Westridge Wildcat News

October 10, 2019

In This Edition

  • Important Dates
  • Quick Reference Links
  • School News
  • Office Information
  • PTSO News
  • District News

Important Dates:

  • No School October 11, 2019 (Statewide Inservice)
  • Silly Sock Hop Celebration October 17th (info below)
  • PTSO Meeting October 17th: 9:00-9:50 am - Westridge Library *Note time change*
  • Early dismissal: Friday October 18th at 11am
  • Picture retakes: November 19th
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Westridge Quick Reference Links:

School News:

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October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

What are the symptoms/signs of Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language. It is primarily associated with trouble reading, but it also can affect writing, spelling and even speaking. Many children have one or two of these issues on occasion. But kids with dyslexia have several of these issues, and they don’t go away.

Here are some signs to look for:

Preschool, Kindergarten, & First Grade:


  • Difficulty learning (and remembering) the names of letters in the alphabet

  • Seems unable to recognize letters in his/her own name

  • Mispronounces familiar words; persistent “baby talk”

  • Trouble learning common nursery rhymes

  • Doesn’t recognize rhyming patterns like cat, bat, rat

  • A family history of reading and/or spelling difficulties (dyslexia often runs in families)

  • Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters on the page—will say “puppy” instead of the written word “dog” on a page with a picture of a dog

  • Does not understand that words come apart

  • Cannot sound out even simple words like cat, map, nap

  • Does not associate letters with sounds, such as the letter b with the “b” sound

  • Complains about how hard reading is; “disappears” when it is time to read

  • A history of reading problems in parents or siblings


  • Curiosity

  • Great imagination

  • Ability to figure things out; gets the gist of things

  • Eager embrace of new ideas

  • A good understanding of new concepts

  • Surprising maturity

  • A larger vocabulary than typical for age group

  • Enjoys solving puzzles

  • Talent for building models

  • Excellent comprehension of stories read or told to them

Second Grade through High School:


  • Very slow in acquiring reading skills. Reading is slow and awkward

  • Trouble reading unfamiliar words, often making wild guesses because he cannot sound out the word

  • Has a tough time sounding out unfamiliar words

  • Avoids reading out loud

  • Gets tripped up by word problems in math

School and Life

  • Trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, random lists

  • Struggles to finish tests on time

  • Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language

  • Poor spelling

  • Messy handwriting

  • Low self-esteem that may not be immediately visible


  • Searches for a specific word and ends up using vague language, such as “stuff” or “thing,” without naming the object

  • Pauses, hesitates, and/or uses lots of “um’s” when speaking

  • Confuses words that sound alike, such as saying “tornado” for “volcano,” substituting “lotion” for “ocean”

  • Mispronunciation of long, unfamiliar or complicated words

  • Seems to need extra time to respond to questions


  • Excellent thinking skills: conceptualization, reasoning, imagination, abstraction

  • Learning that is accomplished best through meaning rather than rote memorization

  • Ability to get the “big picture”

  • A high level of understanding of what is read to him

  • The ability to read and to understand at a high level overlearned (or highly practiced) words in a special area of interest

  • Improvement as an area of interest becomes more specialized and focused—and a miniature vocabulary is developed that allows for reading in that subject area

  • A surprisingly sophisticated listening vocabulary

  • Excels in areas not dependent on reading, such as math, computers and visual arts, or in more conceptual (versus fact-driven) subjects, including philosophy, biology, social studies, neuroscience and creative writing

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s learning, please contact the school principal and/or literacy specialist. Another great parent resource would be to contact your school’s Student Services Parent Advisory Committee (SSPAC) representative.

LOSD Dyslexia Information and Resources: https://www.losdschools.org/Page/4772

(Source: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/dyslexia/signs-of-dyslexia/ and www.understood.org)

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Halloween Information

Halloween is an exciting day for elementary-aged children, but it can be difficult to manage in the classroom. Please take these steps to help them, and us, be more successful.

