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Announcement Archive

A Tradition of Excellence
Our Vision
September 3, 2014

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
July 27, 2015
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:
Contractor Seeks Bids for MEP Package at WMS
May 25, 2016
Lueder Construction is inviting bids on the MEP package for the renovation and addition at Westside Middle School. Click here for the bid invitation. 
Board Visit to Boys and Girls Club
May 23, 2016
Members of the Westside Board of Education have been invited to visit the Boys and Girls Club attached to Mount View Elementary in the Omaha Public Schools on Wednesday, May 25 at 3 p.m. A quorum may or may not be present. No board action will be taken.  
Board of Education Project Information Meeting
May 24, 2016
A meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 6, 2016 at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., to provide members of the Westside Board of Education with information about upcoming construction projects. A quorum may or may not be present. No official board action will be taken. 
Update on WMS Construction Scheduled
May 17, 2016
Westside Community Schools and Project Advocates, its representative, will hold a community information session on the planned construction at Westside Middle School on Wednesday, May 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be in the WMS cafeteria.
Planners will walk through the timeline for construction, which will begin after school releases next week and continue in phases until March 2018. The meeting will offer parents and guardians, including those of current sixth-graders, a chance to see what will be happening in the building over the next two years. 
District Seeks Mental Health Proposals
May 4, 2016

Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska is requesting proposals from

qualified providers to establish a contract to furnish student mental health support services. It is the

intent of this solicitation to enter into an agreement with the selected entity to remove obstacles to

learning by providing mental health services in the District’s ten elementary schools, Westside Middle

School, Westside High School, Westside High School West Campus, and Underwood Hills Early

Childhood Center. Proposals are due June 3, 2016, at 2 p.m. Click here for the complete request for proposals.

Board of Education Meeting
May 5, 2016
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76 St., on Monday, May 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the executive summaries.  
Bids Sought for Asbestos Removal at Oakdale
May 10, 2016

Sealed bids will be received by Mr. Joel McWilliams on behalf of Westside Community Schools at 909

S. 76th  St., Omaha, Nebraska until 3 p.m. CT, Tuesday May 17, 2016 for labor and materials to

perform asbestos abatement at Oakdale Elementary School, 9801 West Center Road, Omaha, Nebraska.

A pre-bid tour of the scope of work will be conducted by the Owner and B2 Environmental, Inc. on May

12, 2016 at 4 p.m. Attendance is recommended and this will be your only opportunity to view the work

prior to bid. For arrangements call Paul Virgillito at (402) 212-0366.

Copies of the scope of work may be obtained by bidders at the office of B2 Environmental, Inc. 4503

