Francesca reflects on friendships,pre-kindergarten, and the Westside School tradition of Reading Buddies

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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.


I began my journey at Westside School when I was four years old. At that time the school was much smaller than it is now; there was no Middle School, and we were located at the building we shared with Explorer West. When I started at Westside I was in pre-kindergarten and my teacher was Claudia; she still teaches pre-kindergarten today, too! I loved that year because we got to play dress up a lot, learn about numbers, and my favorite part was being able to have reading buddies. I liked being able to hang out with the older kids because it made me feel special and sometimes I would even get the chance to try to read the books. Being able to be with other students in different grades is really important because you get to make new friends with people who are a different age than you and bond with them. I love how Westside School is very inclusive and they like to mix together different grades in some of the classes, especially in Middle School.

Shared by Francesca, Class of 2017

Share your story with us. It just might be featured here!

Growing professionally in the New Year

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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.

Bedtime Math

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bedtime math 2

Reading to or with your child before bed is a great way to wind down the day and connect. However, there is a new app out that suggests parents and guardians should add math to their bedtime routine. Yes math. Bedtime Math is both a website and free app you can subscribe to. By subscribing, families receive daily math story problems to read to their child. The daily math riddles are meant to take only five minutes and involve reading a short story followed by leveled questions.  

The idea behind Bedtime Math is that research has shown kids who do math problems at bedtime improve significantly in their math comprehension. Over the course of one nine-month school year, students who do bedtime math gain on average the equivalent of a three-month advantage over their peers, researchers report online today in Science

However, even if improving your child’s math scores is not your priority, Bedtime Math can be a fun addition to your bedtime routine.  Kids really seem to like it – probably because the riddles involve interesting topics, but also because it is fun to do together. My boys actually asked to do it the other morning because we had skipped it the night before!  

So check out today’s Bedtime Math question!

Citation: Cho, Adrian. “Bedtime Problems Boost Kids’ Math Performance.” Science. American Institute for the Advancement of Science, 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <;.

Thanks for reading today’s Tech Tidbit!

Susannah Muench