In anticipation of our 35th Celebration, we’ve asked some of our eighth grade students to share their Westside Story. Westside School is what it is today because of 35 years of stories. We’d love to hear yours.
A favorite part of my Westside School experience has been being able to go on the annual fall and spring Outdoor Education trips. Although, in the moment, I thought the fifth and sixth grade trips were not fun, I look back on all the memories and friendships I made on those trips. In seventh and eighth grade, I began to appreciate the trips more than I did when I was younger. I began to realize how grateful I am to be able to go to a school that gives students like me the opportunity to go on these trips.
Shared by Kate, Class of 2017
I have been at Westside School for nine years. During that time we have changed buildings twice, just as frequently as I have learned from my mistakes. During that time I have developed a lasting relationship with my planner, just as I have with countless classmates. Over the years a number of lessons have been taught to me by many amazing teachers, who were just as influential to me as the leaders that have been here while I have. During these past nine years I have gained essential and extremely beneficial life skills that will take me through high school. Thank you, Westside School, you have made me a much more grateful, articulate, and (typically) understanding person.
Shared by Sophia, Class of 2017
Share your story with us. It just might be featured here!
Ten students and three faculty members joined the Nature Consortium work party this past Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. Working behind Pathfinder School in the Duwaymish Greenbelt, they planted native species and worked hard removing invasive species such as blackberries. Members of the Westside School Student Council organized the event and had a great time giving back to their community and playing in nature together. Nature Consortium holds a work party every Saturday in the Greenbelt and is always looking for volunteers!
On Tuesday January 3 Westside School faculty came back to school for a day spent on professional learning. Specifically, teachers worked in their multi grade level Professional Learning Community (PLCs) teams. These PLCs provide the framework for working together to strengthen the Westside curriculum and provide a professional growth experience for teachers. Our PLCs are focused on the theme of providing the highest level of student engagement and meeting the needs of each student in our school. PLC’s are grouped by the following topics: reading, writing, math, positive school culture, documentation of student learning and re-imagining the role of an instructional assistant.
PLC’s are the key to help us have an aligned curriculum built on research based best practices in education applied by our teacher. By collaborating in multi-grade level teams the PLC’s allow teachers to explore what a truly cohesive student experience can and should be for a Westside student. We are very excited about the work we are doing and are looking forward to how it will impact the Westside student experience in positive ways.
Westside School will be hosting Screenagers for all interested families on Wednesday, April 20 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Screenagers is an award winning documentary about the impact of screens on your teens. Click here for more information about the film.
Students may watch the film if accompanied by their parent and/or guardian. If you are interested in viewing the film, but will not have your child watch with you, we will have complimentary child care available, including a dinner hosted by the Westside School EDP staff.
Please click here if you are interested in attending the film or if you are interested in attending the film and will need child care.
The film runs about one hour and we will have a moderated discussion led by faculty following the viewing.
We hope to see you there!
Westside School is fortunate to have many talented, passionate, creative, and engaged faculty and staff. Today, we’re highlighting (and hearing from) someone who has made a tremendous impact in several key areas of our community. Nick Low, our Extended Day & Summer Program Coordinator, shares what he has learned, what surprised him along the way during his years at Westside School, and what’s next.
I have learned so much these past three years. Most of all, I have learned about people. Getting to know children in and out of a classroom environment has taught me they are truly the germinating seeds of adults-in-training. What everyone has in common is they have a hard job to do as they go through life, and they all need some help along the way. Westside School has been an amazing environment, both in allowing me to help people as they undertake harder and harder jobs, and by supporting me as my job has become harder as well.
This past year, I moved out of the classroom and took on the role of Extended Day and Summer Program Coordinator. I have missed being part of a classroom community, and developing day-in and day-out relationships with a small group of students. However, I felt by taking on the Coordinator position I might be able to positively influence the experience of more of the Westside School community. In many ways, this change initially felt like taking a step back in order to see the bigger picture. I was given the opportunity be more involved in designing an experience in which students could flourish rather than helping them through it personally. By the end of our Westside School Adventure Camp last summer, I realized I would have plenty of close-up interaction with students in addition to designing programs and helping to craft the bigger picture. It became apparent this was going to be a really big job, and I would need plenty of help. And I got it. I have had so much support from teachers, instructional assistants, administrative staff, and our facilities team throughout this year, and I would not be able to do a good job without them.
What I have learned from my year as Extended Day and Summer Program Coordinator is it is time for me to fully engage in what I intend to accomplish. I hope to be able to help more people to learn in better ways, and to understand each other more compassionately. As I see it this is the most important job in the world, and I have had a wonderful opportunity to work at it here at Westside School. To do the best job I can, I still have a whole lot to learn. So I have made the decision it is time to go back to school and be a student again. I’ll be pursuing a Master’s degree in Religious Studies full time beginning in the fall. If you’re wondering, “Why Religious Studies?” come ask me sometime, it’s a topic I enjoy talking about.
Westside School will not be the same without Nick, but we are very grateful for his dedication, thoughtfulness, and spirit. After the academic year concludes, Nick will help kick off Westside School’s Summer Adventure Camp, before heading to the east coast in early July. Congratulations, Nick!