Swanson Elementary School Summer 2021
The Mission of Swanson School, as a dynamic community alliance and model of innovative education, is to support and empower all learners to achieve academic excellence. This mission statement, forged by the students, staff, parents and community, reflects a commitment to exemplary learning.
Message from Principal
Dear Swanson Families,
Oscar Wilde penned, “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” It is known throughout the Harr House that once July 4th has come and gone, Mom’s summer is over and the fall has begun. Even with time still spent at the pool, on the porch, and at special events, summer quickly melds into the preparation and planning for the school year.
Planning and preparation is necessary for every school. However the 2021-22 school year will be an important, if not the most important year for our students, our staff and our community thus making our preparation critical. We look forward to providing your child along with all of our 300 students an excellent and rewarding school year. The following newsletter will provide you with much needed information to make the upcoming school year safe, successful and excellent. As we near the beginning of the school year, please continue to look for information from myself, your teacher and the District Offices. We appreciate your continued support and efforts to stay informed as a Swanson Superstar parent. Thank you!
Please welcome the following staff members to Swanson for the 2021-22 school year:
Miss Megan Hellem- 3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Winter Heuertz- 5th Grade Teacher
Mr. Steve Clark- P.E. Teacher
Mrs. Liz Pitts- Health Assistant
We look forward to them bringing their skills and talents to our Swanson Community of learners!
We will meet for the first time in over a year and a half inside Swanson School on Thursday, August 12th for our Sneak-A-Peek/Meet Your Teacher Night. This will be an opportunity for students and parents to meet teachers, to visit the classroom and to see fellow Swanson students and families. We will see you on August 12th!
It is true, school is fast approaching and the long, hot days of summer are coming to an end. With that being said, enjoy the remainder of these August days soaking in the sunshine, light, and happiness of summer!
Look for Classroom Placement Letters coming in early August! Check your email for this exciting announcement!
Classroom placement for kindergarteners will be determined after the first four days of school. Your child will enjoy getting to know both teachers their first couple days of school.
Sneak-A-Peek/Meet Your Teacher
Sneak-A-Peek/Meet Your Teacher Night
August 12, 2021
5:30-5:55 PM- Family Names A-K
6:05-6:30 PM- Family Names L-Z
Please put Thursday, August 12th on your calendars! Come to school and meet your new teacher and find your new classroom.
Please feel free to bring your school supplies on the night of Sneak-A-Peek Night/Meet Your Teacher.
Beginning of the Year Kindergarten Schedule
Incoming kindergarten students will come to school during the week of August 17th according to the Kindergarten Group 1 or 2 letter that was sent to families. Please come to school on the days you were assigned according to the letter:
Group 1: August 17th and 18th
Group 2: August 19th and 20th
All Kindergarteners will report to school on Monday, August 23rd. If you have questions or need a reminder if your kindergarten student is in Group 1 or Group 2, please call the office at 402-390-6485.
*Kindergarten teacher assignments will be communicated on Friday, August 20th.
Returning Student Registration
All RETURNING Westside 66 students must complete the Returning Student Registration for this current school year beginning on August 3rd. Please register your returning Swanson Superstar for the 2020-2021 school year. Mrs. Jolkowski will be very appreciative if you completed this as soon as possible! :)
How do I get started?
Login to your parent PowerSchool account at ps.westside66.org. Click on the Returning Student Registration button. (far left hand column) Remember that registration must be completed for each returning Westside student in your home. Once you're finished, your child will be registered for the 2021-2022 school year.
What if I forgot my PowerSchool account login information?
You can reset your password using the “Forgot Username or Password?” link on the login page (ps.westside66.org). Please be aware that the recovery email will be sent to the email address you used to create the account, which may not be your current email address. If you need further assistance please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-390-2100. You can always call the Swanson office for assistance.
Continued Use of Drop Zone
If you are bringing a forgotten item during the school day such as lunch box, musical instrument, gloves, etc., we will continue to use a drop zone for parents to deliver items and leave them in our vestibule. When you arrive at school, please buzz in and we will direct you to place items on the table in the vestibule. We will then deliver the items to your child(ren). If you need to visit with the front office upon your arrival, please inform office staff at the buzzer and follow our Visitor Procedures. Thank you!
School Starts at 8:30 a.m.
Our instructional school day will start at 8:30 a.m. Doors will be opened at 8:20 a.m. allowing students plenty of time to walk to classrooms, hang up backpacks, check in with teachers and peers, and be ready for those first important words of the day at 8:30 a.m. Give your students every advantage of a successful day by having them here at 8:20 a.m.!
