a hui hou

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In celebration and gratitude for four extraordinary years of love and service to Westside School, the families, students, staff, and faculty honored Kate Mulligan this past Friday.


As all of you know, what Westside School is today is in large part a direct result of Kate’s leadership, enthusiasm, and vision during what has been a pivotal period in our school’s history. She presided over negotiations with Seattle Public Schools following their unexpected decision to reclaim the E.C. Hughes building after we had just moved in. She guided Westside through the land purchase for our new campus, followed by the design, permitting and construction process. Under Kate’s leadership, Westside School surpassed its goals in the first-ever capital campaign.

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And while that may seem like enough for a lifetime, Kate also helped shape and grow our Middle School, with exceptional contributions to the Westside School alumni who have gone on to outstanding high schools.

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So it was only fitting that on the last day of school this year our families and students gathered to enjoy milk and donuts with Kate, and to say ‘Mahalo’ during an all-school assembly with our students, faculty and staff.

The entire Westside School community wishes Kate the very best, and extends our deepest gratitude for all she has done.


The Class of 2016….a little like ‘French Tea’

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On the evening of Thursday, June 9, Westside School gathered in our beautiful theater to celebrate and honor the eighth grade students – our Class of 2016.

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With decorations from our sixth grade class, beautiful flower arrangements, and hundreds of well-wishers the twenty-two graduates officially became the first class to graduate from Westside School’s permanent home.

Kate Mulligan

This year’s graduation speaker, Susannah Muench, reflected upon the 180 days a year, five days a week, 90 minutes a day she has spent with the students over the last two years, noting “if you add that up it is 16,200 min or 270 hours. If you know anything about this class, that is a lot of time.”


This class has a very special place in my heart. They have taught me a lot. First and foremost they have taught me to laugh, to laugh at myself, to laugh at them and to not take things so seriously.

When I was little my favorite dinner my mother made my sister and me was something called French Tea. As I got older I realized French Tea was actually little bits of everything we had in the fridge, but put together and arranged neatly on a plate, which made it different and special.   

The Class of 2016 is a lot like French Tea. They are an eclectic assortment of personalities and traits, but each student is unique and when you put them all together they really are an amazing class to teach.  

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Connor is full of surprises, from his beautiful voice to his creative writing. Don’t count him out.

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Karl is all about perseverance and dedication, just look at all his ski racing medals. When he puts his mind to something, you know he will make it happen.

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Kieran’s quiet on the outside but always scheming up something in his head, whether it’s helping out others or thinking of ways to revolutionize the system.

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What I appreciate about Ben, other than his amazing intellect, is his dry sense of humor and those rare moments when he breaks out into a smile. I look forward to seeing his inventions.

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Kovit is solid gold, funny, smart, and astute. You can always rely on him to make it real.  

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Jordan has the biggest heart, she feels so deeply and has more empathy and compassion than anyone I know.  

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Olivia really is a lot like Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz), she is good natured and kind but feisty too. She is going to make the world a better place.  

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Angie is wise beyond her years. She has a quiet grace, yet don’t cross her because she is one tough cookie.

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Will is not afraid to speak his mind, he has a razor sharp wit that flies under the radar. He is a leader in the making.

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If you have ever seen Jac around young kids you know he has a heart of gold and the ability to put everyone at ease. He’s also a famous cook, just check him out on YouTube.

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Jamie is an inspiration; she has had a hard road this year but her strength and courage are a lesson to us all.

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What I admire most about Nate is his passion, for  drumming, for shoes, for fashion and also for standing up for what he believes in and for what’s right.

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Justin is a bundle of energy, drives you crazy and makes you laugh at the same time.  He doesn’t believe it but I will miss him too next year.

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Juliet is good at everything from writing to basketball. She is humble almost to a fault, but if I was ever stranded on a desert island I would want her on my team.

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Riley came to Westside School two years ago looking like a deer in headlights, but he has grown leaps and bounds. He is a solid student and a fine young man.

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Helen is kind to everyone, yet a perfectionist to herself. I love reading anything she writes, she will be as famous as Bethany Mota one day.  

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Callum is a rock. He is one of those quiet leaders, who seems to be good at everything and other students naturally respect and look up to.  

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Everyone knows Sarah is a beautiful dancer, but she is so much more. Thoughtful, kind, smart, but not afraid to throw on a tutu and get a little crazy.

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Levi is as feisty as they come; you never quite know what to expect but he makes it real and speaks the truth.   

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Isaac was new to us this year, but his quiet, solid presence and gentle smile was a wonderful addition to our class.

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Henry is so much more than a superstar athlete. He doesn’t always like to show it but he is an amazing writer and a compassionate friend. And he has the best last name ever.

