April 30 2017

Week of 05.01.17

This week is Staff Appreciation Week! We love our WLMS Staff!

As we near the end of the school year students in Math and Language Arts are taking their final MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessment of the year.  This assessment is adaptive meeting students at their individual level and precisely measuring student progress and growth.  I encourage you to ask your student’s teachers about the MAP testing that was completed this year and what it revealed about your individual student’s progress and growth.

 

Throughout the year, we use this data from MAP in combination with data collected from other sources in the classroom to support students in reaching growth goals and to make instructional decisions to best impact positive outcomes for students.  In addition, a team of teachers across the building who serve on our Instructional Leadership team engaged in Instructional Rounds this year.  This process is based on the concept of medical practitioners making rounds to check the status of their patients.  Similarly, each month we visited classrooms across the school to gather information on the status and progress of our school community.  From this information, the team made decisions about how to support the learning of our teachers and staff through professional development opportunities.  We will be continuing to build on this process into the next year at Westlake.


As much as we may wish to have a manual on how to support our children as they grow up none of us were given that manual….at least I didn’t get one!  Thankfully, our Westlake community is full of supportive adults going through this experience of raising children and going through middle school.  Please consider joining our Parent Teacher Organization to get in touch with other parents who are experiencing similar questions and challenges in raising middle schoolers. Our next meeting is this Wednesday at 6:30pm and we would love to see you there!  In the meantime, here is a Parent Toolkit resource that may be helpful to you.

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April 24 2017

Week of 04.24.17

Can you believe this is the last week of April already?!  This year has flown by and I’m so grateful to have spent it as part of the WLMS community.  Thank you for sending your students to us each day. This is a busy time of year so please take the time to check out the upcoming events on the yellow sticky note on the top of this page.  Also, check out last week’s blog post as there is information about the upcoming events listed there.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give us call.

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April 17 2017

Week of 04.17.17

The end of the 2016-2017 school year is fast approaching!  We are so thankful to be partners with you through this middle school experience….thank you for sharing your students with us!  We want you to be aware of the important events coming up over the next few weeks as we finish out this school year.

  • Community Forum on May 4th- postponed- I apologize for the change to this calendar event, however with the number of events coming up at the end of this school year I have decided to postpone the community forum event regarding the school mascot and associated imagery until next school year.  However, if you have any questions please feel free to call or e-mail me any time.  720.972.5200 or rachel.e.heide@adams12.org
  • Pies with the Principals- Incoming 6th grade parents- April 20th- If you are a parent/guardian of an incoming 6th grader, please join us on Thursday, April 20th at 6:30 for Pies with the Principals!  This event will provide give you an opportunity to get any remaining questions answered as well as to meet the school administrators and staff.  We look forward to seeing you there! (This is a parent only event)
  • Final PTO meeting for the 2016-2017 school year- May 3rd-It’s never too late to join us for PTO!  Please join us on May 3rd at 6:30pm.
  • Incoming 6th graders Ice Cream Social (Parents and students)- May 9th- If you are going to be a Westlake 6th grader next school year bring your parents and guardians for an Ice Cream Social.  We are looking forward to getting to know you better and welcoming you to Westlake.  Please come join us!
  • 8th Grade End of Year Celebration Field Trip- May 22nd
  • 7th Grade Field Day- May 22nd
  • 8th Grade Awards Assembly and last day for 8th graders- May 23rd @ 12:30pm (No School for 6th and 7th Grade)
  • 6th and 7th Grade Awards Assemblies and last day- May 24th- 7th @ 8:45am; 6th @ 12:45pm

 

 

 

 

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April 9 2017

Week of 04.10.17

Tile in school entryway

*Community Forum postponed*

Over the course of this school year, the school community has begun looking at the use of the “Warrior” mascot along with the associated imagery used throughout the school.  This was prompted by a student petition back in September asking for a marble tile in our entryway to be removed.  This has been an amazing learning experience for our school community uncovering how to advocate for change as well as learning more about the culture and experiences of others.  We will be continuing to learn from this experience as we head into the next school year and, therefore, we would like to invite our parents and guardians to join our students in attending an upcoming community forum in order to hear from students, staff, and parents about this journey.  Please join on May 4th at 6:30 at Westlake for a community forum.  We invite your partnership on this journey and look forward to learning from one another in our school community.

Second view of the tile in the school entryway

 


Videographer needed

Are you a professional videographer or do you have skill in this area?  I am looking for someone or a group of people who are interested in working on a video project now and through the next school year.  If you are interested in helping Westlake with a project or would like more information please contact Dr. Heide at rachel.e.heide@adams12.org or call  at 720.972.5200.  I look forward to hearing from soon!


 

Shoe Drive

Westlake Environmental Club is partnering up with Soles 4 Souls for our second annual shoe drive. Our shoe drive will take place from April 10 through 21. Please bring in any new, used, and gently worn shoes during this time period to one of your core teachers’ rooms. This will not only help the environment by preventing these shoes from going to landfills, but also helping people in poverty around the world get a new pair of shoes which can bring opportunities and comfort to these people’s lives. Step It Up Westlake, and let’s wear out poverty!


