Westridge Wildcat News

October 4, 2019

In This Edition

  • Important Dates
  • Quick Reference Links
  • School News
  • Office Information
  • PTSO News
  • District News

Important Dates:

  • Welcome to my World October 8-9 (info below)
  • SSPAC Back to School Night October 10th: 6:00-8:00pm LOHS Cafeteria (info below)
  • Silly Sock Hop Celebration October 17th (info below)
  • PTSO Meeting October 17th: 8:30-9:30am Westridge Library Conference Room
  • Picture retakes: November 19th
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Westridge Quick Reference Links:

School News:

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October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

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What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader.

Children and adults with dyslexia struggle to read fluently, spell words correctly, and memorize rote facts such as multiplication tables, among other challenges. But these difficulties have no connection to their overall intelligence. While people with dyslexia can be slow readers, they often, paradoxically, are very fast and creative thinkers with strong reasoning abilities.

Dyslexia can’t be “cured” – it is lifelong. But with appropriate early supports, dyslexic individuals can learn to read, write, and spell and can become highly successful students and adults. (Source: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/dyslexia/what-is-dyslexia/)

Read about the signs of dyslexia here: https://www.understood.org/en/about/search-results?q=dyslexia%20warning%20signs.

Get the facts on Dyslexia from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA): https://dyslexiaida.org/fact-sheets/

Video: What is Dyslexia? https://youtu.be/zafiGBrFkRM

See Decoding Dyslexia for Resources and October Events:



Each week in October, we will feature a message about dyslexia in this newsletter. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s learning, please contact the school principal and/or literacy specialist. Another great parent resource would be to contact your school’s Student Services Parent Advisory Committee (SSPAC) representative.

Pictures from this week!

STEM Supplies needed

Students are always creating in the Innovation Lab! As a result, there is an ongoing need for supplies. If you are able to bring in any of the following, it would be very appreciated.

  • Plastic bottles with lids (all sizes)
  • Foil
  • Wax Paper
  • Cardboard Egg Cartons
  • Cotton Balls
  • Tap (masking, clear, duct, blue painters)
  • Cardboard tubes (from toilet paper and paper towels)
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Shoe Boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Felt
  • String / Yarn / Twine

Thank you for your support!

Ms. Melton

STEM Facilitator

Life Skills at Westridge

Each month, Westridge Wildcats will focus on a character trait that contributes to positive character development and school culture. These traits are an important part of our school-wide code of conduct: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Kind. Classroom lessons are taught around the character trait each month and teachers will be integrating conversations about the traits into their days

We kicked off the school year with the trait of Kindness. Through kindness, we create a community of caring and compassion. We explored the concept of “choosing kindness” and encourage students to recognize those moments when we can make the kind choice and develop that part of our character. Students are encouraged to look for ways to be kind in the classroom, on the playground, at home, in the community. We learned about people who have displayed acts of kindness that have changed lives. We tune into how it feels to be kind and why it is important.

October's Life Skill is Self Control.

Many things in life require a child to demonstrate self control. Here are some that can come up in a school day:

  • Keeping hands and feet to self
  • Waiting for things: recess, a favorite activity, to be called on to speak in class, for a turn
  • Walking quietly in line
  • Managing anger, upset, fear or frustration when these strong emotions arise
  • Using kind and respectful words, even when upset
  • Making healthy choices
  • Persevering when things are hard
  • Staying quiet and listening when the teacher is giving a lesson
  • Ending a game during PE or recess and lining up quietly

Children learn a lot about self control by what they see and it develops through practice. The adults in their lives can teach self control through real-life modeling. One way you can do this is by verbally describing your process of being in control: “I would really like that dessert now, but I am going to use self control and wait until after dinner.” “I am feeling upset and I am going to take a break and three deep breaths to calm down.” You can also identify and discuss characters in stories and movies who are demonstrating self control, and characters who are not. You can role play scenarios that require self control.

