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Westside School

10015 28th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98146

(206) 932-2511


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Westside emphasizes: • Respectful and responsible behavior • Compassion for others • Cooperative problem solving We believe that children learn in a variety of ways. We believe in a developmental model where children may learn at different rates and may achieve a specific skill in very different ways. It is the teacher’s task to provide a variety of learning activities that help children find their strengths, and support a variety of effective learning styles for gaining specific academic skills. We believe that by encouraging students to meet challenges together with open minds and enthusiasm, they develop personal and social skills that will allow them to respect individual differences and community values. We believe that education is based on learning rather than teaching. We strive to inspire children to learn and want to discover things themselves in addition to presenting the students with basics they will need to pursue higher forms of learning in their future. The curriculum is integrated. This means that one topic of study will include many facets, for example, a science topic will include reading, process writing, spelling, art, public speaking, research skills or math. The overall objective of the curriculum is to foster critical thinking skills.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • School library
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Manipulatives to sort and discover patterns
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Exploration table to discover the property of things
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Singing and movement
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • School gym
Other subjects taught Social studies Spanish

From the Director:

Our preschool and pre-kindergarten classes provide children with a safe, comfortable environment where every student is an important individual. Children master fine and gross motor skills, and, at the same time, learn creative and pre-academic skills through play. Activities are chosen to teach art, science, math and more. Children use sensory tables, puzzles, table toys and other tools to learn these basics. They are allowed to make choices, share ideas and engage in conversation, which helps them develop self-confidence and speaking skills, learn to interact appropriately with others in a very social atmosphere, express feelings, problem solve, and honor diverse ideas, backgrounds and personalities

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

In all of the disciplines at each grade level, teachers work on developing each child’s independent skills, not only in the content, but in the process of learning. Work expectations are matched with the developmental stages of each student.

At Westside School, we honor our legal and philosophical commitment to an enriched school community. This includes providing reasonable modifications to applicants and currently enrolled students who have a disability-related educational need. Westside School seeks to work as a team with parents and appropriate health care professionals in devising an educational program that includes the provision of reasonable modifications

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Westside School prepares students for the world by challenging them to achieve academic success and to connect their human spirit and imagination to learning.

High Academic Standards
Our integrated curriculum and small class size challenge each student to succeed at his or her highest level. Our academic program focuses on the core subjects and is enhanced by instruction in foreign languages, music, art, physical education and technology.

Joyful Learning
Our students are engaged and encouraged by our faculty to use all their unique abilities to succeed academically, think critically and be creative, excited learners.

A Caring Community
Our community of students, teachers, staff and parents is empathetic, cooperative and collaborative. We treat one another with honesty, respect and a generosity of spirit. We teach students to be responsible members of the community.

A Global Community
Our community embraces and promotes understanding of all kinds of differences: ethnicity, culture, religion, and socio-economics.

A Typical Day

Westside offers a half day option or a full day option.

Morning daily schedules include:
Welcome and Calendar
Outdoor/Gross Motor Activities/Brain Gym
Meeting Time / Introduce Concepts
Discovery and Choice Time
Book time
Enrichment (music, art, PE or Spanish)

Full day afternoon schedules include:
Outdoor play
Book time / Read aloud
Discovery and choice time Clean-up

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Each school year, we begin with a curriculum night and curriculum coffees at which the teachers share the expectations for the year. The school’s newsletter, the Update, is published weekly on Thursday. The Westside Update will have detailed information about what’s going on in the school, special articles, spotlights and calendar items. Teachers send home communications in the student’s folder and communicate on the website using the parent/student network that is accessible only to Westside families.

Communication is an important element of our school. The success of our mission is directly related to how our participants understand what we do and why we are engaged in specific activities. The Westside School faculty and staff work hard to keep families informed about the academic and social progress of their children and related school events. Also, we ask that parents initiate communication with teachers when you have a specific question or concern about your child. Each teacher has voice mail and an e-mail address. All other school related questions should be taken to the administrative staff.

Student evaluations and progress reports will be officially shared with the parents three times during the year. In October and February, students receive progress reports, and conferences are held with each parent. Final progress reports are sent home at the end of the school year for all students. Additional conferences can be scheduled as needed by the teacher or parent.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

See above.