By Audrey ’27
Hello prospective families of Harvard-Westlake! My name is Audrey and I am a new ninth grader this year at HW. My experience thus far has been thrilling; I have had the opportunities to play in the Symphony, write for the school newspaper, and facilitate a literary art magazine. At HW, we play hard, but we also work hard. The academics live up to the reputation of rigor and excellence. In ninth grade alone, students are eligible to take Algebra 1 to honors Pre-Calculus or further depending on aptitude. This may seem daunting, as it certainly was for me when I began my application process. However, after spending some time on campus, I have witnessed and experienced the unwavering support HW provides for its pupils. While the school may feel challenging at times, the students are never alone in the journey. Whether it be academic difficulties or personal struggles, there are resources to help students succeed on campus.
All resources are accessible during the school day thanks to our schedules. The HW schedule is designed to incorporate numerous free periods throughout the day, similar to a college schedule. Our free periods during the day allow for students to seek out the resources they require, or simply decompress over a game of cards in the student lounge.
When struggling with academics at HW, most students will visit the learning center. The learning center is a study room within the library that is staffed with teachers the entire school day. There students may receive tutoring, homework assistance, or studying tips. The learning center is a positive and supportive environment, almost all students will find themselves there at some point or another. Harvard-Westlake strives for excellence, but this does not mean receiving help is viewed as a weakness. Student support is a core aspect of HW and is a part of daily life on campus. Another great academic resource of HW is the silent study room. This room, found in the library, is a quiet place for students to study and focus when tests draw near.
Harvard-Westlake is also home to numerous counselors and psychologists. All have offices easily available to all students at all times. The deans are also a good option for students who wish to speak with someone. Their offices reside next to the student lounges ready to provide a safe space for conversation or simply a good place to take a nap on the couches.
While the school is equipped with many professional resources, I have found that the people who have supported me the most are my fellow peers. Harvard-Westlake is a rigorous school, but the students themselves are incredibly kind and positive. Finding friends was not a challenge at HW, even for the more introverted such as myself. Students are eager to get to know one another, as they are all aware of the unique opportunity they have been given by attending this school. Thank you so much for considering HW, we are honored by your interest!