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Harvard-Westlake’s Curriculum: A Unique Path for Everyone

By Davis ’24

Prior to the pandemic, as I would walk energetic and interested applicant families around the Middle School, oohing and awing at the Saperstein Theater and various other spots on campus, naturally the conversation would shift to student life. One of my favorite anecdotes I would discuss with families was as follows: I could survey every student about their classes and extracurriculars at Harvard-Westlake and when looking at the results, no two students would look the same. 

While this could be attributed to the uniqueness of each student, I think in large part this is due to the school’s curriculum and various offerings.

In my 4 years at Harvard-Westlake so far, one of the most rewarding things has been knowing that no matter what passion I have, there’s a way to indulge in it and grow in that area – whether it’s leadership, computer science, journalism, playing the guitar, business, and so much more. There are so many different types of courses at so many levels, so whether you’ve been playing violin for 6 years, or you want to try robotics for the first time, there’s a place at Harvard-Westlake to do so. 

In addition, the school places an emphasis on giving students opportunities to take classes that explore topics beyond the normal school curriculum – such as criminal law, gender studies, ethics, world religions, cinema studies, genetics and biotechnology, international relations, and Shakespearean literature. 

Harvard-Westlake truly gives students the freedom to learn about topics they are passionate about, and that’s one of the most amazing parts of being a student here – your education is in your hands and you’re given all the tools you need to craft it. Harvard-Westlake’s curriculum is explicitly designed to encourage this – with the Middle School being about finding new passions and interests and the Upper School pushing students to excel in these. This means that if you are very passionate about history, eventually, you can take multiple history classes – and this goes for other classes as well. 

By allowing each student to create their own unique educational path through the amount of opportunities and the ability to explore beyond the usual limits of school curriculum, Harvard-Westlake is truly such a special place to learn. 

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Tags: , Last modified: January 31, 2022