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Westlake School for Girls

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Westlake School for Girls

Harvard-Westlake School
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
Type Independent
Religion Secular
formerly Episcopal (Harvard)
Head of School Jeanne M. Huybrechts, Ed.D.
President Richard B. Commons
Vice President John Amato
Faculty 195
Grades 7–12
Location Los Angeles, California, United States
Accreditation WASC, NAIS, CAIS
Colors Red,Black,and White         
Athletics California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section[1]
Mascot Wolverine
Yearbook Vox Populi
Newspaper The Chronicle (high school)
The Spectrum
(middle school)
Student to faculty ratio 8:1
Average class size 13
2012 SAT Average 675 verbal/critical reading
686 math
697 writing[2]
Middle School
Head of Middle School Jon Wimbish
Students 727 (2009–2010)
Grades 7–9
Location 700 North Faring Road,
Los Angeles,  California,  USA
Campus size 12 acres (4.9 ha)
The former Administration Building, Middle School (demolished summer 2008)
Upper School
Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas
Students 870 (2009–2010)
Grades 10–12
Location 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 with approximately 1,600 students enrolled in grades seven through twelve.

The school has its campuses in Holmby Hills and Studio City. The school is a member of the G20 Schools group.[3]


Harvard-Westlake is the product of the 1991 merger between the Harvard School for Boys and the Westlake School for Girls.

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.[4]

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. 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.[4]


As both schools continued to grow in size towards the late 1980s, and as gender-exclusivity became less and 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.[4]

Attending Harvard-Westlake

The campuses

Currently, the school is split between the two campuses, with grades 7–9 located at the former Westlake campus in Holmby Hills, the Middle School, and grades 10–12 located at the former Harvard campus in Studio City, the Upper School.[5]

The Middle School completed a four-year modernization effort in September 2008, replacing the original administration building,[6] 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 electric 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 Reynolds Hall, now used for art, history, and foreign language classes, 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.

The Upper School features the Munger Science Center and computer lab; Rugby building which houses the English department, 300-seat theater, costume shop, and drama lab; Seaver building, home to the foreign language and history departments as well as administrative offices and 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 [7][8]and the Feldman-Horn visual arts studios, dark room, video labs, and gallery.

The athletics facilities include Taper Gymnasium, used for volleyball and basketball; Hamilton Gymnasium, the older gymnasium still used for team practices and final exams; Zanuck Swim Stadium, 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.[9]

The Upper School campus also features the three story Seeley G. Mudd Library and Saint Saviour's Chapel, a vestige from Harvard School for Boy's Episcopal days.


In the early 1980s, annual tuition at Harvard-Westlake was around $4,000; by 1983 or 1984, this figure surpassed $5,000.[10] For the 2011–2012 academic year, the annual tuition is $30,350, with typical addition costs such as books and meals totaling an additional $2,000.[11] Harvard-Westlake has allotted almost $7.8 million to financial aid for the 2011–2012 academic year. Nearly 20% of the student body will receive some form of assistance, with an average aid package of just under $23,000, or three-fourths of the tuition.[12]

Facts and figures

Academic Achievement

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.[13]


  • In 2003, Worth magazine ranked Harvard-Westlake number 35 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, an education ranking aggregator.[14]
  • 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 place among the country's top prep schools.[15]

Student life

Extracurricular activities for students include performing arts, athletics, student government, activism, scientific research, and clubs.[16]


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) under the tutelage of Coach Marty Klein.

Notable alumni

See also


External links

  • Review of school at
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