DEI in Program & Curriculum
DEIA at Every Grade Level
Integrating DEIA Into the Fabric of Westside
Westside has been working to incorporate Learning for Justice Anchor Standards into our program. During the 2020-2021 School Year our faculty underwent a mapping process to analyze, annotate, and assess how these standards are lived out and incorporated into our units of study. A Social Justice Continua was adopted. This continua increases common language, common goals and a framework for social justice skills being taught in a progression, like any other subject. Teaching these standards is the work of all of our teachers, from Early Learning to Middle School.
Each year faculty members will review Westside’s collective annotations to our evolving Social Justice Continua to identify and discuss our collective strengths and growth areas. Thereafter, faculty will select one standard that they don’t currently address in their classroom and set a goal to implement this standard into their curriculum.
A Framework for Anti-bias Education
The Social Justice Standards are a road map for anti-bias education at every stage of K–12 instruction. Comprised of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes, the Standards provide a common language and organizational structure educators can use to guide curriculum development and make schools more just and equitable.
Anchor Standards & Domains
2021-2022 EQUITY & INCLUSION SPEAKER SERIES
This year, Westside School is excited to partner with local independent schools to bring the Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series to our communities. The purpose of this series is to raise awareness, challenge ourselves, deepen understanding, and empower our communities to advance their efforts to actively recreate systems into equitable, inclusive, and antiracist institutions. The program invites 4-5 speakers throughout the academic year to create access to recognized authors and speakers that engage participants in complex topics through dialogue, cross-cultural communication, and a deeper understanding of the impact that racism and oppression have in our institutions and the greater society.
Partnering with Rainier Scholars
Westside has a strong relationship with Rainier Scholars, which began in 2012. Each year, Westside welcomes Rainiers Scholars into our Middle School community. Westside usually has 4-8 scholars among our Middle School student body and offers 2-6 scholarships to rising 6th graders annually.
The Rainier Scholars program supports students most underrepresented on college campuses: Multi-Generational African American, African immigrant, Hispanic/Latinx, first-generation Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American students who have the greatest number of barriers to achieving a college degree. Partnering with local independent schools, including Westside School, Rainier Scholars engage in a 12-year model that combines academic preparation, career and leadership development, and personalized, comprehensive support. The students’ twelve-year journey includes a fourteen-month intensive academic phase, placement into the area’s top schools (both independent and public), leadership development, and support which lasts throughout their college years. By offering access to exceptional educational opportunities and ongoing comprehensive support, Rainier Scholars works to increase college graduation rates and to develop a new generation of leaders.
Rainier Scholars Program Success
- Between 1-5 new Rainier Scholars are added to our Westside MS program each year
- 100% of scholars graduate middle school on time and ready for high school placement
- 100% of scholars are admitted to at least one top tier independent high schools in the Seattle area
- Nearly 850 lives transformed to date
- 60 new Rainier Scholars added to the program each year
- 98% of High School Seniors are accepted to a 4-year college or university with 90% on track to graduate.
Student Diversity Leadership Retreat
Westside is proud to partner with other member schools to design and attend the Student Diversity Leadership Retreat. Modeled after the NAIS SDLR Conference, the NWAIS Student Diversity Leadership Retreat (SDLR) is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of middle and upper school student leaders (grades 6-12) from across the Northwest Association of Independent Schools. SDLR is annual, but rotates among middle and upper school student years. Westside sends Middle School students and teachers when SDLR serves the MS population. Westside’s Middle School Director is proud to serve yearly on the planning committee. SDLR focuses on self-reflection, forming allies, and building community. Led by a diverse team of adult and peer educators, participating students develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles. In addition to large group sessions, SDLC “family groups" and "affinity groups" allow for dialogue and sharing in smaller, more intimate settings.