West Hills STEM Academy

MAY 2020


West Hills STEM Academy is dedicated to working with our community to serve the whole child, fostering the lifelong learner skills of persistence, confidence and readiness to thrive and contribute to society.

Life, Career and College Ready!

Farewell from Principal Heaman

West Hills Students & Families,

Amid COVID-19 and school closure, I have struggled to know the appropriate time and way to find the words to say farewell. This is not how I thought our last months together were going to go and I long for a time to be all together again.

It is with deep adoration and appreciation that I leave the Bremerton School District where I have been principal at two different sites for the last 16 years to embark upon a new challenge. I have accepted the position as Head of School for Silverwood School, a small independent school located on 18 acres of land in North Kitsap. I will resign my position as principal of West Hills STEM Academy at the conclusion of the school year 2019-2020. It seems impossible at this time to express my sincere gratitude for being able to give of myself in a way I have never given to a community in my entire life by only using words. So I decided that I am also sending out 600 "air hugs" to each and every student of West Hills.


Mrs. Heaman

New Principal & Assistant Principal to WHSTEM

Please join me in welcoming New Principal, Melissa Rohr, former assistant principal of West Hills, and New Assistant Principal, Kelli Andrews, former principal intern and teacher at Bremerton High School for the 2020-2021 school year. Melissa and Kelli will be introducing themselves to our WHSTEM Family in the June newsletter!

Home Based Learning

We have now made the transition to home-based learning for the remainder of the year. Together, we will do our best to provide our students with the relevant and meaningful learning experiences they deserve.

Our teachers will be providing academic content in multiple ways so ALL students can access learning. This may include printed learning materials, phone calls, email, technology-based instruction, or a combination. If your child needs a printed packet of materials, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal.

Teachers will seek to provide consistency and structure by having a weekly plan and schedule. Our priority will be on essential learning in each content area. We have established these initial guidelines for maximum student commitment each day for four days per week.

  • Pre-K : 30 minutes

  • Grades K-1: 45 minutes

  • Grades 2-3: 60 minutes

  • Grades 4-5: 90 minutes

Elementary music and PE are not included in these maximum times. We are encouraging daily physical activity and will also provide opportunities for meaningful activities in the arts.

  • Grades 6-8: 20 minutes per teacher (up to 2 hours daily)

  • Grades 9-12: 30 minutes per teacher (up to 3 hours daily)

We realize that home-based learning is not the same as in-person teaching and we know there will be some hurdles. Many siblings are sharing devices, reliable internet service is not always available, and some parents are working while their children are trying to complete assignments or activities. Some students have multiple roles at home. We will give our students plenty of grace during this time. This is new for all of us, and it will require some patience as we adapt.

We will do all we can to help our students and families through this time. Our staff will prioritize building relationships with students and will help maintain connections with and between students. We will partner with our families to support student learning through ongoing communication and collaboration. We will also continue to keep you updated regarding the many questions that remain unanswered.

Thank you for your patience and support!

Technology tools & tips for home-based learning

We wanted to provide an overview of the many digital resources available for students for home-based learning and communicating with teachers.

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BSD student log-In instructions for Google

To access BSD district digital resources, your student will need to log-in to his/her BSD student Google account.

  • The student log-in is the student ID number@bsdstudents.org (no spaces in the ID number)

  • The password is the first 4 letters of the student's last name PLUS the student's birth month and date (Note: The first letter is capitalized. No spaces in password).

Here is a sample for John Smith whose student ID is 123456 and his birthday is July 4.

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Clever is the district landing page for software and websites used in instruction. There are math, English, social studies, science, and library resources available. Students also use Clever to access their BSD email, iReady, and their Google Classroom(s).

On district-provided devices such as Chromebooks or computer labs in the school, students have a direct login to Clever, but on home devices there are a few more steps.

This video shows you and your student how to log in to Clever from a non-district device, so they can have access to their resources on a non-BSD computer. There is a link to Clever on all District websites under "Quick Links."

If you have trouble accessing Clever, please call our Chromebook help line at: 360-473-1065. This hotline is open M-F 8:30 am and 4 pm.

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Seesaw is a digital portfolio for students in grades K-2. It allows them to share their learning with their teachers and parents. If your student is using Seesaw, ask their teacher for information on how you can support them in their learning!

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Google Classroom 101 for parents/guardians

Google Classroom 101 for parents

Our teachers are using a learning management system (LMS) called "Google Classroom" to communicate with students, post assignments, and track schoolwork.

While a parent can't join a Google Classroom due to privacy laws, Google allows parent/guardian email accounts to be "linked" to their student(s) BSD Google account, which will connect them to their child’s Google Classroom. This allows parents to get updates via email on how their student is doing in class.

  • If your student has more than one Google Classroom class, all information is combined in one email.

  • You can choose the frequency of those emails.

