Rockbrook Express

Rockbrook's Monthly School Newsletter | Sept 2019

Picture Day

Picture Day will be Wednesday, September 11th, 2019. All students will be photographed but only orders placed will be charged. Order Forms went home this week, but if you need a new one they are in the office.

Rockbrook Fun Run

Friday, Sep. 20th, 2:30pm

2514 South 108th Street

Omaha, NE

The Rockbrook Fun Run is a fun tradition at our school. Students run a course through the neighborhood with great activity stations. At the end, students enjoy a cool treat and some time with their friends and teachers.
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Rockbrook Community Club - Your Help Needed!

Thanks to all who were able to join us for our first Community Club Meeting of the year. If you weren't able to join please know that you are always welcome and your input is appreciated. We are yet in need of a few key event coordinators and would appreciate your help whether willing to help on your own or as part of a partner or team. Please see our list below.

Event Coordinators Needed For:

Fall Festival - This is our Fun Fall Carnival. No date is yet set so we are open to options and ideas.

Grandfriends Day - April 24 - A fun concert and treats to share with our Grandfriends and Special Friends

Finally, if you'd like to review the minutes from the meeting, these are available on our Community Club website: While you're there you can also review our proposed Bylaws update that was shared at the meeting.

Minutes of Meeting - Rockbrook Community Club

New Community Club Website

This year the Rockbrook Community Club is pleased to announce the roll-out of a brand new website. This site will provide a one-stop-shop for volunteer and event sign-up, student directory, Community Club Minutes of Meeting and much more.

To get started it's important that you register for an account. Registration also allows you to select what information you wish to have included in the student directory. Click here to download instructions on how to register for your free account.

Finally, don't forget to download the Membership Toolkit App. This app gives you access to the site and student directory from your mobile device and makes it easy to keep in the know about upcoming Community Club events. (Please note, directory access requires approval by our web team to ensure all asking for access are current Rockbrook families.)

Student Council Informational Meeting

Who: 3rd-6th Graders

What: Learn about Student Council

When: Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Where: 8:10 a.m. in Mrs. Rice's Room

Mandatory to run for the fall semester

Gallup Night for 6th Grade Parents and Students

As you know, your sixth grade student had the opportunity to take the Gallup Strengths Explorer tool during first semester. You may have discussed their three strengths and heard about how they are learning more about these at school.

You and your child are invited to an interactive evening to further explore this tool and your child’s strengths. A Gallup representative will facilitate this event, and you will receive your child’s full report along with your Parent Playbook. You and your child can enjoy discussing the report together. If your child is unable to attend, you are welcome to come on your own.

The Gallup Parent/Child Nights will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 in the Westside Middle School cafeteria. Please contact your child’s school counselor if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 24th

Hillside Elementary

Sunset Hills Elementary

Swanson Elementary

Rockbrook Elementary

Westbrook Elementary

6th Grade Outdoor Ed

A reminder that 6th Graders will be at Outdoor Ed September 25th and 26th. Be sure you are on time Thursday for the bus in the morning.

Rockbrook Outdoor Classroom

The Rockbrook Outdoor Classroom Project was initiated in 2018 as a goal for Rockbrook Community Club’s Read-A-Thon Fundraiser. This fundraiser encourages families and friends to pledge funds in recognition of additional time and focus given by students to the importance of reading.

Funds were raised during the spring of 2018 and 2019 in order to meet cost estimates of the project.

Two Rockbrook Alumni and Westside Parents, Tom Wehling of Bigg Dogg Yard and Home Services and Brent Newman of Newman Lawn and Landscaping, contributed their time and expertise to complete the construction of a large stone sitting area behind the building.

Beginning this school year teachers will be able to bring up to two classes out at a time to enjoy the space, as well as availability for use by after school clubs and community groups that meet at the school.

A special thanks to all who contributed their support to this space, which will be enjoyed for years to come.

Second Step - Social Emotional Learning Curriculum

Dear Families,

Westside wants your student to be successful in school, and that means going beyond

the basics. Excelling in academic classes is important, but students also need to know

how to learn, make good decisions, handle strong emotions, and get along with others.

This year, we are implementing the Second Step social emotional learning program

at each elementary building to teach these critical skills. Your student will participate in

weekly lessons using a multimedia format, with opportunities to role play and

practice. Our kindergarten through fifth grade families will regularly receive Home

Links with simple, fun activities for your student to practice strategies outside of school.

Our sixth grade families will have online access to expert advice and practical tools for

dealing with real life stressors via Additional information was

provided at our building’s elementary Curriculum Night. If you have any questions about

our new social emotional learning program, please do not hesitate to contact me for

more information. Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills and concepts

that lead to success in school and in life.


Mr. Higginbotham, Principal & Ms. Davis, School Psychologist

After School Plans

Approving a Child to Go Home with Another Child's Parent:

In the event that you would like to approve your child to go home with another child's parent we need contact from both you and the other child's parent. This can be in the form of a note, email, or phone call to the office. Staff will not dismiss your child to another child's parent without prior contact, preferably to the main office so that this can be communicated to others (Classroom Teacher, Club66, etc).

