Oakdale Elementary's Monthly Newsletter | July 2022
Message from the Principal
Dear Oakdale Families,
It's hard to believe that we are already to the middle of July. I hope this year's Summer Newsletter finds each of you enjoying some warm weather, fun, and family time.
This year will be my seventh year as the Principal at Oakdale Elementary, and my twenty-fourth year at Westside Community Schools. Even though I am not in the classroom, I still get butterflies in my stomach as the new year approaches, similar to when I started teaching kindergarten at Westgate Elementary 24 years ago. It is such a privilege to be a part of Westside and Oakdale, as we are a supportive community of students, families, and teachers who work together to see that each child grows, learns, and succeeds!
Joining our amazing team at Oakdale this year, we have a few new staff members we are pleased to introduce you to. Please help me welcome:
- Mr. Robert Miller - 5th Grade
- Miss Taylor Houston - 2nd Grade
- Miss Lorena Martinez - English Language
- Mrs. Jennifer Johansen - Strings
We are excited to start the 2022-23 school year! We look forward to providing your child, along with all of our 300 students, a learning-focused and rewarding school year. The following newsletter will provide you with much needed information to make the upcoming school year safe, successful, and educational. As we near the beginning of the school year, please continue to look for information from me, your teacher, and the District Offices. We appreciate your continued support and efforts to stay informed as an Oakdale parent. Thank you!
Our Sneak-a-Peek Night this year is on Thursday, August 11th at 5:30 pm. We look forward to welcoming families back to our school and the excitement of the start of the new school year. Be sure to join us to meet your child's teacher and see their room. Class placements will be sent out in early August ahead of Sneak-a-Peek Night. The first day of school will be Tuesday, August 16th.*
*Note: Remember for Kindergarten families you should have received a letter indicating if your child will attend the 16th and 17th, or 18th and 19th. Please call the office if you did not receive this note or are uncertain and we'll be happy to help you.
Sneak-a-Peek/Meet Your Teacher
Don't forget to stop up at Oakdale on Thursday, August 11th for our Sneak-A-Peek/Meet Your Teacher Night. Feel free to stop by at any time during the event to meet your child's teacher and catch up with some previous classmates. We look forward to seeing you on August 11th!
August 11, 2022
5:30-6:30 PM - Sneak-A-Peek
Please feel free to bring your school supplies with you that evening.
Back to School Celebration!
ALL students and staff, their families, and all of our community members are
invited to join us at the Westside High School football field for a fun day with food,
giveaways, games, entertainment, and more! Learn about the great programs we
have throughout our district and community, and have a great day celebrating all
things WESTSIDE! FREE TO ALL! Your invitation is attached! We hope to see you there!
Oakdale Staff List
For kindergarten students, your placement will be determined after the first four days of school. Your child will enjoy getting to know both teachers the first couple of days.
Returning Student Registration
All families of returning students must complete Returning Student Registration prior to the start of the 2022/23 school year. If you have not done so already, please CLICK HERE to complete this important process.
Enter your PowerSchool parent portal information to log in
Click Returning Student Registration
If you have problems logging in, please email email@example.com.
School Arrival Time
Our instructional school day starts at 8:30 am. Doors will be opened at 8:20 am allowing students plenty of time to walk to classrooms, hang up backpacks, check in with teacher and peers, and be ready for those first important words of the day at 8:30 am. Give your students every advantage of a successful day by having them here at 8:20 am!
All students will enter the building at the East entrance (Main Entrance).
8:30 am Classes Begin
3:30 pm M, T, Th, F Dismissal
3:00 pm W Dismissal
We will have supervision outside the building starting at 8:10 am. We ask that students not arrive before 8:10 am unless:
Participating in a school activity
Serving on Safety Patrol
Working with a teacher
Attending Club 66 Before Care program
Why can’t we arrive early?
Teachers are involved in team meetings, staff meetings and individual planning from 8:00-8:20 am. Students may enter the building when the first bell rings at 8:20 am. Our school day begins promptly at 8:30 am. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
For the safety of all of our students, we ask that parents say good-bye outside of the school during arrival. Students are to independently arrive at their classrooms each morning. If students need assistance, Oakdale staff members are available to help.
Absences and Tardies
We want to know that all our students are safe. Please notify the office at 402-390-6460 (available 24 hours a day) or email our Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Julie Rhyner (firstname.lastname@example.org) when your student is not coming to school or will be late for school. If we have not heard from you, it is our policy to call.
