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Upcoming Events
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A Tradition of Excellence
Our Vision

Westside Community Schools will relentlessly pursue innovative educational ideals and promise to personalize learning for every student. We invite the challenge of developing a community of learners who embrace a broader, richer definition of success.

District Now Using Google Calendar
Westside Community Schools is now using a Google calendar system.  We are no longer using the calendar embedded on our District website.  We hope the new calendar system will provide you easier access to our school information. To view the new calendar, use this link:
Bond Oversight Committee Meeting
The Bond Oversight Committee will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76 Street, on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.  Click here to view the agenda.  Future meeting dates are listed below.
Find More Details About Bond Projects, Progress
Want more details about bond projects and progress? As they're worked out, the District is adding them to www.imagineadistrict.org For information about individual buildings, go to the Renovation Details tab and click the picture of your school. And follow our facilities accounts on Facebook at Westside 66 Facilities and Twitter,  @WCS66Facilities.
Health Project Meeting Set
For the past months, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been monitoring lighting, acoustics, air quality and temperature conditions in a number of Westside classrooms.
The goal of the team, which also has monitoring Council Bluffs classrooms, is to pair the classroom environmental data with student test scores to see whether indoor environments impact student achievement. The UNL team is one of seven nationwide to receive $1 million each as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy Schools Initiative.
On Tuesday, May 10, Westside principals, teachers, parents and students are invited to attend a meeting that will serve as the first step in forming a committee that will help the team with community engagement. The EPA Health Project Community Outreach Committee meeting is set for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Peter Kiewit Institute, 110 S. 67th St., Room PKI250.
Clarence Waters, a UNL professor of architectural engineering and lighting expert, said measurements will continue next year and cover 240 area classrooms. Click here for a video about the project.
Future Board of Education Meetings
The next Westside Board of Education meeting is April 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Campus, 3534 S. 108th St. Click here for the list of regularly scheduled meetings for the 2015-16 school year, summer 2016 and the 2016-17 school year.
 
Bond Oversight Committee Meetings
All meetings of the BOC will be held at 6 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th Street. The public is welcome to attend. Click here to view the minutes of past meetings and visit the District's facilities website -- imagineadistrict.org -- for more about bond projects. The tentative meeting schedule for the rest of the 2015-16 school year:
  • May 3, 2016
  • June 7, 2016
Parent Information for Sixth-Grade Pre-Algebra
Information for parents about Westside's sixth-grade pre-algebra program is available. Click here to download it. 
2016-17 K-12 Enrollment Now Available
Enrollment in Westside Schools
For District Residents:
We are now accepting enrollments for new students who will be in grades K-12 NEXT year (2016-17).

To enroll a K-12  student for NEXT School Year (2016-17), click HERE. (District residents ONLY.)
 
Click here for more information about the process and the documents you will need.
 
To enroll a new student for the CURRENT School Year (2015-16) school year, click HERE.
Kindergarten Roundup Schedule
Kindergarten roundups will follow the schedule below.

Hillside, Westbrook                                                   Start of school in August (Watch mail for a notice)
Loveland, Oakdale, Paddock Road, Rockbrook       May 6, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Prairie Lane                                                              May 6, 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Sunset Hills                                                              April 29, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Swanson                                                                  April 29, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  
Westgate                                                                 April 29, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 
 
Online Free/Reduced Meals Application Available
Westside Community Schools is now offering parents/guardians the opportunity to apply for free/reduced lunch online. The website is accessible at wcsapplyforfreelunch.heartlandapps.com.  
 
The Heartland Apps site uses RSA Data Encryption, which will allow District parents/guardians to enter their information into a system that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, etc. This technology is used by many banks and retailers, and is considered one of the most secure on the web.
 
Parents/guardians can complete their free/reduced applications online, 24 hours a day, even from their phones.  
 
Also, please know that parents/guardians can still complete a traditional paper application if they are not comfortable with the online process.  
Budget Information
At the February 29 Board of Education meeting, Westside Community Schools administrators proposed nearly $4 million in budget reductions for the 2016-17 school year. While any reductions are difficult, cost savings are necessary in order for the District to balance its budget. Click here for a Budget Report, including an introduction letter from Superintendent Blane McCann and impact statements detailing proposed reductions. Click here for FAQ's about the proposals and the District's next steps.
 
We invite you to send your questions or comments. A feedback form is available here.
Happening in Our District
AdvancED Team Recommends Accreditation
After a four-day visit and deep dive into District operations, an external review team has recommended that the AdvancED Accreditation Commission grant accreditation to Westside Community Schools.
The District received an overall score of 292.07 on the accrediting body’s Index of Educational Quality, nearly 14 points higher than the average across the worldwide network of AdvancED schools.
“The overall score is very good, quite frankly,” David Barnett, a review team member, said during the group’s exit interview. “This is a score that should be celebrated.” Barnett is the founding dean for the Patton College of Education at the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Ky.
The Index of Educational Quality, or IEQ, is a scoring system that debuted in 2013. It combines the ratings on performance indicators within each AdvancED standard as well other data and survey results.
Jim Sides, director of secondary teaching and learning, said the results indicate the District has “moved the needle” from a more school-by-school “school improvement” approach  to a system-wide school design effort.
He thanked all Westside staff, including building staff, design team members and ABC staff, for their efforts.
“It was truly a collective effort to be recognized and recommended for AdvancED accreditation,” he said.
 
WMS Students Create New Magazine
Westside Middle School's yearbook staff has added another option to the District's stable of student publications. Welcome "Kaleidoscope," a feature magazine similar to Westside High School's "Craze" magazine. Once the yearbook was put to bed for the year, Kristin Job, EY teacher, and Cynthia Royer, art teacher, challenged the class to come up with additional journalism-related projects they could produce on their own. One group proposed a magazine. Students learned the inDesign design program, created their own layout and chose and wrote stories. "This is truly a student-created publication," Job said. Another group is working on a publication called "The Spear," which more closely resembles Westside Wired. Watch for that soon, and read "Kaleidoscope" here.


