Welcome to Westfield

 

Hello and Welcome to the 2019-2020 Westfield Academy of Debate, Model United Nations and Leadership Program in West Hartford, CT!

For those of you who are visiting us for the first time, we are so glad you are interested in learning more about our unique and special academic community and the programs we offer. For those who are returning, welcome back!  We have missed you! We hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and is ready to jump into an exciting fall of debate and Model United Nations.  We sure are!

Westfield Academy, now in our 14th year, is a community school that focuses on empowering youth through speech, debate, and Model UN.  We offer weekly debate and Model United Nations (MUN) classes during the academic year and multiple sessions of summer camp. Westfield's mission is to help each of our students to Find Their Voice using process-driven learning.

We are extremely proud: not only of our extensive success in regional, national, and international debate tournaments and MUN conferences (in 2017, for example, we became the #1 International Public Policy team in the world!!  Last year we won the Yale Invitational, had a Westfield-Westfield closeout at both Vassar and Yale Osterweis where Westfield won both the Varsity and Novice Divisions, and the list goes on), but most importantly in our work to empower our students as self-advocates and agents of change in the world. More than just a school, we are also a cohesive community of over 130 students between the ages of 8 and 19, meeting weekly during the academic year to debate and/or participate in Model United Nations and our Annex classes. Westfield students also have the opportunity, if they choose, to compete in a wide variety of debate tournaments and MUN conferences. Our students hail from all over the state and even from neighboring states and from a variety of educational backgrounds.  In 2019, we had our inaugural year of welcoming students from Beijing to the Westfield family. The Westfield Beijing program was a huge success and we are looking forward to expanding it this fall. We have an active outreach program to make our community accessible to students from underserved communities including our special refugee outreach initiative. Westfield is firmly committed to making its programs available to all interested students. Our community is strengthened and enriched beyond measure by our diversity.

We are very proud of our thriving, diverse community where all children are welcome. We believe that teaching students to respectfully listen to people, even those with whom they disagree, and to calmly and articulately express their opinions is the way to begin to change the world. Now more than ever, this is critically important. Our children are not being given many role models on our national stage for how to engage in respectful, evidence-based dialogue with people who hold different beliefs.  No matter where you are on the political spectrum - and our community welcomes and includes people of every political persuasion - we must begin to listen to each other. We believe the best way forward is to help our children develop the tools they need to be able to respectfully express their beliefs and to be able to present them in a reasoned and supported manner. 

We offer a variety of class options with the hope that we will accommodate our students’ widely varying schedules. We are excited to announce that homeschooled middle and high schoolers will once again have the opportunity to take a full day of high-level academic classes on Thursdays! Parents can drop off students in the morning for a day of exciting and challenging programming, including a lunch break and social time and time to be outside between classes.  If a child is taking a full day of classes, parents are welcome to drop their children off for the day. This full-day option helps to develop a strong and close community for our homeschooled students.

To be an effective debater, MUNer and world citizen, our students need to understand the wider world. Therefore, throughout the year, Westfield works to obtain reduced or free tickets to numerous lectures, forums and other academic events.  We attend these events together as a group, then usually go out for ice-cream afterwards to critically discuss everything we just learned! (For those of you who are new to our community, you will quickly learn that ice-cream is a big part of Westfield!) Our goal is to make our students smart - or we really should say smartER! These events are always optional. They are also very popular and help to grow the strong sense of community that is Westfield.

Westfield helps students become global citizens and lifelong learners, providing students with an amazing and welcoming community where it is cool to be smart, knowledgeable and engaged in the world.  We truly believe that Westfield students will be the future leaders of the world!  And it is a great community for parents too! While our programs are drop-off, there are many and varied ways for parents to get involved in this warm and welcoming community. We have been so blessed over the years by the incredible generosity of our parents. Parents can serve as Parent Coordinators (PCs) of a competition or conference, act as a judge for a debate, help with planning and new initiatives or help coordinate and execute some of our other Westfield social functions. We would love to have you involved! 

Welcome again, and please do not hesitate to contact us at any time with any questions, comments or ideas. We look forward to talking to you. We hope that you come see what this unique and special Westfield learning community is all about; we would love to have you join us!

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