Swanson Elementary School - March 2023

No School - Thursday, March 16th and Friday, March 17th

Parent/Teacher Communication Conferences

Wednesday, March 15 4:00 - 8:00 PM

Thursday, March 16th 8:00 - 4:00 PM

Building a Strong Parent-Teacher Partnership

What makes the difference in how your child performs in school? The answer might surprise you. It’s not your child’s IQ, the teacher, the school, or your educational level. Although all of these play a part, study after study tells the same story. Children who do best in school have parents who are actively involved in their child’s education. One of the best ways to get involved is continuing to build a strong parent-teacher partnership.

You are encourage to come to your communication conference with questions and information that will help both you and the teacher strengthen the team effort you share educating your child.

Thank you.

Mrs. Jennifer Harr

Scholastic Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair is back IN-PERSON in the Swanson Library this year. Students will preview the books during school on March 8th. Then the shop will be open for business during conferences on March 15th (3:30 - 8 pm) and March 16th (8 am - 3 pm).

Or, use the following link to purchase online:

Help Needed!

Please consider signing up for a one or a two hour shift to help setup, be a cashier, or teardown on Thursday. It's a great way to meet some other parents and see the joy kids get from picking out books.

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Spring Picture Day! Thursday, March 23rd!/Order your Spring School Pictures today!

Bring your smile and your pre-paid picture order form!

The photographer will only take pictures of students who have a order form in hand. These pictures are optional but a fun picture to have to see growth and changes throughout the year!.

You now have the convenience to place an online order for School Pictures. The order must be placed by midnight the night before your picture date on March 23rd since not every child will have an individual picture taken.

Please click the link below to place your order.

Dear Swanson Parents,

It is that time of year when parents might inquire about their child’s placement for next year. Before the end of this school year, all professional staff will meet with appropriate grade level teams to determine the best placement for all students.

Much thought, dialogue and time will go into establishing classroom lists for the 2023-24 school year. Our teachers are insightful and qualified to place students in classrooms with teachers who best fit student educational needs. Many considerations are involved in the process. The following criteria will be used to determine placements.

  • Staff input

  • Number of students

  • Number of boys/girls

  • Academic abilities/needs

  • Social/behavioral needs

  • Independent/dependent learners

  • Leadership skills

  • Peer relations

  • Learning styles

As a parent, you may offer your thoughts about your child’s placement. You are an important part of your child’s educational team and we value your feedback. If you choose to provide input, we ask that you:

  • Make a formal request in writing (by email to is acceptable) no later than March 24th, 2023

  • Requests should reference your child’s learning style and type, not the specific teacher you wish your child to have.

  • If there has been a request made in a previous year that still applies, please make sure we are aware of the necessary details for placement in the 2023-2024 school year.

Thank you for your continued partnership in your child’s education. We appreciate your support and understanding of our placement process and the guidelines set forth.


Jennifer Harr and The Swanson Staff

Westside Staff Appreciation Week - March 27th - March 31st

District Wide Instrumental Music Festivals:

Fifth and Sixth grade Band and String students will be participating in district wide Instrumental music festivals. These concerts will feature students from fifth grade, sixth grade, Westside Middle School and Westside High School. Detailed information about our rehearsals and performances will be sent out through students, please mark you family calendar for the following events:

Westfest String Festival

5th and 6th grade String Students: violin, viola, cello and bass)

Monday, March 20, Westside High School, 7:00 pm*

*sixth grade parents will be able to attend the Outdoor Ed Meeting prior to the concert

Band-o-rama Extravaganza

5th and 6th grade Band Students: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone and percussion

Tuesday, March 21, Westside High School, 7:00 pm

NSCAS State Testing

This coming April, our 3rd through 6th grade students will take part in Nebraska's Annual state testing in reading and math with 5th graders also participating in science. These tests, known as NSCAS (Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System) are one of many ways we measure how well our instruction is working to support student learning. If your child is a 3rd through 6th grader, their teacher will be communicating testing dates. It's important on testing days that students are well fed, well rested, and ready to do their best!

Too Sick for School

When is too sick for school?

  • Has a temperature of 100.4 or higher

  • Is vomiting

  • Has diarrhea

  • Eye is pink and crusty

May return when….

  • Fever free without the use of fever reducing

medication (Tylenol/acetaminophen, Motrin/ibuprofen)

for 24 hours

  • Not vomiting for 24 hours

  • Haven’t had diarrhea for 24 hours

  • Eyes are no longer pink or crusty

or have had 2 doses of antibiotics

6th Grade Parent Night

Hello, 6th Grade Parents!

We are excited to welcome your student to Westside Middle School next year! We have several important dates we hope you mark on your calendar. Your first event is 6th Grade Information Night, an event organized to help introduce you and your student to their future school. Both students and parents are invited to 6th Grade Information Night; you may pick the night that works best for you. When you arrive, you will report to the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Wednesday, March 22nd at 6:00 - 7:30pm

Monday, March 27th at 6:00 - 7:30pm

6th Grade Parent Night

  • Parents/guardians, as well as students, are invited to join us at Westside Middle School as our building leaders discuss ‘WMS 101’! We will cover curriculum, expectations, activities, clubs, sports and grading.

  • Please choose one of these sessions; it is not necessary to attend both evenings.

May 12, during the school day

Warrior Walkabout

  • We will bus our 6th grade students to Westside Middle School for a special event: Warrior Walkabout! This opportunity allows students to see their new school firsthand and learn about what their new school day/year will look like.