S. 90th  St., Omaha, Nebraska, telephone number (402) 330-0763. Click here for the complete bid invitation.


Superintendent Contract
May 5, 2016
A copy of the Superintendent's contract to be voted on by the Board of Education at its meeting MondayMay, 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. may be viewed here. 
Westside Seeks Bids for Oakdale Demolition
May 4, 2016
Westside Community Schools will receive bids for a Combined Contract for building demolition of Oakdale Elementary School located at 9801 West Center Road, Omaha, Nebraska 68124. The building is two (2) stories in height and has a total area of approximately forty-three thousand (43,000) square feet. Bids must be on a Lump Sum basis. Bids will be received until 2 p.m. (CDT), on Thursday, May 19, 2016, by Joel McWilliams with Project Advocates at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68114.
The Architect-Engineer will hold a Pre-Bid Conference at Oakdale Elementary School on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at 4 p.m. (CDT). Click here for the complete bid notice.
Bond Oversight Committee Meeting
April 29, 2016
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
October 16, 2015
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.
Board of Education Meeting/Public Hearing-Student Fees
April 7, 2016
The Westside Board of Education will hold a public hearing on student fees on Monday, April 25, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the WCS West Campus, 3534 So. 108th Street. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the executive summaries. The Board meeting will follow the public hearing. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the executive summaries. 
AdvancED External Review Team Visit
April 20, 2016
The Westside Board of Education is invited to participate in the District's accreditation review Monday, April 25 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and Wednesday, April 27 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St. A quorum may or may not be present at these events. No official business of the board will take place. 
Board of Education Project Information Meetings
April 14, 2016
Meetings will be held April 15, 18 and 19 from noon to 1 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., to provide members of the Westside Board of Education with information about upcoming construction projects. A quorum may or may not be present. No official board action will be taken.
Future Board of Education Meetings
September 23, 2015
The next Westside Board of Education meeting is June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76th Street. Click here for the list of regularly scheduled meetings for the 2015-16 school year, summer 2016 and the 2016-17 school year.
School Board Candidate Forum April 18
April 7, 2016
Meet the candidates for the Westside Community Schools Board of Education at a public forum Monday, April 18, hosted by the Westside Education Association and the Westside Community Schools. The event is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St. Click here to read about candidates Ben Wallace, Kris Karnes and Adam Yale, pictured at left. 
Public Meeting on Sunset Hills Design Set
April 7, 2016
The District and its partners will provide an update on concept design for the new Sunset Hills Elementary at a public meeting Tuesday, April 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Sunset Hills, 9503 Walnut St.  
Oakdale Design Update Scheduled
April 7, 2016
Westside residents are invited to hear an update on design development for the new Oakdale Elementary on Thursday, April 28, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Oakdale, 9801 West Center Road. 
Board of Education Project Information Meeting
March 30, 2016
A meeting will be held April 4 from noon to 1 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., to provide members of the Westside Board of Education with information about upcoming construction at Oakdale Elementary School. A quorum may or may not be present. No official board action will be taken.
Board of Education Meeting - Executive Session
March 15, 2016
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet for an executive session at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76th Street, on Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.  Click here to view the agenda.
District to Host Two Budget Town Halls
March 14, 2016
Two Town Hall meetings have been scheduled to discuss the Westside budget. Members of the community are encouraged to attend. Board of Education members will be present. However, no Board action will be taken. The meetings will be: 
Wednesday, March 16 at 9 a.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St.
Wednesday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in room 220 at Westside High School, 8701 Pacific St.
Health Project Meeting Set
April 29, 2016
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.
Bond Oversight Committee Meeting -- CHANGED LOCATION
March 31, 2016
The Bond Oversight Committee will meet at the Westside Community Conference Center, 3534 S. 108th St., on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be on the lower level, in the Westside High School West Campus CAPS room. The public is welcome to attend. Click here for the agenda. Future bond oversight committee meetings are listed below.
Input Sought on New Sunset Hills
March 15, 2016
Westside residents are invited to a community input session regarding the construction of a new Sunset Hills Elementary School. The session will be Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Sunset Hills Elementary, 9503 Walnut St.  
District Seeks Asbestos Survey Services
March 14, 2016

Westside Community Schools is accepting proposals for Asbestos Survey services at five school

building locations until March 23, 2016 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposals for Asbestos Survey Services must be submitted to Joel

McWilliams, Westside Community Schools representative at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St.,

Omaha Nebraska 68114. Each response shall include four (3) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy

of the Proposal.

Questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Joel McWilliams, Westside

Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha Nebraska 68114, and/or may be e-ˇ

mailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on March 18th, 2016. Click here for the complete request for proposals. 

Westside Invites Roof Repair Bids
March 22, 2016
The Westside Community Schools invites bids for two partial roof replacements at Westside High School. Bids are due by April 5, 2016 at 3 p.m. CST to Bob Zagozda, chief financial officer, Westside Community Schools, 402-390-2100 or zagozda.robert@westside66.net Click here for the complete bid invitation. Click here and here for the two separate bid specifications.  
Bond Oversight Committee Meetings
July 27, 2015
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 2016:
  • June 14, 2016
  • July 12, 2016
  • August 9, 2016
  • September 13, 2016
  • October 11, 2016
  • November 8, 2016
  • December 13, 2016
March 1 Bond Oversight Committee Meeting -- Time Change
February 23, 2016
The Westside Community Schools Bond Oversight Committee will meet at 5 p.m. March 1 at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St. Click here for the agenda. The tentative BOC meeting schedule for the rest of the school year is listed below.
Parent Information for Sixth-Grade Pre-Algebra
April 21, 2016
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
January 5, 2016
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.
Online Free/Reduced Meals Application Available
July 27, 2015
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.  
School Canceled Wednesday, February 3
February 2, 2016
All Westside Community Schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, February 3 due to expected inclement weather.
Kindergarten Parent Meetings
February 9, 2016
Meetings for parents enrolling kindergartners for the 2016-17 school year have been arranged for the dates listed.

