Rockbrook Express

Rockbrook Elementary School's Monthly News | Nov 2018

Veterans Day Breakfast

Friday, November 9th, at 7:45 a.m.

You are invited to join Rockbrook at a community breakfast to honor our nation’s veterans. We will have rolls, milk, and juice in the gym at 7:45 a.m. Please join us to help recognize the contributions of our Active and Veteran Armed Forces and First Responders.

Wanted: Experts from our Community!

Rockbrook Elementary is seeking adults for our exciting enrichment cluster program.

If your child was at Rockbrook last spring you already know the exciting opportunity of our

student enrichment clusters. For our new families, we are excited to share this experience with

your family.

For six weeks beginning in February, students will have the opportunity to explore a topic of

interest in depth. Students will work together with like-minded students and an adult who will guide them. Enrichment clusters provide interest-based extensions to our curriculum and a real-

life connection to our learning standards.

We are looking for adults that would be willing to help with our clusters and share an area of

interest and/or expertise. This could be for the full six weeks as a cluster group leader, or for just a session or two as a guest speaker. The classes will run from 2:39-3:15 on Fridays in February and the first two weeks of March. Students will have a variety of classes to choose from. Once they choose their class, they will remain with the same group of students and will study the same topic, for the entire six weeks.

If leading a class or being a guest speaker is not of interest, we also welcome any help you can

offer. Extra hands go a long way as our students explore topics more freely.

Questions? Interested? Contact Mr. Higginbotham at Rockbrook. There will also be information

shared during our upcoming Parent Advisory and Community Club Meetings.

SAVE THE DATE - Family Movie Night!

Be sure to mark your calendar for Friday, November 16th.

What: Family Movie Night at Rockbrook

When: 6:30 pm, Nov 16th

Where: Rockbrook Gym

Movie title to be determined by a student vote.

Thanksgiving Meal

We would like to invite you to come have Thanksgiving lunch with your child Thursday

November 15th. Adult meals are $3.65, and exact change is needed. Please call the office to reserve your meal by 9 am that morning.

Winter Wear and Snow Gear

To ensure that students can both enjoy the snow and keep warm and dry once they come inside, we wanted to remind you of a few expectations for students wishing to play in the snow.

• Students need to wear proper coats, gloves, and hats. When temperatures are above 10º we will typically be going outside.

• If students wish to walk in deep snow, they will be expected to wear snow boots.

•For very deep snow or if students wish to roll and play in in the snow, students will need snow pants to ensure they stay warm and dry.

• If students wish to build with snow they must have gloves or mittens.

• When recess equipment is slick or wet, access may be restricted to promote student safety.

We appreciate your support in going over these expectations with your child. Teachers will do so as well so that students may have a fun and safe time during winter recess.

Rockbrook Fundraiser a Big Success!

We want to thank the many families that bought and sold items as part of our Believe Kids Fundraiser or donated as part of our Non-Event Fundraiser. Thanks to your support the Rockbrook Community Club raised more than $8,000 to support the activities and events offered to our students at school. Our top sellers and special prizes will be announced next week. Delivery of items is currently scheduled for December 1st. If you yet have Non-Event contributions you would like to turn in, we are more than happy to accept these at the office. Any remaining Believe Kids order can be submitted online only for direct shipment to the purchaser's home.

Elementary Unified Activities - Unified Carnival

What Are Unified Activities?

The Special Olympics Unified Schools Program is a fast­ growing initiative that brings students with and without intellectual disabilities together. This year we are excited to bring a Unified Carnival opportunity to our schools.

Westside Community Schools is excited to offer our third Unified Activity this year.

Where: Westbrook’s gym located at 1312 Robertson Dr Omaha, NE 68114

When: Thursday, November 29th from 5:30pm-6:30pm

What: A carnival will be set up in the school gym. Enjoy ring toss, fishing over curtains, can toss, bean bag toss, sucker pyramid and much more!! We will also have rock painting, and dancing in separate rooms. Come and experience the Westbrook Unified Carnival!

RSVP Needed for Participation

If you and your child(ren) are interested in participating, please download the following linked informational flyer to learn more and to let us know if you are planning to attend.

Save the Date - Volunteer Day

Save the Date: November 17 ~ Family Volunteer Day

Rockbrook has received a grant from Points of Light. This organization sponsors Family Volunteer Day to encourage families to come together for volunteer activities in their community. On this day, we encourage anyone in the community to come and help with:

*sorting and boxing clothes, toiletries, and food for Westside House and Open Door Mission

*digging up all the plants in the garden to get it ready for next year

*planting plants in the hydroponic system

*planting plants to make the school more inviting

*other activities to be determined

More details to come. Hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Raphael

Instrumental Music Updates

Attention Fifth and Sixth Grade Band and String Parents - Mark your calendars because our concerts are coming! Concerts are a musicians reward for hard work and effort on their instrument. Please help reward your child by making their first concert a priority for your entire family! We can't wait to see you at these events to celebrate your child's accomplishments! The Instrumental Music Staff

6th grade String students: Tuesday, December 18

6:00 practice, 7:00 performance at the Westside High School Auditorium

5th grade String students: Thursday, December 20

6:00 practice, 7:00 performance at the Westside High School Auditorium

5th and 6th grade Band students: Monday, January 14

6:00 practice, 7:00 performance at the Westside Middle School Auditorium

*Please note date change due to Mr. Freeman's absence.

Lunch Times

Joining your child for lunch is a fun and enjoyable tradition that Rockbrook is pleased to support when your schedule allows. For this purpose we have designated a guest table during our lunch period where you and your child can share a meal and each other’s company. To ensure that there is enough space for our out-of-school guests we ask that families eat with their own children only. When room allows, guests may also sit at the regular lunch table with the class. If you would like a school lunch, please make your reservation with the office before 9 a.m.

Lunch Times

K-1 Lunch: 11:35-12:00 (11:24-11:48 on Wednesdays)

2-3 Lunch: 12:00-12:25 (11:48-12:12 on Wednesdays)

4-5 Lunch: 12:25-12:50 (12:12-12:36 on Wednesdays)

6 Lunch: 12:50-1:15 (12:36-1:00 on Wednesdays)

Counselor's Corner

As your school counselor, I am also a contact person for several community programs that may be of interest to you. Please note that the following programs are in place again this year:

  • Children’s Behavioral Health is a resource for families whose child attends a Westside School. Children’s recognizes the benefits of treating not just the child and adolescent, but their families as well. Two visits are part of the Westside/Children’s contract and are at no expense to the family.

  • Westside Clothing Closet is a resource to help families (adults and children) with clothing needs year-round.

  • Westside Coat Closet is another resource that can provide a professionally cleaned, gently used jacket or coat to children. Some coats are also available for adults. The Coat Closet is open year-round.

  • The Omaha Food Bank offers The Backpack Program to students at our school. The Backpack Program provides ingredients for healthy meals for children for the weekend. The food is delivered to the school for children to bring home in a bag on Fridays and have for the weekend.

  • District Food Pantry is a resource for families in need of food during the school year and summer.

  • Holiday Assistance During the winter holiday season there will be more opportunities for assistance. We have several organizations that help district families during the Holiday season.

I encourage you to contact me if you are interested in these services, or with any questions.

Meghan Martin


Dining Out for Education

Each week Rockbrook partners with a local restaurant as part of our Dining Out for Education program. As part of this program, businesses give back a percentage of your purchase to the school when you mention that you are with Rockbrook Elementary on our designated nights. In addition, Dining Out Nights offer families a chance to connect with each other and with friends as part of our Rockbrook Community. Linked with today’s email is our calendar of Dining Out Partners. We’ve tried to offer a variety of locations, foods, and opportunities in the hopes that families can find an option that appeals to them.

Our next Dining Out Event is Planet Sub, November 6th.

PBIS - Positive Behaviors In School

Last month we featured an article introducing our Positive Behavior Intervention Supports program in Westside. This month, we’d like to tell you a little bit about 3 components that are a part of our specifc efforts at Rockbrook.

5:1 - Research shows that behavior is shaped by positive reinforcement. At Rockbrook staff make it a goal to have five positive interactions with students for every one corrective interaction. This technique works for more than just teachers though. Having a high ratio of positive to negative interactions works for adults and students alike. Gallup refers to these as “Drops in your Bucket,” and they make not only the receiver, but also the giver, feel better and more resilient when challenges arise.

Problem Solving - Making mistakes is a natural part of life. We can only wish learning from our mistakes were as easy. At Rockbrook we use a problem-solving process that asks students to identify what was hurtful about the mistake that was made and to consider at least two alternatives they could try should a similar situation arise. For our older students, we extend this process to also include thinking about why making those alternate choices should be important to them. We wrap up our problem-solving sheet asking students to identify a social skill that will help them practice appropriate choices, and to identify which of our 3 Bes (Be Safe,

Be Respectful, Be Responsible) wasn’t followed. Students then bring a record of this discussion home to share with parents, discuss, and return to school the next day. Depending on the behavior, a discussion and/or consequence at home may help to reinforce better choices in the future

Power Paws, Golden Paws, & Bingo - To wrap things up, we want to share a bit about the reinforcement strategies we use with our students. Though tools are the same as in the past we try to keep things fresh by changing up a little how we use them each year. Power Paws reinforce frequent and positive choices. It's neat to count how many positive choices our school has. Golden Paws provide students specific praise for choices that positively impact themselves and others. Students can put these into drawings for special class and group prizes and drawings that occur quarterly. Finally, we all love to play games, and one special game played by our classes is Bingo. Classes draw a student periodically from their in class Power Paw Supply to come add a number to the bingo board. When a full row or column is completed, all the students in that bingo get to take part in a special bonus prize like extra recess, a free donut certificate, or other fun rewards.

