The Wildcat News

Western Hills Magnet Center - September 9, 2019

Principal's Message

Welcome Back! The 2019-2020 school year is off and running with 350 familiar and new faces at Western Hills Magnet Elementary. My name is Mrs. Heather Harbison and I am excited to work with you and your family as the principal of the fabulous Western Hills Wildcats! It was an exciting summer developing new curriculum, new learning opportunities and new procedures with our focus on “Every Student, Every Day, Prepared for Success.” Every week our staff plans differentiated instruction for your children. But did you know these plans are developed around our School Improvement (SIP) goals? We continue to prepare all students to excel in college, career and life focusing on:

  • Safety: All students will be physically and emotionally safe when at school. All students will be known, loved and inspired.
  • Attendance: Strive for 95! All students will be at Western Hills everyday, not missing more than 8 days of instruction this year.
  • Mathematics: All students will engage in discourse and make connections between mathematical ideas and representations.
  • Reading: All students will increase reading comprehension and writing skills across all curricular areas
  • Science: All students will engage in science and engineering practices to demonstrate understanding of scientific concepts.

Have some extra time to volunteer in classrooms? Want to chaperone a field trip with your student? We want you to be involved with your child’s education so take a few minutes to fill out a volunteer application online at ViewJob.aspx?JobID=4487 Volunteer activity can begin AFTER approval email is received from Human Resources. All volunteer records are inactivated the last day of each school year.

Please join us in celebrating Omaha Education Week by attending our Open House from 6:00—8:00 p.m. on Monday, September 16, 2019. This is a great opportunity to visit with your child’s teacher, learn about the A+ OPS curriculum and sign up for Parent/ Teacher Conferences. We hope to see you!

Mrs. Harbison

Parent Check In Procedure

It is the Omaha Public School District Policy that ALL VISITORS who leave the front office check in before doing so. Visitors may sign in at the front counter and obtain a visitor's badge. Staff are directed to stop anyone without a badge. We love to have visitors at Western Hills but ask you to sign in every time you visit to keep our student safe daily.

Looking for an After School Program?

Western Hills has contracted with two after school programs, Girls Inc. for girls and Northstar for boys. Both of the programs offer transportation to their location every school day. If interested please contact Mrs. Jaeke for further information by email at or call the school office at 531-299-2240.

Student Arrival

We need your help with our “early arrivals.” Students are not to arrive at school before 8:30 a.m. Our concern is one of safety for your children as there is no supervision until teachers are on duty beginning at 8:35 a.m.

Students arriving after 8:50 a.m. must check in at the office and receive a tardy slip. Attendance will be taken each day and phone calls will be made by Mrs. Heckerman. If an absence can’t be avoided, we ask you contact the school office as soon as possible by calling 531-299-2240.

What is Cyberbyllying?

Cyberbullying is the use of digital-communication tools (such as the internet and cell phones) to make another person feel angry, sad, or scared, usually again and again.

Examples of cyber-bullying include sending hurtful texts or instant messages, posting embarrassing photos or videos on social media, and spreading mean rumors online or with cell phones.

If you’re trying to figure out whether your child is being cyber-bullied, think about whether the offender is being hurtful intentionally and repeatedly. If the answer is no, the offender might simply need to learn better online behavior. If the answer is yes, take it seriously.

What should you do if your child is bullied online?

Finding out that your child has been cyberbullied can be emotional. Here are the immediate steps recommended for parents:

  • Reassure your child you love and support him.
  • Help your child step away from the computer or device and take a break.
  • If you can identify the bully, consider talking with the parents.
  • Consider contacting your child’s school.
  • Empower your child with specific steps he can take.


Homework teaches children how to take responsibility for tasks and how to work independently. Homework helps children learn how to plan and organize tasks, manage time, make choices, and problem solve—all skills that contribute to effective functioning in the adult world of work and families.

It is generally agreed that the younger the child, the less time should be expected to devote to homework. A general rule of thumb is children do 10 minutes of homework for each grade level.

It is important to establish clear routines around homework, including when and where homework gets done and setting up daily schedules. Rewards, or incentives, may need to be used with children for whom "good grades" is not a sufficient reward for doing homework. You may want to also consider building in breaks or “chunking” work so students don’t become overwhelmed.

The student should be included in deciding the homework schedule and routine to reduce power struggles between parents and children. For instance, some students do their best work when homework is done immediately after school while others work best if given time to relax after school. Experiment with different plans and see what works best for your family!

For more information, contact your school psychologist or visit

Support Western Hills PTO

Leave the cooking to Smitty's Garage on Tuesday, September 10 from 4-11 PM. 30% of your bill goes to Western Hills PTO. Invite friends, tell your neighbor! 7610 Dodge Street, Omaha, Ne. 68114

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

In order to promote healthy eating with our students during classroom time on Tuesday and Thursday fresh fruits will be provided. In September we are trying different types of apples. This fruit is often called a "miracle food" and a "nutritional powerhouse"; an apple a day really may keep the doctor away as they're one of the healthiest foods a person can eat. These round and juicy fruits are high in fiber and vitamin C, and they are also high in antioxidants. The greatest benefits are found by eating both the skin and the meat of the apple.

The following is the selection of apples by the week:

  • September 10 - McIntosh
  • September 13 - Yellow Delicious
  • September 19 - Granny Smith
District Family Math Night

Interested in getting help with math to support your child? The District will be offering four evening opportunities designed to help adults. experience what their students are currently learning in math.


Did you know that every morning students recite our Western Hills pledge?

I am a wildcat

I Respect people, places and things,

I Only use kind words and actions,

I Always do my best, and

I am Ready and willing to learn,

I am a wildcat,

Hear me ROAR!!!

Ask your child to practice saying the ROAR pledge and ask what the pledge means to them.

District Family Math Night

Monday, Sep. 9th, 6-8pm

4304 North 33rd Street

Omaha, NE

3rd Grade - Expedition - Fontenelle Forest - Camp Wa-Kon-da

Thursday, Sep. 12th, 9:30am to Friday, Sep. 13th, 2:30pm

402 Forest Drive

Bellevue, NE

All children attending will need to have a permission slip signed and returned to the teacher in order to participate in the Expedition.

Open House -Western Hills Magnet

Monday, Sep. 16th, 6-8pm

6523 Western Avenue

Omaha, NE

No School For Students

Friday, Sep. 20th, 8:30am to Monday, Sep. 23rd, 4:30pm

6523 Western Avenue

Omaha, NE

School Portraits

Thursday, Oct. 3rd, 9am

6523 Western Avenue

Omaha, NE

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE. 68131