Philanthropy Report

A Very Special Year

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A Message From
The Head
of School...

Impact.

Read the stories below to learn how your gifts made an impact

Onstage Again!

Performing Arts Re-Energized

Performing Arts at WNS returned in full-force for the 2021-22 school year! It took some reorganizing and reimagination due to some COVID limitations but we were able to successfully manage and pull off an amazing program all year long. The goal was to bring back a sense of joy and confidence as we gathered together (safely).
We were able to host nine performances on stage including the Winter Performing Arts Showcase, 3rd Grade’s So You Think You Can Dance, Unhinged (an 8th grade devised show), Puffs (a 7th/8th grade scripted play), the Middle School Musical called the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a 4th Grade Performance of Devised, the 5th Grade Cultural Fair Devised Theatre, the Annual End of Year Talent Show, and the Middle School Choir Concert.
For the first time students had the opportunity to move the body in a different way in the inaugural Dance PE Elective. This class introduced and exposed multiple styles of dance to our students including Latin, theatre, street jazz, hip-hop, West African, tap and more!
Our family supports the WNS Performing Arts Program because we believe that the arts are fundamental to our humanity. The arts enable and inspire our children, fostering creativity, empathy, confidence and beauty. The arts also strengthen our communities socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even during a pandemic that has been devastating to the arts. It has been fulfilling to see our children thrive in creative ways under the guidance of an extraordinary faculty.

Performing Arts Stats:

  • 9: Total number of performances
  • 3: Number of plays/musicals performed
  • Number of MS school students involved in
    Spring Musical: 18 students worked on the musical (10 in the cast & 8 on tech crew)
  • Spring Play: 22 (17 in the cast & 5 tech crew) 7th/8th graders worked on Puffs (the play). Seventh grader Gigi Svehlak directed the show!

Global Studies: Panama 2022

This summer, the Global Studies program resumed after an unplanned hiatus caused by COVID. Families were enthusiastic to have their students foster their global citizenship, and Panama delivered! Six brave teacher chaperones supported 34 eager students over 8 days in Panama. Based in Panama City, the group experienced both the Pacific and Caribbean sides of the country. A highlight of the trip included an up-close look at the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal, where travelers saw the Miraflores Locks in action. This was one of many incredible experiences on the trip.
After a boat ride down the Chagres river, travelers visited an indigenous village, where they learned about the lifestyle, culture, art, and cuisine of the Emberá people. Additionally, they went for a bike ride along the coast where they got the lay of the land and saw the juxtaposition of old and new with the modern skyline of Panama City, the “Miami of Central America”, and Casco Viejo, a UNESCO heritage site which was settled in 1673. They sampled delicious pineapple while touring a farm in Valle de Anton. Finally, snorkeling close to the Portobelo ruins on the Caribbean Sea was an exciting way to end the trip.
This project embodies the spirit of our school’s mission statement: “to create a community of lifelong learners that contributes to the world with confidence, creativity, curiosity, conscience, and compassion.”

Gifts to this fund provide the opportunity for students to travel internationally with the Summer Global Studies Program who would not otherwise have this experience. The Summer Global Studies Program creates a lasting impact on students’ worldviews and fosters more curious, empathetic, and confident global citizens. We are proud to keep this wonderful program inclusive to all middle school students. If you would like to join these efforts and support the Global Studies Financial Assistance Fund, click here.

The Global Studies Program presents students with a variety of experiences so that they get a true view of the culture of the country they visit, and come back with a richer understanding of the way the world works…I can’t imagine any better education

