This is our 11th year at WNS. My son entered WNS in DK graduated in 2014 and is now doing amazing things in high school. My daughter is now a 4th grader and loves school thanks to the experiences she has had at WNS. We entered WNS in 2004 when it was a small brick building with just a handful of classrooms. We loved the small school feel and the personal attention that we and our son received each and every day. Although the school has grown I am consistently impressed by the "small school" feel that WNS has maintained and the personal attention that is still present. The teachers and administrators are very accessible and always happy to meet with you if/when needed. There are plenty of opportunities for parents to get involved on campus both in and out of the classroom and through the WNS buddy program there are several opportunities for the older students (4th-8th grade) to participate in activities on a regular basis with the younger students (DK-3rd grade). WNS is a wonderful hidden gem that has been an amazing place for both of my children to grow and learn and I am very grateful that we have had the opportunity to be a part of the WNS community.
Westside Neighborhood School is a private middle school in Los Angeles. The principal of Westside Neighborhood School is Brad Zacuto, who can be contacted at email@example.com. 446 students attend Westside Neighborhood School and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; Asian/Pacific Islander; and Hispanic. The ratio of students to teachers at Westside Neighborhood School is 14:1. Ocean Charter School is one of the nearest middle schools.
- Ceramics sculpture
- Computer arts
- Drawing painting
- Theater drama
- Video film production
- Cross country
- Field hockey
- Martial arts self defense
- P.E. classes
- Rock climbing
- Water polo
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WNS is an amazing school. As a speech-language pathologist I have the opportunity to work within and observe multiple school sites. I could not be more impressed with the quality of education WNS strives to achieve for each one of its students. The program and staff go above and beyond to bring novel and collaborative teaching techniques to the daily activities with the educational environment. When walking in the front door the feeling of energy and enthusiasm envelopes you making you want to be a part of what is happening. Strong educational programs help build strong individuals. WNS is working to better education and help better the minds and learning skills of our children.
We have two kids at WNS and have been there for 6 years now. I sincerely can't say enough great things about the school! The school has 4 pillars which we believe in wholeheartedly academics community diversity and character. We as a family of course want our children to learn and do well in academics but also want so much more for them which WNS provides. It is a diverse community in all aspects of life except for the one common denominator...they are all good people who want the best for their children. It is like a family! The school also focuses on character which we feel is as important if not more than academics. We want our children to become good people who work well with others in any social situation. WNS provides so much support in the area of social behavior and also helps them remain "kids" for longer than other schools. I could go on and on about how much we value WNS and why we sacrifice financially to send our kids to an independent school...but if you are looking for a well-rounded amazing independent school just take a tour and talk to anyone here....you will look no further. We are proud and thankful to call WNS our home!
This is my daughter's second year at WNS. My son went to the Willows K-5 which was also a great school but I have to say for our family WNS has been a much more meaningful experience. Brad Zacuto the head of school is incredible. He is a student of brain development and encourages all of the teachers to constantly grow and stretch themselves to be the best they can be for the children. I was shocked at the diversity of the student body. And different than many private progressive schools it's not "artificial" diversity. These are real families not celebrity kids making up the diversity checklist. The thing that I love the most about WNS is that the kids are encouraged to just be kids geeky silly kids! Even the 8th graders aren't trying to be cool. The whole "who are your parents?" thing is absent at this school. It's a refreshingly normal group of parents who are coming together in this crazy LA town to bring their children a safe enriching place to learn and play together. I can't recommend it enough! I consider it LA's best kept secret school!
Our family has experienced 4 different schools between our kids (7th grader and alumni 9th grader) & WNS is by far the best. We've been here for 9 years & it's been a wonderful sanctuary - academically creatively socially & emotionally. It strikes the perfect balance between progressive & traditional Progressive because they stay on top of research re how children learn & implement those practices in the classroom; traditional because they realize that kids need structure & scaffolding in order to be successful. But that is secondary to the nurturing vibe that pervades. Our kids (girl/boy) are so different yet WNS has brought out the gifts in each while addressing weaknesses w/ encouragement & compassion. WNS classrooms encourage individual expression; a hallmark of its arts program. Art/music teachers are wonderful & Desi Friedman is a gifted performing arts instructor who is supportive authentic & hilarious. But the overarching focus of WNS is to teach kids to be good people & to work with others to create something larger than themselves. We are so grateful to Brad Zacuto for curating such an incredible school & feel blessed to be part of this warm real community.
