About Westside School

Sunrise over Westside School


Westside School started as the Westside School for Young Children on September 9, 1981. It was founded by a group of educators and parents who wanted a positive and self-esteem building school experience for their children. The program grew steadily, and Westside moved many times over the following years, outgrowing building after building as more students enrolled.

Finding Our Permanent Home

Following a successful Capital Campaign that raised more than 4.2 million dollars, construction began early in 2013 on a complete renovation of the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church in West Seattle’s Arbor Heights neighborhood. In Fall of 2015, this space became the permanent home for our preschool through eighth grade programs.

Westside School is a naturally lit, child-centered, creative building that provides a collaborative learning environment for our students. Westside’s campus has 53,000 square feet of space dedicated to teaching and learning: 27 classrooms; light-filled, child-centered work spaces; a beautiful library; separate, team-oriented middle school classrooms; 500 seat auditorium; green space, and warm and inviting gathering spaces where students, teachers, parents, and visitors can connect, share, and meet.

Expanded Preschool Program

In 2019, Westside had the opportunity to expand our Preschool on the site of the neighboring former New Apostolic Church. Renovations on the new preschool building began in March 2021, creating two new state-of-the-art classrooms in the former sanctuary with fabulous high ceilings, remodeled bathrooms, and a renovated lower level with an updated kitchen and multi-use space. The space also includes an age-appropriate and secure playground, expanding garden, and natural exploration areas that are perfectly designed for our littlest learners.

You can read the full announcement here. 

Our Timeline

  • 1981 The Westside School for Young Children opened its doors to 11 students.
  • 1988 Westside’s program had grown to 33 preschool students and 22 students in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.
  • 1989 Our first auction raised $4,000.
  • 1990 Now with 48 preschoolers and 30 primary elementary students, Westside outgrew its original space and moved into a new space that they leased from a small West Seattle church.
  • 1996 Westside was accepted as a member of NWAIS and became an accredited independent school.
  • 1996-1997 Westside School expanded its program through the 5th grade and our first class of 5 5th grade students graduated.
  • 2000-2001 With an increase of total enrollment to more than 125 students, Westside offered separate 4th and 5th grade classes.
  • 2005-2006 Westside School obtained licensing from the Department of Early Learning and the Early School Program was restructured from half-day options to a full 5-day pre-Kindergarten class.
  • 2011-2012 6th grade was added, with 7th and 8th grades added the following years.
  • 2014 Westside's first eighth grade class graduated.
  • 2014 Following a successful Capital Campaign, construction began on Westside's permanent home, the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church.
  • 2015-2016 Westside opened the doors to its beautiful state-of-the-art campus in North Arbor Heights.
  • 2016-2017 The first double-section of 8th graders graduated in the spring of 2017.
  • 2021 After renovating the adjacent New Apostolic Church, Westside's new expanded preschool building opened for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • 2022 After celebrating 40 years, Westside reached record enrollment with 400 students attending for the 2022-2023 school year.