  • Costumes can be brought in a bag for celebrations on Halloween. No weapons, no face make-up, and please keep costumes school-appropriate costumes. Students do not arrive in their costumes but put them on later in the day. For specific times of your classroom celebrations please consult your teacher’s newsletter.

  • Kindergarten and 1st grade participate in a Halloween parade, going through the building to show their costumes to the older students. This parade starts at 1:45 pm and goes until just after 2pm. We encourage parents who want to watch to gather in the lobby. Parking is tough so arrive early and please wait in the lobby.

  • Not all classroom parties are at the same time so please read your classroom newsletter to make sure you know when your child’s party is scheduled.

  • Please limit candy sent in school lunches and do not send candy with nuts. We have students with life-threatening nut allergies and appreciate you keeping those candies at home.

Halloween is an exciting and therefore exhausting time. Please make sure your children are getting their rest.

Oregon Battle of the Books - Registration open!

OBOB Registration Window is Open for all Interested 3rd, 4th and 5th graders!

Each year, Westridge participates in the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) competition. This is an optional, fun enrichment activity, and a good way to read some great books with a team of school friends.


It is now time to register your interested student. Please click the link here and fill in all parts of the registration and waiver / permission slip sections. Registrations are due by Friday, November 1st. https://tinyurl.com/wrOBOB

What is OBOB?
The Oregon Battle of the Books is a reading and trivia competition that serves as a statewide celebration of literacy and good books. 3rd to 5th grade students form teams of three to five members, then read and study from a common list of 16 books selected by the State OBOB committee each year. Teams square off in a series of "Battles" to show off how much they have learned by answering questions about the books. Watch out if you get a question wrong -- the other team then gets a chance to steal the points!

How does OBOB work at Westridge?

  • The OBOB competition at Westridge is funded by the PTSO, run by parent volunteers, and coordinated with Librarian Mrs. Calbreath and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers
  • Students form teams of 3 to 5 players in the Fall and begin reading the books
  • Parent volunteers hold voluntary practice sessions with the kids in December / January
  • The competition will be held on Saturday, February 8th at Westridge, and is completely volunteer run
  • In each "Battle," two teams square off and answer questions in turn. Note that only a maximum of 4 players participate in each battle round. Teams of 5 will need to set a rotation.
  • The highest scoring teams in preliminary play move on to knock-out rounds
  • At Westridge, we hold a separate 3rd Grade Competition and name a 3rd Grade Champion
  • The champion of the 4th/5th Grade competition wins the right to represent Westridge at the Regional OBOB Championships in March. Last year, Westridge's team qualified for the State Championships in April and finished 5th in all of Oregon!
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Scholastic Book Fair

Get Yeti to Read! The Scholastic Book Fair will be held on parent/teacher conference days: October 24th& 25th from 7:15 am - 4:15 pm. We will also be open 30 minutes before & after school & during recess on October 22nd & 23rd.

This year, we have a NEW cash-free shopping option that makes it easy and fun for your kids to pick out and purchase books on their own. The money the kids don't spend will go back on your card. Visit our homepage to find out more and get registered for the eWallet:


We hope to see you and your family at our Book Fair! Remember, all purchases benefit our school.

Sincerely, The Book Fair Committee

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STEM Supplies needed

Students are always creating in the Innovation Lab! As a result, there is an ongoing need for supplies. If you are able to bring in any of the following, it would be very appreciated.

  • Plastic bottles with lids (all sizes)
  • Foil
  • Wax Paper
  • Cardboard Egg Cartons
  • Cotton Balls
  • Tap (masking, clear, duct, blue painters)
  • Cardboard tubes (from toilet paper and paper towels)
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Shoe Boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Felt
  • String / Yarn / Twine

Thank you for your support!

