Westside School

A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small

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This year’s spring musical was Seussical Jr. All of the students involved worked very hard to put on multiple incredible performances and they truly shined on stage and behind the scenes. Here is what some of the teachers who worked with them on this production had to say.

“As with Dr. Seuss books, Seussical is a fantastical and sometimes chaotic musical.  The students needed an enormous amount of concentration and energy to keep all of those moving parts in order and to tell the story of Horton and the Whos.  In both performances, never was a line dropped or an entrance missed.  To a member, the cast was performing in unison to deliver a message of belonging.  I am so proud of what they accomplished.” –Bryan, Performing Arts Teacher


“The students in Tech Theater worked tirelessly on Seussical to create a student-led production. Students in Technical Theater sewed costumes, touched up backdrops, and built props up until the curtain rose. Students created whimsical hair and makeup looks for each character and lights and sound added to the atmosphere and drama. Stage managers organized their peers backstage and ensured that every scene went off without a hitch. Each student should be extremely proud of their ability to stage a full musical production!”
Anna, Interim Visual Arts Instructor

Without Tuition Assistance ‘Who Will We Be Missing Out On?’

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As part of the program during 35 Years: A Community Celebration & Auction, our community raised their paddle for Tuition Assistance.

Westside School’s Tuition Assistance program provides need-based scholarships to one in four Westside students each year.  The strength of our student body, and who we get to learn beside, affects every student at Westside School. Please take a few minutes to enjoy the video below. The lights on the 2017 Auction have been dimmed, but you too can make a difference!


Westside School Humanities teacher pursues Masters in Applied Positive Psychology

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This year sixth grade Humanities teacher, Amanda, is attending the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.  

Amanda is learning from leading researchers in Positive Psychology like Martin Seligman, prolific author/researcher, founder of Positive Psychology and former president of the APA, Angela Duckworth, educational researcher and the author of the book, Grit, and a rotating panel of experts in topics like morality (Paul Bloom), physical activity (John Ratey, author of Go Wild), and well-being in the workplace (Barry Schwartz).   

 In the fall, Amanda and her class studied Grit (the unwavering commitment to pursue/achieve goals) and Flow (the state of deep immersion felt when the challenge at hand is well-suited to our particular skills). Amanda would be delighted to share more information with anyone who might be interested in this ground-breaking and exciting field of study.

Amanda discovered Positive Psychology after years of teaching character education and strengths development in schools. She is thrilled to bring her research on goal-setting, motivation, and positive parenting back home to support the students and families at Westside School!    

Go Wolves! Wrapping Up a season of Cross Country!

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Westside School’s Cross Country team wrapped up the season on Sunday at Woodland Park. Our kindergarten through third grade runners had their final race earlier in the month, and we had 23 participants. Last Sunday, the weather held up, and the fourth through eighth grade student athletes ran their championship races.
Congratulations to our Wolves who placed fifth in the race for overall team trophy! Additionally, we are very proud of five top ten individual performances, and 24 runners who set their personal best! Improving your individual time through the season is a big focus in Cross Country, and it was great to see so many of our runners do this.

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We appreciate the great community support, with many of our families staying after their races and cheering on the later runners. Thanks to all who helped make the 2016 Cross Country season so terrific – including our wonderful coaches! Go Wolves!

Westside School debuts the Donor Wall

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In appreciation of those who generously gave to the Heading Home Capital Campaign, we are proud to announce the debut of the Donor Wall!

This installation honors the families and patrons who supported the construction of Westside School. In 2012, Westside School purchased our property (originally the Hillcrest Presbyterian Church) with the dream of reimagining the building as our permanent home. In the fall of 2015, with the visionary leadership of the Board of Trustees and the heartfelt participation of our entire community, our students and teachers walked through the doors to begin the school year in this extraordinary space. This beautiful building is the work of many, and is dedicated to all of the children who learn and grow at Westside School. Special thanks to Garreth Schuh for his time and commitment to the beautiful design.

We invite you to drop by and take a look, and you’re always welcome to a cup of coffee compliments of Caffe Umbria!

First the sun and the shores, then the moon – Third grade is staying busy!

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Third grade students learned about the phases of the moon by playing Orbit BINGO, going on a scavenger hunt, and using moon boards!