Some skills that support self control are:

  • Recognizing and understanding our feelings
  • Taking breaks when upset, overwhelmed or frustrated
  • Breathing deeply to calm ourselves
  • Developing other calming strategies and routines (counting, visualizing, stretching)
  • Knowing our choices
  • Thinking about how our choices impact others

Here is a link to many books about self control: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/self-control

Congrats to the Kindness Winners!

(Not pictured- Katie Markstaller, Benjamin Hwu and Marshall Schaffer)
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Welcome to My World - Volunteers Needed!

The Student Services Parent Action Committee presents Welcome to My World on October 8-9 at Westridge. Welcome to My World is an LOSD School Board-approved curriculum providing students with an introduction to neurodiversity and the opportunity to build the leadership skills of awareness and empathy. This year Welcome to my World will be presented to Westridge 4th graders on the topics of dyslexia, autism/sensory, and fine motor impairment. Training materials and a short training video are provided to volunteers ahead of time. Questions? Contact Westridge SSPAC reps Susan Fleming at sfleming24@gmail.com or Jennifer Harvey at jennifer.harvey@earthlink.net. Visit the sign up sheet at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084BA4AF2DA4FC1-welcome2

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Socktober is here!

Wildcat Families,

Socktober is here! From now through October 31st we are collecting NEW SOCKS to donate to homeless youth in Portland. Our Wildcat Leadership Team set a goal to collect 1,000 pairs of socks this year, please help us reach our goal by dropping new socks off in the entryway of the school. This is a great way to show how much our Westridge community cares about others!

Wildcat Leadership Team

Silly Sock Hop October 17th!


The time has come for your children to come to school wearing their CRAZIEST, their WILDEST or their most ADVENTUROUS socks for our annual sock hop celebration/contest!

This year is not a fundraising event, rather it is just a fun recess filled with dancing and showing off your child’s inner artiste!!

All of the kids will gather in the gym during their recess and we play music and they DANCE! There will be 3-4 parent judges that chose the best dancer and the best SOCKS at the end of the recess and that child wins a PRIZE!

In the past we’ve seen such fun creations, such as unicorn poop socks or Socks that are lit up like a Christmas tree!! It will be so much fun.

So help your child get motivated and bring out those hot glue guns!

Getting to know your Westridge Staff: The Kindergarten Team!

Each week we will interview a team on our staff. This week, we met up with our fabulous Kindergarten Teachers.

Tonya Blankenship:

Q:Where did you grow up?

A: Houston, Texas

Q: What college did you attend?

A: University of Houston

Q: Did you take any trips this summer? If so, where?

A: Yellowstone and Vancouver, B.C.

3 fun facts about Mrs. Blankenship:

1. I love Mexican food! Missing Tex-Mex!

2. I love to travel (that's how I fell in love with Oregon and decided to move here 5 years ago!)

3. My favorite team is the Seahawks.

Brandi Houska:

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Billings, Montana

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: University of Montana- Missoula

Q: Did you take any trips this summer? If so, where?

A: I went to Montana to see family!

3 Fun Facts about Mrs. Houska

1. I like to travel and explore new places

2. I love Taylor Swift

3. I like to golf

Erika Fagan:

Q:Where did you grow up?

A:Salem, Oregon

Q: What college did you attend?

A: I've been in school forever, and have attended 7 colleges. I graduated the first time from OIT. I got my teacher training at the College of Santa Fe.

Q: Did you take any trips this summer? If so, where?

A: I stayed home this summer and did projects around the house. I love to be home!

3 fun facts about Mrs. Fagan:

1. I raise chickens.

2. I love old cars.

3. I lived in New Zealand for a year.

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Newspaper Club!

UPDATE: First Meeting for the Student Newspaper Club is October 15!

Who: Aspiring student journalists in 2nd-5th grade!

What: Did you know Westridge Elementary has its very own student newspaper called What’s Up, Westridge?

