It Takes a Village

Westside Village Magnet School, Bend, Ore.

One of the key factors that strengthens student, staff, and family engagement at Westside Village Magnet School, in Bend, Ore., is relationships. At Westside Village Magnet School, all stakeholders are endowed with a sense of belonging and find space to collaborate to support an inclusive and democratic learning environment that meets the individual needs of each child.

With a well-rounded, hands-on curriculum that is integrated with the arts, health and wellness, civics, and outdoor "adventure learning," students not only have overwhelmingly achieved high test scores, but they have also learned to be self-advocates for their learning needs.

For example, West Village students' passions and personal learning goals are integrated into the curriculum. One year, students learned about environmental and social issues, then held a community fair on sustainability where they presented various community-wide projects, ranging from teaching water conservation to holding a Pennies for Peace drive. Some students still continue working on these projects long term, and local organizations have asked them to participate in their own outreach efforts.

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