West Homer Elementary

January 2023

A Note from Principal Waltenbaugh

The new year is a time for reflection, goal setting and new beginnings. On Friday, January 13th as a school we will celebrate our accomplishments over the second quarter and continue our goal setting process with students at our quarterly Orca Ovations Assembly. We greatly value helping students learn the importance of being able to set goals and reflect upon them. By the time they leave us for the middle school, we hope to have instilled some important life skills in this area like: setting goals motivates us to achieve more, making goals visible helps us with being more successful at achieving the goals we set, creating accountability buddies helps us stick to them, and sometimes it’s better to focus on setting a goal around our habits instead of an outcome.

Below, you will find there are a number of exciting new beginnings on the horizon this January at WHE.

Report Cards + MAP Scores

Student report cards should have gone home in your child’s folder on January 9th. If you did not receive it, please let your classroom teacher know.

On January 16th, your child’s Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) family report will go home in your child’s folder. This data tracks student progress in Reading, Writing, and Math.

Reading goal smashed by West Homer students in the 2nd quarter

In the second quarter students at West Homer set a goal of reading 21,000,000 words, topping the 20,000,000 they read in the first quarter. They met their mark reading 21,800,505 words collectively!

Students are off to a great start again, and the Student Council will be setting another reading goal for the 3rd quarter. Check in with your child about what book they are currently reading and when they plan to take their next quiz to record their words.

Mr. Hausler's wall of kids display

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) Update

As part of our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program, we have launched our Bully Prevention unit called “Stop Walk Talk” this quarter. This program gives students the tools to reduce bullying behavior through explicit, ongoing instruction across the building. All students have already received several specific lessons to teach them strategies to address bullying behavior when it surfaces, whether they are a target or a bystander. All staff have also received training on how to respond when students report instances of bullying behavior.

Spelling Bee

Congratulations to Jonathan Williams for winning this year's spelling bee! He was locked in a long run off with runner up Liam Robinson making for an exciting finish. Jonathan will be representing West Homer at the State Spelling Bee.

One thing that struck me this year was how supportive students were of their peers during the entire competition. They were fist bumping each other when they met a word they didn't know how to spell and congratulating each other when they successfully spelled challenging words. At the end of the run off, Liam's class literally surrounded him with support for his efforts, and Jonathan's class cheered on his win. This type of culture supports students to be able to take risks and put them selves out there in an individual competition like the spelling bee.

6th Grade Band is Back!

Marj Dunn, with assistance from Emily Lamb and Tina Moore, will be heading up a 6th grade band program starting January 17th. Mr. Simonson, band teacher at Homer Middle School and Homer High School stopped by to share information about instruments and the HMS band program. Interested 6th graders should fill out a permission form as soon as possible so we can try to procure the instruments needed.

3rd Quarter Activities

Japanese Club - Friday, February 10th through Friday, May 12th, 2023 with Megumi Beams

Cross Country Skiing - We are currently looking for a coach. If you are interested, please contact the school as soon as possible.

Chess - Tuesday, January 17th through Tuesday, March 7th 2023 with Mr. Andy Haas

Be on the lookout for dates, times, and permission forms as well as potential other activities we might be able to add.

Early Release Day: January 13 Dismiss @ 1:20pm

January 16 is a regular school day for students

January 16th will be a regular school day for students as the make up day for the snow day on December 12th.

A Note from Nurse Laura


Cold, wet weather is here! Appropriate clothing is needed to keep your child warm and dry. School policy states that all children will go outside at recess unless the chill factor exceeds -10 degrees or it’s raining significantly. Studies have shown that fresh air and exercise increase a child’s ability to learn in the classroom, even for those who have, or are recovering from, a minor illness. Please consider the following guidelines:

1. Water repellent hat, coat and foot gear for damp and wet days.

2. Mittens or gloves

3. Clothing: Several layers of light clothing that fit comfortably without binding and/or snow pants and rain gear.

4. Hat or ear band: Should be worn even if your child's coat or snowsuit has a hood. Hoods frequently do not stay in place or fit snugly enough around the ears.

5. Foot Gear that will keep the feet dry: Insulated boots or rubber boots with warm socks. Both types should be removed when indoors. Boots worn indoors cause feet to perspire and become damp. Wet feet will become cold feet on the next trip outdoors.

6. A light shoe (i.e. tennis shoes) should remain in the classroom for indoor wear.

7. Stocking feet are not adequate in case of a fire drill.

8. All removable clothing should be labeled with your child's name.

As a general rule, children who are well enough to attend school benefit from outdoor recess time.

Because we don’t keep spare clothing in the nurse’s office, someone from the school will be calling you for dry clothes if your child needs them. Some families have chosen to send their child with an extra set of pants, socks and underwear to avoid that situation. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach Nurse Laura at 907-226-1232.

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Does your child know how to contact you?

I realize we live in a small community, but I cannot stress enough how important it is that your child knows how to reach you and where they live.

Your child should know their physical address, your full name and your phone number.

It is also a good idea to put your contact information inside their jacket, inside their backpack, etc.

If your child has a phone, list your information in their contact list as MOM, DAD, GRANDMA, etc (with full name also) and indicate that you are the emergency contact.

And because most children are used to texting, your child also needs to know how to make a phone call (on a cell phone and a regular phone) AND leave a phone message with pertinent information-where they are, what they need, who they are with, etc.

Situations come up and your child, or maybe someone with them, will need to know how to reach you.

Nurse Laura

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Dates to Remember

01/01-Happy New Year

01/03-Teacher inservice-no school for students

01/04-2nd Quarter starts

01/13-Early Release

01/16-Regular School Day

01/27-Caregiver Lunch & Play

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