West Monthly Newsletter


Message from Mrs. Diederich

This school year is moving along quickly! These cooler temperatures remind us that winter is just around the corner. Please take time to gather your child(ren)'s winter gear. It is helpful to have the winter gear labeled with the child's name.

We are excited to host Turkey Bingo on Thursday, November 21. This event will open at 5:30, with food being served. Bingo will begin at 6:00. Please watch for additional information that will be forthcoming. To make this evening a success, we are in need of some volunteers. Please watch for information pertaining to this and consider helping.

Arrival and dismissal are busy times for traffic around our school. Please use the designated doors to pick your child(ren) up. Our parking lot is small, and becomes crowded quickly. For the safety of students and staff members, we ask that you park on either 6th Ave. or 25th St., then walk to the door to pick up your student(s). If you have questions or concerns about the door your child is dismissed from, or if you would like to make alternative arrangements, please notify your child(ren)'s teacher.

Please join us on Tuesday, November 5 at 2:30pm for our next RED (Read Every Day) event. We look forward to your visit at West Elementary!

Elisa Diederich

Principal Designee

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Student Leaders Fundraiser

Student leaders will be selling lollipops to raise money for new “Comfy Reading Nooks” around our school. Costs of lollipops are .50 cents each and can be purchased in the Reading Room between 3:00 – 3:10 on the following dates:

Monday, 11/04

Tuesday, 11/05 (after RED event)

Friday, 11/08

Friday, 11/15

Monday, 11/18

Friday, 11/22

Monday, 11/25

Morning Arrival Door Policy

Per the Grand Forks Public School District Elementary School Handbook: Breakfast is available daily at each school starting at 7:40am. The reading program begins at 8:00am. All students are welcome to join us for these programs. Students or families who choose not to use these programs may arrive at 8:20am.


Hey West Athletes!

Mr. Pederson and West Elementary want to see you and your teammates being active in the community! Bring a picture of you playing sports or activities and we will hang it on our NEW West Athlete's Wall for everyone to see!



School Meal Menu

We are now using MealViewer to communicate our menus to families and will no longer be sending home monthly paper menus with students. This site includes breakfast, lunch, nutrient, allergen information and a nutrition calculator. Please click on the link below.


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Upcoming Dates

Sunday, November 3rd

Daylight Savings Time - Turn Clocks Back 1 Hour

Monday, November 4th

Raffle Basket Items Due

3rd-5th Grade Chorus 3:10-4:00

Tuesday, November 5th

Picture Retake/Absent Day 10:30

2nd Grade Music Program 1:30

RED Event (wear RED!) 2:30-2:50

2nd Grade Music Program 6:30

Wednesday, November 6th

5th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

Thursday, November 7th

All Student Leader Meeting 12:00

3rd & 4th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

Friday, November 8th

5th Grade Puberty Presentation 10:30

Monday, November 11th

NO SCHOOL - Veteran Day

Tuesday, November 12th

2nd & 3rd Grade Teaching and Learning Class from UND 9:30-10:30

3rd & 4th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

3rd-5th Grade Chorus 3:10-4:00

PTO Meeting 6:00

Wednesday, November 13th

5th Grade Pen Pals @ Valley Memorial Homes 9:30-11:30

Early Release 1:30

Thursday, November 14th

Kindergarten Hearing Screen

3rd & 4th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

Friday, November 15th

4th & 5th Grade UND Women's Basket Ball Game 12:00

Monday, November 18th

5th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

3rd & 4th Grade Chorus 3:10-4:00

Tuesday, November 19th

2nd & 3rd Grade Teaching and Learning Class from UND 9:30-10:30

5th Grade Chorus 3:10-4:00

Wednesday, November 20th

All Student Leaders Meeting 12:00

5th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

Thursday, November 21st

3rd & 4th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55


Monday, November 25th

5th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

3rd & 4th Grade Chorus 3:10-4:00

Tuesday, November 26th

3rd & 4th Grade Intramural 3:00-3:55

5th Grade Chorus 3:10-4:00

Wednesday, November 27th

Early Release 1:30

Thursday, November 28th

NO SCHOOL - Holiday Break

Friday, November 29th

NO SCHOOL - Holiday Break

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Newsletter Inserts


We send newsletters out electronically. Please make sure we have your email address on file in the office. We will have paper copies of the newsletter in the office for families who need a hard copy.


