School Details

Wakefield School

4439 Old Tavern Road, The Plains, VA 20198
(540) 253-7600

(out of 10)

Private Grades PK-12 432 students 9 students/teacher (VA avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

Wakefield School is a private high school in The Plains. The principal of Wakefield School is David Colon and can be contacted at 432 children attend Wakefield School and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander. The ratio of students to teachers at Wakefield School is 9:1. Highland School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish


  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 87% %
Black, non-Hispanic 5% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 5% %
Hispanic 4% %
Multiracial 0.5% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (5 months ago)

    As a former student of Wakefield School I felt absolutely disgusted reading the negative comments. I went to Wakefield from 9th to 12th grade and I will it admit I had both negative and positive thoughts throughout my four years. However the positives definitely outwiegh the bad. The Wakefield faculty is VERY involved with the student's regardless of your financial status. I relied on financial aid to attend this school and I never once felt that I was being treated differently because of my parents' income. Faculty will always check up on student's when they notice they are struggling in the class and appear to be having a bad day. There may be a few mean students and slight bullying but honestly what school doesn't have that? Students are going to take their stress and anger out on others sometimes it's a way of life. It is very hurtful to see negative comments towards Wakefield. I was able to develop a close relationship with all my teachers and they made me feel as if I was apart of a family considering I didn't have much of one at home. Wakefield is challenging but you will be able to succeed as no one there wants to see a single student fail.

  • (7 months ago)

    This is an awful awful nasty school. They bury your child is meaningless busy work. Just memorization and regurgitation. You child will learn nothing useful. They say they have a good English program but my child found the level about three grades lower than she had before. The teachers are mean and shout at your child constantly. Their is not trust. The admin is is caught up in constant conflict the back stabbing spitefulness is unbelievably bad. There are a few people who have their own kids in the school who have the smug attitude that they can do as they please bec they force out anyone that speaks up against them. This place reminds me of a Jerry springer show the in fighting is so bad. They will treat you well if you donate a lot of money but otherwise they will treat you badly discuss your personal financial info openly and treat you like dirt. I have never been treated so badly before. This school is a poor return for your money - there are so many better schools. My child was miserable here and since I moved her she is incredibly happy and her grades have sky-rocketed. The meanness and elitism trickles down to the students. Just an awful awful place!

  • (7 months ago)

    As the new Headmaster of Wakefield School I welcome all feedback about our school. I would certainly encourage this particular family to contact me about their situation to help me better understand what we can do to make Wakefield an even stronger community. Our school is one that works very hard on the development of young women and men of character who not only excel in the classroom but also treat everyone with kindness decency and respect. We have a program that spans our entire preschool through 12th grade curriculum specifically designed to prevent bullying and to encourage inclusion. We take breaches of our community standards seriously and work very hard to be an inclusive community.

  • (7 months ago)

    I have had a child now in every grade at the school from Pre-K to 12th grade. I will say that it is not a school for everybody. I don't think any private school should be a school for everybody. It is a school for FAMILIES that value hard work and the importance of reflection. Not all of the students are above average in ability; mine are no different. I have seen tremendous growth in the amount of socioeconomic diversity over the years. I have seen a concentrated effort by the administration to improve the quality of the math science education at the school which has paid off in my opinion. The students with whom I have interacted have been generally amazing in terms of their etiquette. They express thoughts that are clearly well thought out. It is not a place for people who are looking for spoon-fed effortless education. It takes a degree of effort on behalf of the students and their parents to succeed at a high level at this school. The middle of the road student at Wakefield is a strong student anywhere. I am very pleased I have had my children at Wakefield and all will graduate from there and will have the best possible foundation I could provide for them.

  • (9 months ago)

    This is THE WORST school I have ever had the misfortune of having my child enrolled! The teaching is very bad! Admin is bad they can't write recommendations and the place is bleeding students - Don't waste your time here! The only way they can improve is to close their doors for good! I would give this school no stars but the site won't allow it!

