Westside Pride

November 2018

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A Message From The Superintendent

This week, we recognized seven outstanding alumni who graduated from our schools, and have gone on to achieve incredible success in a variety of career fields. Among them: a globally respected doctor with the Centers for Disease Control; a financial expert, overseeing a billion-dollar annual budget; and a technological visionary whose work is behind some of culture’s biggest entertainment and scientific breakthroughs. We also honored five individuals as Lighthouse Leaders, community members who have gone above and beyond to support our schools.

As I looked around the room at the Hall of Fame dinner on Thursday evening, I thought: what an incredible gathering of people. We all have one thing in common: we are invested in Westside Community Schools. I want to congratulate all of our honorees, each of whom has impacted our District in unique ways, understanding their many talents and developing them into strengths that led to their success.

Click here to read more from Dr. McCann, and to learn more about our 2018 Hall of Fame honorees and Lighthouse Leaders!

Boundary Process Public Forum: November 8

The Boundary Committee has narrowed its focus to four potential boundary proposals. All scenarios and maps will be presented at a public forum on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00pm at Swanson Elementary/Swing School. Click the button above for details.


Kaitlyn Hanna, Westside High School

Westside High School freshman Kaitlyn Hanna tied for first place at the girls Class A state golf tournament in Norfolk. Hanna scored a 76 in the rain at Norfolk Country Club on October 9, just four strokes over par. The NSAA called the event due to weather; Hanna tied with Omaha Marian senior Jalea Culliver. Hannah is believed to be the first freshman in 33 years to win a girls state golf title. Congratulations to Kaitlyn - and her coach, Barry Glanzer!

Jeanette Kleppinger, Westside High School

Westside High School Business Teacher Jeanette Kleppinger has been named the 2018 Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force. The group, also known as NETForce, recognizes educators who have made significant contributions toward the organization, implementation, development or evaluation of entrepreneurship education in Nebraska. Kleppinger was a key figure in the creation of the Nebraska Furniture Mart School of Entrepreneurial Thinking, a groundbreaking $150,000 partnership between Westside Community Schools and Nebraska Furniture Mart. In addition to overseeing this pilot as the new Teacher of Entrepreneurial Thinking, Kleppinger is also a leader in the award-winning Westside High School Business Department.

Girls Cross Country, Westside Middle School

Congratulations to the Westside Middle School Girls Cross Country Team, champions at the 2018 Nebraska Junior High Cross Country meet! The team consisted of Claire White (7), Heike Lowe (7), Cece Gerard (7), Kailie Kaufman (7), Ava Paulson (8), Michelle Dong (8), and Elaine Wiles (8). Out of the more than 200 student athletes, Claire White placed 4th overall and Heike Lowe placed 14th overall! Congratulations to the team, and to coaches Emily Vlcek, Ashley Sams and Thomas Benedetto.
Click here to read more!

Learn more about the Westside students and staff recognized this month throughout our schools, community, and beyond!


8th Grade Information Night

Please mark your calendars: all current 8th grade students and their families are invited to attend the 2019 Westside High School Information Night on Monday, January 14th at 5:30pm.

- 5:30 Presentation in the WHS Auditorium including details about curriculum, departments, electives and activities

- 6:15 Tour of Westside High School

This event is key for any and all students planning to attend and graduate from Westside High School. We hope to see you on January 14th!

Photo courtesy Emily Bauer for Westside Journalism

Construction Updates

Click here to read more about construction updates at Prairie Lane, Swanson, and Westbrook!



Westside ACT Scores 1.4 Points Higher Than State Average

The following is a message from Dr. Mark Weichel,

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning

The 2018 graduating class is the first across the state where all students were required to take the ACT as their state test, which added students to the profile who had not previously taken the exam. As a point of comparison, in 2014, 353 students (80% of the graduating class) took the ACT exam while this year, 466 students (99% of the graduating class) took the exam. That is more than 100 additional students!

With almost all students taking the test, the state average composite went from 21.2 in 2017 to 20.1 in 2018 (-1.3). At the same time, the District composite went from 22.2 for the class of 2017 to 21.5 for the class of 2018 (-.7). In 2017, we were .8 points above the state average, and even though our composite decreased in 2018, we were 1.4 points above the state average. While we are always looking to get better, it is a point of celebration to see our district’s distance widen from the overall composite state average in overall ACT.

Two additional notes: the ACT, while important, is just one test on one day. Also, seeing students be successful at the high school level like this is a result of everyone’s hard work. Students don’t just “get it” at the high school level independently of what occurred in the years prior. Without strong elementary, middle, and high school programs and outstanding educators and support staff, continued success for our graduates would not occur.

Click here to read Dr. Weichel's full breakdown of ACT Test Scores.

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Join the Westside Team!

