August 25 2019

Week of 08.26.19

Westlake School Community:

We’ve got the first full week of school under our belts!  Your children have been engaged in learning in their classrooms as well as setting learning goals for themselves.  It is exciting to see kids back in the action of learning at school.  It was also very exciting to meet so many of our parents and guardians at our Back to School Night this past week.  Thank you to our PTO for supporting our school community by providing the lovely BBQ at Back to School Night.


The Westlake PTO has been a huge support of our school and has made many things possible either through connecting parents to school or supporting us financially.  In fact, this last year our PTO raised funds to support technology upgrades across our school.  Over the next few weeks you will be hearing about our major PTO fundraiser for this current school year.  In preparation for the fundraiser I am asking members of school community to share how we should focus the money we earn.  Please take a moment to share your thoughts by clicking on the link below.  Thank you for all your support and partnership!

2019-2020 Major Fundraiser Areas of Focus

Student Handbook

Our Student Handbook can be found on our website or by clicking on the link below.

Student Handbook 2019-2020

For those of you who have had students come through Westlake previously or are returning students to Westlake much of the information is the same as in past years.  Below I’ve highlighted a few areas to pay close attention to as they may have changed or is something that is always good to look at again.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to the school.

  • Cell phones/Electronic Devices
  • Discipline Action
  • Internet Use
  • Student ID’s

Parking Lot Update and Regular Parking Lot Flow

As you know from a previous message sent out to our Westlake families we had some damage occur on the asphalt in the East parking lot.  As a result, we have had to reroute parent/guardian

traffic to the Northwest hug and go lane or 135th.  Repairs are being completed currently on the asphalt and I’m hopeful that we will have access to the East parking lot area again after Labor Day weekend.  I will keep you updated on the progress of the work in the East parking lot and ask that parents/guardians please find an alternate drop off/pick up plan until the East lot is available again.

When using the Northwest hug and go lane please remember to pull as far forward as possible and only use the hug and go lane for drop off or pick up.  Please stay in your car and do not park in the hug and go lane as this impedes the traffic flow and causes our students to be late for class.  Thank you for your help in getting all our students to school safely and on time.


Upcoming Events

Click on each day to reveal the upcoming events.

  • DC Trip Info Meeting 7th and 8th Grade @ 6pm
  • Early Release Day
  • Locker Decorating Contest- Judging Today!
  • 6th Grade Band/Orchestra Rental Meeting (Arrival Time by class) starting @ 6:30pm



Dr. Heide, Principal Westlake Middle School

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 08.26.19
August 18 2019

Week of 08.19.2019

Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians:

Wow!  What a wonderful start to the 2019-2020 school year!   Students have already been engaging in our school community through learning about the Westlake Way, what kinds of topics students will be learning in their various classes, making new friends, and so much more!  For those you with 7th and 8th graders or who have had older children go through middle school already, you know that middle school is so much than just learning about Social Studies, Math, and so on… probably remember this from your own school experience too!  Learning how to be a part of a community is a huge part of middle school.  At this age students are learning so many different skills around topics like empathy, communication, relationships, etc.  As a parents, this can be a bit daunting (and frustrating) to support your child as they journey through this social emotional learning.  Check out the link below to the Parent Toolkit to learn more about supporting your child through middle school and the many areas in which they are learning.  While this article is titled for 6th grade topics, I feel the topics apply across middle school.  I hope you find something meaningful in this article for your family.

6th Grade Social Awareness Skills- Parent Toolkit

Back to School Night!

Back to School Night is this Wednesday starting at 4:30pm.  Come join us for an opportunity to meet your child’s teachers, enjoy some BBQ from our PTO, and see the beautiful new face to our building.  Parents/Guardians will follow their child’s schedule to meet their child’s teachers as well as to get to see the classrooms where your child spends their day.  Click on the link below to access the schedule and flyer for this event.  We look forward to greeting you Wednesday at 4:30pm.

Back to School Night- Flyer

Upcoming Events

Click on each day to reveal the upcoming events.


  • Picture Day!  
  • "A" Day
  • Early Release Day
  • Back To School Night @ 4:30pm


  • Locker Decorating Contest Judging Today!
  • All School Assembly 
  • 6th Grade Social @ 4pm

Dr. Heide, Principal Westlake Middle School

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 08.19.2019
August 11 2019

Week of 08.12.19

Westlake Parents and Guardians:

This is the big week when we welcome your children back to school!  The staff have been working hard to prepare classrooms, lessons, events, and so much more.  The building looks so much different than it did when you last saw it…..while there is still some work to do you will be pleased at the result of the 2016 Bond Project for Westlake Middle School.  Thank you for supporting our schools through passing the 2016 Bond.

