From the Head of School


Westside's Head of School Steve de Beer smiling

Thank you for your interest in Westside 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, integrated, and inclusive learning is at the forefront of our philosophy of education. We have an outstanding outdoor 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. Our graduates are thriving in the best Seattle high schools and beyond. They are confident, thoughtful, accomplished, creative, articulate, respectful, and kind.

Westside School began in 1981 as the Westside School for Young Children with just a handful of students. Today, we have a beautiful campus in the Arbor Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, complete with a state-of-the-art pre-Kindergarten-8th grade building and a newly renovated preschool building. After celebrating our 40th anniversary last year, we recently reached another exciting milestone with over 400 students enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Now in my fifth year as head of school, I am proud to be a part of this unique school community. It is our people who make the difference; our teachers are skillful, impassioned, and hard-working; our parents are committed and supportive; and our students are delightful and exceptional. 

Since last school year, we have made extraordinary enhancements in student support: academically, social-emotionally, and culturally. We have expanded our arts programs. We are re-energizing many of the school’s traditions and programs that were on hiatus during the pandemic. And this past summer, we remodeled sections of each of our buildings to meet the needs of these enhanced programs. 

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.

I look forward to meeting you.

Steve de Beer

Head of School

Steve's Column

Picture of Zaretta Hammond and her book "Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain"

How are we listening to our students and their families who are telling us their experiences and are we making appropriate changes? If we are truly teaching in a culturally responsive way, we should be challenging every student to reach their full potential as good humans, as curious students, and as young adults interested in participating in civic engagement.

Read More about Bringing Together Academics, a Sense of Belonging, and a Commitment to Equity