About WES

Our Mission

West End School provides a safe and structured environment for boys in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th in which academic rigor, character development, and responsible action establish the foundation for a purposeful life.


Our vision

To enable students, regardless of their circumstances, to achieve their highest potential.


Our Values

Responsibility, respect, trust, forgiveness, and perseverance.

Dwight Bransford,
Head of School

West End School is a tuition-free independent school serving boys in pre-K through 8th grade

West End School has the mission of providing a safe, structured environment in which academic rigor, character development and responsible action establish the foundation for a purposeful life. Our program seeks to level the playing field so that our students have access to quality education, enrichment opportunities and future academic and career prospects.

Founded in 2005 with only three middle school students, West End School has grown over the past sixteen years now serving up to 140 boys--92 Pre-K through Fifth grade day students, 38 Sixth through Eighth grade boarding students, and 10 students who are graduates of the program and continue to live on campus while attending local high schools. The School is fully accredited by the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS).

West End School offers students small class settings so that all students receive individualized instruction. Additionally, we provide extensive counseling support to address any emotional, behavioral and academic concerns. Before and After School enrichment programs are available for pre-k through five day students. Middle school students participate in team sports and board in our residence hall five days a week. The School also provides optional on-campus housing for students who have graduated from the program as well as summer work-study opportunities. Students also participate in a 4-week summer program which includes academic courses, enrichment activities and travel opportunities which help to prevent "summer learning loss" between school years.

West End School graduates have received more than $2.5 million in scholarships and are currently attending academically rigorous private, parochial and magnet high schools as well as national and local colleges and universities, e.g., Tufts, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Berea, Western Kentucky University, University of Memphis, and Murray State. All West End School graduates are pursuing a high school diploma or college degree, serving in the military or working full time.

The Blairs

West End School Founders

In 2005, Robert and Deborah Blair founded West End School as an educational experiment grounded in the belief that all children can achieve their highest potential if provided with an education imbued with high expectations, rigorous academics, and a supportive community. Struck by the significant achievement gap between low-income students and their higher income peers, Mr. Blair left his position as Head of School at Kentucky Country Day and began West End School to offer a boarding school model to middle school students from low-income families.

In that first year, Mr. and Mrs. Blair shared a house on Chestnut Street with three middle school boys and commuted to a single classroom in a dilapidated, former JCPS building. Within a few years, WES acquired the entire building, began refurbishing classrooms, and renovated one wing of classrooms into a dormitory.

Students studying

In 2012, WES launched its lower school day program with a PreK and Kindergarten program. Each year after, another grade was rolled out until we completed the WES Lower School in 2017-2018, when we added our 5th Grade. In the 2021-2022 school year, WES serves 80 lower school students and 30 middle school students. Additionally, WES offers housing to alumni attending high school, who benefit from living in our supportive and structured environment. This school year, five alumni have opted to live on campus.