Hillside News Brief

December 3, 2021

Important Dates for You

December 9, 7:00-8:30 p.m. - 5th/6th Grade Strings Concert at Westside High School

December 10 - Hillside Spirit Day (wear blue and orange OR Hillside spirit wear)

Tuesday, December 14, 6:00-7:00 p.m. - Hillside Community Club meeting in the teachers' lounge

Tuesday, December 21 - STEAM Day at Hillside. Please see the Sign-Up Genius in this newsletter to volunteer if you'd like to help with STEAM Day.

December 22 - January 4 - Winter Break (students return Wednesday, January 5th)

Hillside Event Calendar 21-22 School Year

Click here to see events for this coming school year!

State Testing Information for Sixth Grade Parents/Guardians Only

The state of Nebraska is moving to a new through-year assessment model to replace the traditional NSCAS tests students have previously taken in the spring. This new model, NSCAS Growth, incorporates elements of MAP Growth and NSCAS Summative. In Westside Community Schools, students in grades 6 through 8 will participate in a pilot of this new model between December 6 and 17. The scores from these tests will not be used to make high-stakes decisions about your student’s instructional programming, and because it is a pilot, students who are absent on test day or are unable to finish the test in the allotted time may not receive a score.

Sixth graders will be participating in testing starting next week. Please watch the sixth grade newsletters for more specific testing information for your sixth grader.

Traffic Help Needed!

Thank you to those carpool drivers who are taking the time to enter the carpool lane correctly, wait in line, and move forward as much as possible to pick up a rider or riders. You are truly appreciated, and the Hillside staff values your patience and courtesy. The Hillside carpool line moves efficiently; please remember that we are dismissing nearly 400 children at the same time! Many go to buses or carpools.

We have had some reports from staff that there are a few folks entering our parking lot from the exit on 76th Street. This practice is incredibly dangerous and could result in a head-on collision. Please let Principal Bailey know if you see this happening; a license plate number and/or photo of the car would be appreciated!

Also, please know that we will ask every person picking up a child to use the sidewalk instead of walking across traffic; it is important that we model safe behavior at pickup as much as possible. There is lots of traffic, and we want to keep kiddos out of harm's way.

Hillside teachers who are on duty during carpool time will not engage in conversations at that time; anyone on carpool duty must pay close attention to directing traffic. If you need to speak to that teacher, please head into the office to request an appointment.

Thank you so much for helping us to keep carpool safe and efficient.

Crosswalk Concerns

Drivers, please be aware that stopping in the middle of a crosswalk is very dangerous! Some of our students are walking around your car if you are stopped in the crosswalk. Please, please do not stop in the middle of a crosswalk, especially around our school at peak walking hours! We want to keep all our students safe.

Water Bottles for Sale in the Cafeteria Will be Discontinued

It is important for all to understand that sale of bottled water in the cafeteria will end starting Monday, December 6. We want you to know that water cups will be available at the checkout stand in the cafeteria, and students will be welcome to get water from the fountain there. Students may also bring their personal water bottle to the cafeteria if they wish to do so.

Purchase of water is not included with a lunch (it is extra), and we see many students purchasing a bottle of water and then dumping out most of it before leaving the cafeteria. The plastic bottles end up in the landfill. We are wanting to reduce waste and our carbon footprint, if at all possible.

Thank you for understanding.

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Unified Activity on December 8

The district's next Unified activity will be a movie night at Westside High School. Please click the link below to see the details for the December 8 movie night.

Link: https://www.smore.com/x82t3

COVID Vaccine Clinic Information

The Douglas County Health Department has asked us Westside and other area school districts to share the following link regarding upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children ages 5-12 who may now be eligible to receive it.


Westside Community Schools is also hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Saturday November 20 at Westside Middle School, 8601 Arbor Street. Our site will be open from 10:00am until 2:00pm; this is a walk-in clinic and appointments are not needed. This site is open to children ages 5 through 11, as well as those 12 years and older interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. A second dose vaccine clinic is scheduled for December 11 from 10:00am until 2pm, also at Westside Middle School

We understand this a personal choice for your family and encourage you to discuss at home and with your family doctor. For additional information about Westside’s response and protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit this link on our website: https://www.westside66.org/domain/408

If you have additional questions about anything related to COVID-19 and Westside Community Schools guidelines, please email feedback@westside66.net.

Free/Reduced Lunch Applications and Holiday Assistance

Westside families and staff,

We have two important items we hope you consider as we approach the holidays, both supporting the well-being of our Westside students and families.


Our records of students who are registered for free & reduced meals has plummeted for the 2021/22 school year. We fear this is not because of a lack of need, but because meals are free for all students, funded by the US Department of Agriculture. If you would traditionally qualify for free or reduced-price meals, it is important you file an application. Through that application, your student becomes eligible for additional benefits including fee waivers for scholarships, ACT/SAT testing, computers, transportation, summer school, activity cards, prom band instruments, etc. In addition, our district receives state and local funding based on the number of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. That funding is vital for Westside Community Schools.

