New Family Guide
New Family Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Welcome to Westside School! We are thrilled to have you as part of our learning community! Starting a new school can sometimes be stressful for both the student and the student’s family. We’ve provided answers to the most commonly asked questions below. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s teacher, advisor or anyone on the administration team with additional questions.
Q. What time does school start and end?
- Classroom doors open at 8:45 AM, class starts at 9 AM
- Preschool ends at 12 Noon
- Prek doors open at 8:45, class starts at 9 AM
- Prek ends at 2:45 PM
- Classroom doors open at 8:15, class starts at 8:30 AM
- Kindergarten is dismissed at 2:45 PM
1st – 4th Grade
- Classroom doors open at 8:15, class starts at 8:30 AM
- Class is dismissed at 3:15 PM
- Classroom doors open at 8 AM, classes start at 8:15 AM
- Classes are dismissed at 3:30 PM
Q. What are drop-off and pick-up procedures?
Drop-off and pick-up procedures are published in our Parent Handbook HERE.
Q. Do you offer extended day care before and after school?
Yes! Westside’s Extended Day program is available for students before and after school and is available on a monthly basis or space available drop in. Information on Extended Day options will be included in your registration packet. Extended Day begins at 7:30 AM and ends at 6:00 PM. Find more information on Extended Day HERE.
Westside also offers exciting afterschool enrichment opportunities for Lower & Middle School students. There are typically 3 sessions during the school year, usually two afternoons per week. Robotics, sewing, jump rope, and musical theatre are some of the options typically offered.
Q. What is lunch like? Does Westside offer hot lunch service?
Lower and Middle School students eat lunch in Westside’s Multi-purpose Room (MPR.) Students sit with their classmates, and are monitored by a teaching assistant.
Hot Lunch is catered by Blue Plate Express. Lunches can be ordered weekly or monthly, for an entire week or just a couple of days.
Pizza Day. WPO, the Westside Parent Organization, sells pizza slices for lunch approximately two Fridays per month. A portion of the proceeds from Pizza Day support WPO community building activities and events. A link will be provided before school starts in the fall to order pizza. All students, including Full Day Early School students, are eligible to participate in Pizza Day.
Q. Does my student need school supplies?
For the most part, all school supplies are provided by Westside School and the classroom teacher. Teachers, especially in the upper grades, usually recommend binders & thumb drives. Teachers will let you know if anything “extra” is required before the start of the school year.
Q. What role do the room parents have?
Two parents per classroom typically share the Room Parent Responsibilities. Room Parents play a valuable role in the Westside Community. Primary duties included:
- Assisting the teacher with classroom communications (classroom help, field trip chaperones, etc.)
- Finding volunteers in your class at the start of the year (auction art projects, teacher appreciation lunches, Scholastic book representatives.)
- Keeping track of the voluntary class funds (funds collected for teacher appreciation, art project, etc) and distribute them as needed.
- Attended a Room Parent Welcome meeting and Wrap Up Meeting during the school year.
Q. What can I expect from the school as far as communications?
Westside makes every effort to communicate electronically, with few exceptions. The yearly registration packet is an example of such an exception.
Classroom Communications: Your student’s teacher has a web page on the school’s website. Each classroom’s website should be updated approximately every two weeks. At the beginning of the school year, teachers will layout what parents can expect in terms of classroom communications.
Schoolwide Communication: Westside’s website is designed to be the primary resource for ongoing information. Late breaking and time sensitive information is shared via the Westside Insider. The Westside Insider is published via email every week on Thursday or Friday. The Insider contains information on schoolwide events, activities and important dates.
Head of School Updates:Throughout the year, the Head of School will publish, usually via email, important changes and updates.
Board of Trustee Updates:On occasion, Westside’s Board Chair publishes updates to the school community, usually by email. Updates are most often related to strategic matters of the school.
Q. Who do I tell if my child will be late/absent?
Call (206.932.2511) or email Kathy Winans, Office Manager if your child is going to be absent or late.
Late arrivals or early dismissals must be signed in/out in the office. Students may not sign themselves out early.
Q. Who do I contact regarding my tuition balance/account or Tuition Assistance?
Julie Jetland, Director of Business & Operations
Q. Who do I contact regarding Extended Day?
Tara Potter, Extended Day & Summer Programs Coordinator
Q. Is there a volunteer or fundraising requirement at Westside School?
No, there is no minimum requirement for volunteer hours or donations. That being said, our community is very involved in the activities and fundraising of Westside School. There are MANY opportunities to volunteer, both in and outside of the classroom, for as little as an hour, or a long term volunteer commitment. Parents know what works best for their schedule. We encourage and welcome volunteers!
As with almost every independent school, fundraising is an important part of helping to ensure that tuition is accessible to those families that want a Westside education for their children. Because we value our familie’s time and resources, the Development Committee decided many years ago to limit fundraising to the Annual Giving Campaign, and our annual SPIRIT Auction. There are no bake, candy, or wrapping paper sales.
There are numerous opportunities to support the auction through volunteering, procuring or donating an item, working on a class auction project, and attending the event.