinson School

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Watkinson School
Hartford, Connecticut, CT
Type Private
Established 1881
Headmaster Teri Schrader
Faculty 48
Enrollment 275
Average class size 7 to 16 students
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
Color(s) White, blue
Mascot Sam the Ram

Watkinson School is a private co-educational independent day school in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Watkinson is situated on Bloomfield Avenue adjacent to the University of Hartford. It serves students from 6th through 12th grade. Watkinson also offers a postgraduate option, called The Academy at Watkinson, which allows students who have just graduated from high school to spend an additional year taking courses at Watkinson as well as the University of Hartford.[1] Watkinson is the oldest independent school located within the city limits of Hartford.[citation needed]

Currently,[when?] Watkinson enrolls 260 students who come from 37 towns all around the Greater Hartford and Pioneer Valley area.

Watkinson has a Creative Arts Program (CAP) whose purpose is to foster creativity in young artists. This program is unique in that students receive a separate diploma denoting their commitment to the arts. This program is run by teacher Dr. Karen Bovard. A student may join this program at any time between the beginning of freshman and the end of sophomore year (so that they can complete the requirement of two full years in the program necessary to receive the diploma).

In 2007, Watkinson created a Global Studies Program which discusses the United States' relationship with the rest of the world. This program is run by Dr. Christopher Doyle. Students generally apply for this program in their sophomore year, and start it in their junior year.

Both programs are competitive to enter and require an application process. Upon graduating either program, students receive two diplomas - one for high school in general, and one for the completed program. Students may participate in both CAP and Global Studies if they wish.

Watkinson is a founding member of the Coalition of Essential Schools. It is one of only five schools to be named a Lead School for this coalition.

Campus and early school history[edit]

Watkinson Juvenile Asylum and Farm School
Watkinson School art barn, 2009-08-31.jpg
Watkinson School art barn in 2009
Watkinson School is located in Connecticut
Watkinson School
Watkinson School is located in the US
Watkinson School
Location 140, 180 and 190 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford and West Hartford, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°47′24″N 72°42′45″W / 41.79000°N 72.71250°W / 41.79000; -72.71250Coordinates: 41°47′24″N 72°42′45″W / 41.79000°N 72.71250°W / 41.79000; -72.71250
Area 36 acres (15 ha)
Built 1881 (1881)
Architect Goodwin, Francis; et al.
Architectural style Queen Anne, Colonial Revival
NRHP reference # 95000273[2]
Added to NRHP March 23, 1995

The organization that became the Watkinson School has its origins in a major bequest of businessman and philanthropist David Watkinson (1778-1857), whose will included provisions for establishing a school for troubled boys. Originally led by noted Hartford educator Henry Barnard, school trustees built Watkinson's bequest to over $200,000 by 1880. In that year, a farm was purchased on Park Street, and the institution was opened as a school and working farm known as the Watkinson Juvenile Asylum and Farm School. In 1892, under the leadership of Rev. Francis Goodwin, the school leased land on the Prosser Farm at the corner of Albany Street and Bloomfield Avenue, which had been purchased by Goodwin for the Handicraft School, an organization whose leadership was identical to that of the Watkinson School. The Watkinson School facilities were built on this land at the northern end, while those of the Handicraft School were located in its south. The land occupied by the Watkinson School was formally transferred to the school in 1949. The school formally adopted the name "Watkinson School" in 1923.[3]

The school campus is located at 140, 180, and 190 Bloomfield Avenue in Hartford and West Hartford. The complex consists of nine buildings on about 36 acres (15 ha), most of which (including all of the buildings) is in Hartford. Feringa Hall is the oldest academic building on the campus, built in 1894-5 to a Queen Anne design attributed to Francis Goodwin. Residence houses, originally for the headmaster and his assistant, date to the early 20th century. Frances Goodwin Hall is a two-story brick classroom building with attached gymnasium, built in 1924.[3] The campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.[2]

Sports at Watkinson[edit]

Watkinson School's athletic program includes boys' varsity and JV soccer, girls' varsity soccer, boys' varsity and JV basketball, girls' varsity basketball, boys' varsity and JV lacrosse, girls' varsity lacrosse and girls' volleyball.

The boys' varsity soccer team was New England Prep School Class "D" Champions from 2008-2010. The girls' varsity basketball team was 2013-2014 New England Class D Champions in 2013-2014.

Sports teams at Watkinson[edit]

Fall trimester Winter trimester Spring trimester
Boys' varsity soccer

Boys' JV soccer
Girls' varsity soccer
Varsity cross country
Girls' varsity volleyball
Girls' middle school soccer
Boys' middle school soccer

Boys' JV basketball

Boys' varsity basketball
Girls' varsity basketball
Boys' MS basketball
Girls' MS basketball
Boys' varsity basketball

Varsity tennis

MS tennis
Boys' varsity lacrosse
Girls' varsity lacrosse
Girls' MS lacrosse
Boys' MS lacrosse
Ultimate frisbee

Activities at Watkinson[edit]

Watkinson's community gardening activity is extremely popular. Students in this activity, called Varsity Gardeners, manage more than 20 raised beds, berry patches and more. All of the produce from the community garden is used in the school's dining hall. Other popular activities at school include yoga, culinary arts and weight lifting/fitness. During its three years of existence, Watkinson School's (now defunct) FIRST Robotics Team 782 won a number of awards, including Highest Rookie Seed (2002), New England Regional Champions (2003), Highest Divisional Seed (Nationals, 2003) the Xerox Creativity Award (2002/2003) and Highest Divisional Seed (Nationals, 2004).

Famous alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Watkinson School ~ Transition to College". Watkinson School. Retrieved 8 January 2006. 
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for Watkinson Juvenile Asylum and Farm School" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-12-06. 
  4. ^ Holson, Laura (21 September 2012). "There's Something About Richard; Richard Plepler of HBO Stands Tall in New York's Cultural Elite". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 

External links[edit]