Westside School Insider newsletter, October 27, 2014

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October 27, 2014

Wednesday, October 29: Parent/Teacher Conferences begin

Thursday, October 30: Parent/Teacher Conferences, no classes; childcare offered

Friday, October 31: Parent/Teacher Conferences, no classes; childcare offered

Friday, November 7: Westside School SPIRIT Wear & Pizza Day; WPO Quiz Night, 6:30 p.m., MPR

Saturday, November 8: ISEE Testing

Tuesday, November 11: Veteran’s Day, school closed

Westside Insider Head of School

Dear Westside School families,

Thank you for your tremendous and supportive response to date and for joining our Westside School Fund week celebrations! As of today we have 100% participation from the board, 100% participation from the faculty and staff and 59%participation from Westside families. That is amazing after only two weeks! The pre-kindergarten class is leading the way with 71% participating, and first grade a close second with 68% participation. Thank you all!

 Our goal is to have 100% participation from all classes. Inspired by our early success, two Westside School families have offered a $10,000 matching gift challenge. When each grade level gets to 100% participation, the Westside School Fund will receive an additional $1,000 gift.  If all ten grade levels – pre-kindergarten through eighth grade – reach 100%, the donation will be an additional $10,000 directly to support the programs and operations of Westside School.  All gifts of every size make a difference.

Why is this participation goal so important? When we seek funding from foundations, alumni and major donors, they ask us for data on whether our stakeholders participate in our fundraising efforts.  Also, this fund goes directly to support student learning with curriculum and materials, athletic and arts supplies, tuition assistance and field trips – all of the things that make Westside School such a special place for your child(ren). Westside School has always had strong parent participation and support. Every year, your participation makes a difference; this year, it will mean additional funds raised to meet our operational goals.

Donations support this year’s operating budget so we have a pledge deadline of October 31. Gifts can be paid until the last day of school. If you haven’t already done so, you can donate with this form or via credit card online or by emailing Sara Billings (sarab@westsideschool.org) with your intentions. We are so grateful for the enthusiastic, positive support of our families. I know we can meet this generous challenge and all participate. Thank you for all you have done to make this a wonderful start to the school year! Happy Halloween!

Sincerely, Kate Mulligan

Westside Insider Extended Day

We will be offering all day childcare on Thursday, October 30, and Friday, October 31 for Parent/Teacher Conference days. Kindergarten through eighth grade childcare hours will run from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Pre-kindergarten childcare hours will run from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Childcare will be hosted by the Westside School Extended Day staff. We will offer a variety of on-campus workshops and projects, as well as off-campus field trips. Please register here.

If you are interested in drop-in care for the time during your own scheduled conference, you do not need to sign up for all day childcare. Drop-in care will be available Wednesday afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. and throughout the day on Thursday and Friday in the library.

Drop-ins are welcome during conferences only; you must be on campus to have a child in drop-in care.

Insider middle school

Dear Middle School families,

I hope you were able to sign up for your conference time(s) successfully for student led conferences this week. Conferences are scheduled to begin Wednesday after school and continue through Friday afternoon. There are no classes Thursday or Friday. Students are expected to be at the conferences with their goals sheet filled out as a focus for exploring successes, challenges, goals, and strategies for achieving those goals for each class.

When you arrive at the main entrance of the school there will be a chart of conference times and locations. You will either be a part of the Blue or the Yellow group, which determines where you start the hour. The first half hour will be spent either in the MPR or with your child’s STEM and humanities teachers in their classrooms. Then you will switch to the other location and set of teachers for the next half hour. This information will be available the day of your conference at the main entrance.

* Please arrive at the main entrance on the day of your conference
* Look on the conference chart for start location in either Blue or Yellow group
* Blue group will start in the MPR then switch to STEM and humanities classrooms
* Yellow group will start in STEM and humanities classrooms then switch to MPR

Please see last week’s Insider newsletter with more information on the conferences if you did not see it earlier. I know teachers are looking forward to sharing their insights into your child’s learning.

Have a great week and Happy Halloween!

Marc Saks, Middle School Head

St. Mary's Place

The holidays are just around the corner, and a great time to help a child in need. This year Westside School is helping by running a new shoe drive for Mary’s Place. But in order for this to happen we need YOU!

Starting this week, the Middle School Student Council is organizing a school-wide drive. Mary’s Place is a homeless day shelter for women and children that also provides basic needs and services. In years past we have had successful drives and completed service work to contribute to different organizations, so let’s do it again this year!

We encourage everyone to participate and help fulfill Mary’s Place goal of 500 hundred pairs of new shoes for homeless women and children.

The drive will start Monday, December 1 and end on Friday, December 5 at the Middle School school dance. Donation boxes will be outside of the library and by the main entrance of the school.

We hope you donate to Mary’s Place this holiday!


Thank you so much to Alex Camacho, our HalloweenFest chair, who once again pulled off an amazing event for our community.  Alex has worked on HalloweenFest details for months and brought us all together to make the day very fun for our kids. Her coordination and attention to every detail made this year’s HalloweenFest a huge success. Thank you to all the volunteers, including our students, for their contributions and great energy!
The WPO would also like to extend a thank you to Carmel Schimmel, our Book Fair chair. Carmel did a fantastic job working with Westside School Librarian Kristin, and our vendors Usborne and Scholastic books, to make this fall’s Book Fair an incredible success. We reached our goal of 2,000 books sold and earned $5,000 worth of new books for Westside School!
Westside Insider Athletics
Westside School basketball season is right around the corner. Practices start the week of November 3, and we are fielding six or seven teams this year. Please see the athletics calendar for practice times.


We make every attempt to reunite lost and found items with our students! However, the Lost & Found has quickly become very full this year. Please drop by this week to check for items belonging to your family. We also ask you to remember to mark all clothing, water bottles, and lunch boxes with your child’s full name. All unclaimed items will be donated to charity quarterly. Our first donation for this academic year will be Monday, November 3.