January 15 2018

Week of 01.15.18

Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians:

Last week I was in a 7th grade Language Arts classroom and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to observe students involved in a mindfulness activity in preparation for mid-year MAPS assessment.  I observed students set goals for themselves, selected a strategy for helping them achieve this goal, shared their goals with a classmates, and then spent a moment focusing on their environment in order to gain focus.  From my perspective this mindfulness activity helped students to focus on the task at hand as well as to gain self-awareness around where they were headed.  After the class was over I asked a few of the students if they felt this practice helped them.  The students overwhelmingly shared they felt  it did and hoped their goals they had set would also be reached.

Mindfulness is something we can all use a bit more of in our lives.  This article from Parent Toolkit talks about how to bring home mindfulness for you and your children.  I hope you enjoy this article!

Eight Ways to Bring Mindfulness into Your Family

PTO Dine Out @ Mod Market-

No need to make dinner plans on Wednesday….join us for the PTO Dine Out at Modern Market!  Mention “Westlake” on Wednesday at Mod Market when ordering dinner and the Westlake PTO will receive 50% of the proceeds.  Hope to see you all there.

 

School-wide Book- Clubs beginning!

As mentioned in previous weeks in this blog, one of the major areas of focus for the Westlake School community this year has been around literacy across all content areas.  Being able to read, write, listen, and speak are critical elements to learning any content area and we are committed to supporting students in gaining these very important skills.  One way to support this effort with your child is to engage in our school book.  Please consider being a part of this effort.

Students, parents and community members, this year, we have selected Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (the young adult version) to be our all school book.  This is the amazing story of Joe Rantz and the 1936 Olympic rowing team’s miraculous journey to win gold in Berlin.   A story of courage, perseverance and the power of teamwork, this will be a text to connect our whole community with our vision, Dream, Risk, Achieve.

We are asking students and families to get involved by reading this exciting text. You may also think about organizing a book discussion with your own family or pull together other families you know to discuss the ideas in this book. We have discussion questions and you can use this book club guide for tips on how to facilitate your conversation.

Here at school in January, we will be hosting grade level book clubs run by our administrators, and teachers will have some activities and discussions they can use in their classrooms. This event will be culminated on February 22nd with a movie night when we will be showing The Boys of ‘36 the PBS documentary about this inspiring story.

The book is available for a discounted price from both Amazon and Walmart. Many teachers here at school have copies to loan to students and books will be provided for students who are participating in grade level book clubs.

 

New Year’s Around the World- Multicultural Event

Westlake’s Culture Club wants to learn more about how different cultures celebrate New Year’s.  Please take a moment to share with us various traditions or cultural experiences you and your family are involved in to celebrate the new year through this survey.

New Year’s Around the World Survey

Westlake’s Culture Club will be holding a cultural night on January 31st at 6:30pm to celebrate New Year’s around the world!  Please join us for this fun and engaging event.

W.E.B. (Where Everyone Belongs) Go Fund Me Opportunity-

Our wonderful coordinators for the Westlake W.E.B. program which supports our incoming 6th graders as well as provides leadership opportunities for our 8th graders have an opportunity to gain more training and expand our program.  There is still time to contribute if you’re interested!  Please consider helping send out coordinators to this training by helping to support them through Go Fund Me.

https://www.gofundme.com/webtraining

January 7 2018

Week of 01.08.18

Happy New Year Westlake!

Welcome back  and happy 2018!  As we end one year and begin another, we can reflect on the accomplishments of the year and set goals for the next.  One of the major areas of focus for the Westlake School community this year has been around literacy across all content areas.  Being able to read, write, listen, and speak are critical elements to learning any content area and we are committed to supporting students in gaining these very important skills.  One way to support this effort with your child is to engage in our school book.  Please consider being a part of this effort.

