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Westside School

Private | PK-8 | 326 students

Westside School prepares students for the world by challenging them to achieve a

 

Living in Seattle

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $276,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,100.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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13 reviews of this school


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Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I agree with some of the other posters, this will also be our last year at Westside. Tuition went up 20% so I asked why, I was told it was because they needed to have a better bottom line so they could get the loan for the new school building!!! So basically all the parents have to pay more money so it could stay in the bank, not because it was benefitting our children. The test scores for our school shows we are falling behind in many grades compared to other private schools and even some public schools. Do you know what they did to fix this? Our kids were just tested again this month and given the test to do for the previous grade (5th graders given 4th grade test etc) Makes me think they are trying to make the numbers look better rather than fixing the problem. Westside your priorities are wrong, you are supposed to be educating children not running a profitable business!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 11, 2014

Westside School is an exceptional independent school and our son is excited every morning to attend. We have been at Westside for four years and we are continually impressed with the high academic standards, the variety of learning opportunities, amazing teachers and the administration's good leadership. The school has an involved and caring parent community. Since the school opened it has rented space, but next year Westside will finally have its own building. The school is re-purposing an existing building in West Seattle which we think makes great sense. We also noticed the comment regarding tuition and while it has increased somewhat, it is still a good value compared with other independent schools in Seattle and absolutely worth it. The focus remains on students, their individual learning styles and how to create strong and confident learners. We are so happy to be part of the Westside community and the great learning experience our son is having at the school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2014

This will be our last year at Westside. We have been here for several years...when we initially enrolled we were told that the administration strived to maintain affordable tuition. The tuition has increased every year since. Last year was 20%. There are credible accounts from parents who serve on boards that families are ranked according to financial ability to give - they are remodeling a church for their new facility and, despite assertions that the present families will not subsidize these construction costs, this fall we received a very direct communication informing us that a Capital Campaign would be launched and that every family is expected to contribute. A survey was distributed last year to solicit anticipated contributions from each family, and ranges of contribution varied widely between families...ours was different from other families in our grade who had lower survey levels. Administratively heavy with little attempt made to incorporate parent input into hires, resulting in the departure of several outstanding teachers this year. Teachers are great, class sizes good, but administration and board are consumed by expansion and will lose more good folks.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 31, 2014

This school over-values administration and under-values teachers and instruction. It has seen beautiful, committed teachers leave again and again and has done nothing to keep them there. In fact, the administration has little communication with staff about their plan for the school's future and the instruction of children. I have never seen a school that functions so poorly and misuses funds as much as Westside School. The tuition is exorbitant and has gone up again this year. I am selecting one star only because I cannot select zero on this rating system.


Posted August 30, 2013

Westside School is an outstanding, accredited PNAIS school in West Seattle. Our children are entering their sixth year at the school because of the vigorous education they receive on a daily basis. Class size is never more than 20 students with a full time teacher and a full time assistant (the previous reviewer was incorrect on 24 class size) Thanks to a strong curriculum, engaged teachers and an involved community, our children are being developed into independent thinkers that will be fantastic future leaders. I also appreciate each teachers ability to create opportunities for learning outside of the set curriculum.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 27, 2013

Westside School is great if you are looking for a private school with no academic challenges.The school primarily focuses on social gatherings and raising money for the school's students on scholarship, not learning. I wish they would charge more if they need to and stop focusing on fundraising.While the school looks great during the tour, it is all topical.For example, Chinese and Spanish are both part of the curriculum for the (lower) elementary school.However, the language curriculum has no tests/quizzes, no vocabulary word spelling, or writing.The language programs are 100% cultural learning. My 2nd grade son never brought home homework or completed assignments from either class with the exception of crayon pictures.Two more issues I witnessed were the high number of helicopter parents staying in the classrooms all day with their child, as well as several children with unaddressed discipline problems. I requested that something be done to allow my son to concentrate during reading times, but nothing was ever done. I am thinking the school doesn't want to upset parents and risk losing money. I also don't understand why 24 kids are in one class with 1 teacher and an assistant.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 11, 2013