School Start Time
Our school day begins at 8:30 a.m. Students may enter the building at 8:20 am. We will have supervision outside starting at 8:10 a.m. We ask that students not arrive before 8:10 a.m., unless:
Participating in a school activity
Serving on Safety Patrol
Working with a teacher
Having a school breakfast
Attending Club 66 Before & After Care program
For the safety of all of our students, we ask that parents say "good-bye" outside of the school during arrival. Students are to independently arrive at their classrooms each morning. If students need assistance, Swanson staff members are available to help.
Wednesday Early Dismissal
Every Wednesday, we will end the school day at 3:00 p.m. instead of 3:30 p.m. This gives our teachers throughout the District collaboration time by attending weekly professional learning communities or PLC’s. Our first early dismissal is the second day of school Wednesday, August 18th!
How to Enter Swanson School?
Press the buzzer located to the left of the front entrance and wait for assistance.
2. Please enter thru the left-hand door.
3. You will be directed into the vestibule and then enter into the front office. All visitors must enter into the office before going into the school building.
4. Check-in with Mrs.Jolkowski or Mrs. Pitts and receive a Visitor's Badge. If you are dropping off items for your child, you may leave at front desk and they will be delivered to your son or daughter.
5. When leaving the building, please go to the front office to check-out and to return your Visitor's Badge.
If you are a Club 66 Parent and Student entering the building outside of the normal school day, you will buzz into a separate system located on the right hand side of the front entry doorway. You will then enter the right hand side entry door. You will be checked-in and checked-out with Club 66 personnel. Parents must accompany his/her child into the school upon arriving in at Club 66 in the morning.
Student Late Drop-offs and Early Pick-ups
We recognize, at times, it will be necessary for students to be brought late to school or picked up early for appointments. Our procedures in these situations are the following.
Please send a note or email to your child’s teacher if you are picking up your child early in the day or have a change in transportation arrangements. It is difficult to notify the students and teachers during the school day especially last minute calls after 2:30 p.m. You may call the office when you are on your way to pick up your child and we will call them to the office at that time.
Parents needing to drop off their child(ren) late (after 8:30 am), can walk their child up to the main entry door and ring the buzzer. A staff member will admit both the child and parent into the school. Parents/Guardians will need to sign in their child on the sign-in sheet located in the front office.
Parents needing to pick-up their child(ren) early (prior to 3:30 pm) can walk up to the main entry door and ring the buzzer. The parent/guardian should notify the office staff of an early pick-up and their child will be called down from the classroom. Parents will need to sign-out their child with the front office before leaving. If your child is returning back to school, please follow the drop-off procedures for check-in.
Thanks for your help!
Swanson has bus transportation available for students who live two miles or more from school. Please call Westside administration at 402-390-2107 to register for bus service or if you have any questions regarding where the bus stops are located or what time pick up and drop off times are.
Students riding on the bus will
-Wear a mask
-Sit in an assigned seat
Bus drivers will
-Wear a mask
-Clean bus before and after routes
-Assign student seats
CHIEF BUS COMPANY
Each school day begins with taking attendance. It is very important that students be in their classrooms by 8:30 a.m. so they are not missed during this procedure. Please have students arrive at school at 8:20 a.m. so they can be in their classrooms at 8:30 a.m.
We will also take attendance immediately following the lunch recess, which again means that if students leave campus for lunch with parents, that they need to be back when that attendance is taken. Our school secretary will attempt to email/call the home or work of parents who have not called in and reported their child’s absence. Please help us with this by calling in by 8:30 a.m. when your student is not coming to school.
Students coming in after attendance has been taken either in the morning or at noon must sign in and out on the attendance sheet. Students coming or going during the day for appointments, illness, etc. must also sign in and out through the office or vestibule.
I appreciate the staffs’ dedication to this process and thank you for your cooperation in this matter. We all are committed to making things as secure as possible for everyone at Swanson.
There's an App for That? The Westside Community Schools App
We're excited to share that you can now keep your important Westside and Swanson information right at your fingertips. The Westside Community Schools App is available for both iPhone and Android in the App Store. Using this app allows you to follow important information for our school and district, access calendars, and links to important resources. Be sure to download it and check it out!
We are asking families to consider purchasing school supplies again for the 2021/22 school year. Attached is the list of school supplies needed for your child’s grade level. If you choose to purchase supplies, please consider purchasing a few additional items for those families who are unable to provide these supplies for their children.
Due to restriction of visitors to the building, please feel free to send school supplies over a couple of days if it is too much to carry. Please make sure that a water bottle is brought to school on the first day. We understand this list is long, thank you for purchasing what you can during this time.
