Individual Development

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Westland’s philosophy honors students’ individual differences as well as teaching flexibility, adaptability, and respect for others and oneself.

One of the ways that Westland optimizes the development potential of each child is through a carefully planned process for placing students in class groups. We are purposely designed to be a small school because we believe in the many advantages of an intimate, family-like atmosphere. With that in mind, we are deliberately structured with six class “groups” to encompass the seven K-6 elementary school years, each group containing students in two grades. This structure allows for flexibility of placement and offers the many advantages of a multi-age environment.

In placing students, teachers work together to consider a child’s needs for the next year. Since all students are “regrouped” (spending a second year in one particular group), at some point in their journey through Westland that regrouping year is considered most carefully, with input from teachers, parents, and when appropriate, from the child as well.

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Still confused? It works like this: All kindergarten students begin in Group 1, and all students end as 6th-graders in Group 6. But at some point during grades 1-5, a regrouping year will occur. The reasons for regrouping may vary depending on what’s important for each individual child—it may be a year that could serve as a time to try a different friendship group, to mature in a classroom with a familiar and comfortable teacher, to further master certain skills, or to take a leadership role. Regrouping decisions are as unique as each child, and each child’s experience will be different.

A distinct advantage of regrouping is exposure to a number of different classmates. Through the multi-age partnerships experienced over their years at Westland, children know everyone by the time they graduate, and everyone knows them. We believe giving them this solid foundation is a particularly important gift in this fast-paced and sometimes impersonal world. Regrouping is one of the most unique and rewarding aspects of a Westland education.