Westside Pride

September 2022

Our WHY At Westside Community Schools


Our Westside Back To School Celebration, marking 75 years of District 66, was a success thanks to our incredible community! THANK YOU to everyone who spent some time with us on August 14, and a very special thank you to the small army of students, Community Clubs, businesses and district staff members who volunteered to make this event so special!

Click here to check out our full photo album from our celebration!

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Board of Education Meeting: Tuesday, September 6

The next Board of Education Meeting will take place Tuesday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the ABC Administration Building, 909 S. 76th St. All meeting materials will be posted on our website once available.


Student Achievement and Well-Being

Studies consistently show that when students are excited to attend school, and when they feel welcomed and included, they perform better academically and display healthier, more productive behaviors at school and at home. With that in mind, Westbrook Elementary rolled out the red carpet, literally, for their learners on the first day of school, cheered on by the Westside Cheer and Dance Teams as they entered the building for the first time.

"The extra things like a red carpet makes the first day back to school fun and exciting, and these small touches are really important and something we are seeing in all of our schools," said Robert Aranda, Westside Director of Student Services. "When a child is happy in school, they open themselves up more, they try new things, they build relationships, and most importantly, they feel good about themselves and grow as young people. That's what we are here for: academic excellence and nurturing the whole child."

Watch Westbrook's First Day in this story by Jonah Gillmore & KETV!

Community, Collaboration and Partnerships

The Westside Family Resource Center is a private facility open to all families and students to access FREE clothing and food. Thanks to a generous Westside family with donations to the W Club and Westside Foundation, and dedicated volunteers from the Westside Community Council, families can privately browse and select items like daily clothing, coats, shoes and more, as well as groceries and pantry items.

The Westside Family Resource Center is running low on many items. If you are willing and able, we gratefully accept physical and monetary donations. You may also click the Amazon link included below to purchase items to be shipped directly to our gift registry volunteers.

To drop off a donation: visit the Westside Family Resource Center at Pipal Community Center - 7770 Hascall St. (next to Westgate Elementary School). The entrance to the Resource Center is located at the Northeast corner of the building. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until Noon.

To make a monetary donation: you can Venmo @WestsideCC-Omaha (the Westside Community Council) and note your donation is for the Family Resource Center.

To purchase new items: click here to purchase items pre-selected by our volunteers on Amazon.

If you would like more information about how to visit the Westside Family Resource Center, please click on the button below to connect with your school counselor.

Our School Social Workers Are Here For You!

Our caring team of school social workers are here to support your child and family! If you need food, clothing, utilities, or other support, contact your principal, or click above for our latest Social Worker newsletter!

Supported and Engaged Staff

Swanson Elementary 1st Grade Teacher Maggie Person has been awarded the Westside Royalty Cup for the month of August. This award is presented to one Westside employee, team or department each month for their exemplary work to make our students and staff 'feel like royalty.'

Person dedicated a substantial portion of her summer to co-organize our Westside Summer Camp program to help learners who may have fallen behind during COVID-19. She is also an ambassador for our teachers, serving on the Westside Education Association, and she is a member of the Westside Facilities Task Force. She is a constant source of positivity, leadership, and inspiration, truly making those around her feel like royalty.

The Westside Royalty Cup was created to highlight District 66 staff members who are going above and beyond to make a difference in our schools. Each month, district leaders choose one employee, team or department for this honor. Because we know behind every remarkable employee is an outstanding team supporting them, that employee's entire building or department is celebrated with a special event, thanks to the generosity of our community donors. This month, Bob & Colleen Hurtado (a Westside family who owns Street Eats Food Truck, Bob's Grill and Cafe, The Catering Company) sponsored an ice cream party for all Swanson Elementary staff and all of Swanson's 1st grade students.

Congratulations, Mrs. Person!

Are you interested in sponsoring the Westside Royalty Cup, or know someone who is a deserving recipient? Please email communications@westside66.net


Behind The Calendar - AUGUST

Have you received a printed calendar for the 2022-23 school year? This annual family favorite is provided FREE to all Westside students, families and students thanks to local, community businesses.


Our featured photo for August 2022 showcases three Hillside Elementary teachers: Tracy Murnan, Dani Bench and Sara Elder. We love this photo because it showcases the energy, creativity and teamwork these great 2nd grade partners show daily to inspire and engage learners.

From Hillside Principal Cynthia Bailey: "The second grade team at Hillside works collaboratively to be sure all students in second grade learn. They bring a sense of humor with them every day, and they are a colorful, fun, and dedicated team. I am grateful for them every day."

Behind The Calendar - SEPTEMBER


Our featured photo for September 2022 showcases Mrs. Person's 2021-22 1st grade class at Swanson Elementary. The story behind this photo: meeting their class fish for the first time, after a hard fought campaign for their newest Superstar!