Students arriving after 8:30 am must come to the office and check in. Parents picking up or dropping off their students during the day for appointments, illness, etc., must sign them in and out through the office.
After School Plans
Please remember after school plans should be made in the morning. Students are expected to go directly home and be off school grounds by 3:45 pm. Students going home with another child after school should make plans ahead of time.
Don't forget to notify the school if there is an unexpected change of after school plans for your child. If you know in the morning, a note to the teacher is always appreciated. We appreciate your cooperation in making sure your child is safe.
Approving a Child to Go Home with Another Child's Parent:
In the event that you would like to approve your child to go home with another child's parent we need contact from both you and the other child's parent. This can be in the form of a note, email, or phone call to the office. Staff will not dismiss your child to another child's parent without prior contact, preferably to the main office so that this can be communicated to others (Classroom Teacher, Club 66, etc).
What We Do in the Event of Weather
We are lucky in Nebraska to get to enjoy all four seasons. This also means that at times the weather gets in the way of our fun and plans. Below is a brief description of our procedures when the weather is not cooperating:
Warm Weather: We will stay indoors for recess and safety patrol if the air temperature or heat index is 95° or higher.
Cold Weather: So long as the air temperature or wind chill factor is 10° or warmer, students will be outside for recess and safety patrol.
Air Quality: If the air quality index (AQI) is 101 or higher, we will remain indoors for recess.
Rain: When rain is heavy enough that students would get considerably wet, or when there is thunder or lightning, students will be kept inside or brought inside. In addition, if conditions have been such that fields are muddy, access to dirt and grass areas may be restricted as well as playground equipment if it is deemed too slick for safe play.
Severe Weather: If the National Weather Service issues a Thunderstorm Warning students are kept inside. In the event of a Tornado Warning, students are moved to our area of refuge in the preschool and kindergarten rooms. Families coming to the school during this time are encouraged to take shelter with us until the warning has passed.
Deliveries During the Day
School Supply List
Headphones and Water Bottles
Water fountains were turned back on at the end of the last school year. Therefore, students will be allowed to use the water fountains throughout the day. If you would like your child to bring a water bottle, you are more than welcome to have them do so. Our water fountains are equipped with water bottle fillers. The district and school will NOT be providing students with water bottles this year.
Please mark these items with your child's name for identification purposes.
2022-2023 Pick-up and Drop-Off Procedures
This year, we have a few minor changes to our pick-up and drop-off procedures. Our morning drop-off procedures will remain the same at the front of the building, where students will line up on their grade-level paw prints and wait to enter the building at 8:20 am.
Our afternoon pick-up procedures have changed slightly. ALL students will line up near the east side of the building, from the library to the main entrance. Teachers will call students from the line to enter vehicles as parents arrive. We will no longer have students line the curb to enter vehicles by grade level. Cars will remain in in the pick-up lane until their student enters their car. Then, they can pull into the passing lane to exit the property.
Please download and review the entire traffic procedure guidelines from the link below. If everyone follows these procedures, drop-off and pick-up will run as smoothly as it can!
Traffic Must-Know's in a Nutshell
- Please do not park in the church parking lot. They open their lot to larger events, not daily drop-off and pick-up.
- Do not pick up or drop off on the Frontage Road. This is very dangerous and holds up traffic.
- If you do not want to use the drop-off/pick-up lane on school property, please find a safe location in the neighborhood to meet your child(ren). Please be a good neighbor and adhere to No Parking signs!
- Please work with your child on buckling and unbuckling their own safety belt.
- Parents should not exit the vehicle at arrival and dismissal.
- Position car seats and boosters on the passenger side of the vehicle as students will exit and enter the car via the passenger side.
- If you need to personally assist your child(ren) exiting and entering the vehicle, please park in the parking lot.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as arrival and dismissal are always busy times with traffic congestion. On any given day, we generally run over 150 cars through our pick-up lane within 10 minutes. Patience is the biggest characteristic to make our procedures a success. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
Student Dress Code
Students in the Westside Community Schools are expected to dress in a way that is appropriate for the school setting. Students should not dress in a manner that is dangerous to the health and safety of anyone or interferes with the learning environment or teaching process in our school. Following is a list of examples of attire that will not be considered appropriate; this list is not exclusive, and other forms of attire may be deemed by the Principal to be inappropriate for the school setting:
Clothing that shows an inappropriate amount of bare skin or underwear (midriffs, spaghetti straps, sagging pants) or clothing that is too tight, revealing or baggy, or tops and bottoms that do not overlap or any material that is sheer or lightweight enough to be seen through, or otherwise of an appropriate size and fit so as to be revealing or drag on the ground;
Shorts, skirts, etc. that do not extend downward as far as the student’s fingertips when the student is standing fully upright with arms relaxed at his or her side.