Wow WNS was featured on NPR! I am so proud of WNS and to be a parent at this wonderful school and I just had to share the latest reason why. Every day I wake up in the morning I feel thankful and blessed to be able to drive to WNS as part of my day but this week I got to wake up to this incredible story as I headed off to school Click here to listen to WNS featured in Morning Edition on Tuesday September 30. Click here to listen to WNS featured in All Things Considered on Tuesday September 30. For those who don t know about WNS this is just one of the many examples of why WNS is the amazingly special place that it is. With the incredible leadership that is Brad Zacuto the teachers and staff are inspired to be great be bold and be leaders in education. Taking care of our children in every way is on the forefront of every mind at WNS. Their vision of how to keep children safe and protected while navigating and being ready for this technological world is awe inspiring! I am overwhelmed with pride right now!
We are now going into our 7th year at WNS and we all just couldn't be happier on a whole. The level of education is on par. Most importantly is the relationships with teacher and staff communications. They are ALL so easy access and truly have an open door policy. For us the best thing about being at WNS is the diversity of the community. My husband and I both come from different countries and religions and really wanted a school the emphasizes on not just a few groups but really focuses on all of us as a human race. Our children don't see friends or classmates as class of color religion political standing or financial brackets and it is a beautiful thing! We are so proud to be a WNS family Always have and always will! Go Jets!
I am shocked that people don't think that WNS has great leadership. I have experienced three other schools (with our first child) with varying degrees of leadership. Mr. Zacuto is an extremley open jovial visionary. His leadership is appropriate and allows teachers to have a role in the direction of the school. This cooperation is so important for a successful program. Teachers are respected by all and the parent involvement is refreshing. Mostly though I am impressed by the curriculum and the way they fit it to each students needs and abilities. The balance of core classes and the arts is impressive. The project based learing is a great way for kids to learn in a broad self directed way.
I'm a student at WNS in the eighth grade and can not say how much I've grown from the first day of sixth grade which was my first day. WNS has a great way of making middle school students be leaders instead of falling under the radar. There are many opportunities for us older kids to become close with the little ones. The Eighth grade have kindergarten buddies and it really teaches me how to cares about little ones I have a strong and unique bond with my buddy. The teachers are the highlight at WNS. They constantly check in and make sure each student is content and feeling safe and secure. The teachers are always open to review with you or even just shoot the breeze. I can go on and on but WNS has truly shaped me for a successful future and has given me an identity.
WNS is an incredible community in which to raise and educate well-rounded kind wholesome confident competent smart culturally- and socially engaging children and adolescents. I have been a WNS parent for ten years and am extremely proud of the people my children are becoming. I attribute a large part of their growth to their WNS experiences (since beginning in DK) and the devotion commitment skill training and love that the administrators teachers staff peers and fellow parents provide each WNS student. I give WNS my highest rating.
WNS has been the best thing for our son. Prior to joining just 3 months ago our son did not enjoy school. Now we have a happy positive boy who wants to learn & comes back daily FULL of his days activities. He cares about his work & genuinely loves the teachers & the other children. The school has this amazing family atmosphere that brings out the best in the children. I would highly recommend this school to anyone. My only regret is that we did not send him before 6th Grade & 3 years will not be long enough!
We have been at WNS for 9 years and we have 2 children at the school. Overall WNS has been the best place for our children to grow and thrive in a nurturing and challenging environment. We feel blessed to have the responsive and continously learning leadership competent faculty and a down to earth community of diverse socioeconomic cultural and racial families. It is a rare gem of a school. I cannot say enough to express our family's gratitude to the WNS community. Our oldest is now ready for high school and we believe he is well equipped to excel wherever he chooses to attend. I highly recommend this school for anyone interested in a place that is down to earth and reflects a diverse cross section of Los Angeles.
