Westridge Wildcat News

February 25, 2022

Message from the Principal

Dear Westridge Community,

February was an incredible month here at Westridge. Each week I was able to share highlights from our wonderful school. As we look toward March, we have many wonderful upcoming opportunities to learn, grow, and build our community.

First of all, March’s character trait of the month is Honesty. Honesty is defined as living truthfully in your words, actions, and thoughts. To learn more about our social emotional learning work in March, please see Gary Kieser’s message below.

Secondly, we will celebrate STEM during the month of March with STEM week. During STEM week students will enjoy an amazing STEM themed assembly sponsored by our PTSO. In addition, we will hold a Virtual STEM Night on Thursday, March 10th. Students will receive supply bags the day of the event to take home and work through with you as a family. Teachers will hold two identical sessions, one from 5:30-6:15 and the second from 6:30-7:15. There are two sessions so that families with multiple children can attend a grade level session for each child as a family. These sessions will launch the grade level project, which will be completed by you as a family.

The purposes of Virtual STEM Night include: building enthusiasm about STEM, building the school home connection, and having fun as a community. We hope you will join us on March 10th for a great evening! Teachers will share their grade level Zoom links with you directly as the date approaches.

With excitement,

Jules Laaperi



Save the Dates!

2/28- Deadline for 5th grade fundraising orders (details below)

3/3 - Early Release Thursday - 2 pm

3/10 -Early Release Thursday - 2 pm

3/10- Virtual STEM Night (Session 1: 5:30, Session 2: 6:30)

3/17 - Early Release Thursday - 2 pm

3/21-3/25- Spring Break - NO SCHOOL

3/31 - Early Release Thursday - 2 pm

Oregon Battle of the Books Update:

Our 4th Grade Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) Competition wrapped up this week. Congratulations to all the 4th grade teams (with a couple 5th graders sprinkled in) for all the reading and studying they have done. We have some nice medals for all participants that will be distributed at school.

Congratulations to the Bookworms (Tessa, Emma, Elvia, Molly, and Scott) for finishing in 3rd place!

We had a clash of the titans in the Fourth Grade Championship. Rarely have two teams so dominated a grade level while being so evenly matched. The Wildcat Wonders (Gordon, Jordan, Henry, and August) took the head-to-head pool play matchup, but the RAD Readers (Teddy, Hines, Ryan, and Brendan) accumulated the most points to secure the #1 seed for knock-out play.

It was not the RAD Reader's day during the Championship round on Wednesday, but many congratulations to Teddy, Hines, Ryan and Brendan for their second-place finish. They win the prize of reading whatever books they want now!

Warmest congratulations to the Wildcat Wonders! Gordon, August, Henry, and Jordan got stronger and stronger as the competition progressed. They jumped out to a very early lead Wednesday and held on throughout for a wire-to-wire win. The Wildcat Wonders get a week off (more time to read and study!) while the Fifth Grade Competition comes to a close next week. The School Final, pitting the Fourth and Fifth Grade Champs, is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 8th.

Our 3rd Graders are doing great in their competition as well. We are always so blown away by the enthusiasm and abilities of our youngest OBOB readers.

What is OBOB?
The Oregon Battle of the Books is a reading and trivia competition that serves as a statewide celebration of literacy and good books. 3rd to 5th grade students form teams of three to five members, then read and study from a common list of 16 books selected by the State OBOB committee each year. Teams square off in a series of "Battles" to show off how much they have learned by answering questions about the books. Watch out if you get a question wrong -- the other team gets a chance to steal the points!

It is never too early to start thinking about next year's competition. The 2022-2023 books are fantastic, and the almost final list can be found here (scroll down to the 3-5 division): https://www.oregonbattleofthebooks.org/2022-2023-obob-partial-title-list/

Big picture

Extended Day Survey:

Dear LOSD Parents/Guardians,

LOSD is assessing its extended day service for students in Preschool - Grade 5. We are opening a survey seeking to identify our families’ needs for before and after school care for the 2022-2023 school year. We know that this has been a pain point for many who have had limited options, and we are developing ways to expand this service for all who need it. Your input in the survey is essential in our planning.

