Westmark School, an independent school in Encino for children with language-based learning differences in grades 3-12, announced Wednesday that it has secured an anonymous $1-million gift from an alumna in support of their Transformation: The Final Phase Capital Campaign.
This is the first commitment toward the construction of a new 15,000-square-foot Lower School building that will house multiple STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classrooms as well as a new state-of-the-art Library, serving all grades throughout the Lower, Middle and Upper school divisions.
The new facility will upgrade current Lower School classrooms from modular units to permanent, multi-modal instruction spaces to better support the innovative pedagogy and multi-sensory, collaborative, hands-on teaching methods used by Westmark faculty, as well as a much needed outdoor playground for the Lower School.
Once the new Lower School building is complete, Westmark plans to expand its offerings with the establishment of a new 2nd Grade, a response to the increasing demand for specialized instruction, resulting from earlier diagnoses and the related successes that come with early intervention.
“Recent research and data suggest that early diagnosis and intervention make a significant difference in the future success of a child with language-based learning differences. Great strides have been made in discovering individual learning styles at an early age. With the establishment of a new 2nd grade, we are thrilled that we will be able to better meet the needs of our community,” said Muir Meredith, Westmark’s Head of School.
A spokesperson on behalf of the alumna donor noted, “Westmark School gave our children one of the greatest gifts of all… teaching them to overcome their individual challenges in learning to read. This is our gift to the next generation and our way of saying thank you to Westmark’s exceptional staff and faculty for being there for our children. Hopefully, this will challenge other alumni to also give back to those who gave so much for them. That’s our passion.”
Westmark School’s Transformation Campaign kicked off in 2007, and since then, the school has added over 20,000-square-feet of instruction space on campus in three new state-of-the-art Middle and Upper School buildings, complete with SMART boards; performing and visual arts spaces, including a studio for our student-produced television network and daily news broadcast, WNN; wet labs for science classes; a testing and college advising center; and an expanded athletic field.