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.

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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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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