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History

The Westland School opened its doors in October, 1949, in a B’nai B’rith building on the corner of La Cienega and Olympic Boulevards during the McCarthy era, a time of intense political upheaval in the United States. The politically active founders of Westland were eager to educate children in a free-inquiry atmosphere inspired by the philosophies of John Dewey and Jean Piaget. The goals then, as now, were clear: Children need to become responsible participants in the community and they must also be encouraged to reach their fullest potential while respect is given to their individual developmental rates. To this end, children must be given concrete, direct involvement with materials with appropriate standards of workmanship. In the school community setting, individual and group needs are of equal importance.

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Fast Facts

• We have approximately 130 students in 6 multi-age class groupings, kindergarten–6th grade.
• Each class group of about 22 students has a head teacher and an associate teacher.
• Head teachers have an average of 22 years of teaching experience.
• 22% of our students are children of color.
• In 2015-2016, 23% of Westland students will receive financial assistance.
• The school day is 8:45 am–3:00 pm, with early dismissal at 2:30pm on Tuesdays.
Westland School is an elementary school committed to progressive education. Teachers are cooperatively involved in developing and implementing an integrated, hands-on, social studies-based curriculum. Westland focuses on enabling students to be self-motivated and to view learning as an exciting and rewarding process that will continue throughout their lives. We strive for a learning environment that is child-centered and non-competitive.

Each child at Westland has a commitment to his/her group; each group has a commitment to the school; and the school has an important commitment to the world around us. Westland values experiential learning to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. We believe that learning best occurs when there is a student population that is culturally, socially and economically diverse.

• We were founded in 1949 on the developmental and progressive principles of John Dewey and Jean Piaget.
• Active parent participation is integral to the life of the school.
• Children become self-motivated, enthusiastic learners through real-world experiences that make learning relevant to them. Our social studies–based approach integrates and connects the language arts, math, visual arts, science, music, and woodworking. Children participate in specialist classes several times per week.
• Gardening in our organic edible community garden.
• A noncompetitive P.E. program that emphasizes cooperation, sportsmanship, individual skills, and the rules of the game.
• Frequent field trips that are vital to the social studies units, after which children recreate and share their experiences through building, culminations, artwork, and journals.
Our graduates successfully matriculate at Westside and Valley independent and public middle schools, which have noted Westlanders to be excellent collaborators, problem solvers, and researchers who aren’t afraid to ask questions and dig deeply into a topic.

Schools they attend include the following:

Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, Archer School for Girls, Berkeley Hall School, Brentwood School, Campbell Hall School, Crossroads School, Harvard-Westlake School, John Adams Middle School, Science Magnet, Marlborough School, Oakwood School, The City School, Walter Reed Middle School Independent Honors Program, Wildwood School, Windward School

Contact

For More Information

16200 Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Head of School:
Scott Moran
schooloffice@westlandschool.org

Incoming Head of School:
Melinda Tsapatsaris
schooloffice@westlandschool.org

Assistant Head of School and Director of Admission:
Marcia Capparela
mcapparela@westlandschool.org

Director of Finance & Development:
Carole Barber
cbarber@westlandschool.org

Director of Operations:
Penny Ellers
pellers@westlandschool.org

Administrative & Admission Assistant/Main Office/I.T. Department:
Maritza Dreux
mdreux@westlandschool.org, admissions@westlandschool.org