Harvard-Westlake School

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Harvard-Westlake School
Possunt Quia Posse Videntur
trans.: They can because they think they can.
Los Angeles, California
United States
Type Independent
Established Harvard School for Boys: 1900
Westlake School for Girls: 1904

Fully Merged as Harvard-Westlake: 1991
President Richard B. Commons
Vice President John Amato
Faculty 195
Grades 7–12
Head of School Jeanne M. Huybrechts, Ed.D.
Color(s) Red,Black,and White         
Athletics California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section[1]
Mascot Wolverine
Accreditation WASC, NAIS, CAIS
2013 SAT average 688 verbal/critical reading
703 math
707 writing[2]
Newspaper The Chronicle
Yearbook Vox Populi
Student to faculty ratio 8:1
Average class size 13
Middle School
700 North Faring Road
Los Angeles,  California
Grades 7–9
Enrollment 727 (2009–2010)
Campus size 12 acres (4.9 ha)
The former Administration Building, Middle School (demolished summer 2008)
Upper School
3700 Coldwater Canyon Avenue
Studio City,  California

Grades 10–12
Enrollment 870 (2009–2010)
Campus size 22 acres (8.9 ha)
Ted Slavin Field.jpg
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

Saint Saviour's Chapel

Currently, the school is split between the two campuses, with grades 7–9, the Middle School, located at the former Westlake campus in Holmby Hills and grades 10–12, the Upper School, located at the former Harvard campus in Studio City.[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 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. Reynolds Hall, an academic building which is home to History, Foreign Language and Visual Arts classes began a modernization effort in June 2014 to be completed by September 2015. The building will be renamed Wang Hall in honor of two parents who donated approximately $5,000,000 to fund the project.

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 as well as final exams; Hamilton Gymnasium, the older gymnasium still used for team practices and final exams; Copses Family Pool, a 50-meter Olympic size facility with a team room and stadium for viewing events 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.[9] In 2007, lights were added to Ted Slavin Field in order to reduce the amount of travel needed to allow teams to practice.[10] The school also maintains an off-campus baseball facility, the O'Malley Family Field, in Encino, CA.

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 the schools that now make up Harvard-Westlake was around $4,000; by 1983 or 1984, this figure surpassed $5,000.[11] For the 2013-2014 academic year, the annual tuition was $32,300, with typical addition costs such as books and meals totaling an additional $2,000. In 2014-15, tuition was $33,500, the new student fee was $2,000, optional bus service for middle school students was $2,200-2,400, and other costs were estimated to be $2,000.[12] 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.[13]

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.[citation needed] 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.[14]


  • In 2002, Worth magazine ranked Harvard-Westlake number 34 out of thousands of secondary institutions across the country in sending children to top colleges and universities.[15]
  • In 2008, Harvard-Westlake was ranked one of America's 25 best independent schools according to www.prepreview.com, an education ranking aggregator.[16]
  • In 2008, Los Angeles magazine named Harvard-Westlake as one of the most elite prep schools in the Greater Los Angeles area[citation needed].
  • In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked Harvard-Westlake 12th place among the country's top prep schools.[17]
  • In 2016, Niche ranked Harvard-Westlake 6th nationally among private schools.[18]


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).[citation needed]

