“WTAfter3 is ‘bonus time’ at WT,” declares Director of Programs Dionne Brelsford. “We want students to be excited to continue their learning each day, and we want them to want to share their experiences with others.”
Though WT has long offered after-school programs, the scope and volume have exploded since 2010, when WTAfter3 was created to support growing enrollment and increased demand. Now, specialized programming focuses on performing and visual arts, athletics, and academics—think chess, golf, Girls Full STEAM Ahead, and ceramics.
“Over the past eight years, we have offered more than 150 different themes and activities linked to after school learning, growth, and fun,” says Brelsford. “At the forefront of our planning process is ‘What can we do to inspire and challenge students?’” Each term—aligned with WT’s academic calendar—blends novelty with consistency to provide more than 70 opportunities to try a new sport, learn a new language, explore science, or create art.
“Parents know they can always count on specific programs to be present in the lineup each term,” Brelsford explains. “They appreciate the long-term relationships with instructors and the fact that their child is advancing in level and skill in a specific discipline. We have PK students who start martial arts training as white belts and ultimately reach the black belt level by the time they complete Middle School. Some WTAfter3 athletes in cross country, tennis, lacrosse, and fencing end up competing for WT at the varsity levels in Upper School.”
Brelsford constantly entertains new program possibilities with many ideas coming from students themselves. But there’s one thing she says will never change. “We recognize that students—and parents—are looking for a quality, meaningful experience for their child at the end of the traditional school day. Our goal is to provide the highest-quality, best-fit scheduling solutions and programing for the children.”