Hillside: Thursday, April 28, 6 p.m.
Loveland: Thursday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.
Oakdale: Tuesday, April 19, 6:30 p.m.
Paddock Road: Thursday, April 14, 6 p.m.
Prairie Lane: Tuesday, April 19, 6:30 p.m.
Rockbrook: Tuesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.
Swanson: Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 p.m.
Sunset Hills: Tuesday, April 12, 6 p.m.
Westbrook: Monday, April 18, 6 p.m.
Westgate: Thursday, April 21, 6 p.m.
Bond Oversight Committee Meeting -- POSTPONED
January 28, 2016
The Bond Oversight Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 6 p.m. has been postponed. A new date has yet to be determined. Click here for the agenda. Future meeting dates are listed below.
Kindergarten Roundup Schedule
February 9, 2016
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. 
December 4, 2015
2016 Caucus Coming Thursday

The 2016 Caucus will be held Thursday, January 21, 2016 at Westside High School, 8701 Pacific Street.  Voter sign-in will begin at 6 p.m. and the Caucus will begin at 7 p.m.  Registered District voters may also vote at Westside High School from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the day of the Caucus. For complete Caucus rules and information, click hereFor a copy of the informational letter sent to all District residents, click here.
Contractor Seeks Bids for Rockbrook, Paddock Road and Westgate Work
February 16, 2016
MCL Construction, the Construction Manager at Risk for high-priority safety and security projects at Rockbrook, Paddock Road and Westgate elementary schools, is seeking bids from subcontractors. The work includes remodeling, areas of refuges, fire alarms, security, paving and more. Bids are due at 3 p.m. March 4. Click here for the complete bid invitation. 
Board of Education Project Information Meeting
February 17, 2016
A meeting will be held Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., to provide members of the Westside Board of Education with information about upcoming construction at Oakdale Elementary School. A quorum may or may not be present. No official board action will be taken.
Contractor Seeks Bids for CCC Renovation
January 14, 2016
Charles Vrana & Son Construction Company, the general contractor for renovations at the Westside Community Conference Center at 3534 S. 108th St., is seeking bids from subcontractors. The bid date is Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 at 2 p.m. Click here for the complete invitation to bid.
March 25, 2009
Welcome to Westside Community Schools, located in the heart of Omaha Nebraska. Westside is a nationally-acclaimed public school district - one of the very best in the United States. Our superior staff, administration and Board of Education are committed to excellence in education for all students. Westside Community Schools provides high academic and behavioral expectations in a caring, friendly environment. We are proud of our strong record of success.
DO NOT report, Early Childhood Centers Closed, Mon., Dec. 28
December 27, 2015
Twelve-month employees, please DO NOT report Monday, Dec. 28 due to expected inclement weather. All Westside Early Childhood Centers will be closed for the day. All practices are canceled. 
Invitation to Bid
December 22, 2015
Vrana Construction is bidding as a general contractor and is requesting bids from companies on the project below:
Project: Westside Community Conference Center renovation, Omaha, NE
Location: 3534 S. 108th St.
Bid Date: Wed., Jan. 6, 2016, 2 p.m.
Schedule: Anticipated Phase 1 start -- Jan. 11, 2016
Project Contact: Joe Kramer or John Farson
Description: Demolition of existing space for renovation. Fire sprinkler for renovation.
Click here for the rest of the invitation to bid and the subcontractor bid form.
Qualifications Sought for Design Services for New Sunset Hills
January 8, 2016

Westside Community Schools (“the District”) is accepting Statements of Qualifications (SOQ’s) for

Architectural Design and Engineering services to replace the existing one-section Sunset Hills

Elementary school building at 9503 Walnut Street, Omaha, Nebraska, 68124 with a new two-section

elementary school building. The SOQ’s will be accepted at the the District Administrative Offices (ABC

Building) located at 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, Nebraska, until February 3, 2016 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Qualifications for Architectural Design and Engineering Services must

be submitted to Rob Zimmerman, District representative at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St.,

Omaha Nebraska 68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of

the Proposal.

A Pre-Proposal Meeting will be held January 19, 2016 at 9 a.m. (CDT) at the Westside

Community Schools ABC Building. Submitting firms may request information or clarifications to the

RFQ at this meeting. Further questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob

Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha Nebraska

68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m.

(CDT) on January 18th, 2016. All written questions and responses will be communicated to the firms who

attend the Pre-ˇProposal Conference. Click here for the full request for qualifications.

Contractor Invites Bids for Hillside, Loveland and Westbrook Schools
February 2, 2016

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.

Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) Proposals Sought for Westside Middle School
December 15, 2015

In accordance with Westside Community Schools Policy 3202, Construction Manager at Risk, and the

Political Subdivisions Construction Act (PSCA), Westside Community Schools (“the District”) is accepting

proposals for Construction Manager at Risk services to renovate and construct a new addition at the

existing Westside Community Schools Middle School building located at 8601 Arbor Street, Omaha,

Nebraska. The proposals will be accepted at the District Administrative Offices (ABC Building) located

at 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, Nebraska, until January 13, 2016 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposals for Construction Manager at Risk Services must be submitted

to Rob Zimmerman, the District representative at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha

Nebraska 68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of the


A Pre-Proposal Meeting will be held December 21, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) at the Westside

Community Schools ABC Building. Submitting firms may request information or clarifications to the

RFP at this meeting. Further questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob

Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76th St.,, Omaha, Nebraska

68114, and/or may be e-mailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on January 6, 2016. All written questions and responses will be communicated to the firms who

attend the Pre-Proposal Conference. Click here for the request for proposals. Click here for Addendum 1 and here for Addendum 2, both of which contain additional proposal information. 

Construction Manager at Risk Committee Meets
November 30, 2015
Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Construction Manager at Risk (CM@R) Selection Committee (Selection Committee) appointed by the Board of Education of the Westside Community School District according to the Political Subdivisions Construction Alternatives Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-2901, et. seq., will be held beginning at 8:00 o’clock A.M. on December 3, 2015, in Room C1 at the Westside Community Conference Center located at 3534 South 108th Street, Omaha, Nebraska or other designated room of such Conference Center Building, which meeting will be open to the public.
The purpose of the meeting is to interview prospective candidates for the position of Construction Manager at Risk for the Projects.  The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

8:00 to 8:15 – Approval of Minutes from prior meeting, review of interview process
8:15 to 9:00 - Leuder (Career Center)
9:15 to 10:00 - Vrana (Career Center)
10:30 to 11:30 - MCL (Career Center + High Priority)
11:30 to 1:00 – break for lunch
1:00 to 2:00 - Lund Ross (Career Center + High Priority)
2:30 to 3:15 - Ronco (High Priority)
After the interviews are completed, the committee will meet for as long as necessary to determine a recommendation to the Board of Education on the projects.
An agenda of such meeting, kept continuously current, is available for public inspection at the office of the Superintendent of Schools located in the WCS Administrative Offices (ABC Building) located at 909 South 76th Street, Omaha, Nebraska.
Selection Committee to Meet
November 20, 2015






Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Construction Manager at Risk (CM@R) Selection

Committee (Selection Committee) appointed by the Board of Education of the Westside Community

School District according to the Political Subdivisions Construction Alternatives Act, Neb. Rev.

Stat. §§ 13-2901, et. seq., will be held at 8:00 o’clock A.M. on November 25, 2015, in the Board of

Education Meeting Room of the Westside Community Schools – WCS Administrative Offices (ABC

Building) located at 909 South 76th Street, Omaha, Nebraska or other designated room of such ABC

Building, which meeting will be open to the public.

