The Friday Lower School Wrap-Up

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With it being Friday, and the end of another month, there’s lots of great information to share about our Lower School students!

Salmon Eggs hatch!

After Mid-Winter break second grade students and teachers came back to school to find their salmon had transformed from the shy alevin stage to the busy fry stage of their life cycle! This is an exciting time as students now get to feed the fish and clean out their tank regularly. The classes are also diligently adding the next stage to the salmon cycle wall display. Come by and see what we have been creating!

Second grade chinese blog post 2.28

Ni jiao shenme mingzi?


For the last few years, second graders have been asked Ni jiao shenme mingzi? (What’s your name?), they have answered “Wo jiao Jordan” or “Wo jiao Roy.” Now, however, each second grader has received a Chinese name they will use in Mandarin class from now on.

Chinese teacher Steven tells us many of the students have been asking for Chinese names for a long time, but he has told them it is our Westside Lower School Mandarin Program tradition (of several years) to give Chinese names to all the second graders after Chinese New Year each year.

Chinese names usually (but not always) consist of three characters, with the first character being the family name, and the second and third characters being the given name. Steven has tried to choose an authentic Chinese family name with some resemblance in sound (or meaning in some cases) to the student’s original name. Then he chooses two characters (or sometimes one) that sound like the student’s first name and which, very importantly, have an auspicious or positive meaning. The Chinese tend to choose characters like “strong, loyal, healthy, dragon” for boys and “flower, beautiful, jewel, elegant” for girls.

After learning their Chinese names, the students learn how to write them in Chinese characters. Watch for their Chinese names on the Chinese bulletin board.

Here are a few of the favorite names for this year’s second graders:

Luke…Han Lu Ke  “Shows His Abilities”

Sydney…Fei Xi Ni  “Joyful Girl”

Alana…Ba Ya Lan  “Elegant Orchid”

Konrad… Zha Kang Le  “Healthy and Happy”

Lilian-Grace… Mai Li An  “Beautiful Peace”

Christoph… Lai Ke Li  “Overpowering Strength”


Fourth grade students are ramping up for their outdoor school experience at IslandWood – A School in the Woods on Bainbridge Island. Students will be exploring the natural world, giving real-life meaning to their academic learning and deepening their understanding of the natural world. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and combines ecosystem science with community building in safe, yet challenging adventures that cultivate stewardship. This is the eleventh time fourth grade students at Westside School will be participating in this amazing adventure.There will be a lot of pictures to see when they get back, so stay tuned!

Final Family Movie Night of the Year!

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My Neighbor Totoro

WPO Family Movie Night

 My Neighbor Totoro

Friday, March 7

MPR doors open at 5:30 p.m. Movie starts at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for the LAST movie night of the school year, brought to you by the WPO! Kids may wear Pj’s, and bring sleeping bags and pillows. Pizza, popcorn and other concessions will be sold. Children must be accompanied by a parent/adult. Friends and family are welcome.

Thank you to Movie Night Chairs, Rik Keller and Erika Pearson
Any Questions? Contact

Click here to volunteer to help out (parents + 4th grade students).

Congratulations to the Athletes’ of the Week!

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February 24 Athlete of the Week

The Westside School 5th and 6th grade boys’ volleyball team played their first game last weekend. Due to it being mid-winter break, the team competed with five players, and allowed the boys valuable game experience and court time. All five players tried hard, and practiced their skills, but Tyler’s game stood out. Tyler has a hard overhand serve, and consistently and fearlessly goes for the ball. At this level, being aggressive and going for the ball is one of the biggest challenges, and Tyler did a great job of not being passive. We are looking forward to the return of all the players, and continuing to improve through the season.