 

Check Drive Funds

We would like to thank you all again for your support of the school through our Check Drive!  Initially, we had hoped to raise money for a digital marquee, however, based on the cost and work needed to put in the marquee we have decided to hold off on that project and use the check drive fundraiser to support teacher classroom mini-grants.  The mini-grants would support individual teacher projects such as technology needs for the classroom, furniture, or other innovative projects to support the student learning experience.  If you have any questions on this please feel free to contact the school at 720.972.5200.  Thank you for your support of our school!


We are nearing the end of the state assessments!  Please see the following for the remaining upcoming testing:

7th grade 

April 10th

8th grade will also have CMAS Science testing on April 13th and 14th

Please make sure that students get a good night’s sleep on the nights before testing and encourage them to do their best.  Thank you for your partnership in supporting our students!

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April 2 2017

Week of 04.03.17

Welcome back from Spring Break!  I hope that you enjoyed the time and are ready to tackle the last few weeks of school.  The week leading up to Spring Break I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Harvard University and participate in the Race, Equity, and Leadership in Schools Institute.  I gained such a tremendous amount from this institute which I’m looking forward to sharing with our school community into the future.  While it was difficult to be away from our school community and my own family, the learning gained will pay huge dividends for our school.  Thank you for your support our school and I look forward to partnering with you in our continued work together.

We have several events and opportunities to get involved coming up this week and in upcoming weeks.  Please check out the upcoming events link on the yellow post-it on the right hand corner of the page for more information on what is upcoming.


Upcoming PARCC/CMAS Assessments

 

7th grade 

April 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th

8th grade will also have CMAS Science testing on April 13th and 14th

Please make sure that students get a good night’s sleep on the nights before testing and encourage them to do their best.  Thank you for your partnership in supporting our students!

 

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March 19 2017

Week of 03.20.17


Monday marks the official first day of Spring and the weather this weekend certainly made me feel like we had skipped Spring and went directly to Summer!  Spring Break is just around the corner only a week a away.  Whatever your plans are for the break we hope you return from the break feeling rested and recharged and ready to finish the school year!

We have a number of events happening this week so please take some time to check out the upcoming events page on the yellow sticky note at the top of this page.  We are thankful for our parent/guardian community and look forward to continuing our partnership through the end of this school year and in the next.

Take care of yourselves during this week leading up to Spring Break and enjoy the time off!


Upcoming PARCC/CMAS Assessments

6th grade 

March 20th, 21st and 23rd

7th grade 

April 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th

8th grade will also have CMAS Science testing on April 13th and 14th

Please make sure that students get a good night’s sleep on the nights before testing and encourage them to do their best.  Thank you for your partnership in supporting our students!

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March 12 2017

Week of 03.13.17

This week we begin the PARCC and CMAS testing at Westlake!  I had a student this week e-mail me with a question as to why we take PARCC in addition to the MAPS testing that is done through out the year in Math and Language Arts.  I thought this was a great question and I imagine this is a question many people have.  PARCC testing (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is used in Colorado as well as 10 other partners including six states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Indian Education.  PARCC is an annual end of year assessment in Language Arts and Math based on the rigorous standards adopted by many states (Common Core) back in 2010.  CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success) is also a year-end assessment  given to students in grades 5, 8, and 11 in Science and to grades 4 and 7 on a sampling basis to one-third of the schools across the state for Social Studies.   CMAS is also based on the standards adopted by the state of Colorado in Science and Social Studies.  Data from this year-end assessment are usually available by the Fall of the following school year from when the test is given.

MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) is an assessment given to our students in Adams 12 as well as other districts across the nation to measure the progress and growth of individual students in Math and Language Arts.  MAPS is given at minimum twice a year and the data is returned within 24 hours in order for students and teachers to gauge progress towards grade level mastery and growth from year to year and within the current year.

Having both PARCC/CMAS and MAPS allows us at Westlake to get a full picture on progress, growth, and mastery of content.  Teachers rely on the data they receive from all of these assessments to make instructional decisions and, as a school, to set our goals for improvement.  This week we begin our PARCC/CMAS assessments.  Please see the following information for testing dates and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at the school:

Parents, this is a reminder of our upcoming window for state testing. Colorado’s PARCC and CMAS testing are an important way for our school to get information about how our students are performing in comparison to students around the district and state. We use this information for individual student placement and evaluation of our programs and teaching methods. It is important for all students to participate and do their best. Students will be taking the math and language arts test on the following dates:

8th grade 

March 14th, 16th and 17th

6th grade 

March 20th, 21st and 23rd

7th grade 

April 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th

8th grade will also have CMAS Science testing on April 13th and 14th

Please make sure that students get a good night’s sleep on the nights before testing and encourage them to do their best.  Thank you for your partnership in supporting our students!

