Westlake's Monthly Newsletter
Westlake is happy to announce the Grand Re-Opening of our student run in school Can do Cafe. Some of the skills worked on in the Cafe will help students to develop work readiness and employment skills for when they graduate. Students greet customers, take orders and serve them. Students bake banana bread and cakes with their class and serve drinks. Many students and staff from Westlake and Hillcrest Academy South visit the cafe. Please come by on Tuesday mornings, all is welcome!
For the month of February, our lessons focused on Black History Month with students continuing to learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges and other Black Historians. Students also experienced many opportunities to participate in activities related to friendship and cooperation. They work with our school social worker and teachers to increase their social skills.
As I visited classrooms this month, I saw a smiling face that drew me into the class. It's such a pretty smile for a pretty girl. We sat together for a few minutes, played, laughed and enjoyed time spent together. Thank you, Sarah, for making my day!
March 3: School Spirit Day (Wear your Westlake School shirts)
March 8: Unsung Hero Awards at Kean University
March 22: Yoga
March 22: UCESC Bulletin Board Contest
March SEL Themes
Women's History Month
Westlake's December Spotlights!
Student of the Month
Fun Facts about Mr. Patrick!
1. He was baptized in the same church as Frank Sinatra.
2. Before Mr. Patrick became a music teacher he played in a band that was managed by the guy who owned the famous New York City punk club CBGB.
3. He loves taking photographs and lugs his camera everywhere.
Fun Facts about Ms. Jackie!
1. Before working at Westlake Ms. Jackie was a phlebotomist.
2. She will be married for thirty years this year.
3. She has been on keto for two years- but her last meal would be pasta.
4. Ms. Jackie has three kids and two dogs.
5. Her middle child is diagnosed with a rare chromosome abnormality called Emmanuel Syndrome.
Why does Ms. Salvatore love Behavioral Therapy?
Getting to know our students--who is a great artist, watches cooking shows, who knows the lyrics to all pop songs, who knows the records of every sport team, etc. It feels good when you help a student find the best way to learn in school--to have them succeed and have some fun while doing it! EVERYONE can be successful, if you find what motivates each person. We all have strengths, despite the challenges.
Ms. Roble's Classroom
In February the focus during Social Studies lessons was on African-Americans who made significant contributions to American life.
The students watched a video about Garrett Morgan, who was not only an inventor but a businessman and a community leader. Morgan is most well known for his invention of the traffic light, however, he also invented the ‘safety hood’, a precursor to the gas mask.
After watching the video Mrs. Robles’ students measured rice and vinegar so they could dye rice red, green, and yellow. These students then completed an art project using the rice and made traffic lights. The students enjoyed creating their traffic lights and appreciated the sensory experience that using the rice provided.
In another lesson the class read/listened to a teacher written story about 3 women who worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later became NASA. The three women were Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughn. These three women (among many others) were indispensible in solving mathematical equations and making calculations that were instrumental in preparation for sending US astronauts into space. As a follow up activity the class worked on creating their own number line because the complex mathematical problem solving of NACA’s ‘computers’ began with number sense (understanding quantity) and number recognition (using symbols to represent numbers).
Ms. Pajewski's Classroom
This month we focused on Cooperation & Friendship. Each day students returned from lunch eager to play a game with classmates. Our favorite game has been either Uno or Uno Attack. In the spirit of friendship & cooperation, students have been sharing their personal games from home. Not only do we enjoy the game we have learned about turn taking, playing for fun, (not just winning) caring and respecting the property of others and sharing. Other games and activities which we frequently shared and cooperatively played were puzzles, thera-putty and legos. Students have also used this time to enhance their conversation skills. The spirit of friendship and cooperation has been posted in the classroom on our Valentine hearts. Some examples are “Helping a friend with his alphabet”. “Carrying our class materials, Working together to complete a puzzle and building a tower together.
During Black History month one of the people we have studied was Jackie Robinson. He was the first African American who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. We learned about how he overcame adversity and became a famous baseball player. Jackie Robinson helped to lead the way for other great athletes.
Ms. Fernandez's Classroom
In Social Studies students are learning about influential African American musicians. Students are studying music through the decades and comparing and contrasting different music from different time periods. In SEL students are viewing different problem scenarios and discussing how they would feel in those situations and how they would effectively problem solve. In science students are learning how to create and problem solve like an inventor. They are studying African American Inventors whose inventions have changed our lives and how we live. For example, when learning about George Crum who invented the potato chip we experimented with the different oil content in each potato chip and then surveyed the class on their favorite style of chip. When learning about Garrett Morgan and the invention of the traffic light we discussed the functions of the lights to keep us safe and then played a game of red light green light in the hallway.
February at Westlake!
"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." - D. Tutu
Westlake Out and About!
Westlake’s Student Run Business Spotlight!
Ms. Shaw's Soap Shop!
As part of our vocational training, our class made heart soaps for the Valentine's Day sale this month. The students were given different responsibilities for making soaps. The students worked on; cutting a soap base into small pieces using the tools safely, melting the soap base in the microwave by following the instructions, pouring the soap liquid into the heart molds, and packaging the soaps with the labels. Most of all, students enjoyed interacting and selling the soap to their peers and staff. Selling soap and making change for the customers boosted their self-confidence and they were able to apply the skills they learned in real life situations.