Words to the Wise

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that the holidays are behind us and that the school year is almost half over! The second marking period will end on Friday, January 25, 2019, with report cards being distributed on Thursday, February 7, 2019. Here’s to keeping all those New Year’s resolutions!


As we complete the second marking period, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our families for supporting Westowne Elementary and the instructional program. Students come prepared to learn and parents understand that school is extremely important and expect students to give one hundred percent. Thank you for spending time each evening to listen to daily events, assist with homework, and to encourage efforts to meet the academic challenges of each grade level.


Westowne is very fortunate to have many parent volunteers visit and assist teachers and students daily. Many volunteers complete work at home to support the instructional program and special events planned for the year. During the remaining months, the faculty, staff, and administration look forward to working with you to ensure a successful year for every student. A special thank you to the Westowne PTA for their commitment and dedication to all staff and students. It is always great to have so many supportive and involved parents. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year! A special thank you to the 361 parents, grandparents, and family members that visited Westowne during American Education Week. It was quite a turnout! We thank you for your patience and for your assistance and participation while in the classrooms. A very big thanks to the PTA for providing snacks and beverages each morning and for their assistance with signing in and directing visitors to the correct rooms! We also thank our PTA for the set-up and staffing of the wonderful Holiday Shoppe. What a great opportunity for our students!


To ensure students refocus on instruction as quickly as possible after the break, all teachers will reinforce/reteach routines in the following areas: classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, cafeteria, and recess. I ask that all parents assist with this effort and remind students about proper behavior while in school. It is very important that classroom disruptions are kept to an absolute minimum so instructional delivery is consistent and meets all students’ needs.

I have attached the Westowne Code of Conduct below to assist you if you decide to hold a conversation with your child(ren). By reinforcing our school’s high behavioral expectations at home, I hope to ensure an overall calm and safe learning environment. Thank you in advance for your support!


Code of Conduct

Effective instruction is best implemented in a structured and nurturing environment. Hence, this Code of Conduct will be instituted systemically by faculty and administration and be posted in each classroom. The four components of the Code of Conduct will be recited daily during morning announcements:


I am a part of the Westowne family

I am Respectful

I am Responsible

I am Safe

I am Prepared

A Message from Mrs. Pachino

Helping your child with homework can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. My own son struggled with attention and organizational issues, so I learned early that he required additional supports to be successful. Throughout the years, I have shared these ideas with many parents. Perhaps they will help you too.


Prepare all items that your child may need such as sharpened pencils, crayons, glue and scissors so no time is wasted searching for supplies.


Use a timer to help your child recognize and appreciate the time required to complete a task. For the anxious student, a timer also shows the helps students see that there is an end to the activity.


For all those hungry students walking in the door, provide a healthy snack in the “homework area”.


Have resources at your fingertips to aid in calculation, reading and

writing.

For additional ideas, feel free to contact me at lpachino@bcps.org.

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A Message from the Nurse

Please send your child to school with a reusable water bottle each day. Students are allowed and encouraged to drink more water every day in school! If they have a water bottle in the classroom, they miss less time from class going to the water cooler.


If your student comes home wearing clothing from the nurse’s office, please wash and return only the shirts and pants; the underwear cannot be reused; it is yours to keep.


Students who bring cough drops to school are sent to the nurse. The nurse will keep the cough drops in an envelope, labeled with your child’s name, and the nurse will dispense the cough drops as needed. This prevents cough drops from getting into the mouths of students who should not have cough drops. Thank you for your understanding!


If your student needs prescription medication at school, please have the physician complete the medication order form. You can pick up, or I can send home, a medication order form from the school. Once the physician has completed the order, and, you have completed the parent section, an adult can bring the completed form and the medication to the nurse. We will count the medication together and sign the form together. This includes: Epipen, inhaler, ADHD medications. If you have any questions regarding the dispensing of medication at school, please contact Nurse Martin at 443-809-0023 or jmartin13@bcps.org.


