"Westside School has allowed our children to grow up in a school community where they are appreciated, supported, and known for who they are as individuals. Our children are able to experience joyful learning, to understand why learning involves taking risks, and to understand that achieving deep learning comes best when teachers and students collaborate and are connected with one another." -Westside Parent
Creating Joyful Learners
The world of lower school at Westside School is one of questions and journeys, independence and collaboration, where our teachers celebrate each child's special talents.
Students are encouraged to develop their own thoughts and become independent thinkers. Teachers often take the role of facilitator: Talking with students -- instead of at them - they emphasize how one reaches an answer is as important as the answer itself. In all of the classrooms, teachers help students develop independent skills.
From preschool on, students learn by doing. Teachers teach new ideas, concepts and curriculum in a variety of ways, challenging every learning style, and showing your child learning is fun. Students also start presenting and speaking in front of their class. By middle school, they are confident and poised in front of their classmates, groups of parents, or the entire Westside student body.
An integrated, project-based curriculum allows students to spend time learning with their class, in collaborative teams, and on their own. Through third grade, each class is led by a teacher and assistant.
Whether it's taking advantage of learning from a whale washed up on a nearby beach or listening to an ornithologist share her knowledge of owls, or by spending the night at a working Pioneer Farm, our students are acutely aware of the world as their classroom, and complete lower school ready for the social and academic challenges of middle school.
"Westside School has been a savior for our family. About two and a half years ago I experienced an unexpected & serious physical trauma. As a result, our two children have also experienced the stresses and emotions that come from such an event.
Throughout this traumatic time, and throughout the healing process, the leadership team and teachers at Westside have been overwhelmingly supportive. They have taken the time to listen to our story, listen to how this has affected our everyday lives and, most importantly, how they can help our kids on a daily basis. We have also formed many wonderful friendships at Westside which was displayed through the support system around us. Westside is truly its own community. A community with high morals, integrity and loyalty.
We are grateful each and every day for Westside. We value their leadership, the safety they provide and the ongoing dedication to enrich our children's lives." -Westside Parent
The curriculum at Westside is a dynamic, growing, and evolving framework that supports student learning. The faculty and staff engage in ongoing, collegial conversations and reflections on our work of providing relevant, meaningful, and authentic learning opportunities for the students. The curriculum and curriculum guide will continue to evolve as we work collaboratively to implement best practices for student-centered learning in today’s environment.