 
Jazz Bands Bring Home Awards
Westside was well represented among the 22 jazz bands from across the state that performed in the 1st Annual Nebraska State Bandmasters Association State Jazz Band Festival.
Awards 

            WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL JAZZ BAND – SUPERIOR/DIVISION I RATING Plaque
            WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL STAGE BAND – EXCELLENT/DIVISION II RATING Plaque
            WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND - SUPERIOR/DIVISION I RATING Plaque
PLACEMENT AWARDS, top three ensembles in each classification.
            Middle School Jazz Bands (A) Students in grade 7 and/or 8
                        2nd Place Plaque - WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL JAZZ BAND
            High School Class AA2 / 2nd, 3rd bands
                        1st Place Class AA2 Champion Plaque - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL STAGE BAND
             High School Class AA
                        1st Place Class AA Champion Plaque - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
 CERTIFICATES OF ACHIEVEMENT, presented to exemplary soloists.
            Ava Bowman – Alto Saxophone
            Christian Madsen – Trombone
            Alexander Bayles – Piano
            Grace Calderon – Tenor Saxophone
            Simon Bessmer – Alto Saxophone
 OUTSTANDING SOLOIST AWARD
            Saxophone – Simon Bessmer - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
            Trombone – Christian Madsen - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
 OVER-ALL OUTSTANDING SOLOIST AWARD 
            Alto Saxophone / Simon Bessmer  - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
 BEST OVER-ALL WIND SECTION Plaque – WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
 GRAND CHAMPION SWEEPSTAKES TROPHY - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
 
WHS Shines in District Music Contest
Congratulations to all of our Warrior Band department members for their performances at District Music Contest.
Warrior Band:   Division I + / “SUPERIOR PLUS” Rating
Solos:
Division I “SUPERIOR” Rating –
Allison Hall – Flute                 Allyson Ragland - Flute                  Jill Tucker – Flute               
Grace Calderon – Oboe         Ben Battafarano – French Horn    Kate Hamann – Trumpet   
Megan Douglass – Trumpet   Tyler Douglass – Trumpet             Molly Clark – Trumpet Phillip Trimble - Trombone                      
Division II “EXCELLENT” Rating -  
Ava Bowman – Clarinet      Craig McMullen – Trombone        
Jana Tucker – Mallets         Luke Esola – Mallets                      
Francine Watkins - Mallets                            
Small Groups:                                                                                               
Division I “SUPERIOR” Rating –
Jill Tucker & Ava Bowman – Flute/Clarinet Duet          
Grace Calderon & Simon Bessmer – Alto Sax Duet
Daniel Guo & Zach McCarty – Tenor Sax Duet
Lydia James, Tyler Douglass, Ben Battafarano, Jacob Wigodsky – Brass Quartet
Division II “EXCELLENT” Rating –
Ashley Tyler/Jana Tucker/Luke Esola/Gillian Herrera – Mallet Quartet
Artist Bart Vargas Visits Westgate
A few at a time, Westgate students stepped up to nationally known Omaha painter and sculptor Bart Vargas and held out colored bottle caps.
Vargas, who works with salvaged materials, dabbed the caps with glue and helped students guide them into place on giant wooden letters.
When completed, the cap-covered letters will be hung in Westgate’s library and spell out the school’s future-focused motto, “We can. We will.”
Amanda Moon, Westgate’s teacher leader and incoming principal, said Vargas’ visit was aimed at bolstering student engagement as well as offering an enrichment opportunity. The Westside Foundation funded the visit.
During an initial session, she said, Vargas told students how he became an artist and shared the things he’s gotten to do as a result. That’s an important message for kids. “Something you’re passionate about can be a career,” Moon said. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for more photos. 
Personalizing Math, Grocery-Store Style
Third-graders in Sarah Davenport's class at Rockbrook Elementary have been learning how to add and subtract money. In order to personalize their lessons, Davenport took students on a virtual shopping trip through the weekly grocery store ads. Students were tasked with planning a week's worth of meals for $100.
Buffalo Bill Rides Again, at Hillside

Fourth- and fifth-grade students recently welcomed a Buffalo Bill re-enactor. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Buffalo Bill's birth, and celebrations are scheduled across Nebraska and the City of Omaha to celebrate this legendary Wild West icon. Fifth-graders viewed the Buffalo Bill performance with a keen eye, as they are working on identifying and discussing themes  in literature. Fourth-graders watched with a focus on Nebraska history. 

 
Westside Recognized in Business Insider
Westside Community Schools has been recognized as the best school district in Nebraska in a state-by-state listing in Business Insider. The website based its list on rankings compiled by Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools. The ranking includes factors such as the strength of academics, health and safety, student culture and diversity and teacher quality. Click here for more.
 
ATSC Goes to Nationals
The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir finished its competition season by traveling to Nashville for Show Choir Nationals. This event was held on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and included 14 groups from California, Mississippi, Minnesota, Iowa, New York, West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Nebraska. The line-up was very competitive. ATSC finished as Second Runner Up. The Show Band (ATSB) earned Best Band honors in both preliminaries and finals, and the Stage Crew received the award for Outstanding Stage Crew. Senior Jacob Thomas was named the Best Male Soloist of the Finals competition for his solo in ATSC's ballad. 
If you would like to see ATSC in action, the group will perform at the Holland Center on Sunday, April 17 as part of the Metro Show Choir Showcase. The performance begins at 2 p.m. and admission is $5.
The Westside Community School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin or disability.
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