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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.

2016-17 Kindergarten Enrollment Now Available
Enrollment in Westside Schools
District Residents
Kindergarten enrollment for District residents for NEXT year (2016-17 school year) is open through Feb. 15.

To enroll for Kindergarten 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 student for the CURRENT School Year (2015-16) school year, click HERE.
Non-Residents/Open Enrollment
If you live outside our district and wish to download a Learning Community Open Enrollment application for the 2016-17 school year, click HERE . You may also apply online through the Learning Community website by clicking HERE.

WHS Principal Post Offered to Opperman
The Westside Board of Education has approved Superintendent Blane McCann's recommendation to offer the principal position at Westside High School to Jay Opperman.
Opperman is the current principal of Hastings High School, a post he has held since 2004. He served as assistant principal from 2002 to 2004 and as a science teacher from 1989 to 1999 and 2001 to 2002. Opperman also worked briefly for the Nebraska Department of Education and for the McCook Public Schools from 1999 to 2001 as a coordinator for staff development and technology resources.
The recommendation was a culmination of the work of three interview committees made up of high school teachers and high school and District administrators. Opperman emerged as a top candidate from the consensus of these groups. 

Wallace, Karnes and Yale
School Board Candidate Slate Set
Westside voters nominated three candidates for the Westside Board of Education during the 2016 Westside Caucus: Kris Karnes, Ben Wallace and Adam Yale. They are running for two seats. The winners will be chosen in the May 10 primary election. The District and the Westside Education Association will hold a candidate forum in the spring. Stay tuned for additional details about the event and the candidates.
Contractor Invites Bids for Three Schools

Ronco Construction is the Construction Manager at Risk for (3) Elementary School Renovation

Projects for Westside Community Schools. The scope of work for each school generally consists of interior renovations, life safety and ADA upgrades, area of refuge construction, security improvements and building envelope modifications. The company is seeking bids from subcontractors interested in work on Hillside Elementary, Loveland Elementary and Westbrook Elementary. Click here for the invitation.

2014-15 Annual Report Now Available
The 2014-15 school year was full of accomplishments by Westside students, teachers and others. The District’s 2014-15 annual report recaptures many of those moments. Click here for your look back.
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 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:
  • March 1, 2016
  • April 5, 2016
  • May 3, 2016
  • June 7, 2016
Future Board of Education Meetings
The next Westside Board of Education meeting is Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St. Click here for the list of regularly scheduled meetings for the 2015-16 school year.
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.
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.  
Happening in Our District
Teachers Put Tech to Work in Primary Grades
Using technology is just part of the routine these days in Dustin Carlson’s kindergarten class at Rockbrook Elementary.
“We’ve been in school 95 days, so we know how to use our iPads,” said Elizabeth, one of Carlson’s students, as she explained how to use a story-reading app.
Cora, another student, demonstrated SeeSaw, a digital portfolio app that allows youngsters to document what they’re learning and share it with classmates and parents.
Parents, teachers and others have no trouble understanding how older students use technology. They do the same things adults do – research, write, crunch data.
But it takes a deeper look to see how students in primary grades can take technology beyond gaming to learning.
The Westside Community Schools now is in the second year of its deployment of 1:1 technology – an iPad for each student in grades K-6 and laptops for those in grades seven through 12.
The District’s technological expansion was intended to facilitate the strategic goals of integrating technology and personalizing learning for all students. But it also comes at a time when experts increasingly are recognizing that not all screens are equal, that there’s a difference between creating a video blog and watching YouTube videos.
In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that it is launching a revision of its screen-time guidelines for children. The organization long has advised no screen time for children under age 2 and no more than two hours a day for those older than 2.
Westside technology experts and teachers understand the difference between creation and consumption and are working to widen the gap. Click here to read more about how teachers are using technology with Westside's youngest students. Click here for more photos.

