West Nottingham Academy

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About Us

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Founded: 1744

Enrollment: Boarding and Day

Grades: 9-12 and PG

Student Body: 120 students

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 5:1

Average Class Size: 10

Campus Size: 100 acres

Faculty with advanced degrees: 85%

Location: Halfway between Philadelphia and Baltimore

Airport: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and BWI International Airport (Baltimore) are each about one hour away.

Climate: West Nottingham enjoys four seasons: warm summers, beautiful autumns, flowery springs, and frosty winters.

Curricular Offerings: 120 courses |AP courses

Founded in 1744, West Nottingham Academy is the oldest boarding school in the United States. We are a college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and postgraduate. The historic 100-acre campus is nestled in the rolling hills of Maryland, just one hour from Philadelphia and Baltimore, and a little over 2 hours from New York City and Washington, DC. With approximately 120 students from 10 states and 21 countries, West Nottingham takes a highly individualized approach, allowing students to combine a variety of academic and extracurricular offerings optimal to their individual needs, strengths, and interests.

With our interscholastic athletic teams, non-competitive offerings, many visual arts and performing arts options, every student is able to find their passion and unleash their potential. West Nottingham also offers unique Aspiring Artist and Artist in Residence programs for those who plan to continue to an arts or design program at the university level.

West Nottingham Academy recognizes that all students learn differently. Through our optional Chesapeake Learning Center, our dedicated staff of masters-level instructors creates proactive, independent, competent learners by fostering tools and strategies to meet the rigors of a college preparatory environment and beyond. This proven approach yields thriving students who take responsibility for their academic success.

Welcome to West Nottingham Academy

Founded in 1744, well before the United States was born, WNA is a college preparatory, boarding and day school offering Grades 9 to 12 and post-graduate. With a focus on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creative Exploration, West Nottingham takes a highly individualized approach, allowing every student to find their passion and unleash their potential. Our graduates have become leaders in politics, business, sports, medicine, art, education, technology, music, theater, science, and so much more!

Our unique program positively changes the trajectory for students in the context of a challenging, yet supportive and nurturing environment. WNA prides itself on its beautiful dormitories, delicious and healthy options in the dining room, competitive athletic teams, a high-caliber art program, and a truly diverse community. Our 100-acre campus is secluded and rural, yet only an hour to and from Philadelphia and Baltimore, and a little over two hours to New York City and Washington D.C.

Our Mark in History

Established in 1744, West Nottingham Academy is the longest-standing boarding and day school in the United States. 

  • West Nottingham Academy was founded in 1744 by the Reverend Samuel Finley, who would later become the president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University).  
  • Reverend Finley’s nephew, Benjamin Rush, attended the Academy and would later, with his fellow WNA alumnus, Richard Stockton, sign the Declaration of Independence. 
  • The first female day students were admitted in 1895. By 1899, the graduating class had a female Valedictorian and female Salutatorian.  
  • Fletcher Morton, the first African American student in WNA history, was admitted in 1956. 
  • The school survived the Revolutionary War and was split, along with the entire county, during the Civil War. It struggled to maintain operations during the Yellow Fever and Spanish Influenza pandemics.  
  • WNA worked to educate students who weren’t yet given equal rights before the law, and it welcomed international students during times of countrywide xenophobia and stigma. 
  • In 1744, Reverend Finley founded West Nottingham Academy with the intention to prepare young men for college. Little did he know, West Nottingham would produce individuals that would sign the Declaration of Independence, revolutionize the field of medicine, found universities, become Rhodes scholars, govern and shape laws, pioneer industry, shape the field of sustainability and fight tirelessly for equity and social justice. 

World Class Academics

With every student at WNA, we develop a course of study that is rigorous and college-preparatory in scope and direction. Our objective is to inspire curiosity, teach critical-thinking skills, and cultivate a passion for life-long learning that sets the foundation for a life that is both individually fulfilling and intrinsically valuable to the greater community.

We work with students and their families to prepare individualized paths of study to ensure that each student, whether admitted as a freshman or senior, is able to meet our demanding graduation requirements. After careful consideration and consultation, six academic courses are selected each year for each student. The curriculum meets and usually exceeds state standards, and our Academic Council reviews and augments the college-preparatory curriculum every year. We are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

WNA’s robust and unique liberal arts curriculum is enhanced by our diverse learners from around the world, by our small class sizes that allow individualized attention, and by our superb faculty. We offer nearly 90 courses, which includes a number of Advanced-Placement (AP) courses geared toward the national exams, and Advanced and Honors courses as well.

Summer Camps

Opportunity awaits you at West Nottingham Academy!

Every day, in every activity, from the classroom to the playing fields, art studios, and club gatherings, students are exposed to a diverse community of learners from all walks of life.