I am thrilled with WNS! I can't believe that some parents find the faculty and staff to be unapproachable. Head of School Brad Zacuto and his team are amazing! I feel like the school perfectly blends traditional values and expectations with progressive developmental and educational techniques. My child is thriving academically while teachers and faculty pay extra attention to various aspects of social learning. WNS children feel safe supported and encouraged to be their best selves. I can attest to their zero tolerance for bullying. In fact I have never EVER seen better implementation for expedient appropriate responses to behavioral issues within the classroom and during play on the yard. WNS offers a community unlike any other I've experienced and I have a daughter who will be graduating from high school this year as well as my youngest who has recently entered Kindergarten. As a parent I am receiving exactly what WNS promises - we have found a superb school for our child a supportive community for our family- and I couldn't be happier about it! There's no deceptive marketing here- just a hard-working group of awesome folks who really want the best for your child!
WNS is one of if not the most amazing school in Los Angeles! We have been at the school for over 8 years now and we couldn't be happier. The school is everything it claims to be and more! Our children feel accepted safe and nurtured all while receiving an excellent and unparalleled education. They both get up each and every morning looking forward to school - not just to see friends but to see their teachers! Every teacher we have ever had is remarkable. The faculty and staff are always there to support our children and answer any and all questions that we may have as parents. Likewise the administrative staff is always accessible approachable and helpful. I can not recommend WNS enough!!
We agree with a previous post that WNS is all marketing and the program they are selling to parents is inaccurate. In our experience most of the problems were based on a lack of leadership. The head and assistant heads of school are not approachable and are disconnected with families and classrooms. In our experience each year teacher turnover was high and many families left. Behavior is also an issue and we encountered bullying issues that were ignored and not handled by administration. We finally pulled our child out and now our child is thriving at a new school. If you are looking for a school were education is a priority WNS is not a good match!
My 2 kids are in their second year at WNS - my whole family feels this is the perfect school for us. And I say "us" because we have all felt a part of the community from the very first day my kids attended the summer program. I recently volunteered with an admissions tour and it re-affirmed for me that this is a fantastic school and community. I wish that EVERY child could have the opportunity to go to WNS.
We started in middle school and couldn't be happier. Great leadership great teachers great electives. My son is in choir robotics lacrosse and mock trial. Great lunch program too.
Responsive classroom a program the school adopted two years ago includes a time out chair to discipline children children are placed in time out from Dk ( so unfair ) they are 4 ! All the way to middle school. A great tool for teachers to keep classrooms under complete control awful for children creating social problems with middle schoolers.
It is all marketing! Teacher turnover is high all the art on the wall is beautiful but they are very undecided on being progressive or traditional learning style is somewhat progressive but their expectations for children's behaviors are unreal children's have to "take a break " in a chair for the craziest things raising your hand and saying the answers without being called on! And there is no dialog the teacher does a hand gesture which means go to the chair and a hand gesture when it is time to return to your seat no dialog no " you were put in the chair because ......" Even with all the breakout rooms my child was not challenged academically! If you are interested in the school ask about the discipline and expectations. The only school that is punitive to children's behavior in the Westside. They might try to convince you you are the one who sees it as punitive and the children see it as an opportunity to reflect! Not true most feel so embarrassed it is different to have a time out at home than to have a time out in front of your peers. It creates unnecessary stress on the young ones and they are less likely to take risks speak their mind ask for help from authority!
We LOVE WNS too! Our children started WNS in the DK program and we found it to be excellent. DK prepared our children for the challenges of kindergarten and gave them confidence and security. The DK teachers were (and are) the perfect guides to assist the children in this transition -- they were graceful caring strong and understanding. We have found this to continue into the upper grades. As a school WNS provides an education that is the perfect blend of traditional and progressive. Our children are going to a school in a wonderfully diverse community that values good character and morals. We feel so lucky to have found such an amazing school. If you are considering a private independent school we highly recommend that you look at WNS.