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West Sound Academy Graduates

WSA’s Class of 2022 graduates and celebrates

The Indianola Clubhouse has been the venue for numerous West Sound Academy dances and music concerts in the past.  On May 28, the clubhouse doors were opened for a day…
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High School Graduates

Announcing! College destinations & post-graduation plans for the Class of 2022

West Sound Academy seniors came back to campus on May 27 to pick up their caps, gowns, and stoles for the commencement ceremony to be held the next day in…
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6th Grade ERP Project

6th and 7th Graders learn that history is created from many perspectives.

By Georgia Chehade. In Humanities, 6th-grade students have been researching a Washington State History topic since October, a project culminating in a website that students shared with the WSA community…
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We Need Diverse Books Image

WNDB grant will bring diverse books and author visit to WSA.

West Sound Academy’s students will be reading more books by diverse authors next school year, thanks to an Educators Making a Difference grant from We Need Diverse Books. The grant…
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6th/7th Grade Exploratory Art - March 15, 2022

Middle School students turn discarded materials into art.

Students in the 6/7th Exploratory Art class are finishing up their artwork sculptures created with repurposed materials. The requirement was a sculpture that is made solely from repurposed materials that…
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Word Cloud for 6th and 7th grade poems

Inspired by Maya Angelou, 6th and 7th Grade poets use their voices.

Students in Georgia Chehade’s 6th/7th Grade Humanities class read and analyzed the poem, “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou as part of their class celebration of Black History Month in February. …
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Hologram lab in Upper School Physics class

Physics students learn about light and create their own holograms.

Students in physics class have been working through a unit on light over the last few weeks. Our more recent labs have had us working on the refraction (bending) of…
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Three members of the Class of 2021

Declaration Day 2021: Graduating seniors announce their fall plans

West Sound Academy seniors were on campus on May 17 for their last day of classes as WSA students. They also took time to make a special announcement to the…
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Kitsap COVID logo

Running the World Should Be Modeled After the Kitsap COVID Vaccine Clinics

My mother always taught me to write thank you notes whenever anyone has done something kind or generous for me.  Well, this is less a blog and more a thank…
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Closeup of nostoc on the WSA parking lot - Karen Mattick photo

Mystery on Campus

A few years ago, walking the long way back to my classroom from Baker Hall, I noticed a strange growth hugging the curb in the parking lot behind Ryan Hall. …
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WSA Pandemic Theatre Company

How the West Sound Academy Pandemic Theatre was born

On March 16th of 2020 the COVID-19 Lockdown hit West Sound Academy, classes were moved into the virtual classroom indefinitely.  The after-school theatre program was producing their first musical, Once…
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Comfort, Fear, Learning, Growth

Put down your Comfort Goggles

In 2020 most humans are seeking comfort or seeking to comfort others especially as we a face a grim winter of COVID-19 statistics.  Recently, a friend posted an oldie but…
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Barrie and Lisa give high fives during the tear-down project

WSA is Breaking Through Barriers

One of WSA’s greatest assets is its campus with 20 beautiful acres of fields, huge trees, and four charming buildings. Before March 2020, no one would have ever imagined we…
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Invitado- Jessica Outlaw's 10th Grade Spanish class

¡Hola! ¡Bienvenidos a la fiesta!

Students in Jessica Outlaw’s 10th Grade Spanish class have been studying vocabulary related to food, clothing and celebrations during Mod B. Señora Outlaw decided that the best way to assess…
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Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Solutions, and Other Problems

I have started and stopped writing a new blog post for almost six weeks now. There is so much going on in the world and in my own life that…
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Using Literature to Recognize Authenticity

As an English teacher, there are few things better than watching students read a piece of literature and become inspired about real world issues. In the 8th grade, we started…
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Jello pieces on white background - Britannica ImageQuest

Juggling with Jello

I have been trying to write my school year kick-off blog post for two weeks, and, much like the last six months, writing a compelling, relevant, and upbeat blog has…
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Curtain call for She Kills Monsters - Young Adventurers Edition

Solving the puzzle in IB Theatre – by leaping in the dark.

During my time at West Sound Academy, I have experienced one of the most exciting and challenging moments in my teaching career. Learning to teach and breathe the IB curriculum…
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Barrie's cat Oscar - entirely satisfied with the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order

That Feeling as a Leader When You Have to Disappoint People

As a leader and Head of School, I try to say “yes” as much as possible. Even if it is really a no, I work hard to find a mutually…
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Aida helps out with College Declaration Day

Announcing! College destinations for the Class of 2020

West Sound Academy seniors came back to campus on May 12 – not all at once, of course, but on a staggered schedule so they could maintain social distancing requirements. …
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Amigos in IB Spanish

Seniors reflect on their experiences at WSA – en español.

Last week WSA seniors in IB Spanish showcased their language skills and reflected on their time as students at this school. Their presentations were heartwarming, funny, and very memorable. They…
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Ms. Nordleaf-Nelson's 9th Grade English Class

West Sound Academy students rise to the challenge of the online classroom.

