Seventh grade spends week rafting, hiking, and growing

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The class of 2018 rafted for two days and hiked 7.8 miles along the Clackamas River on a five day trip at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, OR. One of the main focuses of the trip was communication and cooperation; students worked together through team building activities and learning to raft together. Each evening students met by the campfire to review and reflect upon their day and acknowledge each other. The week culminated in a day long rafting experience with class three and four rapids with names such as Hole in the Wall, Box of Fluffy Kittens, and Toilet Bowl. All in all, the trip was an amazing experience for all involved! The seventh grade class was able to mature and grow, and they are now ready to step into the role of being the leaders of Westside School Middle School.

Sixth grade soaks up the sun in Vantage

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The sixth grade traveled to Vantage in central Washington for a week of camping, climbing, hiking and studying of geology. The students had the opportunity to visit Dry Falls as well as Lake Lenore Caves.

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Students climbed a variety of routes on basalt rock formations in Vantage and had the opportunity to rappel as a final culminating challenge.

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Each evening the trail groups would meet to reflect on and savor their new experiences. The educational focus of the trip was studying the mega floods of the ice ages that carved the landscape during several catastrophic flood events.

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Student spent the week looking for evidence of the floods, such as hanging valleys and erratic boulders.

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Everyone on the trip returned to Westside sun kissed, full of energy and new memories and feeling closer as a community.  

Fifth grade explores the Olympic Peninsula

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Last week the fifth grade students braved the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula on a coastal adventure. Students set up base camp at a beautiful recreation area near Port Angeles and groups took turns backpacking for one night in Olympic National Park. They explored tide pools, the Elwha River, and several coastal ecosystems. Students saw deer, bald eagles, seals, and salamanders.

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They smelled skunk cabbage and tasted salal leaves, touched whale bones and witnessed the effects of dam removal. Students reflected nightly in their journals where they also completed mind and event maps, collaborative poems, and letters of gratitude and appreciation.

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Upon returning to the classroom, they were ready to share stories and discover how each person experienced the trip in their own distinct way.

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Everyone is so happy to be home, showered and dry, but it was a wonderful experience camping on the beautiful coast!

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Year-long salmon study concludes!

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The second grade classes culminated their year-long study of salmon by releasing 144 Coho salmon fry into Fauntleroy Creek on Wednesday. 150 salmon eggs arrived at school in early January and the students took care of the salmon as they hatched into alevin and subsequently turned into salmon fry. The second grade students complete scientific observations starting with drawing a diagram of the tank and continuing through the egg-hatching, alevin, and fry stages of the life cycle of the salmon. Students start feeding the salmon blood-worms toward the end of their time with us and observe their changes in behavior. They become much more aggressive as they get ready to enter the wild and, for salmon, that’s a life-sustaining behavior. As the second grade students studied salmon, they also learned about ecology, habitat, and became experts on the life cycle of a salmon.

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Eighth grade girls Volleyball team wins Championship game!

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Westside School’s eighth grade girls’ Volleyball team won both games this weekend, beating St. Catherine’s in the semifinals Saturday, and beating Holy Rosary Edmonds in the championship game on Sunday, completing an undefeated season.

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This is only the second team sport championship in Westside School’s history, and the first volleyball championship. The girls showed great skill, spirit, and teamwork, and were great ambassadors of Westside all season. Thank you to everyone from the community who came and supported the team on Sunday.

World War II Veteran visits eighth grade students

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Last week, in connection with their study of World War II, eighth grade students had the opportunity to meet with a World War II veteran. Al Skaret, who served in the Navy and was aboard the USS Bunker Hill when it was attacked by Kamikaze pilots, shared his story. In addition to having time to ask Al questions, the eighth grade students also had a chance to help him celebrate his 97th birthday! It was a memorable occasion for everyone who had a chance to be involved. A huge thank you to the Leahy family who helped make his visit a possibility!

Preschool returns to Westside in 2017 – 2018!

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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, tedh@westsideschool.org or 206.932.2511.

Important Dates:

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