Westwood Updates

September, 2019

Principal’s Note

It’s hard to believe that summer is now over & we have started our new school year! Here are a few important pieces of information as we start the school year. Our school theme this year is, "Under Construction… Great Habits Build Great Learners". Throughout the year, we will be conveying to our students that we all believe that their goals, hopes, and dreams are possible, and that we are here to help them be "build" good habits for themselves to reach their educational & personal potential! Collaborative relationships between home and school will be key and together we will provide positive paths for your child to become successful. You are encouraged to be an active participant in our school community by volunteering, participating in our amazing PTO, supporting and attending school events, and most importantly, by supporting your child’s daily school activities at home. Research shows that when parents or guardians participate and are involved in their child’s education, there is a greater likelihood of academic success. We believe communication is a key to a successful educational experience. Education is truly a partnership between school, home, and community working collaboratively toward our shared goals. Towards that end, please make sure you are signed up for Class Dojo through your child’s classroom teacher(s) so you can see all the amazing things that are happening in your child's classroom as well as all around Westwood. This is our primary way to communicate with families & we would love to have all parents connected. Please reach out to your child's classroom teacher if you are not yet signed up or need another invitation with a sign-up code. If you have a smartphone, they have a great app for ease of use which allows you to select your prefered language. As I walk around Westwood, dropping into classrooms, sitting at our lunch tables, & spending time at recess, I really do hear our staff & students embracing our school theme, perseverance, a growth mindset, & encouraging students to focus on what they can do! Thank you for your support of Westwood & if you have any questions feel free to contact me directly at 815-206-7740.

Ryan Hart, Principal, Westwood Elementary School

Home & School Connections

As you’ve probably found in your experience as a parent, asking "how was school today?" might not get you very far. Instead, ask questions like these for a better picture of your child's day. You'll also be coaching them towards being an optimistic person & choosing a positive attitude with these kinds of questions too:

  • "What's the coolest thing that happened today?"

  • "Pretend your the teacher. How would you describe the day?"

  • "What made you laugh?"

  • "What was the most creative thing you did?"

  • "How were you kind or helpful today? How was someone kind or helpful to you?"

“Coffee with the Principal”

Do you want a chance to just have an informal conversation with the school principal & ask questions, both big & small? Do you want to know more about what to expect from parent-teacher conferences in early October? How about some good questions parents can ask at conferences? How about ways to find out from your child’s teacher if your child is reading at grade level & ways you can support them towards this goal at home. If so, you're more than welcome to start your day with me at our next "Coffee with the Principal" parent event on Friday, September 13, from 7:30-8:30am here at Westwood! Coffee, bananas, & cinnamon rolls from the Sugar Circle will be provided! All you have to do is bring your kids to school at 7:15 or 7:20 & then we'll meet & chat in our school library starting at 7:30am. It will be a completely informal & relaxed way for you to just chat & ask questions with me. We will have a translator present for Spanish speaking parents. I look forward to seeing you there! -Ryan Hart, Principal

Chromebooks & Educational Technology

Chromebook Use Forms & Replacement Program - If you haven’t already done so, please turn in the blue Chromebook loan agreement form to your child’s teacher. We passed these out on the first day of school. If you need another copy of the blue loan agreement form, please either come to the main office or call 815-337-8173 & we’ll send another one home with your child. Also, if you’d like to purchase the replacement program to cover possible damage this school year please either come to the main office or call 815-337-8173 & we’ll send another one home with your child.

Chromebook Care Videos - English - Spanish - Please take a moment to watch this video about our District-wide expectations of our students on Chromebook care.

Headphones for Classroom Use - Please make sure your child has a working pair of headphones at school. We do have earbuds available for purchase in our library, however, the over the ear headphones are more durable and easier, especially for grades 1-3. You can send in a $1 with your child if you wish to purchase earbuds from the library. Thank you for your support!

Student Safety

Arrival/Dismissal - First, students are allowed in the building at 7:10am. The bell to go to class rings at 7:20am and at 7:30am all students should be in class, ready to learn, otherwise they will be considered “tardy”. If you are dropping your children off in the morning, it will be important for you to arrive between 7:10-7:25 am but students must wait in the car until 7:10am each days since our supervision doesn’t start until 7:10am. Please use the drop off lane to the east of the building by following the line of cars & pulling around the back of the building to allow more parents to pull in. Also, please pull all the way forward so multiple parents can drop off at the same time. Students must exit the right side (passenger side) of the vehicle for safety purposes. If you have to enter the building for any reason, then please park in the front parking lot & check-in at the office.

