In my nine years as a head of school, there have been very few moments when I have felt compelled to write to my school community to offer thoughts on a political or current event. Sadly, every week the news is filled with atrocities somewhere in our country and our world. This past week however, with the killing of George Floyd and other race-charged acts, and the protests that have followed in Seattle and elsewhere, I feel compelled to connect. These are the moments when mission-driven organizations have a choice to lean in or to sit back to wait and see what happens. This is not the time to sit back...
From the Head of School
WELCOME TO THE 2019-2020 YEAR AT WESTSIDE SCHOOL
This is a school that provides children with strong foundational skills and equips them to become flexible, creative thinkers and engaged citizens. Our mission to challenge students to achieve academic success, and to connect their human spirit and imagination to learning, is so essential in today’s world.
38 years ago, Westside began with just a handful of students in preschool. Today, we are situated in a state-of-the-art building in the Arbor Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, with almost 350 students from preschool to 8th grade.
Now in my second year as head of school, I am proud to be a part this unique school community. Our teachers are skillful, impassioned, and hard-working. Our parents are committed and supportive. Our students are delightful and exceptional. It is our people who make the difference. We are a community school.
This school is a special place, a place where children are known and honored, where they are encouraged to grow cognitively, socially, emotionally, creatively and physically, a place where joyful and integrated learning is at the forefront of our philosophy of education. With an outstanding Trips program, fantastic Arts experiences for all, and a World Language program that is second to none, Westside students receive an extraordinary education.
Here at Westside, we are proud of the way we challenge kids to stretch and learn. Alumni families consistently share stories with us of how our graduates are thriving in the best Seattle high schools and beyond. They are confident, thoughtful, accomplished, creative, articulate, respectful, and kind.
Thank you for visiting our website. I warmly encourage you to visit us in person to experience the unique programs, imagination, and spirit of our school.
I look forward to meeting you.
Steve de Beer
Head of School
These are challenging times and I applaud all the tremendous efforts that students, teachers, and parents everywhere are making to balance it all. It is not easy.
Balance is something I’ve been thinking about a lot this week. We probably all feel out of balance to some degree as we try to develop a new normalcy while staying home...
In times of uncertainty and fear, it is our human connections that uplift us. It is our routines that keep us grounded. It is our knowledge that our children are in school all day with caring and inspiring professional educators that bring us a sense of security.
In these trying times of a worldwide public health crisis, these safety nets are being taken from us, and we are left to navigate these unchartered waters more isolated and more uncertain than before.
I imagine there are a lot of feelings among us all about this turn of events - apprehension, overwhelm, confusion, fear, concern, wonder about how the heck we’re going to do this? And these feelings are mixed in with all kinds of other worries about coronavirus in general: your health, your family and loved ones at higher risk, the economy, and whether you have enough essential supplies. If you’re feeling anxious, you’re not alone. It’s normal, it’s ok, and we are all here for each other...