Westbrook News & Updates

February 2019

MARK YOUR CALENDARS... Hot Cocoa with Mr. Hottovy and Mrs. Poell

Here is your opportunity to come in and chat with Mr Hottovy and Mrs Poell together. They are looking for your input and assistance in making this school exactly the environment you want for your child. Please join us at Westbrook on February 19th from 5pm to 9pm. They will be here at the school waiting to chat with you. They have taken 4 hours out of their evening because your input is important to them. They look forward to seeing you! Please stop by and say hi.

From the Desk of Mr. Hottovy...

Westbrook Families,

Our Energy Bus is rolling along at a nice pace as we are more than halfway done with this school year. We have spent time talking about our destination: A better future for our students and a better workplace for our staff, as well as the rules of our bus:

1. Create a Positive Vision,

2. Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy,

3. No Bullies Allowed,

4. Love Your Passengers.

One thing that I am asked is “why?”. Why is it important to focus on the positive and take care of others? If we work hard, take care of ourselves, and chase success, won’t happiness follow? According to Shawn Achor in his book “The Happiness Advantage”, this thinking is backwards. Achor says that “decades of research in the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience has proven that the the relationship between success and happiness works the other way around. Happiness and optimism fuel performance and achievement”.

We tend to think that once we get that great job, excel at sports, or lose five pounds, happiness will follow. But science shows that happy people are more productive, more creative, and better problem solvers than their unhappy peers. When we teach our kids to create a positive vision for themselves and to serve others, we are actually giving them a competitive advantage. Our goal is to teach kids to flourish in a world of increasing stress and negativity so that they can be their best at school, home, and everywhere else.

That is why we are teaching kids to be kind, positive, and inspiring.

That is why we are teaching kids to be Wildcats!

Tyler R. Hottovy, Westbrook Principal

From the Desk of Mrs. Poell...

At Westbrook we are creating safe, respectful and responsible students through teaching expectations and social skills. We follow a proactive teaching approach to behavior called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). PBIS is “A proactive strategy for defining, teaching and supporting student behavior resulting in academic and social gains and a positive school environment.” One way Westbrook tracks progress towards our goal is through the number of behavioral referrals. Every month we review the number of referrals and use this to teach specific skills to students. One strategy we teach students to use is to disagree appropriately. Students are taught that it is okay to disagree and here is how:

  1. Look at the person.

  2. Use your normal, pleasant voice.

  3. Tell why you feel differently.

  4. Give a reason.

  5. Listen to the other person.

When students use this skill they are more likely to be heard and keep problems small and in the classroom. Westbrook’s goal is to share this information with families and community members so that students hear the same message. Thank you for your partnership!

From the Main Office...

Welcome to February...

I heard Mr Hottovy say today that there were 81 days left of school. I cannot believe how this year is flying by! That being said... it will be warming up soon but for now I would like to remind you of some school rules when it comes to cold weather. We have been exceptionally cold in the last couple weeks and there have been kids that are being dropped off at school as early as 7:40 in the morning. There is no one here that early to let them into the building. If you student is coming for breakfast they can enter the building at 8:10am.(8:10-8:25). If your student isn't here by 8:25am then they can still receive breakfast when they enter the building at 8:30am. This late breakfast is a grab and go breakfast that contains cereal, applesauce, graham crackers and milk. They will take that breakfast to their room and eat it while class is settling in. There are days that I am out of the building and my replacement does not come in until 8am. I do not want our students standing out in the cold/dark waiting.

We also have several students that are here well after 3:30pm. (3pm on Wed) We have several options for your child after school. We have Club 66 and Boys and Girls Club that are both available after school for your convenience. Club 66 can be reached at 402-390-8205. Boys and Girls Club can be reached at 402-932-6477. If there is a financial reason that you are concerned about please contact the main office or Mr. Hottovy for some available options.

We have a policy in place for snow pants. This year we are only allowing snow pants on Fridays. It takes away from instructional time to get the children dressed up in the snow pants and then takes more time away to change out of them. Please only send your child's snow pants on Fridays.

It is that time of year again to gather all the kiddos that are ready to start Kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year. If you or someone you know has a child or children that are eligible for Kindergarten beginning next fall please contact us. We have some info on siblings that live in our district and have made those calls already. Please let us know so we can add you to the list and you don't miss out on important info regarding registration.

Mrs. Muck

Administrative Assistant

Mrs Lowe's Lookout...Sixth Grade News


As you know, your sixth grade student had the opportunity to take the Gallup Strengths

Explorer tool during first semester. You may have discussed their three strengths and heard

about how they are learning more about these at school.

You and your child are invited to an interactive evening to further explore this tool and your

child’s strengths. A Gallup representative will facilitate this event, and you will receive your

child’s full report along with your Parent Playbook. You and your child can enjoy discussing the report together.

If your child is unable to attend, you are welcome to come on your own.

The Gallup Parent/Child Nights will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 in the Westside Middle School

cafeteria. Please contact your child’s school counselor if you have any questions. We hope to

see you there!

Thursday, February 7th Monday, February 11th

Hillside Elementary Rockbrook Elementary

Sunset Hills Elementary Paddock Road Elementary

Swanson Elementary Prairie Lane Elementary

Oakdale Elementary Loveland Elementary

Westbrook Elementary Westgate Elementary

Mentor A Wildcat...

