From the Head of School


Westside's Head of School Steve de Beer smiling


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.

I look forward to meeting you.

Steve de Beer
Head of School

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