COVID-19 Reference Guide

Westside Community Schools, Updated April 29

During this unprecedented time in our community, country and around the world, we are united in our mission to support all students. We hope this guide will help answer your questions in regards to your child's continued academic progress through our Extended Campus Learning Plan, as well as other details as to how our district will continue to operate during closures. We will get through this together and be stronger for it - #WeAreWestside.

Click below to read the latest District messages

Message for Seniors & Senior Parents/Guardians

Click Here to Submit Virtual Graduation Information

This will be used to produce a virtual graduation event if we are prevented from holding a traditional graduation ceremony in May or June.

Throughout Spring we will be honoring the #Westside Class of 2020 across social media. Tell us about YOUR Westside senior! Email a senior photo and 'little' photo (bonus: from a Westside elementary school!) to paul.brandi@westside66.net. Tell us what you're doing next, and share your favorite #Westside memory!

Extended Campus Learning - Grading

The following message is from Dr. Mark Weichel, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning


With the onset of COVID-19, Westside Community Schools worked to ensure high levels of student learning during our physical school closure. We modified and altered the way we deliver instruction and have been successful, in large part, because of our partnership with you, our families. As a district, it has been a priority for us to engage students in learning and feedback, rather than focus on grades. Because of the major differences during extended campus learning and recommendations made by the Nebraska Department of Education, we have changed what elementary report cards will look like for the fourth quarter. At the secondary level, second-semester grade calculations will be different than what they have been in the past.


  • The purpose of our elementary standards-based report card is to communicate with parents and students the level to which a student has achieved a particular standard. Feedback and communication between the student and the teacher are always a critical part of the teaching and learning process. For this quarter, we will continue this communication, but it will be in a different format because the time on task and assessments are different. Instead of traditional marks of a 1, 2, 3, or 4, we are going to provide you with a learning summary of the work your son/daughter was to have completed in each of their courses. The summary statement will include the topics covered as well as teacher-generated feedback about core courses.

  • At a secondary level, semester grades represent the level of learning a student has achieved in the course throughout the semester. Feedback and communication between the student and the teacher are always a critical part of the teaching and learning process. During our period of extended campus learning, we know feedback did not look the same as it usually does. We also know our most valid and reliable assessment results are from the third quarter. Because of this, we have asked our teachers to work with students and families to complete major (summative) assessments so the grade accurately reflects the student’s level of learning. During the fourth quarter, we engaged students in learning by reviewing essential content and introducing new content essential for the next course. For all of these reasons, teachers will consider the third quarter grade to have the most significant impact on the semester grade. Teachers will also consider learning progress a student made during the fourth quarter.

  • At the end of the school year, middle and high school students will receive a semester report card. Typically, the report card includes grade information for the third quarter, fourth quarter, final exams, and the semester grade. This spring, there will be no final exam grade included on the report card because no final exams will be given.

  • After reviewing the report card, if you have questions about the comments or grades, please feel free to make this request with your child's teacher.


Thanks so much for all of your hard work and for assisting us in educating your son/daughter. We look forward to having them back with us for the entire day soon.

WCS Extended Learning Campus

Food Availability

Westside Community Schools is extending our Summer Meals program to ensure all students have food at home during these closures.


NEXT PICK-UP DATES & TIMES:

Monday, April 27 from 8:30am-12:30pm

  • Westbrook Elementary School (1312 Robertson Dr.)

  • Westside Middle School (8601 Arbor St.)

  • Prairie Lane Elementary School/Swing School campus (3534 S. 108th St.)


Monday, April 27 from 4:00pm-6:00pm

  • Westside Middle School (8601 Arbor St.)


Every child (ages 1-18) will receive 5-days worth of meals (breakfast and lunch) at one of our drive up sites to take home. There is no charge, and no ID is required.


A reminder: Westside Community Schools accepts applications year-round to see if your children qualify for free or reduced meals at school once closures are over. CLICK HERE to see if you qualify (this process is confidential).

How Can I Help? How Can I GET Help?

We are grateful for the countless parents, staff members, students, and community leaders who have reached out to us asking how they can help Westside families in these uncertain times. We are compiling a list of families who may be struggling financially during closures. We are also compiling a list of families who have reached out to us or school leaders asking for assistance. We will connect these families with donations and resources made possible thanks to our community. Please reach out to us, regardless of your situation, to see if we can help.


Thank you for proving time and time again that #WeAreWestside.


TO REQUEST ASSISTANCE:

Please email Director of Student Services Robert Aranda at aranda.robert@westside66.net.


TO VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME:

Please email Director of Student Services Robert Aranda at aranda.robert@westside66.net.


TO MAKE A CASH DONATION:

Please CLICK HERE to donate through the Westside Foundation.


TO DONATE A GIFT CARD:

Please email Director of Student Services Robert Aranda at aranda.robert@westside66.net or mail your gift card to the ABC Administration Building, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, NE 68114.


Please note: we are requesting donations and financial support to continue to pay employees with Westside Early Childhood Centers. To make a donation, click below, or call/email Terry Hanna at (402) 660-0607 or hanna.terry@westside66.net.

  • If donating online, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

    • Please click the first box: Foundation, Projects, Campaigns and Other (select one).

    • Then use the Solicit Code dropdown and select “WECC Teachers Fund

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Emotional Support For Students - and Parents!

Many of our students, in all grades, have questions about why we are closed, what COVID-19 is, and if they should be worried. Our experts in Student Services and members of our counseling and psychology teams offer these great resources to share with your family.


