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Westridge school snapshot

Westridge’s new Upper School Science Building, open fall 2010. Photo courtesy of Pica+Sullivan Architects.


His to r i c a l S tat e m e n t Westridge has, from its inception, based all of its programs on the fundamental belief that women have a right to be fully educated in an environment that engages the heart, intellect, body and soul and that it is best for girls to be educated in a single-sex setting. In 1913, the year Westridge was founded, a woman living in the United States was denied the right to vote.Westridge is proud of a heritage that took root in pre-suffrage America 92 years ago, as two mothers, concerned that there was no college-preparatory school on the west side of Pasadena, persuaded Mary Lowther Ranney, a noted architect and teacher, to open a school for girls in her home on the “west ridge” of town.The idea that girls have a right to the best possible education was radical at the time and still is central to the school’s mission and purpose. Westridge School’s vision for the beginning of its second century is both a blueprint for preserving the best of an illustrious past and an incentive for the innovation and flexibility that the next century will require.

Westridge School admits students of any race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.


Statem en t of P u r p os e The fundamental purpose of Westridge School is to develop in girls their intellectual and creative powers and their unique qualities as individuals. Essential to the school’s purpose is the commitment to be a community that reflects and values diversity, respects individual differences, and responds to a changing, dynamic world. An intellectually engaging and challenging curriculum prepares students to continue their education in college and beyond as discerning, motivated learners who are committed to excellence and goodness in everything they do.The program offers balance among humanities, mathematics and sciences, fine and performing arts, technology and athletics. Westridge strives to develop young women whose joy in learning, personal ideals, commitment to ethical action, social and environmental responsibility, courage and compassion will lead them to meaningful lives as contributing citizens of the larger world.

S tat e m e n t o f p u r p o s e

westridge school


Founded in 1913, Westridge School is an independent day school for collegebound girls, grades 4 through 12, located in Pasadena, California.

enrollment Enrollment includes 69 percent from the independent school sector and 31 percent from public schools. Westridge maintains a 95 percent enrollment retention rate. Total enrollment 496 Lower School enrollment 106 Middle School enrollment 107 Upper School enrollment 283 Senior class 65 Average class size 16 Student/faculty ratio 8:1

diversity The school’s commitment to cultural diversity is reflected in its 49 percent ethnicity enrollment. Socio-economic diversity is significantly supported through the $2.23 million of financial assistance that is awarded to 150 students in grades four through 12.

tuition & tuition assistance Tuition for 2010-2011: $24,000 (grades 4 through 6) $27,850 (grades 7 through 12) Tuition assistance: Awards range from $4,000 to full tuition of $27,850. Westridge has two financial aid programs: Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which provides $5,000 or less with a shorter application, and “traditional” financial aid, which can be awarded in amounts up to full tuition. Families may receive assistance from either of the two programs. Lower and Middle School tuition includes an after-school program on campus until 6 p.m. Westridge, in partnership with the La Cañada-based Child Educational Center (CEC), offers an enriching educational experience for all students who participate in the program. Students participate in supervised play, study, and activity time.

o v e r v i ew

Westridge School


Westridge’s new Upper School Science Building Study, open fall 2010. Photo courtesy of Pica+Sullivan Architects.

academic offerings In the Middle and Upper Schools, Westridge offers more than 165 different courses, which include 13 Advanced Placement courses and nine Honors courses. Electives and advanced courses of study allow each girl to thrive within her areas of interest and strength. The school program is designed so that each student becomes literate not only in fundamental academics such as English, math, and science, but also in art, music, and technology.

scholastic achievement The Class of 2010 included two National Merit Scholarship finalists and two semi-finalists. Over the past five years, 18 Westridge students have been finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

strength in sciences Westridge is committed to empowering girls in the sciences. This past fall, the school opened a new Upper School science building, a 14,000 square-foot, two-level science center that will be the first building among San Gabriel Valley independent schools to be LEED-certified. The facility includes a photo-voltaic installation designed to convert the sun’s light into energy, a white, reflective roof that offsets the building’s cooling needs, and a green roof that is planted with succulents. A rainwater collection cistern, two experimental garden beds, and a leaf decomposition bed are also available to students to learn about the environment. The new facility supports an already strong math and science program that begins in the Lower School. The school’s Research in Science elective provides students with hands-on opportunities at universities and research institutions near campus, including the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

class structure Westridge operates on a rotational, or block, schedule allowing longer classroom conversations between students and faculty. Classes are designed to allow increasing responsibility for intellectual progress and provide students with the academic and personal skills to succeed in Upper School, college, and beyond. Electives and advanced courses of study allow each girl to thrive within her areas of interest and strength. The program is designed so that each student becomes literate not only in math, science, and English, but also in art, music, and technology.