Athletics

WNS came back stronger than ever in our first full year back from the pandemic. We fielded 17 teams with approximately 160 middle school students participating in at least one sport. From this we were able to raise three banners as Mr. Zacuto and Ms. Reimann battled for the Most Winningest Coach in WNS history; Ms. Reimann took back the throne with the Varsity Track and Field and Varsity Boys Cross Country championships
Varsity Girls Volleyball also raised a championship banner last year! Along with these we also had four Varsity teams come in second place (Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball, Boys Volleyball, Girls Softball) and a JV championship from Boys Soccer. Aside from the awesome accolades from our teams, we were also able to implement our athletics core values with the boys volleyball team last spring by applying what we learn and practice in athletics with academics to reinforce and aid with growth in the classroom. Of our graduating class, they are all continuing their athletics pursuits at some of the most prestigious high schools in the city!
As you can see, it is crucial to support the Athletics Department at WNS because through athletics our students learn how to invest time with the goal of empowering and uplifting the team. Our students’ self confidence and ability to problem solve grows when on a team. From a pedagogical standpoint, research shows that sports “enhance pupils’ sound development.” The goal for this department this year is to show our student athletes you can be whatever you want to be.
WNS athletics has provided our children a sense of community and school spirit. We play to win but in a way that’s inclusive of all abilities. The opportunities to work together and support one another in an effort to win a banner for their school has provided memories that will last a lifetime for our children. We continue to give to the annual fund because we stand behind what WNS stands for – Inclusion and representation being at the forefront.

Studio 22

Digital Art has not only expanded the definition of art, but has increased the accessibility of art to the world at large. It has become an equalizer for artists who have long faced the challenge of breaking through to traditional art spaces to have their work seen. Drawing, interactive installations, screenshots, animation, digital prints on canvas, and installation views of photographs are all considered forms of digital art.
This year we introduced the new WNS Digital Arts program and elective to our 6th and 8th grade students in an effort to further enhance our incredible arts and DCM (Design.Code.Make) curriculum.
This program was limited to a small number of students in its first yer and the vision would be to expand this studio to more students, and allow for more state-of-the-art tools to take this program to the next level. As the years go by and STUDIO 22 reaches more and more eager and talented students in the digital art space, the Class of 2022 is forever memorialized in the studio’s name and mission: To make the WNS Digital Art Program as accessible and robust as possible with state of the art tools.
The Class of 2022 met this inaugural year of the WNS Digital Arts program and elective with enormous enthusiasm and engagement! This class was filled with amazingly creative and determined artists! Being that the Class of 2022 is the inaugural class for this new and innovative program, we conceptualized it into the 8th Grade Legacy Gift program and coined it STUDIO 22.
In keeping with the essence of our DCM approach at WNS, STUDIO 22 will cater to our children’s understanding of process over end result, and approach the creation of their artwork as experimental and evolutionary. STUDIO 22 will allow for more of our WNS students to move easily between the worlds of art, science, math and technology, all in the name of STUDIO 22 and right in the heart of Silicon Beach, where over 500 technology companies and creative firms reside. We are creating the next generation of creative artists and entrepreneurs!

The WNS visual arts program inspired our daughter to continue finding new ways to express herself through her art. Our family has always participated in the Annual Fund because we see firsthand the direct impact. Our daughter’s graduating class designated Studio 22 for our Legacy Gift and we are proud to support the continuation of bringing more art to the students. We love you WNS!

ECC Story Workshop

Last year a story emerged from the Sparrow classroom construction area of a dinosaur and a cave. Sensing an opportunity and motivation of the students to take it further, teacher Lexie Rosendin asked those same children to re-tell the story with clay. As they collaboratively revisited the story, it became more elaborate, and more characters were added. The other children in the classroom became invested in this story as well.
Following the big ideas of the students, Lexie helped the children refine their vision. The four and five-year-olds eventually decided they would like to create a movie of this story.
Over many weeks, the children worked on this movie, from storyboarding their idea to creating puppets, to filming it, and finally watching it with their friends and family on the big screen. In the process, they needed to negotiate their ideas, solve technical problems, and think creatively to get this film done. Investing in the journey rather than the destination allowed big thinking and learning to happen.

The Early Childhood Center at WNS is such a special program, where we have had the pleasure of watching our children develop a love of learning, make lasting relationships and flourish and grow in ways we never thought possible! Through the ECC our daughters were able to explore their interests (lots of dramatic play in our case!) while also becoming part of a community that welcomed us immediately while truly supporting diversity and inclusion. We proudly donate to the Annual Fund to ensure the future and on-going excellent educational environment that our daughters and the rest of the WNS community receive.

