Westridge Wildcat News

October 15, 2021

Message from the Principal

Dear Westridge Community,

Yesterday, we held our first ever Fun Run, Walk, and Roll with Rocky! It was an incredible event that built community and got our students moving and dancing. A huge thank you goes to our PTSO for organizing this event, staffing it with volunteers, and providing our students with valuable memories.

PTSO continues to contribute to our school through these types of community events, classroom grants, and curriculum enrichment funds. We are so lucky to have such a supportive group. Thank you to those of you who have supported us by supporting our PTSO! Make sure you check out their important updates about how you can get involved, donate, buy spirit wear and more!

With gratitude,

Jules Laaperi



Save the Dates!

October 20: School Picture Day

October 21- School Wide Virtual SockHop

October 22- Early Release 11:00am (Elementary Prep Day)

October 31- Deadline to donate to the Westridge Wildcat Fund (link and info below)

October 28-29: Conferences - No School

November 11- Veterans Day - No School

November 12: OBOB Registration Deadline (more info below)

November 22-26: No School (Inservice/Holiday)

Action Items:

  • Do you have a coat that your child has grown out of? Or a sweatshirt that is in decent shape? We will take it off your hands! Its cold and wet out and donations of jackets, rain coats and/or sweatshirts would be so appreciated! Bring them by the office any time!

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.

Dismissal Update

If you are walking up to meet your child for dismissal, please do not wait under the covered area. This area gets very crowded with teachers bringing students out and it makes it difficult for us to find students to load them into cars.

STEM donations needed:

We are always making things in STEM, and would love it if you could send in any of the following:

- fabric scraps

- shoe boxes

- cardboard egg cartons

There is a box to place items in the vestibule near the office.

Thank you!

Mrs. Melton

Innovation Facilitator

Oregon Battle of the Books Competition:

It is time to start forming teams for Westridge's Oregon Battle of the Books Competition this school year!

Each year, Westridge participates in the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) competition for all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. This is an optional, fun enrichment activity, and a good way to read some great books with a team of school friends.

What is OBOB?
The Oregon Battle of the Books is a reading and trivia competition that serves as a statewide celebration of literacy and good books. 3rd to 5th grade students form teams of three to five members, then read and study from a common list of 16 books selected by the State OBOB committee each year. Teams square off in a series of "Battles" to show off how much they have learned by answering questions about the books. Watch out if you get a question wrong -- the other team then gets a chance to steal the points! Find this year's book list here: https://www.oregonbattleofthebooks.org/2021-2022-obob-title-lists/

Uncertainty for the 2021-2022 OBOB Season

Because we cannot know at this time what the health and safety protocols will be in the winter for LOSD, we do not yet know if we will be able to hold in-person battles or if the competition will happen virtually again, as it did last year. That said, we are committed to holding a competition sometime between the end of January and mid-February either way, and working out the details as we approach that time. Now is the time to form teams and start reading!


Follow this link to register your player for OBOB. Form

The Registration Deadline is Friday, November 12th.

We have found over time that it is best to have the children form their own teams (sometimes with parent assistance), but every year there are some interested kids who do not have friends interested in OBOB. Please still register your child if that is the case! We will do our best to match up players who want to participate.

How does OBOB work at Westridge?

  • The OBOB competition at Westridge is funded by the PTSO, run by parent volunteers, and coordinated with Librarian Mrs. Calbreath and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers
  • Students form teams of 3 to 5 players in the Fall and begin reading the books
  • Parent volunteers may hold voluntary practice sessions with the kids in December and January
  • In each "Battle," two teams square off and answer questions in turn. Note that only a maximum of 4 players participate in each battle round. Teams of 5 will need to set a rotation
  • The highest scoring teams in preliminary play move on to knock-out rounds to crown a school champion
  • This year's competition is open to all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students
Please reach out to Librarian Lauren Calbreath, or one of the parent OBOB volunteers (Ken Kriwanek, Jenn Schultz, and Rebecca Weinstein) with any questions or concerns. Look to your teacher newsletters for more details.

