Culture, Vision, Mission, and Beliefs
Westgate Elementary School is in the Tysons Corner area of Northern Virginia and opened in the fall of 1968. The student population exemplifies a rich, diverse cultural heritage representing over 39 countries. Westgate offers a warm and stimulating climate in which children come first. Westgate is part of Region 2 of Fairfax County Public Schools.
The school embraces the collaborative approach to education, focusing on parents and teachers working as a team to promote the academic success of each child. Students are heterogeneously grouped in classrooms. Dedicated staff members provide a program that promotes intellectual curiosity, critical-thinking and problem- solving skills, and self-discipline. The early childhood program focuses on the total development of the child and the process of learning.
The Westgate school plan includes initiatives relating to language arts, math, science, and social studies. Technology is used as a tool for learning. The visual and performing arts and the physical development of each child are vital parts of the school program. Teachers plan together to design a meaningful, well-developed program for all students. FECEP is a valuable preschool experience for many students. Dedicated and talented staff members collaborate with parents to ensure an inviting, child-centered environment that emphasizes academic excellence and a positive nurturing school culture that honors diversity and promotes success for all.
By being child-centered, involving students in real-life experiences, empowering students to be responsible for their learning, making the arts and physical development an integral part of the program, and using technology as an essential learning tool, Westgate is preparing its students for their future.
Our mission is to ensure that all students achieve academic excellence and develop the character to make the world a better place.
To this end:
- We will create a nurturing and safe learning community in which all participants are encouraged to take risks in order to reach their highest academic potential.
- We will structure an academic environment in which all students achieve high standards and benchmarks while their progress is closely monitored, thus producing self-motivated learners.
- In this way, we will impart the love of learning throughout our school community and pave the way towards a productive future for all.
The best way to achieve the mission of Westgate Elementary is for the staff to work together as a professional learning community. We envision a school where:
- Staff members value collaboration though ongoing grade-level and vertical team meetings;
- Staff members use assessment information to guide instruction;
- Staff members participate in professional development opportunities and continually strive to improve classroom instruction and student achievement;
- There is collective responsibility for student learning among staff, parents, and community;
- All members of the school community exhibit tolerance and respect for each other;
- Students take responsibility for their own actions and their own learning;
- Students are critical thinkers; and
- Students learn essential understandings, knowledge, and skills at each grade level.
In order to achieve the vision of a school that functions as a professional learning community, the Westgate staff has made the following collective commitments:
- We will collaborate to establish common quarterly curriculum goals and assessments that will encourage learning across grade levels through vertical team meetings and grade level team meetings;
- We will disaggregate and analyze quarterly assessment data to drive instruction and guide the development of SMART goals. Extra time and support will be provided for students who do not achieve these goals;
- We will establish and maintain open channels of communication with students, parents, and our community to assure academic success;
- We will include staff development and share of best practices during each monthly staff meeting;
- We will develop schedules in order to provide uninterrupted math and language art blocks and EXCEL times for reteaching at each grade level. Planning time will be aligned for grade level collaboration; and
- We will have school-wide recognition of student achievement through assemblies, announcements, bulletin boards, newsletters, notes, and compliments sent home.