Swanson Elementary School - May 2021

A Message from Mrs. Harr

Dear Swanson Families,

This will be the final issue of the Swanson Superstar News for the 2020-2021 school year. The past school year has been very challenging and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the many ways you have supported your children and the staff at Swanson this year.

-Thank you for going above and beyond to help deliver daily lessons to our Swanson learners during our yellow and extended learning time at home.

-Thank you for your continued support, trust and encouragement throughout this school year.

-Lastly, thank you to our students and staff who were true Superstars this year! Their resiliency, flexibility and understanding will never be forgotten. I am proud to be a part of this community each and every day. Thank you!

Please look for our Summer Superstar News in late summer which will provide you with information regarding the upcoming school year.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and hot (maybe not too hot) summer with family and friends. Please take time this summer to rest, to relax, and to rejuvenate. Thank you again for your hard work, determination and perseverance this school year. I look forward to seeing you in August!


Mrs. Jennifer Harr


Please help me congratulate the following staff members on the announcement of their retirements at the end of the 2020-21 school year!

Mrs. Kim Dickhut, 6th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Zsa Zsa Willett, 5th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Pam Buchholz, 2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Val Sestito, Educational Assistant

Ms. Gayle Philips, Nutrition Services

We thank these valued members of the Swanson Staff for their many years of service to the profession of teaching and learning. We will miss them at Swanson, and we wish them well in their retirement. Once a Superstar, always a Superstar!


It is always bittersweet to announce the departure of members of our Swanson Family. Mr. Andrew Mantzaris, P.E. Teacher, will be transitioning to Westside Middle School as a P.E. teacher to our 7th and 8th graders. We wish him all the best in the 2021-22 school year and for many years to come.

Mr. Steve Clark, current P.E. at Westside Middle School, will be joining the Swanson Team. Mr. Clark has spent the last 24 years as a P.E. teacher with Westside. He has spent the last eight years at WMS and his first 16 as an elementary P.E. teacher. Welcome back to elementary P.E. and to Swanson, Mr. Clark!

Jenna Miller will be moving from third grade to sixth grade in the 2021-22 school year here at Swanson. Miss Miller joined our Swanson Team as a sixth grade teacher in 2015, and looks forward to teaming up with Mrs. Tomich again in 6th grade!

Miss Megan Hellem will be joining our third grade team at Swanson. Ms. Hellem is a 2021 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is looking forward to beginning her teaching career at Swanson. Welcome to Swanson, Miss Hellem!

Mrs. Winter Heuertz will be joining our Swanson staff as a 5th grade teacher. Mrs. Heuertz has been a fourth grade teacher at Westbrook for the past 20 years. She is a Schrager Distinguished Teacher Award recipient, accomplished educator, and looks forward to bringing her love of learning to Swanson. We welcome Mrs. Heuertz to Swanson and to our intermediate team!

Elementary Instrumental Music Celebration Concerts!

Band and String Families, we are excited to announce our district wide end of the year celebration concerts! Each performer may have 4 guests in attendance with them at these events! Info about safety requirements and practices will be sent home as the dates approach. Please add the appropriate date and time for your student to your family calendars and reserve the night for this event! We can not wait to gather together for a live performance to celebrate all that these students have accomplished as musicians throughout this unprecedented year!

Mrs. CJ, Mr. Freeman, Mrs. Matheson and Dr. Meints

Fifth Grade Band Students

Tuesday, May 18, 6:00 pm, Westside High School Gym

Sixth Grade Band Students

Tuesday, May 18, 7:30 pm, Westside High School Gym

Fifth Grade String Students

Thursday, May 20, 6:00 pm, Westside High School Gym

Sixth Grade String Students

Thursday, May 20, 7:30 pm, Westside High School Gym

2021/22 School Supplies

Hey Parents,

I know it's hard to think about school supply shopping already. That is why I am so excited to announce a new partnership our Community Club has with 1st Day School Supplies! This year, 1st Day School Supplies is going to help parents and teachers get the exact supplies needed for next school year without the headache of shopping at WalMart, Target or Staples. 1st Day School Supplies is convenient, easy and hassle free! Plus, they have guaranteed competitive prices on the highest quality brands. Why not check school supply shopping off your list now? You can make your purchase anytime until July 1st. Get started by clicking the link below:


Swanson Community Club

Year End Reminders:

End of the Year is Fast Approaching!

Please have your child check around the house for any school property that may have been borrowed during the school year and return it to school. Items to be searching for include library books, text books, calculators, templates, etc.

