At WSA, our mission is to develop confident readers, writers, and speakers who feel deeply connected to and supported by our school community. We prepare our students for college through a liberal arts curriculum focused on writing, critical thinking, and peer discussion, and we give them the opportunity to connect with their passions through elective coursework in the arts, sciences, and humanities. An underpinning of the WSA model is a nurturing school culture that encourages reflection, collaboration, and experiential learning.

WSA has a unique school model in the NYC Department of Education in that its student body includes students who are accepted through a screened program, as well as students that enter through the limited unscreened process. We take great pride in the fact that our curricular offerings reward both achievement and ambition through an “open enrollment” honors program and Pre-AP track in the 10th grades, with a goal of widening student access to a range of AP offerings in the 11th and 12th grade. Ultimately, this curriculum, coupled with college readiness supports will promote college readiness in all of


At WSA, four key values underscore everything we do. We use these values to inform our decisions, our cultural norms, and our expectations of students and staff.  These values are Community, Discussion, Personal Reflection and Growth, and Collaboration.

Community: At WSA, we will take time to get to know each other and build meaningful relationships with each other. We understand the notion that we all play a vital role in creating a safe, ethical, and values-driven community.  For staff, this may mean we do not have a policy for everything.  Much of our discipline work will be based upon the relationships we develop with our students.  This will give leverage to our expectations of students and one another. Discussion: Discussion is a non-violent way to resolve conflict.  This means that, as WSA staff, we do not yell or speak to students in a way that will erode their confidence. We also ask that everyone, including teachers, actively listens to one another and commits to resolving conflicts in a peaceful way.  Staff, we must always address the use of violent or hurtful language towards another member of the school community. This might include but is not limited to any form of  verbal or online harassment and bullying.
Personal Reflection and Growth:  At WSA, students and teachers will be asked to do meaningful and challenging work, and both should receive frequent and personalized feedback.  We invite everyone to receive feedback with a sense of openness and willingness to reflect  so that we may all learn and grow. Collaboration:  At WSA, as in life, we work together.  Much of our time this year will be spent working on teams, figuring out problems, and working to reach consensus on solutions and plans.  Working together effectively requires a high degree of self-awareness, and we ask you to think about these questions constantly: Am I talking and listening?  How am I coming across to others in the group?  How can I make sure everyone in the group feels valued and included? Is this an issue we need to discuss and resolve now, or should we table it in order to complete more important work?  Are we doing our best work?


At WSA, we are committed to cultivating the following character strengths as a community:


Finishing whatever you begin

Sticking with a project or activity for more than a few weeks

Trying very hard even after experiencing failure

Staying committed to goals

Continuing to work hard even when you feel like quitting


Recognizing what other people do for you

Showing appreciation for opportunities

Expressing appreciation by saying thank you

Doing something nice for someone else as a way of saying thank you

Showing humility and forgiveness


Showing eagerness to explore new things

Asking questions to help you learn better

Taking an active interest in learning


School Work

  • Coming to class prepared
  • Remembering and following directions
  • Getting to work right away instead of waiting until the last minute
  • Paying attention and resisting distractions



  • Remaining calm even when criticized or otherwise provoked
  • Allowing others to speak without interrupting
  • Being polite to adults and to peers
  • Keeping temper in check

Social Skills:

Finding solutions during conflict with others

Showing you care about the feelings of others

Adapting to different social situations