About Us

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

Our Vision is to enable students, regardless of their circumstances, to achieve their highest potential.

Our Values

Our Core Values are: responsibility, respect, trust, forgiveness, and perseverance.

West End School is a Scholarship-Based Independent School serving boys in Pre-K through 8th grade

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Founded in 2005 with just three middle school students, West End School has grown over the past 17 years and is now serving over 140 boys in pre-k through eighth grade. In addition, students who are graduates of the program may 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 small class settings so that all students receive individualized instruction. Additionally, we provide counseling support to address emotional, behavioral, and academic concerns. Before and After School enrichment programs are available for pre-k through fifth grade 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 alumni who have graduated from the program.

Elementary and Middle School students also participate in a summer program which includes academic courses, enrichment activities and travel opportunities which help to prevent “summer learning loss” between school years.

Graduates are provided with work opportunities to help defray the tuition costs of their high school education.

West End School graduates have been offered more than $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.

Through the help of Rev. A. Russell Awkard and the New Zion Community Development Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Blair was able to share a house on Chestnut Street with three middle school boys and commuted to a single classroom in a dilapidated former JCPS building. The New Zion Community Foundation was able to acquire the historic Virginia Avenue Colored School.Through the generosity of the foundation, WES acquired the entire building within a few years and began refurbishing classrooms, while renovating one wing of classrooms into a dormitory.

In 2012 WES launched its lower school day program with Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. Each year another grade was added until we completed the WES Lower School in 2017-2018 with the addition of a 5th grade. In the 2022-2023 school year, WES now serves 90 lower school students and 38 middle school students. Additionally, WES offers housing to alumni who attend high school. They benefit from living in our supportive and structured environment.