West Seattle Academy

WSA Collects 2,471 lbs of Pet Food!

The West Seattle Academy’s 7th graders collected over a ton of dog, cat, and even bird food for their school-wide pet food drive.  The drive lasted three weeks and was a spirited contest between all of the classes in West Seattle Montessori and West Seattle Academy.  The Yellow Room donated the most food, with a whopping 724 lbs donated to the cause.  They will be treated to an ice-cream party hosted by the 7th graders this Thursday, May 9th.

WSA 7th Graders pose with the West Seattle Montessori's Yellow Class

WSA 7th Graders pose with the West Seattle Montessori’s Yellow Class

On Friday, May 3rd the 7th graders loaded up the school van with all of the large bags of dog and cat food and headed to the Humane Society of Seattle to drop it all off, take a tour of their facilities, and learn about how their donations help local families, senior pet owners on limited incomes, and people with terminal illnesses lacking the essential resources needed to tend for their furry companions.  With the bulk of the collected food being donated to the Humane Society, there is still a substantial amount that will be dispersed to smaller, local animal shelters in our community.  The drive was an overwhelmingly huge success.  Thank you to the Yellow Room and all of the students of West Seattle Montessori and Academy for an amazing experience that benefited not only the Humane Society, but that also inspired the giving spirit of our 7th graders.

7th Graders at the Humane Society of Seattle during the pet food drop-off

7th Graders at the Humane Society of Seattle during the pet food drop-off


West Seattle Academy Pet Food Drive!
April 5, 2013, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Humane Society Food Drive

WSA Exploratory Week: Day Two–Museum of Flight

Today for WSA Exploratory Week the students visited the very impressive Museum of Flight.  The students were treated to an informational tour of Seattle’s aviation history in the “Red Barn”, which was Boeing’s first production warehouse way-back-when. After the tour and lunch the student’s were allowed to explore the museum on their own and discover what they thought to be the most interesting part of the museum.   Below you can find each student’s account of their personal favorite experience, along with their own photograph of that experience to share with you!

"Smells like history." -Miya S.

“Smells like history.” -Miya S.

Miya S., Grade 7: Today was our second day of exploratory week and we went to The Museum of Flight along with the 4/5 graders. We started by touring the building. Our tour guide was overflowing with facts about the planes around us and how they were made. We learned how humans took to the sky! I was very interested by the Wright brothers, who created the first successful planes.

Our assignment for the week was to take a picture of our favorite thing and then write about it. I chose to take a picture of a building called the Red Barn. I chose this as my favorite part of the tour because it was where the first planes were created. They were actually built in that same building! Of course it has been cleaned up and made into a part of the Museum of Flight but it was still amazing. As soon as I walked in, I knew I had found what I wanted to write about. As you enter the completely wooden building, the sweet, clean smell of wood drifts up your nostrils. I couldn’t help but breathe more deeply and whisper my pleasure to my friend. The barn is made out of sanded wood, the outside, as it’s name implies, is painted a classic red. The inside is a natural woody color. Light shines in from high windows. It is quite pretty in it’s own way. Many objects fill the barn, including pictures of attempts of flying planes, the outlines of planes as they were being built, and other interesting objects.

I found our first day of exploratory week much more interesting than today, but it was still a fun experience. Today was definitely more educational. If any of you visit the Museum of Flight, I recommend that you visit The Red Barn.

"The fastest plane in the world" -Harrison L

“The fastest plane in the world” -Harrison L

Harrison L., Grade 7: On the second day of exploratory week, we went to the Museum of Flight. We went on a tour of some parts of the museum, and learned about the Wright Brothers, and saw the Red Barn, which is the first factory for Boeing. I had been here many times before, but I learned new things from the tour. The tour also shed some new light on some of the exhibits. We also saw a mock Space Shuttle, and a mock Hubble Space Telescope. I also went into Air Force One and The Concorde.

My favorite plane there is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. It is really awesome, and it can fly at speeds up to Mach 3+. It was used from 1966-1998 as an advanced, long ranged reconnaissance plan. It was designed from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft. One thing about it that I thought was really cool was that the windshield gets so over heated, pilots are able to cook meals on it.

