Intro to West School
Glencoe’s intermediate school is a cheerful, friendly and child-centered environment. It is located adjacent to Park District play fields and tennis courts and near the Chicago Botanic Garden and Skokie Lagoons. Each of these areas enhance learning opportunities for students.
Schedule and Lunch
The West School day begins at 8:45 AM and ends at 3:15 PM, with a 45-minute lunch/recess break. Before and after school bus service is available to District students. All students eat lunch at school; the PTO sponsors a daily lunch program or students bring their lunch from home.
Curriculum and Instruction
The integrated curriculum reflects the District focus on meeting the needs of the whole child academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. The program is developmentally based and structured to maximize each child’s learning success. Developing effective study skills and work habits is integral to the program, which includes reading, math, language arts, social studies, science, music, art, Spanish, physical education, and social skills. Students come together for inter- and intra-grade activities, which include the sharing of special student projects. Each member of the West faculty creates his/her own unique approach to implementing the curricular objectives. A variety of teaching styles and techniques allow student classroom assignments to be based upon the needs of children. Much care is taken each year to place students in classrooms with teachers who will provide the best possible education. Progress reports are issued four times during the school year. The non-graded system measures a child’s progress in relation to a set of objectives in each subject area and is used through the final marking period of the fourth grade.
Social and Emotional Learning
Our SEL Program is addressed through the Second Step social and emotional curriculum and the Westie Shout Out program. School monthly themes are highlighted through literature and classroom activities. This program inspires students to observe, model, and encourage positive behaviors in themselves and others. Weekly classroom meetings address specific skills to strengthen the social emotional learning competencies of our students. Staff and students provide motivation for all to practice skills of empathy, sportsmanship, respect, problem solving, and emotion regulation.
The West School Green club meets bi-monthly to offer each student the opportunity to develop environmental awareness. Facilitated by staff, students promote environmental awareness through repurposing, recycling and reusing materials that may otherwise end up in a landfill. The Green Club plants and maintains a variety of native perennial plants on school grounds, including prairie grass and wildflowers. Recycling, reusing, repurposing and modeling the care of planet are important initiatives at West School.
Through field trips, students are able to take advantage of the many resources throughout Glencoe and the greater Chicago area. In conjunction with specific units of study, students visit sites such as the Chicago Historical Society and Wagner Farm. The Cultural Arts program, sponsored by the PTO, brings various performers to the school, enriching the students’ educational experiences. West School has developed its own traditions such as the Halloween Parade, Third and Fourth Grade concerts, Family Fitness Week, West School Chorus Club, After School Sports, Spanish Club, and Poetry Cafe supported through our PTO Cultural Arts program.
Support and Communication
Parent involvement is welcome and encouraged at every level of the educational process. Early in the fall, “Go-to-School Night,” provides parents an opportunity to meet their child’s teachers and learn about the coming school year. Parent-Teacher Conferences are held annually, and ongoing communication is encouraged. Periodic communications from the classroom teacher or school principal inform parents of classroom and all-school activities. The West Weekly is emailed every Monday to keep parents up-to-date on school activities. The school’s web site is carefully maintained to reflect the latest announcements, activities, and highlights of West School.
All of the Glencoe schools benefit from the countless volunteer hours of dedicated parents. An active PTO raises funds and provides support for many enriching activities. These include Cultural Arts, author visits, West School Chorus Club, After-School Sports, and Innovation Club. Through its room representative program, the PTO provides volunteers for field trips and special programs in the classrooms. Many parents also serve as Crawford Learning Center assistants.
The educational experience at West is supported by a faculty committed to helping each child achieve his/her potential, a parent community that is active in its support of the schools and a student body that comes to school ready to learn and explore. Together they create a rich learning environment.