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:
- 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.
- Toy or facsimile guns are not allowed.
- Other toy weapons (knives, swords, bats) should be pre-approved by administrators and are only allowable if the item is clearly a toy.
- Costumes that are overly graphic, promote violence or otherwise might logically be assumed to be offensive to others are not acceptable.
- Costumes that are sexually suggestive and would otherwise violate the school’s dress code are not appropriate.
- Costumes should not include items with sound effects, lights or other components which would disrupt the classroom learning environment.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your considering this opportunity!