Students, parents and community members, this year, we have selected Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (the young adult version) to be our all school book.  This is the amazing story of Joe Rantz and the 1936 Olympic rowing team’s miraculous journey to win gold in Berlin.   A story of courage, perseverance and the power of teamwork, this will be a text to connect our whole community with our vision, Dream, Risk, Achieve.

We are asking students and families to get involved by reading this exciting text. You may also think about organizing a book discussion with your own family or pull together other families you know to discuss the ideas in this book. We have discussion questions and you can use this book club guide for tips on how to facilitate your conversation.

Here at school in January, we will be hosting grade level book clubs run by our administrators, and teachers will have some activities and discussions they can use in their classrooms. This event will be culminated on February 22nd with a movie night when we will be showing The Boys of ‘36 the PBS documentary about this inspiring story.

The book is available for a discounted price from both Amazon and Walmart. Many teachers here at school have copies to loan to students and books will be provided for students who are participating in grade level book clubs.

 

How do you celebrate New Year’s in your culture?

Westlake’s Culture Club wants to learn more about how different cultures celebrate New Year’s.  Please take a moment to share with us various traditions or cultural experiences you and your family are involved in to celebrate the new year through this survey.

New Year’s Around the World Survey

Westlake’s Culture Club will be holding a cultural night on January 31st at 6:30pm to celebrate New Year’s around the world!  Please join us for this fun and engaging event.

W.E.B. (Where Everyone Belongs) Go Fund Me Opportunity-

Our wonderful coordinators for the Westlake W.E.B. program which supports our incoming 6th graders as well as provides leadership opportunities for our 8th graders have an opportunity to gain more training and expand our program.  Please consider helping send out coordinators to this training by helping to support them through Go Fund Me.

https://www.gofundme.com/webtraining

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 01.08.18
December 17 2017

Week of 12.18.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

As we look to end one year and begin another, we can reflect on the accomplishments of the year and set goals for the next.  One of the major areas of focus for the Westlake School community this year has been around literacy across all content areas.  Being able to read, write, listen, and speak are critical elements to learning any content area and we are committed to supporting students in gaining these very important skills.  One way to support this effort with your child is to engage in our school book.  Please consider being a part of this effort.

Students, parents and community members, this year, we have selected Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (the young adult version) to be our all school book.  This is the amazing story of Joe Rantz and the 1936 Olympic rowing team’s miraculous journey to win gold in Berlin.   A story of courage, perseverance and the power of teamwork, this will be a text to connect our whole community with our vision, Dream, Risk, Achieve.

We are asking students and families to get involved by reading this exciting text. You may also think about organizing a book discussion with your own family or pull together other families you know to discuss the ideas in this book. We have discussion questions and you can use this book club guide for tips on how to facilitate your conversation.

Here at school in January, we will be hosting grade level book clubs run by our administrators, and teachers will have some activities and discussions they can use in their classrooms. This event will be culminated on February 22nd with a movie night when we will be showing The Boys of ‘36 the PBS documentary about this inspiring story.

The book is available for a discounted price from both Amazon and Walmart. Many teachers here at school have copies to loan to students and books will be provided for students who are participating in grade level book clubs.

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the Westlake Middle School staff, we want to wish you a very happy holiday season.  In whatever way your family celebrates the holidays, know we are grateful to be a part of your lives through educating your children.  Together, we are one community moving toward a common goal of creating pathways of success for the children of our community.  Happy Holidays!

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 12.18.17
December 10 2017

Week of 12.11.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

The work we are so fortunate to do by educating young minds is the most rewarding work.  However, it is truly the partnerships with parents and guardians that gives this work the traction to be successful.  I want to take a moment to thank the Westlake PTO for their tireless support towards making significant contributions to our school community.  The parents and guardians who are a part of PTO are truly making a difference in our community by volunteering time and effort to support the goals of our school.  If you would like to be a part of this tremendous group please consider joining them for the next meeting on February 7th at 6:30pm.  Thank you, PTO, for all you are doing to support our school community towards achieving our hopes and dreams!

How do you celebrate New Year’s in your culture?