Westside School IS Going Places!!

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To celebrate the tremendously successful, exceptionally fun, absolutely magical evening of our community coming together to support the 2016 Spirit Auction we are bringing you a special edition of the Insider newsletter! Tomorrow, our regular communication piece will return with your weekly notes and information.

For months, members of the Westside School staff – led by Annual Giving Manager Shoshannah Hoffman – Spirit Auction co-chairs Andrea Ross, Jennifer O’Neal and Paula Wilkinson, and Westside School parent volunteers have been dedicated to creating a night with one thing in mind…Westside School students.

From the lighting design by Live Oak Audio to the friendly valet services of Red Carpet Valet Parking, the Etsy-like talents of our Dessert Dash co-chairs Debi Cushman-Kaplan and Jen Howe to world-renowned Auctioneer Fred Northup – talent and generosity filled the campus.

Our community celebrated our Spirit Auction for the very first time in our new, permanent home. The building was filled with the joyful laughter of our parents, staff, faculty, members of the Board of Trustees, and friends of Westside School. Together, the community has raised over $400,000! Thus far, more than $104,000 was raised for Tuition Assistance and more than $66,000 for Fund A Wish. Thank you so much to the Vitalogy Foundation for matching $1,000 donations to Tuition Assistance.

But we’re not done yet!

Through tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22 at 10:30 p.m. PST, you can still participate and support Westside School by Bidding for Good! Click here to take part in the Westside School Online Auction.

In addition, there are still Buy-in Parties to sign up for and you can make the amount raised for Tuition Assistance or Fund A Wish even higher, by donating here.

The gratitude we have for every sponsor, volunteer, donation, helping hand, great idea, and tireless effort cannot be fully expressed. We are exceptionally appreciative of our Spirit Auction Friend Level Sponsors, STS Construction and Mara Haveson Real Estate.

We also thank the following sponsors for their gift of support:

All Sponsor Logos Blog

Thank you to the following people, groups, and companies who made this event possible:

To Shoshannah Hoffman, for your vision, grace, thoughtfulness, tireless efforts and calm demeanor thoughout!

To Fred Northup, for sharing your gift with us and for your leadership throughout the design of this event

To David Koch, for your humor and kindness, your preparation and poise

To Andrea Ross, Jennifer O’Neal, and Paula Wilkinson, for your tireless dedication to the task of serving as Spirit Auction co-chairs. Every email, meeting, idea, edit, and creative contribution made this night possible.

To all the Room Parents and Middle School Reps, for putting together the most amazing live items the Spirit Auction has seen yet!

To Debi Cushman-Kaplan and Jennifer Howe, the two of you are sweeter than pie and creative beyond words!

To Angel Colmenares, for shining a light on something so important with your great talent and tremendous love for Westside School. We raised a record amount for Tuition Assistance with great support from your work.

To John Woodruff, for capturing so many joyful moments with such graceful talent

Janelle Russell and Lori Freer, for making everything look beautiful

To Dennis King, Angela Jimerson and Thai Truong for everything you do to keep our school shiny and bright, and for your tremendous efforts these past few weeks to prepare for such a big event!

Spirit Auction Volunteers

All of you made this night possible, with your passion and positive spirit:

Megan Simmons, Celesta Bjornson, Christine Leahy, Amy Eby, Monique Dawson, David O’Neal, Garreth Schuh, Maria Phillips, Reid Raykovich, Anthony Lombardi, Deborah Read, Sarah Welch, Danielle DeLappe, Megan Bono, Corrine James, Jennifer Devenyns, Lauren Campbell, Glyn Jenkins, Siouxie Jeter-Koch, Jaeney Hoene, Aimee Kinney, Patrice De La Ossa, Cindy Van Gaver, Wendy Eckert, Steve Eckert, Jennifer Bartell, Tracy Clarkson, Yvonne Frankovich, Hahn Troung, Esther Cohen, Kristin Mariani, and many, many more!

Thank you to each and every Spirit Auction Donor!

When talking about spirit James Redfield says it best, “We can become inspired to shape a higher, more ideal future, and when we do, miracles happen.” Thank you everyone for making our 2016 Spirit Auction a successful, special, community-filled evening.

With gratitude, Westside School