Panda Press

Paddock Road Newsletter

September 8th 2023

Big picture

Calendar September, October 2023

September 26 - Don & Millie's Family Night 4:00-9:00pm

October 3 - Family Engagement Night - 5:30-7:00pm Fall Festival

October 5 - School Pictures

October 11 - Parent/Teacher Conferences 4-8pm

October 12 - Parent/Teacher Conferences 8am-4pm No School

October 13 - No School

October 16 - Teacher Professional Learning Day - No School

Paddock Road Calendar 2023-2024

Staff Member of the Month - Hannah Poth

Big picture
Each month, staff members nominate one another to be the Staff Member of the Month. Ms. Poth is new to Paddock Road this year but she has been teaching for Westside for a couple of years and has been working hard to get to know her students. Her colleagues had this to say about her:

Ms. Poth has quickly shown her high expectations for all students at Paddock Road by working hard to ensure that each of her students is included in all Paddock activities She has been eating lunch with her students each day in order to get to know them better so as to ensure they will get the best support possible, whether it be from her or from someone else she has trained to work with her students. Ms. Poth carries herself with a smile on her face and you can hear the passion for her job in her voice when she talks about her students. She goes above and beyond to learn about the students and how to best support them in the classroom. She has shown up each day with a willingness to be creative, demonstrate flexibility, share her knowledge, and exude positivity. Her room is an inviting space for both learning and collaboration. This teacher has experienced such growth and success already! She is phenomenal.

Ms. Poth has been an incredible addition to Paddock Road and we are lucky to have her!


Big picture

Student Reading Challenge

All students are invited to participate in Paddock's monthly reading challenge. Although it is voluntary, we hope that we can get all our students to join in the fun!

A calendar was sent home with students this week to start logging their daily minutes. Students should record how many minutes they read or are read to (outside of school hours) each day. The goal is for grades K-2 to read or be read to for 300 minutes total in the month, and for grades 3-6 to read or be read to for 500 minutes.

The last day of the month, participating students should turn in their calendars to the teachers. Parents will need to sign the calendar before it is turned in. Students who met the monthly goal will be entered into a raffle to win a gold coin for the book vending machine - we’ll pick a few each month. We hope your child will participate and join this opportunity to grow as Paddock readers!

Morning Drop Off PROCEDURES

Morning drop-off can be a smooth process if we all work together.

Arrival begins at 8:10. There are no adults outside supervising students prior to 8:10. We currently have a number of students arriving before 8:00 a.m. This poses a safety and security concern for our students. We will begin to call the families of students arriving prior to 8:00 to discuss barriers to arriving around 8:10.

There are eight cones indicating drop-off positions. When you drop your children off, once you are inside the coned area, your kids may exit your vehicle. Pull forward until traffic has stopped and allow your children to exit your vehicle. Please do not wait until cone one (the cone closest to the front door) to drop off your students. Waiting will slow down the flow of traffic and parents and students run the risk of being tardy to school and work.

Thank you so much for your assistance with starting the school day off on a positive note.


Westside Community Schools continues the implementation of MTSS, which stands for Multi-Tiered System of Supports. MTSS in Westside assures that we regularly monitor student skills and follow-up with providing students what they need to be successful in learning. Beginning in August, this means that we first screen all students to determine their current skill levels and plan our instruction to meet their needs.

What is MTSS?

MTSS is a framework for providing instruction and support to promote the academic and behavioral success of all children. Individual children’s progress & skills are measured, and these results are used to make decisions about further instruction and intervention. The MTSS process is flexible and allows for a continuum of supports designed to meet the needs of individual students. This support may be provided in a large or small group by the classroom teacher or other support staff, either within or outside the classroom.

What does this mean for my child?

A key component of the MTSS process is that all children receive high quality instruction in their classroom. Universal screenings are brief tests used to measure the progress of all students and are given three times per year. As a result of the screenings, students may be identified as needing some degree of supplemental intervention in addition to the instruction they are receiving in their classroom. If your child is identified as needing intervention you will be notified. Please contact your child’s building principal with questions.

Nebraska Reading Improvement Act: The Nebraska Reading Improvement Act went into effect at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The goal is that all Nebraska students are able to read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. This is accomplished by ensuring all students have access to high-quality instruction and for struggling readers to receive targeted support (intervention). Our current MTSS framework in Westside Community Schools already allows for us to meet these state requirements. Also, the more students continue to read, review math facts, and write/journal each day at home, in addition to their instruction from school, the more secure their

MAP Testing - That's a wrap

Throughout our school year students take periodic assessments to help teachers plan, prepare, and instruct for student success. This week, students participated in our fall round of assessments. All students were screened using assessments from our FastBridge system. Each grade level is tested on different skills to see their current level of understanding. For grades 3-6 students also take the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Growth Assessments. Some tests are administered individually and others as a class, students completing them, individually, on their iPads. Both assessment suites are aligned with Nebraska State Standards and also provide early projections for academic readiness.


