About

Head of School

Welcome!

Imagine a school that is built on the bedrock of community, where academic excellence, diversity, and character produce creative, lifelong learners year after year. Imagine children from three to fourteen years of age engaged in a learning environment that recognizes play, innovation, and design thinking as integral; lead daily morning assemblies and collaborate in Family Groups. Imagine students confidently seizing leadership opportunities in a school environment that emphasizes character development, kindness, 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 grounded in a growth-mindset, 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.

Bradley Zacuto

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 a curriculum that is designed to prepare our children for real 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. Imagine a place that recognizes that failure is an essential part of any meaningful learning pathway, a place that does not accept no for an answer, but rather, “not yet.”

Imagine a school where preschool 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 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 completing our Tri-Campus Vision in 2017, its entire 36+ 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 preschool through eighth grade model, a powerful approach to educating the hearts and minds of children. Our youngest students immerse themselves in play as they construct their foundations of learning, and our elementary 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 and beyond, 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 higher education and in life.

It may seem like magic, but WNS is the product of applying design thinking with a and highly passionate and talented faculty and staff that inspires children to reach, stretch, probe, challenge, and celebrate. We invite you to witness for yourself the magic that happens daily at Westside Neighborhood School.
 
Bradley Zacuto
Head of School
 
WNS's mission is to create a community of lifelong learners that nurtures students from diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential and inspires them to contribute to the world with confidence, creativity, curiosity, conscience, and compassion.
the Four Pillars:

Academic Excellence

WNS challenges all students with high academic standards while embracing a growth and maker-mindset. Through innovative, project-based instruction and an authentic connection to their education, students develop intrinsic motivation, resilience to setbacks, and a mindset of possibility. Learn more

Character

WNS teaches to the heart, as well as to the mind, through social/emotional learning taught at every grade-level.  WNS emphasizes character development and integrity, and inspires students to be ethical, considerate, and respectful leaders and citizens of the world. WNS faculty are well trained in social learning and social thinking, which is embedded into the curriculum in all departments.

Diversity

WNS strives to emulate the world in which we live. From ethnic/racial diversity to socio-economic diversity, cultural diversity, religious diversity, geographic diversity, neural diversity, and diversity within family structures, WNS values differences and celebrates these differences every day.  There is a Diversity/Multicultural Committee that meets quarterly.

Community

WNS is a warm and welcoming environment that forges a strong community of parents, teachers, students, and alumni. The strength of the WNS community extends beyond the walls of the school and is seen every day through morning assemblies, Family Groups, parent education, and all-school events. Service learning is also an integral part of our curriculum compelling students to give back to the world in which they live. Learn more