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

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

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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August 4 2017

Welcome Back!

August 1, 2017

Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians:

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  We have been busy at work preparing the school and planning for a successful school year.  The summer was wonderful and I’m thankful for the rest, relaxation, and time with family it afforded, however, I’m very excited to be returning to school working with students and teachers on what will be an exciting year.  Please take a moment to read through the following information regarding the beginning of the school year and updates for Westlake Middle School.  


Important Dates

Below are the important dates for the school year.  


Date Event
08/16/17 First Day Back for Students

(6th Grade: 8:30-11:15; 7th/8th Grades: 11:30-2:15)

08/23/17 Back to School Night/BBQ  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
09/04/17 Labor Day – No School
09/20/17 Read-A-Thon
10/11/17 Parent Teacher Conferences 4:00 pm-7:00 pm
10/12/17 Parent Teacher Conferences 4:30 pm-7:30 pm
10/13/17 No School
10/13/17 End of First Quarter
10/27/17 Fall Dance
11/10/17 Veterans’ Day – No School
11/20/17 –11/24/17 Thanksgiving Break – No School
12/21/17 End of Second Quarter/End of First Semester
12/22/17 No School
12/25/17-01/08/18 Winter Break – No School
01/15/18 Martin Luther King Day – No School
02/09/18 Winter Dance
02/15/18 Parent Teacher Conferences 9:00 am -12:00 pm & 4:00 pm-8:00 pm
02/16/18 No School
02/19/18 Presidents’ Day – No School
03/16/18 End of Third Quarter
03/26/18 –03/30/18 Spring Break – No School
04/02/18 No School
Spring 2018- TBD PTO Fun Run
05/22/18 8th Grade End of Year Awards Assembly/ 8th Graders Last Day

No School for 6th and 7th Graders

05/23/18 6th/7th Grade End of Year Awards Assembly

No School for 8th Graders


Areas of Focus


Over the summer our instructional leadership team, which is made of up of teachers, counselors, and administrators, spent time determining what we need to focus on towards student growth and achievement as well as  planning for making these actions impactful and sustainable over time.  We determined we would focus on three areas:


  • Enhance our capacity for professional collaboration using data
  • Build on literacy strategies across all content areas
  • Nurture a positive climate and culture across our school community


As we go through this school year and beyond, you will hear more and see more regarding each of these areas of focus.  We are excited to partner with you and your student in this work in order to achieve student growth and success across all areas of being a Westlake Middle School student.


Changes in the Building


For those of you returning to Westlake Middle School, you will remember that last year a group of students engaged in work around the Warrior mascot and the Native American imagery associated with it.  Last September, I received a petition from a group of students who wanted to discuss the removal of a tile in our entryway displaying a negative image of a Native American.  The petition led to greater conversations with students, staff, and families about our mascot and other associated imagery used across our school.   A taskforce was formed which was comprised of students, staff, parents, and community members.  As a team we looked at survey data collected from our community regarding the mascot and associated imagery, visited another school on a similar journey with their school mascot, and, from the learning we did together, made determinations of how to proceed.


From the efforts and bravery of the students, the task force decided to take action to remove the tile in our entryway as well as the large mural in the gym.  In addition, the task force  determined that we would no longer use Native American imagery for our mascot at Westlake.  I am proud of the work of these students to step forward for what they felt was right and pleased to see their actions resulted in a change that reflected their efforts.


Over the course of this school year we will be engaging students, families, and staff in ways that help us identify who we are as a community more clearly and come together around imagery that reflects our school community.  Please consider being a part of this work and look for upcoming communication around opportunities to engage.  


We are Westlake!


We are thankful you have chosen to send your student to Westlake.  We look forward to working together to create the best possible environment and middle school experience for your student.  Please feel free to reach out to the school with any questions.  720.972.5200  See you soon!




Dr. Rachel Heide, Principal

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May 21 2017

Week of 05.22.17

Happy last week of school!  We have been celebrating the hard work of students and our school community through events like Pie in the Eye, Staff/Student Basketball Game, and our upcoming awards ceremonies.  We welcome our parents/guardians to celebrate with us at our upcoming events.  Please see below for the dates/times for this week:

  • 8th Grade Awards- Tuesday at 12:30pm
  • 7th Grade Awards- Wednesday at 8:45am
  • 6th Grade Awards- Wednesday at 12:45pm

Remember… school for 6th and 7th graders on Tuesday May 23rd and 8th graders last day is May 22nd.

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May 14 2017

Week of 05.15.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

It’s the last full week of school and there is a lot happening!  Please check out the yellow sticky note above in order to see the various events going on this week.  Thank you for your ongoing support of our school community.  We are thankful to have had the opportunity to work with you and your student this year!

Online Registration News

We are excited to announce that the online registration process opens this summer for our parents starting June 19, 2017.  The online process saves time and energy allowing parents to confirm school registration, at their convenience, from anywhere with an internet connection. Online registration replaces our standard check-in process. In order to receive class schedules, all students must complete the online process. For more information on the benefits of online registration, eligible schools, what’s needed to complete the online process and answers to frequently asked questions, visit


A reminder….

All students are in session on Monday May 22nd.  May 23rd, 6th and 7th grade do not have school while 8th grade has their last day and awards ceremony at 12:30pm.  May 24th is the last day for 6th and 7th grades as well as the awards ceremonies for each of those grade levels.  6th grade awards is at 12:45pm and 7th grade awards is at 8:45am.  Parents and guardians are welcome to attend these events.  Please contact the office with any questions 720.972.5200.

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May 8 2017

Week of 05.08.17

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

As we head towards the end of the school year there are many exciting, upcoming events we want to be sure you’re aware of.  Please see the following list of events and let us know if you have any questions.

  • May 8th- Choir Concerts by grade level- 6th @ 6:30; 7th & 8th @ 7:30pm
  • May 9th- 5th Grade Ice Cream Social @ 6:30
  • May 10th- 7th/8th Band Concert @ 7:00pm
  • May 11th- All grades Orchestra Concert @ 7:00pm
  • May 12th- 7th Grade Off Campus Orchestra Performance- all day
  • May 19th- Drama Club Performance @ 6:30pm Legacy High School
  • May 23rd- 8th Grade Awards Assembly @ 12:30pm- No School for 6th and 7th Grade
  • May 24th- 7th Grade Awards Assembly @ 8:45am; 6th Grade @ 12:45pm- No School for 8th Grade

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events as we close out the 2016-2017 school year.  Thank you for your ongoing support of our school community.


Thank you to our PTO for putting on such an amazing Staff Appreciation Week!  We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the Westlake families and we are so grateful for your support.  Thank you for treating us so well this week!


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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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