Panther Press

Summer Edition - 2020

Prairie Lane Elementary

(West Campus)

3534 South 108 Street

Office 402-390-6470

Day Care/Club 402-390-8209

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Meet Our 2020 - 2021 Prairie Lane Staff

Principal - Belinda Westfall

Secretary - Janis Thompson

Health Assistant - Carole Anderson

Certified Staff

KDG - Sarah Schuppan, Molly Seals

Gr 1 - Sandy Fey, Karen Neuman

Gr 2 - Taylor Wilken, Alexa Marshall

Gr 3 - DeAnne Stroud, Sarah Volk

Gr 4 - Jill Langhorst, Leon Micek

Gr 5 - Kolene Krysl, Stephanie Sinnott

Gr 6 - April Bridwell, Richard Christie

TLC - Jordan Forehead, Michele Marino

Library/Media - Molly Matheson

PE - Barry Glanzer

Art - Bryn Johnson

Music - Nolan Pribnow

Band - Mike Freeman

Strings - Viktoria Matheson

EY - Megan Thompson

ELL - Hillary Haddix

Reading - Janelle Strecker

Speech - Claudia Kinnaman

Psychologist - Meghan Morrissey

Behavioral Interventionist - Jennifer Borges

Classified Staff

Educational Assistants - Angela Mitchell, Danica Burton, Marinna Smith, Taylor Trout, Betty Johnson, Trudy Foster

Day Custodian - Rusty Mailliard

Night Custodian - Rupert Pottinger

Temporary Location for Prairie Lane School

Prairie Lane Elementary is being rebuilt. We are now located at the SWING school (West Campus), 3534 South 108th Street until our new building is complete. We are very excited about the changes coming to Prairie Lane!

School Arrival-New Start time for WCS Elementaries

8:00-8:20 am Staff Planning

8:20 am First Bell

8:30 am Classes Begin

3:30 pm M, T, Th, F Dismissal

Our school day now begins at 8:30 am. Students may enter the building at 8:20 am. We will have supervision outside starting at 8:10. We ask that students not arrive before 8:10 am unless:

  • Participating in a school activity
  • Serving on Safety Patrol Working with a teacher
  • Attending Club 66 Before & After Care program

Teachers are involved in team meetings, staff meetings and individual planning from 8:00-8:20 am.

Thanks for your continued cooperation.

Big picture


Each school day begins with taking attendance. It is very important that students be in their classrooms by 8:30 am or they will be counted absent.

Please help us with this by calling the office at 402-390-6495 by 8:40 am when your student is not coming to school or will be late for school. Safety is our focus in making this request.

Students coming in after 8:30 am or after attendance is taken in the afternoon must come to the office and sign in. Students coming or going during the day for appointments, illness, etc., must also sign in and out through the office.

Start-Up Calendar


14 Virtual Meet the Teacher

18 First Day of School


7 - Labor Day - NO SCHOOL

21 - Professional Learning - NO SCHOOL

You can link to the calendar at

Big picture

Preparing Your Child for Wearing a Mask at School

Big picture

SPECIAL REPORT Worried about your child wearing a mask at school this fall? This Omaha pediatrician has some tips

Ashlee Coffey Jul 8, 2020

As families start thinking about going back to school this fall during a pandemic, many parents are wondering about the use of masks at school.

Can kids breathe well under the masks? Will they be deprived of oxygen? How about carbon dioxide poisoning? Will they keep them on? Do kids even need them?

Dr. Melissa St. Germain, a pediatrician with Children’s Physicians and president of the Nebraska Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has heard it all from parents, and has helpful tips in return.

Here, she discusses how parents can help make sure their children are properly wearing masks, as well as how to get kids to wear them and keep them on.

Will they be able to breathe?

Wearing a mask doesn’t prevent you from getting oxygen or cause carbon dioxide poisoning, St. Germain said. “Pretty much all health care workers have been wearing a mask all day for the last four months. So they are safe. We need to wear them, or we’ll have outbreaks at school and be back to virtual schooling, and we don’t want that.”

