From the Head of 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.

37 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.

As I begin my tenure as head of school, I am tremendously excited to have joined 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.

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 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. 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 and spirit of our school.


Steve de Beer
Head of School


Steve's Weekly Blog

Happy New Year

Welcome back to school and happy New Year. I hope you had a restful break with your children.

New Year. Capitalized. I find this an interesting concept here in the middle of winter.

While I am a great believer in goal setting, I am not particularly one for making New Year's resolutions. January first is an odd choice, I believe, for us to celebrate our New Year, but here it is. The calendar tells me so. The ball in Times Square has dropped. We're in the middle of short days and dark, cold evenings. January first seems to me like a division of time that has no reference to any event, astronomical, astrological, seasonal, or geological...

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The Voices of the Season

On Thursday, our Lower School will come together in two Winterfest celebrations in our spectacular theater: for Preschool and Pre-K families at 2:15pm and for Kinder-4th Grade families at 6:00pm. At the evening performance, guests will hear our 4th grade MCs reflect on the longest night and the shortest day, the Winter Solstice, which occurs the very next day.

On Friday, the sun will set just a wee bit earlier and rises just a tad bit later than at any other time of the year, plunging our northern world in darkness. During the darker weeks, we tend to turn to light for comfort and to lift our spirits: a dancing candle flame, a cozy fire, a beaming flashlight...

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Growing Wonderful Humans

It is an exciting time in our admissions office as tour after tour of prospective families visit our campus to learn about all the good things happening at our school. Early numbers suggest there is very strong interest in Westside School for next year. 

On each of these tours, I take pride in sharing one particular aspect of our collective vision for our students:  not only do we want to foster strong academics in our students, we are motivated to help them to become wonderful humans...

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