From Principal Jennifer Harr: "Students were to write persuasive letters to the principal asking for a fish. They had to answer the questions: why should they get a fish, how would they get the fish, and who would take care of the fish? The letters were very persuasive and the fish joined its new 'school'."

Would you like a copy of our 2022-23 printed calendar? Please email communications@westside66.net.


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Feeling Lucky? Support VI VI and win big!

Feeling lucky?🍀 Westside VI VI raffle tickets are now available! Support your favorite Westside students & teachers by purchasing your tickets today - $100 per ticket for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize! Purchase via Venmo* (@westsideraffle), PayPal*, (westsideraffle@gmail.com), or check payable to Westside Foundation. ❤️🖤

If paying electronically, please include in your payment comments:

1. Phone number

2. Email address

3. State that you saw this in the Westside Pride newsletter

*Per NE gaming regulations, credit card payments are prohibited.

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Download the Westside Community Schools App!

Quick access to lunch menus? Easy checks of school calendars? The latest news from the district and your child's school? THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!

CLICK HERE to download the FREE APP for Westside Community Schools!

In one click, you can personalize the information important to you and your family including which schools to follow, important district news and updates, PowerSchool access, and MySchoolBucks - all in one place! You can also search for the app - Westside Community Schools - in the Apple Store and via Google Play.

Download the Westside Warriors Activities App!

Stay up to date on the latest game schedules, rosters, late changes, and more on our NEW Westside Warriors activities app! This great tool provides information on all Varsity sports, with plans to include additional activities.

Search 'Westside Warriors' wherever you get your apps!


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The following flyers and information have been provided by community partners not affiliated with Westside Community Schools. We do not endorse any of the following organizations or events, but are providing this information at no cost as a public service to our children, families, staff and community. For questions, please email communications@westside66.net.

Thank An Officer Day!

Embrace Blue is an auxiliary group organized under the Fraternal Order of Police. They are dedicated to providing support to law enforcement officers, family and friends in the Omaha Metro area.

Embrace Blue invites you to take part in a citywide 'Thank an Officer Day!' letter writing campaign. Students are encouraged to write a letter or make a card to show their appreciation to our local police officers for their courage and service to keep our neighborhoods, schools, and city safe.

All letters and cards are requested by September 9 so Embrace Blue can deliver to local officers on National Thank a Police Officer Day, September 17.

You can send your cards or letters to Embrace Blue, 11013 Oak Street, Omaha, NE 68144. You can also drop off your cards and letters at the ABC Administration Building; these will be hand-delivered to our district school resource officers.

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Junior Bowling League

Grab your friends, get your team together and let's have FUN at Western Bowl, 132nd & L St.

Leagues include the Jr Mixers (ages 12+), Early Birds (ages 5-12) and Bumper Thumpers (ages upto 7). Ages are only suggestions - We know how much you want to bowl with your siblings! If you don't have a team we'll find you some other amazing kids (like yourself) to bowl with!

Registration is $20.00

Weekly fee is $8.00 for Juniors and $5.00 for Bumper Bowlers

All Junior Bowling Leagues start date will be Saturday, September 10th 10:00am

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Walk

Join Us in Supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Please join us at Omaha's Out of the Darkness Community Walk to prevent suicide and support AFSP's mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.

Walking and remembering loved ones will highlight how important and difficult this struggle is. And donating when capable, will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), to fund research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. This is the AFSP's biggest fundraiser & is a time to come together to help end the stigma of mental illness & show everyone that #youarenotalone #tomorrowneedsyou #demandmoreformentalhealth and help us #stopsuicide.

Come Walk with us on Saturday 9/17/22 and/or donate, if you can.

Thank you for your generous support!

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Eating Disorder Fundraiser Walk

For the first time, a fundraiser 5k event will be taking place here in Omaha on behalf of the Kirsten Haglund Foundation. The mission of this foundation is to raise hope, increase awareness, and provide funding for individuals and families who would not otherwise be able to afford the care they need and deserve to recover from eating disorders. The Kirsten Haglund Foundation is one of the only foundations that provides treatment scholarships for the treatment of eating disorders. They also provide a virtual living transition program for those stepping down from a higher level of care, those who live in rural areas, or are unable to leave their current location to seek care. With treatment costing $500 to $2500 a day, many do not receive the appropriate care they need. Just 1 in 10 individuals seeks treatment for their current eating disorder struggles.

The fundraiser is on October 8, 2022 at Chalco Hills. All of the information is in the link included. Registration begins at 9:30. We will conclude around 1:30-2 pm. Events that day include:
5k walk as a community
Yoga and Meditation
Live Music
A silent Auction (skydiving, ax throwing, escape rooms, creative hair design and other salon donations, golf package for Dismal River Club worth, and more).
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