Westridge Wildcat News

April 1, 2022

Message from the Principal

Dear Westridge Community,

If you have ever been in my office you know that I love children’s literature. My bookcase bursts with fantastic picture books that spread important messages to children. At Westridge, classroom teachers, Mr. Kieser, other specialists, and Mrs. Calbreath use picture books every day to inspire our children and support their academic and social emotional growth.

During April we will continue to use books to capture children's hearts and minds. For example, after conferences, we will launch a schoolwide focus on bucket filling using the text, Have you Filled a Bucket Today? As explained in the book, “When you treat others with kindness and respect, you fill their bucket.” Westridge students are phenomenal at this already and focusing on bucket filling will be a great way to celebrate success and further develop these skills.

Another text we will use in April is called Just Help! How to Build a Better World. We are using Just Help! to launch our PTSO sponsored Community Service Month. This text explains the big and small ways we can help our community. The text also serves to develop context for students during this special month. More importantly, Just Help! will be shared by 5th grade leaders who serve on our 5th Grade Service Team.

These days there seems to be picture books for every topic, interest, and family. Excitingly, we have our Book Fair next week! This is a great opportunity to find your family’s new favorite book. Your child will have an opportunity to visit the Book Fair with their class. If you’d like to visit as a family please plan to visit during open hours before or after school.

  • Monday 7:45-8:20 and 2:40-4:00

  • Tuesday & Wednesday 7:45-8:20 and 2:20-3:30

  • Thursday 8:00-3:30 (Conferences)

  • Friday 8:00-2:00 (Conferences)

With joy,

Jules Laaperi



Save the Dates!

4/1- Early Release at 11am (Elementary work day)

4/7 & 4/8- Conferences: NO SCHOOL

4/4-4/8- Scholastic Book Fair

4/8: Lost and Found will be donated

A letter to our community:

The following article was originally written for a newsletter in October, Dwarfism Awareness Month. We are adding it to this newsletter since our son is joining the Westridge community in April.

For many of you, dwarfism is a condition that you rarely think about. Until our son, Joshua, was born with a form of dwarfism, my husband and I knew very little about dwarfism. But, with Joshua's birth, our world changed a bit and we needed to understand and explore a different reality. Though there are many different types of dwarfism, I thought I would share what we have learned about the type of dwarfism our son has, achondroplasia.

According to the Little People of America (LPA), dwarfism is a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4'10” or shorter, among both men and women. The average height of an adult with dwarfism is 4' 0, but typical heights range from 2'8” to 4'8”. Dwarfism can be proportionate or disproportionate. The most common type of dwarfism is achondroplasia. With achondroplasia the children have shorter arms and legs and their heads are usually a bit larger than normal.

Dwarfism is a spontaneous genetic mutation. Over 80 percent of children born with dwarfism are born from average height parents. There are actually over 200 types of dwarfism. The frequency of occurrence for the most common types of dwarfism are:

Achondroplasia (one per 26,000 births to 40,000 births)

SEDc (one per 95,000 births)

Diastrophic dysplasia (one per 110,000 births)

There is often the question about pregnancy and the transfer of the gene associated with achondroplasia.

According to recent medical research, a person with achondroplasia has one dwarfism gene and one "average-size" gene. If both parents have achondroplasia, there is a 25 percent chance their child will inherit the non-dwarfism gene from each parent and thus be average-size. There's a 50 percent chance the child will inherit one dwarfism gene and one non-dwarfism gene and thus have achondroplasia, just like his or her parents. And there is a 25 percent chance the child will inherit both dwarfism genes, a condition known a double-dominant syndrome, and which invariably ends in death at birth or shortly thereafter.

Some “little people”, the preferred term to use, have to go through a series of surgeries due to issues with their necks, backs, hips, and legs. But, apart from the obvious physical differences, little people are capable of living typical lives.

Recently, there have been several television shows on TLC that show the lives of different little people and their families. Several of the little people on the shows have said their hope is that with awareness will come acceptance. It's like any other disability, once you know the person their physical stature doesn't seem to matter. The different series reveal little people living typical lives; getting married, having children, participating in sports, becoming business professionals, doctors, etc.