It is cold and flu season!! Please encourage and practice good hand washing with soap and water. Soap is more effective at killing germs than hand sanitizer. If soap is not available, hand sanitizer can be used. If your child has a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, please keep your child home for 24 hours after the last symptom! Fever-free for 24 hours means fever-free without giving medication to reduce the fever. When in doubt, call the pediatrician to ask if it is safe to send your child back to school. If you do take your child to the doctor, please get a note for school which states the date that your child may return to school.


If your child has any type of injury or surgery that prevents participation in PE/recess, or requires any sort of accommodations at school, please provide a note/letter from the doctor stating the restrictions and the dates that the restrictions are applicable. We will need a note from the doctor when the child is able to participate without restrictions or accommodations.


I wish you great health this month!!


Nurse Martin

443-809-0023

jmartin13@bcps.org

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A Message from Ms. Johnson

ALL Students in BCPS have Student Accounts at the Public Library

As a part of the partnership between the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) and Public Library (BCPL), all BCPS students have a BCPL Student Account. With a BCPL Student Account, BCPS students can explore BCPL’s research databases and check out up to five items from the public library. Students can use their BCPS identification number to take advantage of their BCPL Student Account. During Library Media class in November, students in grades 1 to 5 were given information about Student Accounts and their BCPS ID numbers.


Owl be recommending…

How do you stay busy and entertained on an unexpected snow day? Make something or explore a new hobby. This month, Owl be recommending…

books and ebooks that provide ideas for homemade projects.


  • Cookbooks – recipes from different countries and cultures, for different holidays, and from various times in history.

  • Crafts – from knitting to papercrafts; from recycled items to birdhouses; from photography to scrapbooking; for holidays, cultures/countries and subjects like space, plants, math, and more

  • Origami – and paper folding for dinosaurs, creepy crawly animals, holidays, and more

    Westowne’s eBooks can be accessed online anytime in Destiny, with the students’ usernames and passwords. With their BCPL Student Account, the public library’s eBooks are always available to students too.

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News from the PTA

Calendar information

Tuesday, January 8th from 7pm - 8:30pm: Please join us at the PTA meeting. Entrance is at the back library doors.


Thursday, January 10th - Restaurant Night at Peace a Pizza, 15 Mellor Ave, Catonsville, MD 21228


Monday, January 14th - SWAEAC Meeting - Technology & digital health/safety Catonsville Middle School 2301 Edmondson Ave, Catonsville, MD 21228



Monday, January 21st - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday – School and Office Closed



Friday, January 25th - Second Marking Period Ends – School Closes 3 Hours Early at 12:50 pm


JOIN OUR CLASS:

Join Our Class, a free directory service administered by the PTA, is up and running! This is a way for families with students at Westowne to share contact information to share invitations for playdates or events outside of the school.

If you are new to Join Our Class and/or Westowne:

1. Go to https://invited.joinourclass.com. ...
2. Enter the following code: di5xoa
3. Wait for approval email, create password, and sign into directory. Note - be sure to check your junk email folder for the invitation if you do not see it in your regular inbox.
4. Once in, go to families tab and look up your name.
5. Hit the "show family" button (the icon with people on it).
6. Add your student or students and assign them to the appropriate grade and class.


Note: Join Our Class will ask for things like "linkedin profile", address, and a photo. You DO NOT have to enter these things unless you want to - only your email address.

Any questions - feel free to PM me or send an email to westownepta@gmail.com.

If you have already signed up for Join Our Class and have your login information:

1. Go to: https://westownepta.joinourclass.com/ and login.
2. Search for your child's name under the families tab, with "Student Info" highlighted.
3. When your child's name comes up, hit the "edit" button under "actions". Then, modify any information needed, including class information.
4. You can also add another student to your family under the "edit" function.

Any questions - send an email to westownepta@gmail.com

Getting Ready for the Summer? Start Your Research Now

Kids might count down to summer vacation all year, but for parents, the last school bell can signal stress about finding affordable summer childcare. Whether it be looking for a camp or a daycare service, here are some resources for you to look into.


https://www.kidscamps.com/


https://www.activitytree.com/kids-classes-lessons-and-camps/all/maryland/catonsville/21228/



Maryland family network - help parents looking for care and also providers who have openings. Free service. You can go online or call them.

http://www.marylandfamilynetwork.org/programs-servi…/locate/


Maryland mapping tool..

http://geodata.md.gov/mdcc/


Ask friends and family for recommendations.


