Introduction to Webster

At Webster School, staff, parents, and community members work together ...

Our Vision Statement begins with these words and there is no better way to begin to describe our school. Webster’s 340 students take great pride in their school, in their learning, and in themselves because they are immersed in an environment where it is abundantly clear that everyone around them cares very deeply about their happiness and success. Our teachers welcome every child into their classrooms and provide a stimulating and challenging curriculum as they strive to ignite the passion for learning that lives within their students. The children see their parents volunteering as classroom aides, guest speakers, traffic monitors, playground supervisors, and Thursday soup chefs. Our students interact regularly with community members who contribute their knowledge, energy, and talents to their educational experiences. These include Deputy Jake, the Sheriff’s STAR Program deputy, Pepperdine students who serve as reading tutors, and the representatives of non-profits like Shane's Inspiration, Bookends, and School on Wheels with which our students are involved.

That first sentence of our Vision Statement concludes with “... to create a joyous and caring learning environment in which all students are supported, challenged, and successful.” We chose the words “joyous and caring” and “all students” very carefully and strive to give them life every day. Virtually everyone who visits our school comments on how happy and purposeful our students are. They are surrounded by teachers who are passionate about learning to read, about literature, about history, and about algebra. They are also taught by specialists whose love of art, music, gardening, and technology is communicated unmistakably in every lesson. Our students and their families share memorable events; the annual Halloween costume parade, the Talent Show, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, the Jogathon, and the Multicultural Pot Luck Dinner and Art Show. Our students are well-known and cared for as the unique individuals they truly are.

Our Vision Statement continues with “Webster students master California State standards, develop higher level thinking skills, and connect their learning to the real world in all areas of academic study, the arts, technology, and character development.” Our staff has no illusions about the magnitude of this challenge. Our school has embarked on a comprehensive effort to make this promise a reality for every student. The elements of this effort include State-adopted standards-based instructional materials at the heart of the instructional program, a variety of supplemental materials, a consistent focus on professional development, and the regular use of assessment data to inform and guide instruction. Five Webster classroom teachers and our Reading Specialist have achieved National Board Certification, and another teacher has completed the application process. We are extraordinarily proud of our recent API scores: 941 in 2009, 961 in 2010 (the highest ever by any school in our district), and 949 in 2011. Webster was recognized as a California Distinguished School in 2010, based on descriptions of our writing curriculum and long-term professional development program in mathematics.

It is a further source of pride that our students are able to maintain this high level of academic achievement without being deprived of regular involvement with the arts. In fact, we believe that these experiences contribute to their success. Music, dance, and visual arts are a high priority in our school community. Beautiful murals appear throughout our school. Students often work outside in our Poets' Park or Butterfly Garden. Our 5th grade students participate annually in a ten-week ballroom dance program. 3rd and 4th grade classes also receive dance instruction in District-sponsored programs. Every class attends our Art Studio regularly throughout the year. Every 4th and 5th grade student participates in two weekly music lessons, either instrumental or vocal. Kindergarten-3rd grade classes are provided weekly vocal music lessons.

Connecting learning to the real world is another hallmark of the educational experience for Webster students. Field trips clearly connected to classroom instruction occur regularly at all grades. Our 4th graders attend Astrocamp for three days and our 5th graders travel to Yosemite for a week every June for outdoor environmental education. Character Counts is an integral part of the life of our school as we prepare children to evolve into responsible parents and citizens. Kindergarten-3rd grade classes participate weekly in our Gardening Angels program and every class attends Computer Lab lessons every week. Under the auspices of our Site Governance Council, our "Green Team" of parent volunteers organizes and supports projects that make our school community more environmentally conscious. We celebrated Earth Day in 2009 by taking the entire student body to a local State park and planted a variety of native trees with the guidance of the U.S. Forest Service.

Community service learning is a high priority at Webster, beginning in kindergarten. In 2009, Webster was one of only 11 schools in the State of California to be recognized by the California Department of Education as a “Service Learning Leader School”. Every November, every student at Webster writes a holiday card or letter to a United States soldier serving overseas. Our annual book drive results in the donation of 3,000 to 4,000 books to a needy library at a school in Southern California. Our 5th grade students interact with special needs children at a local handicap accessible playground. 

Webster families view our school as a highly valued partner in the challenging, satisfying work of raising their children. Parents at Webster have very high expectations for us, but these are matched by their personal involvement and support. The most often-repeated comment from parents at Webster is, “I wish I could go to school here!” We regard that as high praise indeed.

Please click here to see the Webster School PTA board of directors.

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