"Not your average 1940's female." -Chiara P

“Not your average 1940’s female.” -Chiara P

Chiara P., 7th Grade: Today was our second day of Exploratory Week and it was not exactly everything I had hoped for. We visited the Museum of Flight on the Boeing Field property, and it was not the most enjoyable experience of my life simply because although it is always nice to know how airplanes fly, aeronautics are not even remotely interesting to me, but I did the usual “grin and bear it” routine during our hour-long tour. After the tour was up however, was when things started becoming a little more interesting. We split up into groups (6th graders in one and 7th grade in another) and while the 6th graders took a trip in the turbulence simulator, us “Sevvies” decided to go wander around the World War I and World War II wing. Since I have a very big interest in anything having to do with WWII, that area was probably the most interesting one of them all to me. While wandering around that wing, I found a section designated to the female fighter pilots of WWII, who fought on both the enemy and Allies side. I found that very interesting because I think that sometimes the women who fought for our country during WWII tend to get a bit overlooked. Overall it was a pretty good day.

"A real flight experience" -Grady E.

“A real flight experience” -Grady E.

Grady E., 6th Grade: Today is Tuesday and we went to the Museum Of Flight (MOF). The MOF is exactly the same as what it’s name says. Today I am going to be writing about my favorite thing at the MOF. So here it is.

At the MOF there is a flight simulator. A flight simulator is a way to experience what is like to be in a fighter jet. The fighter jet you are in is a Corsair from WWII. This flight simulator was like a real life video game where you have to fly around and shoot all the enemy targets. This was really fun because in order to turn one way you have to turn your wings vertical and then pull up so that you end up turning to one way. At one part in the flight simulator my co-pilot told me to go upside down just for the fun of it and obviously I did so we were just hanging upside down for about 15 seconds.

Trying to decide what was the coolest thing I saw at the MOF was one of the hardest choices I have ever made. I would recommend going to the MOF ASAP because it is one of the coolest places I have ever been to.

"The first 450 horsepower motor!" -Harrison W.

“The first 450 horsepower motor!” -Harrison W.

Harrison W., 6th Grade: Today I went to the Museum Of Flight were we got to learn about the Wright Brothers and I got to go on a flight simulators, one of the funniest experiences I have every had. One of the things that were my favorite was their 450 HP motors that they put on their first 3-person passenger jet.  The engine was 759 pounds. I got to learn about different kinds of planes like the Blackbird and Orville and Wilber’s first plane. The big three-person jet was the first plane with all aluminum and a little wood. This plane would have been for very rich people. It took 22 hours to get from New York to Chicago.  The plane was very light even though there was a 759-pound engine on it. The engine was the same weight of the plane its self so they had to work on how to counter act the weight. This was a fun trip but the best thing there was the flight simulator. And this was one of the coolest planes there.

WSA Exploratory Week: Day One–Stone Gardens

Hi All!  This week is Exploratory Week at West Seattle Academy and the while the 8th grade students are off to Washington D.C., the 6th & 7th grade students spend each day on a different field trip excursion.  Today we went to the Stone Gardens climbing gym in Bellevue and the students and teachers had a great time. We had two instructors who helped us conquer our fears while we all climbed to the top of their 40+ foot climbing walls.  It was great experience for all and you can read each student’s personal reflection on the day below.  Thanks for reading!!

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The whole crew!

The whole crew!

Chiara P. Grade 7: Well, as you all can see from the title, this week is our school’s exploratory week. Whilst our fellow 8th graders are off in Washington D.C. (getting covered in snow and probably contracting exotic diseases and taking weird pictures outside of the Whitehouse), we (being the 7th and 6th graders) went rock climbing at an indoor gym in Bellevue. Overall, it was very fun. When we first arrived, we got a quick debriefing on what and what not to do (no running, cartwheels, and/or gymnastics on the mats…standard things) and then, we were ready to climb. At first, we all decided to go “Bouldering”, which is another word for free climbing without any ropes. Next up was “Top-roping”, which is climbing with ropes. We first started on the easier walls, which had more handholds and weren’t as tall, then we later used the taller walls. I started climbing a particularly difficult wall, known as a 5.7 (the walls are graded 5.1-5.11, the higher numbers obviously being more difficult) but chickened out the first time. After some soul-searching in the bathroom (basically just me washing my hands because they had started bleeding) I decided to do it again. The second time however, I made it to the top. I felt so happy when I finally touched the top of that 40 ft. wall, because I never thought I would be able to do it because I have an on-and-off-again fear of heights.  I think that I have now discovered a new respect for rock climbing and I would definitely do it again.

Grady E. Grade 6: This week is exploratory week. Exploratory week is when each day there is a field trip. Today is Monday and we went indoor rock climbing at the Stone Gardens. There are two forms of rock climbing; One, bouldering (free climbing while not attached to a wall, these walls are usually pretty short so that if you fall it won’t be too bad of a fall but even if you do fall from high up on the wall the mats are extraordinarily soft and squishy so it wouldn’t hurt anyway), Two, top-roping (climbing while attached to a rope, these walls are usually pretty high up (about 40-50 ft) and the mats aren’t as soft. The Stone Gardens is an indoor climbing facility in Bellevue.