Student Dress Code- From the WCS Student Handbook
Students in the Westside Community Schools are expected to dress in a way that is appropriate for the school setting. Students should not dress in a manner that is dangerous to the health and safety of anyone or interferes with the learning environment or teaching process in our school. Following is a list of examples of attire that will not be considered appropriate; this list is not exclusive, and other forms of attire may be deemed by the Principal to be inappropriate for the school setting:
- Clothing that shows an inappropriate amount of bare skin or underwear (midriffs, spaghetti straps, sagging pants) or clothing that is too tight, revealing or baggy, or tops and bottoms that do not overlap or any material that is sheer or lightweight enough to be seen through, or otherwise of an appropriate size and fit so as to be revealing or drag on the ground.
- Shorts, skirts, etc. that do not extend downward at least as far as the student’s fingertips when the student is standing fully upright with arms relaxed at his or her side.
- Sleepwear and slippers, including pajama bottoms, blankets and costumes, unless part of a school-sponsored activity.
- Clothing or jewelry that advertises or promotes beer, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.
- Clothing or jewelry that could be used as a weapon (chains, spiked apparel) or that would encourage “horseplay” or that would damage property (e.g. cleats).
- Head wear including hats, caps, bandannas, scarves and hoods worn over the head.
- Clothing or jewelry which exhibits nudity, profanity, sexual references or lewd, indecent, or vulgar double meaning.
- Clothing or jewelry that is gang related.
- Heavy coats and jackets.
Violations of dress code will expose the student to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Flip-Flops and Recess/Gym A Dangerous Combination!
While flip-flops are very cute and popular, they present some safety challenges for our students out at recess and on gym days. If your student likes to be active at recess, please consider sending safer shoes for those recess/gym feet!
Swanson, along with all Westside Elementary Schools, will continue to email monthly newsletters the first Friday of the month and post these important communication publications on school websites. Students will still bring home flyers advertising various non-profit activities, along with a printed monthly school lunch menu. Please make sure we have your most current e-mail address.
Two Parent Households
What if you only see your child a couple of times a week? You can still be involved in your child’s education.
* Inform the office of your current phone number, address and email.
* Inform the teacher you would like to receive progress reports (this may be electronic), conference schedules (when appropriate), and notices about school activities.
* Attend parent/teacher conferences to show your child that both parents are behind him/her - acting as a team.
* Provide your child with a special folder to save school papers for you. That way, you’ll see your child’s finished work as well as the teacher’s comments.
Medication at School
**If your child has prescription or non-prescription medication, inhalers, Epi-pens, etc. to be kept at school, please call the office and make an appointment to drop off any needed medication BEFORE the first day of school.
The school district will not purchase, prescribe, or provide any medication for any student.
To facilitate the safe administration of medications in school, parents are requested to use the appropriate medication permission form.
Before any prescribed medications will be administered at school, the AUTHORIZATION FOR ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION AT SCHOOL FORM must be signed by both the physician and the parent.
Prescription medications must be brought to school in the prescription bottle, labeled with the student’s name, the date, the medication name, the time, and the dose that is to be given. Most pharmacies will provide you with an extra-labeled bottle upon your request.
Non-prescription medications and ointments (i.e. cough syrup, cough drops, cold medicine, Vaseline, Tylenol/Ibuprofen/Benadryl, Neosporin, lotions, etc.) must be brought to school in the original bottle/box/container, with the time and dose to be given noted on the signed AUTHORIZATION FOR ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION AT SCHOOL FORM. For the safety of all students, these medications must be kept in the locked cupboard in the health office.
Please keep this information available for use in the event your child will need to take medication during school hours. Please arrange medication administration outside of school hours, whenever possible.
Before and After School Care
Club “66” is dedicated to making extended school time a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience. Arts and crafts, physical activity, center time, group activities, music, free movement, and computers are among the many activities we will be offering. Children will be encouraged to participate in activities, but may choose to read, listen to music, do homework, or just have some quiet time to themselves. One of the goals for this program is to create a structured environment with many options so the children feel free to participate in any activity they choose. We want to strive to make Club 66 a place the children can’t wait to come to every day. Our staff will utilize a facilitative approach; encouraging and guiding when necessary.
We look forward to another successful year at Swanson Elementary. If you have any questions, or are interested in enrolling your child in Club 66, email email@example.com or call 390-3324.
Cell Phones and Smart Devices in School
We understand that it's important for students to be able to contact their parents before or after school.
Our expectation is that all cell phones are turned off and placed in a student's backpack once they enter the building.
In the event students need to contact their parent, calls can be made from classroom or office phones.