Each of these help to reinforce students making Positive Behaviors In School (P.B.I.S.)

When Is My Child Too Sick for School?

Send me to school if...

  • I have a runny nose or just a little cough but no other symptoms.
  • I haven't taken any fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours and I haven't had a fever during that time.
  • I haven't thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours

Keep me at home if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees even after taking medicine.
  • I'm throwing up or have diarrhea.
  • My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100 degrees for more than two days.
  • I have been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days
  • I have the sniffles for more than a week and they aren't getting better.
  • I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I'm having trouble breathing after using my inhaler.)

Dropping Off Your Child? Please Bring Them In & Sign Them In

When dropping offer your child after 8:40 a.m., parents must walk their child in and check them in at the office. This includes if your are returning your child from a doctor's appointment. Checking your child in is important to ensure the safety of all students arriving at our school.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

When calling to make arrangements for your child it’s important that the right people get the right message. If calling to inform us of decisions that will impact your child’s school day (8:30-3:30) please call our main office at 402-390-6475. If you are calling to make changes to before and after care, it is also important to contact the Club66 Staff at 402-390-8208. Finally, it’s always appreciated if you email your child’s teacher if you will be picking them up during the day as this helps them prepare any work your child may need. Please make sure if doing so to also call the main office or email our Administrative Assistant Ms. Veldhuis at

Students and Cell Phones / Smart Devices

We know that staying connected to your child is an important safety feature for many families. While in school we ask that students keep all cell phones and smart devices stowed in their backpacks. This helps prevent distraction from learning.

Medication at School

For you child’s safety and for the safety of others, all medication, even cough’s drops, must be kept locked in the health office, it must be in the original package. All medication, including cough drops, needs to be accompanied by a medication form signed by the parent or guardian, all prescription medication forms must be signed by the doctor. Whenever possible, medication should be administered at home.

Safety in Our School, A Top Priority

The safety of students and staff at Rockbrook is our top priority. To support this we have a few procedures we appreciate your help with. Please check out our linked flyer with information about procedures at pick up and drop off as well as when you might be visiting us at school. We appreciate your help and support in providing all student a safe place to learn and have fun.

Important Dates


6 Planet Sub Dining Out Night
6 Community Club 6 pm
6 4th Grade Kindness Retreat

9 Veteran's Day Breakfast 7:45 am

16 Family Movie Night

19 Elementary Band Concert WMS 7 pm

21 Don & Millie's Night

21-25 Thanksgiving- NO School

30 Jones Bros. Dining Out


4 Planet Sub Dining Out Night
4 Community Club 6:00 pm
6 Family Coding Night, 5:00 pm
10 All School Instrumental Concert, 2:45 pm

13 Zio's Dining Out Night

18 6th Grade Strings Concert @ WMS, 6:00 pm Rehearsal, 7:00 pm Performance

19 Don & Millie's Dining Out for Education Night

20 5th Grade Strings Concert @ WMS, 6:00 pm Rehearsal, 7:00 pm Performance

24 Winter Break Begins- NO SCHOOL

30 Jones Bros. Dining Out

Safety Patrol

Information about our Safety Patrol schedule is available on our safety patrol website. Please check this schedule if your child is volunteering for this important activity to help keep our school and students safe.

Welcome to Rockbrook Elementary - Home of the Bulldogs

Rockbrook Mission:

The mission of Rockbrook Elementary School, a diverse community of learners, is to foster learning by providing a quality educational experience within a secure and challenging environment.

Rockbrook School Design Goal:

At Rockbrook we will increase student engagement and achievement through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs.

Hy-Vee Receipts

Please save your Hy-Vee receipts from September 1-December 31 to help Rockbrook School fund educational needs. Hy-Vee will donate $1.00 for every $200 Hy-Vee receives in receipts. This is not only for groceries but Hy-Vee gas receipts also. Every penny counts and can add up to thousands of dollars. So tell your friends, neighbors, relatives to save Hy-Vee receipts. It's simple and easy! Simply bring all Hy-Vee receipts to Rockbrook School and deposit them into the HyVee red bucket located in the school lobby. Please write your student's teachers name and grade on the receipt. The class who has collected the highest dollar amount in receipts will receive a special prize party. Thank you all for participating in this easy and simple fundraiser.

Big picture