Westlake’s Culture Club wants to learn more about how different cultures celebrate New Year’s.  Please take a moment to share with us various traditions or cultural experiences you and your family are involved in to celebrate the new year through this survey.

New Year’s Around the World Survey

Westlake’s Culture Club will be holding a cultural night in January to celebrate New Year’s around the world so stay tuned for more information and let us know if you are interested in sharing your culture in our upcoming event.

School Community Book

Students, parents and community members, this year, we have selected Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (the young adult version) to be our all school book.  This is the amazing story of Joe Rantz and the 1936 Olympic rowing team’s miraculous journey to win gold in Berlin.   A story of courage, perseverance and the power of teamwork, this will be a text to connect our whole community with our vision, Dream, Risk, Achieve.

We are asking students and families to get involved by reading this exciting text. You may also think about organizing a book discussion with your own family or pull together other families you know to discuss the ideas in this book. We have discussion questions and you can use this book club guide for tips on how to facilitate your conversation.

Here at school in January, we will be hosting grade level book clubs run by our administrators, and teachers will have some activities and discussions they can use in their classrooms. This event will be culminated on February 22nd with a movie night when we will be showing The Boys of ‘36 the PBS documentary about this inspiring story.

The book is available for a discounted price from both Amazon and Walmart. Many teachers here at school have copies to loan to students and books will be provided for students who are participating in grade level book clubs.

PTO Dine Out!  Come join us at ModMarket

The next PTO Dine Out is just around the corner.  Come join us for some great food and support the Westlake PTO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost and Found

Please encourage your child(ren) to check the lost and found as it is currently bursting with items.  Items that are not collected before break will be donated.

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 12.11.17
December 3 2017

Week of 12.04.17

Dear Westlake School Community:

Happy December!  The year is flying by as students are working towards learning goals and preparing for their next school year and beyond.  If you are interested in seeing the classrooms in action I would encourage you to either join us for Coffee with the Principal where we talk about our school community and visit classrooms or schedule a time with one of the administrators to visit some classrooms individually.  We invite you to be a part of our school in this way to see and experience for yourself the daily experiences your child is having at Westlake Middle School.  Our next Coffee with the Principal is scheduled for January 23rd at 9:30am or feel free to call the office and request one of the administrators (Dr. Heide, Mr. Weisbart, or Mr. Novotny) to visit classrooms with you.    We hope to see you soon!

How do you celebrate New Year’s in your culture?

Westlake’s Culture Club wants to learn more about how different cultures celebrate New Year’s.  Please take a moment to share with us various traditions or cultural experiences you and your family are involved in to celebrate the new year through this survey.

New Year’s Around the World Survey

Westlake’s Culture Club will be holding a cultural night in January to celebrate New Year’s around the world so stay tuned for more information and let us know if you are interested in sharing your culture in our upcoming event.

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 12.04.17
November 26 2017

Week of 11.27.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

I hope you enjoyed your time last week and feel ready for these few weeks leading up to Winter Break and the end of the first semester.  I’m sure you have noticed that the beginning of the school year honeymoon is over with your child(ren).  Middle school is very much a time of transition between childhood and adolescence and so I wanted to take a moment to share a resource with you about this transitional time especially with the end of the first half of the school year in our sights.  Check out this article and video:

Guiding Our Children Through Transitions: Middle School

 

Gifted and Talented

Testing for students to be considered for Gifted and Talented identification will take place in January.  If you are interested in having your student tested, please visit the Gifted and Talented page on the Westlake website to access the two forms you need to submit no later than Friday December 1st. Please see previous posts on the principal‘s blog or contact either Michelle Cantwell or Christy Smith for further information.
michelle.cantwell@adams12.org
Christy.l.smith@adams12.org
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November 12 2017

Week of 11.13.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

Last week the Westlake staff spent time reflecting on the meaning of gratitude as well as identifying what we are grateful for.  One of themes that came out from our work together was our gratitude for working in and being part of the very special Westlake community.  We are grateful for getting to opportunity to be in the lives your children and to be partners in this most in important work of learning with you, the parents and guardians.