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Bianca epitomizes the saying don’t judge a book by its cover. She might be petite in size but she is a powerhouse, not only for her black belt in karate but ability to be completely herself.

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Life is a series of steps forwards and sometimes backwards, and don’t let anyone tell you different.  

When you get to high school and even beyond there will be people, teachers, friends maybe even family who will question what you believe in and who you are or want to be.

My challenge to you is to take risks and question everything and everyone.

Question what your teachers tell you, question what your friends  think is cool,  question what others tell you is important, question The Feed.

Find your own path, be willing to believe in yourself and take risks to stand up for it

Remember Westside School and the teachers and friends who gave you the confidence to be true to yourself no matter what.

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Graduates, we wish you nothing but great success and happiness. The door is open anytime, and we sincerely hope you’ll visit often.

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The Class of 2017 hosts the Class of 2016 at Luncheon

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Our Westside School Graduation Day celebrations are in full-swing and our seventh grade students, and their families, successfully carried on the traditional Graduation Luncheon this afternoon!


After finishing a morning rehearsal, the Class of 2016 dined on a delicious menu of tri-tip steak with chimichurri marinade, mac n’ cheese, marinated vegatable salad, potato salad, brownie sundaes and ice cream!

With a Hawaiian theme, bubbles, balloons and a fun photo booth our graduates celebrated this amazing milestone and the exciting ceremony to come!

Tonight, our eighth grade students will make history as we celebrate a Westside School Graduation for the first time in our permanent home.

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Special thanks to the wonderful parent volunteers and our seventh grade students for making this year’s Graduation Luncheon a very special event for our graduates.

All clues lead to…

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All Clues Lead to Rosalind Franklin!

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Congratulations to the third grade students who correctly guessed May’s Scientist of the Month! During the month of May, the students used challenging books to research clues that led them to chemist Rosalind Franklin. Way to go, scientists! Come check out the clues for our final Scientist of the Month and put a guess in.

Westside School Insider newsletter, June 6, 2016

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June 6, 2016

Insider calender

Monday, June 6: Middle School Athletic Sports Banquet, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., lunchroom

Thursday, June 9: The Class of 2016 Graduation ceremony, 6:00 p.m., Westside School theater

Friday, June 10: Last Day of School!
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students dismissed at 11:30 a.m.,
Lower School students, first through fourth grades, dismissed at 12:00 p.m., Middle School students, fifth through eighth grades, dismissed at 12:15 p.m.


Saturday, June 11: Westside Day at the Ballgame! Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field, 7:10 p.m.

Sunday, June 12: Westside School Alumni Barbecue, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Westside School

Westside Insider Head of School

Thank you for a wonderful four years at Westside School. It was an honor and a privilege to serve as your Head of School this year. Below you will find some end-of-year reminders that apply to ALL families. I hope you will take the time to read them.
Thank you all for your cooperation and support for learning and participating in our drop off and pick up procedures. A few reminders as we head into the final week of school. The absolute safest place to pick up and drop off your child(ren) is in the very front of the school where our staff is monitoring traffic flow and the movement of children. Some of you prefer to park in the neighborhood and walk in with your children, or walk up to get them. Unfortunately, this movement in the street where there are limited sidewalks and no stop signs creates a hazard for pedestrians and drivers alike. We highly encourage you to take the extra time to drive into and through our parking lot. If you are dropping off, there are often places to park in the lot. If you are picking up, it is worth the extra few minutes to go through our very efficient pick up line to ensure the safety of all of our children. Thank you!
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students dismissed at 11:30 a.m.,
Lower School students, first through fourth grades, dismissed at 12:00 p.m., Middle School students, fifth through eighth grades, dismissed at 12:15 p.m.
As usual, students may be picked up with the oldest sibling in the family or carpool.

Monica Duke has generously given her time and talent to organizing and controlling the Westside School Lost and Found collection this year. She has published a final list of items – all of which will be donated at the conclusion of the academic year if not claimed. Please drop by the lobby before Friday, June 10 at 12:00 p.m. and see if your child has anything to be picked up. If you have any questions about what is on the list, please email Jessica (jessicab@westsideschool.org.)

With the conclusion of the academic year, it is important to remember to pick up all medication by Friday, June 10 at 12:00 p.m.* Westside School does not keep any medication over the summer, and we will dispose of anything that remains on campus beyond Friday, June 10.

If your child is participating in Westside School Summer Adventure Camp, please contact Andrew DeLappe (andrewd@westsideschool.org) to arrange for any medication to be kept on file. Without written communication, we will not keep medication here at school.

*Westside School will close immediately following Middle School dismissal for an off-campus end-of-year celebration.

