Rockbrook Express

Rockbrook Elementary School's Monthly Newsletter | 1-11-2019

Welcome Back & Happy 2019

Dear Families and Friends of Rockbrook,

We want to welcome you back to the second half of our school year. We hope that you and your family had a pleasant holiday and we were excited to see the children back this week and watch them reconnect with friends. The second half of our year has many opportunities for kids and families to enjoy, so please be sure to take a few minutes to review this month's newsletter for calendar dates and adjustments.

Welcome Back & Happy New Year!


Mr. Higginbotham, Principal

Change of Dates

Two upcoming events for Rockbrook have recently been changed. Family Movie Night has been moved to Friday, March 8th and Parents Night Out has been moved to Saturday, February 9th. Be sure to download our updated Year Long Calendar below.

School Wide Enrichment Clusters (SEM) Begin February 1st.

Rockbrook is excited to once again present our School-Wide Enrichment Clusters. For those new to our school, Enrichment Clusters offer our students an opportunity to explore an area of personal interest in a small group of mixed age students. We do this for six weeks for about 45 minutes on Friday afternoons. To make this time available, we modify our schedule a bit on those days. On February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and March 1st and 8th, students will use our special events schedule. This impacts lunch times as follows:

K-1 Lunch: 11:11-11:36

2-3 Lunch: 11:36-12:01

4-5 Lunch: 12:01-12:26

6 Lunch: 12:26-12:51

Elementary Unified Activities - Unified STEAM NIGHT

What Are Unified Activities?

The Special Olympics Unified Schools Program is a fast­ growing initiative that brings students with and without intellectual disabilities together. This year we are excited to bring a Unified STEAM Night opportunity to our schools.

Westside Community Schools is excited to offer our fourth Unified Activity this year.

Where: Oakdale Elementary School 9801 West Center Road, Omaha, NE 68124

When: Thursday, January 31st at 6:00

What: S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Join us for a fun evening of activities highlighting these key educational areas!

RSVP Needed for Participation

If you and your child(ren) are interested in participating, please download the following linked informational flyer to learn more and to let us know if you are planning to attend.

Report Cards

Please be sure to check your child's backpack for their report card coming home tonight (1/11) . They should also be bringing home MAP Test results if they are in grades 3-6.

Next Community Club Meeting - January 15th @ 6:00pm

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Upcoming Vocal Music Concerts

Hello Parents or Guardians!

This note is to remind you of our upcoming vocal music programs for our Rockbrook students. Our 4 th – 6 th grade students will have their program on Monday, January 28 th at 6:30PM. Our 1 st – 3 rd grade students will have their program on Tuesday, February 19 th at 6:30PM. Both performances will take place in the Westside Middle School auditorium and will last approximately 45 minutes. We request all students attend this performance except in the instance of illness or a family emergency. Our students have been working diligently in music class to prepare for these performances and are looking forward to performing for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!


Mr. Pribnow

Student Council Informational Meeting

If you are interested in running for Student Council for the spring semester, please attend the MANDATORY informational meeting Thursday, January 24th in Mrs. Rice’s room at 8:10 a.m.

Letters of Intent will be passed out and any questions you may have will be answered. To be able to run for Student Council you must attend.

Winter Wear and Snow Gear

To ensure that students can both enjoy the snow and keep warm and dry once they come inside, we wanted to remind you of a few expectations for students wishing to play in the snow.

• Students need to wear proper coats, gloves, and hats. When temperatures are above 10º we will typically be going outside.

• If students wish to walk in deep snow, they will be expected to wear snow boots.

•For very deep snow or if students wish to roll and play in in the snow, students will need snow pants to ensure they stay warm and dry.

• If students wish to build with snow they must have gloves or mittens.

• When recess equipment is slick or wet, access may be restricted to promote student safety.

We appreciate your support in going over these expectations with your child. Teachers will do so as well so that students may have a fun and safe time during winter recess.

Kindergarten 2019-2020

Student In-District Transfer Requests for the 2019-20 School Year

If you are a District resident who would like your K-5 child(ren) to attend an elementary school

other than the school that serves your attendance area for next school year, you must submit a

completed In-District Transfer (IDT) Request form to the Office of Student Services for review.

The District gives priority to families living within the District prior to placing Option Enrollment

applicants who reside outside the District. We must receive a Student In-District Transfer Request

form no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 15, 2019, for your request to be considered prior to our

placement of Option Enrollment students.

IDT forms are available at the ABC Building and on the District website. An IDT request form

must be completed for any child starting kindergarten next year who has one or more siblings

currently attending a school outside their home attendance area. Transfers are approved or

denied based on available space and other resources. If you have questions about the in-district

transfer process, please call 402-343-2603.

Kindergarten Enrollment for District Residents: January 10 th - February 15th

Do you live in the District and have a child who will be ready for Kindergarten this fall? Do you

know of other Westside residents with children who will be ready to start school in August?

Kindergarten enrollment for 2019-20 begins January 10, 2019. Parents of eligible students should

go to to begin the enrollment process as early as possible.

Students entering kindergarten for 2019-20 must be five years old by July 31, 2019. Parents may

opt to hold their children out of kindergarten for an additional year. However, Nebraska state law

mandates that a child who reaches six years of age prior to January 1 of the then-current school

year must be enrolled in school.

If you have questions, you may call the Westside Welcome Center at 402-343-2603.

Requirements for Early Admission to Kindergarten

In accordance with Nebraska Statute 79-214, the Westside Community Schools allows for admission of children residing in the District as early entrance kindergarteners through a locally designed testing program. Children of District residents who wish to be tested for early entrance must turn five between August 1 and October 15, 2019. For further information regarding early entrance to kindergarten, please call 402-390-3303.

