Westridge Wildcat News
December 18, 2020
Message from the Principal
Hello Wildcat Families,
This has been a school year like no other, yet there is so much to celebrate and be grateful for! Today we had our first school wide assemblies as we continued our long standing Holiday Sing Along tradition. Over 380 students and staff participated as we came together to say farewell to the first half of the school year. Our Wildcats have spirit and seeing each other on the screen was a wonderful way to send everyone off!
As we wrap up 2020, I wanted to say thank you for your generosity and partnership in supporting those less fortunate. Thank you to Liz Tyson and her family for their leadership and support of the toy drive! Our toy drive for foster kids will allow 275 children to have a gift during this holiday season. Additionally, our Hunger Fighters food drive will allow us to support our community through your generous donations of over 20 bags of food and supplies! A huge shout out to Erin Bateman and her family for taking the lead on collecting supplies for our local Hunger Fighters organization.
When you have a moment, perhaps with hot cocoa in hand, I hope you and your family will gather together to listen to the winter messages shared here from our Westridge staff. After that, enjoy a family sing along with our talented elementary music teachers. We wish you all a wonderful winter break and look forward to seeing you in 2021!
With a grateful heart,
Coffee with Kari and Gary
Coffee with Kari will resume in January 2021! Our first coffee time will be offered on Wednesday, January 13th from 9:00am - 9:30am. This is an informal time to just connect, ask questions, and learn together as we go through the school year. Bring a cup of coffee, or just call in and let's connect!
(US) +1 929-205-6099
LOSD CARES (Connection and Resilience in Education Series)
LOSD knows that this year has been extremely challenging for students and families. In partnership with the LOSD Wellness Team (school counselors, social workers and district psychologist) and community mental health partners, LOSD is developing a workshop series for parents and guardians to support, inform, and empower families on issues surrounding mental health. The event will be on January 27, 2021 from 5-6 pm. Workshops will be held virtually via Zoom and will include focused discussions and question and answer opportunities. Please mark your calendar for the first workshop Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, 5-6 p.m.: “Resilience Panel” with Pediatric Associates of the Northwest.
In the meantime, please complete this family interest survey: LOSD CARES Survey . Your input will help shape future workshops.
Also, the LOSD Wellness Team is sharing resources for families during the holiday season:“You’re Doing a Good Job”
Please contact your school counselor or social worker with any questions.
Clubs for Kids at Westridge!
Read Aloud Club with Mr. Kieser:
Starting January 13th, Mr. Kieser will host a weekly book read-aloud on Wednesdays from 11:00-11:30 geared for students in grades K-2, but everyone is welcome. Come for a story and connection with peers!
Grade 3-5 Scratch Coding Club
Do you like to play computer games? Have you ever wondered how they were made? Come to our 3rd-5th grade Scratch Coding Club. We will use the Scratch website https://scratch.mit.edu/ to learn how to move a spirit and create different games. Come learn how to code in Scratch and share projects with your friends.
We will meet in Mrs. Bates Zoom Room on Fridays at 11 Am. I hope to see you there.
Hello Westridge parents and students! I am excited to offer a new opportunity for social connection and skill building. I will be hosting a drop-in Mindfulness Group open to all students at the following times:
7:45-7:55 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
12:30-12:45 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
In each group, we will do a quick check-in, a short mindfulness activity and a stretch or yoga pose. You can access the group at this link, or use these instructions to access the link through your student's Clever account.
Social Time Munch and Crunch Lunch Clubs
Mr. Kieser hosts lunch groups for Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grades. This is a time for all students in each grade to come together to have lunch, chat and do an activity together. Lunch Group is from 12:00-12:25 on the following days:
Use this link or click on Mr. Kieser in your Clever Classroom to access any of Mr. Kieser’s groups:
Mrs. Bates hosts lunch groups for 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. This is a time for all students in each grade to come together to have lunch, chat and do an activity together. Lunch Group is from 12:00-12:25 on the following days:
Use this link or click on Mrs. Bates Zoom Room in your Clever Classroom to access: https://loswego-k12-or-us.zoom.us/j/3737960708
Trivia Club with Ms. Montgomery
Do you enjoy knowing all kinds of random facts about different things? Come join the fun at our Wildcat Trivia Club! Each week, Ms. Montgomery hosts a lunchtime club where kids can hang out and enjoy lunch while we show what we know about a different theme.
We will start the new year off with Disney trivia from 11:30 - 12pm on Thursday, January 7. Bring your lunch and have some fun sharing what you know about Disney!
You can find my Bitmoji in your Clever Classroom or follow the steps below OR here is my link if you want to have it handy-
Wear something Disney if you would like!
Counselor's Corner: January SEL theme- Perseverance!