Lunch at Rockbrook

We have a computerized meal program in operation in our district that allows parents to maintain an account for their child’s meal charges. Each student has their own account. When students go through the food line, the price of the breakfast, lunch, or any extra items such as extra pizza or extra milk is subtracted from their account. Students on free lunch may keep money in their account to pay for extra food items which are not included in the free lunch program.

Lunch Costs

The cost for a school lunch this year is $2.40 (40¢ for reduced) and $3.65 for adults. Extra milk or bottled water can be purchased for 50¢ per bottle. Breakfast is $1.50 for students (30¢ for reduced) and $2.35 for adults.

To deposit money into your child’s account you may bring a check or cash to the office, or you may go to and go to District Links. We do send a letter daily to any student whose account has become overdrawn. Please check your email, spam folder and MySchoolBucks account for your child's lunch balance. We need to have negative balances at zero or positive balances. This balance carries over to the next year. Start 2019-2020 year off right for your child's lunch account.

Running Late

Please let the office know if you are running late or have a morning appointment for your child. If your child plans on eating lunch from the cafeteria that day, PLEASE call and or email your child's lunch choice before 9 am.

Joining Your Child for Lunch

If you are joining your child for lunch, and want to eat lunch from the cafeteria, then you must call before 9 am to order your lunch choice. Adult lunch is $3.65, small bills are preferable for payment. If you are coming and bringing a lunch, then there is NO need to let the office know. To ensure that there is enough space for our out-of-school guests we ask that families eat with their own children only. We appreciate your understanding in this adjustment.

We cannot deduct your lunch from your child’s account as our computer will not let us charge the adult price on a student account.

Pizza Hut

Students may purchase extra slices from their lunch accounts when Pizza Hut is on the menu if they have a positive balance in their account. Extra slices cost $1.20. Parents, make sure you let your child know whether or not you want them to have an extra slice. Extra slices are not included with free or reduced lunch accounts. You need to make sure your child has the $1.20 for the extra slice.

Guest Table

To ensure that there is enough space for our out-of-school guests we ask that families eat with their own children only. We appreciate your understanding in this adjustment. If your child would like to sit with friends and room is available at the class table, parents may sit with their child’s class.

Rockbrook Fall Field Reservations

Fall Reservations for the Rockbrook Elementary field are now being accepted. To be fair to everyone who may want times, all advance reservations requests must be received by August 6th. Individual coaches should send an email with their first and second choice to: One hour increments only: 4-5p, 5-6p or 6-7p. Any duplicate requests will be selected via drawing. After August 7th, any additional reservations will be first come, first serve, AFTER the initial reservation schedule has been established and communicated.

Rockbrook Elementary, Early Childhood, and Club66 - Safe and Welcoming Inside and Out

The safety of our students and families is our top priority at Rockbrook. The best security, however, is only as good as the practices we implement in using it. Please help us in adhering to policies regarding student Drop Off and Pick Up.

Both Early Childhood (ECC) and Club66 Policy requires that all students be checked in to these programs by an adult, by walking children into the building. As ECC and Club66 staff operate from the south end of our building, we ask that all Early Childhood and Club66 attendees enter through the south end of our building unless stair access prohibits doing so.

All exterior doors at Rockbrook will remain locked except when being monitored by Rockbrook Staff during arrival and dismissal. School age students may be dropped off starting at 8:30 a.m. and enter through either the north or south entrance. Please be aware of the times below when entrances will be locked or open and monitored.

Before 8:30 - All entrances are locked, students and families must use the buzzer to request entry.

8:30-8:40 - North and south entrances will be open and supervised by Rockbrook Staff.

8:40-3:25 (2:55 on Wednesdays) - All entrances are locked, students and families must use the buzzer to request entry.

3:25 (2:55W) - 3:45 (3:15W) - North and south entrances will be open and supervised by Rockbrook Staff.

3:45-6:00 - All entrances are locked, students and families must use the buzzer to request entry.

(Note: for evening events, and access, arrangements for entry are being coordinated through our district office. Please contact Jennifer Fox at regarding evening access.)

If you will be dropping your child off after 8:45 you will also need to walk them in to the office and sign them in for the day. If students arrive without an adult between 8:45 and 3:30, parents will be contacted to remind you of this expectation.

When you are visiting the school, we would also remind you that all visitors must check in at the main office and get a visitor's badge. Anyone without a badge may be asked to return to the office to check in. If your child has forgotten something at home and you are quickly dropping this off, we are happy to accept this at the office and deliver items to the classroom.

Thank you for your support to keep Rockbrook Safe and Welcoming Inside and Out.

Your Partners in Education,

Mr. Garret Higginbotham, Principal & Ms. Julie Kathol, Site Director RBECC and Club66

Cell Phones and Smart Devices in School

We understand that it's important for students to be able to contact their parents before or after school.

Our expectation is that all cell phones are turned off and placed in a student's backpack while on school grounds.

In the event students need to contact their parent, calls can be made from classroom or office phones.

Students use of smart devices such as watches, fitness bands, smart headphones, etc. are handled on a case by case basis. Typically students are allowed to have these devices so long as they are not a disruption to learning or used in a way that distracts the student or others. Note: During state testing and other assessments, students may be asked to store their smart devices at the teacher's desk to ensure they are not used as part of testing.

