Perhaps the most obvious aspect of life at Westlake is that we are intentionally Christ-centered. We want students’ lives to be transformed daily by the gospel so that they become lovers and worshippers of God.
Students are immersed in a community of believers and are taught what it means to be transparent and authentic in their relationships. They learn to see others as God’s creatures, part of His family, with glorious gifts as well as deep flaws. The resulting camaraderie offers great encouragement and opportunities for growth.
The teachers and administration work hard to create a learning environment which is caring, safe, and nurturing. While classroom environments reflect the varying teaching and management style of each teacher, positive, productive behavior is encouraged without resorting to undue harshness. Student behavior is directed by biblical principles operating in grace. Not only do class sizes facilitate individual attention, but teachers who are invested in their students’ lives seek to draw out the best in each one. At Westlake, students do not “fall through the cracks.”
Having a preschool through grade 12 academic program in one campus provides great continuity as well as a close-knit school family. Many students attend Westlake for 12, 13, or 14 years, building relationships and learning habits that will stay with them their entire lives. However, new students are enthusiastically welcomed into the community as equals. The administration and teachers have the opportunity to create an academic scope and sequence in each subject area which is consistent, cohesive, and avoids gaps or unnecessary overlaps. We are also able to implement a consistent focus on critical thinking which challenges students to understand and apply knowledge more deeply.
Many times our students describe Westlake as being just the right size. By that, they mean that we are large enough to offer a quality academic program as well as a wide variety of co- and extra-curricular activities. At the same time we are small enough to allow students to participate in many activities rather than being so competitive and selective that they are forced to specialize in one area. Believing that elementary and secondary schooling should broaden students’ perspective, we often see children, for instance, engaged in music, drama, and several sports teams in the same year.
Discipline and Responsibility
Westlake is sensitive to age-appropriate expectations. While younger children are given a great deal of nurture, care and help, we raise the bar as they mature. Upper elementary students are expected to show more initiative and individual responsibility. Secondary students rise to the challenge of a rigorous academic program which prepares them for success in post-secondary experiences, most specifically 4-year colleges. We encourage our students to attend to and remain engaged in challenging endeavors.
Westlake has elected to have a uniform dress code which provides some variety. As a result, our students and families realize a number of benefits of such a code:
- It is a means of building character and distinction in the lives of our students and it allows them to make choices within guidelines.
- It fosters a level of professionalism, respect for the school environment, and an atmosphere conducive to learning.
- It encourages a sense of unity and camaraderie among the students.
- It resolves fashion issues caused by the comparison of who’s wearing what brand of clothing.
- It helps maintain a focus on learning rather than on fashion.
- It results in a less expensive wardrobe.
- It allows for quicker identification of our students, thus adding another level of security.
For more specifics about the Westlake uniform dress code, please see our handbook.