This 2021-22 school year, Westside School celebrates our 40th year. For four decades we have been providing a first-class educational experience for the families of West Seattle and surrounding areas. We are celebrating by opening a new preschool building on our expanded campus and emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever.
Westside is a school that provides children from preschool-8th grade with strong foundational skills and equips them to become flexible, creative thinkers and engaged citizens. We provide our students with unique, diverse experiences that give them plenty of opportunity to discover and explore new passions and to grow. Our mission to challenge students to achieve academic success, and to connect their human spirit and imagination to learning, is essential in today’s world.
The global pandemic challenged our structures, our thinking, and our creativity, and yet we are emerging resolute in a shared belief that we can do more than we ever thought possible. Staying true to our mission, our collective human spirit and imagination was challenged to rise to new levels. Last year we designed a student experience that continued to deliver on our mission in diverse ways, while holding our community safe. This 2021-22 school year we are thrilled to return to 100% capacity on our campus, and to continue to let all our students shine in person.
The pandemic gave us opportunities to experience community and connection in new ways. It highlighted for us the essential role that schools play in our communities. We have seen just how interconnected we are, and that community is a broader term than we may have thought of before. We have lived through one of the more vulnerable times in history. Yet in that vulnerability, Westside School has remained steady as a safe and caring community for all our students, families, and staff.
40 years ago, Westside began with just a handful of students in preschool. Today, we are situated in a state-of-the-art Pre-K-8th grade building and a newly renovated preschool building on a stunning campus in the Arbor Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, with 380 students.
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, integrated, and inclusive learning is at the forefront of our philosophy of education. We have an outstanding trips program, strong athletics, fantastic arts experiences, a world language program that is second to none, and a deep commitment to social justice and anti-racist curriculum. Westside students receive an extraordinary education.
Now in my fourth 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. 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. Once visitors are allowed on campus, I warmly encourage you to visit us in person to experience the unique programs, imagination, and spirit of our school. In the meantime, I encourage you to book a virtual tour with our admissions department.
Next week we pause as a community and as a nation to remember and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. This year, perhaps more than any other in the decades since Dr. King was assassinated, we must heed his message of racial equality, economic justice, and peace.
King balanced indictment against war, racism, and poverty toward the end of his life with a political optimism rooted in his faith that millions of Americans could mobilize a nonviolent army of the underserved, capable of transforming the political and economic status quo...
Our children are always watching and listening to us and taking cues from the adults around them. Yesterday, our whole country watched in horror as hundreds of people stormed the center of our democracy, smashing windows and voicing their anger at the outcome of the Presidential election. These individuals were incited to do so at the moment our elected officials were peacefully exercising their duty and responsibility to preserve our Constitution. An angry mob attacked the home of our Governor here in Olympia and there were similar events in other state capitals.
We are heartbroken by these events. At Westside our ability to recognize diverse perspectives and communicate ideas is central to who we are...
I have been thinking a lot this past week about community: how hard it is to maintain our human connections during the pandemic; in particular, how hard it is for families. Your kids are in school at least some of the time (depending on their grade). How are you, our students’ parents, doing?
Psychologists have shown us that social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and improve our immune systems...