The purpose of the meeting of the Selection Committee is to discuss, consider and take all necessary

action with regard to the review of the proposals received on November 23, 2015, from prospective

candidates for the position of Construction Manager at Risk for the construction of additions and

renovations to the Community Conference Center building located at 3534 South 108th Street,

Omaha, Nebraska (Project), and the development and adoption of procedures for the review of the

proposals received, the evaluation of the proposals received from the prospective candidates

submitting proposals, and ranking of candidates and selection of prospective finalist candidates to

interview for CM@R position.

An agenda of such meeting, kept continuously current, is available for public inspection at the office

of the Superintendent of Schools located in the WCS Administrative Offices (ABC Building) located

at 909 South 76th Street, Omaha, Nebraska.






High-Priority School Walk-Throughs Set
November 6, 2015
School walk-throughs for those making proposals on high-priority projects at six Westside elementary schools are scheduled next week as follows:

Monday, Nov. 9, 2015
1. Loveland Elementary -- 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Westbrook Elementary -- 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
3. Hillside Elementary -- 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
1. Westgate Elementary -- 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Paddock Road Elementary -- 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
3. Rockbrook Elementary -- 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wallace, Karnes and Yale
School Board Candidate Slate Set
January 22, 2016
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.
Bond Oversight Committee Meeting
December 29, 2015
The Bond Oversight Committee will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76 Street, on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.  Click here to view the agenda.  Future meeting dates are listed below.
Board Development Workshop
October 20, 2015
The Westside Board of Education will be meeting for a Board development workshop regarding the mechanics of the budget and funding formulas on Monday, Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th Street.
2014-15 Annual Report Now Available
December 21, 2015
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.
Board of Education Project Information Meetings
January 18, 2016
Two meetings have been scheduled with the Westside Board of Education to provide members with information about upcoming construction projects. No official board action will be taken. 
The meetings will be:
 __ Friday, Jan. 22, noon to 1 p.m., review Oakdale Elementary concept designs. 
 __ Friday, Feb. 5, noon to 1 p.m., review Westside Middle School concept designs.
Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) Proposals Wanted for High-Priority Projects
October 23, 2015

In accordance with Westside Community Schools Policy 3202 Construction Manager at Risk and the

Political Subdivisions Construction Act (PSCA), Westside Community Schools is accepting proposals for

Construction Managers at Risk services to implement high-priority projects at six existing elementary 

schools for Westside Community Schools. The proposals will be accepted at the Westside Community 

Schools Administrative Offices (ABC Building) located at 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, Nebraska, until

Nov. 23, 2015 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposals for Construction Manager at Risk Services must be submitted

to Rob Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative, at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th

St., Omaha, Nebraska 68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic

copy of the proposal.

A pre-proposal meeting will be held Oct. 30, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) at the Westside Community

Schools ABC Building. Submitting firms may request information or clarifications to the RFP at this

meeting. Further questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob Zimmerman,

Westside Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, Nebraska 68114, and/or

may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on

Nov. 13, 2015. For the complete RFP, click here.

Proposals for Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) Sought for CCC
October 23, 2015

In accordance with Westside Community Schools' Policy 3202 Construction Manager at Risk and the

Political Subdivisions Construction Act (PSCA), Westside Community Schools is accepting Proposals

for Construction Managers at Risk services to renovate the existing Westside Community Schools (WCS)

– Community Conference Center building located at 3534 S.108th St., Omaha, Nebraska 68144. The

proposals will be accepted at the WCS Administrative Offices (ABC Building)located at 909 S. 76th

St., Omaha, Nebraska, until Nov. 23, 2015 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposal for Construction Manager at Risk Services must be submitted

to Rob Zimmerman, WCS representative, at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, Nebraska

68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of the proposal.

Submitting firms may request information or clarifications to the RFP during site walk-through. Further

questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob Zimmerman, Westside

Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, Nebraska 68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on Oct. 30, 2015. Click here for the complete RFP.


WHS Principal Post Offered to Opperman
February 4, 2016
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. 