Students use of smart devices such as watches, fitness bands, smart headphones, etc. are handled on a case by case basis. Typically students are allowed to have these devices so long as they are not a disruption to learning or used in a way that distracts the student or others. Note: During state testing and other assessments, students may be asked to store their smart devices at the teacher's desk to ensure they are not used as part of testing.
2021 - 2022 Meal Information
ALL Westside Community Schools students, regardless of need, will receive FREE meals through the 2021/22 school year and at no additional cost to the district. Meals are funded by the US Department of Agriculture, as an extension of waivers issued to provide safe, healthy food for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note there is an additional charge for any extra items not included in a full meal scanned for your student:
Extra Main: $1.20
Water or Extra Milk* $0.50
*Meals include one milk. Water is always extra.
BREAKFAST PROGRAM - Breakfast is served from 8:10 - 8:30 daily. Our breakfast program will be available beginning August 17, the first day of school.
- CASH OR CHECK - Breakfast and lunch charges come out of the same account. Each student in your family has a separate account, but you may send one check to be divided. Please make checks out to “Swanson.” You may also drop lunch money in the “lunchbox” at the office during our Sneak-A-Peek night or anytime. Be sure to include your child's FULL NAME.
- PAY ON-LINE - Our on-line payment website is www.myschoolbucks.com. If you are setting up a new myschoolbucks account, you will need your student's ID numbers available from Mrs. Jolkowski at the office. For additional support or questions, please contact Michele Divoky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-390-3382, or you can go to email@example.com.
Free/Reduced Applications - For families in need, applications for free/reduced meals should still be completed every year regardless of the current free meals program or whether you qualified in the past. Forms are available on-line now and anytime at wcsapplyforfreelunch.heartlandapps.com .
Online Lunch Payment System
Westside Nutrition Services is pleased to have an on-line payment system MySchoolBucks (myschoolbucks.com) to fund lunch accounts. You will have 24/7 computer and mobile access to view balances, make payments and monitor your child(ren)’s purchase history. You will be able to set low balance reminders and receive e-mail confirmation that your payment was received. This system accepts credit cards, debit cards and even lets you pay with checks. MySchoolBucks is certified by VISA for its CISP/Cardholder Information Security program.
You will need your student's ID number to set up an account. You may call the office and request their ID number or check your Powerschool account.
Water Bottles at Lunch!
Westside’s Nutrition Services will sell “Westside Water” bottles during lunch for $.50 a bottle. A water bottle is not included as part of the regular meal or price and thus will not be a substitute for milk. All Students will be charged $.50 for the water. Please discuss with your child if they are able to purchase a bottle of water. Thank you for your assistance.
Attention Fifth Grade Students and Parents:
You are invited to BE A PART OF THE MUSIC! This fall, you will have the opportunity to do what so many successful students have done before you by being a part of Band and Strings! In the first three weeks of school we will be visiting all the buildings, demonstrating the instruments, and giving students the opportunity to select an instrument of their choice. We will have a parent meeting about our program on Tuesday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Westside Middle School. All are welcome to attend to learn about elementary instrumental music and meet the teachers. We are excited to introduce your child to the world of instrumental music!
The Elementary Instrumental Music Staff
Gail Carpenter-Johnson, Michael Freeman, Viktoria Matheson and Ken Meints
Community Club Family Directory
The Swanson School Community Club prints a family directory each fall containing the names of students by class, as well as names of parents, with their home addresses, phone numbers, and email information. Only families who submit information to the Community Club will be included in the directory.
August 12 Sneak A Peek/Meet Your Teacher
August 17 School Begins at 8:30 am
August 18 3:00 pm Dismissal for all students
August 19 School Begins for Kindergarten Group 2
August 26 Curriculum/Open House Night, 6-7 pm
August 31 5/6 Gr. Instrumental Parent Mtg. @ WMS, 6:30 pm
September 3 No School for students
September 6 No School - Labor Day
September 7 Community Club Mtg., 6:30 pm
September 10 School Pictures
October 5 Community Club Mtg., 6:30 pm
October 13-14 Parent/Teacher Communication Conferences
October 14-18 No School for students
Swanson Year at a Glance Calendar
This year we will be working hard to include many of the fun school events that needed to be put on hold last year. We will continue to monitor safety conditions closely. We might not have included certain events as we await guidance before scheduling these larger functions.
In addition, we encourage you to access our Swanson Calendar through our Website and the Westside Community Schools App.
Welcome to Swanson! Home of the Superstars!
The Mission of Swanson School, as a dynamic community alliance and model of innovative education, is to support and empower all learners to achieve academic excellence.
- Be Safe
- Be Respectful
- Be Responsible