West Homer Elementary

October 2020

Safety Protocols

We have been enduring life with Covid-19 for over 6 months now, and as the pandemic wears on, it is understandable that we could be experiencing some covid-19 fatigue. Last week Soldotna HS and Seward El both had positive Covid-19 cases in their schools. The school mitigation plan and protocol kicked in immediately upon learning of the positive cases and the district was able to contact trace and quarantine all close contacts. As a result, the potential impacts were minimized.


I look at this situation as a good reminder why our mitigation plan is in place. We need to continue to follow our mask expectations, we need to continue to mandate 6ft of distance whenever possible, we need to continue to wipe down surfaces, we need to continue to be vigilant about hand washing. I think if we keep doing that then we can feel confident that even if we have a positive case, we can limit the impact on others. Please do not get lured into believing that just because we are in the green zone and there are very few local cases that we do not have to be diligent with our mitigation plan.


If you learn of a positive case in your family, it is incredibly important that you call the school immediately so we can mobilize our plan.


West Homer Elementary Student Council offers leadership development opportunities to prepare and empower students to become effective leaders, encouraging and influencing a positive school climate. The council plays and important role in the school. Council members help share students’ ideas, interests and concerns with the teachers and principal. They participate in the organization and operation of a variety of activities. Being part of Student Council is something that will help our students develop the courage and confidence to make positive contribution to the world.


Student Council Elections will be held on November 3rd, 2020. More information about how to run for office coming later in October!


Eric Waltenbaugh

Remote Learners

We know this is a challenge for students to work in a remote mode (temporary or permanent) and we are working very hard to meet all your needs. Your involvement as a partner in your child’s education is critical to the success of this model. Please continue to provide us with feedback and we will do the best we can to accommodate. Remember to take advantage of the supports our remote teachers are offering.


Diane Ditton (review of weekly assignments and content area support)

· 11:30am 3rd grade zoom meeting (Mon – Thurs)

· 12:00pm 4th grade zoom meeting (Mon – Thurs)


Krista Parrett (review of weekly assignments and content area support)

11:00 am 5th and 6th Remote Zoom (Mon – Thurs)


Both teachers are available for additional support by appointment.


Thanks for understanding our change in materials pick up from Fridays to Mondays. While this is a change, it allows teachers to better prepare for all the activities over the course of the week for your child. Your child will have things they can get started on first thing Monday morning that do not require the physical materials.


Whether you are in temporary remote mode or permanent remote school, remember you have access to Tina Moore’s music activities and Justin Zank’s PE activities posted to their google classrooms.

Student Council

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Community Garden

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Grab It & Go!

Get It & Go Meals for KPBSD Students Begin Monday, August 24, 2020


Students who receive their education via 100% Remote Learning, or if schools shift to 100% Remote Learning during COVID19 High Risk, can order Get It & Go Meals


Sign-Up with the Pre-Order Meals Form above!


Action: complete the simple online sign-up for lunch and breakfast meals. If you do not have access to the internet, call KPBSD Student Nutrition Services at 907-714-8890.


100% Remote Learning Students pickup is once a week: Wednesday from 10:00-10:30 AM


Get-It & Go Meals at 29 Schools


  • Small across the water schools: Nanwalek School, Port Graham School, Tebughna School
  • Eastern Peninsula: Moose Pass School, Seward Elementary, Seward Middle School, Seward High School
  • Kenai Area: Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science, Kenai Alternative School, Kenai Central High School, Kenai Middle School, Mountain View Elementary
  • Nikiski Area: Nikiski Middle-High School, Nikiski North Star Elementary
  • Soldotna Area: K-Beach Elementary, Redoubt Elementary, Soldotna High School, Skyview Middle School, Soldotna Elementary, Tustumena Elementary
  • Sterling Area: Sterling Elementary School
  • Southern Peninsula: Chapman School, Homer High School, Homer Middle School, McNeil Canyon School, Nikolaevsk School, Ninilchik School, Paul Banks Elementary, West Homer Elementary


Pickup is curbside at the school this fall. If the student is not present, please have the student ID to present at the pickup location. We apologize that no special dietary substitutions will be accommodated. When you pick up your meals, protect your personal health and the people near you by frequent hand-washing, wearing cloth face coverings, and keeping a distance of 6 feet or more between yourself and others.