It’s 12:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, 6th period, and time for West Sound Academy 9th Grade English class to meet.  The teacher, Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson, sits at her laptop and admits…
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Alayna Garvin

Why IB at WSA?

At WSA, we strive to prepare learners for the world beyond our classrooms. At all grade levels, we encourage students to improve their thinking, research, social, and communication skills. We…
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Heart and WSA campus

Teachers work to answer the question: What does Commitment to Care mean at WSA?

At the end of February, WSA staff and teachers engaged in a three-day in-service discussing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).  One of the standards of excellence in education that the…
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Olivia with her project for her Humanities final exam

Using Project-Based Learning to Build a Culture of Trust in the Classroom

Middle school is an interesting time. Not only are students expected to adapt to a new school, expectations, and social scene, they are experiencing profound changes within themselves. Many adults…
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The new Barrie - after the haircut!

It’s Kindness Week at WSA! Join in and plan your own act of kindness.

NPR reported on February 8th that 2020 has started off as the third wettest year on record!  As good Pacific Northwesterners, we should be used to the winter liquid sunshine.  …
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6th and 7th grade first semester final, January 2020

6th and 7th Grade students plan and create projects for their final exam.

This year in 6th and 7th Humanities students have dedicated time to exploring their own creative spark. Their final, instead of focusing on specific content from the course, was focused…
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FTC Interleague Championship 01-11-2020

WSA Robotics team finishes the season at Tesla Interleague Championship playoffs.

WSA’s Robotics team competed in the Tesla Interleague championship event of the FIRST Tech Challenge on January 11 at Baker Middle School in Tacoma. Thirty-four schools from the Puget Sound…
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Open yourself up to be ready to learn…

On Thursday, December 19th, West Sound Academy Alumni from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 joined our current juniors and seniors for an informal talk on what to expect with…
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Barrie Hillman standing at the TEDWomen stage - December 2019

Lean Into the Light

Last week, I had the great privilege of attending the annual TEDWomen conference in Palm Springs. My first intention in going was to help support WSA’s work to host our…
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WSA Robotics team at FTC Regional competition on 12/08/2019

West Sound Academy Robotics places second in the FTC regional qualifier

The WSA group arrived at King’s Schools Campus in Shoreline at 9:30 a.m. for the First Tech Challenge regional competition on December 8 – the second regional qualifier of the…
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WSA Robotics visits Silverwood School

WSA Robotics takes their tech on the road to Silverwood School

WSA’s Robotics team packed up their robots and took them for a visit to Silverwood School in Poulsbo on December 4.  Co-captains Aidan Phelan and Emma Longworth and team members…
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WSA Knowledge Bowl - Practice Competition, December 2, 2019

What is Knowledge Bowl, and is it fun?

West Sound Academy has a Knowledge Bowl team that holds practices twice a week.  The goal of these practices is to help the team get ready for the three regional…
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WSA campus in Fall

Financial Aid is giving way to Sliding Scale

In every professional development opportunity I have participated in over the last two years, the prevailing message has been about innovation and implementing progressive ideas in the education world.  Change…
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WSA's 2019-2020 Robotics team

West Sound Academy Robotics Club Placed Second in the First FTC Regional Qualifier

It was an early rise for our West Sound Robotics Club last Saturday!  Our group arrived at King’s Schools Campus in Shoreline at 9:30 a.m. for the First Tech Challenge…
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Gsellman family Halloween party

Get plugged in…..the right way!

This past weekend I had 16 kids in my 1000 square foot house. Full size kids that take up a lot of space. The massive pile of shoes by the…
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River and Noah look through Spanish children's books

IB Students Read Spanish Children’s Books, Then Create Their Own

This week IB Spanish students enjoyed reading some children’s books.  They analyzed what verb tenses were used and found three new vocabulary words per book.  They were transported back in…
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She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition

West Sound Theatre Company Opens “She Kills Monsters” this November

Join West Sound Academy students as they present She Kills Monsters: Young Adventures Edition, November 15-17 at the William D. Harvey Theatre, Olympic College – Bremerton, Washington. She Kills Monsters…
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Sam A and Sam H at Robotics practice, October 26, 2019

WSA Hawks and Safire Phoenix Robotics Team Practice ‘Coopertition’

West Sound Academy’s First Tech Challenge Robotics team is busy as they race to build and program a robot that can execute the challenging maneuvers and build requirements prior to…
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FIRST Tech Challenge

Collaborating and Strategizing: WSA Robotics Meets Up with Girl Scout Team

October is a busy time for First Tech Robotics teams all around the country as they race to build and program a robot that can execute challenging maneuver and build…
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Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat

WSA Thespians & Student Council Ask for Food Donations, not Candy, in October

By Grace Schmitt ’20 and Phillip Cox ’20 The West Sound Academy Drama Club and Thespian Troupe #8175, in cooperation with WSA Student Council, will be collecting non-perishable food donations…
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Parents Walk the Learner’s Journey on Curriculum Night

On September 10, 2019, WSA staff and faculty welcomed parents to campus for Curriculum Night which provided an opportunity for parents to experience the Learner’s Journey. Connecting in-person to the…
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Arjun, Jen, Paige, and Tyler at 2019 Fall Gathering

New, new and more new!

