October 15 2017

Week of 10.16.17

Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians:

As we leave Parent Teacher Conferences behind us we head into Quarter Two. During the first quarter students built foundational skills and concepts in the various content areas and will be continuing to gain new learning as they head into the rest of the year.  Your partnership is very important to us and is a key element in ensuring the success of your child in middle school.  One of our areas of focus this year is around supporting literacy in every content area.  Literacy is more than reading and writing including listening and speaking as well.  Check out this article and video from Parent Toolkit around helping support literacy at home.  Please reach out to us any time with questions or concerns any time.

 

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!

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.

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.

Student of the Month- Looking for Sponsorship

We are excited to be starting up a new tradition at Westlake to recognize students who are doing exceptionally well in areas related to our school expectations of PRIDE and our Vision.

Positive Choices

Respect and Responsibility

Integrity

Determination

Excellence

Vision:  Igniting a passion for learning and service:  Dream, Risk, Achieve!

This is going to be called Student of the Month.  During the first week of each month, each core will nominate two students to be recognized.  Then these students and their parents will be invited to a breakfast here at the school for them to be publicly recognized by the principal for their hard work and growth and achievements.

To make this happen, we are looking for businesses or individuals that would like to sponsor a breakfast.  We are anticipating that each breakfast will be $200 – $300.  This would be similar to a race or other event that has sponsors.  We would advertise in writing through our website, principal’s blog, Twitter, etc. and at the breakfast what business sponsored the event.  If you are interested or know a business that would be, please contact Jon Novotny (Asst. Principal – 720-972-5204) or Dr. Heide (Principal – 720-972-5203) by phone or email.

 

October 9 2017

Week of 10.09.17

Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians-

What a beautiful weekend we had!  The weather was gorgeous as were the colors of the leaves all over town.  We know that cold stormy weather is on the horizon, however, and to that end please make sure you’re aware of the new district delayed start just in case we may need it this week.  Our delayed start schedule can be located by following this link to our school website.  If you have any questions please call the main office.

Westlake Middle School- delayed start schedule

Parent Teacher Conferences

On Wednesday and Thursday this week Westlake will be holding Parent Teacher Conferences.  By now you should have received communication from your student’s teachers regarding conferences.  If you have not received anything please get in contact with one of your student’s teachers and/or call the main office and we will get you the information you need.  We look forward to seeing you this week and partnering with you around ensuring our students are receiving all they need to be successful now, in high school, and beyond.

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.

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.

Student of the Month- Looking for Sponsorship

We are excited to be starting up a new tradition at Westlake to recognize students who are doing exceptionally well in areas related to our school expectations of PRIDE and our Vision.

Positive Choices

Respect and Responsibility

Integrity

Determination

Excellence

Vision:  Igniting a passion for learning and service:  Dream, Risk, Achieve!

This is going to be called Student of the Month.  During the first week of each month, each core will nominate two students to be recognized.  Then these students and their parents will be invited to a breakfast here at the school for them to be publicly recognized by the principal for their hard work and growth and achievements.

To make this happen, we are looking for businesses or individuals that would like to sponsor a breakfast.  We are anticipating that each breakfast will be $200 – $300.  This would be similar to a race or other event that has sponsors.  We would advertise in writing through our website, principal’s blog, Twitter, etc. and at the breakfast what business sponsored the event.  If you are interested or know a business that would be, please contact Jon Novotny (Asst. Principal – 720-972-5204) or Dr. Heide (Principal – 720-972-5203) by phone or email.

Safety Reminders

This week we had an event at the crosswalk on 135th where a Legacy student on a bike and a car collided.  Outside of a few minor bruises and scrapes I believe the student is ok.  With this event happening I’m reminded that students are learning skills of safety for self and others.  Please take a moment to talk with your student about safely navigating the neighborhood on bike or foot.  Below are a few talking points to consider:

  • Stop before crossing the street on foot or bike
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard, or other wheeled transportation
  • Remove ear buds/headphones while riding or walking in order to be able to hear approaching traffic

As adults we can also by help by being aware of the danger of the blind ally way crossing 135th and slowing before approaching that intersection.  Thank you for your attention to this matter and helping our students stay safe while traveling to and from school.