 

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March 5 2017

Week of 03.06.17

Spring is just around the corner, believe it or not!  In the classrooms students are working diligently on gaining the necessary skills and concepts to be successful in their next year of schooling.  As we work with students to gain what is needed this year we are also looking toward the next years of school to ensure students have a continuous, rigorous middle school experience. As a staff, we are looking at how we better support students in this age of technology.  Over the next couple years we would like to better align ourselves with the needs our students have around learning to use technology effectively for expanding the learning experience as well as being good stewards of technology. One idea we are exploring is the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).  Please take a moment to view this list of pro’s and con’s regarding BYOD/1:1 concepts as well as this infographic about the differences between BYOD and 1:1.  Finally, we invite you to share your thoughts regarding the idea of BYOD through this brief survey.

 

9 Months to 9th Grade Event!
Attention 8th graders and parents/guardians of 8th graders!  Our next 9 to 9 event will take place on Tuesday March 7th 6:30pm-7:30pm in WLMS cafeteria.  Come join us to hear current LHS Seniors speak to 8th grade parents and students regarding high school. They will speak about their mistakes, successes, lessons learned and reflect back on their four years.

Warrior Buck Drive

As a way to encourage generosity among our students and live up to our mission of inspiring a passion for service, we held a warrior buck charity drive in February. Students donated their warrior bucks to one of the charitable organizations that supports families in our community, and several businesses and individuals pledged matching funds so that the Warrior Bucks became 1000 real dollars that went to improving people’s lives.  A big thanks goes out to all the students who donated and to these local businesses and individuals:

Lindeman Chiropractic and Acupuncture

Prentice Orthodontics

Jus’ Burritos

Animal Central

Parker Construction

The Glueck Family


Parents, this is a reminder of our upcoming window for state testing. Colorado’s PARCC and CMAS testing are an important way for our school to get information about how our students are performing in comparison to students around the district and state. We use this information for individual student placement and evaluation of our programs and teaching methods. It is important for all students to participate and do their best. Students will be taking the math and language arts test on the following dates:

8th grade

March 14th, 16th and 17th

6th grade

March 20th, 21st and 23rd

7th grade

April 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th

8th grade will also have CMAS Science testing on April 13th and 14th

Please make sure that students get a good night’s sleep on the nights before testing and encourage them to do their best.

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February 27 2017

Week of 2.27.17

Thank you, Westlake parents and guardians, for our support of our school through the recent Check Drive Derby!  We are still in the midst of making the final count, but your generosity towards the school has been tremendous and we are extremely grateful.

You as parents and guardians are an invaluable and powerful part of our school community.  Our partnership between the school and our parent community is critical to the success of our students.  There are many ways to get involved in the school in order to support our goals. Volunteer to be a Watch DOG or come to our next PTO meeting on March 1st.  Thank you for your support of our school and let us know of ways you might be interested in being involved.

 


Did you know students can receive breakfast at school? Adams 12 Breakfast is a great way to kick start the day!!!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and helps students to be more alert, pay better attention in class and be sick less often.  Starting your student’s day with a healthful meal goes a long way and Nutrition Services is here to help in that process.  Have your student join us for breakfast at Westlake Middle School each day and enjoy all the benefits it brings now and in the future.  Adams 12 breakfast includes a fruit or 100% juice everyday and is 100% whole-grain rich.  Students can come to school and enter in through the cafeteria to enjoy a healthy breakfast every day.

 

 

 

 

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February 20 2017

Week of 02.20.17

Dr. Heide, Principal Westlake MIddle School

 It’s hard to believe that we are only a few short months away from the end of the year already.  While May is just around the corner we continue to work hard to achieve our goals at Westlake around instruction and school improvement.  In coming in new to Westlake this year, part of my goal has been increase community involvement.  Getting the PTO started was definitely a big part of that goal.  Connecting parents to what is going on through my new Principal’s Blog or previous weekly newsletter, Remind text alerts, updating our website, being very visible at school events and throughout the course of each day, connecting with individuals in the community, etc. are also parts of this goal.  I hope to also increase communication and school connection to the community through the marquee we are currently raising money for as well.  The marquee idea is a single means of communication and as well as a means to ensure Westlake continues to be a community school of excellence.
As you know, with the passing of the bond Westlake will be receiving money for a renovation as well as for instructional upgrades.  We want to focus the bulk of our instructional upgrade money on purchases that will support increased student learning and not on a communication tool like the marquee.  Parents and staff were surveyed in the fall to help inform the main areas of interest for focusing our instructional upgrade money.  The main areas that came out of that survey were around technology, furniture, and large indoor/outdoor spaces.  These categories could include purchases such as chromebooks, 3D printers, items for developing a maker space, mobile furniture for flexible use, climbing wall for the gym, outdoor garden, as a few examples.  We are slated to be receiving the bulk of our bond project work the summer of 2019.
From now and into the future I will be working closely with our PTO and SIT (School Improvement Team) to look at how we can achieve our instructional goals together.  Your insights are critically important so I do hope that you will be able to find a way to either share your thoughts through PTO, SIT, or with me directly. Please feel free to call or e-mail any time. 720.972.5200 or rachel.e.heide@adams12.org.
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