If you have questions, or do not have internet access to complete the weekly online signup, call KPBSD Student Nutrition Services, 907-714-8890, or email dbuchanan@KPBSD.org

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Golden Apple Award Recipient Krista Etzwiler!

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District - Golden Apple Award - Krista Etzwiler


Kenai Peninsula Borough School District | Golden Apple Award | September 14, 2020

Ms. Krista Etzwiler, West Homer Elementary School Teacher


“Providing art opportunities for kids brings me joy. I like to think big and long-lasting so that everyone’s efforts can be enjoyed by many people for a long time.” –Ms. Krista Etzwiler


There is no official art teacher at West Homer Elementary; rather, classroom teachers deliver art instruction to their students regardless of experience. Ms. Krista Etzwiler has been a leader in the school building in this curricular area by taking on the undefined role of Art Educator. On her own initiative, she supports her peers in their professional development in art instruction, envisions and mobilizes school-wide art projects, volunteers to coordinate the Artist in Residence program, volunteers to plan the whole school Art Faire, and volunteers on the Site Council.


Principal Eric Waltenbaugh describes her contributions: “The projects she initiates at West Homer Elementary contribute to the vibrant creative school culture and enhance the overall educational environment. As part of the Site Council, she participated in the creation of the entryway mural in the foyer of the building that aligns with our mission statement. Also, as a Site Council project she spearheaded the creation of positive message posters that are displayed in all the bathrooms in the building. Each year she volunteers to coordinate our Artist in Residence program working tirelessly on ensuring all students and adults in the building benefit from this yearly experience. She seeks out and vets candidates, collaborates with artists to meet our needs, and coordinates with teachers. Every three years we put on an Art Faire and she takes it upon herself to coordinate this school-wide show for the community. She has an eye for making these experiences interactive for both students and the public, finding creative ways to engage families. One year she experimented with QR codes where students recorded their artist statements and so when parents moved through the displays in the school, they could access the student audio statements by scanning the codes with their phones. She also designed critical thinking sheets students and community used to explore and think about the artistic elements present in the student work.


After the City of Homer put in a cement retaining wall on Soundview Avenue facing the school, it did not take long for Krista to see the opportunity to collaborate with local agencies to garner support for creating an installation that fit with the school and involved everyone in it. In addition to the wall, she worked on a matching painted cement sign. In the process she discovered there was power to the sign and was able to get it lighted once again. And, in true Krista spirit, she took it one step further to get strings of lights to adorn the five spruce trees at the entry to our campus. On dark winter days, it is a joy to tum in to the school and see the festive lights and colorful sign.


We instituted a campus beautification day during the final short week of the school year where classes engaged in projects to beautify the school grounds. Krista got a number of classes involved in painting the concrete light post bases on the ground in various coordinated colors to match the building, retaining wall mural, and West Homer Elementary sign. Her efforts are visible throughout the West Homer Elementary building and grounds, and her energy and support of her colleagues in their art instruction has improved student skills, enjoyment, and understanding of the arts.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Ms. Krista Etzwiler for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Art Installation


The retaining wall mural was completed by all students in WHE over two years. Phase 1 project was painting the wave design, and Phase 2 completed 43 stained glass mosaic salmon for the walls.

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Battle of the Book List 2020-21

3/4 Grade

Bee the change - Preller, James

Bob - Mass, Wendy

Boy called Bat - Arnold, Elana

Douggie: the playful pup who became a sled dog hero - Flowers, Pam

Dying to meet you - Klise, Kate

EllRay Jakes is not a chicken! - Warner, Sally

March of the mini beasts - Hopper, Ada

Moo - Creech, Sharon

Stargazing - Wang, Jen

Turtle in paradise - Holm, Jennifer L

Water Horse - King-Smith, Dick

Wild robot - Brown, Peter


5/6 Grade

Amal unbound - Saeed, Aisha

Bud, not Buddy - Curtis, Christopher Paul

Dactyl Hill Squad - Older, Daniel Jose

Enginerds - Lerner, Jarrett

Front desk - Yang, Kelly

Guts - Telgemeier, Raina

Out of my mind - Draper, Sharon

Parker Inheritance - Johnson, Varian

Screaming Staircase - Stroud, Jonathan

Skeleton Tree - Lawrence, Iain

Thing about Jellyfish - Benjamin, Ali

What is the women's rights movement? - Hopkinson, Deborah