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West Whittier Elementary

 

     West Whittier Elementary School was rebuilt in 1936. The original architecture gives the school a unique, charming and historical appearance.  At West Whittier, we are dedicated to serving students in grades K-5.  Our motto: Every Child Will Attend College in the Future, drives our efforts to provide all students with a quality education that successfully prepares them for the future.

     Our school consists of highly qualified teachers who have begun to fully implement the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Our goal is to successfully prepare students for college.  Therefore, teachers are continuously improving their craft of teaching through collaboration and ongoing professional development offered by the district and school site. Professional Learning Communities also continue to drive the work behind effective lesson planning and instruction. Our teachers regularly collaborate to share effective strategies, analyze student work, and plan instruction.  Through formal, informal, formative and summative assessments, our students' academic progress is analyzed on an ongoing basis. The data obtained from these assessments are analyzed by teachers and in grade-level teams with the goal of responding to students' instructional needs and improving student academic achievement. 

     West Whittier’s mission is to partner with parents and the community to ensure every student reaches his/her optimum potential. Parental involvement is essential to help our students meet our school’s academic goals and advance our mission of “Every Child Goes To College In The Future.”  Therefore, we are dedicated to partnering with parents and the entire school community to strengthen our educational program. 

     West Whittier offers a variety of opportunities for parental involvement. Parents are encouraged to take part in committees such as English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), Dad’s Club, and School Site Council (SSC). These committees aim to keep parents informed about the school as well as seek parent support and recommendations for enhancing our programs.  West Whittier is also dedicated to supporting parents through education.  Therefore, we provide a variety of learning opportunities for families.  Parent Classes, Common Core Informational Nights, and Math Strategies for Parents Workshops are designed to provide parents with skills and strategies to support their child’s success. Fun family events such as Family Math Night, Movie Nights, and Family Dances offer additional opportunities to strengthen relationships between the school and home and build long lasting memories.

     West Whittier strives for the academic and social success for all students by providing a safe and respectful environment where students take responsibility for their learning and behavior.  Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a decision making framework and school-wide approach used for establishing the social culture, learning and teaching environment, and individual supports needed to achieve academic and social success for all students.  West Whittier is focused on prevention of misbehaviors by defining and explicitly teaching positive social expectations.  Our behavior matrix establishes school-wide expectations in all areas and supports students demonstrating PAWS expectations by Practicing responsibility, Always being respectful, Working and playing safely, and Striving for success. All adults acknowledge positive behaviors throughout the day as well as use progressive discipline to address misbehaviors.  In addition, our PBIS Leadership team meets regularly to analyze behavior data and use it for decision-making.  We recognize that instruction is one of our best behavior management tools and preventive behavior management is one of our best instructional support strategies.

     West Whittier Elementary School employs a Response to Intervention (RTI) model for helping students achieve adequate yearly progress in their education.  RTI is a process that provides immediate intervention to struggling students at the first indication of failure to learn. Through systematic screening of all students, classroom teachers identify students who are not mastering critical skills and provide differentiated intervention. Continuous progress monitoring of students’ responses to interventions allows teachers to identify students in need of additional intervention and to adjust instruction accordingly.

     Technology is used in meaningful ways to support teaching and learning.  It is thoughtfully integrated into our curriculum to support problem solving, decision-making, teamwork, and innovation.  All classrooms are equipped with amplifiers, projectors, and document cameras.  In addition, all teachers are provided with laptops and iPads to assist with planning and instruction. iPads and Smart TVs are an integral part of the curriculum for all students in Grades K-2.  Teachers use technology to promote further research on key topics, deepen students’ understanding of content knowledge, as well as address the different learning modalities in the classroom.  Technology is also used to showcase student learning. Students use technology to publish writing pieces, model their understanding of mathematics, practice fluency and other skills. Through the use of technology, students are able to develop creativity and problem-solving skills by displaying their understanding in meaningful ways. Technology is also used to communicate with parents on a daily basis regarding student progress.

     West Whittier Elementary School is seeking to become a mathematics and technology academy.  To implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, mathematics instruction fosters a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics through rich activities that demand flexible thinking and opportunities for real world application.  Our rigorous curriculum emphasizes the development of mathematical concepts, problem-solving skills, reasoning, communication, and perseverance. Students at West Whittier are apprentices of critical thinking and are learning to apply concepts of mathematics to problems of the real world as they gain 21st century skills.  Teachers have participated in the UCLA Math Project to support our themed academy of math.  As a result of the project, teachers received professional development in the areas of Cognitively Guided Instruction and Singapore Math.  Our K-2 teachers have also participated in technology training.  West Whittier Is developing a Math Parent Center to offer educational opportunities for parents in the area of math.  Many parents attend Math Strategies for Parents Workshops to gain strategies to support their children at home. 

      In addition, West Whittier offers a before and afterschool enrichment program.  West Whittier’s before and after school programs are a wonderful opportunity for developing students’ interests in the arts and sciences. Students are able to enter school starting at 6:30 a.m. for small group tutoring in reading or math as part of the Jump Start Program. After school, students in the Reach for the Stars program have a snack and play time before they do homework.  Students also participate in field trips and enrichment activities such as science, music, art, dance, and sports.