Information Needed

It is hard to believe, but we are already preparing for next school year. Part of the preparation is anticipating our enrollment. If you are not returning to Swanson Elementary next year, please contact our office at 402-390-6485 or send an email to Mrs. Jolkowski at Knowing this information will help with our planning and give us the opportunity to say goodbye.

Library Books

  • All lost library books MUST be found and turned in to the library before the end of the year.

  • Last library check-out day will be May 17th.

  • All library books must be returned to the library by May 21st.

Medication Pick Up

Remember to pick up any medications you have in the health office before the end of school. All medications left will be disposed of on the last day of school.

Lunch Money

The end of school is near! Please check your student’s lunch account to make sure there is enough money until the end of the year. There will be NO CHARGING during the last week of school. Thanks for your very prompt attention to this matter.

Summer Learning Opportunities

Throughout the school year, as part of Westside’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) process, students are assessed in reading and provided with strong instruction to support their needs. To engage families and extend the learning for students, we are sharing ways in which you can support your child with their reading. As we enter into summer, it is important to encourage practice in the area of reading so that students maintain the skills they learned this year.

This link: outlines opportunities to continue learning with and without technology. Included are links to various activities you can do with your child, as well as reading programs available in the community and some website/app recommendations. The top priority this summer is simply having your child read every day. This can include times when someone reads to or with them.

Westside Edge Show Choir Camp

Have you always wanted to be a part of Westside show choir? Maybe you want to improve your voice or learn how to shake those bad dancing habits? Sorry parents, this ad is just for the kids. Westside Middle School is hosting their annual summer show choir camp June 7-11 at Westside Middle School for any student entering 6th, 7th or 8th grade in the Fall of 2021. Students will learn to sing and dance a full show as well as gain insights into the audition process for Westside Middle School Show Choir. The registration link and more information can be found here: Westside Edge Show Choir Camp

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Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest

Friends of the Omaha Public Library honored the 12 students in grades 5-8 for writing one of the top three entries for their grade levels in the 2021 Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest. This year, 540 total submissions were submitted to the annual contest, making our student's win all the more noteworthy! Congratulations to Swanson Superstar, 5th Grader Beatrix Gabrial Gallagher, who won 1st place in the 5th grade division. The story was called The Baby-Zoomer's Club: Claudia Conquers Coronavirus. You can read it at
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By law, all incoming 7th graders must present evidence of having a complete physical examination, updated immunizations (Tdap is required by state law), and a dental exam prior to entering school. For missing immunizations, state law allows us to accept only valid medical exemption forms, signed by a physician or notarized religious exemption forms. A signed waiver form from parents/guardian refusing to provide physical exam documentation is also required. All forms are available from the District’s ABC Welcome Center on the website under the Departments tab > Student Services > Health Forms section.

Physicians may print out results of the physical exam and immunizations on their forms (must have a MD signature) or you may print off a form on the Westside Middle School Website under Health Forms, a visit summary is not a physical form. Exams must be completed anytime after March 1, 2021, and before school starts in the Fall. Students planning to participate in sports must have a physical dated after May 1, 2021.

If your child has a chronic condition such as asthma, allergy, diabetes, or epilepsy, a health action plan is required. All action plans must be completed and signed by a doctor and may be found on the website under the Departments Tab > Student Services> Health Forms section or can be picked up from the WMS main office. I will be checking my email periodically during the summer. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or contact the main office at WMS for general information.

Robin R. Newcomer, RN

Westside Middle School Nurse

phone 402-408-8652

fax 402-390-6454

2020-21 breakfast and lunch menu

Check out Westside Community Schools Online Breakfast and Lunch Menu!

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Symptoms Tracker

Please continue to be vigilant in accessing your child each morning before sending them to school. Children’s Hospital COVID-19 Help Line - 402.955.3200

Visit to access Children’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker, an online assessment tool developed by Children’s to help parents and supplement our 24/7 COVID-19 Help Line.

Calendar Reminders

May 7 Fun Run

May 18 5th Grade Band Concert @ 6:00 pm, WHS

May 18 6th Grade Band Concert @ 7:30 pm, WHS

May 20 5th Grade String Concert @ 6:00 pm, WHS

May 20 6th Grade String Concert @ 7:30 pm, WHS

May 28 Last Day of School, 1:00 pm DISMISSAL

August 17 First Day of 2021/22 School Year

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.

School Improvement

Swanson's school improvement goal is all students will increase reading comprehension.

Swanson's Expectations

  • Be Safe
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible