My daughter is currently in the 7th grade at Westside Neighborhood School, and she has been there since kindergarten. I searched all over Los Angeles for the right school– public, private, Catholic and charter. I was very drawn to WNS because it is a kindergarten through 8th grade school, and I was impressed with the strong project-based learning curriculum and the emphasis on social and emotional development. I also appreciated the true diversity in the student body, and the fact that diversity is a priority for the school administration. I could not be happier with our choice.
My daughter loves school, and I attribute that to the excellent teaching staff that creates cutting edge projects and assignments that interest her. With two credentialed teachers in each classroom up to 5th grade, and small middle school classes, her teachers truly know her. They are easily accessible, and she can email them with questions on evenings and weekends and they respond. Most importantly, my daughter feels her teachers care about her and want her to succeed. Middle school has been a wonderful experience, and the retreats and grade level class trips have bonded the kids as a group. My daughter has played in the sports program that allows any child of the appropriate age to play a sport regardless of their skill. In the last 8 years, my daughter has not complained a single day about going to school – in fact, she looks forward to it. I believe WNS has given her the love of learning I was looking for as I searched for that perfect kindergarten class years ago.
I have been a part of the WNS family for 12 1/2 years. My son attended WNS from DK-8th and is now a sophomore in high school. My daughter is currently in 5th grade and headed to middle school at WNS next year. There are so many reasons to love this amazing school. One reason always comes to mind when I am asked why I love WNS so much, and that reason is the encouragement students receive to step out their comfort zones and explore.
My son has been involved in athletics since he was 5 and continued playing all through elementary school. However, while in DK-5th grade at WNS he was exposed to the arts, and in middle school chose to explore the technical side of theater arts for his middle school elective, rather than choosing a sports elective. He was a bit nervous to head in a direction that was unfamiliar to him, but his teachers encouraged him to “stretch” in a new direction while continuing to stay involved in sports after school. He instantly fell in love with the technical side of theater arts and became a part of the tech crew at WNS throughout middle school.
Now in high school, he is a part of his high school tech crew and also returns each year to WNS to help with the 8th grade play and the middle school musical. He is also exploring summer internships that will allow him to be a part of tech crews on a much larger scale.
My daughter, on the other hand, is a dancer and is heavily involved in theater arts, but once again thanks to the amazing teachers and opportunities at WNS, in 5th grade she decided to join the 5th grade girl’s basketball team. Although she had not participated in organized sports since kindergarten, she, decided to leave her comfort zone, just like her brother had. As a result, she now absolutely loves and plans to continue to play a sport she had known little about.
I will always be grateful to WNS for encouraging my children to step outside of their stretch themselves and see what else the world has to offer. They both understand that trying new things may not always have a happy ending, but thank goodness they now have the courage to try.
I had a child at this school and saw a previous post about hidden racism at this school on another site.
I pulled my child out due to the bullying techniques used against certain children at this school. Mrs Reiman I had several run ins. My complaints went un heard. I hope they can keep their diversity claim but treat all the children equal. The teachers over all were kind.
My son had a hard time transitioning to middle school even though he's been at WNS since Kindergarten. The faculty rallied behind him and have him the support he needed to be more secure and successful this year (7thgrade). They make the saying true "it takes a village" and we are so grateful to the faculty, head and assistant heads of school!
Always accessible, involved as teachers as well as many other hats, so kids see them in multiple ways: coaches, mentors, carpool police, they even go away with the entire grade (6-8 each have their own overnight experience! That is BRAVE! :)
Very appropriate, no busy work. My daughter is able to do her homework and then enjoy much needed family and "chill" time every night. Also she can attend extra-curricular activities within our community without having to stay up late into the night feverishly working on mindless tasks. Every assignment is appropriate.