Words To The Wise

December 2017


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December represents the most festive time of year. As we embrace the approaching Holiday Season, we join all our loved ones in sharing century-old traditions and remember the many people who touch and bless our lives. I enjoy the month of December because of the many additional opportunities to share with others how much the staff and I care about the community that makes Westowne a warm and special school.

During this holiday season, I would like to bring to light how our parents, grandparents, family members, children, and school staff contribute to the unique sense of community found at Westowne.

Our teachers and staff members, on a daily basis, share their humanity, kindness, understanding, and knowledge so that our children can grow socially, emotionally, and academically to become successful and caring adults.

We appreciate our parents, grandparents, family members, community volunteers, and business partners who are supportive and considerate through the giving of their time, talents, kind words, and donations that make Westowne a fruitful place for creating warm memories.

We love all our children, who bring us joy and happiness through their laughter, inquisitiveness, hugs, and sharing. It is a true pleasure to see them each school day as they enter the school with their joyful smiles.

On behalf of the entire staff of Westowne Elementary School, I would like to extend our most heartfelt wishes to each family as you celebrate traditions that make this season so meaningful.

Happy holidays and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

A special thank you to the 337 parents, grandparents, and family members that visited Westowne during American Education Week. It was quite a turnout! We thank you for your patience and for your assistance and participation while in the classrooms.

A very big thanks to the PTA for providing snacks and beverages each morning and for their assistance with signing in and directing visitors to the correct rooms!

We also thank our PTA for the set-up and staffing of the wonderful Holiday Shoppe. What a great opportunity for our students!

A few Important Reminders

Please take a look at the following reminders as they will ensure that our students are safe, secure and in school on time.

  • Please remember that students are not to be dropped off before 9:00 a.m. as there is no supervision to ensure their safety. Moreover, the weather is getting colder and any students dropped off early will need to remain outside until the 9:00 a.m. bell.

  • We are politely requesting that parent assist with observing what students bring to school. We follow the NO TOYS rule as items tend to get lost and/or disappear. Toys includes the following items: spinners, all trading/game cards, Legos, electronic games, dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, etc. Students must get permission from the classroom teacher to bring recess equipment, such as a football or other athletic equipment. Students are allowed to bring mobile phones to school, but they must be turned off, placed in book bags/back packs and placed in lockers. They may be used prior to entering school and/or after students leave school grounds. There is no need for students to have them during class as each student has their own device, and students may utilize the office phone if an emergency call needs to be made.

  • As all students are expected to wear their ID throughout the day (except for physical education and recess) the lanyard attached to the ID must be a break- away lanyard. The school has purchased each student a Westowne lanyard and we have replacement BCPS lanyards if lost. If you choose to purchase a lanyard for your son/daughter (perfectly fine) please purchase the breakaway style.



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It is cold/flu/illness season. Please do not send your child to school with a fever, or, after administering fever-reducing medication in the morning. If your child has a fever, your child may return to school when fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol, Advil, or Ibuprofen. Likewise, if your child has vomited or has had diarrhea, please keep him/her home for 24 hours after the last episode.

Thank you for keeping the school as healthy as possible!!

I am on a “More Water” campaign at Westowne! Your body is composed of about 60% water. Proper hydration is essential for good physical and mental health.

Drinking water helps to maintain the balance of body fluids, energize muscles, keep your skin hydrated, helps your kidneys, helps maintain bowel function, and prevents constipation among other things.

One of the most reliable indicators of dehydration is urine color. Light yellow or clear urine indicates good hydration. Dark yellow, orange, smelly urine indicates dehydration. Other symptoms of dehydration include: dry mouth, dry/itchy skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, tiredness, sluggishness, lightheadedness, headache, confusion.

Many students feel tired/sluggish, or complain of headaches throughout the day.

After I check for a fever, the next thing is to make them drink 8 oz. of water in the health suite.

Please send your child to school with a water bottle each and every day, AND, encourage him/her to drink the water throughout the day.

Remind your child to drink water before school, after school, and with dinner.

Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine, as they can actually speed up dehydration.

If you feel thirsty, then you are already mildly dehydrated.

I have given each weekday a name about water. I have shared the days’ names with the staff who are sharing them with the students.

We will be discussing the water campaign on the morning announcements.

The days are named as follows:

More Water Monday

Two Cup Tuesday

Waterfull Wednesday

Thirsty Thursday

Fill Up Friday

Please discuss the importance of water with your child and encourage them to drink more water!

Stay tuned for the Rethink Your Drink display coming to the display case outside of the cafeteria soon!

The Health Suite is in need of elastic waist pants for girls and boys sizes 8 through 16. Elastic waist (think sweat pants, yoga pants) fit more students.

If you have any elastic waist pants that you’re getting rid of, please think of the Health Suite when you donate.



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December 2017

Friday 22 Christmas Holiday/Winter Break Begins at the End of School Day

January 2018

Tuesday 2 Schools Reopen

Monday 15 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday – Schools and Offices Closed

Friday 19 Second Marking Period Ends; 3 Hours Early Release for Students in All Schools; Teachers on Duty – Grade and Data Analysis**; Planning and Preparation for Teachers with Semester Courses


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CROSSING GUARD HOURS 8:50 - 9:15 & 3:40 - 4:05



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Beauty and the Beast Jr. will be showing February 16-17 and 23-24.

Tickets will be sold ONLINE for $5 and go on sale in January.



Green Thursday is upon us! Be sure to show your spirit by wearing green attire! On Thursday, December 21, students will participate in Green Thursday by promoting using less electricity in school! In school and at home, one of the simplest ways to reduce energy consumption is by turning off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use. Students will be invited to create a light switch panel with their classmates to promote turning off lights in the classroom!



Every Tuesday and Thursday, Mr. Landel is hosting students in his room during lunch to practice reading and literacy. It is also a great way to relax at the midpoint of the day.

Every Tuesday is read to self but Thursdays incorporate a variety of reading styles like read aloud from Mr. Landel and special guests, book clubs, read with a buddy and others.

It has been a great way to add more reading time and it’s been a lot of fun!


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We are also starting two clubs once school begins again in January:

Lego Robotics: Thursdays, January 11 – February 15 4:00 - 4:45

Art History: Fridays, January 5 – February 9 4:00 – 4:45 (except on early dismissal, January 19th: 1:00-1:45)

Here is the link to our calendar for additional details, if needed.



If you have any questions please contact --

Justine K. Stull, MS, OTR/L

Westowne Elementary PTA President