Amaree Tanawong

K and 2nd Grade Parent

Community

See below how our community came together to celebrate one another

JustBooks:
A WNS Reading Club

As an inclusive school, it is our priority to honor the voices and vast experiences of our diverse students while cultivating allyship among our community members in a myriad of ways. The JustBooks Club allows us to do that work while nurturing a love of literature for our young readers.
For the pilot year, the JustBooks Club utilized literature to explore identity. The first phase of the program focused on gender identity while the second phase explored racial and cultural identity.
Students in grades 1-6 participated in this enrollment-based program by selecting a book from a list of vetted offerings from the JustBooks committee of caretakers, faculty and staff. These books were ordered and distributed to enrolled book club members through the MLC. After taking time to read the books, book club members were invited to join an engaging read aloud and conversation with one of the featured authors.
This incredible program was graciously underwritten by a WNS parent as all of the club’s books are FREE!! Students are welcome to keep the book or pass it on to a friend when they are done enjoying it themselves.
We are excited to continue this ground-breaking program next year as we work to explore additional areas within the DEIJ spectrum of topics. WNS hopes to grow this program with greater membership and funding in future years.
We give to WNS because we are inspired by the mission and grateful to all that the school has given to our family. This past year, we were honored to be a founding sponsor of the JustBooks program – a book club that is advancing the WNS mission by expanding students’ home libraries with books that reflect diverse characters, stories and topics.

The Gala: WNS On The Lot

After two years of virtual galas, we returned to an in-person Gala & Auction this year. The event, Luminous on the Lot, was hosted at Sony Studios and was a huge success! We had the largest attendee turnout in school history and heard from so many of our guests that it was the BEST GALA EVER!
We began the night under the Sony rainbow with celebratory drinks, community-building and live music that set our feet into motion. After cocktails in Sony’s Calley Park, the cirque stilt walker escorted guests to a sumptuous dinner by Wolfgang Puck.
Our not-so-live auction and thrilling Raise the Paddle moment lit up the sky! Afterwards, the dance floor, Luminous Lounge featuring WNS’ Wine Wall and 360* Glam Cam sealed the night! Not only did our community bond with one another but we raised crucial dollars for our school.

While the gala is WNS’ largest fundraising event of the year, we were very intentional to make the celebration of our resilient community our main focus. Meeting our fundraising goals of the night was the icing on the cake!

The Parent Group:

Rebuilding Community

The pandemic taught us how to come together virtually and we did that spectacularly! But this year we made it a priority to come back together and resume some in person activities. As always, WNS looks to what bonds us and what we have in common and we saw that we shared the desired activity to be together and be in person! Well, we did it and it was amazing!
The sense of community and belonging that exists when we are together in person is something special. We saw this with our Parent Coffees, our first “Screen on the Green” outdoor movie night, the return of Party Books and of course our Annual Gala! We spent time together and we rebuilt our community!

2021-22 Parent Group DEIJ Events:

  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Diversity & Identity Within the Latinx/Hispanic/Spanish-Speaking Diaspora)
  • AAPI Heritage Month (Live Cooking Event with Master Chef Liu and Taiko Drumming and Japanese Lion Dance)
  • Black History Month (African Folktale event and the West African Virtual Dance class).
  • DEIJ Book Clubs (Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, the debut novel from Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong)

Matriculation

Class of 2022 photoshopped

8th Grade Matriculation Stats

  • 86% of students were accepted into their first-choice school
  • 100% were accepted into either their first or second choice school
  • 80% total acceptance rate
  •  

High School

Check out where the Class of 2022 headed off to on their next adventure:
  • Archer
  • Buckley
  • Campbell Hall
  • Chadwick
  • Harvard-Westlake
  • Loyola High School
  • Marymount
  • Mira Costa
  • New Roads
  • Pacifica Christian
  • St. John Bosco
  • Vistamar
  • Windward

College

Check out where the WNS Class of 2018 headed for college!
  • American University
  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Colorado College
  • DePaul University Chicago
  • Elon University
  • Emory University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Highpoint University
  • Hope International University
  • Howard University
  • International University (Spain)
  • Keio University (Japan)
  • Morehouse College
  • Neihule Academy
  • New York University
  • Norfolk State University

Matriculation

Once a Jet, always a Jet!
  • Northwestern University
  • Occidental College
  • Occidental College
  • Purdue University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Syracuse University
  • The New School
  • Tulane University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Miami
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
You Make
  • The Change
  • The Difference
  • Us Better

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