Westwood Community Update

News and Information for Distance Learning - August 24-31

Wishing our Wildcats a happy (some belated) August birthday!

  • 1 - Charlotte Bonifacio, Ethan Huffman Cruz, Ahtziri Moya
  • 3 - Matthew Lewis
  • 4 - Xitlalie Cervantes
  • 5 - Delilah Jackson
  • 6 - Ahmad Bilal Aria, Caleb Quiambao
  • 8 - Gage VanBuskirk
  • 12 - Moira Maitland, Em'Maleah Reitz
  • 13 - Aidan Ferguson
  • 14 - Madelyn Cordero
  • 17 - Ethan Caudle
  • 18 - Koerell Kincaid
  • 19 - Brooke Do, Giovanni Passaglia
  • 22 - Jase Duncan, Eric Perez Martinez
  • 25 - Kayla Hill Sapp, Emma Huffman Cruz
  • 29 - Jenny Abenoja, Natalia Contreras
  • 30 - Amelia Orbegoso
  • 31 - Eli Frolick, Alicia Paredes


Dear Westwood Families,

Our first week of Distance Learning is behind us! Although it was not without its challenges, we made it through together! I appreciate and admire the patience and resilience demonstrated by our students, families, and staff as we began this journey together. We were encouraged by nearly 100% of our students showing up daily for live instruction, full of enthusiasm and excitement over getting to know their teachers and seeing their friends. Parents and caregivers demonstrated collaboration and problem solving skills by working with us and supporting each other to resolve login issues and offering assistance with a myriad of technical difficulties. The ability of our teachers to hold their chins up high when the going got rough - while faced with an audience of students, parents, grandparents, and daycare providers - set an example for showing grit and grace under fire. I am confident that everyone's experience will continue to improve as we become accustomed to our new routines, and learn and grow together.

I would like to thank the families who took time out of their week to express their gratitude to our staff - publicly and personally. A little appreciation goes a long way! Let's continue to celebrate together by sharing your Distance Learning highlights and encouraging each other. We understand that this situation is not ideal for anyone. Please know that we will do our best to help accommodate whatever challenges your family is facing in adjusting to this new learning experience. Do no hesitate to reach out to me and your child's teacher directly to brainstorm support strategies to best meet everyone's needs. We are in this together!


Mrs. Klinkner, Principal

Welcome to our Community!

We have a number of new staff members joining our community this year! Please help in providing them with a warm Wildcat welcome!

Ms. Gabby McBride - 5th Grade Teacher

Ms. Lorraine Ellis-Falik - 4th/5th Grade Special Day Class Teacher

Ms. Diane Gard - 4th/5th Grade Teacher for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Ms. Jennifer Neys - Library-Media Specialist

Mr. Michael Hanna - Vocal Music Teacher

Ms. Jenny Ross - English Learner Support Teacher

Ms. Jackie Capie - Itinerant Teacher for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Ms. Tara Cahill - Speech-Language Pathologist

Ms. Kerry Little - Office Manager

Mark Your Calendars!

Back-to-School Nights will be taking place throughout the week (Zoom links will be shared directly by your classroom teachers)!


Tuesday -

  • Principal's BTS Week Kick-Off (6:00pm, Zoom)
  • Kindergarten, K/1 DHH, K-2 Special Day Class (6:30-7:00)
  • 1st Grade (7:00-7:30)


  • 2nd Grade, 2/3 DHH (6:30-7:00)
  • 3rd Grade (6:30-7:00)


  • 4th Grade, 4/5 DHH, 4/5 Special Day Class (6:30-7:00)
  • 5th Grade (7:00-7:30)

Stronger Together!

Our focus over the first weeks of school will be to establish caring classroom communities in which students experience a safe and predictable routine while building supportive and positive relationships with their teachers, support staff, and their peers. This is especially important as we all continue to experience varying degrees of trauma related to the extended shelter-in-place. Teachers will be teaching and modeling strategies for processing hard feelings and building resilience through a series of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) modules. In addition, these SEL lessons and other resources will be shared with our students' families to expand the network of support.

Research shows that building community, even virtually, is a key factor to mental wellness. There are many ways in which our Westwood families can connect with each other to provide support and encouragement, and actively work to improve our school community:

  • Become a part of the Parent-Faculty Club and join other dedicated parents in the effort to engage in community service, social justice, and fundraising opportunities to improve your child's learning experience. Find out more on their website: https://www.westwoodpfc.org
  • Nominate yourself or somebody you know to serve as a member of our School Site Council (SSC). The SSC is a group of parents and staff members who meet monthly to help develop our Plan for Student Achievement, monitor school activities, and make decisions related the allocation of school site funds. See nomination information below.
  • If your child is learning English in addition to a different home language, join other parents who support multilingualism by participating in monthly English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) meetings. Please look for a schedule of meetings coming soon!
  • Join and share your story through social media. In addition to our public Twitter account (@MDUSDWildcats) and Facebook page (@WestwoodElementarySchool), we also offer grade level specific Facebook groups moderated by fellow parents. Search for your child's group by graduating class (Westwood Class of 20XX).
  • Show pride in our community by purchasing school spirit wear at https://www.westwoodpfc.org/spirit-wear

Now Taking Nominations for School Site Council - We Need You!

We have openings on our School Site Council for parent/community members for the 2020-2021 school year. This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard, and to be a part of the decision-making process that directly impacts our Westwood Wildcats!

Please complete a Nomination Form to nominate yourself or another member of our community: English, Espanol

The School Site Council (SSC) is a school community’s representative body, made up of school staff, parents/community members. The primary responsibility of the SSC is to participate in the development and monitoring of the Single Plan for Student Achievement, evaluate the effectiveness of programs, monitor the use of supplemental funding available to the school site, seek input from school advisory committees, and reaffirm or revise school goals. Westwood is currently seeking two parent/community nominees with the goal of providing a choice of candidates who represent the cultural, racial, and linguistic diversity of our community.

Parent Academy Information

MDUSD has assembled the Parent Academy: an enriching informational series to help parents navigate distance learning. All families are welcome to take advantage of the schedule of training sessions, with live Spanish interpretation. In cased you missed a session, the slide presentations will be made available. See their flyers for a schedule of sessions (English, Espanol)

MDUSD Drive-Thru Meal Service

Our twelve Meal Service Centers are happy to serve students quickly and safely. Meal services are currently served at cost, reduced cost, or free according to student eligibility. All meals require student verification to receive meals through the School Breakfast, National School Lunch, and After School Snack Programs. Find a Meal Service Center near you: Pick-up Meal Services Flyer | Servicio de Recoger

Are you interested in applying for Free and Reduced Price Meals? Visit our Food and Nutrition Department webpage to get started.

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Virtual Scholastic Book Fair

Check out our online Book Fair taking place now through September!

Nancy Klinkner, Principal

Westwood Elementary, established in 1958, is a K-5 public school in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, with an enrollment of 300 students. In addition to our 9 General Education classrooms, we also host 3 classes for students enrolled in our Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing program, and 2 classes for students with moderate/severe disabilities. We are a diverse and caring community, with a dedicated staff and amazing students!