There are at least 100 major leadership roles available in the Upper School alone. Student government opportunities are available at Lower, Middle, and Upper School divisions. Westridge girls are involved in a wide variety of activities and clubs and volunteer with a number of community service agencies, such as the Neighborhood Center, Mother’s Club, Union Station, and the Pasadena Humane Society.

opportunities in performing arts Westridge is widely recognized for excellence in the performing arts: drama, dance, and choral and instrumental music. The drama department stages six productions each year including a student-directed one-act play, a large cast musical, and an 8th Grade play. In addition to performing, students have the opportunity to learn all aspects of technical theater including directing and set, lighting, and costume design. The music program offers a number of choral and orchestral performances and student concerts. The Westridge Glee Club and Madrigals have performed at Carnegie Hall, and traveled to perform in New York, Hawaii, and Japan. The annual dance concert showcases student talent from several genres of dance, including hip-hop, modern dance, ballet, jazz, and traditional cultural dance.

athletic program Westridge boasts a winning tradition in athletics. In the past decade, honors have included nine Prep League Championships, seven California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS) Individual Championships, one CIF-SS Team Championship and one CIF State Quarter Final appearance. Westridge participates in the highly-regarded Prep League of the CIF-SS and fields teams in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. The Prep League includes Chadwick School, Flintridge Preparatory School, Mayfield Senior School, Polytechnic School, Rio Hondo Preparatory School, and Vivian Webb School. Westridge Middle and Upper School students also compete in the Interscholastic Equestrian League (IEL), a team club sport.

Academics and student life

leadership development


experienced faculty Well over half of Westridge faculty and administrators hold advanced degrees, including eight who hold doctoral degrees. Well over half bring 10 or more years of teaching experience to the classroom.

parent community Parents are key stakeholders in the success of the institution. The school provides support and encouragement for parents to serve as partners in their daughters’ education and continually seeks meaningful ways to engage parents as important resources of the school. All parents of enrolled Westridge students are members of the Parent Association. Volunteer opportunities and parent meetings throughout the school year help keep Westridge parents involved in their daughter’s school life and informed about the challenges facing youth today.

alumnae family More than 4,600 Westridge alumnae live in 49 states and 25 countries in six of the seven continents. Our alumnae include philanthropists, civic leaders, community activists, attorneys, physicians, engineers, architects, authors, and scientists. Westridge alumnae live in Australia, Austria, Barbados, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United States, and Wales.


The school’s 9.5-acre campus houses 17 buildings, including the century-old Pitcairn House, built in 1906 by Charles and Henry Greene, and the Braun Music Center, built in 1909 by noted architect Frederick L. Roehrig. Westridge’s Main Building, built in 1923 by Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury, is the oldest original school building. Designed by Pasadena architect Whitney R. Smith, the Seeley G. Mudd Building is now a dedicated Middle School facility, housing classrooms, faculty offices, and student gathering spaces. Other campus features include the Elizabeth Edmundson Herrick Dining Commons, student lounge areas, and a playground for Lower and Middle School students.

arts facilities Visual and performing art facilities include the Fran Norris Scoble Performing Arts Center, a 600-seat, state-of-the-art teaching theater that includes the Wagener Black Box Theater, outdoor Seiter Family Amphitheater, and Sigrid Burton ’69 Gallery exhibition space. Westridge visual arts students are supported with a ceramics studio with on-site kiln, two drawing and painting studios, a multimedia photography lab and darkroom, and two additional photography and art exhibition spaces. A dance studio and choral and orchestra rehearsal halls, among other areas, are also dedicated to the arts.

athletic / physical education facilities Westridge’s Rokus Athletic Complex and Hoffman Gymnasium are home to Tiger Athletics. Frank Athletic Field, complete with digital scoreboards, allows Tiger lacrosse, soccer, and softball teams to host games on regulation fields; Hoffman Gymnasium is home court for basketball and volleyball. Yoga classes take place in a dedicated studio; dance is taught in a spacious dance studio with movement absorbing floors; and athletes benefit from use of the Studenmund Family Weight Training Room, designed specifically for girls.

technology Westridge is equipped with more than 700 computers to serve students and teachers on its campus. Three technology centers are open daily including the school’s Joan Irvine Smith ’51 Academic Resource Center. Each division and every indoor classroom has access to full multimedia capabilities including SMART Board technology. The school’s photography lab also features a stateof-the-art plasma screen with integrated SMART Board technology, 10 Mac computers with Adobe Creative Suite design applications, and the professional non-linear editing system Final Cut Pro. The new Upper School science building utilizes wireless laptops in lecture and lab spaces for a 1:1 student/computer ratio.

community , campus , and technology

historic campus


graduation requirements

academic profile

4 years of English 3 years of mathematics 3 years of history 3 years of one foreign language 3 years of science 3 years of physical education/athletics 1 year of art 1 year of music

Cumulative median GPAs and test scores: 2008 2009 2010 Class size 73 72 74 GPA 3.550 3.572 3.564 Verbal 600-680* 610-700* 630-710* Math 570-670* 590-690* 580-680* Writing 610-710* 650-730* 640-730*

All students are required to take a seminar course each year on a pass/fail basis. Each senior is required to complete a Senior Project, an important piece of independent work that is investigated in a concentrated, thorough manner. There is a 40-hour community service requirement for all Upper School students. Interim Week is an experiential program that promotes a sense of discovery, creativity, curiosity, connection, reflection, and responsibility. The program strives to deepen students’ awareness of their own intellectual and emotional growth as they develop and pursue new interests and passions.