Please click here to complete a survey. This survey will remain open through Monday, Mar. 14. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Youth Truth Surveys

As part of LOSD’s efforts to create a culture of belonging and to achieve equitable academic outcomes, we will once again administer the Youth Truth survey to all staff, parents, and students in grades 3-12. The Family Survey link is ytsurvey.org/losdfamily22, and it will be accessible beginning Monday, February 28. The YouthTruth survey is confidential, and responses from children and parents will be held in the strictest confidence. We encourage everyone to participate. This will be an important piece of information for administrators to improve our students' experiences at school.

Elementary students in grades 3-5 will also complete the survey between February 28 and March 25. This is a vital opportunity for students to provide feedback and help guide the school’s improvement plan. The survey will take 15-30 minutes to complete and will be offered during school hours.

*Please note that parents may opt their child out of the survey if they would like. Click here for the opt-out form.

March SEL Theme: Honesty

Dear Westridge Families,

Next month through our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, we will be introducing the character trait of HONESTY. As a school community, we will be examining how HONESTY looks, sounds, and feels. During our lessons, we will be referencing this definition:

HONESTY: Living truthfully in your words, actions and thoughts.

HONESTY is not about just telling the truth. It is about living a life that is thoughtful and clear about what we believe is good and just. It’s about making sure what we think is kind and worthwhile also lines up with what we say and what we do. In March, we will talk about the cost of dishonesty and what it does to our bodies and minds. Further, we will connect how HONESTY and KINDNESS are closely related traits.

We have opportunities throughout each day where we can either choose to be truthful, or choose to be untruthful through either our words, actions, or thoughts. As we learn about the importance of HONESTY, we will also understand that being truthful isn’t always the easy choice, but it’s always the right (expected) choice. Students will learn about integrity and the importance of being honest with themselves. This month we will have challenging, but rewarding conversations and as always, we appreciate you partnering with us.

For your reference, here are links for extension activities you may wish to explore further as a family:

K-2 HONESTY Parent Letter (English)

K-2 HONESTIDAD para familias (En Español )

3-5 HONESTY Parent Letter (English)

3-5 HONESTIDAD para familias (En Español )


Gary Kieser, LPC

Westridge School Counselor



Art Literacy Volunteers needed!

If you are interested in volunteering for Art Literacy this year, please email WestridgeArtLit@gmail.com (please include which classroom your child is in).

Reminders for Parents and Guardians:

  • Please do not drop students off before 8:00am. There is no supervision until then and children have too long to wait until the bell rings.
  • Please do not park in the back parking lot at the end of the day. We have students leaving the building at this time and it is not safe to have cars pulling in and out of that area. This area is only for staff parking, so please keep that in mind.
  • Please have children bring a water bottle to school each day.
  • While we encourage children to get outside and play on the playground after school, we do require that children are supervised by an adult while on the field or on the school playground.
  • Please remain in your car during pick up and drop off in the car line. If you need to get out of your car for any reason, please park.

Volunteering at Westridge:

In order to volunteer, please make sure you have the following on record with the school:

  • Register with Raptor by bringing your photo ID into the office. (If you've registered in years prior, you do not need to do it again)

Student Attendance:

If your child will be absent, please email your student's teacher and copy the office at murphya@loswego.k12.or.us. Please list the date your child will be absent and any illness symptoms.

If you need to pick your child up early from school, please let the teacher and the office know ahead of time.

Oregon State Assessment Opt-Out Form

Every year, Oregon students take assessments to meet federal requirements. The purpose of these assessments is to provide data that schools can use to ensure each and every child is on track and achieving learning goals.

State law requires us to inform you that a form is available from the State Department of Education that allows you to opt your child out of the math and English Language Arts assessments for the current school year. Should you wish to opt out your child, fill out the form and submit it to the main office at your child’s school. Please note the submission deadlines listed on the form. Meeting the deadline will help the school with planning and preparation. If you wish your child not to participate in the science assessment for grades 5, 8, and 11, submit this request in writing to the principal of your child's school.

If you have questions or want more information about state assessments, please contact your child’s principal or teacher(s).

Click here for opt-out form for Math and English Language Arts.


Parents-guardians who have concerns about a student’s well-being are encouraged to reach out to their principal, and to maintain strong lines of communication and partnership between students, families, staff, and other resources.

SafeOregon is also an effective way to report a tip regarding safety threats or potential acts of violence to our students or schools.


(Students should also be aware that intentionally providing a false report is a serious offense.)

Contact information for the Westridge PTSO

Westridge Elementary School

All members of our community are committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment that cultivates empathy, creates challenging opportunities, and fosters lifelong learning.