As a parent myself it can be frustrating to see my own kids get caught up in the culture of commercialism that surrounds the holidays.  I found this article from Parent Toolkit around helping kids to understanding true thankfulness.  Check out this article and I hope you find something of meaning for you and your family as I did.

Truly Thankful: 5 Tips to Teach Kids Real Gratitude

There are a number of events going on this week so please be sure to take a moment to check out the weekly events calendar from the link above that looks like a yellow sticky note.

 

Operation Free Bird

November 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sheriff’s Foundation Bowl

Operation Free Bird is an event sponsored by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, The Adams County Sheriff’s Foundation and 200+ community partners that give back to those less fortunate in the areas we serve. Each family that attends the event receives everything needed for a holiday meal. During the event, the participants are afforded the opportunity to visit with a number of resources to include medical, dental, grooming, job services and public assistance information.

 

Please follow this link for more information on Operation Free Bird.

 

Classes for Adults

There is an upcoming opportunity for adults to go to class too!  Offerings include:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes
  • Basic Reading, Writing and Math Classes
  • GED Classes

Classes are located at:

Crossroads Middle School

10900 Huron St (Huron & Kennedy)

Northglenn, CO 80234

5:30 pm

ESL Registration January 16, 17 and 18

ABE & ASE Registration January 16 and 17

$55 registration fee. Payment plan available. No fee for Adams 12 parents.

Books $25-$35 each.

Classes begin January 22 or 23, two days per week 5:30-8:30.

Phone: 303.289.4396

Email: adulted@adams14.org.

Website: http://www.adams14.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Adams14ALC/

 

Take care and enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 11.13.17
November 5 2017

Week of 11.06.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

Daylight Savings has ended and I hope you all remembered to set your clocks back.  I also hope you found a great use for the additional hour you experienced over the weekend.  I always feel it is a gift of time in the Fall when we set our clocks back and I can get more out of my day.  This looks to be a great, short week with Veterans’ Day observance on Friday.  Please check out the following information and let us know if you have any questions.

Gifted and Talented Testing

Testing for students to be considered for Gifted and Talented identification will take place in January.  If you are interested in having your student tested, we will need the two attached forms submitted no later than Friday December 1st.  If you have additional testing data or paperwork that you want considered, you may submit that as well.
Since we have to have teachers fill out paperwork and gather testing data, we will not be able to take any forms after this deadline.  If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Cantwell at can003515@adams12.org, or Christy Smith at smi019942@adams12.org
NEW Identification Recommendation form–Parents
Spanish
Parent/School partnership form
Spanish

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3RELHCqQ2KreWFHd3NIMHhGWDA/view

Parents/Guardians of 8th Graders

If you would like your 8th grade student’s baby photo featured in the yearbook, forms will be available int he office. We will need digital photos, 5 dollars, and a quick note from your parents or guardians. There is limited space. Please submit your photos by November 30th.  Please contact Jessica Lunnon with any questions.

lun004903@adams12.org

Volunteers Needed

This quarter we have a Study Skills class that is in need of tutors to help support positive learning outcomes for students.  If you are interested in volunteering in this way please sign up on the link below.

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080f4baea723a57-study

Change of Date- School Improvement Team

Due to some scheduling conflicts the next SIT meeting will be November 29th from 6-7pm in the library.  All interested parents/guardians are welcome to attend and we hope to see you there!

Coffee with the Principal

Please join me this Tuesday at 9:30am for Coffee with the Principal.  We will be looking at various aspects of our school and visit some classrooms for you to experience what your child is experiencing during their day at Westlake Middle School.  See you on Tuesday!

