West Hartford is a wonderful town with strengths far beyond just its education system. In 2006, Money Magazine ranked West Hartford as the10th most-educated town in the United States and in the August 2010 issue it is ranked the top small city in Connecticut to raise a family. In June 2010, Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine ranked West Hartford as one of the top ten cities to live in for the next decade. West Hartford holds the coveted AAA bond rating from Moody's Investor Service and Standard & Poor's. This rating puts our town in the top half of one percent of communities in the country with regard to fiscal management, a singularly impressive accomplishment.
Our high schools were ranked among the top 800 high schools (out of over 16,000 high schools) in the nation by Newsweek Magazine, and ranked us among the top ten in the state. In 2009, Emmett Gilles, a graduating Conard senior, was selected as a Presidential Scholar. Emmett's accomplishments are one of scores that the West Hartford academic community has achieved. Our performing arts programs are internationally recognized. Our students begin instrumental music lessons in grade four and strive for selection to our elite jazz bands, choral groups and I Giovani Solisti, a combined high school string orchestra. The Hall High School Theatre Department was selected as one of 30 American high school theatre programs to compete in 2010 in the International Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, a citywide extravaganza that is the largest arts festival in the world. Our schools are a tapestry of cultures and ethnicities, with close to 70 languages represented in our school system, a microcosm of all the talent, intelligence and diversity that America has to offer.
The outstanding faculty of the West Hartford Public Schools includes the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, the National Social Studies Teacher of the Year, the Connecticut Middle School Principal of the Year, and the Connecticut Elementary Principal of the Year. We are dedicated to continuous learning and see our schools as places where everyone goes to learn. We engage our teachers and leaders in job-embedded, on-going professional development. As a result, our professionals apply best practices in teaching and learning and strive to optimize student performance.