35 Years

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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Hanna reflects on ten years at Westside School

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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 education at Westside School when I was three years old. At that time, Westside was still sharing space with Explorer West, and the pre-school was in a portable. My teacher was the sweet, caring, Nancy. I remember everything clearly. My first day at Westside School surpassed my expectations. I was so nervous, but as soon as I walked in, I knew I did not have to be scared. The environment was filled with laughter, and I was so excited to finally have a cubby. There were so many cool toys! I have been at Westside for over ten years. It’s all I have ever known, and I am still not quite ready to leave. I will always smile when I think of my experiences here.

Shared by Hanna, Class of 2017

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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.

35-years-of-ws-stories-logo

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

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35 Years of Westside Stories…a look back at river rafting, teacher relationships, and a community of friends

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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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My favorite part of Westside School since coming here in seventh grade are the trips. During the spring of our seventh grade year, we went river rafting. For me, that was my first time going rafting, and I was definitely nervous. During the first time in the river our raft group had lots of fun. On the raft there were people I hadn’t really hung out with during the school year. While on the raft, we went through some rapids that were pretty scary, but we worked together to get through them. At one point during our rafting we created a story where we had one person ride in the front of the boat and we re-created George Washington crossing the Delaware. Our story brought everyone on the raft closer. It wasn’t just the story that brought us together, though, at one point we started singing, and if I remember correctly it was the song, “Watch Me”, a popular dance during that time. We sang as we worked together to move our raft, and being the ones in the front while racing another raft made us work even harder. At the end of the day I think we all got closer to each other than we were before. Maybe we didn’t become close friends, but we did become closer classmates. That day I felt glad to have come to Westside and experience that bond.

Shared by a member of the Class of 2017

I began my time at Westside School when I was ten years old. At that time, it was a very different place and it has been interesting to see it change and evolve into the school it is today. I feel as though every camping trip has brought new experiences and skills to the class, and I have loved my time here. I found the community was very friendly and supportive when I arrived as a new student. It was more academically challenging compared to my old school and this pushed me into working harder. I am thankful to have been able to attend Westside School for almost five years.

Shared by Emma, Class of 2017

I have been at Westside School  for nine years. During that time, I have met so many people. One thing I like is how everyone knows each other. Some people I have known for almost ten years, so it will be hard to leave everyone when I graduate. I also like how well the teachers know us. It helps to know the teachers well because they can tell you specifically what you should do. I am happy with the community at Westside School, and I will be sad to leave it.

Shared by a member of the Class of 2017

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35 Years of Westside Stories…Clayton recalls ten years of Spirit

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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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Claudia, Stuart, Margie, Laura, Josh, Linda, Jillian, Michael, Jason, Darwin. Ten years, ten teachers. At four years old, I joined the Westside School community in pre-kindergarten, and I don’t remember much of anything from back then. There is one thing I do remember all the way through those ten years, and that is Westside School Spirit Wear & Pizza Day. I remember eating pizza all the way back to the portable outside the building that is now inhabited by Explorer West. My mom was the room parent back then so she was always in charge of ordering and bringing the pizza in. I remember she would bring my little brother in to meet everybody and all my friends would fawn over him, and I would get so mad because I wasn’t the center of attention, but looking back, those are some of my fondest memories. Westside School Spirit Wear & Pizza Day is the thing that has never changed, and it is a good representation of my time at Westside School!

Shared by Clayton, Class of 2017

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