The original architecture of West Whittier Elementary School gives the school a unique, charming and historical appearance. Built in the late 1800's, the school was rebuilt in 1936 following the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. Although originally part of the small Pico School District, West Whittier School was annexed by the Whittier City School District in 1944. Currently, West Whittier School serves 377 students in grades TK-5. Our school community is comprised as 96% Hispanic with 85% participating in free and reduced lunch. About 39% of our students are English Learners and 29% are Reclassified as Fluent-English Proficient. 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 success in the future.
Our school consists of highly qualified teachers who are fully implementing the California State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. All students have access to Common Core aligned instructional materials. Teachers are continuously improving their craft of teaching with the California State Standards through collaboration and ongoing professional development offered by the district and school site. Professional Learning Communities 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 the students' instructional needs and improving student academic achievement. Common Core Lead teachers further support our efforts to enhance instructional practice and provide teacher leadership.
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.
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. Parents are encouraged to take part in committees such as English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), 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, Coffee with the Principal, Common Core Informational Meetings and Family Writing and Literacy Nights are designed to provide parents with skills and strategies to support their child’s success. Fun family events such as Family Movie Nights, Family Bingo Nights, and Pumpkin Carving Night offer additional opportunities to strengthen relationships between the school and home and build long lasting memories. A Parent Community Liaison works 4 hours a day to assist with communication and publicity for our parent activities as well as support parent needs.
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 PAW expectations by Practicing responsibility, Always being respectful, Working and playing safely. Be believe these core values are essential to school success as well as being a good citizen. We are dedicated to helping all students be successful in school and in life. We provide regular feedback to students to help positively shape their behaviors. All adults acknowledge positive behaviors throughout the day as well as use progressive discipline to address misbehavior. 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.
Technology is used in meaningful ways to support teaching and learning. It is thoughtfully integrated into our curriculum to support problem solving, decision-making, collaboration, and innovation. We are incredibly fortunate that every student has access to 1:1 iPad technology throughout the day. All classrooms are also equipped with amplifiers, projectors, and document cameras to support instruction and learning. In addition, all teachers are provided with laptops and iPads to further assist with planning and instruction. 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, read books at their independent reading level, 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. Teachers also receive ongoing support from our Technology Lead teacher.
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 as well as providing safe and quality care for students. During the morning Jump Start Program, students are able to arrive to school starting at 6:30 a.m. and engage in learning activities before breakfast time. After school, students in the Reach for the Stars program are provided a snack and engage in physical education before they are given time to complete homework. Students also participate in field trips and enrichment activities in the areas of science, music, art, dance, and sports. West Whittier Elementary is truly a PAWsome place to learn!