Beyond the Classroom
The culture is very warm and inclusive. I feel the staff and kids are very inspired, and very diligent. It is a pleasure to be a parent here! Thank you!
- Westside Parent
Being a caring, inclusive community is the foundation of a Westside education.
Westside integrates this philosophy formally and informally, through our teaching inside the classroom, as well as through mentoring programs, field trips, and service learning. Our students look out for and take care of each other. In addition to being character building opportunities, these opportunities create authentic leadership experiences.
Some of the many benefits of being a Preschool through Middle School program are the leadership and mentoring opportunities across all grades. One of the highlights is our Lower School Reading Buddies program. Older lower school students read with preschool and younger Lower School students once a week. Buddies form lasting bonds, which continue even after the partnership ends.
Helping Hands. Westside 4th graders partner with our Early School program to help them load into cars at the end of the day and during their lunch period. The younger students are thrilled to have the “big kids” take an interest in them.
Service Learning is the process through which young people learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized community service activities. Students expand their knowledge, citizenship, and leadership through community service. These experiences are integrated into Westside’s academic curriculum. This gives students opportunities to use newly-acquired academic skills and knowledge in real-life situations in their own communities and extends learning beyond the classroom. Ultimately, Service Learning helps foster the development of a sense of caring for others.
Every class participates in a Service Learning project. Examples include the kindergarten holiday toy drive and 3rd graders making blankets and volunteering for Westside Baby. Our 2nd graders raise salmon from eggs, and release them into Fauntleroy Creek. In Middle School, students participate in a campus Service Learning Day, as well as organized efforts for Food Lifeline and West Seattle area parks restoration.
In fall 2011, Westside received a grant from the Medina Foundation to build and edible school yard garden. In addition to providing a rich learning opportunity that covers biology, nutrition, sustainability, and hunger, the “crops” will be donated to West Seattle area food banks.