Westwood Junior High
September 19, 2023
Dear Westwood Families,
Thank you for participating in the Meet the Teacher event on September 7th and for your continued support of Westwood. HUGE thank you to our PTA for the breakfast tacos on September 8th and for organizing the filling of the teacher's lounge. The delivery of sodas, sparkling waters, K cups, creamer and snacks has been overwhelming and the teachers are feeling the love. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
It has been a wonderful 5 weeks at Westwood and there are still a few more important events this month.
· Early Release: Wednesday September 20th @ 1:30pm
· Progress Report: Friday September 22nd
Your student's progress report will arrive in your email box from the Wolf DEN (advisory) teacher by 4pm on Friday September 22nd. The progress report will include all of your student's grades, which you can access on a regular basis in FOCUS. Gradebooks are updated weekly by your student's teachers as grades are expected to be input within 5 instructional days. Please find more about this important progress report at Eligibility for UIL Participants For The First Six Weeks.
All students have been issued a Westwood Student ID which must be worn on a lanyard around their necks at all times. Students without an ID badge, must collect a temporary badge outside of the cafeteria from 7:45-8:10am, or from 8:10-10am in the front office. After three temporary badges, a student will be assigned lunch detention and families will be notified. Replacement IDs may be purchased in the library for $5. In order to enter any RISD extracurricular event, students must have an ID badge. Wearing visible ID badges is one aspect of our campus safety and we appreciate your partnership with us and helping us to remind your child of the importance of wearing an ID badge.
Another proactive measure of safety for the students in Richardson ISD is that each campus has been provided with a handheld metal detector that is intended to be used for random searches of students. We will randomly search one class each month. We will use the handheld metal detector to search the pockets and belongings of our students. Our Student Resource Officer, Alonzo, will be helping us conduct each search. All students will be searched by a staff member of their same gender, and the search will be done carefully and with respect for each student.
The 22-23 school year has gotten off to a great start and we continue to enjoy getting to know your child. If you have any questions, please reach out and ask. We are here to connect with you and your student and value our partnership for your student's learning, growth and success. Please continue to view our newsletters in your email inbox, Westwood Twitter & Facebook pages, school website and PTA platforms on October 11th and every three weeks thereafter.
Mark your Calendar
- September 20: Early Release @ 1:30PM
- September 20: Focus Night
- September 21: Coffee with the Counselors
- September 22: Progress Report #2 published
- September 25: Annual Title 1 Parent Meting
- October 5: Picture Retakes
- October 6: No School
- October 9: No School (Fair Day)
- October 13: RHS Homecoming (Early Release @ 1:30PM)
September 20 - Early Release Schedule
Virtual Open House
Did you miss our in person Open House?
Check out our Virtual Open House website linked below and get to know your students teachers!
September is Attendance Awareness Month. Click below to learn more about the RISD attendance policies.
How to monitor attendance:
- You can ask your child’s campus for an attendance report to review routinely.
- Students and parents can monitor attendance records in Focus. Please click here to sign into RISD Focus. In addition, parents can sign up to receive notifications from Focus.
How to submit excuse notes:
RISD policy mandates parents submit an excuse note to the school attendance office within three days of returning to school.
Excuse notes, which can be an email, must include:
- Student name
- Student ID number
- A written statement giving the date and reason for the absence
- Parent or guardian signature for handwritten notes only
- Parent phone number
What is Schoology and why are we using it?
To increase alignment with the RISD Graduate Profile and learning framework, seven RISD schools will be utilizing Schoology, an online learning management system that allows students to collaborate, communicate, and engage in their learning.
Schoology allows teachers to give classroom updates, organize and create lessons, distribute assignments, collect completed assignments, grade assignments with annotated feedback, and send the grades to RISD’s student information system – Focus (the official gradebook).
Schoology will allow students to demonstrate understanding and mastery in a variety of ways and provide the ability to create and store assignments and other artifacts in their student portfolio.
The Schoology parent portal will help parents stay connected, informed, and engaged even more in their student’s learning process by allowing access to a student’s classes, upcoming assignments, campus and class announcements, and more.
As a reminder, Focus is the official gradebook of record for RISD. Focus reflects your student’s official grade. If you have questions about grades, please contact your student’s teacher.
*Students will continue to have access to Google Drive and Google Tools.
Accessing your Schoology Parent Account
The first time you login to your Schoology Parent Account, you will need to create an account using an access code specific to your student(s).
You should have already received an email from your Focus gradebook account. It was sent to the parent or guardian currently on file in Focus.
If you did not receive this email, have misplaced it or are new to RISD, please reach out to your student’s teacher or complete this form - s.risd.org/SchoologyParent.
How to navigate Schoology
Courses: Under this tab, you will view your student’s classes. Click on the individual class to access content, announcements, student work and grades.
Materials: This is where teachers will post class content supporting instruction as well as assignments for students to complete and turn in digitally.
Updates: This is where teachers will post announcements for their class.
Grade Report: This provides a grading summary for digitally submitted/graded assignments. **Teachers may also assign work to students that is not reflected in Schoology. Focus is the gradebook of record for all courses and final grades.
Notifications: Parents may turn on notifications if they wish to be notified about course updates, etc. Link to directions.
Once you’ve created your login, you can also use the Schoology mobile app. You can download the app from your cellular phone providers App store by searching “Schoology.” You can login by selecting the drop down in the upper left hand corner and then select “My Children.”
If you are an RISD staff member, you will need to use a personal email account for your Schoology Parent account. Your risd.org email address is already associated with your staff Schoology account.
If you need technical support for Schoology, please complete this form: s.risd.org/SchoologyParent
A member of the RISD team will contact you within two business days to help further troubleshoot.