Earlier this week, we held a ribbon cutting for the newest celebrity in the building, the Book Vending Machine. The vending machine was generously donated to Paddock Road through the Volberding family in conjunction with the Westside Foundation. Students can earn a golden coin by being Panda of the Month, completing a monthly reading challenge, or purchasing a coin at the Thumbs Up Store. We will keep the vending machine stocked up with the newest and most popular books for kids. It was an exciting event and we are hopeful this new feature in our school building will keep kids excited about literacy.

pandas of the month

Congratulations to our August Pandas of the Month. These students were celebrated for being leaders both academically and behaviorally at school. Pandas of the Month are nominated by their classroom teacher for this prestigious award.
Big picture

To Visit the Specialist Newsletters click the button below.


Big picture


We are currently looking for volunteers to help organize and run the Halloween and Valentine’s Day parties for each classroom for this school year. Room parents should be ready to help coordinate with teachers and set up and run games/activities for the parties

If you are interested, please sign up at:

Please sign up by September 10th

Feel free to reach out to Dani Dickel at with any questions

Big picture
Big picture
Battle of The Books Website

For More information, please click the link above.

Dance marathon fundraising

Big picture

Returning Student Registration

All families of returning students must complete Returning Student Registration prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year. This needs to be completed for each returning student in your family in order for your student to attend field trips, allow Paddock Road staff permission to take photos of your child/ren, update contacts, etc.

If you have not done so already, please CLICK HERE to complete this important process.

  • Enter your PowerSchool parent portal information to log in

  • Click Returning Student Registration near the bottom left side

If you have problems logging in, please email

Visitors at Breakfast and Lunch

We will continue to allow visitors at breakfast or lunch during the school year. If an adult is planning to order a school lunch, please contact the front office by 9:00 am so we can make sure a lunch is reserved for you. Adult meals are $4.25 and include white/chocolate milk. A bottle of water is an extra $0.50. You may bring cash and if there is any change left over it will be deposited into your student's lunch account. You may also pay by check made out to 'Paddock Road'. Depending on seating availability in the cafeteria, you may be sitting at the table with your child's class or at an overflow table.

Absences and Tardies

Attendance Matters!

We want to know that all our students are safe. Please notify the office at 402-390-6465 (available 24 hours a day) or email our Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Kathy Cordes ( when your student is not coming to school or will be late for school. If we have not heard from you, it is our policy to call.

Students arriving after 8:30 am must come to the office and check in. Parents picking up or dropping off their students during the day for appointments, illness, etc., must sign them in and out through the office.

Weather Guidelines

We are lucky in Nebraska to get to enjoy all four seasons. This also means that at times the weather gets in the way of our fun and plans. Below is a brief description of our procedures when the weather is not cooperating:

Warm Weather: We will stay indoors for recess and safety patrol if the air temperature or heat index is 95° or higher.

Cold Weather: So long as the air temperature or wind chill factor is 10° or warmer, students will be outside for recess and safety patrol.

Air Quality: If the air quality index (AQI) is 101 or higher, we will remain indoors for recess.

Rain: When rain is heavy enough that students would get considerably wet, or when there is thunder or lightning, students will be kept inside or brought inside. In addition, if conditions have been such that fields are muddy, access to dirt and grass areas may be restricted as well as playground equipment if it is deemed too slick for safe play.

Severe Weather: If the National Weather Service issues a Thunderstorm Warning students are kept inside. In the event of a Tornado Warning, students are moved to our area of refuge in the shelters on the East side of the building. Families coming to the school during this time are encouraged to take shelter with us until the warning has passed.

Big picture


Step up for down syndrome

Join the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands as we unite for a common cause and raise funds at the 2023 Omaha Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk & Family Festival. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, take the first step and donate or register today! Help us spread the word; all are welcome for our day of celebration!


Mark your calendars for this FREE event!!

Join UNO Athletic Department and United Cerebral Palsy as they host

2023 Mighty Mavs on Saturday, September 16.

This is a FREE event open to families in the community of individuals with special needs.

Our student-athletes look forward to having a fun morning with everyone!

***More information and a registration link will be emailed out in the coming weeks!

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

How Can We Help?

Want to learn more about possible resources you may need for your family? Click here for the Social Worker's Newsletter

Additional Resources:


Kindergarten through eighth grade students from ten public and parochial school districts in the greater Omaha community are served through Assistance League of Omaha’s lighthouse philanthropic program Operation School Bell. By partnering with JCPenney, 4000+ children shop each fall for new school appropriate clothing, and may choose a brand new book. Follow-up data indicates that participation in Operation School Bell has a positive effect on student self-confidence, attendance, behavior and peer relations.

If financial circumstances find your family in need of this or similar supports, please contact your child's teacher, our Counselor, Ms. O'Brien, or our School Soclal Worker, Ms. Cushing.

Big picture
Dismissal Plans

Please record your students dismissal plans for each day of the week.

Paddock Road Elementary

The mission of Paddock Road Elementary is to ensure a program of academic excellence that serves the unique needs of all learners in a positive instructional atmosphere where students are actively involved and supported by staff, family and the community.