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Westlake Elementary provides a rigorous start to a successful academic career. We work to instill a love of learning and an understanding of the rewards of hard work, to produce leaders in Math, Language Arts, Science and critical thinking.



Everyday is a good day in TK! We are learning and growing everyday. Our goals are:

  • To provide a warm, caring and safe environment which enables each child to achieve his/her maximum potential

  • To develop each child’s self esteem and pride in all accomplishments

  • To provide an atmosphere where it is safe to make mistakes, for that is how we learn.


We are a play based classroom. We use hands on learning to explore science, math, reading and writing. Social and academic skills are practiced using a “Big Workshop” model, where students are immersed in dramatic play, building, outdoor play, art and imaginative play.

Our education is enriched by our P.T.A. funded arts program where we explore art, music, library, P.E. and movement classes. We learn through hands on learning while enjoying field trips and explorative play. We welcome parent participation, as parents are their child’s first teachers.



Our goals are:

  • To provide a warm, caring and safe environment which enables each child to achieve his/her maximum potential.

  • To develop each child’s self esteem and pride in all accomplishments.

  • To provide an atmosphere where it is safe to make mistakes, for that is how we learn.



Literacy: In our TK-Kindergarten classes we use the Benchmark Workshop.

TK and Kindergartners are encouraged to explore language through rhyming, songs, chants, etc. The children will be writing daily through Writer’s Workshop, language books, journals, and Language Experience stories.

Math & Science is integrated throughout the curriculum with an emphasis on hands on activities.


First Grade

Welcome to First Grade! First grade is a year where students begin their journey in becoming a lifelong reader.  In math, we learn about addition and subtraction strategies to 20, measuring and graphing, understanding place value, geometry and learning to tell time.  We are excited to be learning about science topics which includes air & weather, sound & light, and hands on experiences in our life lab garden.


During writer’s workshop, students create expert books, stories about themselves and opinion pieces. For our social emotional lessons, we learn to manage emotions, set positive goals, make responsible decisions, show empathy and maintain positive relationships. 


Fun things we do at WL in the grade level. Weekly art and library classes, half the year of music and movement classes 


Second Grade

So much exciting growth happens in literacy in second grade! We have a wide range of readers, from emergent to advanced, who are exposed to a variety of literature. Second graders develop their author’s voice while learning how to write in paragraphs and use descriptive language through the genres. Some unique topics we cover in second grade are ocean life and continents. 

In math, students do hands on learning with geometry and measurement before moving on to mental math strategies and regrouping in addition and subtraction. Students also develop a variety of strategies to problem solve real life scenarios.

Second grade scientists ask questions, make observations, and plan and carry out  investigations. We learn about the properties of matter, interdependent relationships in ecosystems, and processes that shape the earth. Students also participate in engineering activities, and learn to collaborate and share their ideas.


Third Grade

Here at Westlake in third grade, we develop a community of learners where everyone’s contributions are respected,  welcomed, and appreciated! We approach our literacy and writing from a workshop model while teaching the Common Core State Standards. In math, we value the application of ideas to real world contexts so that  students see for themselves the relevance of mathematical concepts in their lives. Learning occurs in whole class, small groups, with partners, and independently. We strive to actively engage students to take charge of their own learning, supporting their social-emotional growth, and to see the interdependence of our learning and actions towards one another through collaborative inquiry.

Some things that make third grade special include our project-based learning within our social studies themes. We  have some really fun, immersive projects where students create, construct, and present to their peers. Some of these include the third-grade fair project, creating model Ohlone villages, and Santa Cruz County maps. We value experiential learning opportunities and go on several field trips, including Loch Lomond Reservoir, Natural History Museum, Santa Cruz Mission Adobe, Wilder Ranch. In science we observe and explore phenomena using FOSS kits and Mystery Science, and we have many other fun things, like Buddies, Spirit Days, fun projects, Book Reports, Art, music, library, dance, life lab, and there are many volunteer opportunities!

 The third grade team of teachers love working together and planning amazing lessons for their students! 


Fourth Grade

We are a group of engaged learners who are working together to become critical thinkers, passionate readers, and curious and optimistic members of the world community. 

Curriculum Focus 

Reading: Build stamina / Read, understand, and discuss books at a 4th grade level / Give evidence used to support an author’s idea / Lifelong Reader


Science: Electricity and Magnetism, computer science, Earth science, science fair. 

Social Studies: California History.


Extra Curricular: Beginning Band, Hip Hop, San Juan Bautista Mission, Año Nuevo, Santa Cruz Symphony, Field Day

Fun things: Dot Day, Cardboard Challenge, Adopt-A-Family, Pi Day, Little Buddies, Reader’s Theater

Writing:  Write for different purposes / Use evidence to support ideas / Revise to make my ideas stronger


  • Use and determine which of the 4 operations to use in a given word problem 

  • Add, subtract, and round large numbers

  • Understand place value

  • Multiply 2 digit by 2 digit numbers

  • Learn division strategies

  • Compare fractions

  • Add, subtract, multiply fractions

  • Understand how angles relate to geometry


PE:  Skills, games, and good sportsmanship--is required!

Hoilday Parade 2.webp

Fifth Grade

Welcome to 5th Grade! Our goal is to prepare the students for middle school: academically, socially and emotionally. Our community of learners will be delving into decimals, fractions, division with multi-digit divisors, multiplying multi-digit numbers, geometry and an intro to algebra. Poetry, personal narratives, informative and persuasive essays will be developed. We’ll explore the solar system, living systems and chemistry with mixtures and solutions and learn the beginnings of US history.


Field Trips: 

  • O’Neill Sea Odyssey/Beach Clean-up

  • Outdoor Science School

  • Resource Recovery Facility

  • Santa Cruz Symphony

  • Watershed Field Trip (Loch Lomond/Henry Cowell)

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