Dear Prospective Parents,
Schools often work on their “elevator pitch.” Educators and their communication/ marketing colleagues attend workshops devoted to the elevator pitch — a pithy, impactful 20 to 30 second explanation of all that’s wonderful about their school. Schools invite consultants to assist them with the elusive elevator pitch. It’s a thing.
I want you to know something about Westland School, though. We don’t do elevator pitches. We frankly can’t explain how we educate children in five to six floors. We need, perhaps, an airplane ride. Cross-country. Or to Nepal.
Child development is complex, nuanced, and nonlinear. Intentionally educating children is also complex, nuanced, and nonlinear. These processes are beautiful as well. So as you’re about to embark upon the admissions process and take flight with us so to speak, we are excited to share with you the complexity, beauty, and nuance of our mission, our philosophy, our rich history (progressive since 1949!), and our promising future. This is indeed a journey.
For some of you Westland and its accompanying campus will 100-percent resonate. You’ll instantly be able to see your child sharing information in front of the entire school community at a Sing, feeding chickens as part of their campus job, or going on myriad field trips as part of their study. For others of you reading this letter, Westland won’t resonate—and that’s okay. I believe at its best, this independent school admission process invites parents to reflect upon who their child is, project what their hopes are for their child, and ultimately articulate their family values. We hope this process is spacious enough to give you the necessary time to grapple with these essential questions and even enjoy getting to know your child a bit better.
One of my mentors, Dr. Valerie Batts shared, “To be both welcoming and welcomed is to be open to being transformed.” I’m acutely aware that you’re also looking for a school for you, as an elementary school community provides a context for parents to forge lifelong friendships, to develop their own leadership capacity, to inspire service and philanthropy, and to be open to being transformed.
I promise you, as you start attending admissions events at Westland, I will not make any “fasten your seatbelts” allusions. Okay, maybe a few. But no doubt we are about to learn from each other. I look forward to getting to know you, to supporting your grappling, and to helping you find the right match for you and your family — perhaps Westland School.
Melinda A. Tsapatsaris
Head of School