Ms. Melton

STEM Facilitator

Parent Listening Sessions

The Superintendent wants to hear from you!
Dr. Lora de la Cruz will be holding parent listening sessions to get to know you and to hear your perspective on any topic you'd like to share. Four sessions will be held across the district with each night dedicated to specific schools. If you are unable to attend your school's listening session, you are welcome to attend a session that is more convenient. Listening sessions will be held as follows:

Monday, October 28th at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Lakeridge High School - Library

Target Audience: Lakeridge High School, Lakeridge Middle School, Hallinan Elementary

Tuesday, October 29th at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Lake Oswego High School - Library

Target Audience: Lake Oswego High School, Forest Hills Elementary, Lake Grove Elementary

Wednesday, October 30th at 6:00 p.m.

Location: River Grove Elementary - Library

Target Audience: River Grove Elementary, Westridge Elementary

Tuesday, November 5th at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Oak Creek Elementary @ Uplands - Gymnasium

Target Audience: Oak Creek Elementary, Lake Oswego Middle School

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Socktober is here!

So why SOCKTOBER? Because every night in the United States an estimated 600,000 people live on the streets and need simple things, like socks, to help get them through the night. Plus the number one needed clothing item for those in need is new socks, but people very rarely ever donate new socks to the homeless!

SOCKTOBER is a national sole warming movement that gives everyone an easy and fun way to help those in need within our very own area! Consider donating new socks at Westridge anytime through the month of October...oops! Socktober!

Our Wildcat Leadership Team set a goal to collect 1,000 pairs of socks this year, please help us reach our goal by dropping new socks off in the entryway of the school. This is a great way to show how much our Westridge community cares about others!

Silly Sock Hop October 17th!


The time has come for your children to come to school wearing their CRAZIEST, their WILDEST or their most ADVENTUROUS socks for our annual sock hop celebration/contest!

This year is not a fundraising event, rather it is just a fun recess filled with dancing and showing off your child’s inner artiste!!

All of the kids will gather in the gym during their recess and we play music and they DANCE! There will be 3-4 parent judges that chose the best dancer and the best SOCKS at the end of the recess and that child wins a PRIZE!

In the past we’ve seen such fun creations, such as unicorn poop socks or Socks that are lit up like a Christmas tree!! It will be so much fun.

So help your child get motivated and bring out those hot glue guns!

Getting to know your Westridge Staff: The First Grade Team!

Each week we will interview a team on our staff. This week, we met up with our fabulous First Grade Teachers.

Tina Johnson:

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Tualatin, where I currently live. I didn't make it very far :)

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: Western Oregon University. I was a student athlete there and I had a wonderful experience!

Q: Did you go on any trips this summer? If so- where?

A: I went to Hawaii this summer! It was my daughter's first trip there. We had such a blast!

List 3 fun facts about yourself:

1. I ran the Portland marathon

2. My two front teeth are fake (they got knocked out playing softball)

3. I love playing golf with my husband and my dad

Katy Pauls:

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: University Place, WA

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: Washington State University for undergrad, Marylhurst for grad school

Q: Did you go on any trips this summer? If so- where?

A: Bend, Pacific City, Bainbridge Island, WA

List 3 fun facts about yourself:

1. I like to ski (snow and water)

2. I love photography

3. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my husband and two kids!

Krista Solomon:

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in Grants Pass, Oregon. My parents and older sister still live there and I love visiting!

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. I then earned my MAT and ESOL endorsement from Willamette University.

Q: Did you go on any trips this summer? If so- where?

A: I went on a few quick trips to southern Oregon to see my family. The highlight of my summer was going to Kauai! I loved the sunshine, sea turtles, and relaxing on the beach.

List 3 fun facts about yourself:

1. I'm going to be an aunt in January!

2. I love rafting on the river!

3. I come from a family of teachers! My sister teaches Chemistry and Biology, my dad taught Calculus and Algebra 2, and my mom taught 2nd grade!

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Newspaper Club!

UPDATE: First Meeting for the Student Newspaper Club is October 15!

Who: Aspiring student journalists in 2nd-5th grade!

What: Did you know Westridge Elementary has its very own student newspaper called What’s Up, Westridge?