Everyone started off bouldering so that we could get a feel of what we were doing. Bouldering was quite fun and it got everyone into the feel of indoor rock climbing. There was two different rooms for bouldering, one was the easier room and the other was a lot harder.

After we went bouldering we hit the top-roping room. This was a lot more intense and scary. When you get to the top you have to hop backwards down the wall and that is REAL scary knowing that if something goes wrong you will fall 40 feet to your death. Luckily no one came close to falling and dying.

Even though both forms of climbing were very scary the thought of reaching the top was more intense.

After we went rock climbing we went to a Enatai Beach and had lunch. Finally we head back to school and got the day over with.

Miya S. Grade 7: Hey everyone! So today is the beginning of exploratory week, a week where the different grades get a few days off of school to just have fun! This year, the 8th graders went to Washington DC and the 7th and 6th graders are going on all day field trips around Seattle. To kick things off we went rock-climbing at Stone Gardens. Once we had all our gear on we began the climb! I started by top roping while everyone else started by bouldering. The difference between the two is top roping is climbing with a rope attached to you so that you can climb higher and not fall, it is safer but unnecessary when you are climbing lower. Climbing without ropes is what you call bouldering.

The first wall I climbed was an easy one. I wanted to start simple and then get harder and harder. After everyone had top roped once and we had been given plenty of time to boulder, we went to a new area where you only top rope because the walls are much higher, about 40 feet! I started by just climbing to the top, and then I gave myself new challenges such as only using a certain color rock. I loved climbing. It came easily to me and I felt quite at peace while doing this. I climbed two of the hardest routes up the wall, and they exhausted me! I loved the feeling I got when I reached the top, but the actual climb was probably the best part of it all. I love feeling that power in your arms and legs, pushing and pulling, magically keeping you up even when you are sure that you will fall. I surprised myself with the things that I could do, and was very proud of all my classmates and teachers for doing such a great job! Everyone made it to the top.

The people who worked there were very helpful. They directed me on where to put my feet and kept all of us safe. Without them, this experience would not have been possible and I don’t think I would have been able to make the tough routes.

We are reading a book called Into Thin Air in Literature and I think those of us who went climbing can now relate much better to the story about climbing Mt Everest. While reading, many of us asked, “Why keep going when it’s so dangerous!?” Now we know that when you have gotten so close, you cannot make yourself turn around. If you do, you feel terrible about yourself. You have to live with knowing that you went so far, and got so close, only to turn around at the last moment. Obviously climbing a rock wall is not as dramatic as climbing Mt Everest but it was enough for me to understand.

Going rock climbing was a fabulous experience! I am very proud of myself, and I plan to climb more often. It was a wonderful start to exploratory week!

Harrison L. Grade 7: On the first day of the 6th and 7th grade exploratory week, we went to Stone Gardens, a rock climbing gym in Bellevue.  I had been there twice before, but I was still a little nervous to climb up the really high walls. We all knew though, that we would have a lot of fun.

We started out bouldering or free climbing, but we moved on and started top roping. I preferred bouldering, but top roping was really fun. When bouldering, you have no rope, hence the term free climbing. When top roping, you have a rope and you climb much higher walls. I was a little more nervous when top roping because of the height, but I got over it pretty quick. Even though you are nervous, the desire to get to the top is greater. It is like the book we are reading for literature, Into Thin Air, which is about climbing Mount Everest and the desire to reach the top, which outweighs the costs of almost dying, but today none of us even came close to dying.

In the end, we had tons of run, and no one got hurt, our instructors were very nice, and our sign language teacher joined us because she is a climber, so that was fun as well. Over all, it was a successful day.

Harrison W. Grade 6: Today I went rock climbing at Stone Gardens in Bellevue. There were places to climb that were 40 feet to 10 feet.  There are two different kinds of climbing bouldering is with no ropes and top roping is with ropes.  When we went we were with two really cool instructors and our ASL teacher came because she used to work there. There are different hardness’s like v 1 is not that hard and v 12+ witch was really hard.  We have pictures of people going up forty feet like Ms.Cifu, Miya, and me and everybody was able to make it to the top. Bouldering was my favorite but other people liked the other one better. Bouldering is much harder then top roping because bouldering has no ropes and you could die if you fell. If you are top roping it is easier and much safer then the bouldering because you have a rope holding you up. This day was great, nobody got hurt and we had a great time.