college counseling Reflective of the school’s mission, Westridge’s college counseling program is committed to the intentional matching of each senior with a college or university aligned with her unique qualities and interests. The program carefully considers each individual, her strengths and aspirations, and guides her in identifying an institution best suited to her goals for the future. Each fall, representatives from over 100 colleges and universities visit campus to meet with seniors. In addition, seminars, evening forums, financial aid workshops, and a comprehensive “case study” featuring dozens of college representatives, provide juniors, seniors, and parents with the resources to help navigate the application process and transition to college.

grading In the Upper School at Westridge, grading is done on an A to F scale, plus or minus; pass/fail under certain circumstances. Grade point average is computed on A = 4, D =1, plus and minus used, with no grade of A+. Westridge does not weight grades in computing the GPA; Westridge does not rank.

* mid-50% range

advanced placement Honors and Advanced Placement courses are offered in a wide variety of disciplines. Advanced Placement courses include: U.S. History Art History Calculus AB and BC Chemistry English Literature Environmental Science European History French Language Latin; Vergil Physics C Spanish Language Statistics Studio Art

upper school athletic teams Basketball Cross Country Equestrian Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Swimming and Diving Tennis Track and Field Volleyball Water Polo


The 74 members of the Class of 2010 earned 330 acceptances to 139 different colleges and universities in 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, with submissions to 606 colleges. 100 percent of the Class of 2010 were admitted to four year colleges and universities. They will attend 45 different colleges in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. In the past four years, Westridge graduates have been admitted to numerous institutions, including: (Names in bold indicate where students in the past four years have enrolled.) American University Amherst College Bard College Barnard College Bates College Baylor University Beloit College Bennington College Bentley University Boston College Boston Conservatory Boston University Bowdoin College Brandeis University University of British Columbia Brown University Bryn Mawr College Bucknell University University of California Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz California Institute of Technology California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Pomona, Channel Islands California State University Chico, East Bay, Fullerton, Long Beach, Sacramento Carleton College Carnegie Mellon University University of Chicago Claremont McKenna College Clark University Colby College Colgate University College of the Holy Cross University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver Colorado College Columbia University Connecticut College Cornell University Dartmouth College Davidson College Denison University University of Denver DePaul University Dickinson College Drew University Drexel University Duke University Elon University Emerson College Emory University Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

Fairfield University Florida Institute of Technology Fordham University Franklin and Marshall College Furman University George Mason University The George Washington University Georgetown University Gettysburg College Gordon College Goucher College Grinnell College Hamilton College (NY) Hampshire College Harvard University Harvey Mudd College Haverford College Howard University Indiana University at Bloomington The University of Iowa Ithaca College Johns Hopkins University Kenyon College Lawrence University Lewis & Clark College Loyola Marymount University Macalester College Manhattan College University of Maryland, College Park Maryland Institute College of Art Marymount College Massachusetts Institute of Technology McGill University (Canada) Miami University, Oxford University of Miami University of Michigan Middlebury College Mills College Mount Holyoke College New York University Northeastern University Northwestern University University of Notre Dame Oberlin College Occidental College Ohio Wesleyan University University of Oregon Oregon State University Otis College of Art and Design University of the Pacific Parsons School of Design, New School University University of Pennsylvania Pepperdine University Pitzer College Pomona College University of Portland

Princeton University University of Puget Sound Purdue University University of Redlands Reed College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rhodes College Rice University University of Richmond University of Rochester Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick Saint Louis University University of San Francisco Santa Clara University Sarah Lawrence College Savannah College of Art and Design School of the Art Institute of Chicago School of the Museum of Fine Arts Scripps College Sewanee: The University of the South Skidmore College Smith College University of Southern California Southern Methodist University Southwestern University Spelman College University of St. Andrews (Scotland) St. Olaf College Stanford University Swarthmore College Syracuse University Texas Christian University The University of Texas, Austin University of Toronto Trinity College Tufts University Tulane University United States Air Force Academy United States Military Academy United States Naval Academy Vanderbilt University Vassar College University of Vermont Villanova University Washington University in St. Louis Wellesley College Wesleyan University Wheaton College (IL) Whitman College Willamette University Williams College University of Wisconsin, Madison Yale University

upper school and college profile

Westridge college admission and enrollment


westridge s324cMadeline h o oDrilve Pasadena, California 91105 1153 324626.799. Madeline Drive www.westridge.org

Pasadena, California 91105 626.799.1153 www.westridge.org

accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges California Association of Independent Schools

memberships National Association of Independent Schools California Association of Independent Schools The College Board National Association for College Admission Counseling Western Association for College Admission Counseling A Better Chance, Inc. Cum Laude Society National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Council for Religion in Independent Schools Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs

Visit www.westridge.org to learn more about Westridge School.


Westridge Snapshot 2010-2011  

An at-a-glance look at Westridge School in Pasadena, California.

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