  • (9 months ago)

    I am not sure what some of the other reviewers are talking about. My child has been enrolled at Wakefield for three years. It has been a wonderful experience from day one. Whenever I have had a concern it has been addressed thoughtfully and quickly. My child has gained not only great academic skills but his enthusiasm for school and his self confidence have soared. I have found all of the teachers and school leaders to great educators committed to the success of all of their students. It is a great school.

  • (9 months ago)

    As a parent of two children attending Wakefield I could not be happier with the facility administration and teachers. On the first day of school my kindergartener held open the door for a long line of students and parents walking into the building. He was not prompted by his mother to do so he did this on his own. He said "good morning" and smiled to each person that walked through that door. "Capable Ethical and Articulate Citizens." This is Wakefield and these values are taught from the beginning. This is something that is not taught in the public schools. I can speak from experience as a graduate from a Virginia public school.

  • (1 year ago)

    I have no idea what the review posted in March is speaking about. I am pleased that the school has worked to improve its athletic and extracurricular programs and impressed that last year's graduating class had a scholarship artist athlete and academic. It speaks to the overall strength of the program. I know they are working to improve the diversity of the student body and open up the experience to a wider range of students. If that means more "basketball" players I am willing to accept that. It is not an easy place and the expectations on their students seem to be high so I can't imagine it being a super attractive place for people only interested in athletics. I know of many more overtly pro-athletic places locally. No school is perfect and I know they take improving seriously; I have felt listened to when I have had questions or concerns. I am looking forward to the new Head and expect him to work with the school to rise to the high standards it sets for itself. As a proud middle class parent I appreciate the financial support the school has provided for given me and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the school and the wonderful community that surrounds it.

  • (1 year ago)

    Wakefield School seemed like such a great place when I went there as a sixth grade student; however as I grew and became a high schooler Wakefield began to box me in. As a school Wakefield celebrates the personality and norms of the upper middle class white family--leaving those with a creative side or cultured side to be ridiculed. Wakefield's environment yields to bullying as well as ridicule for not adopting the ways of a "normal student". Wakefield puts those with sufficient funds ahead and cares less for those who do not meet an unspoken income requirement. Wakefield awards athletic talent over all other achievements and dismisses the arts and the sciences. Students are recruited for sports teams specifically men's basketball and those recruited in recent years have not held up to the high standards that others are. . It is one thing when children are breaking the rules but when the adults in the administration are breaking the rules with no consequences that is when it becomes a problem.

  • (1 year ago)

    I have 2 children in the upper school and am extremely pleased with the classes that they offer. Both kids do a lot of writing and critical thinking which is so important as they begin the process for entering college. Excellent leadership in the Upper School. The quality of instructors in the Upper School is outstanding. A good mix of male and female teachers with high levels of education and experience. My kids will absolutely be ready for college and beyond!!

  • (1 year ago)

    LOVE THIS SCHOOL! Wakefield School shapes the "whole" student...academically socially emotionally. As a Wakefield parent for 12 years I have seen the dramatic growth of my children. They have built great relationships with their teachers administration and their peers. Wakefield teaches students strong communication skills leadership and to believe in themselves. I have been amazed at the level of teaching and the knowledge that is instilled beginning at a young age. Now that my children are in Upper School I am impressed with their teachers ability to reach out and make subject matter interesting and challenging. The Division Heads Mr. Brian Oliver and Mrs. Mary Steensma are accessible and committed to building a strong program in line with the school's missions. Wakefield School offers all students a chance to participating in a wide variety of activities athletics arts world travel Experiential learning and more. The goal of the school is to strive to achieve what is best for each individual student. The small class sizes is the key to the success. The level of involvement cannot be duplicated in a large public school setting.

  • (1 year ago)

    I hate this school. It is alright academically and definitely enhances your ability to express yourself thoughtfully and provocatively. But you have to have very thick skin to go here. Every person is negative and no matter how hard you try you quickly get pulled into this negativity. People are mean and the school certainly seems to prefer students from more affluent backgrounds. This school is above average academically but unless you want to leave your child with lasting emotional problems then do not send them to this school.