Consider being a TeamMates Mentor

January was Mentor Recognition month with TeamMates of Nebraska. The positive impact of TeamMates Mentoring on a student/mentees’ levels of hope, engagement in school, and well-beinghas been well researched.

In a recent school year,

§ 75% of TeamMates mentees had fewer unexcused absences

§ 84% of TeamMates mentees experienced fewer disciplinary referrals

§ 55% of TeamMates mentees improved their academic performance

Please consider making a 1-hour a week commitment (meeting at school, only during school calendar) to make an incredible difference in a child’s life. TeamMates prefers mentors to be able to commit to the program for at least 3 years to make a lasting impression. If you are interested in learning more about TeamMates Mentoring, contact Mrs. Lowe (402-408-8519). The comments below from mentees reveal how mentoring touches a child’s life:

"Thank you so much for coming and seeing me each week. I'm so happy that you're my mentor. I love spending time with you. I will do anything to make you proud. I won't ever let you down.” - TeamMate Mentee

“"Thank you for being a teammate of mine. I enjoy spending my time every week to talk about how I am. You're like a pal to me.” - TeamMate Mentee

Big picture

Family Game Night RESCHEDULED

Family game night has been rescheduled to March 29th. We hope you will join us from 6-7:30 in the Westbrook Elementary Gym. Please sign up at the link below. We will have hot dogs and chips and will be raffling some board games.

RSVP below by March 15th.


Library News...Battle of the Books Update.

Battle of the Books Update

The Battle of the Books is less than 2 months away! We are looking forward to seeing all of the teams on the morning of Saturday, March 30th at the Westside Middle School!

We have sent out a couple communications in the last few weeks. If you are a team parent and did not receive them, please be sure to check your spam folder and mark us as a "safe sender."

Wondering what the battle will be like? There is a lot of information on our website. We will be updating this information as the event gets closer. If you have a question that is not answered, please send us an email.

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/westsidebotb

Email: westsidebattleofthebooks@gmail.com

Unified Events Activity

Unified Floor Hockey , Saturday, February 9th What Are Unified Activities? The Special Olympics Unified Schools Program is a fast­growing initiative that brings students with and without intellectual disabilities together.

Unified Activities...

Elementary Unified Activities - Unified Floor Hockey

What Are Unified Activities?

The Special Olympics Unified Schools Program is a fast­ growing initiative that brings students with and without

intellectual disabilities together. This year we are excited to bring a Unified Floor Hockey opportunity to our


Westside Community Schools is excited to offer our fourth Unified Activity this year.

Where: Sunset Hills Elementary 9503 Walnut St, Omaha, NE 68124

When: Saturday, February 9th at 11:00am

What: Come enjoy a variety of hockey activities. You can try shooting, dress like a goalie, play tabletop hockey, play a game of floor hockey, or do a craft.

RSVP Needed for Participation

If you and your child(ren) are interested in participating, please download the following


What is Happening in the Family Enrichment Center...

Please join us In the Family Enrichment Center to take advantage of programs that are not offered anywhere else in the district...

We have story time every Tuesday at 9:30am. Just come to the main entrance at Westbrook and we will buzz you in, get you a visitor pass and send you down to some amazing ladies that will entertain you and your child for story time!

We have parent play time every Thursday at 9:30am.

See the pics above of our new mirrored wall for modeling independent skills such as feeding, toileting, and social expressions.

Bring your preschoolers in to practice with us in room 119.

We welcome everyone so spread the word.

We can't wait to see you at Westbrook!

Band Buzz...


Fifth and Sixth Grade Band students will present a district wide musical extravaganza on Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 pm! Please mark your calendars and help reward your child for their hard work by making this event a priority for your entire family. Students will attend a rehearsal during the school day and will need to report to Westside High School no later than 6:30. A detailed letter about the days events will be e-mailed to band parents, and a hard copy will be sent home with band students prior to the event. Questions about this event or anything else band related, feel free to connect with Mrs. CJ at carpenter.gail@westside66.net.

BoxTops/Hyvee Receipts/Pop Tabs

The Community Club would like to thank all of the families, friends and staff who collected HyVee receipts from September through December, 2018. The receipts were redeemed and the Club will receive money from HyVee to use for projects that will benefit all students. Thanks to HyVee for helping to support our efforts.

Community Club Meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 6:30pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE

Please come and join us to see what great things we are doing in the school for the kids and teachers.

Zio's Pizza Night

Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 5-8pm

7834 Dodge Street

Omaha, NE

Strings Solo Ensemble Night

Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 7pm

8601 Arbor Street

Omaha, NE

Valentine Parties

Thursday, Feb. 14th, 2:45pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE

Presidents Day~ NO SCHOOL

Monday, Feb. 18th, 8am-4pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE

Hot Chocolate with the Principal and Teacher Leader... let's hear your voice...

Tuesday, Feb. 19th, 5-9pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE

Please come by between 5 and 9pm and share your ideas, goals and vision for Westbrook Elementary.

We look forward to hearing what you have to share and ways you think we can improve.

Bingo Night

Friday, March 1st, 6:30pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE

Parent/Teacher Conference night

Thursday, March 7th, 4-8pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE

Parent teacher conferences.

Parent/Teacher Conference night

Tuesday, March 12th, 4-8pm

1312 Robertson Drive

Omaha, NE