When: This year we will meet bi-monthly (generally every other week) on Tuesdays from 2:45-3:15 in the library. Our first meeting will be held October 15 in the Library. Subsequent meetings: 10/22;* 11/5,19; 12/3,17; 1/7,21; 2/4,18; 3/3,17; 4/7,21; 5/5,19; 6/2.

Why: Students choose their article topics, which can include non-fiction or fiction pieces, illustrations, puzzles, games, etc. No story is too small and no experience is required. Come check it out!

Questions: Contact the parent leaders, Stef Fogarty (svfogarty@gmail.com) or Sarah Barrera (sarahbarrera@gmail.com).

*We have to hold two consecutive meetings in the beginning to compensate for the delayed start due to construction.

Office Information:

Reporting Absences

If your child is going to be out of school or tardy to school due to travel, illness, or appointments please make sure to email your classroom teacher AND Andrea Murphy at murphya@loswego.k12.or.us

PTSO News!

Wildcat Fund: The Time is Now!!

Congratulations to the Glidden and Van Asselt families on their gift card wins at Back to School Night!

There are still prizes to be won!

The largest donor of the Wildcat Fund campaign will secure a VIP Parking spot for the 2020-21 school year! All money donated in your family’s name counts towards your total. Send the donation link to friends and family! Don’t forget to let us know if you’ve put in for corporate matching. Currently, our largest donation is $3,000.

There will also be another gift card drawing from all donors at our next PTSO Meeting October 17 at 8:30 in the library meeting room.

The grade level with the highest percentage of participants will win a grade level prize to be announced at the Silly Sock Hop Celebration on October 17th! Right now 1st grade is in the lead but, the Kinders and 2nd graders are gaining on them!!

Your support is much needed and deeply appreciated!

Please click here for more details: https://www.losdschools.org/Page/7313

Donations can be made at: tinyurl.com/wildcatfund

**The returning donor button has not been working. Please use the new donor function.

Payment plan options: tinyurl.com/wildcatfundoptions

**Please select monthly as donation frequency

**If your donation and/or corporate match are coming directly from your employer, please forward your donation receipt to westridgewildcatfund@gmail.com

Questions? Email us at westridgewildcatfund@gmail.com

Thank you for your support of the Westridge PTSO!!


Your PTSO Fundraising Committee

District News:

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SSPAC Back to School Night

Do you have a student receiving services through an IEP or 504 Plan? Student Services Parent Advisory Committee (SSPAC) invites you to their annual Back to School Night. Please join us on Thursday October 10th from 6:00-8:00p.m. in the Lake Oswego High School Cafeteria. This is the perfect opportunity to meet other parents, connect with staff, and get answers to your questions. We hope to see you there!

Safe Oregon

The Oregon State Police is pleased to announce the availability of SafeOregon, a new school safety tip line program available to all public k-12 schools in Oregon. SafeOregon is a way for students, staff, or other members of the public to anonymously report and share confidential information of a threat or a potential threat to student safety. Trained staff are available 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year reached through a phone call, text message, mobile application or website. The main goal of SafeOregon is to intervene at the earliest possible point in the life of a young person who is struggling, helping them when they need it, before the situation turns into a tragedy.

SafeOregon is designed to encourage Oregon students to share and respond to anything that threatens their safety or the safety of others, anything that makes a student feel unsafe, or if a student knows someone who feels unsafe. Here are a few examples: safety threats, violence, threats of violence, fights, drugs, alcohol, weapons, bullying or friends that talk about hurting themselves, harassment, intimidation, cyber bullying, or self-harm.

Tips can be submitted 24/7/365 through the SafeOregon.com web portal, by email to tip@safeoregon.com through the SafeOregon mobile application (available for android or ios device), or by calling or texting 844-472-3364. Tips are promptly analyzed and routed for the most appropriate follow up and urgency. This may be to school officials, law enforcement, community mental health programs, or other appropriate local or state agencies. Tip Line staff make sure follow-up is noted.

For more information, please visit safeoregon.com.

Additionally, it is a violation of ORS165.570 to improperly use the SafeOregon system.

Westridge Elementary

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.