October 2015


As we begin the second month of school, the Westowne staff would like to thank the parents and community members for their support with the implementation of all programs. Both the primary and intermediate Back-to-School nights were well-attended and many positive comments were made regarding the information received on the grade level curriculum, grade level expectations, field trips, the school wide behavior management plan, and the additional forms of communication. This year promises to be a successful school year as the WES staff is steadfast in our commitment to provide a rigorous, engaging, and challenging instructional program that ensures success for the academic achievement and social/emotional/behavioral growth of our students.

A big thank you to the students and parents/guardians who have been extremely friendly, understanding, and flexible while we streamline and improve the arrival and dismissal procedures. At this time, all students enter through the main lobby doors and make their way to individual classrooms. During the dismissal process, all walkers and car riders are dismissed through the main lobby doors and all bus riders exit through the gymnasium doors. Staff members without homerooms and grade five safeties are positioned throughout the hallways, entrances/exits, and car drop-off and pick-up during both arrival and dismissal. If your student is to go home a different way than normal, please remember to send a note to the teacher and/or call the school. Please feel free to speak with any teacher or the administration if you have any questions regarding the process. As always, thank you in advance for your assistance, patience, and understanding. We certainly want to make sure our students are safe!


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Construction Updates


Greetings from the health suite. If you have not returned the yellow Consent for Administration of Approved Discretionary Medications and Health Contact Information form, please do so. The form is a vital piece of the health care record, and, it ensures that I have a working phone number to call when your child is ill. If your child has been absent due to illness, please send a note to school when your child returns. Also, if your child has an injury or a medical condition that requires exclusion from PE, please provide a note from the physician. All inhalers and epi pens must be brought to school by an adult with an order from the doctor. The inhalers and epi pens must be in the original box from the pharmacy with the prescription label attached. Please, do not send any type of medications to school in your child’s backpack.

Students will soon have an opportunity to receive FluMist vaccines at Westowne. Our school has partnered with the Maryland Partnership for Prevention to offer seasonal flu vaccines. The seasonal vaccine, given as a nasal spray, will protect your child from catching seasonal flu. Outbreaks of the flu can lead to increased school absenteeism and lost days of work for parents. The CDC recommends this vaccine for all children ages 2 years and older. The vaccination is not mandatory. Look for the consent forms which were sent home with your child. The consent form must be completed in full and returned to Nurse Martin by Oct. 15th. No late or incomplete consents will be accepted. The Flu Mist Clinic is on Oct. 23, 2015. The school nurse is available to answer any questions you may have.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at jmartin13@bcps.org or at 410-869-0023.


ART TO REMEMBER fundraiser is in full swing!

Students in grades 1-5 have created art for the program and it has now been shipped to the company.

Dates to know: Personalized Order forms will go home to students around 10/9. There is about one week to order. Parent orders/payments are due 10/16/15.

Late orders/payments are accepted online for about 3 weeks after the due date. An online code is on each order form.

Keepsakes will be delivered to WES approximately 11/26/15. A pick up night will be announced. Any remaining merchandise will be sent home with students shortly thereafter.


We’re excited to begin our new season of Math Homework Helpers next Wednesday, October 7th. Your students will be able to call into the LIVE show on Wednesday from 4:30 – 5:30, get help with their math homework and win some cool prizes!

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Emergency Drill Procedures

During the school year, students and staff members practice a series of emergency drills to ensure the safety of our WES students. These drills include monthly fire drills, two five-hundred foot evacuation drills, two lock down drills, and two severe weather drills. These drills are explained and practiced by the classroom teacher at the beginning of each school year in hopes that students understand how to perform during the drills in a safe and appropriate manner. Please see the drill explanations below so you are able to work with and explain each process to your student(s). Several of the ten fire drills are announced during the year, but many are not, allowing for evaluation of the building evacuation in a manner more consistent with a real emergency. The drill procedures provided below are in general terms and may have additional steps due to location of a classroom, student needs, etc. These drills/situations may be frightening for students, but are necessary to ensure student safety. Drills will not be announced to the public, but procedures will be practiced and explained by the classroom teachers prior to drills being completed.

Fire Drills and 500 Foot Evacuation Drills (for use when conditions are safer outside than inside):

  1. Alarm will sound indicating the need to evacuate the building.

  2. Students will line up to be escorted out of the building.

  3. Windows and doors will be closed.

  4. Students will exit the building following the classroom evacuation route. If this route is blocked, the teacher will indicate a secondary route for students to follow.

  5. Students will exit the building and form a line in a pre-determined location away from the building. During a 500 foot drill, student will move at least 500 feet away from the building.

  6. Students’ will stand silently, facing the building so they may hear or see others who may need assistance evacuating the building.

  7. Teachers will check for injuries and complete attendance and turn in the “Emergency Attendance Sheet” to an administrator.

  8. When all students are accounted for, the principal will call “all clear” and direct students and teachers to re-enter the building.

    Lock Down Drills:

  1. An announcement will be made over the intercom system stating, “Teachers, we are now in lockdown status.” If not a drill, 911 will be notified immediately.

  2. Students will be cleared from hallways and immediately report to the nearest available classroom.

  3. Students at recess will be directed to move immediately to an interior classroom unless deemed safer to remain outside.

  4. Students at lunch will be directed to move immediately to the nearest classroom unless deemed safer to lock down in the cafeteria.

  5. Teacher will close and lock all windows and doors.

  6. Teacher will turn off lights, close window blinds, and cover interior door windows.

  7. Students will be moved to an interior wall to position them away from the threat and to minimize visibility from windows and doors.

  8. Student will be directed to sit on the floor and remain silent until indicated otherwise.

  9. Teachers and faculty members will check for injuries, complete attendance, and utilize cell phones and/or two-way radios to communicate this information to the office. If possible, Teachers complete attendance and turn in the “Emergency Attendance Sheet” to an administrator. It is the principal’s responsibility to provide additional information to teachers.

  10. Teachers and student will ignore all bells and will not allow students to leave the classroom.

  11. Parents attempting to enter or exit the building during the Lockdown will be notified to remain in classrooms/office until lockdown is over.

  12. When all students are accounted for and the situation deemed safe, the principal will call “all clear” and direct students and teachers to return to instruction.

    Severe Weather (Safe Area) Drills (For use in severe weather emergencies such as high winds and/or severe thunderstorms):

  1. An announcement will be made over the intercom system stating, “Teachers, we are now in severe weather status.”

  2. The office will monitor emergency alert broadcasts.

  3. Classroom teachers will close windows, doors, and blinds.

  4. Occupants of portable classrooms shall move to the main building to designated safe areas. (Special areas will move to the individual classroom they are working with and fifth grade classrooms will move to cafeteria or library.)

  5. Teachers will check for injuries, complete attendance and turn in the “Emergency Attendance Sheet” to an administrator. It is the principal’s responsibility to provide additional information to teachers.


Recycling Center Collection Contest

How many items can your class collect?

Starting on Monday, October 19th classes will be collecting items to be recycled in our state-of-the-art recycling center! We are focused on items that will make our school money!

We are looking for these items:

*juice pouches

*writing instruments

*ink cartridges *dental products

The contest will end October 29th – the class with the most items will win a candy party on the 30th!

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Westowne is excited about using social media outlets to communicate with parents and community members. On Wednesday, October 14th Westowne Elementary will open a new Facebook and Instagram page. Along with our Twitter account these communication outlets will assist in sharing important information and dates as well as celebrating the accomplishments of the Westowne students. Please join us at the links below as well as the PTA new Facebook page to share positive thoughts about our students and our school.
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