All doors will be locked by 8:30 am each day. If you would like to visit or pick up your child, please use door #1 located on 25th St. N. by the flagpole. All schools in the district have a "Push to Talk" security system. After 8:30 am, all visitors will need to be "buzzed" in by the Main Office. Parents and visitors are required to come to the office, sign in, and pick up a visitor's pass upon arrival before they enter the rest of the school building. If you are picking up OR dropping off your student during the school day, you will need to come into the school office. All students must be checked in and signed out through our office.


ENCORE After School Program is offering additional after school care to families who need coverage on early release days. Space is limited. Please see attached flyer for more information.


Students are dismissed at 3:00 and must be picked up promptly, walk straight home after school, ride the bus or go to ENCORE. Students will meet parents and guardians outside at their assigned door. Older siblings may meet their youngest sibling at their assigned door for dismissal. Due to safety concerns students should not stay and play on the playground.

Door Assignments are as follows:

Door #1 - 2nd and 3rd graders

Door #2 - 4th and 5th graders

Door #5 - Preschool and Kindergarten


If your child(ren) are going to be late or absent from school, please inform the school office by calling the attendance line number and leaving a message before 8:25 am at 701-746-2329.

Attendance is very important. If your child is not in school, he/she is missing out on very important learning. We monitor student attendance closely and follow the Grand Forks Public Schools "Stay in School" policy.


Please keep the school office up-to-date on any address, phone number, and email changes. It is very important that we have all the current and correct information on file. We need updated emergency contact information in the event of an emergency.


Our office receives many telephone calls from parents who want to leave messages or make different after school arrangements for students. We ask that you limit these calls to emergencies only. As a school, we limit announcements so student learning is not interrupted. Please remind your child in the morning before they leave for school about rides, appointments, etc. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

FREE/REDUCED MEAL APPLICATION can be found here: https://apply4schoolmeals.dpi.nd.gov/


Due to an increased number of students with food allergies, we no longer celebrate student birthdays with a "birthday snack" in the Grand Forks Public Schools. Parents are welcome to find other non-food items to send to school if they wish. For example, a book, game, pencil or school supplies may be donated to your child's classroom.


Pets or animals are prohibited on school grounds during school hours due to potential safety and health concerns.

School Cancellation and Postponement Procedures

In the event that school is postponed or cancelled due to weather, the following procedures will be followed:

1. School postponement and cancellation alternatives will be as follows:

  • a. Hold school as normal.
  • b. Open school but delay sending buses.
  • c. Delay the start time in all schools by two (2) hours based on each school’s start time.
  • * Elementary School: Start time is 8:25, so school would start at 10:25.
  • * Middle School: Start time is 8:40, so school would start at 10:40.
  • * High School: Start time is 8:00, so school would start at 10:00.
  • * Head Start: Start time is 8:00, so school would start at 10:00.
  • *When school starts late, there will be no morning Early Childhood Special Education classes. Afternoon Early Childhood Special Education classes will be held.
  • * Breakfast will not be served at any sites.
  • d. No school in Grand Forks Public Schools all day.
  • e. No school for the Grand Forks Air Force Base School District students all day.
  • *Decisions related to the delayed opening or closing of air base schools may not always be consistent with those made for in-town schools. On those days when severe weather makes travel conditions so hazardous as to threaten the safety of staff members, opening delays or the closing of base schools will be given special consideration.
  • f. Once school is in session, it will not be terminated until the regular closing time except in very severe situations. However, school buses may leave early. Radio and TV stations will be used to notify parents.