CLICK HERE to complete the Free & Reduced Meal application online: https://www.myschoolapps.com/. If you would like to complete a traditional paper application, please send an email to Michele Divoky, divoky.michele@westside66.net or call 402.390.3382.


Once again this year, Westside Community Schools will be working together with our high school homerooms and a network of amazing community volunteers to support our district families in need this upcoming holiday season. Through the confidential and compassionate work of our district Social Workers, Counselors and Psychologists, we are able to assist those in our school community who may need extra help.

There are a number of ways you can help:

If your classroom, your department, your family or your place of business is interested in supporting a Westside student or family this holiday season, please email Molly Hurley at hurley.molly@westside66.net by November 19, 2021.

Thank you for your generosity and support, and for affirming the “WE” in Westside.

Westside Clothing Closet

The Westside Clothing Closet is in desperate need of winter coats and new packages of boys and girls underwear. They accept gently used coats, sizes 4/5 through adult XXL (children, women’s, and men's)! The Clothing Closet also needs new packaged underwear for all sizes, elementary through high school.

You can drop off any donations, Monday thru Friday, from 9am-12pm at the Family Resource Center at the Pipal Community Center ,7770 Hascall St. You can also drop off any donations to the Clothing Closet at Hillside, and we will get them to the resource center. Or, you can contact westsidethecloset@gmail.com to make other arrangements.

Thank you for your assistance. We want to help all our families with their needs, and donations are a big part of that!

Westside Community Schools Family Resource Center Information

Hillside STEAM Day is Tuesday, December 21st

From 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 21, Hillside will be hosting a STEAM Day! What is STEAM? Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. We want to give Hillside students hands-on experiences in these areas, and we need your help! If you are available to help run a STEAM station or organize in any way, we need you! Please access the Sign-Up Genius here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4DA5A922A0F49-steam

if you are available and willing to help us with STEAM Day (more details to follow).

Use TAGG (Together a Greater Good) to Help Hillside

Remember that the TAGG (Together a Great Good) app can help Hillside financially. Many business in the metro area will donate a percentage of every sale; all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt. It's easy and fast, and every receipt is worth some $$ for Hillside if you make Hillside a beneficiary of your support on the app.

1) Download the TAGG app

2) When in the app, choose Hillside as a place to support

When you are ready to process a purchase:

2) Touch the "TAGG a purchase" button

3) Touch "Hillside" when asked to choose whom to support

4) Find and touch the business that generated your receipt

5) Take a photo of your receipt

6) Upload your receipt

That's it! It's that easy.

Thank you for TAGG-ing your purchases regularly for Hillside!

HyVee Receipts

Did you know that HyVee is a participant in the TAGG (Together a Greater Good) program? That's right! HyVee will donate a percentage of every receipt (exceptions: no gift cards, lottery purchases, money orders/transfers, or pre-paid debit cards) to Hillside if you make Hillside an entity you support. This also goes for the HyVee convenience store purchases and gas purchases, as well!

Hillside's Community Club used to collect HyVee receipts for a period of time during first semester, but no longer! TAGG benefits Hillside all year long and during the summer, too! Be sure to TAGG your purchases each time you visit HyVee. Thank you for supporting Hillside!

Boxtops for Education

Boxtops for Education has gone digital! Please access the link below to see how you can help our Community Club to benefit from Boxtops for Education:


Thanks for your help!

Holiday Assistance

It’s hard to believe but the holiday season is right around the corner. As part of the Westside Community Schools family, we are fortunate to have some groups and organizations that are generous in many ways, especially when it comes to helping children.

Each year, several churches in the community, community service clubs and individual donors offer to help students whose families may be experiencing some temporary financial setbacks due to the tough economic times. These groups often donate a food basket, clothing and/or gifts. These items are meant to assist you in what you are already providing for your family.

If your family is not receiving assistance from other organizations, we are here to provide support. If you need assistance during the holiday season, please contact your school counselor, Mr. Zach Maloley at maloley.zachary@westside66.net or call 402-408-8462.

PBiS Skill of the Week for Next Week

Hillside, like all schools in Westside Community Schools, operates with a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support practice. This means we focus on recognizing when students are demonstrating positive behaviors. Of course, we work to help students correct behaviors that are not as positive, and we provide supports for students who need it.

Hillside announces daily the social Skill of the Week. This is the skill we are focusing on as a building for the entire week. Next week's Skill of the Week is: Active Listening. When you listen actively, you:

  • Look at the person who is talking and remain quiet
  • Wait until the person is finished talking before you speak
  • Show that you heard them by nodding your head, saying, "Okay," "That's interesting," etc.

A Message from our Counselor, Mr. Maloley

In our classroom counseling lessons, we have been learning about the Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation provide a uniform and understandable language for elementary students to recognize their emotions and use their tools to get back to the ‘green zone.’ I have attached a list of the zones and the emotions in those zones. Some skills we have taught that your kids may know are deep breathing, positive imagery, and taking a break. I find it helpful to use this language at school as well as in the home so that we can holistically teach this approach to kids.

Mr. Maloley, Counselor at Hillside

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Westside Snack List 2021-22

District-approved snacks that you can bring in to school any time!