We can’t wait to greet your children on Wednesday!  Thank you for sharing your children with us for this school year!


Reminders for the First Day of School

Wednesday, August 14th

6th Graders

The 6th graders’ first day will be 8:30-11:15 and will be the WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) 6th grade orientation event led by 8th grade WEB leaders.

Students do not need any supplies. Wear good shoes. No lunch on this day.

There is no need for schedules on the 1/2 day.

For the days following the orientation, students can take a picture of their schedule on Infinite Campus or print it out at home. Thursday, August 15th staff will be at the front of the building by the flag pole passing out printed  6th grade student schedules to students. Lockers will be added to schedules by Monday, August 12th at 4pm. Students will practice opening their lockers with their teachers during training camp.

All 6th graders will only have electives on their schedule at this point. After training camp, the schedule will be complete with academic classes.

7th and 8th Graders

7th/8th graders will be on campus from 11:30-2:15pm. They will go to their regular classes on an abbreviated time frame. Students can bring a pencil and their schedule. Lunch is not served on the first day.

7th and 8th grade Schedules: It is recommended that students take a picture of their schedule on Infinite Campus or print out a copy at home. Students can receive a printed copy at the front of the school by the flag pole. There will be tables of staff members who will pass out schedules to students on Wed. August 14th at 11:15-11:30 if students don’t already have their schedules. Lockers will be added to schedules by Monday, August 12th at 4pm.

6th Grade Orientation and 6th Grade Parent Orientation

The week of school starting is always an exciting week, but I am sure this is a particularly exciting week for you and your student as you transition to middle school. At Westlake we have some activities at the beginning of school to support both you and your students through this transition.
Please take a look at the items below that are scheduled for the first day of school! Students are welcomed into the building at 8:20
Wednesday, 8:30 – 11:15 – STUDENTS
WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Orientation for Students
Your students will be greeted at the entrance of the school by teachers and our 8th grade WEB Leaders so there is no confusion of where they should go for their first day. Our goal today will be fun, meeting people and figuring out the new school.
Wednesday, 9:30 – 11:00 – PARENTS
Parent Welcome Orientation
Drop off your middle schooler, go grab yourself a coffee, then join us for a Parent Orientation in the small gym. Danny Austin, 6th grade counselor, will be giving a short presentation and answering any questions you might have about the upcoming year. Some of the topics at the parent orientation include training camp, schedules, devices, and much more.
Welcome to Westlake Middle School! We are excited to support your child!


Upcoming Dates- Mark your calendar!

August 19th– Student Picture Day

August 21st- Back to School Night and Community BBQ- stay tuned for more information about the details of Back to School Night in the next few days.

August 23rd- 6th Grade Social- more info to come!

To see any upcoming events click on the link on the yellow “post-it” note on the top corner of this page for the Westlake Middle School calendar.


Upcoming Events

Click on each day to reveal the upcoming events.


  • Summer Vacation


  • Summer Vacation
  • Early Release Day
  • First Day for All Students
  • 6th Graders- 8:30am-11:15am
  • 7th and 8th Graders- 11:30am-2:15pm


  • 6th Grade Training Camp


  • 6th Grade Training Camp
  • Sign up for Locker Decorating Contest- Main Office


Dr. Heide, Principal Westlake Middle School


Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Week of 08.12.19
August 4 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year!



Dear Westlake Parents and Guardians:


Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!  This has been a very exciting summer with the 2016 Bond Project in full swing.  It has been an adventure to watch the old carpet being removed and seeing the installation of new, beautiful flooring, seeing the creation of a new classroom space, concrete being removed and replaced, and I could go on and on.   While our Bond Project won’t be 100% completed when students return the building will have a new look and feel. Thank you to our community for supporting the 2016 Bond initiative that has allowed for our school to get this much needed repair and update. 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
08/14/19 First Day Back for Students  (6th Grade: 8:30-11:15; 7th/8th Grades: 11:30-2:15)
08/21/19 Back to School Night/BBQ  4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
09/02/19 Labor Day – No School
Fall 2019- TBD Fall Fundraiser
10/8/19 Parent Teacher Conferences 4:00 pm-7:00 pm
10/9/19 Parent Teacher Conferences 4:30 pm-7:30 pm
10/10/19-10/11/19 No School
10/10/19 End of First Quarter
10/25/19 Fall Dance 4:00 pm-5:30 pm
11/11/19 Veterans’ Day – No School
11/25/19 –11/29/19 Thanksgiving Break – No School
12/19/19 End of Second Quarter/End of First Semester
12/20/19 No School
12/23/19-01/05/20 Winter Break – No School
01/20/20 Martin Luther King Day – No School
Feb. 2020- TBD PTO Night 
02/12/20 Parent Teacher Conferences 4:00 pm-8:00 pm School In Session
2/13/20 Parent Teacher Conferences 1:00 pm -4:00 pm – No School
02/14/20 No School
02/17/20 Presidents’ Day – No School
03/13/20 End of Third Quarter
03/23/20 –03/27/20 Spring Break – No School
03/30/20 No School
Spring 2020- TBD Spring Fundraiser
05/20/20 8th Grade End of Year Awards Assembly/ 8th Graders Last Day