The 8th grade girls played their first game last Saturday at St. Francis, and came out on fire. They won the first set 25-9, before getting tentative and dropping the second set, and then coming roaring back and handily winning the third set, to win the match 2-1. The team has been working in practice on calling the ball, and going for it. The girls were aggressive and passed really well in the first and third sets, and hopefully can continue this all season long. The team has also been working on setting and hitting. Ella did a great job overall, but coaches were particularly impressed with her hitting. Ella served and defended well, and got a few clean spikes, including one right over the net that came up on a platter from the other team. Ella’s athletic potential during basketball season was clear, and now the team will get to see it during volleyball, where her jumping ability will really come into play. After each game, the opposing coach selects one player to receive a sportsmanship bracelet, and the St. Francis coach chose Ella – which demonstrates she was not only playing great, but was also modeling great sportsmanship.

Congratulations to both Ella and Tyler!

SPIRIT Auction Newsletter, February 26, 2014

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February 26, 2014

Okay, we’re not actually dancing in the halls (yet!), but throughout Westside folks are breaking a sweat preparing for auction night. As you’ll see from this week’s updates, it takes our entire community to make the auction a success. So please read on, and whether you’re volunteering, donating, attending, sponsoring or all of the above, We Thank You!

From the Box Office: Last Chance for Early Bird Prices!!!

Don’t delay – RSVP today (if you’ve not already) to take advantage of the Early Bird prices. They end TONIGHT!! The last day to buy any tickets is Monday, March 3. The auction is a great opportunity to have a fun night out with friends, while supporting Westside School. You can purchase tickets here.

Looking for Dash-Worthy Desserts!

The “dash” is an important part of the auction; last year it raised more than $9,000 for Westside School. But we need the desserts! Click here to donate your favorite, baked or brought (we still need more than 20!) Many thanks to Yvonne Frankovich, our Dessert Dash host.

Want to join the Crew? There are still lots of volunteer options! Come Help!!

Whether you’re planning to attend the event, or you’re unable to join us, we have a job for you! Coming to the event? You can do a 30-minute shift selling raffle tickets or helps us clean up after. Free Saturday morning? Help us set up! (Note we need some strong arms here) Not attending the event, but would like to come and work during? We need you! Sign up here.

Last Notes: Procurement

Thanks to everyone for the fantastic donations! Please remember to deliver any tangible items or gift cards to school by this Saturday, March 1. If it will be later than that, please let Amy Eby (Auction co-chair) or Janelle Russell (Procurement Chair) know.

Debuting this week: Auction Raffles

This year only the 50/50 raffle tickets will be sold before to the auction – tickets will be mailed to your home. You can offer them to friends, neighbors, co-workers…the more we sell, the bigger the pot! As always, the winner need not be present at the auction to win.

Additionally, a “Best of Live” Ticket raffle will be offered auction-night only, for guests in attendance. More details to come!

Event Sponsors

Our production credits are still growing! A huge thank you to new SPIRIT Partner West Seattle Endodontics and all of our wonderful and generous sponsors:

SPIRIT Signature Sponsor: Paw Treasures (Elissa & Matthew Clough)

SPIRIT Supporter Sponsors: Jetstream Freight (Jody & Bryan Jennings), My Violette (Corrine James), Viscon Cellars (Ben Viscon)

SPIRIT Partner Sponsors: Alki Treasures (Jackie & John Clough), Evergreen Finance Consulting Terminals (Chris Legler), Expedition Trips (Hillary & Ashton Palmer), Fauntleroy Chiropractic (Bryan Weibe), Pacific Terminals (Keirsten and Bradford Lovejoy), Umpqua Bank (Michelle Livingston), West Seattle Endodontics (Rachelle Cohen)

– SPIRIT Catelog Sponsor: Kirtley-Cole Associates, LLC.

SPIRIT Centerpiece Sponsor: SKL Architects

And thanks to SubPop Records for donating table decorations!

Westside Insider newsletter, February 24, 2014

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February 24, 2014

Westside Insider Head of School

Welcome back! I trust you all had a restful, maybe snowy, maybe sunshiny, maybe glorious Seattle-based February break week. It was wonderful to see the students back at school this morning – and the excitement continued as we all noticed our salmon eggs had become fry over the break, and they are happily swimming around the tank in the main hallway. Come by and see!