 

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Westlake has started its Thanksgiving Food Drive to benefit our local community.  This Drive lasts until November 9th.  We are asking for items to make a Thanksgiving meal- sweet potatoes/potatoes, green bean casserole, dessert, turkey and veggies are some of these items we hope to provide for families in need.  Please checkout the Westlake website page for more specifics on food items needed.  Food is given a point value and the competition is between first hour classes for each grade level.  Turkeys will come in the last few days of the drive, if you are planning on donating a turkey please let your teacher know ahead of time.  Thanks for your generosity Westlake!
We are also planning for a toy drive for Holiday needs.  We are looking for elementary and middle school aged items to support these families during the difficult time around the holidays.  Keep checking back for posted materials as we get closer to the end of the food drive.
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October 29 2017

Week of 10.30.2017

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

It is hard to believe we are ending October this week and beginning November.  Students are deep in to the learning in the various content areas as the second quarter has begun.  Many years ago I learned the importance of allowing students and my own children the opportunity to really grapple with learning and not “come to the rescue” too quickly ending the learning for my students or children.  As parents it can be difficult to watch our children struggle, however, it is ok for your child to experience challenge and struggle when learning new concepts.  Tremendous learning can come from this type of struggle with new concepts in a supported environment.  I encourage you as a parent to find the just right balance in learning at home as you know your child best.

Halloween Costume Guidelines and Reminders

At Westlake Middle School it has been a tradition to allow students and staff to wear appropriate costumes for Halloween.  This year, it is our intention to maintain the positive and fun spirit of this event. When selecting your costume, please show respect and consideration for the diverse cultures that make up our Westlake family. For example, it would be inappropriate to come to school dressed as a person from a different race or ethnicity, as it would be hurtful or offensive to others. While students are not required to wear costumes on Halloween, those students who do wish to participate are reminded of the following guidelines and reminders:

  1. Costumes that would otherwise violate the Student Dress Codes Policy (Superintendent Policy Code:  5060) will only be allowed if approved by an administrator prior to wearing to school.  For safety reasons, masks or makeup should not cover the student’s face in a manner that makes the student unrecognizable.  Masks or makeup that conceal student’s identity may be worn only during designated times such as during a costume contest.
  2. Toy or facsimile guns are not allowed.
  3. Other toy weapons (knives, swords, bats) should be pre-approved by administrators and are only allowable if the item is clearly a toy.
  4. Costumes that are overly graphic, promote violence or otherwise might logically be assumed to be offensive to others are not acceptable.
  5. Costumes that are sexually suggestive and would otherwise violate the school’s dress code are not appropriate.
  6. Costumes should not include items with sound effects, lights or other components which would disrupt the classroom learning environment.
  7. Regarding costumes that may not be clearly addressed by these guidelines, students should be instructed to have the costume pre-approved by an administrator prior to wearing to school.
  8. Costumes may not mock another student, faculty member, race, gender, religious or lifestyle preference.

Halloween Guidelines Addendum (RE:  Clown Costumes)

As you may recall, last year the Five Star District prohibited students and staff from wearing clown costumes on school grounds due to social media threats nationwide. Although we have not been made aware of any similar threats this year, district  leadership made the decision to leave this prohibition in the 2017 Halloween guidelines.  As always the safety and security of students and staff is our first priority, therefore students and staff are prohibited from wearing clown masks or costumes on school grounds. This adjustment was made in the best interest of the school community and creates a safe environment for students and staff at Halloween celebrations this year.

Keep in mind,  district and school leadership will reevaluate the guidelines each year and make adjustments as needed to ensure a safe celebration for the entire school community. Students who violate or are suspected to be in violation of this policy will be referred to school administration.

Looking for Volunteer Tutors

Are you interested in helping to support students at school through a volunteer opportunity?  Please consider volunteering as a tutor in our Study Skills class for 8th graders Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:24-1:19.   If you would like more information or are ready to volunteer please contact Jessica Lunnon at jessica.n.lunnon@adams12.org.  Thank you for your considering this opportunity!

