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WSCS Blog
Creation Classroom

Eleven years ago West Side Christian School science teacher Brian Dyk suddenly passed away before his vision of using the school’s five-acre natural area as a learning environment was realized. He loved the intricacies and the beauty of science and he encouraged his students to see the Creator all around them. He would often say, “How can you look outside and not see God?!”

After his death, The Brian Dyk Nature Preserve, named in his memory, struggled with potential habitat and biodiversity loss due to encroaching invasive Buckthorn. Then a community-wide invasive species removal project reignited the vision of that space and it now serves as the outdoor classroom space for our Nature Preschool program!

Our nearby natural areas are now being used as Brian Dyk had envisioned – as a tool to engage students in meaningful, hands-on, nature-based learning. Now our students regularly experience the wonder of God’s creation by exploring and learning through the diverse habitats that surround the school campus.

We’ve been transforming these natural areas over the past four years, and our partnership with nearby Blandford Nature Center has helped us utilize these as outdoor classroom areas. We’re also thrilled that our collaborative Nature Preschool is expanding this year!

This year we’re excited to announce an expansion of our nature-based learning opportunities for all of our students with the addition to our staff of Mrs. Janet Staal as the Director of Nature-based/ Outdoor Education at West Side Christian School.  

“Outdoor learning creates a unique way for students to explore and understand their world around them. Students get hands-on experience and expand their knowledge of what is learned in their classroom,” said Principal An Kurosu, in explaining the value of creating this new position.

With the addition of Mrs. Staal to the staff at West Side Christian, we’re excited about the many opportunities this opens up for all of our students here:

Ultimately, while learning outdoors students receive the gift of a connection to the Creator through His creation.

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Our Mission

To provide a quality Christ-centered education that teaches children of the West Side Christian community about every aspect of God's creation from a Reformed Christian perspective in a distinctly Christian environment, preparing them spiritually and academically to live as Christ's servants.

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