Once your email is connected with your student(s)’ Google Account, you should have access to any Google Classroom in which your student is enrolled - for this year and for future years. So if you do this now, you will automatically be connected to your child’s Google Classrooms next year - unless you change your email.

Your teacher may have sent or may be sending you you an invitation to be linked to their Google Classroom. If you haven’t received that, we encourage you to reach out to your student’s teacher(s) and ask to be connected.

NOTE: Google Classrooms are DIFFERENT than a teacher's Google website. Teacher Google websites are public and accessible from the school's website. Think of the Google Classroom like a "real" classroom which is not open to the public during the school day.

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If your student gets an invitation to a Zoom meeting, they do NOT need to sign-up for a Zoom Account. Here is an information sheet on using Zoom for students: Zoom for Students.

We know there are some concerns about the safety of using Zoom as a videoconferencing platform. Though no option is perfect, we have taken steps to ensure the safety of our staff and students by using OSPI-provided Zoom accounts. These accounts require a waiting room before anyone is admitted to the meeting (to prevent "zoom-bombing" or strangers joining), allow students to participate without creating a Zoom account, and allow the teacher to control who can share their screen. We continue to monitor developments in videoconferencing options and are ready to make changes as necessary to keep our staff and students safe.

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Contacting your child's teacher

During this school closure, we recommend that you contact your child's teacher via email rather than by phone. If you want a call back from a teacher, please send an email with your contact information number.

All District email address are: firstname.lastname@bremertonschools.org

All emails sent to/from a BSD email address (including email to/from a student email address) will be screened and archived for the safety and security of students.

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Student BSD email

  • Students can access email in Clever under “Google Tools.”

  • Student email log-ins are the same as their Google log-in. If a student is logged-in to his/her Google account, he/she will not need to sign-in again if they access their email through Clever.

  • Student email is intended to provide another tool for communication between students and teachers, in addition to Google Classroom.

  • Elementary students can only email teachers and staff with BSD email addresses - they can not email other students or any emails outside of BSD.

  • All emails sent to/from a BSD email address (including email to/from a student email address) will be screened and archived for the safety and security of students.

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Caring for your child's Chromebook

  • Keep it away from food or drink.

  • Keep it away from pets, small children, and other dangers.

  • We suggest you charge it every night so your student can use it unplugged during the day.

  • We recommend that you keep your child's Chromebook in a common area of your home.

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Do you need help with your child's Chromebook?

BSD Technology Help Line for parents/students is open. The number is 360-473-1065. This hotline is open M-F 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. Having technical difficulties, give us a call.

The document below includes some tips and reminders for using BSD-issued Chromebooks.

Chromebook Reminders

Click here for Chromebook Reminders

Have you checked out our Family Resources page?

We have put together a variety of resources to help your children (in all grades) practice skills, spark creativity and imagination, and keep curious minds engaged.

This site was developed for families and students with learning resources that can be used at home during the school closure.

Sitio web de recursos y actividades para familias

Este sitio fue desarrollado para familias y estudiantes con recursos de aprendizaje que pueden usarse en casa durante el cierre de la escuela.

Important Dates for 2020-2021 School Year

First Day of School - September 2, 2020
Winter Break - December 21, 2020 - January 1, 2021
Spring Break - April 5, 2021 - April 9, 2021
Last Day of School - June 18, 2021

2020-2021 Classroom Placement

We are beginning to plan for the 2020-2021 school year and are interested in gathering information from parents. Our staff will meet in May/June to begin making recommendations for class assignments. Parent responses will be one of the factors used in considering your child’s needs. Please consider the classroom characteristics that best describe your child and give your responses without referring to a specific teacher by name. It is, of course, just one of the factors in building strong, positive, and balanced class lists for next school year.

This process will take into account such factors as student learning styles, academic records, girl/boy ratios, behavior and peer relationships, special programs, and of course, parental input. All student assignments are temporary until our October 1 enrollment count. Increased enrollment may necessitate adding new classrooms as we have done in the past, while decreased enrollment could mean making other changes in student placements to comply with contractual agreements, as well as attrition that may impact staff assignments. With the exception of a very small percentage of children with special needs, the majority of students are well equipped to adjust to any classroom placement. The principals have final responsibility for classroom assignment.

Classroom Placement Form


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Bremerton School District Non-Discrimination Statement

The Bremerton School District complies with all federal and state rules and regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. This holds true for all students who are interested in participation in educational programs and/or extra-curricular school activities. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the District’s Title IX/RCW 28A.640 Officer and ADA Coordinator, Garth Steedman, at 360.473.1031 or garth.steedman@bremertonschools.org or the Section 504 Coordinator, John Welsh, at 360.473.4400 or john.welsh@bremertonschools.org.Mailing address: 134 Marion Avenue North, Bremerton, WA 98312.