The Wildcat News

Western Hills Magnet Center - January 7, 2020

Principal's Message

Happy 2020 to all students, parents, family members and the entire Western Hills community! I was so glad and excited to see all of our students smiling faces this morning! In returning to school it also made me think…WOW…we are half-way through the school year. Second semester officially starts today. The calendar says January but I'm thankful for the not so winter weather as we start back this week! Thanks for your careful attention in making sure your child(ren) are properly dressed for the weather. We try to go outside for lunch recess daily unless the temperature is extremely low and the conditions are unsafe. Please know that we do have a small supply of coats/hats/mittens/etc in the Main Office. Check out the Lost and Found also if your child is missing mittens, hats, scarves, and other items that have been misplaced.

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been numerous communications about school selection for next year. If you are making a change of schools and need a School Choice Application, please contact the Western Hills office. All School Selection Choice forms, especially sixth grade must be returned to Western Hills by January 29th. If you have any questions, please call the Western Hills office, (531) 299-2240.

The new year is off and rolling and we are already rocking at Western Hills. In addition to regular daily instruction, students and staff are continuing to focus and prepare to take a number of assessments (district and state). Students in Grade 3-6 will be taking the MAP test beginning tomorrow through the end of January and the NSCAS Reading, Math and Science Tests in March and April. As you can see, we are very busy and we need your help to ensure students are on time and ready to learn each day! Thanks for your support! - Mrs. Harbison

Welcome to our new Librarian - Mrs. McKenzie

Welcome Mrs. McKenzie! Mrs. McKenzie grew up in good ol’ Omaha. Mrs. McKenzie attended several Omaha Public Schools for elementary school: Dundee, Boyd, Park, Field Club and Clifton Hill. Mrs. McKenzie said “I loved everything about school, I even played school every night using a big chalk board in my bedroom, stuffed animals and occasionally my little sisters. if they let me." One of her favorite things to do was to find new books to read, making new friends, and of course RECESS, where she was a kickball queen. The two subjects Mrs. McKenzie enjoyed the most were Reading and Science.

Mrs. McKenzie had always known she wanted to be a teacher but in third grade she was inspired by a teacher at her school. In total Mrs. McKenzie has been teaching for 15 years all with OPS. One of Mrs. McKenzie’s favorite things is to be able to teach students in the library, “I have a passion for books and love seeing all our Wildcats get excited about books too.” As far as a teaching superpower Mrs. McKenzie feels she can take any situation and turn it into a learning opportunity.

Outside of school Mrs. McKenzie like to spend time with her ever-busy family, attending sporting events and school functions for her two boys. On the days when she is not in class at UNO or with her family she likes reading, watching a good classic movie and listening to podcasts.

ROAR’n and Rockin’ Around the Gym

Did you hear what a great celebration our students had on our last day before Winter break? The afternoon of December 20th our students enjoyed great music by DJ Next One recognizing their outstanding efforts in behavior and attendance! Our PK – 6th grade students danced their socks off at our ROAR and Strive for 95 Attendance Sock Hop! We are so proud of our Wildcats who follow our school ROAR expectations everyday and are striving for 95% daily attendance!

Student Drop Off

Please remember when you are dropping your child off in the morning, the main doors are not open into the school until 8:35 am. If your drop you child off before that time they will have to wait outside unless the temperature is below 10 degrees. Most of our school staff are not on duty until 8:25 am and are unavailable to supervise children left earlier at the front of the building. We want all of our students to be safe, so please don't drop children off before 8:35 am at Western Hills.

After Hours Voice Mail

In order to be more responsive to your phone calls, just a reminder the voice mail in the office has been set up for your convenience. Please free free to use that line to communicate any attendance information or other after hours information and details.

Kindergarten Round-Up

Kindergarten Round-Up

Kindergarten Round-Up at Western Hills is scheduled for Thursday, January 23rd from 2:30—3:30 p.m. This event is for parents and students to attend. If you have a child who will be five years of age on or before July 31, 2020 and are planning on sending him/her to kindergarten next year, join us on the 23rd at 2:30 pm.

Please share this information with friends and neighbors in our community.

**NEW WINTER WEATHER** Late Start - Early Release

OPS Families: As winter continues, we want to remind you that we have two new options in our winter weather toolkit. The evening before a weather event, Omaha Public Schools may call for a two-hour late start or a two-hour early release if weather is predicted to affect part, but not all of a school day. We shared information about the new options earlier this year. OPS would communicate the schedule adjustment by phone call and email, so please be sure your Western Hills has your current contact information on file. Please do not block calls or emails from OPS, as you may miss important messages in the future.

School Selection for 2020-2021

Click on this link to get the School Selection in English

School Selection for 2020-2021

Click on this link to get the School Selection in Spanish

After Hours Attendance Line

Thanks to your feedback, we have set up the voice mail for after school hours regarding attendance. All you have to do is call the main number 531-299-2240 press 2 for attendance. We hope this helps before and after school to report attendance information on your student.

News From the Counseling Corner

Mrs. Jaeke, our School Counselor is on site to help support and connect our families with community resources, and to help support many important initiatives at Western Hills. Those activities will always be found in the Counseling Corner.

January Fresh Fruit Program

During the month of January our students will be given a variety of fresh fruits to enjoy. The following is what they will receive.

January 9 - Gala Apple

January 14 - Kiwi

January 16 - Pear

January 21 - Tangerine

January 23 - Red Delicious Apple

January 28 - Lemons

January 30 - Mango


As always we are excited to share these nutritional snacks with our Wildcats!

Huge Thank You! Hats and Gloves

One of our retired teachers has been very busy since the weather turned cold, crocheting hats and gloves for those students in need. We want to give a huge shout out to Mrs. Deb Ratzlaff for keeping our supply full and our heads and hands warm. During the morning announcements we make sure all students know if they don't have a hat or gloves we can help them. What a wonderful servant heart!

Western Hills PTO - Activities and Information

The Western Hills PTO is always looking for interested parents to join in and support activities at our school. You will find posted here upcoming events and activities.

All School Field Trip - Cirque Mechanics - January 22, 2020

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of our PTO the entire Western Hills Student body will be attending a performance of Cirque Mechanics at the Orpheum Theater on Wednesday, January 23rd at 10:30 am. Turkey Bingo was a big effort and fundraiser for the PTO and it raised enough money so all students and staff can go to the performance. Please be on the lookout for school letter/ permission slip that will be coming home with your child this week and return it as soon as possible.

R.O.A.R. PLEDGE

Did you know that every morning students recite our Western Hills pledge?

I am a Wildcat

I Respect people, places and things,

I Only use kind words and actions,

I Always do my best, and

I am Ready and willing to learn,

I am a Wildcat,

Hear me ROAR!!!

Ask your child to practice saying the ROAR pledge and ask what the pledge means to them.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE. 68131

531-299-9822

Kindergarten Roundup

Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 2:30-3:30pm

6523 Western Avenue

Omaha, NE

Pre-K Open House

Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 4-5:30pm

6523 Western Avenue

Omaha, NE

Martin Luther King Birthday - No School

Monday, Jan. 20th, 8am-4pm

6523 Western Avenue

Omaha, NE

ROAR’n and Rockin’ Around the Gym

Did you hear what a great celebration our students had on our last day before Winter break? The afternoon of December 20th our students enjoyed great music by DJ Next One recognizing their outstanding efforts in behavior and attendance! Our PK – 6th grade students danced their socks off at our ROAR and Strive for 95 Attendance Sock Hop! We are so proud of our Wildcats who follow our school ROAR expectations everyday and are striving for 95% daily attendance!