Westside Community Schools has immediate openings for

Part-Time Education Assistants / Paraprofessionals

Are you or someone you know looking for a flexible way to put some extra money in your pocket? Would you enjoy flexible hours that would fit into your busy schedule? Are you interested in being on the same work schedule as your children’s school schedule? If so please apply! Applications can be submitted online through Recruit & Hire found BY CLICKING HERE!

Help us help others!

From now until November 6th, Westside Middle School students are raising money for an adaptive tricycle for a Westside elementary student with a mobility disability. If you'd like to help, CLICK HERE, then "Order Online Now" and enter our school code which is WES345. You will have the option of shipping items directly to your home, or have it delivered to you by the student. This is a great option for friends and family that are out of town.

All checks should be written to Westside Middle School, with Bova Genius Time as the memo. The group will also be taking donations from anyone who would prefer to donate as opposed to buying something from the catalog. To ask questions or to donate, please email Mr. Matt Bova at bova.matt@westside66.net.

Superintendent Search

The Westside Superintendent position is now officially open to applicants. The Board of Education anticipates having the candidate field narrowed down to finalists by mid-January, when interviews will begin taking place.

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Nominate a Westside Teacher of the Month!

This year we are once again recognizing a Westside educator every month with a $100 check thanks to PinPoint Home Sales Group with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Ambassador Real Estate. Simply click this link to submit a nomination!

YOU ARE INVITED: Westside Unified Carnival!

Westside Community Schools is excited to offer our third Unified Activity this year. This is part of our Special Olympics Unified Schools Program, a fast­ growing initiative that brings students with and without intellectual disabilities together.

Where: Westbrook’s gym (1312 Robertson Drive)

When: Thursday, November 29th from 5:30pm-6:30pm

What: A carnival will be set up in the school gym. Enjoy ring toss, fishing over curtains, can toss, bean bag toss, sucker pyramid and much more!! We will also have rock painting, and dancing in separate rooms. Come and experience the Westbrook Unified Carnival!

RSVP Needed for Participation

If you and your child(ren) are interested in participating, please download the following linked informational flyer to learn more and to let us know if you are planning to attend.


11/2 State Tournament, WHS Football vs Millard West, 7pm

11/3 Loveland Haunted Hood GURLS Fun Run & 5K, 9am

11/4 Westside Cabaret, 3-5pm & 7-9pm @ WHS

11/5 Board of Education meeting, 6:30pm @ ABC

11/8 Paddock Road Fall Learning Celebration, 5:30pm


11/8-11/9 WMS Fall Play: The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, 7pm

11/9 Veterans Day Celebrations at PR, RB, SH, SW, WB & WG

11/10 Westside High School Craft Fair, 9am-4pm

11/12 Veterans Day Breakfasts at Hillside & Oakdale

11/12 Westgate 4th-6th Vocal Music Concert, 7pm @ WMS

11/13 Bond Oversight Committee meeting, 6pm @ ABC

11/13 8th Grade Band/Chorus Concert, 7pm @ WMS

11/15 Westbrook 3rd-4th Grade Music Programs

11/16 Community Council meeting, 9:15am @ ABC

11/16 District Spelling Bee, 9:15am @ WMS

11/16 Westgate Family Night, 5:30pm

11/17 Warrior 5K Run, 10:30am @ WMS

11/19 Board of Education meeting, 6:30pm @ ABC

11/20 Grandfriends Day at Prairie Lane & Swanson

11/20 Oakdale Turkey Trot, 2:45pm


11/24 Westside Alumni Basketball Tournament @ WHS

11/27 7th-8th Grade Strings Concert, 7pm @ WMS

11/28-11/30 Project 66 Showcase, 7pm @ WHS

11/29 Boundary Committee meeting, 6pm @ Swanson/Swing School

11/29 Unified Carnival, 5:30pm @ Westbrook

11/29 Varsity Basketball games & Sparkles performance @ WHS

11/29 Hillside 5th-6th Grade Vocal Music Concert, 7pm @ WMS

11/30 Hillside Family Night, 6pm

Paddock Road Kindergarteners Ready For Veterans Day!


Westside Safe Schools Hotline Available 24/7

Westside families now have another safe, easy-to-reach outlet for sharing their concerns and getting help when they need it. The Westside Safe Schools Hotline is now available at 402-390-2118. This hotline number is printed on all WHS student ID badges and can be used by anyone who has concerns about safety, bullying, depression, suicide, substance abuse, relationship issues, or anything else that could threaten someone’s physical or emotional well-being.

The Westside Safe Schools Hotline connects callers with trained Boys Town National Hotline counselors who are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Callers are not required to give their names. We encourage parents to talk with their children about this service should they ever need it. Thank you for your help in keeping all students safe and supported at Westside Community Schools.

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