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 10.30.2017
October 22 2017

Week of 10.23.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

As I’m sure many of you as parents and guardians have experienced, I had a moment over the weekend with my own kids wondering if I am doing enough to teach them the skills they will need in the future to be successful, contributing citizens in our community.  If you’ve had the same moment as I have had countless times check out this resource from Parent Toolkit around helping your child to learn to take responsibility as well as the other many areas of resource throughout the Parent Toolkit website.  I hope you find something that will help you as I know I sure have!

Halloween Costume Guidelines and Reminders

At Westlake Middle School it has been a tradition to allow students and staff to wear appropriate costumes for Halloween.  This year, it is our intention to maintain the positive and fun spirit of this event. When selecting your costume, please show respect and consideration for the diverse cultures that make up our Westlake family. For example, it would be inappropriate to come to school dressed as a person from a different race or ethnicity, as it would be hurtful or offensive to others. While students are not required to wear costumes on Halloween, those students who do wish to participate are reminded of the following guidelines and reminders:

  1. Costumes that would otherwise violate the Student Dress Codes Policy (Superintendent Policy Code:  5060) will only be allowed if approved by an administrator prior to wearing to school.  For safety reasons, masks or makeup should not cover the student’s face in a manner that makes the student unrecognizable.  Masks or makeup that conceal student’s identity may be worn only during designated times such as during a costume contest.
  2. Toy or facsimile guns are not allowed.
  3. Other toy weapons (knives, swords, bats) should be pre-approved by administrators and are only allowable if the item is clearly a toy.
  4. Costumes that are overly graphic, promote violence or otherwise might logically be assumed to be offensive to others are not acceptable.
  5. Costumes that are sexually suggestive and would otherwise violate the school’s dress code are not appropriate.
  6. Costumes should not include items with sound effects, lights or other components which would disrupt the classroom learning environment.
  7. Regarding costumes that may not be clearly addressed by these guidelines, students should be instructed to have the costume pre-approved by an administrator prior to wearing to school.
  8. Costumes may not mock another student, faculty member, race, gender, religious or lifestyle preference.

Halloween Guidelines Addendum (RE:  Clown Costumes)

As you may recall, last year the Five Star District prohibited students and staff from wearing clown costumes on school grounds due to social media threats nationwide. Although we have not been made aware of any similar threats this year, district  leadership made the decision to leave this prohibition in the 2017 Halloween guidelines.  As always the safety and security of students and staff is our first priority, therefore students and staff are prohibited from wearing clown masks or costumes on school grounds. This adjustment was made in the best interest of the school community and creates a safe environment for students and staff at Halloween celebrations this year.

Keep in mind,  district and school leadership will reevaluate the guidelines each year and make adjustments as needed to ensure a safe celebration for the entire school community. Students who violate or are suspected to be in violation of this policy will be referred to school administration.

Join us for Culture Club’s first community event!

Latino/Latina Heritage Celebration

Westlake Middle School’s Culture Club would like to invite you to participate in our first of many cultural events for our school community.  This first event will focus on celebrating and learning about Latino/Latina heritage.  The goal is to give our school community a first hand experience with the various cultures that make up our school community.  Students will receive a passport book for their “travels” through the various cultures through the year with stamps for the countries they visited. Please join us October 25th from 6pm-8pm for this exciting opportunity to come together as a community and learn about one another. Come experience “Bread Around the World” with us at our first of many cultural events.

If you are interested in sharing your Latino/Latina heritage through sharing a cultural tradition, cuisine, art work, performance, or by any other means please contact Veronica Martinez at veronica.martinez@adams12.org or Rosie Fryhover at rosemarie.fryhover@adams12.org.

Opportunity for Part-time work

Are you looking for part-time work as well as ways to be involved at Westlake Middle School?  Then the check out the Student Monitor position we have available currently at Westlake.  Follow this link to access the job posting for more information as well as to apply.  If you have any questions please call Dr. Heide at 720.972.5200 or e-mail rachel.e.heide@adams12.org.  Come join the Westlake team!

 

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 10.23.17