Chewonki made mandatory for Westminster students who failed to register for classes


Westminster administrators announced a new and controversial policy regarding class registration for the 2023-2024 school year. In previous years, students who failed to register before the deadline were directed to their grade chair to ensure their spot in classes next fall. But this year, they are being left with only one option: two semesters at Chewonki instead of a school year at Westminster.

Chewonki is a college preparatory program in Maine, typically offered to Westminster juniors. Participants live in cabins and enjoy activities such as farming, wood splitting, cow milking, and sheep feeding alongside their rigorous science-based hands-on curriculum. The program typically lasts four months but an exception has been made for these special circumstances.

“Classes filled up so fast this year,” said junior grade chair Jaime Saunders. “This was the only option that didn’t involve either expelling some students or forcing them to stay for a few extra years to earn all their credits.”

Many have voiced concerns regarding the volume of students that will have to attend Chewonki as well as the struggles they will face after spending eight months in such an isolated location. 

“I don’t think Chewonki is necessarily the right place to start high school,” said Will Raven, a junior who participated in the program last fall. “You have to be the kind of guy who’s okay with milking cows and petting horses and whatnot. Which I am! But I’m not too sure about some of these ‘frosh’.”

The participating members of the incoming class of 2027 are unsure of what to expect.

“If I knew this was going to happen I probably wouldn’t have left it to the last minute. I just have so much work! Eighth grade is intense,” said current eighth grader Joseph Candy. “At least I have some rest and relaxation to look forward to in Maine next year. I just hope they don’t make me collect the eggs on the farm. I’m deathly allergic. To egg shells. The yolk is fine.”

Some students are debating the legality of the new policy, claiming that it could be considered solitary isolation as punishment for procrastination. 

“I can’t just stand by. I have to take a stand,” said senior Larry Stylinson. “I’ve been tweeting like crazy. These administrators haven’t considered the consequences of forcing students to basically live in the wilderness during vital developmental years. Who knows how those freshmen will turn out?”

A representative from Chewonki expressed their shock at this decision.

“What on God’s green earth were they thinking? Where are we going to have them sleep?” said Frost Walker ‘Cheddar” Chewonki, a staff member and director of student life. Her great-grandfather founded Chewonki over seventy years ago. “Might have to clear out the stables. But then where would we put the horses?”

Despite these concerns and criticisms, Westminster intends to move forward with the current plan.

“Oh, we’re not changing anything now,” said Saunders. “We’re in too deep! But I think the fresh air will be good for them. And we can still have them Zoom into class meetings.”