Baltimore county family child care association.
Http://www.bcfcca.com/

Schoology

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Officer Bryan and McGruff the Crime Dog's visit

Officer Bryan and McGruff the Crime Dog visited with our Second Graders Thursday, January 3rd to discuss drug safety. The children recognized the importance of reading the instructions, following directions and talking to their parent and doctor about medication. There were a lot of great questions for Officer Bryan to answer!!
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Irvine Nature Center - Eco-Explorers K - 2nd Grade

Irvine Nature Center is bringing its Eco-Explorers afterschool program back to Westowne.



The K-2 sessions will have the themes of Outer Space (Jan – March) and Habitats & Biomes (April – June).


If you have any questions, please contact Tara Lilly at Irvine (her email address and phone number are on the flier).


The registration is done completely online through Irvine.
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Irvine Nature Center - Eco-Explorers 3rd - 5th Grade

Irvine Nature Center is bringing its Eco-Explorers afterschool program back to Westowne.




The 3-5 sessions will have the themes of Renewable Energy (Jan – March) and Wetlands (April – June).



If you have any questions, please contact Tara Lilly at Irvine (her email address and phone number are on the flier).


The registration is done completely online through Irvine.
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Getting Ready for the Summer? Start Your Research

https://www.kidscamps.com/


Maryland family network - help parents looking for care and also providers who have openings. Free service. You can go online or call them.

http://www.marylandfamilynetwork.org/programs-servi…/locate/


Maryland mapping tool..

http://geodata.md.gov/mdcc/


Ask friends and family for recommendations.


Baltimore county family child care association.
Http://www.bcfcca.com/

Notes from the Office

​The office would like to remind parents to:


1. Communicate changes in transportation with your child and your child's teacher. Your communication can be through Class Dojo, email or by sending a note in with your child. Please communicate your child's mode of transportation as early in the day as possible. Please remember that your child's teacher is instructing students and cannot answer Dojo right away.


2. Please be mindful that school is dismissed at 3:45pm. It is very difficult for the office staff to communicate messages to students at 3:30pm. Students are changing classes, coming in from recess, getting their things packed up, and receiving final instructions from the teacher.


3. BCPSNOW is a phone application that has the school calendar and lunch menu.


4. BCPS uses an electronic visitor registration system. Designated school and office staff are to request photo identification which is scanned through an electronic system. Administrative employees and school resource officers are alerted if it determined that there is a potential match with the sex offender registry.

Closing and Delays for Inclement Weather


When inclement weather is forcasted, please stay tuned to local media for closings, delayed openings or early dismissals. Please do not call the school to verify closing or delays. The following resources provide up to the minute updates about school closings, delays, and early dismissals!


**Unless the school office is notified in writing, the children will be dismissed their normal way. The fax number to the school is 443-809-0856

***If the YMCA aftercare is closed, those students will be dismissed according to the emergency contact form. You should also communicate through Class DOJO with your child’s teacher the mode of transportation.


When School is 1 hour late:

  • Doors open at 10 am – late bell at 10:15

  • Breakfast is served

  • No morning Pre-School / Pre – K

  • No YMCA before care program


  • When School is 2 hours late:

  • Doors open at 11 am – late bell at 11:15

  • Breakfast is served

  • No morning Pre-School / Pre-K

  • No YMCA before care program

  • Modified lunch schedule


  • When School is closed 2 hours early

  • Students are dismissed at 1:50pm

  • No Aftercare YMCA program.

  • No afternoon Pre-School / Pre-K

  • No midday transportation for the am Pre-School / Pre-K students. The parents must pick up at 11:40 am

  • Lunch will be served


When School is closed 3 hours early

  • Students are dismissed at 12:50pm

  • No Aftercare YMCA program.

  • No afternoon Pre-School / Pre-K

  • No midday transportation for the am Pre-School / Pre-K students. The parents must pick up at 11:40 am

  • Lunch will be served