  • (2 years ago)

    I shadowed a freshman at Wakefield so no I am not a student but from what I could see the students are rather snooty. However it is not the students I am really looking at. I am far more interested in the school's academic quality and it seems very high. Even the ditziest kids seemed to understand the things going on in class and the material is far from easy. The students have a lot of freedom and the use of technology is both excepted and encouraged (e.g. your kid is likely using their cell phone at lunch and in the library and their laptop for note taking in class). Independence is endorsed. If you are academically driven and are strong enough to deal with possible isolation and bullying I think Wakefield would be a good school.

  • (2 years ago)

    Wakefield is an extraordinary school. As a parent of an alum who will soon graduate from UVA I couldn't be happier with how prepared he was to succeed in college. So many of the Wakefield graduates report that they excel at the college level and feel very confident in their ability to research write and communicate in their area of interest. The Wakefield experience is grounded in a great academic experience. The workload is reasonable and the faculty are very supportive in making sure the students succeed. It's not all about academics though as the athletics clubs and arts are amazing opportunities to excel outside the classroom and make great friends. I look around at all the competing schools and am so thankful that my son went to Wakefield.

  • (2 years ago)

    I have 3 children at wakefield - two in the Lower School and one in the Middle School. My experience (and theirs) at Wakefield has been phenomenal. That is not to say that it's been perfect but no school can be perfect. What I have found though is that when a parent raises an issue to an administrator they deal with it. Nothing is swept under the rug. What I've also found is that many parents will complain to other parents (or to this site apparently) without discussing their issues with the administration and so things don't have the opportunity to change. What I have seen in the past 8 years is a school constantly striving to meet the needs of ALL children and to keep up with their rigorous academic program while enriching all of the other aspects of the school. Sometimes creating new programs is a learning curve but their best intentions are always there and ultimately they end up with amazing results.

  • (3 years ago)

    As headmaster at Wakefield for the past 15 years I am concerned because recent reviews about the social situation at the school do not align with either my recollection of parent concerns expressed to me or with what I observe at Wakefield nor what the Wakefield culture in general is known for. Certainly Wakefield students are not saints; they are bright capable kids who sometimes make mistakes and sometimes have to be disciplined. However we aim to be as racially diverse as the counties in which we operate and our students are uniformly praised for their manners kindness and good behavior by adults who do not know them (museum guides bus drivers visiting lecturers etc. - people who have no reason to withhold criticism from me). I would welcome the opportunity to schedule a time to discuss this with anyone interested in learning more about the school.

  • (3 years ago)

    There are a couple of problems in this school. There is an over abundance of parents who teach and are in the business office/administration. What this means is a lot of favoritism and conflict of interest. Naturally the parents who work there are attracted by the tuition discount for their kid and work their connections. Even though people are asked to fill out forms that ask for things about other students and or their parents to be kept under folks just can't keep things to themselves. Yes he who pays the big donations gets preferential treatment whether it's academics or otherwise. That said the elementary school has an excellent head who takes her job super seriously. However when it comes to Middle school they have had a revolving door of heads and the current head seems to be biding his time till the next job or so that is what we all think. There are a bunch of issues. For example teachers tend to be absent often and when you have a porblem with a teacher it doesn't get dealt with in a timely manner

  • (3 years ago)

    As a student I have excelled in my performance. I'm still in Middle School but this is what I have accomplished in just one year High Honors Johns Hopkins program high PSAT scores and currently I am working on my history project (which I will be competing in at Maryland University). Academically I would say the homework hours are worth it if you are committed to class. Socially on the other hand is more of a failure. But school isn't about friends since this is a college-prep school. Wakefield has stretched to accommodate the needs of individual students and only needs to improve on social life. The teachers are fantastic and I feel I can talk to them comfortably. Advisory should change up a bit so that we can learn more about each other as our advisors seem lacking. If I could choose any school in the world I would pick Wakefield.

  • (3 years ago)

    Thank you for commenting on your experience at Wakefield School. We are disappointed to learn that you did not have an exemplary experience here. Please contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your concerns so that we may address the issue.

  • (3 years ago)

    Great community of parents caring teachers great physical environment. Unfortunately school leadership is out of touch particularly in the upper school. Bullying is pervasive and consequence free. Upper School leadership ignores emails and phone calls from parents. Your children will need therapy avoid this school.

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Overall score

(based on 32 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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