Board of Education Meeting
September 30, 2015
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76 Street, on Monday, October 5, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for the agenda.  Click here to view the executive summaries.  
Parent/Guardian Survey Now Open -- Please Participate!
October 5, 2015

Westside Community Schools is administering the AdvancED Parent Survey in an effort to improve our schools system practices. Your opinion is important to us, and we ask that parents of students in grades 2 through 12 complete this online survey, which will be available from October 5-20, 2015. Please click on this link:  http://www.advanc-ed.org/survey/public/section/response/begin?surveyConfigId=446886 or copy and paste the link into your browser. The survey has a drop down menu to select the school your child attends. Computer stations also will be available at all school buildings during parent-teacher conferences, October 12-14, 2015.                  

Your responses to this survey will be anonymous and your honest opinions are appreciated.                    

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact your building principal. Thank you in advance for supporting Westside Community Schools school improvement efforts.

Technology and Audio/Visual Consulting Services Needed
September 28, 2015

Westside Community Schools is accepting proposals for Technology and Audio/Visual Consulting

services for Phase I of the Master Facility Plan until Oct. 15, 2015 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposals for Technology and Audio/Visual Consulting Services must

be submitted to Rob Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative at the ABC Building,

909 S. 76 St., Omaha, NE 68114. Each response shall include four (4) hard copies and

one (1) electronic copy of the Proposal.

Questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob Zimmerman, Westside

Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76 St., Omaha, NE 68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on Oct. 8, 2015. Click here for the complete RFP.

Westside Requests Traffic Engineering Proposals
September 25, 2015

Westside Community Schools is accepting proposals for Traffic Engineering services at five (5) school

building locations until Oct. 7, 2015 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposals for Traffic Engineering Services must be submitted to Rob

Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76 St.,

Omaha, NE 68114. Each response shall include four (4) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy

of the Proposal.

Questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob Zimmerman, Westside

Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76 St., Omaha NE 68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on Sept. 30, 2015. Click here for the complete request for proposals. 

Let's Talk!
May 10, 2016
We invite you to send your questions or comments. A feedback form is available here.
Board of Education Meeting
July 16, 2015
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76 Street, on Monday, July 20, 2015. The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. with the Board going immediately into executive session. The regular Board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.  Click here for the agenda.  Click here to view the executive summaries.
Security Consulting Proposals Sought
September 28, 2015

Westside Community Schools is accepting proposals for Security Consulting services for Phase I of the

Master Facility Plan until Oct. 15, 2015 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Proposals for Security Consulting Services must be submitted to Rob

Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76 St.,

Omaha, NE 68114. Each response shall include four (4) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy

of the Proposal.

Questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to Rob Zimmerman, Westside

Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76 St., Omaha, NE 68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m. (CDT) on Oct. 8, 2015. Click here for the full RFP.

Parent Surveys Coming Soon
September 21, 2015
The Westside Community Schools is engaged in an ongoing improvement process. As part of this effort, the District will be gathering input from parents, students and staff. Parents and/or guardians will receive an email Monday, Oct. 5 with instructions for accessing the AdvancED Parent Survey, which will be available until Oct. 20. Please be watching for your email. Your cooperation and support is important and greatly appreciated. Students in grades 2 through 12 will take the AdvancED Student Survey during school hours. 
District Seeks Qualifications for Design/Engineering Services for Middle School Addition/Renovation
September 9, 2015

Westside Community Schools is accepting Statement of Qualifications (SOQ’s) for Architectural Design

and Engineering services to renovate Westside Middle School, 8601 Arbor St., and construct a new addition. The SOQ’s will be accepted at the WCS Administrative Offices (ABC Building), 909 S. 76 St., until Sept. 25 at 3:00 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Qualifications for Architectural Design and Engineering Services must

be submitted to Rob Zimmerman, WSC representative at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76 St.,

Omaha Nebraska 68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of the proposal.

Further questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing

to Rob Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76 St., Omaha

NE 68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before

2:00 p.m. (CDT) on Sept. 18. All written questions and responses will be communicated to

the firms who attend the pre-proposal conference. Click here for the complete RFQ. Click here for the addendum to the RFQ.