After school dismissal is at 2:00pm. At the end of the school day at 2:00pm, students are not permitted to be picked up in the parking lot or at the front of the school for safety reasons. Please use the pick-up lane (same as drop off lane) when picking up. These lanes do move quickly once it is 7:15am & 2:00pm each day. Please send a note to school with your child if there is a change of plans for their after school routine.

Security Sign In - For the safety and security of all of our students and staff, we have a security sign-in system throughout District 200. Every visitor or parent needs to check in at the main office and produce a valid ID to be entered into the Raptor system. This will be required once. For all subsequent visits, a staff member will enter your name into the system and a time stamped photo ID visitor badge will be provided for you. All visitors will be asked to check out with the office so we can log you out of the building. Thank you for your cooperation as we provide a secure building for all. The safety and security of our students is the #1 priority at Westwood. I truly appreciate your cooperation and patience in helping ensure all students remain safe.

Music & Orchestra & Band, Oh My!

Music - Hello from Mr. Alcazar and Mrs. Stouffer, the music teachers here at Westwood! Each grade level will perform a music concert this year. Here are the dates of those performances:

Monday, December 2nd: 6:00pm is the 2nd Grade Program & 7:00pm is the 4th Grade Program

Monday, March 9th: 6:00pm is the 1st Grade Program & 7:00pm is the 3rd Grade Program

Monday, May 4th: 6:00pm is the 5th Grade Program & Chorus Concert

Your child will get a packet of their songs for at-home practice about 8 weeks before their concert. The evening of their concert, we would like them to arrive at school 20 minutes before the concert starts and report to their classrooms. We may ask students to wear something specific for their performance, so be on the lookout for details about that, as well as reminders about their concert. We can't wait to perform for you!

5th Grade - it's time to JOIN BAND! - All 5th grade students should have brought home the 2019 Westwood Band Handbook/registration materials to share with their families. Everyone has seen Mrs. Schweihs play the instruments, and watched a video that includes past students sharing thoughts about their band experience (including a couple Westwood alums), and ton of pictures of what band looks like! Interested students have begun trying the instruments. Registration forms are due soon. Please encourage your child to give it a try! It is a lot of fun. Even if they haven't enjoyed past musical experiences, perhaps they just haven't found the RIGHT instrument! Check out this movie about how 5th band works in D200, and these video links to hear the instruments in action! JOIN BAND- you'll never know if you will like it unless you try!

4th & 5th Grade - It’s time to JOIN ORCHESTRA! -

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Thursday Folders - Please be sure to ask your child to give you their Thursday Folder (sent home with youngest child) each week on Thursday. It is filled with great information on upcoming events, activities, & ways to get involved here at school. Please clear that out each week & send it back empty to the homeroom teacher on Friday morning.

Volunteering in our Library - Want to volunteer in the Westwood Library sometime between 8:30-11:45 am once a week on a specific day? We are in need of some extra help to shelve books & assist students during this time. If interested, please email Mrs. Weinberger & Mrs. Hughes at cweinberger@wcusd200.org & khughes@wcusd200.org. You can also call at 815-206-7711. Thank you for your consideration!

Crosstown Challenge - The annual Crosstown Challenge is coming up on Friday, September 20th, at 4:30pm at Woodstock High School!

District 200 Employment Opportunities - Please visit this website if interested in any of the positions District 200 has available.

Westwood Elementary School is on Facebook – Follow us on Facebook by searching for “@westwoodwoodstock” & then click “Like”. We’re the one with the Westwood Wildcats logo & a picture of our school in the banner! We make special announcements, post pictures, event reminders, videos from around school, & more! You can also follow our amazing “Westwood Elementary PTO”!

PTO Information

Come Check out the PTO - We're just like you. We're parents, teachers, business people... you name it. And the one thing we all have in common is our dedication to the students at Westwood. And the more involvement we have, the bigger impact we can all make. Our first meeting is Wednesday, September 4, at 6:30pm in the Westwood library! See you there!

Boxtops - These are going digital & it’s easier than ever! Eventually, there will be no need to cut out the actual Box Tops logos, instead you can just scan your receipt! Companies that participate in this will be phasing-out their printed box tops that have to be cut out, so keep looking for those to cut out over the next several months & in the meantime, please consider downloading the "Box Tops" app. Check out this 1 minute video to find out more!

Westwood PTO On Facebook – Follow us on Facebook by searching for “Westwood Elementary PTO”. We’re the one with the Westwood Wildcats logo! We make special announcements, post pictures, & more!

The Westwood PTO

Welcome back, Westwood Wildcats!