In 1946, three small rural Omaha school districts joined together to form one school district that would be guided by high principles of excellence, innovation, and community. For more than sixty years, Westside Community School District has used those principles to realize its mission “to meet the unique needs of all learners.”
Westside High School’s unique modular schedule helps students develop as independent learners and allows students to enroll in an additional semester of courses over the course of a four-year program. Additional modular scheduling information (PDF)
Westside Community Schools award winning Special Services program believes that quality instruction can best be met through collaborative school environments, whereby all educators realize the deficiencies of teaching in isolation and the enhanced student opportunities that can result from shared instructional strategies and collaborative decision-making.
Westside’s 1-to-1 initiative, one computer for every student, began at our high school building in 2004, when Westside administrators invited teachers to imagine what their school might look like if every student had 24/7 access to a notebook computer. In 2008 our board of education expanded our One-to-One program to include 8th graders at our Middle School. Sixty-three laptop carts provide a 2-to-1 ratio of students to notebook computers at our ten elementary buildings. Additional instructional technology information (PDF)
Westside Community Schools has a well-developed and well-supported professional development program designed to enhance, maintain, and refine staff skills. For more than 25 years, the focus of this program has been to improve learning for all students. Additional professional learning information (PDF)
Westside Community School District offers a highly regarded early childhood education program. The first early childhood center opened in 1968, and by 1986 Westside’s program was declared one of twelve exemplary programs in the nation. Today the District’s elementary schools house two toddler programs, six half-day pre-school programs, and two full-day, five-day-a-week pre-kindergarten programs for four-year-olds.
Outstanding Teaching Staff
Westside’s approach to staff compensation is also distinctive. Merit pay for teachers has been a part of the compensation system since 1971, and a program of differentiated staffing provides extended contracts beyond the school year to many teachers. The District pays tuition costs for graduate work and requires that all teachers earn a master’s degree within the first ten years of employment. Teaching staff awards received (PDF)
Convinced of the positive effects of small class size on student learning and classroom environment, Westside Community Schools has made every effort to keep the number of students in its elementary classrooms low. Research is less clear about the connection between class size and achievement at intermediate grades, but at those grades, too, class sizes are relatively low.
Rigorous graduation requirements include demonstrations of proficiency in “Exit Outcomes.” In addition all students must meet an 80-hour community service requirement and complete a senior project. Approximately one-third of all graduates earn a commended diploma. A strong list of AP and dual enrollment courses help prepare approximately 85% of each class to attend college. WHS graduation requirements (PDF)