Public Hearing and Board of Education Meeting
September 2, 2015
Westside Community Schools (28-0066) in Douglas County, Nebraska
PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given, in compliance with the provisions of State Statute Sections 13-501 to 13-513, that the governing body will meet on the 8 day of September, 2015 at 6:00 o’clock, P.M., at 909 S. 76th Street Omaha, NE  68114 for the purpose of hearing support, opposition, criticism, suggestions or observations of taxpayers relating to the following proposed budget and to consider amendments relative thereto.  The budget detail is available at the office of the Clerk/Secretary during regular business hours.  Click here for the budget summary. Click here for the agenda of the 6 p.m. budget public hearing.
The regular Board meeting will follow the public hearing at 6:30 p.m.  Click here for the Board meeting agenda. Click here for the executive summaries.
Westside Bond Sale and Closing
August 7, 2015
On July 7, 2015, Westside Community Schools sold a portion of the bonds approved by the voters in the May election.  The District received the bond funds on July 23, 2015.  Click here for details of the transaction.
Board of Education Meeting and Public Hearing Set on Property Tax Request
September 14, 2015
PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given, in compliance with the provisions of State Statute Section 77-1601.02, that the governing body met on the 21 day of September 2015 at 6:00 o'clock P.M., at 909 S. 76th Street Omaha, NE 68114 for the purpose of hearing support, opposition, criticism, suggestions or observations of taxpayers relating to setting the final tax request at a different amount than the prior year tax request. Click here for details. Click here for the agenda of the 6 p.m. budget public hearing. Click here to view the executive summary of the budget public hearing. The regular Board meeting followed the public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Click here for the Board meeting agenda. Click here for the Board meeting executive summaries.
District Seeks Proposals from ASCA National Model Training Providers
September 8, 2015
The Westside Community School District (“Westside” or “the District”), an independent public school district located in Omaha, Nebraska, is currently accepting proposals to enter into a contract with a qualified provider to offer ASCA National Model training. 
Proposals are due by Friday, Sept. 18. For the complete Request for Proposals, click here

Westside Accepting Design/Engineering Qualifications for New Oakdale School
September 14, 2015

Westside Community Schools is accepting Statement of Qualifications (SOQ’s) for Architectural Design

and Engineering services to replace the existing Westside Community Schools (WSC) – Oakdale

Elementary building at 9801West Center Road, Omaha, NE, with a new two-section elementary

building. The SOQ’s will be accepted at the WCS Administrative Offices (ABC Building) located at 909

S. 76 St., Omaha, NE, until Oct. 9, 2015 at 3 p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Qualifications for Architectural Design and Engineering Services must

be submitted  to Rob Zimmerman, WSC representative. at the ABC Building, 909 S. 76 St.,

Omaha, NE 68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of

the Proposal.

A MANDATORY pre-proposal meeting will be held Sept. 25, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) at the

Westside Community Schools ABC Building. A firms failure to attend the pre-proposal meeting

will disqualify that firm from consideration. Submitting firms may request information or clarifications 

to the RFQ at this meeting. Further questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing

to Rob Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76 St., Omaha

NE 68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before

2 p.m. (CDT) on Oct.1, 2015. All written questions and responses will be communicated to the

firms who attend the pre-proposal conference. Click here for the complete RFQ.  

Qualifications Sought for Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) for Community Conference Center Renovations
October 12, 2015

In accordance with Westside Community Schools Policy 3202 Construction Manager at Risk and the

Political Subdivisions Construction Act (PSCA), Westside Community Schools is accepting Statement of

Qualifications (SOQ’s) for Construction Managers at Risk services  to renovate the existing Westside 

Community Schools (WCS)–Community Conference Center building at 3534 S.108 St., Omaha,

NE 68144. The SOQ’s will be accepted at the WCS Administrative Offices (ABC Building) 

at 909 South 76 St., Omaha, NE until Nov. 11, 2015 at 3p.m. (CDT).

All responses to the Request for Qualifications for Construction Manager at Risk Services must be

submitted to Rob Zimmerman,WCS representative at the ABC Building, 909 South 76 St., Omaha

NE 68114. Each response shall include six (6) hard copies and one (1) electronic copy of the


A MANDATORY pre-proposal meeting will be held Oct.19,2015 at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) at the Westside

Community Schools ABC Building. A firm’s failure to attend the pre-proposal meeting will

disqualify that firm from consideration. Submitting firms may request information or clarifications to

the RFQ at this meeting. Further questions or requests for clarification MUST be submitted in writing to

Rob Zimmerman, Westside Community Schools representative, 909 S. 76 St. Omaha, NE

68114, and/or may be emailed directly to project.advocates@westside66.net on or before 2 p.m.