Dear Westridge Families,
As we wrap up the year and start looking toward the new year of 2021, we will be spending the month of January introducing the character trait of PERSEVERANCE in our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. The definition we will be using for Perseverance is: the ability to work through situations even when there are obstacles or challenges in the way.
A lot of research today is telling us that the highest indicators of success in our kids isn’t just about their grades or their IQ. The number one skill that helps people of all walks of life be successful is GRIT! The ability to persevere in the face of adversity or even failure. Over the course of the month, we will talk about inspiring people who faced many failures before they found success. We will talk about what it means to navigate tough stuff, even when it feels overwhelming or really hard. We will talk about having a Growth Mindset – to see challenges and failure as an opportunity to grow instead of a brick wall.
Asynchronous lessons are posted in my Google Classroom each Monday. Here are links for extension activities to explore PERSEVERANCE further as a family:
Please note: In order for your student to gain access to the weekly Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, they must be a member of my Google Classroom. Please make sure your student is included in my classroom by using the codes listed below. Asynchronous SEL lessons will be available to students weekly. Students may complete these supplementary lessons at their convenience any time throughout the week.
Westridge SEL Classroom (K-2): 76wnd6p K-2 Google Classroom Link
Westridge SEL Classroom (3-5): q53zivt 3-5 Google Classroom Link
School Counselor, Westridge Elementary
Westridge School Counseling Family Resources
Hello Westridge parents! Comprehensive Distance Learning has been a challenge for both parents and students. We want to provide as much assistance to you as possible, I have condensed several useful resources into the Westridge School Counseling Family Resources folder. Here you will find:
- An archive of all Social Emotional Learning lessons from the year, organized by character trait.
- Family activities to build connection and character
- Tips for parent and family self-care
- Webinars by myself and other Westridge staff.
This folder will be updated on a regular basis, so feel free to check it once in a while. If you have any questions or suggestions for useful resources, please contact me at email@example.com.
Gary Kieser, MA, LPC
Westridge Elementary School
503-534-2371, ext. 3932
Donating to Westridge PTSO
The Westridge Elementary PTSO (Parent Teacher Student Organization) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization run by parent volunteers. Through parent and community donations, we help to fund field trips, technology, and over 30 school programs each year for the enrichment of Westridge students.
While in the midst of the ongoing COVID pandemic, we find ourselves in an especially unique position this year. Many of our community members have experienced financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. We realize that it may not be viable for your family to donate to our annual fundraiser, and thus, we are not hosting one during this academic year.
While our school year looks quite different this year, the need for resources to enrich the academic experience of each and every student is still very real. Therefore, we are still gratefully accepting donations. If you are in a position to donate and able to take advantage of your employer's corporate matching program, we encourage you to participate in giving. Your donations are incredibly valuable and allow us to support our teachers and students.
Thank you for considering donating to support our Westridge students. If you would like to donate at this time or at any time during the school year, please visit Tinyurl.com/wildcatfund.
Grades 4-5 Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition (Optional)
Scripps National Spelling Bee has developed an online testing platform that will allow Westridge to host an online School Spelling Bee for interested fourth and fifth grade students in January.
Our school champion will then move on to represent Westridge in the Regional Spelling Bee which also will also include online tests in lieu of in-person spelling bee events. More information on how to register for the online competition will be coming soon. In the meantime, interested 4th and 5th graders should check their email to complete the form sent by Mrs. Swanson. Good luck spellers!
PTSO Fundraiser: Minted
With the holidays quickly approaching, we hope you’ll be just as excited as we are about this great discount being offered to our Westridge community! Use promo code FUNDRAISEWESTRIDGE to receive 20% off holiday cards and gifts through minted.com.
15% of your purchase amount will be donated back to Westridge PTSO!
PTSO News - Support Westridge Through Amazon Smile
As the holiday shopping season begins, please remember that supporting Westridge is easy with the AmazonSmile app! With every eligible purchase, AmazonSmile donates 0.5% to the school - same products, same prices, no cost to you!
As every dollar helps benefit our teachers and students, please make sure you go to your account settings and select Westridge Elementary School PTSO as your charity of choice!
Tech Information Sessions
LOSD hosted two Tech Information Sessions covering the “how tos'' for getting started with distance learning. The session recordings and presentations are posted on the district site under Resources/Tech Support for Families.
Tech Support Ticket
A majority of tech concerns can be resolved by submitting a Tech Support ticket -- the link is on all school and district homepages for easy access to help with passwords, log-ins, hardware fixes, etc.
Google Classroom Guardianship
By now all parents and guardians should have received an email requesting you to accept guardianship of your student's Google Classroom. If you need assistance with this request, please submit a request through the Tech Support button. Note: accepting guardianship simply gives you the option of selecting how often you would like to receive summaries (weekly, daily, or no summary) of your student's Google Classroom activity. Only student accounts have access to Google Classroom.