District Flipping the Classroom for Teachers
A number of teachers in the Westside Community Schools have tried “flipping” their classrooms as a way to personalize learning. With a flip, students typically watch a lesson on their own time and then work through what traditionally would be homework in class.
Now the District is planning to model the practice for teachers by flipping the Feb. 15 Professional Learning Day for Pre-K-8 staff.
Teachers will have the option of completing a 45-minute class on Blackboard before Feb. 15. If they do, they report to their home buildings at 8:45 a.m.
If they chose not to complete the online class ahead of time, they arrive at 8 a.m. to take it in their buildings. Teachers will gather at 8:45 a.m. for a 15-minute reflection on the lesson before continuing with the professional learning agendas laid out by building administrators. Personalizing learning for all students is one of the strategic goals the District has been working to implement for the past two years.
An Excellent Competition
Westside High School on Saturday hosted its 16th annual Competition of Excellence. The show choir competition was the first in the state to feature a finals round of competition, said Doran Johnson, WHS choral director and performing arts department chairman. The event drew 19 groups from Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. Katie O'Brien, a WHS graduate now starring in the television show "Teachers," returned to her show choir roots as Master of Ceremonies for the finals. Superintendent Blane McCann presented the final trophies. Photo courtesy of Westside Wired.
The results of the finals:
Grand Champion -- Hastings (MN)  Riverside Company
1st Runner Up -- Elkhorn South Blackout
2nd Runner Up -- Cedar Rapids (IA) Momentum
3rd Runner Up -- Millard North Infinity
4th Runner Up -- Elkhorn High Excel
5th Runner Up -- Grand Island Northwest 14 Karat Gold
Oakdale Marks 100th Day
Second-graders at Oakdale Elementary celebrated the 100th day of school by dressing and acting like 100-year-olds and posing in the Music Room, the oldest portion of the school. 
College Possible at WHS Helps Students Bridge Barriers to College
Yvonne Stone got the call about five minutes before the end of a class at Westside High School earlier this month.
When she returned the message left on her cell phone, she learned that she was one of 106 students nationwide to receive a national-level Horatio Alger Scholarship that would pay $22,000 toward college over four years. Some 5,000 students applied.
“I just fell to the ground, and I was going to start crying, and I was in complete shock,” she said.
Yvonne had told herself since middle school that she was going to go to college no matter what. This year – her senior year – the question of how to pay for it hit home.
But during her junior year, Yvonne got involved in College Possible, an organization that coaches low-income students to and through college.
College Possible coaches assigned to participating high schools guide students through taking the ACT or SAT and help them apply for scholarships and to colleges. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for a KETV-Ch. 7 package about College Possible at Westside and other area high schools. 
Students Explore Biotech with New Equipment
Micropipettes in hand, ninth-grade honors biology students carefully injected DNA samples into a square of clear gel.
Sorting the samples – a process called gel electrophoresis – was step two of the three-part process involved in DNA fingerprinting, an experiment normally done in college-level courses.
At Westside High School, the experiment was made possible by $5,000 worth of new biotechnology equipment supplied by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Patrick Caffey, a WHS biology teacher, sent a proposal to UNO’s Dual Enrollment Program last semester requesting equipment for a new biotechnology program at the high school.
Caffey said the DNA fingerprinting lab is intended to spark interest in and prepare students for Westside's AP Biology class, a dual-enrollment course with UNO. The technology also will support independent student research projects. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for more photos of students in action.

Warrior Sneak Peek Set for Feb. 22
The next Warrior Sneak Peek at Westside High School will be Monday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sneak Peeks give District seventh- and eighth-grade students attending local private schools or home schools a chance to see WHS on a typical school day and to meet with counselors who can answer questions about our award-winning school. 
To sign up, email anderson.julie@westside66.net or call (402) 390-2109.
WHS Career Center Name Change, Renewal
Change is in the air at the Westside High School Career Center.
In addition to getting remodeled space this year, the Career Center also is receiving a renewed focus on best practices, a process called Career Center renewal. And on Feb. 1, the Westside Board of Education approved  changing the school's name to Westside High School West Campus to better reflect the evolution of the facility and its mission. 
Construction has begun to renovate the lower level of the Westside Community Conference Center for West Campus students as well as for students in the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program. The work is part of the $79.9 million bond issue voters approved last May.
About that time, administrators, teachers and administrators from the Career Center and WHS began meeting to review best practices for alternative education and to outline a new plan of action.
The process incorporates the adoption of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) underway at WHS. While it’s not consequence-free, PBIS focuses on teaching positive behaviors rather than penalizing unwanted ones.
Jim Sides, director of secondary teaching and learning, said the timing of the renewal process could not have been better. "The stars are truly aligned for this Career Center renewal," he said.
Click here to read more about the process. Click here for more photos. 
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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