An important reminder: Re-enrollment contracts and deposits to hold your spot for ALL returning students are due in the office by Friday of this week, February 28. We hope to see all families who received contracts return to Westside for next year. After re-enrollment is finalized, we will know how many spots to offer our applicants, who are anxiously awaiting their admission decision.

If your student is not returning to Westside for any reason, we would like to know that as well. If you have any questions as you work through this process, please let us know. I am happy to sit down with any family who has questions or concerns about the upcoming year. David Bergler (Mr. B.), Lower School Head Ari Feeney, and Middle School Head Marc Saks are also available to answer your questions.

I look forward to seeing you all around school!

Kate Mulligan, Head of School

Westside Insider Calendar

February 28: Re-enrollment contracts due, Middle School dance, Winter Masquerade, MPR (6:00 to 8:00 p.m.)

March 3: After School Enrichment Session IV begins

March 4: 7th grade field trip to University of Washington, Brain Awareness Week

March 6: 3rd and 4th grade Musical Play Performance “Tweet”, MPR (6:30 p.m.)

March 7: Family Movie Night (6:00 p.m.)

Westside Insider AUCTION

The Box Office is open! Auction Tickets are now on sale! Invite family and friends to join – all are welcome! Tickets can be purchased here, and are available at a special Early Bird price through THIS WEDNESDAY February 26. Tables seat 10; please include the names of friends or family you’d like to sit with when you purchase tickets. The auction committee will do its best to accommodate your requests.

Recruiting more Crew Members!

There are still volunteer opportunities available to both those attending or not attending the auction. Interested? Click here to volunteer, and thank you!

Westside Insider Middle School

The students in 8th grade science are moving into the study of the history of life on earth! Be sure to learn more and see ways you can contribute!

Westside Insider Athletics

Be sure to check out the Middle School Volleyball game schedule!

‘One man’s “dust-collecting items” are another man’s “appreciated donations”

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Perhaps this isn’t quite the saying…but in 8th grade science, students are moving into the study of the history of life on earth and will be modeling what Earth looked like, and who lived on it, at different times over the last several billion years.
Plastic Dinos
If you have a collection of plastic plants and/or animals just gathering dust, we’d love to put them to use! While the lists below are quite extensive, please note we don’t need all of these items, we’re just hoping to get a good collection started.
We would greatly appreciate donations of any of the following…
Models (preferably plastic) of: dinosaurs, early mammals (wooly mammoth, saber-tooth cat, etc), sharks, jellyfish, scorpions, millipedes, sea stars, shellfish, dragonflies, sharks, fish, butterflies, crocodiles, marine mammals, land animals, insects, reptiles, all kinds of plants (aquatic and terrestrial), etc.
Real, but non-living, animal remnants such as: sea sponges, sea urchin shells, trilobite fossils, coral, empty reptile eggs, empty emu or ostrich eggs, large bird feathers, shed reptile skins, bird skulls, mammal skulls, shed antlers, and dried owl pellets.
Real, but non-living, plant remnants such as: dried moss, cones (pine, fir, etc), acorns, etc.
Random other items that would help make our models awesome: lava dirt or rock, river rocks (small-med size), a small red bicycle light that has a steady-on option, empty shoe or boot boxes.
Thank you!
And a 7th grader reminder about the upcoming field trip!

When? We will be going on a field trip next Tuesday, March 4, from about 10 am – 2 pm (meet in Sarah Harper-Smith’s room right after second period ends)
Where? To the University of Washington for Brain Awareness Week, where we’ll learn more about our brains and how they work, compare (real!) brains from different animals, and participate in fun activities.
What do I need? Weather appropriate coat and shoes (we’ll be walking a good distance across campus and probably eating lunch outside), a sack lunch with snack, and a great attitude!