By Barrie Hillman   It’s a new school year and WSA is kicking it off with lots of new things! The most exciting change is our new logo, designed by…
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Announcing! College Destinations for the Class of 2019

Congratulations are in order for students in the Class of 2019 as they celebrate college success.  They were accepted at 40 four-year colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and were offered $2,191,802 in grants, awards…
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WSA Team Wins 2nd Place at WA State Knowledge Bowl XXXVII

West Sound Academy’s team of top academic competitors, aka Manifest Westiny, won 2nd Place in Division 1B at the Washington State Tournament XXXVII at West Valley High School in Yakima on March 23, 2019.…
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WSA Theatre Company Presents: See How They Run

The classic 1940’s farce See How They Run, by Philip King, will be performed by the West Sound Academy Theatre Company as their spring drama production at Restore Church, 20081 Viking…
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Knowledge Bowl

WSA Knowledge Bowl is headed to State Tournament in March

West Sound Academy’s Knowledge Bowl team competed in the third and final regional competition of the season at Fort Worden on February 7, 2019.  WSA’s top squad, WS1 (aka “Manifest Westiny”) had…
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / January 16, 2023

There will be NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


In-Service Day – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / January 13, 2023

Friday, January 13, 2023, is a teacher in-service day so there is NO SCHOOL.


End of Semester Games & Nachos

By Susan Trower / January 12, 2023

Celebrate the end of the semester with games and nachos! Place: WSA Commons Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Cost: $5 for Nachos NOTE: on this day the WSA bus to…


New Year’s Day Observed – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / January 2, 2023

There is NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 2, 2023, in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday.


Winter Break – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / December 19, 2022

There is NO SCHOOL during Winter Break: December 17-31, 2022, and January 1-2, 2023.


11th Grade & Elective Music Show

By Susan Trower / December 15, 2022

In concert: WSA’s 11th Grade and Elective Music classes Paul Burback, Director


6th and 7th Grade Music Show

By Susan Trower / December 13, 2022

In concert: WSA’s 6th and 7th Grade Music classes Paul Burback, Director


Giving Tuesday

By Susan Trower / November 29, 2022

Tuesday, November 29, is Giving Tuesday – a special day of charitable giving. Consider making a gift to West Sound Academy! Go to Donate Online


Thanksgiving Break – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / November 25, 2022

There is NO SCHOOL Thursday and Friday, November 24-25 in observance of Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving Break – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / November 24, 2022

There is NO SCHOOL Thursday and Friday, November 24-25 in observance of Thanksgiving.


Project Day – No Onsite Classes

By Susan Trower / November 23, 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022, is a Project Day. No onsite classes will be held. Students can use the day to work on long-term projects for classes or to do CAS…


WSA Presents: Fall Theatre Production

By Susan Trower / November 12, 2022

West Sound Academy Theatre Company Presents their Fall Theatre Production Directed by Gretchen Nordleaf Friday, November 11 Saturday, November 12 Information regarding the title of the play and the ticket…


WSA Presents: Fall Theatre Production

By Susan Trower / November 11, 2022

West Sound Academy Theatre Company Presents their Fall Theatre Production Directed by Gretchen Nordleaf Friday, November 11 Saturday, November 12 Information regarding the title of the play and the ticket…


Veterans Day – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / November 11, 2022

There is NO SCHOOL on Friday, November 11, 2022, due to the Veterans Day holiday.


Halloween Dance

By Susan Trower / October 29, 2022

Date: October 29, 2022 Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m. Location: WSA Commons Audience: All grades of WSA students. (Note: This first dance of the school year is for West Sound students only.) Cost:…


In-Person Admissions Event

By Susan Trower / October 25, 2022

We are welcoming prospective families to campus!  Attend our Admissions Event on Tuesday, October 25 if you think you have a student who would benefit from all that West Sound Academy has…


In-Person Admissions Event

By Susan Trower / October 22, 2022

We are welcoming prospective families to campus!  Attend our Admissions Event on Saturday, October 22 if you think you have a student who would benefit from all that West Sound Academy…


Parent Community Night

By Susan Trower / October 18, 2022

West Sound Academy parents and guardians are invited to come to campus for an evening of conversation and fun.


State In-Service Day – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / October 14, 2022

Friday, October 14 is a statewide In-Service Day, so there is NO SCHOOL. This is a day when teachers in Washington State participate in workshops, collaborative planning, and professional development.


Learning Team Conferences on Zoom – NO SCHOOL

By Susan Trower / October 13, 2022

Learning Team Conferences are scheduled for October 10-13, 2022. Conferences are required and will be held on Zoom. School is closed on conference days,