Excellence in Youth

Westside Community Schools

February 2022 Recap


The Excellence in Youth (EY) Program at Westside Community Schools provides expanded learning opportunities for students with high ability, in addition to fostering and encouraging talent development in all students.
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3rd Quarter Checklist

Parents/Guardians - Conferences are coming up! Be sure to ask your student(s) what they have been up to in EY during 3rd quarter!

Have your child show you the following EY resources:

  • EY Website
  • Badge Page & Completed Badges
  • Mini Sparks
  • Student's 3rd quarter Reading and/or Math Digital Notebook
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Winter Math Contests

Scholastic's Hardest Math Problem

The Hardest Math Problem Student Contest is an annual competition presented by Scholastic, The Actuarial Foundation, and the New York Life Foundation that challenges grades 6–8 students to solve multistep, grade-appropriate math problems with real-world situations and engaging characters.

The following schools and students participated in the 21-22 competition. Great work!


Dominic D., Graham H., Mark R., Emily W., Jasper W.-S., Emma S., Florence Y.


Avery K,, Jaedyn J., Khy M., Maggie W., Tyler G.


Eloise P., Maxfield V., Whitney L., Ben B., Cooper K., Gus T., Hannah J., Harrison F., Sophie W.


Oliver L.

Math League Contest

EY Coordinators sponsored the Math League contest the last few weeks of February. 6th graders at each elementary building practiced problems then took the 21-22 contest the week of February 21st-25th.

Congratulations to these top scorers!

Overall Winners

1st Place

Max R. - Swanson

Waylon S. - Oakdale

2nd Place

Oliver L. - Swanson

Parthiv M. - Swanson

3rd Place

Hannah J. - Rockbrook

Malachi B. - Hillside

Sophia S. - Hillside

Teddy B. - Swanson

Gavin L. - Sunset

Elise M. - Sunset

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Westgate Student Represents WCS at Regional Spelling Bee

5th grader Brock L. from Westgate represented WCS at the 2022 Regionals Spelling Bee hosted by the Omaha Sports Commission. This event was held at UNO on Feb 26th.

Brock L. made it through the first written round which is impressive as less than half of the students made it through. He missed one word in the second written round, and was eliminated. There were 11 spellers who made it to the final oral round. The winner of the 2022 Omaha Sports Commission Spelling Bee was Ananya Rao Prassanna, a fifth grader from West Bay Elementary School out of the Elkhorn Public School District in Elkhorn, NE.

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HAL Family Event

How To Advocate for Your HAL Child. Advocating for the needs of a HAL child is imperative, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. This one-hour learning session will give parents and families of HAL students strategies to advocate for their child's needs in school, provide an overview of available resources, and provide stories of success in advocacy from family and school perspectives.

The event will be held on March 16, 2022 at 6:30pm (CST). A recording will be sent to registrants and be posted on the HAL website after the event.

You can register at https://educationne.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrfu-oqjssEtE_nRkWM4wNiCdEcwNUuJgN
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Central Honors Camp

CHI is a five-day residential camp open to students who will be entering the 7th or 8th grade in the fall of 2022 and who have demonstrated high ability in language arts, science and/or mathematics. Students who attend CHI will have the opportunity to meet other high ability learners from across the state while participating in one of four academic tracks. The instructors who lead camp are some of the brightest, most innovative educators in our state. They love helping high ability learners like you stay ‘academically fit’ over the summer break.

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Did you know that a nuclear engineer works with the energy that is released by reactions within atoms? If you decide to become a nuclear engineer, you might end up working in a nuclear power plant, developing radioactive medicines, or even designing power sources for space satellites!

Engineers Week (EWEEK) is devoted to inspiring future problem solvers and making a difference in the world. Check out www.mathcounts.org/eweek to learn about 5 different types of engineering fields. Answer any or all of the questions that go along with each type of engineer by 11:59pm PT on March 4 for a chance to be entered into a prize drawings for gift cards to Amazon and the MATHCOUNTS Online Store.

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EARN A BADGE . . . or 12!

Every student in Westside has the opportunity to begin earning badges. Working towards earning a badge allows students to dig deep into topics and explore individual interest areas. Badges can be found in various subject and interest areas.

Earn 12 badges to achieve the acclaimed "Digital Dozen" and earn a prize and recognition! Choose from hundreds of badge options on the EY Website or choose one below to get kick started!

Digital Dozen Winners

Congratulations to Ari B. from Swanson, Sammie M. from Hillside, Toby S. from Sunset, Thea F. from Sunset, Luke B. from Swanson, Elosie P. from Rockbrook, Maxwell S. from Loveland, and Teddy B. from Swanson who are the most recent Digital Dozen recipients for the 21-22 school year!

This award is presented to students who earn 12 of the digital badges on the EY Website (ey.westside66.org), which is available to students district-wide. It takes self-motivation, grit, and determination to earn these badges and Whitney should be proud of this accomplishment!

Shout Out - Half Way There!

The EY Team would like to give a shout out to the following students who have earned 6 or more badges. These students are well on their way to earning the Digital Dozen. Keep it up!

Emery P. - Oakdale

Chloe S. - Prairie Lane

Bianca S. - Hillside

Henry H. - Sunset

Cooper R. - Swanson

Grace S. - Prairie Lane

Jordyn F. - Sunset

Estelle H. - Swanson

Hazel H. - Swanson

Kumar A. - Swanson

Anderson S. - Sunset

Tess B. - Swanson

Mallorie B. - Sunset

Stella D. - Prairie Lane

Christian D. - Westgate

Finn D. - Swanson

Drew J. - Prairie Lane

Clarissa K. - Rockbrook

Vivian M. - Rockbrook

Parthiv M. - Swanson

Annil M. - Swanson

Rex M. - Swanson

Sanjay O -Swanson (2nd set)

Krish P. = Swanson (2nd set)

Timothy R. - Lovland

Isabella R. - Swanson

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Mini Sparks are quick lessons that introduce learners to various topics. Sparks can be found under every subject area on the EY website. These activities require minimal supplies and make for a great family activity!

Spark Highlight

Who Was Jesse Owens?

February is Black History Month, and it was also the month for the 2022 Winter Olympics. To combine the two, we’re going to learn about a great African-American Olympian, Jesse Owens.

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EY in Action

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The EY program website is the hub of communication for the EY Team. For our K-8 students, monthly challenges, seminars and events, as well as other learning opportunities are posted to the site on a regular basis.

All students are encouraged to participate in the opportunities posted, regardless of whether they have been identified for the EY Program. Students can participate independently by accessing the opportunities at home or during tech time at school. Teachers may also facilitate these whole and small-group enrichment opportunities for students in the classroom.

Click below to check out all our website has to offer!

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EY Team

Dr. Spady

  • Paddock Road
  • Westgate
  • Westside Middle School
  • Math 7 Honors Coordinator