Our Mission

Windward School Mission Statement

Windward School is a dynamic college-preparatory school that challenges each student to achieve excellence in a nurturing, inclusive community. Windward teachers, parents, and administrators work together to inspire our students to be responsible, caring, well informed, ethical, prepared, and well balanced young adults.

A Dynamic, Engaging Education

Windward is at the forefront of educational models and practices that excite students about learning. Course offerings and academic initiatives are collaborative and interdisciplinary, driven by the most up-to-date research, and crafted in partnership with some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. These programs offer Windward’s students educational opportunities that are unique, engaging, and relevant to life in the 21st century.

A Nurturing, Inclusive Community

Community and collaboration are at the core of the School’s philosophy and reflected every day in the warm, welcoming atmosphere on campus. Students are motivated to excel and to explore new learning opportunities. Upper School students, trained as peer counselors, offer a sounding board for their classmates. Windward’s 9.5 acre campus and purpose-built facilities provide an idyllic setting for students to learn, work, and socialize.

Shirley About Collage Photo

Shirley Windward

Shirley Windward, co-founder and namesake of Windward School, accomplished much in her life. She taught extensively in the public school system, was a long-time educational consultant, sang in a madrigal choir, published several volumes of poetry, and helped edit several magazines. In 1971, she helped begin a tiny independent school on the West side of Los Angeles because she wanted to give local kids a better education.

A woman of inexhaustible enthusiasm and insight, Shirley worked at Windward School as an English teacher, counselor, and board member for over 40 years. In fact, her accomplishments inspired a documentary film about her and other female pioneers. But Shirley's accomplishments are not why we love her here. Shirley's kindness, curiosity, wit, and affection toward everyone she met reminds us why we continue to work so hard at Windward School and why we fight so hard for quality independent education. 

When we say that we are a nurturing community, it is because of Shirley Windward. When we say we want our students to find their passions and become caring and well informed people, we are modeling our students directly on our guiding light: Shirley Windward.

Fast Facts

Established in 1971
Founded by Shirley Windward and Carl Parsons
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Grades 7-12
550 students
9.5 acre campus in West Los Angeles, two miles from the ocean
Student/teacher ratio: 8:1. Average class size: 16:1.
30% students of color
22 Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered each year; over 25 college-level classes offered to Juniors and Seniors
84% of teachers hold master's degrees
Financial aid awards have tripled since 2002