Our School Story
Westwind is a vibrant, active school with 370 students. It is situated in the Steveston area of Richmond and is a close knit community of families who generously support their children and school. Many families have multiple siblings who have attended Westwind from Kindergarten through Grade 7. We even have some parents who attended our school! The transiency rate is very low, we receive very few new students throughout the school year and very few families leave the community. Westwind has a strong, cohesive Parent Advisory Committee who work hard to support our teachers and provide our students with a variety of programs and experiences. In addition, many of our students participate in community hockey, lacrosse, football, gymnastics, softball, soccer, dance and track programs offered here in Richmond.
In the 2019-2020 year, our students were surveyed, regarding our community of Westwind.
1. What do you like about being a student at Westwind Elementary School? What makes Westwind a great school?
- we are part of a peaceful community
- there is a positive vibe
- we feel safe and comfortable here
- we are in a good community, everyone knows one another
- we are very inclusive - it doesn't matter who you are, you are accepted
- we have smaller class sizes this year, we are able to get more help
- we have good teachers
- the teachers are here to help you, one on one, if you are struggling
- there are lots of nice people here so we have an opportunity to make more friends
- we help one another
- we have a fun playground and good sports equipment
- our sport teams are great
- there are a lot of leadership opportunities
- we have fun events and things to do like tennis, golf, gardening and hip hop
- we go on lots of fieldtrips
- we have great hot lunch days and pizza days
- we learn a lot!
2. What would make Westwind a better school? What are your hopes for Westwind in the future?
- improve the desks and furniture, modernize the school
- have more activities at lunch time (e.g. in the gym, computer lab, library)
- have the option to go to the library at lunch to read, because it's too loud to go outside and read (if you want to)
- hallways can be too crowded at break times
- have school start at 9 am to 3 pm
- bring back early dismissal day
- field can be very muddy, can we have turf?
- have an an intermediate playground
- have a cafeteria area
- have more basketball hoops, different heights
- change our logo from the Westwind Waves to ???
In 2020, the parents were surveyed similar questions.
1. What makes Westwind a great community? Here are a sampling of their answers -
- families actively work together to make it a great community
- there is a friendly atmosphere
- everybody is inclusive and very willing to help each other out. It has a small town feel with all the amenities of a big city so close by. It’s near the water
- a wonderfully diverse community where neighbours are friends
- diversity, family, culture and Hockey families
- the active community involvement and variety of opportunities for families available
- safe and harmonious and prosperous and a happy place to live
2. What makes Westwind a great school?
- the friendly families and staff
- very welcoming to us as we were a new family and we have been made to feel at home
- the teaching staff is generally welcoming and works to create a positive learning environment for our kids
- the people — any teachers our kids have had/currently have are wonderful. Couldn’t ask for more for our kids. I love how the sense of community between the grades are woven in to their routines (action school, lunch monitors, students doing the announcements).
- the teachers. Our daughter is in grade 3 and has experienced various different teaching styles — she enjoyed them all and that’s because of the teachers.
- high standards for students to learn more
- emphasis on teaching character and not just academics
- the PAC has many initiatives that they fund and support
- the tenure of staff, strong PAC, living in the community we go to school in
3. What would make Westwind a better school?
- bigger playground
- earlier updates if a child is struggling with something. More information about what they are covering in class on a daily or weekly basis.
- more opportunity / encouragement to play outside games at recess and to discourage physically aggressive play
- updating some of the school amenities
- additional communication or areas to engage parents and students
- smoother lines of communication
- enhanced and more timely communication from the teachers specifically
- fewer split grades. There are so few girls at the grade 3 level this year, when the classes are split, it limits the peer group of girls
4. What are your hopes for Westwind in the future?
- great teachers and better playground
- continue to do the great job you are doing! Thank you for everything
- that Westwind continues to develop children socially, emotionally and academically while ensuring children have adequate physical and education with no child left behind.
- continue to have such a strong line up of teachers; any students that require extra assistance receives it; more parents step up to volunteer - the ones that do, really step up - but it shouldn’t rest solely on those
- to continue being a good school
- that the parents and teachers work together to support our children and a priority is placed on better and more supportive communication between the groups
- to continue to get better and stronger
- best elementary school in Richmond
Through our staff observations, conversations with parents and students, we have noted a need for students to have opportunities to learn and demonstrate social skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. As a whole, our goal is to work collaboratively to help develop and support a "community of care".
At Westwind, our students and staff developed the acronym SPIRIT (Safe, Positive, Inclusive, Respectful, Involved, Team Playing).