WT Smart Facts
Winchester Thurston leads the way in educational innovation, rigorous academics, scholarly standards, and a learning environment that better prepares students for the challenges of a changing world. Nationally recognized for work with gifted and talented students, distinctive campuses, and innovative programs, WT is a school in which students achieve at the highest levels.
Students achieve at the highest levels
- 25% of the Class of 2015 was recognized as National Merit Finalists, Semi-finalists, or Commended Scholars for their performance on the PSAT. Nationally, just 5% of students are recognized with these distinctions each year.
- 87% of WT students from the Class of 2015 are attending “Very,” “Highly,” or “Most” competitive schools.
- Students in the Class of 2015 were offered more than $1,200,000 in scholarships and grants.
- WT offers a wide array of Advanced Placement (AP) courses spanning the arts, sciences, mathematics, languages, literature, and history. AP exams are scored on a scale of 1-5, with a 3 being the threshold for students to receive college credit.
- 91% of WT students who took an AP exam in 2014-2015 scored a 3 or higher, compared with just 61% of all students nationally.
And, on average since the 2012-2013 school year:
- 86% of WT’s Upper School students who took the Biology, Chemistry, or Physics AP exam scored a 3 or higher.
- 94% of WT’s Upper School students who took the English Language and Literature AP exam scored a 3 or higher.
- 82% of WT’s Upper School students who took the U.S. History AP exam scored a 3 or higher.
- 73% of WT’s Upper School students who took the Calculus AB and BC AP exams scored a 3 or higher.
- Students in Lower and Middle School perform consistently above median on the ERB standardized tests compared with national independent school norms.
- Middle School students consistently compete and win prizes at these and other competitions: MathCounts, Future Cities, First LEGO® League Competition, Western Pennsylvania Regional Science Olympiad, Department of Energy Science Bowl, Western Pennsylvania Regional Spelling Bee, National History Bee, and American Mathematics Competition.
- In the Lower School, the Academic Enrichment and Challenge program differentiates and individualizes the curriculum by offering accelerated instruction and enrichment in academic subjects.
Key differentiators provide a unique experience
- As the first, and one of only five schools among the 1,400 members of the National Association of Independent Schools to have received both the Edward E. Ford Foundation Leadership Grant for educational innovation and a Malone Scholarship Endowment by the Malone Family Foundation, WT proudly celebrates its place alongside some of the nation’s greatest independent schools.
- The post-AP curriculum at WT includes Advanced Topics in Mathematics for students who have completed Calculus, a capstone computer science course, Algorithm Design, to drive students to more fully develop their computational problem-solving skills, and Urban Research and Design which requires students to apply skills and knowledge to real world challenges.
- WT’s City as Our CampusSM program is the truest expression of the WT mission—actively engaging students in and around the City of Pittsburgh. From Pre-K – grade 12, students work with a dynamic world of leaders, artists, community activists, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and experts to make their learning meaningful and to develop high-level critical thinking and research skills.
- As a member of the Malone School Online Network, WT provides Upper School students with a variety of online courses that enhance each member school’s existing curriculum. These courses are taught by experts in their fields and are targeted to the most talented students. This year students are exploring topics as diverse as Medical Bioethics, Arabic, and Roman Comedy.
- With a dedication to eLearning, teachers harness the power of technology to enrich the educational offerings. In AP European History, students are using Classroom Salon, a tool developed at Carnegie Mellon University built around the concept of content-centric annotations. Student comments are aggregated providing deep insights into individual and group learning.
A culture of continuous learning
WT faculty members regularly attend and present at prestigious professional development programs. Recent highlights include:
- Visual Arts department chair, Sally Allan attended the “Pleine Aire” Conference in France and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) in China and Asia
- Marie Forst, Pre-K teacher at the North Hills Campus, presented to a national conference of educators at the Young Child Expo and Conference in New York City
- Steve Cooper, physical education teacher at the North Hills Campus, shared his vision for the continual development of our outdoor learning spaces with a group of educators at Plymouth University in England
- Our Lower School faculty regularly participate in the Readers and Writers Workshop at Columbia University’s Teachers College
- Math department chair, Steve Miller presented a session on Statistical Investigations and Analyses at the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Performing Arts teacher, Janna Lettan attended Mozarteum-Orff International Summer Institute in Austria
- WT faculty regularly participate in Classrooms Without Borders programs, most recently with trips to Israel and Greece.
- WT’s groundbreaking work in faculty formative development was recognized in Independent School magazine with an article authored by Head of School, Gary Niels.
North Hills Campus (Allison Park): 88
Lower School (Shadyside): 214
Middle School (Shadyside): 128
Upper School (Shadyside): 240
- More than 31% of students are students of color
- Students come from 74 zip codes and 45 school districts
- More than $2.5 million offered in Financial Aid annually
- We offer 13 named scholarships for students entering grades 6 - 12