Welcome to the website of the West Hartford Public Schools. As you click on the pages that describe our educational programs, schools, goals, and opportunities, you will find a district committed to the idea that every child can learn. The teachers, administrators, and support staff of the West Hartford Public Schools are driven by our Mission Framework and District Goals to ensure that our students experience high expectations, dynamic teaching, and a rigorous and relevant curriculum.
West Hartford is a wonderful town with strengths beyond just its education system. Moneymagazine ranked West Hartford as the 10th most-educated town in the United States and one of the top four small cities in Connecticut to live in, due in part to our “exceptional public schools.” Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine ranked West Hartford as one of the top ten cities to live in for the next decade. Family Circle Magazine named West Hartford, CT one of America’s 10 Best Towns for Families. These rankings all greatly valued our public schools for good reason.
Our high schools are ranked among the top two percent nationally by U.S. News and World Report and are among the top ten in our state. Conard and Hall High Schools have ranked in the top one percent nationally in Newsweek’s America’s Best High Schools. The Washington Post’s Top Challenging High Schools in the nation included both Conard and Hall High Schools, two of the three high schools recognized in the entire state of Connecticut. West Hartford Public Schools’ music department is recognized as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States by the National Association of Music Merchants. Recent West Hartford Presidential Scholars have included Emmitt Gilles, a 2009 Conard graduate; Regan Considine, a 2012 Hall graduate; and in 2014, Marisa Mitrano and Thomas Doelger, both Hall graduates. Jennifer Huynh, a 2012 graduating senior and Margaret George, a 2013 graduating senior, both from Conard, were each one of 1000 students nationally to be named a Gates Millennium Scholar. Their accomplishments are examples of the excellence that the West Hartford academic community has achieved. Micaela Connery, a graduate of our schools, began the Unified Theater program that continues in our schools and includes all students in theater regardless of ability. Our performing arts programs are internationally recognized. Our students begin instrumental music lessons in grade four and strive for selection to our elite jazz bands, choral groups, and I Giovani Solisti, a combined high school string orchestra. The Hall High School theatre department has been selected as one of 30 American high school theatre programs to compete in the International Fringe Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, a citywide extravaganza that is the largest arts festival in the world.
Our schools are a tapestry of cultures and ethnicities, with over 70 languages represented in our school system, a microcosm of all the talent, intelligence, and diversity that America has to offer. Our students have had opportunities to travel to Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia as part of their educational program.
The outstanding faculty of the West Hartford Public Schools includes the Connecticut Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Connecticut Teacher of the Year, the National Social Studies Teacher of the Year, the Connecticut Assistant Principal of the Year, and the Connecticut Elementary Principal of the Year.
Community collaboration and service are important to us. We work closely with The Bridge Family Center to provide services for families through organizations such as our Family Resource Centers. Service to our community is evidenced through activities such as the Morley Backpack Brigade, a volunteer effort undertaken by students, teachers, and parents to provide backpacks and school supplies to those in need. We want our students to be engaged in community, state, and national dialogue. Our students continue to not just talk about problems, but seek ways to solve them.
Parental choice is important to our community. We have two elementary schools of choice – Charter Oak International Academy, authorized as an International Baccalaureate School, and The Florence E. Smith STEM School. Interested parents should contact these schools or, when registering, ask for information. There is a lottery process for entry into these schools. If you reside in the Charter Oak or Smith neighborhoods, you may attend your neighborhood school or may opt-out to another West Hartford elementary school. We also have a smaller middle school of choice – Bristow. The school was named for a freed slave who resided in West Hartford, taught himself to read and write, and was a well-known and respected figure in the town.