Important update on Westridge Student Newspaper!

Calling all journalists!

WE ARE RESUMING WORK on What's Up, Westridge?, the Westridge student newspaper, written by the kids, for the kids! This year the Westridge student newspaper is open to writers in 5th grade. We meet twice a month (approximately 1x every other week) and publish one issue per month. Our FIRST MEETING IS OCTOBER 27th DURING RECESS (12:10-12:40). Questions? Please contact Stef Fogarty at svfogarty@gmail.com.

Lake Oswego School Bond Measure information:

Dear Westridge Community,

What a great start to the school year. I have been amazed with our Westridge community and all we have accomplished in these first few weeks back in school.

I wanted to share with you information about the upcoming Lake Oswego School Bond measure on the November 2021 ballot.

A school bond is how school districts in Oregon typically fund major capital construction upgrades, updates and/or replacements of buildings. LOSD is on track to complete all capital projects promised in our 2017 bond measure -- on time and on budget. We are now turning our attention to the second phase of the three-part construction and capital improvement program.

The proposed Lake Oswego School Bond, if passed, would modernize classrooms, protect our capital investments, prioritize safety and security, and improve accessibility at all of our schools. It would also rebuild River Grove Elementary and Lake Oswego Junior High to relieve capacity and support best practices in education. If approved, property owners would pay an additional $0.92/$1,000 of assessed value annually. For the median home assessed value of $420,000 that is approximately $385 per year.

What would the bond do here at Westridge, if the measure passes?

  • Address priority capital repairs

    • Replace exterior brick veneer not replaced in 2020 renovation

    • Upgrade mechanical systems for comfort and efficiency

  • Improve accessibility

    • Make accessibility improvements to walkways, restrooms, parking lots, and entrances to ensure all students, staff, and community members can have access to public building

    • Update playground to make more accessible

  • Safe, secure campuses

    • Rekey exterior doors

    • Update fire alarm system

    • Building door hardware enhancements

    • Install additional cameras for sight improvement and video monitoring

    • Update campus communication broadcast systems

  • Modernize classrooms

    • Furniture replacement

    • Build garden

    • Continue technology infrastructure updates

    • Replace outdated computers

You can find more information, including a complete project list and Frequently Asked Questions, online at www.LakeOswegoSchoolBond.org.

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CogAT Screening Coming:

In order to ensure equitable opportunities, all second and third-grade students will be assessed this fall using the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to screen for intellectual ability and eligibility for Talented and Gifted (TAG) support. This 60-minute in-classroom assessment measures reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Each area is designed to evaluate specific reasoning skills that strongly correlate to academic success. The district’s testing window for the CogAT screener will be October 11 through November 12.
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October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

What are the signs of Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language. It can be associated with trouble reading, but it also can affect writing, spelling and even speaking. Many children have one or two of these issues on occasion. But kids with dyslexia have several of these issues, and they don’t go away.

Here are some signs to look for:

Preschool, Kindergarten, & First Grade:


  • Difficulty learning (and remembering) the names of letters in the alphabet

  • Seems unable to recognize letters in his/her own name

  • Mispronounces familiar words; persistent “baby talk”

  • Trouble learning common nursery rhymes

  • Doesn’t recognize rhyming patterns like cat, bat, rat

  • A family history of reading and/or spelling difficulties (dyslexia often runs in families)

  • Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters on the page—will say “puppy” instead of the written word “dog” on a page with a picture of a dog

  • Does not understand that words come apart

  • Cannot sound out even simple words like cat, map, nap

  • Does not associate letters with sounds, such as the letter b with the “b” sound

  • Complains about how hard reading is; “disappears” when it is time to read

  • A history of reading problems in parents or siblings


  • Curiosity

  • Great imagination

  • Ability to figure things out; gets the gist of things

  • Eager embrace of new ideas

  • A good understanding of new concepts

  • Surprising maturity

  • A larger vocabulary than typical for age group

  • Enjoys solving puzzles

  • Talent for building models

  • Excellent comprehension of stories read or told to him

Second Grade through High School:


  • Very slow in acquiring reading skills. Reading is slow and awkward

  • Trouble reading unfamiliar words, often making wild guesses because cannot sound out the word

  • Has a tough time sounding out unfamiliar words

  • Avoids reading out loud

  • Gets tripped up by word problems in math

School and Life

  • Trouble remembering dates, names, telephone numbers, random lists

  • Struggles to finish tests on time

  • Extreme difficulty learning a foreign language

  • Poor spelling

  • Messy handwriting

  • Low self-esteem that may not be immediately visible


  • Searches for a specific word and ends up using vague language, such as “stuff” or “thing,” without naming the object

  • Pauses, hesitates, and/or uses lots of “um’s” when speaking

  • Confuses words that sound alike, such as saying “tornado” for “volcano,” substituting “lotion” for “ocean”

  • Mispronunciation of long, unfamiliar or complicated words

  • Seems to need extra time to respond to questions


  • Excellent thinking skills: conceptualization, reasoning, imagination, abstraction

  • Learning that is accomplished best through meaning rather than rote memorization

  • Ability to get the “big picture”

  • A high level of understanding of what is read to him/her/they

  • The ability to read and to understand at a high level overlearned (or highly practiced) words in a special area of interest

  • Improvement as an area of interest becomes more specialized and focused—and a miniature vocabulary is developed that allows for reading in that subject area

  • A surprisingly sophisticated listening vocabulary

  • Excels in areas not dependent on reading, such as math, computers and visual arts, or in more conceptual (versus fact-driven) subjects, including philosophy, biology, social studies, neuroscience and creative writing

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s learning, please contact the school principal and/or literacy specialist. Another great parent resource would be to contact your school’s Student Services Parent Advisory Committee (SSPAC) representative. Please see here to learn how to contact your school representative.

PTSO News!


We need your financial support. This year's PTSO is working extra hard to host out of the box activities to create community while keeping our kids as safe as possible. These efforts come at a financial cost and we are in our final stretch to reach our $100,000 goal. To do this, we are hoping to have over 300 of our Westridge families contribute. Have you made your donation? If you would like to know more about exactly where the money goes please reach out. Also, see if your employer has a company match. It is a fast way to double our fundraising efforts. DONATE HERE: https://bit.ly/FundourWildcats


Thank you to everyone who has participated in our fitness activities over the past few weeks. Our walk/bike to school was a huge success and we loved seeing so many Wildcat Families taking part.


After a very energetic and super FUN Run, Walk & Roll with Rocky, we have two class winners! We are so proud of every student who showed up, moved their body, and had some fun! Thank you to all the Westridge staff and our parent volunteers for making this such a successful event! We hope you were able to join us via ZOOM to watch your Wildcat run the track. Our two class winners are.....drum roll.......

K-2nd: Mrs. Howard's class!! (averaging 7.32 laps per student)

3rd-5th: Mrs. Harvey's class!! (averaging 7.63 laps per student)

Thanks to our amazing sponsors, all students went home with a brand new Westridge Wildcats t-shirt!


We have one last event for Fitness Month. Join us for our annual sock hop...this year on Zoom! Wear your favorite socks or decorate a pair. Be creative! We'll showcase our socks and our favorite dance moves! Get ready to have some fun & move your bodies with Rocky the Wildcat and your fellow classmates!

Please join us on Thursday, October 21st at 5pm

Zoom Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 818 4937 3446
Passcode: 123456

Get your Wildcat merch here!

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COVID-19 Information:

If you would like information on COVID-19 and LOSD, please click here

Chromebook or iPad Problems?

Please submit a tech request to https://losdhelp.zendesk.com/ or scan this QR code.

ODE Annual Notice

The Oregon Department of Education publishes an annual notice regarding state assessments in English Language Arts and Math. Please review the Annual Notice for Statewide Tests for information regarding why participation matters, an explanation of the right to opt out, and test windows.


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.)

Subscribe to Lake Oswego Schools App

Stay connected to the district and your school(s) and receive urgent notifications by subscribing to the Lake Oswego Schools App.

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.