Sleepwear and slippers, including pajama bottoms, blankets, and costumes, unless part of a school-sponsored activity;
Clothing or jewelry that advertises or promotes beer, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs;
Clothing or jewelry that could be used as a weapon (chains, spiked apparel) or that would encourage “horse-play” or that would damage property (e.g. cleats);
Head wear including hats, caps, bandannas, hoods worn over the head, and scarves;
Clothing or jewelry which exhibits nudity, profanity, makes sexual references, or carries lewd, indecent, or vulgar double meaning;
Clothing or jewelry that is gang related.
Heavy coats and jackets.
Consideration will be made for students who wear special clothing as required by religious beliefs, disability, or to convey a particularized message protected by law. Westside Community Schools’ Dress Code guidelines have been developed to create safe and productive learning environments where all students are accepted, engaged, celebrated, and have the opportunity to thrive in school. The final decision regarding attire and grooming will be made by the Principal. In the event a student is uncertain as to whether a particular item or method of grooming is consistent with the school’s guidelines, the student or student’s parent/guardian should contact the Principal for pre-approval. If school staff determine that the student does not meet dress code, the student will be asked to change.
For more information regarding the dress code and code of conduct, please download and read the Elementary Student-Parent Handbook.
Flip-Flops/Crocs and Recess/Gym A Dangerous Combination!
Oakdale Year-at-a-Glance Calendar
Linked you will find our year long Oakdale Calendar. This is not an all-inclusive calendar and is subject to change throughout the year. However, it will provide a general outline of events to pencil in on your calendar.
In addition, we encourage you to access our Oakdale Calendar through our Website, the Westside Community Schools App, or to subscribe so that this information shows right up on your own calendar for iPhone, iPad, Mac, or any other Google Calendar subscribable platform.
11 Sneak-A-Peek/Meet Your Teacher, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
14 District Back-to-School Celebration @ WHS
16 First Day of School, 8:30 am
22 New Parent Coffee, 8:30 am
30 District Wide Elementary Instrumental Parent Meeting, WMS 6:30 pm
2 Teacher Professional Learning - No School
5 Labor Day - No school
8 Open House/Curriculum Night, 6:00-7:00 pm
13 Community Club Meeting, 6:30 pm
22 School Picture Day
5th Grade Students and Parents
You are invited to BE A PART OF THE MUSIC! This fall, you will have the opportunity to do what so many successful students have done before you by being a part of Band and Strings! In the first three weeks of school we will be visiting all the buildings, demonstrating the instruments, and giving students the opportunity to select an instrument of their choice. We will have a parent meeting about our program on Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30 p.m. at Westside Middle School. All are welcome to attend to learn about elementary instrumental music and meet the teachers. We are excited to introduce your child to the world of instrumental music!
The Elementary Instrumental Music Staff
Gail Carpenter-Johnson, Michael Freeman, Viktoria Matheson and Jennifer Johansen
For the 2022-23 school year, the federal government has elected to NOT continue the universal free meal program, which means Westside Community Schools’ students will transition back to a traditional model with paid lunches. If applicable, families in each household will need to apply for free and reduced meal benefits (which carry over to other opportunities including technology, camps, etc.)
Student Lunch: $2.95
Student Breakfast: $1.70
Extra Main Item: $1.20
Water or Extra Milk* $0.50
*Meals include one milk. Water is always extra.
Breakfast is served from 8:10 - 8:30 daily. Our breakfast program will be available beginning August 16, the first day of school.
Please let the office know if you are running late or have a morning appointment for your child. If your child plans on eating lunch from the cafeteria that day, PLEASE call and or email your child's lunch choice before 9 am.
CASH OR CHECK - Breakfast and lunch charges come out of the same account. Each student in your family has a separate account, but you may send one check to be divided. Please make checks out to “Oakdale.” You may also drop lunch money in the “lunchbox” at the office during our Sneak-A-Peek night or any other time. Be sure to include your child's NAME.