Medication at School

For your child’s safety and for the safety of others, all medication, even cough’s drops, must be kept locked in the health office, it must be in the original package. All medication, including cough drops, needs to be accompanied by a medication form signed by the parent or guardian, all prescription medication forms must be signed by the doctor. Whenever possible, the medication should be administered at home.

Rockbrook Recess Equipment

Each grade level at Rockbrook has a set of recess equipment. Having each grade level with their own equipment encourages students to be responsible with the equipment, ensures all classes have similar access, and offers greater variety for students to play. We ask that students not bring equipment from home.

Dress Expectations

In order to ensure a positive learning environment where all feel comfortable and respected, please follow the following expectations regarding student dress. We expect students to wear clothing that:

  • Is clean, safe, and in good condition.

  • Is considerate of others.

  • Is free of advertisements, graphics, or language related to drugs, alcohol,

    tobacco, or violence.

  • Is free of sexual or disrespectful comments or graphics.

  • Covers appropriately. Halter tops, bare shoulders, and short shorts are not

    allowed per district dress code.

For a complete guideline for proper student dress please refer to our District Elementary Handbook

Flip-Flops & Recess / Gym, A Dangerous Combination

While flip-flops are a very cute and popular item, they present some safety challenges for our students out at recess and on gym days. If your student likes to be active at recess, please consider sending safer shoes for those recess / gym feet.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

Westside Community Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital/parental status, military/veteran status or any other category protected by law in its programs and activities or in admission or access to, or treatment in, hiring and employment, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following District personnel have been designated to coordinate compliance and can address inquiries about the District’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures:

For questions or concerns by students, parents or others:

• Coordinator of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator – ABC Bldg. 909 So. 76th St. Omaha (402) 390-2100 E-mail:

• Director of Special Services/ADA & 504 Coordinator (disability/accommodation) ABC Bldg. 909 So. 76th St. (402) 390-2100 E-mail:

For questions by District employees or applicants:

• Ass’t Supt. for Human Resources/Lead Title IX Coordinator - 909 So. 76th St. Omaha, NE (402) 390-2100

Student Illness

Office personnel will notify parents/guardian when a student needs to be sent home from school due to illness. Conditions requiring a student be sent home include: temperature greater than 100.0°F, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained rashes, or on determination by the school nurse that the child’s condition prevents meaningful participation in the educational program, presents a health risk to the child or others, or that medical consultation is warranted unless the condition resolves.

Parents should complete the online Annual Information Update each year to verify that emergency daytime phone numbers are current so that parents can be reached if their child becomes ill or is injured while at school. Parents should also inform the School Nurse or Health Assistant of health-related information they feel is important for each child’s safety and success at school.

When is My Child Too Sick for School

Send me to school if...

· I have a runny nose or just a little cough but no other symptoms.

· I haven't taken any fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours and I haven't had a fever during that time.

· I haven't thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours

Keep me at home if...

· I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees even after taking medicine.

· I'm throwing up or have diarrhea.

· My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if...

· I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees for more than two days.

· I have been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days

· I have the sniffles for more than a week and they aren't getting better.

· I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I'm having trouble breathing after using my inhaler.)

What We Do in the Event of Weather

We are lucky in Nebraska to get to enjoy all 4 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:

Cold Weather: So long as temperatures are 10° or warmer, students will be outside for recess, arrival, dismissal, safety patrol, and other outdoor activities.

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 at the south end of the building. Families coming to the school during this time are encouraged to take shelter with us until the warning has passed.

Deliveries During the School Day

It happens to all of us. We forget something we needed for school or work at home. Fortunately, sometimes parents are able to drop items off for their child. To keep student focus on learning we would ask that such items be dropped off to the office. We are happy to deliver these to your child or have your child’s teacher pick them up at an appropriate time. Parents wishing to visit their child during the day are encouraged to do so at lunch. We are also always looking for volunteers willing to help out in our library, work on clerical tasks, or to volunteer for times arranged with their child’s teacher.

Don't Forget

Students will be dismissed every Wednesday at 3:00.

Please be prompt as teachers are scheduled to leave the building each week to participate in professional learning communities.

Important Dates


10 Runza Dining Out for Education Night

11 School Pictures

18 Don & Millie’s Dining Out for Education Night

20 Fun Run, 2:39 p.m. (Rain Date 9/27)

25-26 6th Grade Outdoor Ed.

26 Jones Bros Dining Out for Education Night


1 Community Club Meeting - 6:00 p.m.

1 School Health Screenings

1 Planet Sub Dining Out for Education Night

8 Raising Cane’s Night

10 Rockbrook / Oakdale STEAM Night @ Oakdale

Welcome to Rockbrook Elementary - Home of the Bulldogs

Rockbrook Mission:

The mission of Rockbrook Elementary School, a diverse community of learners, is to foster learning by providing a quality educational experience within a secure and challenging environment.

Rockbrook School Design Goal:

At Rockbrook we will increase student engagement and achievement through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs.

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