CLICK HERE: Talking To Your Kids About The Coronavirus

CLICK HERE: Just For Kids, A Comic Exploring Coronavirus

CLICK HERE: Coronavirus Video For Kids

We also know these closures present enormous challenges for parents, who may now be expected to help educate their children AND work from home, all at the same time. The Westside Behavior Cadre has compiled a newsletter of wonderful resources for parents looking for advice. Topics include:
  • Finding a balance between work, 'school at home' and fun
  • General behavior tips
  • 12 ways to avoid a power struggle, and MORE!


CLICK HERE to check out 'The Kids Are Home... Now What?' Behavioral Support Guide.

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The free period for new Connect2Compete users has been extended. Now, any new qualifying C2C customer who signed up / signs up between March 13 and May 15 will receive free service until July 15. Click the headline above for complete details!

Modified District Hours of Operation

We will be limiting the number of staff working at the ABC Administration Building to follow Douglas County Health Department guidelines. We will also be suspending in-person appointments and meetings.


For the safety of our staff who will be working, our front door will remain locked. All are welcome to leave a message on our main district number at: 402-390-2100. These messages will be checked regularly and forwarded to the appropriate department or individual.


We will also be updating our district website at www.Westside66.org. Click “CONTACT US” at the top of the district main page. These emails will be reviewed regularly and forwarded to the appropriate department or individual.


For questions specific to enrollment or staffing, please use the following contact information:


Enrollment: enrollment@westside66.net


Human Resources: hrdept@westside66.net


Thank you for your understanding as we all work to do our part to help keep our community safe.

Facilities Availability

As long as Westside Community Schools is closed, so are all district facilities. All buildings are locked and accessible on a limited basis to employees only.


If you had an event or practice booked at one of our facilities through May 31, please make alternate plans. If you have questions, please email Westside Facilities Coordinator Jen Fox at fox.jennifer@westside66.net.

Activities & Events

Closing our schools for the rest of the year also impacts several high-priority events.


    • Spring Activities/Sports: The spring activities season has officially been cancelled by NSAA.

    • Warrior Walkabout: Warrior Walkabout and 6th grade Information Nights for incoming 7th graders and their families will be rescheduled before school starts in the fall. We want all soon-to-be 7th graders to feel welcome and confident about their great days ahead at WMS and will keep you updated on these important dates as soon as we know more.

    • Kindergarten Round-Up and Incoming Parent Meetings: We will look to have these important gatherings over the summer as we are excited to welcome these new learners. Stay tuned for more info.

    • Honors / Awards Assemblies: Honors Nights and Awards assemblies scheduled for April/May at WHS will now be conducted over social media. We will have some duplication of this to honor major award winners in the fall at school assemblies and other district events.

    • We hope to be able to have a Non-Formal Prom/Dance on June 6th. This is dependent upon county/state mandates for large gatherings and if events of this nature will be allowable by then. This event would take place at WHS. Stay tuned for more info.

    • Seniors Last Day: The last day of school for Westside Seniors is still May 8 as originally planned.

    • Graduation, scheduled for May 17, is being formally postponed. We continue to work on possible graduation plans (including virtual graduation ceremonies) for the Class of 2020. We have alternate dates of June 20th and 27th at 2:00 set up if large group gatherings are available by then. Again, please stay tuned for details. We hope to know by May 29th if we can hold a ceremony and will share the pertinent info at that time.

    • Try-Outs @ WHS: We will post tryout info as we get it here and across social media (please see below). Sponsors and coaches will decide and communicate by April 16th what virtual tryout plans will look like for their respective programs.

    • Summer School & Camps: At this point, we are not sure what our summer is going to look like regarding summer school, camps, etc. We hope as we move into May and receive further guidance from state leaders and health officials, we can plan for June and beyond. We will communicate plans with you as they become final; stay tuned.

Graduation Requirements

Westside Community Schools (WCS) graduating seniors have an 80 hour service learning requirement to participate in commencement. WCS has assessed the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, as well as students' abilities to participate in the acquisition of service learning hours for graduation during this difficult time, and has made the decision to waive these volunteer hours for the Class of 2020.


Please note: Students are encouraged to complete ALL coursework. Students are still responsible for earning credits needed for graduation.

Special Services

If you child receives special education services or has an IEP/504, please know our Special Services team is working to provide as many of the same resources available in a typical school setting. Please work directly with your child's teacher and specialists to ensure education continues at home.
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Communication

Westside Community Schools will work to communicate at a high level throughout our closures and changing plans. We will be sending out direct email updates to all staff and families at least once a week. These updates will also be shared on our district website, www.Westside66.org, and posted on all Westside social media.


Please note: we continue to receive updates from our mass messaging provider that email delivery may be slow/stopped due to an unprecedented number of school districts across the country sending messages, just as we are. If you know of a district family who is NOT receiving messages, please let us know and forward this message on to them. THANK YOU for your patience and help!


If you have questions about communication or receiving messages, please email Director of Communications Brandi Paul at paul.brandi@westside66.net.

Ideas For Fun At Home

Please note: Westside Community Schools does not sponsor or endorse the organizations or activities described below. The distribution of this material is provided as a community service.


FREE MARTIAL ARTS

Zanshin Omaha is offering free, short video lessons for all Westside students during closures. Master Dan McCarthy will be sharing content online twice a week. Interested families must visit the Zanshin Omaha website (CLICK HERE) and click 'request info.' You can also email info@zanshinomaha.com for more information.


Championship Martial Arts is also offering a free month of classes. Westside students can sign up for two 30 minute classes each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-2:30pm through a Zoom link. CLICK HERE for more information.