PAY ONLINE - Our online payment website is www.myschoolbucks.com. If you are setting up a new myschoolbucks account, you will need your student's ID numbers available from Mrs. Rhyner at the office. For additional support or questions, please contact 402-390-3382, or you can go to email@example.com.
Students (3rd Grade and up only) may purchase extra slices of pizza from their lunch accounts when Pizza Hut is on the menu if they have a positive balance in their account. Extra slices cost $1.20. Parents, make sure you let your child know whether or not you want them to have an extra slice. Extra slices are not included with free or reduced lunch accounts. You need to make sure your child has the $1.20 for the extra slice.
Emotional Well Being
We know it is important to consider both the physical and social-emotional wellbeing of our students, families, and staff. We continue to be committed to providing regular instruction and support for studying in managing thoughts and feelings.
If your child is experiencing particular difficulties and you would like to explore options for additional support we encourage you to contact our School Psychologist, Mrs. Mary McPadden (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can help in coordinating additional support and resources.
We want to make sure ALL of our students and families are set up for success for the coming school year. If you need help with food, utilities, clothing, or other support for your child and family, please reach out to our caring team of social workers; CLICK HERE.
We are also partnering with One World Health Centers to offer two more Back To School health clinics. This offers parents a convenient way to complete school physicals, get immunizations, and receive treatment for certain issues.
July 20, 8:30am-3:30pm at Westside High School
August 14, Noon-4pm at the Back To School Celebration (WHS)
This year, we are offering a special opportunity for our multilingual families: four sessions to meet with our ELL leaders, for one-on-one help with registration and student readiness.
July 28 from 11am-2pm & 3:30-6:30pm at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St.
August 8 from 11am-2pm & 3:30-6:30pm at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St.
**Our First Day of School is Tuesday, August 16!** Have a wonderful July, and should you have any questions, please visit our website at www.westside66.org, download our app: Westside Community Schools, or email email@example.com.
**If your child has prescription or non-prescription medication, inhalers, Epi-pens, etc. to be kept at school, please call the office and make an appointment to drop off any needed medication BEFORE the first day of school.
The health office must have a written, signed and dated Medication Authorization form from the parent or guardian requesting that his/her child be given medication during the school day (prescription or over-the-counter). This form is available in the office or at this link or you can download a copy by clicking the button at the end of this article.
- All medication must be brought to school and taken home from school by a parent. It must be in the original container, labeled with the child's name, date prescribed, name of medication, directions for use, dosage information and the time the medication is to be given.
- All prescription medication forms must be signed by the doctor. Whenever possible, medication should be administered at home.
- Cough drops and any over-the counter medication must be in the original box/package, and a Medication Authorization form must be filled out. These medications are kept in the health office.
- Scrapes and cuts are washed and bandaged, if needed. We do not and cannot use any ointment or cleaning product on an individual. If an injury is severe or questionable, a parent will be contacted.
- All medication, including cough drops, must be picked up by a parent at the end of the duration. We will not send any medication home with a child.
If your child has any additional health needs, please be sure to turn in the appropriate forms and action plans so we can best support your child.
Office personnel will notify parents/guardian when a student needs to be sent home from school due to illness. Conditions requiring a student be sent home include: temperature greater than 100.0°F, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained rashes, or on determination by school personnel that the child’s condition prevents meaningful participation in the educational program, presents a health risk to the child or others, or that medical consultation is warranted unless the condition resolves.
Parents should complete the online Annual Information Update each year to verify that emergency daytime phone numbers are current so that parents can be reached if their child becomes ill or is injured while at school. Parents should also inform the School Nurse or Health Assistant of health-related information they feel is important for each child’s safety and success at school.
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).
Two Parent Households
What if you only see your child a couple of times a week? You can still be involved in your child’s education.
- Inform the office of your current phone number, address, and email.
- Inform the teacher you would like to receive progress reports (this may be electronic), conference schedules (when appropriate), and notices about school activities.
- Attend parent/teacher conferences to show your child that both parents are behind him/her, acting as a team.
- Provide your child with a special folder to save school papers for you. That way, you’ll see your child’s finished work as well as the teacher’s comments.
Cell Phones and Smart Devices in School
We understand that it's important for students to be able to contact their parents before or after school. Our expectation is that all cell phones are turned off and placed in a student's backpack once they enter the building.