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October 1 2017

Week of 10.02.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

The month of October is National Bully Prevention Month.  At Westlake Middle School we are engaging in activities and learning for around what it means to be an ally.  In addition to a variety of events and learning over the course of the month, students are invited to accept a video challenge either as an individual or with a group of students to create a video that displays what being an ally to others looks like and sounds like.  We look forward to the creativity our students display through this process!

Check out this article from Teaching Tolerance entitled Anatomy of an Ally for more information on what it means to be an ally.

Coffee with the Principal

Please join us this Tuesday from 9:30am to 11:00am for the first of a series of Coffee with the Principal.  We will be discussing the various areas of focus across the school in which students and teachers are engaging.  We will have some time for Q and A as well as some time to visit some classrooms across the building.  Of course, coffee will be provided as well as some light snacks. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Hug and Go Lane and East Parking Lot

As a reminder, if you are dropping your students off or picking them up from the hug and go lane, please pull all the way forward and continue to pull forward as cars depart.  Pulling all the way forward allows other parents to also access the hug and go lane to pick up/drop off other students.  Thank you for your help in making this process as smooth as possible.

Our staff typically park in the east parking area of the school.  Throughout the beginning of the school year finding a spot to park has been increasingly difficult for staff.  Please free up parking for our staff by using the hug and go lane or street parking to drop your student(s) off in the morning.  Thank you for your help on this issue.

October 2nd is Official Count Day!

Over the course of September and October we look at daily attendance in order to inform how many students we officially have for the school year.  This number is important as it is what determines the funding we receive via per pupil funding.  Not only does attendance impact funding, but, more importantly, it impacts student learning.  Please help support your student’s learning as well as the school community by ensuring students attend school regularly unless they are ill.  In the case of student illness please call the school attendance line.

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September 24 2017

Week of 09.25.17

Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians:

Fall has arrived and we certainly felt it in the weather over the weekend!  Students have been really digging in to their learning across the school and, believe it or not, we are only few weeks away from the end of the first quarter.  Parent/Teacher Conferences are coming up on October 11th and 12th where you will have the opportunity to talk with your student’s teachers about the progress your student is making this year.  More information about Parent/Teacher Conferences will be coming out shortly so stay tuned!

Grief group counseling opportunity

Here at Westlake we have a wonderful partner in Judi’s House. For the third year in a row, this organization will bring counselors to our school to provide free weekly group therapy during the school day for students who are in the grieving process.

“Judi’s House is the only free-standing organization in the Metro Denver area devoted solely to supporting grieving children and their families. Since 2002, Judi’s House has supported more than 8,000 youth, ages 3-25, and their caregivers, toward our vision that no child should be alone in grief.”

We have availability for 10 students to participate in the curriculum. If this feels like a valuable support for you now, we would like to offer this opportunity to your child.

Here is an article on Supporting Your Child in Grief.

Please email or call Kathy Cochran, WLMS counselor, for registration materials and information. 720-972-5212
kathy.cochran@adams12.org

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September 17 2017

Week of 09.18.2017

Read-a-Thon is here!

The Westlake school community is engaging in a day of reading on Wednesday September 20th to raise money for our classrooms as well as inspire the life long love of reading in all our members of the community.  Students will hear from guest speakers about the impact reading has had on their lives as well as have time to dig in to their own reading throughout the day!

This is a very important fundraiser for us in that the money raised goes directly back into the classrooms to benefit students through our teacher mini-grant process.  Please help support our school community by donating money for important event.

Resources for Parents/Guardians

There are a number of events and resources available to the Adams 12 Five Star parent/guardian community.  Please see the following for information about upcoming events and resources available to our community:

I’ve started listening to a podcast I found called Mind/Shift and wanted to share it with you.  As a school we are looking at how we support and nurture a growth mindset in ourselves and students.  I hope you find something of interest in this podcast.

