Academics

Our rigorous academic environment offers a balance of structure and freedom, designed to help students develop excellent study skills, writing, and critical thinking, along with an ambitious intellectual curiosity. Our class sizes are small (average size of 12) and our course selection is large (155 courses with 49 designated as Honors or APs)—so you can think big!



Our Academic Difference

Williston Scholars

Our independent study program allows students to develop their own trimester-long projects, engaging in deep, self-direct research with the one-on-one guidance of a faculty-mentor.

College Counseling

Our highly personalized, four-year college counseling process gives students the tools—and self-awareness—they need to find the colleges that are the best fit.

Center for Academic Success

Williston’s network of academic support provides students at every level with the resources and instruction they need to succeed, and the options that best fit their learning style.

Ninth Grade Program

An orientation trip, study skills workshops, dedicated 9th grade advisors, special assemblies, and more help make sure that new ninth graders have a strong academic and social foundation.

Curricular Technology Program

Students learn how to use technology thoughtfully to communicate, solve problems, and conduct research, using cutting-edge software on the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Five College Connection

Higher education institutions in our back yard (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts) provide access to extraordinary opportunities for academic collaborations.

The Right Size

"Williston is a place that is big enough to pursue what you are passionate about and small enough that if you pursue those passions, you can really make a difference."
— Nate Gordon '16

By the numbers

155
Number of courses offered in the humanities, sciences, and arts—from Ethics and Society to Forensic Science.
49
Number of Honors or AP classes, including Honors French V: Francophone Themes.
67%
Percentage of faculty members who hold advanced degrees

"Latin gets students to look at the details, sharpen their decoding skills, and fall in love with words; it also gets us asking big philosophical questions."

Beatrice Cody, Language Department Head

"We talk about the role of government, the responsibilities of citizens, and themes of individual liberty, common good, fairness, and justice. These are not simple concepts."

Andrew Syfu, History + Global Studies Teacher

“Reading is asking you to be more human, more empathetic. It’s the most valuable thing you can teach.”

Sarah Sawyer, English Department Head


Departments

English

Williston’s English Department teaches students the skills to handle language effectively; to think analytically; to write with originality, clarity, and depth; and to speak with thought and substance. At each grade level, we seek to instill in our students a love of literature and to challenge them to grow as writers and thinkers.

History + Global Studies

The History + Global Studies curriculum provides you with an understanding of the forces that have shaped the past and continue to influence the world today. Working with expert faculty, you’ll develop the critical skills needed to become an engaged participant in our democracy, preparing you to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Language

In Williston’s language program you’ll develop linguistic fluency and cultural literacy in French, Latin, Chinese, or Spanish. Supportive and enthusiastic faculty will encourage you to go beyond gerunds and participles, and will spark your interest in the ways people communicate and connect in our increasingly multicultural world.

Mathematics

Williston’s math course sequence—Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II—teaches the foundation of mathematics that all students need, after which students can delve more deeply into mathematics through a variety of upper-level courses that help them become more successful problem solvers and prepare them for college-level mathematics.

Science

Through close work with faculty in the lab and in the field, science students gain insight into the collaborative nature of scientific inquiry and its role in scientific questioning and experimentation.The core curriculum includes traditional biology, chemistry, and physics courses, with Advanced Placement courses in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and environmental science available for highly motivated students.

Visual + Performing Arts

The faculty of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, while diverse in their individual artistic pursuits, share a common concern for developing human expressiveness and a profound commitment to making the arts an integral part of their students’ lives and the Williston community.Our art courses, which range from 2-D Foundations up to AP Music Theory, cover the fields of studio art, photography, dance, music, and theater.


Clapp Memorial Library

The library is a hub of activity on campus. A professional librarian is always available to give individual help with reference questions, assignments, Internet research, and leisure reading suggestions.

The Archives

Archivist and Librarian Rick Teller ‘70 shares the history behind the traditions and the stories behind the people and places that contribute to the story of the Williston Northampton School.  

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