Dates & Times for the 2022-2023 School Year

2022-2023 Dates and Times Heading

 

Below you will find essential information about the 2022-2023 school year. We include our major dates calendar, publish new start and end times for our school day, and discuss a significant internal calendar adjustment that primarily affects next year’s Middle School and Arts programs and changes when we are holding parent-teacher conferences.


Major Dates Calendar

Please click here to see the major dates for the 2022-2023 school year, including school vacations.


School Day Start & End Times

The 2022-2023 daily schedule returns us to the longer school days that we enjoyed in pre-Covid times. Like most schools, Westside had shortened the day to accommodate a number of restrictions. We are excited to return to “normal!”

  • Preschool: 8:15am-2:15pm
  • Pre-Kindergarten – 2nd grade: 8:30am-2:30pm
  • 3rd-4th grade: 8:30am-2:50pm
  • 5th grade: 8:40am-3:25pm*
  • 6th-8th grade: 8:55 am-3:25pm**

*To help support their transition from Lower School to Middle School, students in 5th grade will start every day with a Morning Meeting from 8:40-8:55 am before they transition to their academic classes.

**Instructional time in the Middle School will increase by thirty minutes per day, 150 more instructional minutes per week.


Middle School and Arts Moving from Trimesters to Semesters

Since we started our Middle School several years ago, our upper grades have operated on a different academic calendar from Lower School and Early Learning. This has driven the scheduling in the arts across all divisions. Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, all three divisions will follow a true semester schedule to be in sync with each other.

There are several advantages (in addition to all school synchronicities!) in transitioning our Middle School and Arts programs to a two-semester model: the most important of which is to provide more depth versus breadth in instruction. Semesters provide more weeks for in-depth learning, which leads to a greater understanding of content. In a semester model, students have more time to absorb and expand their thoughts on challenging course material.

A second important reason to transition to a semester model is equity. Semesters provide students more time to learn content (What teachers would call “soak time”). Compressed trimesters are especially detrimental to students who start the term off unsuccessfully. On a trimester schedule, these students do not have enough time to absorb and assimilate information before they are presented with new material. With a semester model, struggling students have more time to establish their footing, gain support from Learning Specialists, and develop effective organizational management skills to meet their long-term learning goals. Likewise, having more time to dive in brings great benefits for students who are excelling with new materials and concepts.

"The Arts program at Westside is very excited to move from trimesters to semesters. Instead of teaching in broad strokes, we can dive deep into content mastery specific to Visual Art, Music, and Theater. These extra weeks afforded by a switch to semesters will give students invaluable time to develop their craft as musicians, thespians, and visual artists."  ~ Carl Edwards, Arts Department Chair


Early Learning and Lower School: Year-Round Music and Creative Movement Classes

As we previously announced with the re-structure of our arts program for 22-23, Lower School and Early Learning classes will now receive year-round classes in music and creative movement, which is a significant increase over our current model.


Middle School: What Changes and What Doesn’t?

What does this change mean for students in 5th-8th grade? Instead of three 10–12-week terms, we will now have two 16–17-week terms which will provide students more time to build skills and build toward content mastery. Elective offerings will not change. In 7th and 8th grade, students will still be able to rank their preferred Art electives. Students will have more time to go in-depth in their Art classes. Actives classes will remain on a trimester model to provide more variety for students throughout the year. 


What Does This Change Mean for Westside Parents & Guardians?

Our five main touchpoints with parents & guardians (three parent/teacher conferences and two written progress reports) will be more evenly distributed throughout the school year. Teachers will write reports at the end of each semester. They will meet with parents at the start of the year and around the midpoint of each semester.


Below are the key new dates for your planning purposes:

Start of the School Year Parent/Teacher Conferences: August 31 - September 1, 2022

Semester 1: September 7, 2022 - January 13, 2023

  • Fall Parent/Teacher Conferences: November 21 - November 22, 2022
  • Reports mailed to parents after January 13

Semester 2: January 18 - June 15, 2023

  • Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences: March 24, 2023, and March 27, 2023
  • Reports mailed to parents after June 15

Conferences and progress reports provide the opportunity for teachers to share students' continued growth, areas of strength, and areas of improvement. Additionally, Westside will continue to hold conferences before the first day of school to establish or maintain a strong family/school connection.

Additionally, for our 8th grade students applying to high schools, Westside will provide an 8th grade Progress Report to area high schools in the fall. 

We are excited about these changes, which we are confident will continue to strengthen our program. As always, please let me or Middle School Division Head, Meghan Waddle, know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Picture of Head of School Steve de Beer.

- Steve de Beer, Head of School