Mind/Shift

 

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to reach out to me at school 720.972.5200 or rachel.e.heide@adams12.org

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September 10 2017

Week of 09.11.17

Dear Westlake Middle School Community:

Last week, our Superintendent, Chris Gdowski, sent out a message to our district’s school communities regarding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).  Below is a quote from his letter to all of us in the community:

“In Adams 12 — and throughout our public education system in Colorado — teachers and principals also take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, though the risks and sacrifices associated with our service as staff members pale in comparison to those in our armed services. In that oath we make the same commitment General Milley shared in his remarks — to educate ALL students, and to uphold the rights that each of them hold under our Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution states that no person shall be denied equal protection under our laws, and more than 35 years ago the United States Supreme Court confirmed that all students — regardless of their immigration status — are entitled to a public education. Consistent with that decision, we educate all children within our community regardless of their immigration status. That was true for decades before adoption of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order; is true today; and will be true in the future regardless of how the current issues around DACA and possible action by Congress take shape. “

I want to affirm that at Westlake Middle School we are committed to educating ALL students.  We are thankful for the privilege to educate the students of the Westlake community and to be partners with you, the parents and guardians.

School Accountability Committee

Please join us this Wednesday at 4:15pm at Westlake Middle School for our first School Accountability Committee meeting.  We will be looking at school wide data, school goals and associated action steps.  If you have any questions please feel free to call the school or e-mail Dr. Heide at rachel.e.heide@adams12.org.

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September 3 2017

Week of 09.04.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

September marks Attendance Awareness month across the nation in our schools.  According to Attendance Works, attendance is essential to school success, but too often students, parents and schools do not realize how quickly absences — excused and unexcused — can add up to academic trouble. Chronic absence — missing 10 percent of the school year, or just 2-3 days every month—can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing courses and ninth-graders dropping out of high school. Low-income students, who most depend on school for opportunities to learn, are especially harmed when they miss too much instruction.  While we don’t encourage you to bring students to school sick, we hope that giving our community information about the importance of attendance will lead to understanding how attendance can equal engagement. Please follow the links below to access information about attendance.

English- Attendance Awareness

en Espanol- Attendance Awareness

School Accountability Committee

We are looking for parents who are interested in participating on the School Accountability Committee.  In this committee we will be looking at school achievement and growth data, school goals, and reviewing the school’s Unified Improvement Plan.  If you’re interested in joining us for this very important committee please consider coming to our first meeting.  Below are the dates and times for this committee:

9/13 @ 4:15pm
11/15 @ 6:00pm
2/7 @ 4:15pm
4/25 @ 6:00pm

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dr. Heide at 720.972.5200 or rachel.e.heide@adams12.org

Coffee with the Principal

New this year,  Westlake will be hosting a Coffee with the Principal event in order to share with our parents and guardians the various ways we are engaging our students in learning.  Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Please join us on the following dates and times for this event:

Oct. 3, 9:30am-11:00am
Nov. 7, 9:30am-11:00am
Jan. 23, 9:30am-11:00am
Feb. 27, 9:30am-11:00am
Apr. 17, 9:30am-11:00am
May 8, 9:30am-11:00am

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August 27 2017

Week of 08.28.17

In full swing!

The first full week of school is behind us and we are in full swing! Getting into a routine can be challenge not to mention navigating the uniqueness that is middle school. Check out this article on Motivating Middle Schoolers: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating Academics.

Our students grew!

Our results are in for PARCC and CMAS from last school year and our students showed tremendous growth in almost every area.  You will see historical data by following this link from 2014 to current.  M and E stand for “Met” and “Exceeded” ratings indicating student who are at or above the achievement rating for each category.  Please take a look at the results and let me know if you have any questions.

 

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August 20 2017

Week of 08.21.17

This week looks to be very exciting with both the Great American Eclipse as well as our Back to School Night!  Please see information below on both of these events.  If you have any questions please be sure to contact the school.  We value your input and partnership!

Great American Eclipse

Imagine 1200 students and staff members standing in the fields of Westlake Middle School looking up at the eclipse sharing an experience of a life time.  This is the first time the U.S. has experienced a total solar eclipse in 99 years. The next one won’t occur until 2079 in the parts of the U.S.  Eclipses happen with some regularity and partial eclipses with more, however we are tiny relative to this massive planet, and 75% is covered in water, so we miss out on most of them.  On Monday, we will get to experience the Great American Eclipse first hand at Westlake Middle School.