Once you meet Joshua, I am sure that you will soon forget his small stature. He probably has the biggest personality of anyone in our family!

When we accept the differences of others, it becomes a gift to us.

We appreciate the opportunity to share our story.


Michael and Cathy Brown

Lockdown Drill, April 12th

Our staff is charged with two important responsibilities we focus on with confidence every day. We must provide an outstanding education that prepares all students for a bright future. At the same time, we must provide a safe environment so that children can stay engaged with their learning.

On Tuesday, April 12th our teachers and students will be practicing the process of what we would do in an emergency Lockdown. Teachers will prepare students ahead of the drill and continue to reassure students that this is a drill and that everyone is safe at school.

We taught students this process (but didn't practice) in November. If you would like to prepare your child ahead of time, here are some resources you can review as a family. For our Kindergarten through Third grade students teachers will use this Lock Down Story Book to guide discussions and in 4th and 5th grade students will watch and discuss this video.

A lockdown means there is a possible threat inside the school. This is not business as usual. Hallways are cleared, all classroom doors are locked, and lights are turned out. Students and staff are instructed to stay quiet and out of sight during a lockdown.

We follow the Standard Response Protocol @ https://iloveuguys.org/The-Standard-Response-Protocol.html

We thank you for your help and cooperation, as we work to provide safe learning environments for all students in the Lake Oswego School District.

Smart watches (Apple Watches, etc.) at school:

Smart watches must be in airplane/school mode or off during school hours. Students may use the phone in the office to call home if they need to get in touch with a parent or caregiver.

Students found using their smart watches during school time will receive a warning from an adult. If they require additional reminders the device will be confiscated and held in the office until a parent can pick it up.

Thank you for partnering with us in limiting distractions in the classroom.

Volunteering at Westridge:

In order to volunteer, please make sure you have the following on record with the school:

  • Register with Raptor by bringing your photo ID into the office. (If you've registered in years prior, you do not need to do it again)

April SEL Theme: Responsibility

Dear Westridge Families,

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

~Mr. Fred Rogers

During the month of April, Westridge students will spend time exploring RESPONSIBILITY. This month we will deepen our understanding of responsibility through community discussions and classroom social-emotional lessons. Traditionally, responsibility is defined in a few ways: duty, accountability, and the independence to make decisions. At Westridge we use the following definition:

RESPONSIBILITY: to take action and understand how our choices affect others, ourselves, and the world.

To live responsibly, we consider our decision making and how it impacts ourselves and others. We take ownership of our choices with integrity and we practice the important skills of self-reflection and self-control. This month we will practice these skills and learn from people who show a lot of responsibility in their lives. By demonstrating Responsibility in our activities and interactions, we Phoenixes can contribute to a more kind and generous world!

Here are links for extension activities to explore RESPONSIBILITY together as a family:

K-2 RESPONSIBILITY Family Letter (English)

K-2 RESPONSABILIDAD para Familias (En Español)

3-5 RESPONSIBILITY Family Letter (English)

3-5 RESPONSABILIDAD para Familias (En Español)


Gary Kieser

School Counselor

Westridge Elementary


Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Parent/Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8. Families may choose to attend their conference in-person or via zoom at the time they sign up, by noting their preference in the comment section.

Reminder: No school for students on 4/7 & 4/8. Conferences are for parents only, unless noted by your child's teacher. We do not have childcare for students. If you don't have childcare, please sign up for a zoom conference.

We look forward to seeing you!

Lost and Found

The lost and found will be donated on April 8th. Please come check it for any missing items!

Respond to Racism Kids' Story Time April 11th

Join former Westridge 4th grade teacher Katharine Phelps for a monthly read aloud. Stories are for k-5 elementary-aged children and share narratives from a multitude of experiences, voices and cultures.