I' m not sure what the last reviewer is referring to, but the middle school classrooms are spacious and the kids seem to have what they need. There is a professional artist in residence teaching middle school art -- they made WORKING pinhole cameras in the fall, and I was blown away by the performances of all the kids, including middle school, at the winter musical program. Despite the newness of the program (in it's second year!) there have been two drama productions -- Scrooge was incredible. The outdoor education program includes overnight trips and an afternoon ski program. As with any program in it's second year, there are bumps in the road, but the new head of school is sharp and a seasoned independent school administrator. I have no doubt that the program will continue to evolve and flourish under her leadership.In my experience, her "door" is always open and she welcomes parent input and feedback. Academically, my student is challenged and I have no doubt that she'll be well prepared for high school -- which is what middle school is all about.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2013

A great community of kids and parents, but the relatively new middle school has plenty of room for improvement. Main classrooms could be better furnished and organized. There seems to be an overall need for additional staff & faculty with more enthusiasm and energy for new programs and clear direction. Unlike other private middle schools, there are no real elective programs and resources for art, theater, music, etc are not impressive. Big emphasis on technology but even the school website is not well utilized by faculty and not often updated. It is yet to be seen if the new Head of School will make improvements and other administrators seem comfortable with the status quo.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2012

My son is on his third year at Westside School. We started in preschool and are now in K. We've had very good experiences with his teachers, who all seem to understand his strengths, weaknesses, and are dedicated to helping him improve and learn in the way that works well for him. I also have to give praise to the before and after care providers (we are two, full-time working parents). They deal with issues with grace and excellent communication. The after school programs are really fun - my son can't wait to start Lego Animation! I noticed the comment about bullying back in May of 2012. I've had the opposite experience. Whenever I've mentioned my son talking about teasing (much less bullying of a physical nature), the staff take it very seriously and follow-up. They really engage the kids to help them take an approach of understanding and communication, helping the children work together as a community to find better ways to solve problems. Anyway, we love this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 1, 2012

We are thrilled with how happy our children are at Westside. They have a love for learning and we are very happy with the school academics and engaging material. Classroom sizes are kept to 20 students. Teachers and assistants know our children well and help them with areas they need to improve and areas where they excel. A very individual learning approach with a caring staff. Students are respectful and classroom management is excellent. Parent involvement in many fun school activities help us feel part of the wonderful community of families.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2011

Westside School has an amazing, involved parent community and caring & connected teachers. Westside graduates are confident, caring leaders with amazing public speaking skills. As a long time parent, the school has changed over the years, but the mission and spirit of Westside School -- the magic -- is still there. My middle schooler was well prepared for the academic and social challenges of middle school -- which is what any parent wants. Kids are recognized and appreciated for their individual qualities and learning style. the integrated approach to curriculum makes learning fun and supports the development of critical thinking skills. Westside is an emotionally & physically safe environment where kids are supported taking risks. The Second Step & Roots of Empathy (ROE) Programs help to teach kids how to resolve conflict effectively and how to be empathetic -- I can see the results of ROE already in my child. I am proud to be part of the Westside Community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 15, 2010

Wonderful community, strong teacher support, small class sizes. Well- rounded globally aware education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2009

My children have excelled at this school. The teachers are passionate and patient. The curriculum is rigorous, but engaging. The environment is safe, trusting and respectful. This school graduates life-long learners.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 75% 60%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 14% 7%
Hispanic 8% 20%
Black 4% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 6%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Vietnamese
Spanish
Japanese
German
French
Chinese (Mandarin)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Math Counts-Best New School (2012)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Music
  • Performing arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Rock band
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
School Leader's name
  • Kate Mulligan
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Project-based
  • Reggio Emilia
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Foreign languages
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Service learning
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Extra learning resources offered
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Track
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Rock band
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Robotics club
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.

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TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
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What are your chances?


2 out of 10students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.


Students accepted for the 2013-2014 school year
38
Applications received for the 2013-2014 school year
171

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$12000 - $13000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
University Prep
Seattle Prep
Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

7740 34th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Website: Click here
Phone: (206) 932-2511

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