Windward School

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Windward School
Windward school.jpg
Windward School is located in California
Windward School
Windward School
11350 Palms Boulevard


United States
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°01′01″N 118°25′32″W / 34.01694°N 118.42556°W / 34.01694; -118.42556
Motto"A Dynamic Education, A Nurturing Community"
FounderShirley Windward
Head of schoolTom Gilder
Student Union/AssociationStudent Leadership Board, Prefect
Color(s)Blue and Black         
Athletics conferenceCIF Southern Section
Alpha League
MascotWillie the Wildcat
NicknameWindward Wildcats
RivalBrentwood School, Crossroads School
AccreditationWASC, NAIS, CAIS
Student to faculty ratio8:1
Average class size17

Windward School is an independent school in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It was founded by writer/teacher Shirley Windward in 1971; the school currently enrolls 540 students in grades 7 through 12.


In 1971, two former Paul Revere Middle School teachers, Carl Parsons and Shirley Windward (for whom the school is named), founded the school in order to open up their classes to young people on the West side of Los Angeles.

Shirley's husband, Erv Windward, renovated the studios where they lived into classrooms. Many new students volunteered to help renovate the studios; the school originally had fourteen full-time and part-time teachers who taught 65 students in a small building on Wilshire Boulevard.

In 1973, Windward School received its first full five-year WASC accreditation as a college-preparatory institution; as the school outgrew its first facilities the campus moved to 1414 21st Street, Santa Monica in September 1974.

In 1982, Windward moved to a 9-acre (3.6 ha), multi-building campus at 11350 Palms Boulevard, Los Angeles. Other buildings have been added to the campus over the years: the Irene Kleinberg Theater in October 1997, the Lewis Jackson Memorial Sports Center in 2000, the Arts Center and Pavilion in September 2002 and the first Innovation Classroom 510 in fall 2007. Construction of Windward's newest facilities, the Science, Dance & Music Center and the Center for Teaching & Learning, was completed in the summer of 2009. In 2015 a former computer room was converted into the C.R.E.A.T.E. studio where students can make and experiment with new technologies.

In 2012, Windward's co-founder and namesake, Shirley Windward, died at the age of 93.[1]



The school has a fully equipped 100+ seat black box theater with a professional level LED lighting system. There are five full-time theater teachers and an extensive guest teacher program; the theater puts on several shows a year including an Upper School Musical, Upper School Play, Middle School Musical, and a one act festival where students write, direct, design, and act in one act plays. Previous shows include: Urinetown the Musical, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 12 Angry Jurors, and The Odd Couple. In addition to other productions, the school has an independent improv troupe that puts on monthly shows for charity and an experimental workshop performance by the Advanced Theater Ensemble, an exclusive, audition only theater class. Windward's Technical theater program is state of the art and teaches students about designing shows as well as encouraging them to work as stage crew.


The school has an extensive music program with several different groups and classes where students can hone their skills; the school's jazz and choral programs have advanced groups called Advanced Jazz Ensemble and Chromatics respectively. The Jazz groups participate in the Fullerton Jazz Festival.

Visual Arts[edit]

The school has an on campus art gallery where student work and guest work is displayed; the school has two dedicated art studios, a darkroom, a graphic design classroom, and a maker space called the CREATE studio.


The school has 44 teams, six full-time coaches, 2 full-time athletic trainers, and 30–35 part-time coaches; the school's athletic teams have won California State Championships in several sports. In 2008, the boys varsity teams won the CIF Division VI championships in both soccer and volleyball. In 2011, both the boys' and girls' varsity basketball teams won the CIF Division IV State Championship.[2] In 2009, the boys' varsity basketball team won the CIF Division V State Championship.[3] In 2012, the boys' varsity volleyball team won the CIF Division III SoCal Regional Championship (the highest level of state competition for boys' volleyball);[4][5] the boys' varsity 8-man football team won back-to-back CIF Southern Sectional Championships (also the highest level of state competition) in 2010 and 2011.[6] As of 2012, the school has moved up to play 11-man football and no longer competes in 8-man. In 2016, the football program accumulated their first US Army All American football player, Breland Brandt, who currently plays football for UCLA. In January 2017, the boys football program switched to a hybrid 8-Man/11-Man Football schedule for the 2017 season, (4 11-Man games and 6 8-man games); the 2017 season will be a transition year for the program which will eventually move back to 8-man by the 2018 football season. The reason is undisclosed. In 2017, the Girls Basketball team won the CIF Division I State Championship, their second in school history.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Shirley Windward". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  2. ^ " – Past Championship Brackets, Results and Records". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  3. ^ " – Past Championship Brackets, Results and Records". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  4. ^ " – 2012 Boys Volleyball SoCal Regional Championships". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  5. ^ " – 2011–12 CIF State Champions". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  6. ^ " – Windward takes back-to-back CIF championships". 3 December 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Say Anything Biography". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  8. ^ " – Highway 61 Revisited". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  9. ^ Yoon, Peter. "Catcher Heineman a tower of strength". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Above the Net: Jenny Johnson Jordan '91". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  11. ^ "10 Questions: Beach volleyball player Jennifer Johnson Jordan". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  12. ^ Turan, Kenneth (28 March 2010). "Film Critic's Notebook: When an actor is also a friend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  13. ^ Langley, William (4 August 2001). "While you were sleeping". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  14. ^ "2010–11 University of Michigan Men's Basketball Roster". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  15. ^ "". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Snakkle". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  17. ^ Hobson, Louis B. (2 September 1996). "Real-Life Acting Difficult for Paquin". Calgary Sun.
  18. ^ "Yahoo Movies – Biography of Jason Schwartzman". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  19. ^ "Stanford University Bio". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Ethan Kleinberg Faculty Page". Retrieved 20 February 2018.

External links[edit]