Kids older than 2 should wear masks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids over the age of 2 wear masks whenever they are in potential exposure situations, or within 6 feet of another person. Kids under 2 years old shouldn’t wear a mask because “you can’t trust they’re not going to play with it, try and eat it, put it on backward or leave it on,” St. Germain said.

“The risk becomes worse than the benefit at the point because they’re more likely to touch them. If they come into an office, we recommend parents cover them with a blanket (in their car seat).”

But what if you’re outside?

If your family is planning to be outside and at least 6 feet away from anyone, St. Germain said kids don’t need to wear masks, but that it’s a good idea to have some with you.

Masks should fit correctly.

When purchasing or making a mask for a child, the most important thing is the fit. The mask should cover their mouth and nose without any gaps around the sides.

“If it doesn’t fit, you’re going to be more likely to touch it and adjust it,” St. Germain said.

She noted that several places sell kids masks, including Etsy, Old Navy and Crayola, which makes adjustable masks — a good idea for growing kids.

Children’s Hospital created a video for younger kids about the importance of wearing a mask, as well as how to wear one correctly. There’s a video for older kids as well.

How often should masks be washed?

St. Germain recommends having a five-day supply on hand for each child because masks should be washed every day.

“They get kind of damp by the end of the day,” she said.

How do you get your child to wear a mask?

St. Germain recommends having kids practice wearing masks now. Start by wearing them a few minutes a day, and work your way up to an hour and longer, she said. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding kids for leaving their masks on and not touching them.

“A sticker chart or a prize at the end of the week goes a long way,” she said.

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

If you have a child who refuses to wear a mask or maybe has special health care needs that make it impossible to wear one safely, St. Germain recommends talking with your doctor to figure out the best approach and plan for using a mask safely.

“There are some other options that don’t fit as closely to the face, like a face shield made out of clear plexiglass,” she said. “Look at it now and figure out the best type of mask for your child.”

What if your kids are scared?

For kids who might be scared of wearing a mask, St. Germain said exposure can help.

“Some of these kids haven’t been out of the house a whole lot for the last few months, so they don’t see people out wearing masks,” she said. “If the parents, doctors and everyone else are saying, ‘Masks help; they’re safe and keep germs away,’ it’s not scary. Kids respond really well to that.”

Kids will get used to it.

St. Germain said getting kids to wear a mask is similar to a lot of other things parents make kids do that they might not always enjoy — like brushing their teeth or sitting in a car seat.

“Kids don’t like being in car seats, but when we teach them that’s the only safe way to get somewhere, they get used to it,” she said.

Have a good attitude, and your children will follow.

Probably the biggest way parents can help kids deal with wearing masks is to have a good attitude about it.

“Modeling is going to be important. Kids will live up to the expectations we set for them,” St. Germain said. “Like potty training or other behavior changes, it’ll take time to get used to. But a positive attitude toward the behavior goes a long way.”

Optional Mask Pick-Up

If your child doesn't have a mask, the district will provide you with one. You may pick-up your child's mask on August 14th between 4:30 - 5:30 pm by driving up to the front entrance. If you already have a mask, your child will get their three district provided masks on their first day of school.

What Does Yellow Mode Mean? Click below for details outlined by Westside Community Schools.

Bus News

Prairie Lane neighborhood pick up points will be the same as last year. If you are new to the neighborhood, Julie at ABC will be contacting you. Buses will leave Prairie Lane at approximately 3:35 pm for the return trip home.

Bus families can expect a letter the first week of school regarding bus conduct and guidelines. Students will be expected to wear masks while riding on the bus each day.

Virtual Meet the Teacher Night (Sneak-A-Peek)

  • Meet the Teacher Nights at all Westside elementary schools will be VIRTUAL for the 2020/2021 school year.

  • On August 14th, we will send you the link to access the video shared by your child's classroom teacher, specials teachers, and building administration. In these videos your teachers will share about themselves, what they are excited about for the new school year, and a tour of your classroom.

Extended Learning Campus Student Material Pick-up

For students who opted into the Extended Learning Campus, iPad, materials and mask pick-up will be available on August 17th or 19th at 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Your 20-21 classroom teacher will contact student families during the week of August 10th.

