Excellence in Youth

Westside Community Schools

March 2022 Recap


The Excellence in Youth (EY) Program at Westside Community Schools provides expanded learning opportunities for students with high ability, in addition to fostering and encouraging talent development in all students.
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Spring College for Kids Classes!

Metropolitan Community College offers many fun classes and camps. Don’t miss out on their spring College for Kids and College for Teens classes. Spaces fill up fast so don’t hesitate.
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Central Honors Camp

CHI is a five-day residential camp open to students who will be entering the 7th or 8th grade in the fall of 2022 and who have demonstrated high ability in language arts, science and/or mathematics. Students who attend CHI will have the opportunity to meet other high ability learners from across the state while participating in one of four academic tracks. The instructors who lead camp are some of the brightest, most innovative educators in our state. They love helping high ability learners like you stay ‘academically fit’ over the summer break.

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Academic Pentathlon

The United States Academic Pentathlon is a five-event scholastic competition for middle school students. The pentathlon areas of concentration are language and literature, fine arts, science, mathematics and social science. The following WCS students competed in the 2022 regional competition on Feb. 17 and will go on to compete at the state level on March 31. These students competed individually in the Honors category (GPAs of 3.80 or above).

Max R.-6th Grade at Swanson

Kelvin W.-7th Grade at WMS

Samara S.S.-7th Grade at WMS

Gabriella C.-7th Grade at WMS

Bethany M.-7th Grade at WMS

BingYi W.-8th Grade at WMS

Axel L.-8th Grade at WMS

In the area of Fine Arts, there were 130 participants and Max's score tied him for 8th place overall. Gabriella tied for 10th place and Samara for 15th place.

On the Math portion, BingYi tied for 4th and Kelvin tied for 5th out of 130 students. Axel tied for 7th place and Max tied for 12th.

BingYi tied for 12th place in Science and Axel came in 13th.

Max tied for 8th place on the Social Science test and Bethany tied for 11th.

Congratulations to all of these students and good luck on the 31st!

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Math League Press

Several 6th graders throughout the district participated in the Math League Press Spring Contest and out of 13 teams, WCS students placed 5th. We also had some students place in the top 30. Congratulations to all these mathletes!
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MathCounts Regional Competition

On March 19, BingYi W. and Kelvin W. from Westside Middle School competed at the State MathCounts Regional Competition. They were among 68 of the best mathletes in the state! BingYi made it to the Top 10 and finished at 6th place overall. Congratulations BingYi and Kelvin!
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IAC Elementary and Middle School Regional FInals

These events include the National History Bee, International Geography Bee, and National Science Bee. Students took qualifying tests and those with high scores were invited to compete in the regional finals. Contests are being held online and in person in March, April and May.

Here are some results we have in so far, stay tuned for more coming next month!


6th grade division

William Allpress

4th Place

March 27th Contest National Qualifier

7th grade division

Samara Sanchez-Soto

March 27th Contest participant

Top 20

8th grade division

Axel Lubbert

11th Place

March 27th Contest National Qualifier


7th grade division

Samara Sanchez-Soto

March 27th Contest participant


7th grade division

Harrison Hill

7th Place

March 27th Contest National & International Qualifier

8th grade division

Ethan Brooks

2nd Place

March 27th Contest National & International Qualifier

Braden Hewlett

2nd Place

March 27th Contest Participant

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EARN A BADGE . . . or 12!

Every student in Westside has the opportunity to begin earning badges. Working towards earning a badge allows students to dig deep into topics and explore individual interest areas. Badges can be found in various subject and interest areas.

Earn 12 badges to achieve the acclaimed "Digital Dozen" and earn a prize and recognition! Choose from hundreds of badge options on the EY Website or choose one below to get kick started!

New Badges!

Digital Dozen Winners

Congratulations to Drew J. from Prairie Lane, Sterling A. from Sunset Hills, Stella H., Kumar A., and Parthiv M. from Swanson who are the most recent Digital Dozen recipients for the 21-22 school year!

The Excellence In Youth Team is proud to announce Sanjay from Swanson as the most recent recipient of the Digital Dozen award for this school year! This is the second award for Sanjay this school year. His favorite badge that he completed for the digital dozen was Sketchnote Fever. He turned in his 25th badge today and plans to start working on his third digital dozen! Congratulations, Sanjay!

This award is presented to students who earn 12 of the digital badges on the EY Website (ey.westside66.org), which is available to students district-wide. It takes self-motivation, grit, and determination to earn these badges and Whitney should be proud of this accomplishment!

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Mini Sparks are quick lessons that introduce learners to various topics. Sparks can be found under every subject area on the EY website. These activities require minimal supplies and make for a great family activity!

Spark Highlight

When reading a favorite story take some time to notice the length of the sentences you are reading. Writers often use a variety of sentence lengths to create a rhythm.

Using long sentences with lots of details, short and sweet to the point sentences, and combined with mid length sentences will make your story flow.

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What Is Honors Language Arts?

Honors Language Arts is a class at Westside Middle School designed for students who are passionate about reading and writing. It is more rigorous than grade level language arts. Students are asked to read more challenging texts, work more frequently outside of class, and should be able to work independently.

Students who are successful in Honors Language Arts

  • thoroughly enjoy reading and writing
  • appreciate discussion about what they are reading
  • have strong time-management skills, for both short- and long-term projects
  • are capable of working without step-by-step guidance
  • are willing to work through situations that are uncomfortable
  • use self-advocacy and problem solving skills when confused or frustrated
  • are dependable and trustworthy
  • consistently complete quality work and take pride in the finished product
  • complete work on time without reminders
  • are capable and enjoy reading texts that are above grade level.

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The EY program website is the hub of communication for the EY Team. For our K-8 students, monthly challenges, seminars and events, as well as other learning opportunities are posted to the site on a regular basis.

All students are encouraged to participate in the opportunities posted, regardless of whether they have been identified for the EY Program. Students can participate independently by accessing the opportunities at home or during tech time at school. Teachers may also facilitate these whole and small-group enrichment opportunities for students in the classroom.

Click below to check out all our website has to offer!

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EY Team

Dr. Spady

  • Paddock Road
  • Westgate
  • Westside Middle School
  • Math 7 Honors Coordinator