2012-13 School Play: Once On This Island

Introduction: Miya

Reflections: Various Students

Hey guys! So we recently had our school play and it was AWESOME. To those of you who came: Thank you so much for coming, a play wouldn’t be much without an audience. We performed “Once On This Island,” a story mimicking “The Little Mermaid” only there are no underwater sea creatures. The story is set on an island, which is split into two parts, the half where the Grand Hommes live, and where the peasants are forbidden to enter. And there’s the other half which is home to the peasants, who are very devoted to the gods. The story shows us how to forgive, and takes us on a journey involving love, rejection, and the harsh rules of society. We all had TONS of fun. We all enjoy taking time off to work on the play. It’s also a great bonding experience between the middle-school students  and the 4th/5th grade class. We all love the annual school play and now have those exciting experiences, which we will remember forever…

Following are some personal reflections about the play experience as written by some of the middle school students:

Harrison L. (7th Grade):

This year for our school play we performed “Once On This Island”. I am Harrison L. and I played Tonton Julian. Tonton is the father of the main character, Ti Moune, and is the husband of Mama Euralie. Our play was a story taking place on an island of two different worlds. On one side, the peasants. On the other, the Grand Hommes. The story is about a young girl named Ti moune. She is found in a tree after a terrible storm by Tonton Julian (me) and Mama Euralie. She falls in love with a Grand Homme, and she tries to leave her home to find him. My character (Tonton) and Mama try to stop her, but she leaves anyway. In the end she dies, but is turned into a tree. It is very sad, but the ending is still good.

My whole experience was stressful, but in the end on the play nights, I wasn’t super nervous. I really enjoyed this play and loved performing it. My character was a fairly big part, there was a lot of singing alone. I also had a mic, which is pretty cool. I really love the performing arts, and I love doing plays here. Sadly next year is my last year so I only have one more play to do. Hopefully I will take some sort of drama in high school and perform in more plays. Overall I really think we all did very well and the play turned out a success.

Karsten (8th Grade):

Hi, my name is Karsten and I am in eighth grade. For the school play I was Erzulie, the Goddess of Love. I preformed on Wednesday night. On the Friday night performance, I was a Grand Homme (and married to a fifth grader). Grand Hommes are the group of wealthy, French people who live on the island that the play took place on. The Grand Hommes did not do a lot of dancing, which was good because I am a terrible dancer. I think that the play went really well (even though no one thought we were going to pull it off). There were very few mistakes. The ones that I noticed were so small that no one mentioned them. My favorite scene was the one with the song about rain that the God of Water sang. This is because the props we used for the rain effect were very creative and looked really good in the lighting on the stage. On my night I couldn’t find my prop for rain, so I couldn’t go on. Backstage was chaotic. Everyone was rushing around trying to find their props and figure out what scene was next. Even though everyone was worried about their lines, once they got on stage they did fine. When we were finished with the play, everyone was both sad and glad it was over but disappointed that we had to go back to normal class schedules.

Henry (8th Grade):

This year we did a play called Once On This Island. We did the junior version but it was still a very challenging play. The music cues were very subtle if there was one at all. This made preparation stressful on everyone. When we were rehearsing I thought we weren’t going to pull it off. We were still blocking a scene two days before the actual play! But I think that as a group we definitely pulled it together and put on a great performance. It was definitely one of the smoothest plays we have done without any noticeable mess-ups.

I played the part of Papa Ge. He was the god of death on the island and the peasants feared him. It was very fun to play the god of death. I mean it’s the god, of death. It was challenging to play him though, there were some long notes and others that were hard to hit. But it was definitely a rewarding part. I had a really cool costume with a leather jacket and completed with a top hat. Even though I had a cool part it was very hard to play. I had two different songs that I had to sing mostly by myself. In addition, the music always keeps going so if you mess up there isn’t much you can do. But in the end everything worked out and I felt that I played my part the best that I could. This was my last play at WSA and I was glad that I ended on such a good streak.

Madi (8th Grade):

The play was last week and the process was filled with stress and laughter. We had a lot to do and I was not sure if we were going to pull it off, but in the end we all managed pretty well. The music in this play has the Caribbean vibe and it is all very catchy. When Caribbean music is involved you know there is going to be a lot of dancing. My friend, Gianna, and I played the role of Ti Moune. We had a whole dance solo to ourselves and I was uneasy about that. During the time of practicing for the play, we still had a lot to do, but not enough time to do it. On my night, I was really nervous. I was glad to have my friends being there with me. When we finished performing both nights, the realization of this play being the 8th graders’ last finally hit. It was a little sad to think, but at least I’ll be able to perform in high school and watch the school perform plays in the years to come.