  • Warrior Walkabout is split into two groups based on school. Information will be sent from all elementary schools for specific times and details.

  • Students will be transported back to their elementary schools for regular dismissal times and procedures.

We are excited to meet our new students and their families! If you have questions, please reach out to

Kim Eymann

Principal, Westside Middle School

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EY News

You will find information about EY opportunities, our geography contest winners, ideas for badges to check out, and details about the writing contest sponsored by the OPL.

Jenny Henningsen

EY Coordinator

Sunset & Swanson

Digital Dozen Award

The Excellence In Youth Team is proud to announce Peter B. and Karnitha K. from Swanson as the most recent recipient of the Digital Dozen award for the 22-23 school year! This award is presented to students who earn 12 of the digital badges on the EY Website (, which is available to students district-wide. It takes self-motivation, grit, and determination to earn these badges and Peter and Karnitha should be proud of this accomplishment!

Navigating Screens and Social Media

Screen time and social media usage has become a favorite activity for kids, but as a parent how can you know how much is too much and how to practice safety in social media usage? Some parents are also seeing challenging behaviors in their kids, along with mental health concerns, and aren’t realizing these behaviors and concerns could be tied to screen time or the negative effects of social media. The following “Just Kids Health” podcast from Children’s Hospital - Navigating Screens and Social Media discusses healthy boundaries, recommended amounts of time, and negative effects of too much screen time. There is also an accompanying graphic that discusses some of the key points. The key with all screen time - BALANCE! If you are a parent wondering how you can create better balance and boundaries for your child, don’t hesitate to reach out to your school counselor for some great ideas.
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School Board Authorizes Master Facilities Bond Phase II

In 2013, Westside Community Schools developed a 15-year Facilities Master Plan, identifying approximately $240 million dollars in work that needed to be completed throughout District 66 in the coming years. In 2014, voters approved the bond for Phase I of this plan, for $79.9 million dollars worth of work focusing on safety and security throughout all buildings and campuses, including new buildings for Sunset Hills, Oakdale, Swanson and Prairie Lane, and extensive remodeling work at Westside Middle School. All projects were completed on time and on budget.

At the February 21, 2023, Board of Education meeting, members voted unanimously to authorize Westside Community Schools to pursue Phase II of the Facilities Master Plan initially established in 2013. Extensive research and discussion involving the Westside Facilities Task Force identified top needs as part of this phase, with an estimated cost of $121 million dollars. This will be decided by our voters on May 9th through a MAIL-IN election.

Phase II will include:

  • new schools for Westgate Elementary, Hillside Elementary and Loveland Elementary;
  • repairs and projects at Westside Middle School, Westside High School and Westbrook Elementary;
  • new storm shelter, gym and early childhood areas at Paddock Road Elementary and Rockbrook Elementary;
  • and handicap accessibility at the ABC Administration Building, as well as needs at Underwood Hills Early Childhood Center.

The Bond for Phase II, if passed by voters, will require Westside Community Schools to increase the tax levy by a maximum of 4.9 cents. It is important to note our current tax levy is 9.9 cents lower than it was in 2018-2019.

  • This would add $49 of annual, additional taxes to the owner of a $100,000 home.
  • This would add $98 of annual, additional taxes to the owner of a $200,000 home.
  • This would add $147 of annual, additional taxes to the owner of a $300,000 home.

Westside Community Schools leaders will hold at least 25 public meetings and tours across the district throughout March, April and May, to offer as much transparency and information as possible regarding this important initiative. Please click the button below for locations, dates and times. You may also email with any questions you may have.

The first meeting will take place Thursday, March 2 at Hillside Elementary beginning at 6:30pm; all are welcome to attend.

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First Friday Spirit Day!

Each first Friday of the month is Swanson Spirit Day. On this day we all wear our Swanson logo wear or school colors, blue and white, to show our spirit. We begin our day by saying the Swanson Pledge together. It’s a fun day filled with terrific Swanson spirit! Our next First Friday Spirit Day is Friday, April 14th.

22/23 Breakfast and Lunch Menu

Check out Westside Community Schools Online Breakfast and Lunch Menu!


Email is a great way to communicate with your child’s teacher. The Westside format is as follows:


Swanson Web Page

Visit our web page for current information on school happenings and activities during the year. Go to and click on schools and then the Swanson link.

No School - April 3 - 7 - Spring Break

Calendar Reminders

March 3 Pizza/Bingo Night @ WMS, 6 pm

March 6 Community Club Meeting, 6:30 pm

March 16-17 Scholastic Book Fair

March 16 Parent-Teacher Conferences, 8-4 pm

March 16-17 No School for Students

March 20 Westfest @ WHS, 7 pm

March 20 6th Gr. Outdoor Ed Parent Mtg. @ WHS (Little Theater), 6 pm

March 21 5th/6th Grade Band-O-Rama, @ WHS, 7 pm

March 23 Spring Picture Day

March 22 OR 27 6th Gr. Parent Night, 6-7:30 pm @ WMS

March 28 Skating Party at Skate City, TBD

March 27-31 Staff Appreciation Week

March 30 6 Gr. Vocal Music Festival, 7 pm @ WHS

April 3-7 NO School-Spring Break

April 10 C.C. Mtg., 6:30 pm

Welcome to Swanson! Home of the Superstars!


The Mission of Swanson School, as a dynamic community alliance and model of innovative education, is to support and empower all learners to achieve academic excellence.

School Improvement

Swanson's school improvement goal is all students will increase reading comprehension.

Swanson's Expectations

  • Be Safe
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible