West Homer Elementary

April Newsletter 2023

VISION: The learning community of West Homer Elementary inspires and supports all students to be lifelong learners with the courage and confidence to make positive contributions to the world.

MISSION: The mission of West Homer Elementary School is to build strong connections among community, families, staff, and students in a safe, healthy, nurturing environment that challenges each student.


We're back! … The Talent Show on Thursday night was a perfect example of WHE living our mission and vision - a broad range of people working to support our school community. This event was the first time we've tested our new sound system made possible by the Elks Club grant donation of $7,500. Parents supported their children, our PTO put in countless hours guiding students, numerous staff members supported individual students and groups of students through our programing, and the massive number of volunteers on the day of the event was staggering.

These events are so important, providing a stage for students to get up the courage to share something special with their community. One aspect that struck me that night beyond just how much fun everyone was having, was how so many peers were quick to celebrate and congratulate the performers when they came off stage, recognizing the risk they were taking to get up and share a talent.

In addition, with these proceeds, PTO is well on the way to providing every student at West Homer a yearbook at the end of the year. Thank you for all your positive contributions!


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AK STAR ⭐ State of Alaska TESTING

Thankfully this spring, we will not have to administer the MAP test and the AK STAR as we did last year reducing the amount of testing for our students. The AK STAR test will provide us with student growth data and serve as our accountability to the state increasing the importance of active participation and good attendance this year.

Some ways you can support your child:

Help your child get a good night's rest and a healthy breakfast. These are proven to help students perform better on assessments.

Avoid scheduling appointments that interfere with the testing schedule (see below).


We are spreading the testing out this year over 2 weeks so as not to overload students. Our 3rd and 5th graders have started their state testing already.

Tuesday April 4th: 3rd/5th/6th-Math, 4th English Language Arts

Wednesday April 5th: 3rd/5th/6th Math, 4th ELA

Thursday April 6th: 3rd-6th Make up testing as needed

Tuesday April 11th: 4th Math, 5th ELA, 6th Math

Wednesday April 12th: 4th Math, 5th ELA, 6th Math

Thursday April 13th: Make up Testing as needed

Friday April 14th: Make up testing as needed

Pre-Arranged Absence Form

If your student will be missing more than 5 days of school.

Student Council sponsored Book Drive in April

West Homer Elementary student council is once again sponsoring the book drive for the Friend's of the Library Bookmobile. Last year WHE produced over 2,500 books in our drive to stock the Bookmobile. These books are distributed throughout the area over the summer months.

This year there will be a competition between grades. The grade level that brings in the most books will get a pizza and ice cream party sponsored by the Homer Library. Bonus: graphic novels will count as 2 books!

Competition will run April 1st - 30th. Drop the books in the BOB mini bookmobile in front of Mr. Waltenbaugh's office and tally the number of books on the chart.

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Jonathon Williams, 4th grader at West Homer, earns 7th place at the State Spelling Bee competition in Anchorage! Congratulations Jonathan!

Parent Input Forms for 2023-24

Form available at the office: April 1 – April 30, 2023


Dear Parents,

We at West Homer will work to provide the best education possible for your child. We work to balance classes for gender, academic abilities, behavior, teacher styles, and student learning styles. Please use this form to give us any information that you feel will help us understand your child and place him or her in a classroom. Information on this form will be used by school staff only and will remain confidential.

Please Note: We cannot promise or guarantee any specific classroom and/or teacher placement. At this point, we do not know exactly what our staffing will be next year. Please fill out the April enrollment survey to give us accurate enrollment information so we can plan accordingly.

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April 3- WHE Site Council Meeting 4:00 - 5:00pm in the Library

April 7-Vacation Day - No School

April 14-Early Release + Students vs Teachers Capture the Flag Reward for meeting reading goal

April 26-Spring Concert @ Homer Homer High School Auditorium

April 28-Parent/Caregiver Lunch / Recess 11:20am - 12:20pm


I would like to share the great news with you all about the peace banner which former students from West Homer Elementary School painted each canvas panel was mailed to Teshio Junior High School by Kakogawa and Teshio Rotary Club in Japan.

And recently the letters from the students in the Japanese class this semester, the principal, Mr. Waltenbaugh, Mayor Ken Castner and Downtown Rotary Club with some gifts from the City of Homer were arrived in Teshio Junior High School, Hokkaido, the north of Japan.

Would you be able to post this document below with the picture from Teshio Town, our sister city on April Newsletter or West Homer Facebook page?

"Thank you to Kakogawa Rotary and Teshio Rotary Club in Japan to hep us mail to Teshio Junior High School, Hokkaido in Japan.

This is one of the peace banner which six elementary schools in Homer and Anchor Point, Alaska partipated in a project called " Friendship without Boundaries " emphasizing living in harmony which develops true friendship.

The elementary school children painted 1000 canvas panels, 22 inches by 22 inches each. The materials were donated by NOMAR. Downtown Rotary Club purchased art materials to produce the panels that would be made into banners.
Each classroom's panels were sewn together to make a stream of banners.

In 2019, these 1000 individual paintings in the banners were hung in Homer High School commons area and in the auditorium the night of the Peace Concert led by Mark Robinson and Kyle Schnieder. These condutors took two of the banners to display in their concert trip to France and Belgium.

Now one of these peace banners was arrived in Teshio Junior High School in the northern part of Japan!

And recently the letters from the students in Japanese class this semester, Mr. Waltenbaugh, Downtown Rotary Club and Mayor Ken Castner with some gifts from the City of Homer were just arrived in the school as well.

I appreciate all your support!

We will keep developing our relationship with our sister city, Teshio and other cities in Japan.

Please let me know if you are interested in the exchange programs with Japan. "

Megumi Beams

Sister City Liaison/ Interepreter

Japanese International Exchange Coordinator/ Instructor


Payments for Lunch Accounts

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The sun is shining, the snow is trying to melt, and insects are coming out-it is spring time in Alaska!

I have 99 % of the health screens done for the students. I measure height and weight for all students. I screen vision and hearing for 3rd graders, 5th graders, and as needed. If you would like the results of your student’s health screen, just let me know. I am happy to get that information to you.

Things are happening around town and the pace has really picked up here at school. We have Volleyball, Japanese club, Shakespeare Club, and Girls on the Run… and more oppourtunties for growth continue every day.

Don’t forget to check out the Parks and Recreation calendar for April. They have many fun activities happening and coming up. The Parks and Rec website is www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation.

Also the SPARC has many activities every day. Check out their website at www.sparchomer.org.

The Kachemak Bay Running Club has put a race schedule up and continue to add to it. Their website is www.facebook.com/pg/KachemakBayRunningClub/posts/.

The bike path along the Spit is looking good and ready for bicycles/runners/walkers. The sidewalks in town are clear of ice during the day but it can be a dusty experience when vehicles cruise by. Another sign of spring!

Looking forward to seeing you outside and on the trails!

Your school nurse,

Laura Peek, RN

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