Come to Our Auction/Professional Development Days

Welcome back to school.  I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful mid-winter break. In this week's column, I touch on two important topics: professional development for our teachers and our upcoming, fun-filled auction.

2019 Spirit Auction – fast approaching on Saturday, March 9

Our Westside teachers and staff hope you will all join us next Saturday evening at the auction to get to know each other even more as a community and to support us in raising important funds to enrich our students' education. Dress up or not, just don't miss the cocktail hour, the raffles, games and items, sit-down dinner and a live auction. We like the party to keep going so the evening will conclude with a dance party, a candy bar, and Vegas-themed games. Westside knows how to celebrate and our families play the starring role in making the auction a success.

What's the fuss all about? Learn more about our fundraising goals for financial aid, technology, and our blossoming music program in the 2019 Spirit Auction section below.

Professional Development

Yesterday, we hosted for our teachers an essential all-day workshop on assessment and standardized testing.  During the week of March 18, our 3rd–8th grade students will be taking the MAP Growth test. The test will give us critical information about our curriculum and student learning.  It will also help us to know how our students are doing in reading, language use and math, both over time and relative to their peers.

We asked our teachers to participate in a full day of training in MAP testing because it is key that they are fully equipped to read and analyze test data – so that they can communicate information fully to you, the parents, as well as interpret where they can build and refine their own teaching practice. I will be sending you a far more detailed communication about testing next week.

In April, on the in-service day following spring break, our teachers will receive the final training session for Positive Discipline.  As you may recall, this is the social and emotional curriculum in which many of our teachers are completing 15 hours of training this year.  It is exciting to see how our focus and skills in this area has evolved this year and how our students have directly benefited. 

My staff and I understand that these additional days are not convenient for every family. However, we all greatly appreciate and value the time that it allows us to further our professional practice for the good of our students.

Steve de Beer
Head of School