With less than two weeks left in the school year, student’s are working hard on their final projects and presentations for EOL, Spring Flings or Showcases, and also getting out to enjoy the sunshine! Here are a few snapshots from around our community this week.
To see more of what the students have been working on, come check out these events:
Tuesday, May 30
5:30-6:15 p.m. Seventh and Eighth Grade Exhibition of Learning (EOL)
6:30-7:30 p.m. Middle School Showcase
Wednesday, May 31
8:15-9:00a.m. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Coffee in the Gallery
9:00-9:30a.m. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Spring Fling Performance
Thursday, June 1.
6:30-7:30pm. Lower School Spring Fling Performance
Mary Kratz, Sarah Path and thirteen 7th and 8th grade girls traveled to Nicaragua over spring break and have some incredible stories to share!
We traveled with a company called Global Works who organized a custom trip for us focused on cultural exchange and service learning. We enjoyed a bit of sight-seeing, but spent most of our time interacting and learning from Nicaraguans about their country and culture-we had to use a lot of Spanish! In Managua, the capital city, we toured the chureca and learned from a community organizer, named Yamileth Perez, about the struggle to move families off of the city landfill where families had been living, scrounging scraps of metal to sell and scraps of food to eat. We toured the neighborhood with Yamileth, heard lots of stories of resilience and grassroots organizing and visited their community center called Podcasts for Peace. At the community center, we learned about the programs they offer in healthcare, youth programming and the arts. In addition, they make podcasts to tell and share the stories of members of their community and other marginalized groups in Managua. While at the community center we got to meet a lot of the volunteers, hear some of their podcasts and videos and play games and read books with neighborhood children.
Next, we traveled northeast to San Ramon, a rural mountainous region of Nicaragua, where we met and worked with four women’s collectives who make and sell artisan crafts. One group made jewelry from seeds, one made beads and jewelry from recycled rolled paper, one made stationary items like journals and cards from recycled paper, and the other group were weavers who used a loom and traditional weaving techniques. With each of the women’s groups that we worked with, we got to learn about their artistic process and work alongside the women in their workshops making arts and crafts. We also conducted interviews to learn more about how their groups started, what their goals are and the challenges they have faced. We are currently working to turn our interviews into biographies about all of the women’s collectives in Spanish and English. These will be posted on a tourism website for the region to try and help publicize the women’s work and bring them more business.
In addition, we had a lot of other incredible experiences including a bread making workshop, a visit to a cacao factory, a boat ride through the isletas of Lake Nicaragua, a tour of Granada and we swam in a volcanic crater! Hard to believe all of this happened in a week! The students brought to Nicaragua their curiosity, their full attention, respect, maturity, fun, open hearts and open minds. On the last night, we reflected about what the students had taken and learned from Nicaragua. The two biggest takeaways were 1) an awarenessand gratitude about our privilege, such as educational opportunities and access to clean water and healthy food and 2) the notion that money does not equal happiness, since we met many people in Nicaragua who told us and showed us that though they may be poor in money, they are rich in love and happiness.
Westside School will once again open its doors to three- and four-year-olds for a half- and full-day preschool program for the fall of 2017. Expanding upon our current pre-kindergarten program, we will offer emergent curriculum focused on experiential learning and inspired by a variety of teaching practices. Preschool students will have access to many of our specialists, such as visual art, performing arts, physical education, and world languages.
Great early-childhood education has been a hallmark of Westside School since its founding in 1981 and we are thrilled to announce the return of our preschool after a several-year hiatus. We encourage families to join us for our Preschool Preview or a tour.
Westside School is now accepting applications for preschool and other grades (depending on availability) for the fall 2017. For more information, please contact Ted Holmes in our Office of Admission, firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.932.2511.
Tuesday, May 9: Preschool Preview, 10:00 to 11:00 am. Meet the preschool teachers and learn about the program in detail. Parents and guardians only, please.
Tuesday, May 23, Student Observation, 10:00 to 11:00 am. We will meet prospective students in a short observation session.
Tours for all grades: Available upon request: 206.932.2511
Our first and second grade students celebrated the season this week with songs, spring decorations, and spirit during their How Does Your Garden Grow musical performance!
Happy spring everyone!
How much do you think you could pull, if you were as strong as a snail? To investigate this, seventh grade students harnessed the power of snails (literally!) in pre-algebra. Each group hooked a land snail up to a paper cup which the snail would pull and the students would gradually fill with washers.
The goal is to find the maximum pulling strength of each snail, which students will compare (using ratio and percent) to the snail’s own body mass!