The Returning Student Registration

All returning students must have their information updated so we have current contact information for back-to-school communication this summer. Starting this year, May was the time to get current students registered for the 2020-2021 school year. If you haven't completed your Returning Student Registration, you can do so starting August 3rd.

You'll receive a reminder email.

  • How do I get started?
Login to your parent PowerSchool account at Click on the Returning Student Registration button. Remember that the registration must be completed for each returning Westside student in your home. Once you're finished, your child will be registered for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • What if I forgot my PowerSchool account login information?

You can reset your password using the “Forgot Username or Password?” link on the login page ( Please be aware that the recovery email will be sent to the email address you used to create the account, which may not be your current email address.

If you need further assistance please email

or call 402-390-2100.

Information On-Line

All Westside Community Schools will communicate news and information via our school and district websites as well as email. Please check your Back to School registration to make sure we have your most current email address!

• Monthly Newsletter and Weekly Notes - These will be sent to you via email and are filled with important information for you about current events.

• Parent-Student Handbook and other important information can be found at

Please Keep Us Informed

If you know that your child will not be attending Prairie Lane in the Fall, please call the ABC Welcome Center at 402-390-2603 as soon as possible.

Additionally, the school office must be updated on any legal documentation concerning your child, including restraining orders or custody changes.

2020 - 2021 Meal Information

Student Prices:

Breakfast: $1.60 (Reduced: $0.30)

Lunch: $2.50 (Reduced: $0.40)

Extra Main: $1.20

Water or Extra Milk* $0.50

*Cost of lunch includes one milk. Water is always extra.

Adult Prices

Breakfast $2.60

Lunch $4.10

BREAKFAST PROGRAM - Breakfast is served from 8:10 - 8:30 daily. Our breakfast program will be available beginning August 18, the first day of school.


  • CASH OR CHECK - Breakfast and lunch charges come out of the same account. Each student in your family has a separate account, but you may send one check to be divided. Please make checks out to “Prairie Lane.” You may drop lunch money in the “lunchbox” at the office during our Sneak-A-Peek night or anytime. Be sure to include your child's NAME.

Free/Reduced Applications - Applications for free/reduced meals must be completed every year regardless of whether you qualified in the past. Forms are available on-line now and anytime at .

Health Information

School Nurse

Andrea Baughman will be the district nurse assigned to our school. She visits us regularly, once a week but is available to us at anytime if needed.

Carole Anderson, our Health Assistant, will be in the office everyday for daily health matters.

Medication Administration Policy

Medication should be brought to school only when it is not possible to arrange administration outside of school hours. All prescription and over-the-counter medications, including medicated creams, eye drops, ear-drops, herbal products, and cough drops, must be provided to the school by the parent/guardian in the pharmacy- or manufacturer- labeled container. Repackaged and expired medications will not be accepted.

• A Medication Authorization form must be completed for any medication taken at school. These forms may be obtained from the Health Office or on the school website. The physician portion of the medication form must be signed by your doctor for any prescription medication. Non-prescription medicines can only be kept at school for two weeks at a time. If more time is needed, the form must be updated by a parent.

• Students are not permitted to keep any type of medication with them; all medication must be kept in the health office. The only exception is for students who must carry an inhaler for asthma, in which case a parent/guardian must submit written verification from a physician that the student is able to self-carry and self-manage.

Student Illness Guidelines

• 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. Before allowing a child exhibiting any of these symptoms to return to school, parents should be sure that the child has been symptom- and fever-free for 24 hours without the assistance of medication.

• Parents should complete the online Back-to-School Update each year to verify that all 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.

Prairie Lane Community Club Welcomes You

We are a parent teacher association involved in the betterment of the school for its students, teachers and support staff. Throughout the school year, Community Club provides fun activities and fundraising events for the betterment of our school. As a self-sustaining organization, the Prairie Lane Community Club relies on parent and teacher volunteers to coordinate and run all the activities and fundraising events.

The 2020-21 PLCC Board :

President - Nichole Trovoto

Vice President - Megan McCall

Secretary - Kelley Meyers

Treasurer - Anna Lehotyak

Due to COVID-19 PLCC will not host any on campus events sponsored by Prairie Lane or PLCC during the first quarter. Decisions about events after this timeframe will be made several weeks after school begins. All WCS Elementaries will follow these guidelines.

