Education: Palmetto Bay’s Westminster Christian School

Courtesy of Westminster Christian School

Courtesy of Westminster Christian School

A few weeks ago, I shared information about Pinecrest’s Gulliver Academy. For this post, I wanted to turn to my own alma mater, Westminster Christian School, in Palmetto Bay. I consider it to be a wonderful place for a child to learn—if it is a fit for your family’s religious beliefs and education budget—in fact, my own children are currently enrolled.

This highly regarded institution was founded in 1961 and is a private, college-preparatory Christian school for grades PreK3 through 12. The WCS mission is threefold: To empower learners, to prepare hearts, and to inspire young people to serve faithfully as ambassadors for Jesus Christ. It shapes its academic program from a Biblical worldview and is committed to providing a nurturing environment.

From a structural standpoint, the school is governed by a 13-member board of directors, who are elected by the parents of enrolled students. The board is responsible for hiring a superintendent. The school operates on a semester basis, distributing grades every nine weeks.

Perhaps one of the best facets of WCS is its need-based financial aid program, which distributes funds annually (you apply online after your child has been accepted). I believe it’s a valuable resource that enables local families to become members of a supportive, positive school community.

Important Numbers

Here are some key figures for WCS.

  • 1,176: Total enrollment
  • 10: The average class size at the preschool level
  • 20: The average class size at the high school
  • 15: The number of students per teacher
  • 10: The average tenure of faculty members
  • 100: The percentage of students who were accepted to four-year colleges and universities in 2014
  • $10,425 to $19,625: The range of tuition rates (from PreK to high school, including mandatory fees) for the 2015–2016 school year
  • $2.2 million-plus: The amount of financial aid awarded for 2014–2015


WCS offers 16 Advanced Placement courses in the high school curriculum. Last year, students took more than 360 AP exams, with one of the best exam pass rates in the county at 80 percent. In addition to competitive academics, the school has a wide variety of both athletic and fine-arts programs, in which three quarters of the students participate. Younger children can choose from choir, band or orchestra, but once they reach high school, the options broaden to include unique visual arts courses like photojournalism and printmaking and performing fields like drama and debate.

Because it is a religious institution, all families who are admitted to the school must be active participants at a local church. The school population draws families from more than 150 different churches in the area, so chances are that you may have a WCS student among your current religious community. The admissions process is similar to other private schools, involving a tour, application, testing, and interview, plus a questionnaire from the pastor of your local church.

If you are interested in the Palmetto Bay area and would like to know more about WCS, I would be happy to share our family’s experiences there with you. Get in touch.