Two-School Model

Two-School Model

Our two-school model is central to how students learn and grow at The Webb Schools.
Webb School of California was founded by Thompson Webb in 1922 to nurture and inspire boys to place the pursuit of honor and moral courage above all else. Rooted in this same core value, Vivian Webb School for girls began in 1981 and immediately became a space for girls to find their voice and become honorable leaders in their own right. Over the course of the last forty years, the benefits of single-gender classes (9th/10th grades) to co-ed classes (11th/12th grades) on the same campus has been the foundation of our success.

Vivian Webb School

Our VWS classes in 9th and 10th grade and two-school leadership structure are both key to helping Vivian Webb students build their confidence and capacity for leadership. Research demonstrates that girls’ school graduates are more likely to seek leadership and be present in more male-dominated fields, in part because of the confidence they build in themselves in all-girls communities. And of course, empowering women as leaders remains a relevant task in 2019. Only about 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. have women at the helm. Approximately 30 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives and 25 percent of the U.S. Senate are women, numbers that have grown substantially in the last few years. And women are still underrepresented in key industries including computer science and engineering. 

Webb School of California

Many boys also benefit from all-boys spaces. Boys respond to positive models of masculinity that embrace the challenges and realities they face as they enter high school, a critical moment in their adolescent development. By meeting boys where they are in 9th and 10th grade, Webb faculty allow them to build their academic skills and confidence in a comfortable setting. Both inside and outside the classroom, boys create deep bonds of friendship, allowing them to be vulnerable and to take appropriate risks, to develop empathy for others and to forge their own sense of what it means to be a man. In doing so, they are guided in constructing an identity that is true to themselves and prepares them to be a positive force in the world.

Positive Outcomes

It has been exciting, in our work with experts on gender, to discuss how Webb’s model allows us to be a leader in gender education, to counteract gender stereotypes, and to allow students to explore their gender and what it means to them in a comfortable and supportive environment. This is a critical piece of how our model works and the positive outcomes it can create for students.
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