Expanded Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Program
Westside is Expanding!
- Opening for the 2021-2022 school year
- Preschool and pre-Kindergarten will increase from 32 to 60 students
- New age-appropriate play structure and garden space
- Play-based, focused on experiential learning, and designed to foster the social-emotional foundations for academic success
Westside School will open an expanded preschool and pre-Kindergarten program for 3 and 4-year olds for Fall 2021. While our current PS/PK classes are capped at 32 students, our new expanded program will provide the foundations for joyful lifelong learning for up to 60 children.
Two classes for 3-year olds will open in our new Westside School Preschool on the site of the former New Apostolic Church. This former church site, that is immediately adjacent to the south end of our field, now officially becomes part of our larger campus. Our two pre-K classrooms for 4-year olds will remain on our main campus.
Renovations on the new preschool building will begin shortly. As you drive by the site on the corner of 32nd Ave SW and 106th St, you will soon see crews at work as well as new Westside School signage. Our exciting plans include creating two new state-of-the-art classrooms in the former sanctuary with fabulous high ceilings, remodeled bathrooms, and a renovated lower level that will include an updated kitchen, an art room, and storage. The whole building will be ADA accessible and the exterior will get a fresh look.
We will also create a new playground and gardens on the preschool site, natural exploration areas that are perfectly designed for our littlest learners. And we will landscape the grounds to help the two parts of our campus feel more connected.
This Church to Preschool Project has already received two significant gifts which will provide a strong foundation for success. There will be no impact on our operating budget or tuition.
Westside’s emergent PS/PK curriculum will remain the same: it is play-based, focused on experiential learning, and designed to foster the social-emotional foundations for academic learning. Our PS/PK teachers promote a joyful school environment where play is learning, where our youngest students learn to make sense of the world around them, build social and cognitive skills, and construct knowledge that they will use as they move into Kindergarten and beyond.
As well as growing our campus, we will also re-structure support and oversight of these classrooms. Our talented pre-K teacher McKenzie Craig will move into a Division Head role, overseeing the preschool and pre-K programs, spending time and interacting with children and teachers in all 4 classrooms, and being a resource for parents. Heather Moss will remain our Lower School Division Head for our Kindergarten-4th grade program.
Intersecting at a time when some preschools and daycares have unfortunately closed in our area due to the impact of the pandemic, Westside is thrilled to offer more places to the families of West Seattle and neighboring communities.
As you might imagine, this has been (and remains) a significant project, two and a half years in the making. We are very grateful to the many volunteers who have served on the Church to Preschool Task Force, many of them current Westside parents, all of them experts in their field.
Word of mouth is Westside’s most powerful marketing tool. Please share this news with families you know who have 2, 3, and 4-year olds and help us spread the word.
Thank you to the Church to Preschool Task Force who have all donated their time and expertise. This project would not have been possible without you.
- Lisa Hadley, Chair of the Board of Trustees, alumni parent
- Josh Kornfeld, Trustee, Chair of Marketing Committee, current & alumni parent
- Victoria Carter, Trustee, Chair of Capital Assets Committee, current parent
- Rory Tipton, Trustee, Board Treasurer, current parent
- John Schack, Finance Committee member, current parent
- Courtney Flora, Finance Committee member, current parent
- Luis Aguilar, Capital Assets Committee member, current & alumni parent
- Craig Haveson, Current parent, STS Construction
- John Kennedy, SKL Architects
- Gladys Ly Au-Young, SKL Architects
- Myra Lara, SKL Architects
- Laura Anderson, Director of Finance and Operations
- McKenzie Craig, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
- Nicole Caden, Director of Advancement
- Steve de Beer, Head of School