Rockets + Animals = Westside School mid-winter break camp!

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It’s been a fun week at Westside School for students enrolled in mid-winter break camp! Some students hung out and created rockets, tying in some physics, and they checked out animal super powers to tap into biology.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a fantastic break, whatever you’re up to!

Owen reflects on Westside as a part of “most of my life”

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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.

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I have been a Westside School child most of my life. This isn’t accounting for preschool, which doesn’t really need to be talked about. Throughout three different buildings and many different teachers, I have been a Westside kid. Stewart, Rene, Jill, Josh, Judith, Linda, Jeremy, Mosby, Kristel, bai lao shi, wang laoshi, ma laoshi, April, Janet, Jeremy, Glyn, Lauren, Sarah, Jason, Kendra, Margery, Kathy, Alicia Betty, Candice, Darwin, Mike, Donna, Michael and more. So many teachers, all with the same goal: to teach me. I have had friends move away, new friends move in and, still, I have been a Westside boy. Upwards of 28 teachers have been in my life, all teaching me, the Westside School student. I have made so many memories and have had so many experiences all as a Westside student. It has been my home for nine years and throughout all of those years I have been a Westside scholar. When I leave in the summer for high school, it will be as a Westside young man.

Shared by Owen, Class of 2017

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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!    

The Amazing Race at Westside!

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With the goal of bringing all Middle School students, grades fifth through eighth, together this afternoon Kendra’s advisory created The Amazing Race! Students were assigned to groups that allowed them the chance to interact with grade levels they might not always see each day.

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With activities like the Caterpillar Game, Tarp Challenge, and Hula Hoop Challenge students were given the opportunity to solve problems, cheer each other on, and get creative on this sunny Friday!

Lukas and Masha express gratitude for the welcoming community at Westside as new students

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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.

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I began my time at Westside School at twelve years of age. During this, the school was beginning in a new location. My favorite part of Westside is the friendly student population. A favorite memory of mine at Westside School is the ‘Mercado’ project from seventh grade, as there were several different ideas for topics for the project.

Shared by Lukas, Class of 2017

One of the most memorable times I can think of at Westside is making pyramids with friends at recess in third or fourth grade. I remember this because that day I really felt like I connected with the people I was with, and was enjoying myself and developing friendships with new people. Another memory is the first day I came to Westside School. I was in Jill’s second grade class. When I came in, the teacher introduced me to the class, and gave me a worksheet to work on that my mom helped me with; I didn’t completely understand, and was very nervous and confused. She also asked the same of my fellow newbie, Talia, and I was happy to see I wasn’t alone. All the kids were very nice and welcoming, but I still didn’t feel like this was the right place for me, until one student started talking to me, and making this feel like the school for me, and made me feel welcome.

Shared by Masha, Class of 2017

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Westside celebrates 35 years of leaders

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Westside School founders, Docia Reed and Claudia Ross-Weston, and Board President Conrad Wesselhoeft

Last Thursday, Westside School kicked off it’s 35th Anniversary celebrations by inviting former Westside leaders to the school. From having three founders, Docia Reed, Melodie Rodgers and Claudia in our permanent home, to Westside Board Members of 15, 10, 5 years ago come together, it was truly a celebration of who we are, where we’re from, and what our future holds.

Understanding and honoring our roots feels especially important at this moment, as we are thinking about both the excellence of our program and the long-term vibrancy of the school. We look forward to continuing these celebrations in the upcoming months.

Eighth grade student Kai reflects on the ways Westside has prepared him for the next chapter…

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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.

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When I first started at Westside School, I was a young pre-school student. I can’t remember much of that time, but I do remember loving my teacher, Nancy. My parents also loved Nancy, and we grew to become friends with Nancy’s daughter, Andrea. She was a nanny to both my sister and me for two years. I feel like every teacher I have had, I have had the chance to get to know them personally, and view them as someone I can always count on. As I have grown up I have realized how well Westside School has treated me. I am growing up with a great understanding of who I want to be morally and how I want others to view me. I feel like I am ready for the next chapter in my life, and wherever I go I will have these skills and understandings that will help me.

Shared by Kai M., Class of 2017

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