No School for 6th and 7th Graders

05/21/20 6th/7th Grade End of Year Awards Assembly

No School for 8th Graders 


Building Access and Bond Project Update


If you’ve happened to travel past our school in the last couple of weeks, you’ve noticed there is a lot of work happening around the exterior of our building, including our front entrance. 


This work is scheduled to be completed for the start of the new school year but current access to our building is very limited.


  • If you need to come to our building for walk-in registration, you can enter through the doors on the north side of the building near the hug-and-go lane. This is the only current public access point for our building.

  • The interior of our building is still very much a construction zone. For your own safety and to allow for work to be completed in a timely fashion, please do not enter through any other doors or travel into any other parts of our building not designated for registration assistance. 


  • Parking is available in the hug-and-go lane or along West 135th Avenue. For your own safety, please don’t park or walk in any designated construction zones as this construction work is completed.

  • As our front office is also being reconfigured, we have limited phone access. If you do not reach someone when you call, please leave a detailed message and we will return your call as soon as we can. If you need immediate assistance please call the district office at 720-972-4000.
  • Student schedules are now available on Infinite Campus.  Lockers will not be available until students return which is why they are not visible on IC at this time.

  • Please visit our calendar at for important dates and times for the new school year.


Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Initiative


Over the summer you should have received some messages about the BYOD initiative here at Westlake.  Last year was our first and transitional year to BYOD. This year will be our first year of full implementation.  As you may know, students are encouraged to bring an approved device (see below) for use in the classroom. The use of these devices is not to replace good teaching but to help teachers and students have access to learning strategies and experiences that this technology allows.  The plan is that teachers will use device-based strategies about 50% of the time while still mixing in more traditional methods of instruction.  


The learning experience should be the same for kids with and without a device, but the kids with a device will have the added convenience of being able to personalize their device, use it at home, get familiar with one device and develop the responsibility of taking care of one.  For students who are not able to buy a device for one reason or another, more communication will come out later about plans we have for assuring these students have access to technology as well. The hope is that over the three year period your student is at Westlake (and the years beyond) that the device will pay for itself in other school supply savings given that we have significantly trimmed the school supply list.


This is an initiative that has broad support from both our staff and parent community.  We are excited for the opportunities this initiative opens for your students.


Supply List and Device Criteria (English)


Supply List and Device Criteria (Spanish)


New Staff Members


We have some new faces at Westlake who will be working with your children to support them through their middle school experience.  We are very fortunate to have such amazing and dedicated individuals join our school community!


Jason Hall- 6th Grade Math

Sandy Kraus- 7th Grade Math

Sheri Lohmann- 7th Grade Math

Nina Gustafson- 7th Grade Science

Michael Wedermyer- 7th Grade Science

Shannon Wilson- 7th Grade Language Arts

Jerrie Strunk- 7th Grade Social Studies

Matthew Hunsucker- PE/Health

Catrina Ho- ELD Teacher

Jessica Montoya- DHH Interpreter

Dwayne Miller- SRO

LaShauna Quarles- Assistant Principal


The Westlake Way


The Westlake school community follows The Westlake Way: Be Kind, Be Respectful, and Be Invested.   We feel The Westlake Way encompasses the behaviors and attitudes we want to see from everyone in our community, every day,  throughout our school. Students will have an opportunity to receive rewards/incentives for showing achievement of these principles. The Westlake Way is an approach for students to grow socially, behaviorally and work collaboratively. Each principle is modeled and practiced throughout our school in a variety of settings. Our Westlake Way team represents teachers from all grade levels, electives and administration. We meet regularly to access behavioral data, review best practices and plan for interventions. Coming soon: Look for our new posters around the school featuring The Westlake Way!


The Principal’s Blog


Throughout the school year at the beginning of each week I will be sending you a link to my blog.  In my blog I will communicate important upcoming events, information, as well as any other goings on around the school.  The blog serves as my weekly communication to our school community and I look forward to engaging with you through this communication.  


Parents and guardians, we know that when schools and parents work together and have shared expectations, students are more successful. You can help with this effort by using this language with your child and encouraging them to be kind, respectful and invested in everything they do!


Westlake Middle School Principal’s Blog


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


Dr. Rachel Heide, Principal

Dr. Heide, Principal Westlake Middle School

Category: Weekly Blog Posts | Comments Off on Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year!