Published : Thursday, June 4, 2015 | 4:20 PM
When we came to Westridge, I wondered what it would be like to be a dad at an all girls’ school. We had previously been part of a school that had a high level of parent involvement and a strong sense of community. Westridge did not disappoint. The opportunities for involvement at Westridge are equally available to fathers as they are to mothers. I have observed how much the girls like to have their dads involved at community service events and social gatherings sponsored by the Westridge Dads’ Club. Being part of the Dads’ Club has been very rewarding and enriching for me. It has helped me feel more connected to the school community and to what is happening there, as well as given me the valuable opportunity to build relationships with other dads who share in the adventure of parenting young women.
Truth be told, girls’ schools were not really on my radar when we were evaluating schools for my older daughter, who was about to enter 7th grade. Our primary goal was to find an excellent school where she would thrive, and I had not put a lot of thought into the pros and cons of an all girls’ education. But after visiting Westridge for the first time, I realized that it was definitely worth serious consideration. Intrigued by what Westridge offered, we began exploring the concept of single-sex education further, which only confirmed that this was the school I wanted my daughter to attend.
It has been my experience that Westridge provides an environment where our daughter is empowered to achieve her goals with passion and confidence. She has gained a strong sense of self and is taught that she is unique, talented, and capable. This is now our fourth year at Westridge (our younger daughter started 7th grade this past fall), and we couldn’t be happier with the school’s approach to educating our girls, including the committed administration and faculty, and the variety of opportunities available to both of them.
Still, I am occasionally asked whether I had any reservations about sending my daughter to an all girls’ school. For instance, don’t I worry that my daughter will miss having enough socialization with boys? I can say there have been no problems in that regard. In fact, I think the confidence she has gained at Westridge contributes towards positive interactions with boys outside school (and maybe even more so than for some of her peers from co-ed schools). My daughters enjoy being able to attend classes without boys, allowing them a degree of freedom and boldness that might be diminished in a co-ed setting. It’s a supportive environment that seems to bring out the best in them.
Westridge Dads’ Club Chair
Dad of Caroline, ’20 and Grace, ’17
Westridge School, 324 Madeline Drive, Pasadena, (626) 799-1053 ext. 200 or visit www.westridge.org.