Excellence in Youth

Westside Community Schools

September 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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First Quarter Checklist

Parents/Guardians - Be sure to ask your students what they have been up to in EY so far this year. Enrichment opportunities have been underway in each building during the first month of school.

Have your child show you the following EY resources:

  • EY Website
  • Badge Page (show one you have completed or want to complete soon)
  • Mini Spark (any subject)
  • Student's Reading and/or Math Digital Notebook (show completed sections/modules)
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Scholastic's Hardest Math Problem Contest!

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. Plus, 5th graders are eligible to participate by reaching to a higher grade level! This year’s theme is food access.
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Peculiar Pets Poetry Contest

Peculiar Pets Poetry Writing Contest is now open to elementary school students ages 6-12 years old.

What would your perfect peculiar pet be? An acrobatic bunny? A tech-savvy puppy? A vegan crocodile? A bird that’s scared to fly? A giraffe that likes to race? A superhero cat?

You can create an animal mash-up, be inspired by your perfect pet, or make your own awesome animal to write a poem about.

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Did you notice the EY Challenge tab when you visited the website? We encourage all students to participate in the challenge. Each month, a new challenge will be posted. We aim to keep the challenges timely and relevant to what is happening in the world around us.

You can find the current challenge by clicking the link below or visiting the EY website.

Challenge #1 Highlights

Thank you all for submitting your work for the 1st EY Challenge for the 2022-23 school year!

Great job to Ellie R. (Hillside), Karnitha K. (Swanson) and Lewis K. (Sunset) for submitting photos of their work on Challenge #1, What Melts in the Sun?

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Pumpkin STEAM

Have a pumpkin or two around the house? Check out these STEAM challenges for your pumpkin. This badge can be done at home with just a few supplies and a pumpkin. No pumpkin, no problem. You can use a pumpkin, an apple or an orange.

Click on the photo to go to STEAM badge page for additonal details. Be creative and have fun!


100th Badge Earned!

Students at all 10 Westside elementary schools have hit the ground running this school year by earning digital badges on the EY Website! When it comes to digital badge choices, we believe there is literally something for everyone! Congratulations to Sloan T. from Westgate who was the recipient of the 100th badge for the 2022-23 school year. Keep up the amazing work everyone and let's go for the next 100!
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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!

2022-2023 Digital Dozen Winners!

Check this area for additions to the 2022-2023 "Digital Dozen" winners.
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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!


Nonfiction poetry focuses on conveying facts about subjects through engaging and creative narratives. Nonfiction poetry can be a fun and thought-provoking way to tell a story or impart information. Learn about this historical event (Apollo 11), then practice writing a nonfiction poem about an event of your choice.

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On Tuesday, September 20, the 6th Grade Honors Pre-Algebra students had the opportunity to hang out with the 7th Grade Honors Algebra students at Westside Middle School. Students participated in a variety of activities including collecting data on where they went to elementary school (pictured) and then arranging themselves in order by birth month and date WITHOUT TALKING. Finally, they played a math game that required communication and problem solving.
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  • Classroom Spelling Bees - October 10th-21st

  • School Spelling Bees (Scripps Online) - November 14th-18th

  • District Spelling Bee - Friday, December 16th
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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