FB pixel

Essentially Watkinson

Watkinson School’s blog about teaching and learning.

Recent Posts

high school age private school students build 3D printer

Upper School Tech Club Prevails!

At the end of last week, the upper school tech club, including Ben S. ’23, Jack M. ’25, Nick K. ’23, finished construction of a new 3D printer. When the previous Watkinson 3D printer stopped working, the club (under the leadership of Science Department Chair and Club Advisor Jean Kracke) looked into ways to repair

Read More »

The Bard

A deep exploration into the language of Shakespeare is important to Watkinson’s eighth graders. It’s a tradition, a rite of passage in fact. For almost thirty years, the study and performance of Shakespeare’s plays on Shakespeare Day has been a hallmark of the Watkinson middle school experience. This year, students applied new and refined skills

Read More »

Watkinson Eighth-Grade Milestones & Important Dates

Eighth grade is an important year in the life of a young person, as preparation continues for making the transition from Middle to Upper School. It is an exciting and pivotal time for building the foundation for future educational experiences in Upper School, college, and beyond. Keeping this in mind, our private school curriculum has

Read More »

A Joyous Morning with Renbrook School

Just prior to Thanksgiving, Watkinson had some important visitors from our sister private independent school, Renbrook School. Our four guests included: Their day included attending our All-School Meeting, the centerpiece of Watkinson’s community and culture. Then, as good visits often include a reunion, our guests reconnected with the children they used to teach. Amidst choruses

Read More »
boy at mic

Why A Fringe Festival, You Ask?

Creative Arts Program Director Stacy Donovan has wanted to bring the Fringe Festival experience to Watkinson for a while. She wanted to create the festival feel for the benefit of both those making and seeing art. “Imagine you went to your favorite arts fair and all the artists were there! As a teacher, I want arts

Read More »

Student Foundation Leads Fundraiser for Ukraine Relief

Watkinson’s Student Foundation, a club formed in the early 2000s, recently ran an outstandingly successful fundraiser to support relief efforts in Ukraine. In just over two weeks time, the private school students and their advisor, Dr. Andy Aavatsmark raised $1130 for World Central Kitchen, a global nonprofit that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate,

Read More »

Interdisciplinary and Relevant

Jeff Sigler has been teaching science for over a decade. In his 4th year at Watkinson, Dr. Sigler is excited about the prospect of teaching a new course to his high school students.  The working title for the course is “Global Climate Change”.  While the course name isn’t settled, the motivating factors driving the proposed

Read More »

Necessity + Inspiration = Idea

What happens when an idea is the product of both necessity and inspiration?  A win-win, that’s what. Recently, Music Director Rob Thomas decided to revise his Music 6 Curriculum.  He describes the need: “in sixth grade, students come to Watkinson from all different schools. They have had differing levels of preparation and instruction, so there’s

Read More »

Middle School: You Should Expect To Thrive Now.

Hear how middle school has changed and why it’s important. On Character Development The middle school years are key for development of morals, values, and character.  Middle School Head Jenny Esposito reminds us, “When we allow students to collect, evaluate, think and decide on their own —generate work on their own, versus teacher-produced tests or

Read More »

A Teacher’s Passion Drives Student Engagement

Read how the 8th-Grade Tech Projects Class took a happy detour. At the end of 7th grade, Watkinson middle schoolers are introduced to their first elective options in their Watkinson education.  Eighth graders have two sets of electives, one set for the fall and another slate for the spring. It’s an exciting moment as it’s

Read More »

Preparing the Whole Athlete

Watkinson Rams Get Ready for the 2021-22 Athletic Seasons We are excited! Interscholastic athletics will return to Watkinson this fall. While our students participated in a variety of intramural sports over the course of the 2020-21 school year, we know that there is an elevated level of play and competition that comes when you compete

Read More »

Looking to Fall of 2021

Knowns and Unknowns as of May 21, 2021 Late spring is always a time of intense planning in school as we take up the important matters related to finishing the current year while simultaneously planning for the fall. This year, that intensity is more profound than ever as we contemplate what school will look like

Read More »

Like A Nimble Boxer

“Like a nimble boxer,” Watkinson has dodged the buffets of bad economic times, demographic troughs and constant competition to continue 140 years of serving central Connecticut’s students and families with an innovative and progressive educational model. The metaphor of Watkinson as a wily boxer is attributed to John Ratté, one-time Head of Loomis Chaffee, and

Read More »

Six Word Stories

Recently, 6th-grade English teacher Lisa Glowacki had her students study Ernest Hemingway’s 6-word story and had them practice the skill by creating stories about their experiences at Watkinson in the form of advice for future students.  Here are some of our favorites.

Read More »

Teaching and Learning: Design and Execution

I graduated from Watkinson in 1986. During my time as a student, the skills prized by Watkinson faculty and commonly held by my Watkinson peers included the ability to use one’s voice well in and out of the classroom and the ability to work collaboratively and creatively. A week ago, I attended a Zoom conversation

Read More »

New Ways to Explore and Share

The Civil Rights Project is a long-standing tradition in 8th-grade social studies. In years past, students have created mostly low-tech projects with both handmade visuals and an oral presentation. They shared their knowledge with family, faculty, peers, and community members during an on-campus Civil Rights Day. Picture a fair-like setting in which visitors visit and

Read More »

Demystifying Financial Aid

Watkinson’s financial aid practices are a direct expression of the school’s values. Watkinson is committed to having a diverse student body in all ways. To achieve this, our practice of awarding financial aid looks different from many other schools.   FACT: More than 60% of Watkinson families receive some form of financial aid. This percentage has

Read More »

RAMbassadors Formed to Personalize Admission Process

An interview with four members of the RAMbassadors club. Student voice is part of Watkinson’s DNA.  Our students are encouraged to speak up, step up, and lead in myriad ways from the moment they enroll.  Not surprisingly, when Watkinson’s admissions process turned to a virtual one as a result of COVID, a new student group

Read More »

Signs Of School, Happening Still.

To anyone who is not involved, not aware of the subtle and not-so-subtle shifts that are occurring as we accommodate and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of school today, this scene might just look like a whole lot of, well, clutter. To me, walking Watkinson’s grounds these past couple of mornings at the crack of

Read More »

Yes! Save me a spot.

Register for Info Session

"*" indicates required fields

Tell us how to contact you.


Tell us about your student.

How did you hear about Watkinson?