Keep Saving Those BOX TOPS!

Keep saving your Box Tops over the summer and bring them into the office next year. Every Box Top earns money for your school!

Student Dress Code - From the Student Handbook

Students in the Westside Community Schools are expected to dress in a way that is appropriate for the school setting. Students should not dress in a manner that is dangerous to the health and safety of anyone or interferes with the learning environment or teaching process in our school. Following is a list of examples of attire that will not be considered appropriate; this list is not exclusive, and other forms of attire may be deemed by the Principal to be inappropriate for the school setting:

  1. Clothing that shows an inappropriate amount of bare skin or underwear (midriffs, spaghetti straps, sagging pants) or clothing that is too tight, revealing or baggy, or tops and bottoms that do not overlap or any material that is sheer or lightweight enough to be seen through, or otherwise of an appropriate size and fit so as to be revealing or drag on the ground.
  2. Shorts, skirts, etc. that do not extend downward at least as far as the student’s fingertips when the student is standing fully upright with arms relaxed at his or her side.
  3. Sleepwear and slippers, including pajama bottoms, blankets and costumes, unless part of a school-sponsored activity.
  4. Clothing or jewelry that advertises or promotes beer, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.
  5. Clothing or jewelry that could be used as a weapon (chains, spiked apparel) or that would encourage “horseplay” or that would damage property (e.g. cleats).
  6. Head wear including hats, caps, bandannas, scarves and hoods worn over the head.
  7. Clothing or jewelry which exhibits nudity, profanity, sexual references or lewd, indecent, or vulgar double meaning.
  8. Clothing or jewelry that is gang related.
  9. Heavy coats and jackets.

Violations of dress code will expose the student to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education 2020-21

Outdoor Education is a time honored tradition for 6th graders in the Westside Community Schools. The experience at Platte River State Platte traditionally takes place in the fall during the sixth grade year. Due to an abundance of caution, Outdoor Education will be postponed and moved to the spring of 2021. The District will continue to evaluate and to receive recommendations from local experts as the year progresses towards spring as we want Outdoor Education to be a positive, safe and healthy experience for all sixth graders and our staff.

Visitor Policy

Access to Prairie Lane will be limited to current students, current staff, approved vendors and contractors, and invited visitors with administrative approval. Until further notice, no other visitors will be permitted. For more specific information, please view the district’s pandemic return to learn plan.

Personal Property Reminder

Students are reminded that all personal items, such as skateboards, ipods, toys, footballs, basketballs, etc., are not to be brought to school unless specifically requested by the classroom teacher. These items could be damaged or lost.

Club 66 is currently FULL for Fall Enrollment. You may contact Stephanie if you would like to be placed on the wait list. 402-390-8209

District Approved Snack List

All snacks provided for class must come from the District Approved List below. Students may bring individual snacks for themselves that aren't on this list, but we still encourage foods from this list when possible to help keep all of our learners safe.

School Supplies - Click the Link Below

  • *Students will not be sharing communal school supplies this year.
  • Please send a water bottle to school with your child.
  • Please send a bottle of hand-sanitizer to keep at their desk.
  • Please place names on all items and containers.

We know it's a lot to carry, so please feel free to send your student's school supplies with them over the first few days of school.

We understand this list is long. Thank you for purchasing what you can during this time.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Annual AHERA Notice

The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) requires each public school district to annually notify parents, staff, and employee groups of its asbestos management plans. A management plan is in place for [name of school] and is available for review either at the school building or at the Westside Service Center, 9437 J St. Omaha, NE.

This school building was originally inspected in the1980’s and re-inspected by a certified inspector every three years thereafter. The three-year re-inspection and a ceiling tile inspection was conducted in 2019, and periodic surveillance will be conducted as required. No abatement activities are currently in progress or scheduled for the 2020-2021 school year at this building.

The Designated Person responsible for managing the District’s AHERA compliance and the contact person for questions or to review a management plan is the Director of Facilities, Russ Olsen (402) 390-8331.

Big picture

Click Here for Some Awesome Back to School Offers from Our Community:

Have a Safe, Respectful, Responsible!