When: This year we will meet bi-monthly (generally every other week) on Tuesdays from 2:45-3:15 in the library. Our first meeting will be held October 15 in the Library. Subsequent meetings: 10/22;* 11/5,19; 12/3,17; 1/7,21; 2/4,18; 3/3,17; 4/7,21; 5/5,19; 6/2.

Why: Students choose their article topics, which can include non-fiction or fiction pieces, illustrations, puzzles, games, etc. No story is too small and no experience is required. Come check it out!

Questions: Contact the parent leaders, Stef Fogarty (svfogarty@gmail.com) or Sarah Barrera (sarahbarrera@gmail.com).

*We have to hold two consecutive meetings in the beginning to compensate for the delayed start due to construction.

Office Information:

New cut off time for change of "go home" plan or bus passes:

If you need to change your child(ren)'s go-home plans or have a bus pass issued by the office, please let the office and teacher know via email by Noon. You can also call in to the office by Noon. If you have last-minute emergency changes, please call into the office instead of emailing. Thank you

Reporting Absences

If your child is going to be out of school or tardy to school due to travel, illness, or appointments please make sure to email your classroom teacher AND Andrea Murphy at murphya@loswego.k12.or.us

PTSO News!

Wildcat Fund: The Time is Now!!

Dear Wildcat Families,

With just over one week to go we are 75% of the way to our goal of raising $100,000 to support the student experience THIS YEAR at Westridge. We need everyone’s help to reach that goal!!

If you have already contributed, THANK YOU! Your donations are already making a difference! Fifth graders enjoyed a day at the Salem Ropes Course, Kindergarteners are getting ready to head to the pumpkin patch and all students are benefiting from the IXL math subscription. All paid for with your generous donations to the Westridge PTSO!

First grade is still in the lead for the grade level participation prize to be announced at the Silly Sock Hop on October 17.

Want your name on a VIP Parking spot? Be the largest donor of the campaign!! The largest donation to date is $3000.

All donations are much needed and very much appreciated!!

Please click here for more details: https://www.losdschools.org/Page/7313

Donations can be made at: tinyurl.com/wildcatfund

**The returning donor button has not been working. Please use the new donor function.

Payment plan options: tinyurl.com/wildcatfundoptions

**Please select monthly as donation frequency

**If your donation and/or corporate match are coming directly from your employer, please forward your donation or match receipt to westridgewildcatfund@gmail.com

Questions? Email us at westridgewildcatfund@gmail.com

Thank you for your support of the Westridge PTSO!!


Your PTSO Fundraising Committee

District News:

Safe Oregon

The Oregon State Police is pleased to announce the availability of SafeOregon, a new school safety tip line program available to all public k-12 schools in Oregon. SafeOregon is a way for students, staff, or other members of the public to anonymously report and share confidential information of a threat or a potential threat to student safety. Trained staff are available 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year reached through a phone call, text message, mobile application or website. The main goal of SafeOregon is to intervene at the earliest possible point in the life of a young person who is struggling, helping them when they need it, before the situation turns into a tragedy.

SafeOregon is designed to encourage Oregon students to share and respond to anything that threatens their safety or the safety of others, anything that makes a student feel unsafe, or if a student knows someone who feels unsafe. Here are a few examples: safety threats, violence, threats of violence, fights, drugs, alcohol, weapons, bullying or friends that talk about hurting themselves, harassment, intimidation, cyber bullying, or self-harm.

Tips can be submitted 24/7/365 through the SafeOregon.com web portal, by email to tip@safeoregon.com through the SafeOregon mobile application (available for android or ios device), or by calling or texting 844-472-3364. Tips are promptly analyzed and routed for the most appropriate follow up and urgency. This may be to school officials, law enforcement, community mental health programs, or other appropriate local or state agencies. Tip Line staff make sure follow-up is noted.

For more information, please visit safeoregon.com.

Additionally, it is a violation of ORS165.570 to improperly use the SafeOregon system.

Westridge Elementary

All members of our community are committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment that cultivates empathy, creates challenging opportunities, and fosters lifelong learning.