The 2015-2016 football team shared the Angelus League championship with Cathedral High School, the first league championship in football for the school since 2006.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. "Homepage". CIF. 
  2. "School Profile" (PDF). Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  3. "Move over G8—this is G20 > Harvard Westlake Chronicle Online > News Articles". Retrieved May 19, 2007. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Harvard Westlake History". Archived from the original on April 26, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2007. 
  5. "Harvard-Westlake School". Retrieved May 19, 2007. 
  6. "Harvard-Westlake School Middle School Modernization Project > MSMP Home". Retrieved May 19, 2007. 
  7. http://www.hw.com/advancement/TheImpactofGiving/tabid/1628/ctl/ArticleView/mid/6465/articleId/5154/Harvard-Westlake-Announces-the-Creation-of-the-Kutler-Center-for-Independent-Research-and-Interdisciplinary-Studies.aspx
  8. Pool, Bob (September 23, 2012). "Harvard-Westlake building reflects standout student's interests". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. Branson-Potts, Hailey (November 4, 2014) "Harvard-Westlake School's plan for parking structure upsets neighbors" Los Angeles Times
  10. Sokoloff, Zach (May 30, 2007). "New field lights to aid athletics". Harvard-Westlake Chronicle. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  11. Carla Rivera (February 17, 2006). "Tuition Hits $25,000 at Elite Schools/ref". Retrieved September 10, 2008. 
  12. "Affording HW". Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  13. "Financial Aid". Retrieved November 22, 2011. 
  14. School Profile
  15. http://www.elegantbrain.com/edu4/classes/readings/edu-eliteschools.htm. Retrieved 23 February 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. "Private Day School Rankings". PrepReview. 
  17. Jones, Abigail (April 6, 2009). "Forbes – America's Elite Prep Schools". Retrieved July 29, 2009. 
  18. "Niche-2016 Best Private High Schools in America". Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  19. The New York Times – Movies & TV
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Groves, Martha (October 8, 2004). "Goliath vs. Goliath in Battle to Expand School". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  21. Heyman, Marshall (June 2009). "The Power Couple Behind L.A.'s Most Exclusive Schools". W Magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  22. Rose, David (January 23, 2005). "The Observer Profile: Sir Ian Blair". The Observer. London. Retrieved April 7, 2009. 
  23. "Brennan Boesch profile". 
  24. Jessica Capshaw Biography – Biography.com
  25. Molly Snyder Edler. "Milwaukee Talks Charlotte Rae". www.onmilwaukee.com. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  26. "Jarron Collins profile". Go Stanford. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  27. "Jason Collins profile". 
  28. "Nickelodeon Taps Rising Star Lily Collins for Network Hosting Duties". Reuters. February 25, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  29. 2006 Harvard-Westlake Film Festival
  30. Dunne, Dominick (March 1984). "Justice: A Father’s Account Of the Trial Of His Daughter’s Killer". vanityfair.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  31. Good, Jenna (November 30, 2007). "Robbie's loving Ayda instead". The Sun. London. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  32. "Alumnus Stephen Fishbach '97 Will be Cast Member on CBS's Survivor: Tocantins". Harvard-Westlake School Alumni News. January 16, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  33. "Then And Now: Meet The Castaways Of Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance". cbs.com. September 18, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2016. 
  34. Bridget Fonda Biography – Biography.com
  35. "Top pick Fried signs with Padres". The Sacramento Bee. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  36. Rasmussen, Cecilia (July 15, 2007). "A shrine to style and sophistication". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  37. Jon Lovitz Biography – Biography.com
  38. Schwarz, Benjamin (January 1, 2012). "The Perfect Wife". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  39. "Danica McKellar '93 Publishes Math Doesn't Suck". Harvard-Westlake School Alumni News. August 15, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  40. Wikipedia - Jonathan Martin (American football)
  41. Elizabeth Montgomery Biography – Biography.com
  42. Tracy Nelson Biography – Biography.com
  43. WebCite query result
  44. Jason Reitman Biography – Biography.com
  45. Jason Segel Biography – Biography.com
  46. "Ben Sherwood '81 Named President of ABC News". Harvard-Westlake School Alumni News. December 3, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  47. Tori Spelling Biography – Biography.com
  48. Abcarian, Robin (May 30, 2007). "JFK, RFK and the brother of all conspiracy theories". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  49. Shirley Temple Biography – Biography.com
  50. Downey, Mike (August 16, 2008). "She's propelled by dad's memory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  51. Sarah Nilsen, Sarah E. Turner. The Colorblind Screen: Television in Post-Racial America. NYU Press. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  52. http://www.e-yearbook.com/yearbooks/Harvard_School_Sentinel_Yearbook/1972/Page_276.html
  53. http://espn.go.com/high-school/baseball/story/_/id/4908298/california-dreaming/
  54. "Broadcast Journalist Jessica Yellin '89 Speaks at Harvard-Westlake". Harvard-Westlake School Alumni News. March 22, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 

External links