Words to the Wise

September 17, 2018

A Message from Mr. Palmer

Welcome back! What a fantastic opening and first two weeks of school! We enjoyed a most successful opening thanks to the cooperation of all students, parents, and staff. The students did a fine job transitioning to their new grade levels and teachers worked diligently to unpack, set up classrooms, organize supplies, and get to know new classmates. Sneak-A-Peek at your Seat and The PTA Sundaes and Sign-up events were well attended, as well as both the primary and intermediate Back-to-school nights. Overall, we have enjoyed reconnecting with returning students and have met many wonderful new students to Westowne. It is going to be a great year!


In addition to extending a “Welcome!” to our new families, please be sure to welcome the following staff members new to Westowne. Welcome to Ms. Lisa Pachino, assistant principal, Ms. Mary Ellen Smith, 10-month secretary, Ms. Amanda Kountz, counselor, Ms. Melissa Goetschius, vocal music, Ms. Stephanie Case, .2 vocal music, Ms. Emilie Ryan Martinez, Passport (Spanish) teacher, Ms. Jessica Miceli, .2 art, Ms. Maria Vicenzi, grade one. Ms. Zainib Thuro, grade two, Ms. Emma Spack, grade three, Ms. Madelyn Sullivan, grade four, and Ms. Dannielle Neral, grade five. Please help us out and make our new staff members feel welcome in their new positions. We will certainly benefit from their skills and expertise! These faculty members are great additions to WES staff and community!


In addition to our new staff members, you will also notice some changes among office staff and grade level teams. Ms. Megan Massie took over the 12-month administrative assistant position. Ms. Lisa Musacchio, Ms. Alison Kochesfahani, and Ms. Josie Cuttitta joined the grade two team, Ms. Erin Oster joined the grade three team, Ms. Elizabeth McIntosh joined the special education team, and Mr. Jeff Orsburn joined our special area team. Please be sure to congratulate those who moved to new positions.


Westowne Elementary has enjoyed much success over the years due to the talented teaching staff, motivated students, and supportive families. I encourage all members of the school community to support the PTA by becoming a member, participating in the many school and evening events planned for the 2018-2019 school year, and supporting the PTA fundraisers scheduled throughout the year. PTA memberships are reasonably priced at $8 for an individual membership and $12 for a family membership. Remember, joining the PTA is the easiest way to support the Westowne Elementary community. We would love to surpass 275 memberships this year! We certainly appreciate the many hours our PTA volunteers give for the benefit of the WES students.


In closing, Ms. Pachino and I look forward to working with all students, parents, and families to ensure that your child has a very successful school year. We encourage you to become involved as we strive to provide the best educational experience possible in a safe and nurturing environment.

High School Capacity Study

The Baltimore County high school study needs you!

Second round of feedback begins Sept. 18

TOWSON, MD — Baltimore County Public Schools encourages the public to be part of its High School Capacity Study. The purpose is to study all BCPS high schools and identify potential options and strategies for providing enough seats for growing enrollment.

“Our High School Capacity Study may affect all neighborhoods and grade levels, and I encourage the community to get involved,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “Our projections indicate that high school overcrowding will continue for the next decade, and we want to hear from the entire BCPS family as we develop plans to accommodate this growth.”


This is the second round of public feedback. Public information sessions will feature new options based on prior feedback, and facility conditions will be considered. There will be a brief presentation, and the community will be able to view and discuss options and strategies with staff, and complete a survey.


Public information sessions will run from 7 - 8 p.m.:

  • Tuesday, September 18, New Town High School, Auditorium/Cafeteria

  • Monday, September 24, Eastern Technical High School, Cafeteria

  • Tuesday, October 2, Loch Raven High School, Auditorium/Lobby


The survey will be available online from September 18 – October 7, 2018, and will be translated into six languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.


The public input process began in June 2018 with community focus groups. The first round of public information sessions and the initial survey were held in July 2018.

A complete timeline for the study is posted online. Study results will be presented to the Board of Education of Baltimore County.


The study is being led by Sage Policy Group, Inc., with support from the Board of Education, Baltimore County Government, and Maryland legislators from Baltimore County.


Email comments may be submitted to highschoolstudy@bcps.org. All email comments received are public record, and will be logged and posted to the High School Capacity Study webpage including names but not email addresses. Personal information should be avoided (e.g., phone numbers, student names).

Use The REMIND APP to Recieve Bus Dismissal Information

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ALICE Parent Information

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Helpful Tips for Talking to Your Child About Violence

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Counselor's Corner

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Best Brains Open House

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A Note From The Library

Kindergarten @ BCPL – Catonsville

There will be two special Nights for the kindergarteners and their families at the Catonsville Branch of the Public Library on October 10 & 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. Each night will include story times, a tour of the branch, the chance to get a library card, a scavenger hunt and much more. (Both nights have the same activities so families can pick whichever night is more convenient for them.)


BCPLS Student Accounts

As a result of BCPS’s partnership with the Baltimore County Public Library, all BCPS students have a Student Account at the public library. With a Student Account, students can check out books by using their One Card, their BCPS ID number (which they’ll be learning in library class in the coming weeks), or by giving their name and school name to the public library staff member at the desk. Families can also sign up their children for a personal account and card at any BCPL branch.


Owl be recommending

This year, Miss Johnson, the Library Media Specialist, will be offering monthly book recommendations for various reading and age levels. For this month, instead of specific titles, Owl be recommending … exploring the school’s library catalog online! Students (and parents) can browse for books the night before library class and figure out what they want to check out the next day. Students just need to come in with the book’s title and Miss Johnson can help them find the book. (Please don’t use the HOLD feature in Destiny.) Westowne’s library has 300+ eBooks, which are available 24/7, to all Westowne students. By logging into BCPS One, then going into Digital Content, your child will always have something to read, as long as he/she can get on the Internet!