Kids' story time:

Monday April 11, 2022 @ 5pm

Register at www.respondtoracism.org

Seeking Volunteers for School & Board Advisory Committees

We need parents/guardians, students, teachers, staff members, and community residents to consider serving on our School and Board advisory committees. Applications and committee charters are available on the district website under School Board. Please submit your application by Tuesday, April 5 at 5 p.m. Possible interviews following submission, and notification of selected committee members by May 10, 2022. Thank you in advance for your service!

Asian Cultural Festival on April 16th!

Mark your calendars! All are invited to the Asian Cultural Festival being hosted by the Lake Oswego High School Asian American Student Union (AASU) on Saturday, Apr. 16, 12pm - 5pm at the high school. The festival will feature Asian culture through performances, free food samples, and over 15 different activities/exhibits including fashion exhibits, arts and crafts, and bollywood dancing with DJ Prashant.

There is free admission to the general event, but due to limited space in the auditorium, tickets are required to watch the performances. The show is from 2 pm to 3:30 pm and includes 10 acts. Performances include lion dancers, martial arts, traditional Asian instruments, cultural dance, and much more. To buy tickets or learn more about the event, please visit AsianFestivalLO.com.

LOSD families can get discounted tickets (only $3 each) with the promo code: LOSDSTUDENT

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LOSD Safety Symposium April 7

LOSD is hosting its first annual LOSD K-12 Safety Symposium at Lakeridge High School Auditorium, Thursday, Apr. 7. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the session runs from 6-8:30 p.m. The in-person event is an opportunity for parents/guardians and community residents to learn about safety issues affecting students and actions that can be taken to create a safer community.

  • How the Brain Develops, Dr. James Sanders, LOSD

  • Drugs & Alcohol, Dr. Kim Wollmuth, Pediatrician, The Children’s Clinic

  • Fentanyl Awareness, Chad Lindsly, Special Agent, Homeland Security

  • Secure Gun Storage, Heather Wick, Megan Busbee, Tom O’Connor, Paul Kemp, BeSMART

  • Digital Safety, School Resource Officer Bryan Sheldon, Lake Oswego Police

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STEM Supplies needed:

If you have any empty 2 liter bottles or extra cardboard laying around, our STEM class could use them! There will be a plastic bin in the vestibule to collect them.

Oregon United Football 2022-2023 Season

Registration for the Spring 2022 season is open from now until May 6, 11:59 pm.

As a reminder, OUFC does not cut players. We believe every player has a place in our club. Players are assigned with care and precision as to the teams and programs that best fit their commitment and skill-set.

Register at

PlayMetrics | Youth Soccer Club Management Operating System

Student Attendance:

If your child will be absent, please email your student's teacher and copy the office at murphya@loswego.k12.or.us. Please list the date your child will be absent and any illness symptoms.

If you need to pick your child up early from school, please let the teacher and the office know ahead of time.

Oregon State Assessment Opt-Out Form

Every year, Oregon students take assessments to meet federal requirements. The purpose of these assessments is to provide data that schools can use to ensure each and every child is on track and achieving learning goals.

State law requires us to inform you that a form is available from the State Department of Education that allows you to opt your child out of the math and English Language Arts assessments for the current school year. Should you wish to opt out your child, fill out the form and submit it to the main office at your child’s school. Please note the submission deadlines listed on the form. Meeting the deadline will help the school with planning and preparation. If you wish your child not to participate in the science assessment for grades 5, 8, and 11, submit this request in writing to the principal of your child's school.

If you have questions or want more information about state assessments, please contact your child’s principal or teacher(s).

Click here for opt-out form for Math and English Language Arts.


Parents-guardians who have concerns about a student’s well-being are encouraged to reach out to their principal, and to maintain strong lines of communication and partnership between students, families, staff, and other resources.

SafeOregon is also an effective way to report a tip regarding safety threats or potential acts of violence to our students or schools.


(Students should also be aware that intentionally providing a false report is a serious offense.)

Contact information for the Westridge PTSO

Westridge Elementary School

All members of our community are committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment that cultivates empathy, creates challenging opportunities, and fosters lifelong learning.