Kindergarten Enrollment for Non-District Residents

If you live outside the District and have a child eligible for kindergarten who has a sibling currently attending a Westside elementary school through the Option Enrollment program, you must submit an Option Enrollment Application. Option Enrollment Applications must be received by Westside’s Office of Student Services no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 15, 2019. The application form is available at the ABC Building (909 S. 76th Street) and at

Under Option Enrollment statutes, first priority for admission is given to siblings who seek to attend in the District where an older sibling is already enrolled, provided an Option Enrollment form is submitted by March 15 and provided that there is space available in a requested building and grade level.

Information Change

Please let Ms. Veldhuis know if you have moved, changed your email or phone number since you completed your Back to School update.

Instrumental Music Reminders

Attention Fifth and Sixth Grade Band Parents - Mark your calendars because our concerts are coming! Concerts are a musicians reward for hard work and effort on their instrument. Please help reward your child by making their first concert a priority for your entire family! We can't wait to see you at these events to celebrate your child's accomplishments!

The Instrumental Music Staff

5th and 6th grade Band students: Monday, January 14

6:00 practice, 7:00 performance at the Westside Middle School Auditorium

Counselor's Corner

During the week of January 28-February 1, our school will recognize Bully Awareness by participating in the “Great Kindness Challenge.”

The “Great Kindness Challenge” is one week dedicated to creating a culture of kindness at schools nationwide. Our school is once again proudly participating in this proactive, positive bullying prevention initiative as part of our Bully Awareness efforts this year.

All students will receive a Great Kindness Challenge checklist with several kind deeds they need to complete. Please encourage your child to complete the checklist at school and show the world that KINDNESS MATTERS!

For more information go to

Meghan Martin

School Counselor

Lunch Times

Lunch Times

Joining your child for lunch is a fun and enjoyable tradition that Rockbrook is pleased to support when your schedule allows. For this purpose we have designated a guest table during our lunch period where you and your child can share a meal and each other’s company. To ensure that there is enough space for our out-of-school guests we ask that families eat with their own children only. When room allows, guests may also sit at the regular lunch table with the class. If you would like a school lunch, please make your reservation with the office before 9 a.m.

Lunch Times

K-1 Lunch: 11:35-12:00 (11:24-11:48 on Wednesdays)

2-3 Lunch: 12:00-12:25 (11:48-12:12 on Wednesdays)

4-5 Lunch: 12:25-12:50 (12:12-12:36 on Wednesdays)

6 Lunch: 12:50-1:15 (12:36-1:00 on Wednesdays)

When is My Child Too Sick for School

Send me to school if...

  • I have a runny nose or just a little cough but no other symptoms.
  • I haven't taken any fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours and I haven't had a fever during that time.
  • I haven't thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours

Keep me at home if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees even after taking medicine.
  • I'm throwing up or have diarrhea.
  • My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees for more than two days.
  • I have been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days
  • I have the sniffles for more than a week and they aren't getting better.
  • I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I'm having trouble breathing after using my inhaler.)

Dropping Off Your Child? Please Bring Them In & Sign Them In

When dropping offer your child after 8:40 a.m., parents must walk their child in and check them in at the office. This includes if your are returning your child from a doctor's appointment. Checking your child in is important to ensure the safety of all students arriving at our school.

Students and Cell Phones / Smart Devices

We know that staying connected to your child is an important safety feature for many families. While in school we ask that students keep all cell phones and smart devices stowed in their backpacks. This helps prevent distraction from learning. Note: lately we've noticed many students received new smartwatches over the holidays. As with cell phones, use of these devices will be restricted if teachers see them posing a disruption to the classroom, recess, etc.

Medication at School

For you child’s safety and for the safety of others, all medication, even cough’s drops, must be kept locked in the health office, it must be in the original package. All medication, including cough drops, needs to be accompanied by a medication form signed by the parent or guardian, all prescription medication forms must be signed by the doctor. Whenever possible, medication should be administered at home.

Dining Out for Education

Each week Rockbrook partners with a local restaurant as part of our Dining Out for Education program. As part of this program, businesses give back a percentage of your purchase to the school when you mention that you are with Rockbrook Elementary on our designated nights. In addition, Dining Out Nights offer families a chance to connect with each other and with friends as part of our Rockbrook Community. Linked with today’s email is our calendar of Dining Out Partners. We’ve tried to offer a variety of locations, foods, and opportunities in the hopes that families can find an option that appeals to them.

Our next Dining Out Event is tonight, 1/16 at Don & Millie's

Important Dates


15 Community Club Meeting - 6:00 pm

16 Don & Millie's Dining Out for Education Night

21 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School

25 Jones Brother's Dining Out Night

28 4-6 Vocal Music Concert at WMS - 7:00 pm

31 Godfather's Slice of the Pie Night

31 Rockbrook/Oakdale STEAM Night @ Oakdale 6:00 pm

Safety Patrol

Information about our Safety Patrol schedule is available on our safety patrol website. Please check this schedule if your child is volunteering for this important activity to help keep our school and students safe.

Welcome to Rockbrook Elementary - Home of the Bulldogs

Rockbrook Mission:

The mission of Rockbrook Elementary School, a diverse community of learners, is to foster learning by providing a quality educational experience within a secure and challenging environment.

Rockbrook School Design Goal:

At Rockbrook we will increase student engagement and achievement through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs.

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