1. All students receive a complimentary yearbook!

2. If you expect your child will not be at school on Friday, June 10, please inform your child’s teacher or advisor ahead of time and we will make sure – upon dismissal on their last day of school for this year – they receive their yearbook!

3. If your child is unexpectedly absent on Friday, June 10 or if they leave their book behind by accident, you are welcome to pick it up anytime over the summer Monday through Friday between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. and again from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Please watch for communication from Westside School over the summer! You will receive medical forms to complete in June, calendar information, and highlights of what to expect next fall in a paper mailing in July, and an electronic mailing as well as online forms in August. Information such as teacher and advisor assignments, up-to-date information about the Westside School Family Directory, and more will be included in the August mailing. If you have any questions about communication over the summer, please contact Jessica (jessicab@westsideschool.org).

Insider lower school

The final week of the academic year has arrived! Last week your children enjoyed a magnificent Field Day, thanks to creative and careful planning by Emily Gussin and the hard work and dedication from our parent volunteers!

We have several important reminders as we conclude a fantastic first year in our permanent home. Please be sure to see above!

We wish you a wonderful, sunny, safe, fun summer and look forward to seeing you when we return for the 2016 – 2017 academic year!

Insider middle school

What an amazing year in our new and permanent home for Westside School. Special thanks to Mike Thomas for a fun, well-organized Field Day last week!
As we close out the year there are just a few things that will help your children wrap things up for the summer:


All iPads and laptops will be collected this Wednesday, June 8. Director of Technology, Michael Le, will be erasing all content on devices and collecting cables as part of our end-of-year device inventory. Any questions should be directed to your child’s advisor.

All Westside School students must return their athletic uniforms to Director of Athletics, Mike Thomas. If you have questions, please email Mike (miket@westsideschool.org).

This summer rising fifth through eighth grade students will be receiving Summer Enrichment choices by grade level. They include reading, writing, and other options to explore avenues of experience and learning. They are scheduled to be emailed out as an attachment this week and will also be available on our website.

We wish everyone a happy and healthy summer with lots of adventures!

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Westside School is happy to be hosting Westside School Summer Adventure Camp beginning next Monday, June 13. Each week is centered on a theme and has activities, games, art projects and field trips (two offsite trips per week) that support a theme. We will also be offering several camps focused on Middle School students that include sports and enjoying the outdoors. Space is limited and several weeks are sold out or close to it, so click here to reserve your space soon!

Westside Insider WPO

The WPO would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped make this academic year a success!! All of the fun WPO activities throughout the year are possible only because of our fabulous volunteers. We are truly grateful for the time and energy our volunteers have given to Westside School during year.
We are already busy working on plans for next year! If you are interested in becoming more involved, please see the links below to sign up for a WPO board position, event chair position or to be a Room Parent/Parent Rep for the 2016 – 2017 academic year!

Baby Lily

Everybody say hi to Lily Mae Kratz! Arriving fashionably late she was born on Friday, June 3 at 3:27 p.m. Weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz and measuring 20 inches long, she is a bundle of complete joy. Everyone is doing well, and Mary and Adam are grateful to everyone for their support and well wishes!


This is the final edition of the Insider newsletter for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. Stay tuned for important mailings over the summer. Happy Summer!

Salmon Animations, Keynote presentations, and digital Fairy Tales!

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One of the goals of the Tech Lit program at Westside School is to integrate with classroom curriculums. Here are some examples of projects students have done this year that incorporate class content and technology skills.

Second grade students have spent the year studying, raising and releasing salmon.  In Tech Lit students applied their understanding of the salmon life cycle to create their own depiction of the cycle using the app, Animator. Click on the links to see the results!

Margie’s Salmon Animations

Laura’s Salmon Animations

Students in third grade spent the last several weeks in Tech Lit learning how to create keynote presentations as part of their genre book studies and social studies curriculum.  Students created keynote book reports and Native American research reports. Click on the links to see the results!

Third grade Jana Native American Reports

Third grade Signe Native American Reports

Throughout the year, fourth grade students have worked on writing in different genres. In Tech Lit students combined their coding and writing skills to create digital fairy tales.  Students spent several weeks storyboarding and using Scratch Jr. to create their stories. Click on the links below to see the results!

Amanda’s Fairy Tales

Judith’s Fairy Tales

Fourth grade students take a swing!

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Singing the Spanish piñata song, “Dale, dale, dale”, Westside School fourth grade students were excited to take turns with the “palo” to hit the piñata! As the dulces landed on the “manta Mexicana” the eager students waited for their turn to gather a fair share of the treats! One piñata, el cerdo gordo, was made by students at Kennedy High School and given to the fourth grade by a Westside School family. The other, el burro colorado, was also a gift from a Westside School family. Muchas gracias!