Elise (8th Grade):

Last week we had the annual WSA play. This year’s play was called Once On This Island.  The play was a lot of fun but it was also very stressful. It was fun because of all the choreography, there was a lot of dancing because pretty much the whole play was songs and so a lot of the people were on the stage a good chunk of the play. It was very stressful as well however because we had a lot of scenes to block and not very much time to block them. I had a great time playing my part, I was the mom of the main character. My friend Miya was my counter-part, we laughed a lot while memorizing our lines together we sometimes would get annoyed with certain scenes together. The night of the play was very stressful and I was not sure if we could pull it off but in the end it ended up to be a great success. One little boy from out school even came up to me and gave me flowers! It was super cute. I am sad though because since I am in eighth grade this was my last play at this school, I was glad though because I got to sign the rubber chicken (each year we put a rubber chicken somewhere in the play and after the play, that years eight graders get to sign it) I will defiantly come to see next years play.

Grady (6th Grade):

This year the play was called Once On This Island. This play was a really awkward and fun to learn. It was about a peasant girl named Ti Moune who preys to the gods and gets her wish. Her wish was for a Grand Homme (rich family) to carry her away. Ti Moune gets her wish and that’s when Daniel comes in. Daniel was the rich son of a Grand Homme who crashes in a car near by Ti Moune. Ti Moune takes care of him when he nearly dies. Daniel gets taken back to the Grand Hommes and Ti Moune follows. Daniel marries another women and Ti Moune dies.

I played Daniel and I definitely had a good time learning how to play him. It was really fun and definitely very funny. I think I did a good job and so did everyone else. I think that this years play was really a good one because before the play it seemed like we were going to choke but we all did a great job. This play was definitely VERY awkward. It was awkward in which I had to do things that an ordinary pre-teen doesn’t have to do.

Letters To The Troops
A colorful collection of letters crafted to send to the troops overseas

A colorful collection of letters crafted to send to the troops overseas

Our class wrote letters to the U.S. troops that will be sent to a base overseas for the troops to enjoy. We were feeling that they needed a little joy and some encouragement about what they are doing to protect our country and make it so all the citizens can feel safe. ~Harrison W. (6th Grade)

Giving Back: Holiday Gift Wrapping For Charity

This past Wednesday the middle school students at West Seattle Academy hopped in the van and headed to the Miller Community Center on Capitol Hill.  The Miller CC works together with the Country Doctor Community Clinic each year to host a giant holiday party for the clinic’s patients and other (mostly disadvantaged) families in Seattle.  Kids ages 0-10 will show up with their families  this Saturday December 15th from 10am-2pm to enjoy games, receive presents, and have a holiday meal.  Nearly 1,500 gifts are given away and the center needed a lot of help from volunteers to wrap the presents…which is where WSA stepped in.  Each student and teacher wrapped anywhere from 20-30 gifts each in two hours, working together to wrap nearly 400 presents for the event.  Below is the slideshow of photographs from our event, along with a lovely write-up from our crack reporter, Chiara.

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Miller Community Center Holiday Gift Wrapping 2012

By Chiara P-7th Grade

 Hi everyone! Happy Friday!  Soooooooo…. how is everybody? I know the holidays are coming up, and you’re probably busy prepping for Christmas or whatever you celebrate, well so are we. Two days ago (December 12, 2012), we went to the Miller Community Center and helped wrap presents for the needy. There were tons of store-bought gifts for children, including teddy bears, pillow pets, and coloring books. Of course there were many other ones (obviously, we couldn’t just rely on pillow pets and coloring books for 1,500 children could we?) but I cannot remember them because I was so focused on nursing tons of paper cuts and snacking on gingerbread cookies with my wonderful friends (who are all certifiably insane, just like me). After the gift wrapping, (we ended up wrapping about a quarter of the presents! Yay!) we went to a Vietnamese restaurant in the International District. The food was very good (I highly recommend the grilled chicken), and when we finished, we went to the amazing fortune cookie factory across the street where we all bought fortune cookies…(or if you’re like my friend Miya a.k.a. Head Author of ‘I On I Interviews’ just mooched fortune cookies off of everyone…hehe in case you’re reading this Miya, I love youuuu!). Overall, It was a really awesome day, and it felt very good to be able to help bring smiles onto children’s faces this season, and I really want to do it again.