The decision to close or delay school will be made as early as possible. Announcements will be made on the District (www.gfschools.org) and school websites, and District social media (www.facebook.com/GrandForksPublicSchools; www.twitter.com/GFSchools). Announcements will also be made on local radio and TV stations.

Grand Forks Public Schools will be using our automated calling system to call staff and parents if school will be delayed or cancelled due to severe weather conditions. Typically, this automated call will occur to staff between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and to parents between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Parents or guardians may always exercise their right to keep students home or pick them up early during stormy conditions.

If an emergency situation should develop during the time school is in session, children will be cared for in school until the storm has subsided.

If buses are sent home early, all buses will be sent.

  • a. Radio and TV stations will make the announcement of the departure time.
  • b. The lead-time needed for the procedure is approximately one (1) hour.
  • c. If conditions are dangerous, bus drivers must use common sense in discharging students that must walk a considerable distance. If possible, use the radio and contact the base station. Have parents meet the bus or be on the lookout for their children. If the driver is unable to contact parents and conditions are dangerous, do not let students off the bus but return to school and notify the principal. Schools that have bus students must have a written procedure for caring for students in the event they must be kept overnight at school.
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The PTO is a vital organization for helping our school. It allows you, as a parent, to help plan and organize important events. West Elementary School needs your help! Please come to our meeting on Tuesday, November 12th at 6:00 in the library to learn more and become involved!
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Happy November to all! Here are some events available in our community. Please contact me if you have questions or if there's something I can help with!

~ Alisa Bowman

Christmas Baskets

Who: Families in need of food and gift assistance at Christmas time

When: sign up for baskets will be Nov 4-8, 2019

Time: 1pm-3pm

Where: Salvation Army- 1600 University Ave Grand Forks

Must provide: Picture ID for all household members, proof of residence, proof of income.

Distribution of baskets will be December 16-17 from 9:30am-3pm at Salvation Army. Please call Salvation Army at 701-775-2597 with questions.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Who: Anybody in the GF or GFAFB community!

What: Salvation Army is hosting a community Thanksgiving dinner

When: November 24th, 2019 from 4pm until the food is gone

Where: Salvation Army, 1600 University Ave Grand Forks

Family Turkey Baskets

For families in need of assistance for a Thanksgiving meal. Turkey baskets are provided by the UND Mortar Board for Thanksgiving, and include everything needed to make a traditional turkey dinner. Baskets will be picked up by families the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Families must be referred by a social worker in order to access this event. The deadline to get signed up through the school social worker will be towards the end of October. Contact me at 701-215-6866 if you would like to receive a turkey basket!

Santa Day Sign Up

Who: Families in need of Christmas assistance this year

When: Deadline to sign up is Nov. 15, 2019

How: Let your school social worker, Alisa Bowman, know you would like to sign up: 701-215-6866 (text or call)

Must provide: 30 income verification for household members, picture ID for all adults, Social Security Cards for all household members

Winter Wishlists:

United Way will not be doing Toys For Tots this year, they will be helping out a different way.

Who: Families in need of some Christmas assistance

When: As soon as possible

How: Let Alisa Bowman know you are interested and she will put you on the list when the new information from United Way is available.

Social Worker Wish List

Please check out the GFPS Purposity App or search Purposity.com! Purposity allows our district social workers to post needs for our students with direct links to Amazon. The app gives the community an opportunity to purchase these things for our students, and the packages are delivered right to the school. There are new needs posted almost every day- our students have been greatly impacted by the generosity of our community through Purposity!

Aside from using the Purposity App, The following is a list of identified needs that would always be accepted as donations: winter gear (especially coats, snow pants and boots), gently used shirts and pants sized 5-10 for both boys and girls, district approved snacks, gas gift cards, and grocery store gift cards. If you have further questions or donations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 701-215-6866.


Hello West Families,

Please click on the download below to view the Sick Day Guidelines.

Thank you!

Mandy Iverson