Please be sure to fill out a permission slip for your student to experience the eclipse first hand wearing specialized eclipse glasses.  Students have been sent home with permission slips and one is attached to this message for your convenience.  Students without a signed permission slip will NOT be able to view the eclipse outside and will be in a classroom viewing the live stream of the eclipse.

Also, please help us to offset the cost of purchasing the glasses for all our students and staff by donating $2 or more to cover the cost of a pair of glasses. Donations are accepted in the main office.

If you have any questions, please call the school 720.972.5200 or e-mail Dr. Heide at rachel.e.heide@adams12.org

Back to School Night BBQ

We are looking forward to being together as a school community on Wednesday the 23rd for our Back to School Night!  In order to best support parents and guardians in getting to know you student’s teachers we are holding scheduled presentation times throughout the evening in order for you to get to know your student’s teachers.  Please see below for the presentation times.  Locations will be posted in the school for your convenience.  If you have any questions please let me know.

Time Core Presentation Electives Other Presentations
5-5:25 All Grades, All Cores 6th Grade Electives Special Education/ELD
5:30-5:55 All Grades, All Cores 7th/8th Grade Electives Special Education ELD
6:00-6:25 All Grades, All Cores 6th Grade Electives Special Education/ELD
6:30-7:00 All Grades, All Cores 7th/8th Grade electives Special Education/ELD

 

Bus Lane Update

In order to assist our buses getting our students to and from school please do not drive around the building during drop off or pick up times.  As you know our space is limited and the bus lane can become a very congested area during drop off and pick up times creating a safety issue for all school community members.  Please keep the bus lane clear and safe by not driving through this area in the morning or the afternoon drop off and pick up times.  Thank you!

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August 13 2017

Week of 08.14.17

The first day of school can be full of such emotion!  Excitement, apprehension, anticipation, and so much more.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming students to school this week and helping both you as the parents and guardians as well as our students feel comfortable and safe as part of our learning community.  Regardless of whether you are a first time parent of a middle schooler or whether you’ve been through this a few times already it is always good to have some reminders of ways to help your student (and yourself!) cope with change and engaging in a routine.  Please follow this link about sage advice on back-to-school.

Back-To-School: What You Can’t Buy

 


A note from PTO regarding the school supplies kits…

Dear Westlake Parents, Guardians & Teachers,

This is a follow up email regarding your School Supply Kits you ordered for your child.

Unfortunately, the vendor of the kits, School Kidz, informed us yesterday that the kits were going to be delayed due to a shipping issue with their main carrier which in turn has caused a backlog in their warehouse production and left them scrambling to get the kits out in a timely manner.

The PTO would sincerely like to apologize for this unfortunate and inconvenient matter.  We are working diligently to get this taken care of.  As of right now, School Kidz has relayed to us that the School Kits will be here a week later than we anticipated.  They were due to arrive and be handed out on Monday, August 14, but we are now looking at Monday, August 21, for the arrival date.  We will let you know immediately when they arrive.

The PTO has asked that the vendor, School Kidz, to overnight at least two spiral notebooks and a box of pencils for each student who ordered a kit.  We are awaiting their response and will let you immediately what we hear.

Again, the PTO would like to deeply apologize for this matter.


Total Eclipse 2017

On August 21st, we will be experiencing a total eclipse of the sun.  Our area will be in about 93% totality of the eclipse.  School wide, we will have the opportunity to engage in this rare opportunity across the various content areas.  We have purchased the appropriate and approved viewing glasses for this event.  Please consider donating money to cover the cost of the glasses for your student and/or additional donations to cover the cost for other students in our community.  The glasses cost approximately $2.00 a piece. Regardless of payment, all students will have the opportunity to view the total eclipse with permission from a parent/guardian.  Please follow this link to find the permission slip for the eclipse viewing event.  Permission slips can be turned in to your student’s science teacher for 7th and 8th grade and for 6th grade to any of the 6th grade teachers.  Permission slips will also be given to students on the first day of school and available in the office up until the event.  Permission slips will be due by August 18th. 

 

More specific details of this event will be available after the first day of school.  If you have any questions please contact the school at 720.972.5200.

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