From the Head of School

Welcome to the 2023-2024 School Year

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, and 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 an 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 for our youngest learners. We are a community school of approximately 400 students.

Now in my sixth year as head of school, I am proud to be a part of this unique school. 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. 

Over the last couple of years, we have made extraordinary enhancements in student support: academically, social-emotionally, and culturally. We have a new Director of Equity, Diversity, and Belonging for the 2023-2024 school year. We have expanded our arts programs. We continue to seek meaningful ways for our students to connect and belong.

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

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
A picture of the MLK Monument in Washington DC with the quote "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."

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...

Read More about Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King in 2021