The Mission of Westside's Student Support Department is to provide a proactive and comprehensive program to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students and to identify and address barriers to growth. By partnering with families, staff, and the wider community, we promote joyful learning and a sense of belonging at Westside.
Meeting the Learning Needs of Our Students
Each individual learning journey includes times of great triumph and steady progress. However, every journey also includes periods of struggle and times when students are faced with challenging obstacles or even barriers to growth. Westside's academic and learning support team aims to support students on their journey by providing small-group academic support in specific areas, finding ways to stretch students during times of academic achievement, and working directly with students and families on academic concerns. The four main objectives for learning support include:
- Support in areas of academic difficulty.
- Support in areas of academic strength.
- Differentiating instruction for different learners.
- Addressing attention and/or executive functioning difficulties.
Teaching and Learning are Both Social and Emotional
Our social and emotional curriculum helps students learn self-awareness and self-regulation, which in turn facilitate their interactions with and understanding of others. We help kids to recognize their emotions and needs and how to express and manage them appropriately.
We believe children learn to become caring members of a global community by treating each other honestly, with respect and generosity of spirit. We teach children how to recognize and respond to the needs and emotions of others through the intentional teaching of empathy, gratitude, compassion, and kindness.
Social and Emotional Learning is central to Westside’s mission and core values and is thoughtfully woven into every part of the student experience. We believe that all teaching and learning are both social and emotional. Therefore, all teachers have received training in Positive Discipline, which is at the foundation of our SEL work. The Positive Discipline approach emphasizes connection with others and recognizes what decades of research has proven: Kids learn best when they feel known, heard, and cared for by their teachers and peers.
Developmentally appropriate explicit SEL instruction begins in preschool and continues through 8th grade, teaching students skills and competencies in the areas of:
- Social Awareness
- Relationship Skills
- Responsible Decision Making
To support and guide this SEL work, our Counseling team works directly with students, teachers, and families to provide the framework for a proactive and skills-based approach to Social-Emotional Learning.
Students receive direct SEL instruction through our Social Thinking (Lower School) and Advisory (Middle School) curriculum and through small group or individual support for more emergent needs.
Teachers are also provided coaching on SEL integration as well as weekly meeting time to discuss and address emerging SEL needs within our community.
Families can find several resources at Westside, including a Student Support page on the Family Portal, educational presentations by Westside teachers and administrators, and a Family Education Committee that hosts guest speakers and community activities.
At Westside, we have no tolerance for bullying behavior, name-calling, or any conduct that belittles another human being.