About Westside School

ROOTED IN WEST SEATTLEWestside School Ad from 1981 that says "Now Accepting Registration for 1981-82" and more info

On September 9, 1981, Westside School started as the Westside School for Young Children. 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.

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. This space became our permanent home for our preschool through eighth grade programs.

Exterior of Westside School building at dusk

The new space is a naturally lit, child-centered, creative building that provides a collaborative learning environment for Westside School’s permanent home. 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.

After five locations, hundreds of students and 37 years of stories, Westside has continued to grow and flourish, becoming the high quality center for learning that it is today.

OUR TIMELINENewspaper clipping with the title "New Westside school will begin operation in Sept." from 1981

1981 Westside School for Young Children opened its doors to 11 kindergarten students.

1988 Westside’s program had grown to 33 preschool students and 22 students in kindergarten, first and second grade.

1989 Our first auction raised $4,000

1990 Now with forty-eight preschoolers and thirty 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 PNAIS (now NWAIS) and became an accredited independent school.

1996-1997 Westside School expanded its program through the fifth grade and our first class of five fifth grade students graduated.

2000-2001 With an increase of total enrollment to more than 125 students, Westside offered separate fourth and fifth grade classes.

2005-2006 Westside School obtained licensing from the Department of Early Learning and the early school program was restructured from multiple part day options to a full five-day pre-kindergarten class and a five-day multi-age class of PK with a half-day preschool.

2011-2012 Sixth grade was added, with subsequent grades added the following years

2014 Our first eighth grade class graduated.

2013 The Board of Trustees began searching for property to purchase as a permanent home for the school.

2014 Following a successful Capital Campaign, construction began on Westside’s permanent home.

2015 Construction was completed on our new building in July.

2015-2016 Our first year in our permanent home.

2016-2017 The first double-section of 8th graders graduated in the spring of 2017.

Westside School exterior photo credit: Benjamin Benschneider