brad-zacuto-139Imagine a school where academic excellence, diversity and character built on the bedrock of community produces creative, lifelong learners year after year. Imagine children from five to fourteen years of age leading daily morning assemblies and collaborating in Family Groups. Imagine students that are highly engaged in their classrooms and confidently seizing leadership opportunities in a school environment that emphasizes character development and integrity, and values social-emotional learning on equal footing with academic excellence.

Imagine a school filled with dedicated, caring faculty who challenge all of their students with high academic standards using a project-based, "minds-on" approach of teaching for understanding while providing developmentally appropriate support for a wide range of learners to achieve success. Imagine collaborative teams of four teachers at the K-5 grade levels and co-teachers in those classrooms, making it possible to actually deliver on the promise of differentiating instruction for all students.

Imagine a curriculum that is designed to prepare our children for success in the 21st century world in which they will be living and competing in by using innovative, developmentally appropriate, best practices based on research for instruction and assessment. Imagine a program that supports children in developing intrinsic motivation, resilience to set-backs and a mindset that embraces a strong sense of possibility. 

Westside Neighborhood School's Class of 2013
in Washington D.C.

Imagine a school where developmenal kindergarten through eighth grade students feel safe, inspired, challenged and loved within their school community. Imagine a school where parents collaborate with their school to create a village of families helping one another raise healthy, hopeful and joyful children.

Imagine a school where children not only learn about diversity, but they experience it every day. Imagine a school where individuals feel valued for their differences, value the differences in others and celebrate all that we share.

Imagine a school that places the same value on teaching children to be people of good character as it does on academics, the arts and athletics.

Imagine such a magical school, and you are imagining Westside Neighborhood School. The improbable founding of WNS in 1980 to its Cinderella-like transformation into our new, beautiful campus in 2005 with the addition of a second building in 2010 and its entire 30+ year history is one of accomplishing great things that others thought impossible. This powerful sense of possibility, excellence, resilience and community is woven into the fabric of the WNS faculty, parents and students, and we continue to aim high.

From its inception, WNS has embraced the magic of the developmental kindergarten through eighth grade model, a powerful approach to educating the hearts and minds of children. Our youngest students flourish within the safety net of their older schoolmates who serve as role models and inspirational leaders to the younger ones. Our middle school students thrive with academic confidence, social-emotional resilience and the space in their lives to allow their playfulness and creativity to flow.

WNS is known for graduating students who are not only well rounded and well prepared for high school but are considerate, kind and generous as well. Our alumni students possess a level of poise, self-awareness and self-confidence that is rare among teenagers and it contributes to their success in high school and beyond.

It may seem like magic, but WNS is the product of a good design and wonderful faculty and staff inspiring children to reach, stretch, probe, challenge and celebrate. We invite you to witness for yourself the magic that happens daily at Westside Neighborhood School.

Imagine how your involvement, support and participation can make a difference!

Bradley Zacuto
Head of School

© 2009 Westside Neighborhood School