In the event students need to contact their parent, calls can be made from classroom or office phones.
Students use of smart devices such as watches, fitness bands, smart headphones, etc. are handled on a case by case basis. Typically students are allowed to have these devices so long as they are not a disruption to learning or used in a way that distracts the student or others. Note: During state testing and other assessments, students may be asked to store their smart devices at the teacher's desk to ensure they are not used as part of testing.
There's an App for That! - Westside Community Schools App
Oakdale Community Club
I couldn't be more excited to help lead the charge this year as your president of the Oakdale Community Club. We have so many new and returning committee chairs and our executive team is creative and ready to rock! We are working on updating our Community Club website so that you have the contacts and resources you need to stay connected. You can always follow us on social media too! If you want to learn more, stop by and see community club at Sneak-A-Peek in the cafeteria.
We are going to deliver a year of programming that you have come to expect and value. We are ready to support our AMAZING students and staff as well as communicate with all of you. Check out the attachment below for a one-pager on the 5 things you need to know about Community Club right now.
Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik, CC President
"Stage Your First Day" Photo Station
We know that everyone loves to get those "first day of school" photos every year to commemorate the event. Community Club is offering a way to still have those first-day photos and stay safe at the same time!
Beginning Monday, August 15th from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, you are invited to take your "First Day" photo at Oakdale by the flagpole. There will be signs for your photo-taking pleasure welcoming our Tigers back to school. Be on the lookout for more information from the Community Club regarding this event!
Community Club Family Directory
The Oakdale School Community Club offers a FREE online family directory each fall containing the names of students by class, as well as names of parents, with their home addresses, phone numbers, and email information. Only families who submit information to the Community Club will be included in the directory. If you have not already logged in to the website, please log in and update your information OR new parents can create a new login.
WE-SIDE Unified Summer Opportunities
Westside Foundation News
Did you know that the Westside Foundation's mission is to raise private funding for all District 66 Schools? The Foundation does this primarily through private fundraising for special projects, an annual fundraiser - VIVI, and through the annual campaign, W-CLUB. Your support of the Foundation ensures our faculty, staff, and students have what they need to excel every day.
Save the Date: VIVI LAS VEGAS, September 24, 2022
Funds raised at this event benefit Oakdale teachers and students. In year's past, VIVI funds have directly supported our students through many projects. We hope you will consider attending this event or making a donation so we can continue our good work! SUPPORT VIVI TODAY!
W-CLUB: JOIN TODAY
Make a gift that is meaningful to you to show you are proud to be part of Westside Community Schools. Funds raised through the W-CLUB get redistributed back into all Westside Community Schools. Every teacher has the opportunity to apply for W-Club grants annually. Oakdale has received several of these grants in the past.
Donating to Oakdale
To make a tax-deductible donation please donate through the Westside Foundation. You can specifically note that funds should be designated to Oakdale, the community club, specific school events, etc. Your gift is not tax deductible if it comes directly to our school. If you have questions, please contact Westside Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Westside Community Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, marital/parental status, military/veteran status or any other category protected by law in its programs and activities or in admission or access to, or treatment in, hiring and employment, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
The following District personnel have been designated to coordinate compliance and can address inquiries about the District’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures:
For questions or concerns by students, parents or others:
- Coordinator of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator – ABC Bldg. 909 So. 76th St. Omaha (402) 390-2100 E-mail: email@example.com
- Director of Special Services/ADA & 504 Coordinator (disability/accommodation) ABC Bldg. 909 So. 76th St. E-mail: ADAcoordinator@westside66.net
For questions by District employees or applicants:
- Ass’t Supt. for Human Resources/Lead Title IX Coordinator - 909 So. 76th St. Omaha, NE (402) 390-2100 E-mail: titleixcoordinatorHR@westside66.net
For further information about anti-discrimination laws or to file a complaint of discrimination you may also contact the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Dept. of Education, One Petticoat Lane, 1010 Walnut Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 320, Kansas City, MO 64106,
Tele. (816) 268-0550, Fax (816) 268-0599, (TDD) (800) 877-8339, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome To Oakdale - Home of the Tigers!
Oakdale Elementary's mission is to ensure academic excellence and to serve the unique needs of all learners.
- Be Safe
- Be Respectful
- Be Responsible
- (Be Kind)