Administration Welcome

Welcome to West Hills Middle School!

WHMS is unique as we are home to 4th through 8th grades. We work hard to maintain both an elementary and middle school atmosphere. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know our students well as they are with us for five years.

Students in 4th and 5th grade receive an elementary education while also experiencing the benefits of being in a middle school. While they have one classroom teacher for all of their core subjects (i.e. math, science, English, and social studies) they travel to their specials classes (i.e. physical education, vocal music, Spanish, 5th grade band or orchestra, visual arts), where they experience instruction for band and orchestra in a band and orchestra classroom, physical education classes take place in one of our two beautiful gymnasiums, and with vocal music being held in our choir classroom. Students eat lunch in our cafetorium (cafeteria with a stage) by individual grade level and have 45 minutes for lunch which includes time to eat and then have outdoor (or indoor in poor weather) recess on our extensive playground which they love. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of clubs. All students have a guidance counselor as an additional support to their learning.

Our 6th – 8th grade students experience a middle school setting with one team of teachers per grade level. We offer a number of electives, many of them student initiated and driven. West Hills also offers 20 different sports for students to choose from. For more information on our outstanding curriculum and co-curricular offerings, please check out our website.

We are a fully authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years and Middle Years World School. The IB pedagogy supports an inquiry model where students exercise initiative in using critical thinking skills in solving problems with a global perspective. Within our curriculum, we strive to make connections between different subjects (interdisciplinary approach) so that students can see the relevance and application of their learning.

The environment at West Hills is one of community. We truly become your child’s second home. Our size allows us the ability to know every student by name and every student to know each other within a grade level. The staff take a personal interest in every child and do everything they can to support him/her. We view your child’s education as a partnership that involves the school, the student and the parents.

As a team, we will work together to ensure your child’s success. If at any point you have a concern/question, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or an administrator. We care deeply about our children and our community.

If you feel like WHMS might be the right fit for your child, please contact us for a visit. We would love to show you what WHMS has to offer!

It’s Great to be a West Hills Warrior!

Rob Durecka
Principal West Hills Middle School

Welcome to West Hills Middle School, where the elementary and middle school experience is dynamic! Developmentally-appropriate opportunities abound for all of our students, whether they are the wide-eyed fourth grader entering our building for the first time or the seasoned eighth grader excited to be a leader in the building. From academics to extracurricular activities, students have numerous options of ways to explore interests, new topics, and learn more about who they want to become. Our dedicated staff provides support to all students both academically and socially.

In the fourth and fifth grades, students continue their Bloomfield Hills elementary experience with the resources found in the middle school building. From discipline-specific rooms such as the band, orchestra, vocal music, and art classrooms to the cafeteria to the elementary renovated classrooms, West Hills is a place where upper elementary students have incredible opportunities to grow and learn. Fourth and fifth grade teachers continue the model of the self-contained elementary classroom, teaching all subjects to their students using the methodology of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. In fifth grade our students demonstrate their knowledge through the Exhibition in the spring. This is the culminating demonstration of the learning acquired throughout their elementary years.

Continuing on in sixth through eighth grade, students complete the first three years of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. Through units taught in each of the eight subject areas, as well as interdisciplinary units taught between teachers, students experience an inquiry-based approach to learning. Adding to the academic experience, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students participate in a broad range of elective courses—celebrating the exploratory nature of self-discovery in the middle school years. Opportunities in the fine and performing arts and technology abound. Outside of the classroom our middle school aged students have numerous opportunities to get involved with four seasons of sports and over twenty student-interest based clubs. These extracurricular experiences truly make the experience at West Hills comprehensive.

As a former teacher at both elementary and middle school levels, I proudly describe West Hills as being a special place—a place that values helping students grow and develop at their own unique level, understanding the intricacies of working with students who are eight, fourteen, and anywhere in between. West Hills is an exceptional place where teachers, support staff, families, and administrators work collaboratively towards a common goal—the success of our children.

All my best,

Andy Gignac
Associate Principal