Students will be learning more in Wolf DEN next week about how to get involved in the clubs at WWJH. Below is the current list and the sponsor.
- NJHS: Mrs. Pearce
- Robotics: Mrs. Ma
- Spirit Club: Mrs. Weisheit
- Spanish Club: Mrs. Arroyo
- Chess Club: Mrs. McLachlan
- Soccer Club: Mrs. Duncan (Meets weekly on Tuesdays)
- Art & Photography Club: Mr. Duncan & Mrs. Melson
- Book Club: Ms. Moore (The WWJH Book Club meets monthly in the library during your lunch. Ms. Moore picks a book each month and obtains copies for everyone to read on their own time and finish to discuss at the meeting. At our meetings we discuss the entire book and then pick a new book for the next month. It’s a fun, relaxing book celebration! Anyone is welcome to join at any time! See Ms. Moore for details.)
- Creative Writing Club: Ms. Bartholomew (The Westwood Creative Writing Club is a group of student writers who are interested in exploring the world of writing fiction and poetry, and have a desire to build friendships with other writers. We meet every Wednesday after school from 3:45 - 5:00 in room G206. Our club is student led, meaning students choose the topics and prompts they want to write about. We gather to write with each other, to share our writing, to help each other with peer editing, and to immerse ourselves in the fantastic and make-believe realms that make writing fun. If you are interested in creative writing and want to make friends with other writers, this is the club for you! Please see Ms. Bartholomew if you have any questions!)
- WOW: Mrs. Gilbert (Meets daily after school)
- Student Council: Mr. Godinez
- Yearbook: Mr. Godinez
PTA Reflections Contest
Show your artistic flair in
Visual Arts Special Artist
Entries are due November 3rd!
WWJH Focus Night
Wednesday, Sep 20, 2023, 06:00 PM
7630 Arapaho Road, Dallas, TX, USA
Annual Title 1 Parent Meeting
Monday, Sep 25, 2023, 05:00 PM
7630 Arapaho Road, Dallas, TX, USA
Congratulations to Mr. Duncan’s Wolf Den!!! They brought more than 1000 items to donate to PTAs Clothes Closet.
The 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams began the 2023 season last week and were able to defeat Liberty Junior High School in all five games. The next opponent for the Wolves will be Lake Highlands JH on Thursday, September 21st. The 7th grade games will be played at Westwood with 7B playing at 5:30pm followed by 7C team at 6:30pm, and 7A will close out the night at 7:30pm. 8th grade will travel to Lake Highlands JH. Game times are set for 8B@ 5:30pm and 8A @ 6:30pm.
The 7th and 8th grade football teams will start the season against Liberty JH at Eagle Mustang Stadium (RHS) on Tuesday, September 19th. The 8th grade team will play at 5:30pm followed by 7th grade at 7:00pm.
Cross Country practice began last week and Westwood Athletics is excited about the upcoming season. The number of participants joining the team has increased for both the boys and girls teams and the student-athletes are working really hard. The 2023 season starts on Tuesday, October 3rd for 7th and 8th grade girls and October 5th for 7th and 8th grade boys. All meets will take place at Huffhines Park at 4:30pm.
Tickets for all RISD Athletic Events can be purchased at the door/gate or by visiting the link below:
The first order for athletic gear and spirit wear order over the summer through August 20th arrived this week. If your student-athlete has not received his or her items, please contact one of the athletic coordinators. Reminder: All students enrolled in Athletics must wear the approved Westwood Athletics Uniform. The second order (August 21st through September 13th) closed this week and should arrive within two weeks.
Eligibility Requirements for Athletics
All students must have an updated physical and all UIL Rank One paperwork completed prior to participating in any tryouts, practices, or games. All UIL information can be found on Westwood, RHS, and RISD Athletics websites. If you have any questions, please contact one of the coaches at Westwood.
UIL Academic Eligibility:
Academic Eligibility is determined from the first six week grading period and each nine-week grading period. All student-athlete will be evaluated at the end of the six-weeks on Friday, September 22, 2023 Students may lose eligibility on Friday, September 29, 2023 at the end of the school day. After the 1st six-weeks academic eligibility check, student may only lose academic eligibility at the nine weeks grading report.
Coffee with the Counselors
Thursday, Sep 21, 2023, 09:00 AM
7630 Arapaho Road, Dallas, TX, USA
The library is hopping this year! Students are coming in before school, after school, and during lunch to find new books to love! We have already had our first Book Club meeting of the year and we’ve started Fun Fridays again, where students can bring their lunches to the library and play board games. It’s been a hit with students and teachers 😊
Important Dates in September:
9/22 – Lotteria in the Library
9/26 – Paper Airplane Contest
9/28 – Book Club Meeting
9/29 – Fun Friday
9/29 – Database Challenge due!
We are trying to do a few events in the library each month to build community. I will be adding to my Amazon Wishlist throughout the year as we plan different events. Thank you for any support! https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2NNS9G0JFQJCT?ref_=wl_share – Please see the Library Wishlist to purchase items that would help us out!
RISD College Fair
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023, 07:00 AM
Berkner High School, 1600 East Spring Valley Road, Richardson, TX 75081, USA
RISD FOCUS for Parents
FOCUS is the safe and secure online portal available to RISD parents to access their
student’s grades, schedule, attendance, and assessment history. The added benefit will let
parents upload absence notes and or doctor or dental notes into their child’s FOCUS.
Parents may opt in to receive daily or weekly notifications about grades and attendance
from FOCUS portal, which is also accessible via a secure mobile app. Learn more about
FOCUS is easily translatable into eight languages, including Chinese, French, Korean,
Creole, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
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