A YEAR IN REVIEW
Dear Westside community,
As I look back on my first year as your Head of School in 2018-2019, I am filled with gratitude for your warm welcome and a sense of awe at the positive direction of the school. Among my own goals for the year, I wanted to get to know everyone in the Westside School community. Along the way, together, we accomplished so much more.
Throughout the entire year, we worked together to create a school that is like no other - one where children are challenged to know themselves, where creative and critical thinking and children’s natural curiosity are celebrated, where we all become an integral part of a caring community, where everyone is honored in a lifelong journey of learning. We worked tirelessly towards our goal of exceptional academic programs and standards at Westside. We hired two additional full-time specialist math teachers, re-organized our student learning support program, and redesigned our approach to standardized assessment.
We re-framed how we look at social and emotional learning: not as a 'unit of study', but as the very essence of how we build relationships with our students, how we interact with them and model for them every day, and how we intentionally support them to become better people and engaged and skillful world citizens. We committed to a three-pronged approach to enhance our work in social and emotional learning, including investing in a school counselor position and adopting a new curriculum. It was a year in which we established a welcoming and respectful school climate for students, parents, and staff, and re-vamped all of our school communications to be clear, frequent, and effective.
We played championship volleyball and playoff soccer and basketball; we sang our hearts out and performed numerous theatrical productions; we traveled as near as Mt. Rainier and as far as China on our outdoor education and experiential learning program; we expanded our robotics team and showed off our academic accomplishments at frequent exhibitions of learning, and so much more.
As I am quickly learning, there are always amazing and dynamic things happening here at Westside. I am very happy to be a part of it all. Thank you to all of you for being part of it too, for everything that you do.
Steve de Beer
Head of School
JAMIE MARGOLIN- WESTSIDE CLASS OF 2016
Westside alum, Jamie Margolin, presented to the Middle School in May to 4th-8th grade about her background as a climate change activist. Jamie graduated from Westside in 2016, she currently attends Holy Names, and has become one of the leading youth activists in the country fighting climate change. Jamie is the founder of non-profit Zero Hour and is currently writing a book, Youth to Power (out in 2020) in addition to being a senior in high school.
During Jamie’s visit we asked her if her Westside experience had an influence on her work fighting climate change.
Oh yes, definitely my Westside education had an influence on me.
Westside is not rigid. That kind of freedom, teacher’s asking me questions and giving me space to grow really gave me the confidence to be an activist today. There’s a lot of schools that crack down on students, teachers just shove a test in your face, don’t give you a chance to learn through discussion. I was lucky enough to go to school here (Westside) where all the teachers give you time and space to learn and grow and projects to work on. A lot less freedom in other schools.
I like high school, I love it a lot, it’s a great experience, but it is a lot of ‘take this test, do this worksheet.’
It’s not about the what test you took on Friday, you won’t remember that information the following week. What’s valuable is not the specific given information you learn, it’s the tools you are given about how you learn, how to speak up for yourself to think for yourself. That’s what really helped me.
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE
In 2014 Westside School launched its first Capital Campaign to raise funds for our permanent home where Westside is today. In addition to one-time gifts and foundation grants, families chose to support the campaign through a five-year commitment. During the 2018-2019 school year, many of those families fulfilled their pledge to the Capital Campaign! Be sure to check out the donor recognition wall in the school's lobby to see what families made our permanent home possible.
Thank you to all who contributed to our amazing space!
Received to date:
WESTSIDE SCHOOL FUND SUCCESS
The Westside School Fund, held during the month of October, brought current families, board members, faculty and staff, alumni families, friends, and grandparents together to support Westside’s students and educational program. The 2018-2019 Westside School Fund was a success in a number of ways:
- We exceed our goal of $203,000 by raising $206,580
- We reached 84% participation from current families
- 91% of new families contributed (a Westside record!)
- 48% of families increased their gift from last year
- Two grades reached 100% participation
The 2018-2019 Westside School Fund’s theme was around the Westside wolf, creating a fun way to get involved for both families and students. To kick-off the fund and get everyone excited and engaged we gave kids wolf ears and Westside t-shirts to show their school spirit. Parents were treated to coffee and treats throughout the Week of Giving.
Guests at the 2019 Spirit Auction enjoyed a fun-filled evening with new games, silent and live items, teacher experiences, casino tables, dancing, and delicious food. Block 41 provided a charming atmosphere, which set the stage for this “rat pack” themed event. Together, the Westside community raised $115,750 for Tuition Assistance, $67,300 for new Chromebooks and musical instruments, and $167,000 to support Westside’s students and educational program.
Thank you to our generous sponsors of the 2019 Spring Auction. Their support help underwrite the costs of the event so that more dollars raised went directly to Westside's educational program.
John L. Scott - Bill Reid
Big Leaguer Sponsor
Art Project Sponsor
Keller Rohrback L.L.P
Live Oak Audio Visual
Total awarded - $463,890
7% of tuition is allocated towards tuition assistance in addition to $125,000 which represents the budgeted raise-the-paddle for tuition assistance. We actually raised $121,650 at the auction. These funds (total tuition assistance) support 46 students for the 2018-2019 school year. The tuition assistance awards range from $1,200 to $16,400.
The average award was $10,213 and based on the average award, 12 students benefited from the raise the paddle donations.