(CDT) on Oct. 30, 2015. Click here for the complete RFQ. 

Budget Information
February 29, 2016
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.
Westside Community Schools Audit Report Available
November 19, 2014
The annual audit report for Westside Community Schools is now available.  It can be accessed by following this link.  The document is a 38-page PDF. 
Online Enrollment Forms Now Available
July 1, 2015
We are excited to announce that starting July 1, families who reside within the district boundaries of the Westside Community Schools can begin enrolling new students by completing most forms online. If your child(ren) are not currently enrolled in our schools but will be attending when school resumes in August, click on the link below to begin the process. 

Once your online form is submitted, you will receive instructions on documents you will need to bring to our new Westside Welcome Center, located at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  Click HERE to begin enrolling a new student.
Omaha Gives!
May 18, 2015
It's the FINAL days of our 2015 Campaign!  Thank you to everyone who turned in a contribution card, shared the YouTube video and posted to social media! 
It's not too late to participate...



Public Hearing and Board of Education Meeting Set for June 8
June 3, 2015
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76th Street, on Monday, June 8, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for the meeting agenda. The meeting's executive summaries and associated documents can be found at this link--June 8 executive summaries and documents

Included on the agenda for the June 8, 2015, board meeting is action by the Board on the Superintendent's contract.  To view the Superintendent Pay Transparency Act Notice, click here.  For a copy of the contract, click here.  

Prior to the Board of Education meeting, there will be a public hearing to receive testimony on the proposed Student Fees Policy for the 2015-2016 School Year.  The hearing will be held at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76th Street, on Monday, June 8, 2015 at 6 p.m. Click here for the public hearing agenda. A Student Fees executive summary and board policy can be found at this link--public hearing executive summary and policy.  
Bond Election Information
May 7, 2015
The Westside Community School District will hold a special election.  The election will be by mail, and therefore, no polling places will be open for voting.  Click here to learn more.
WHS Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet Set for May 8
April 23, 2015
Westside High School will induct four alumni, one former coach and two varsity teams during its twelfth Athletic Hall of Fame banquet.  The Westside High School Athletic Hall of Fame evening will take place at Legacy Hall on Friday, May 8, beginning at 6 p.m.  For more information and how to purchase tickets, please follow this link
Summer School Registration
April 17, 2015
It’s almost time for elementary summer school in District 66.  A booklet of class offerings can be found here and has been sent home with youngest and only children.  (Please also note that we found an error in our printed transportation schedule.  The downloadable copy has been corrected.)
Registration for summer school will be online again this year and can be completed from home or at your child’s school.  Please read the guide for online registration and follow this link to set up an account.  If you registered your child for summer school in a previous year, you will be able to log in to your existing account in order to update information.
Please note, registration for classes will not become active until April 27th at 8:00 a.m., but parents are encouraged to set up their accounts in advance.  If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch, summer school tuition may be waived.   Complete the form on pg. 5 of the summer school booklet to be considered for a waiver.
District Seeks Proposals for Professional Development Workshop
May 7, 2015
Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, is currently accepting proposals to enter into a contract with a qualified provider to offer professional development for Westside staff.  The District requests a one-day interactive workshop, “Teaching and Engaging with Poverty in Mind.”
This training will meet goals defined in the District’s Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program (“the program.”) The program is funded by a three-year United States Department of Education grant (“the grant.”)  Eighty staff members representing all school sites will participate in the workshop.  Teaching and Engaging With Poverty in Mind provides an overview of Eric Jensen’s book Teaching With Poverty in Mind and outlines strategies for teachers to best reach students in poverty.  The workshop also involves designing action plans.
The RFP document is available at this link. 
Proposals are due by Monday, May 18, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Westside Board Members Present at Meeting
April 13, 2015
A quorum of the members of the Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, are expected to be present at the facilities informational meeting to be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at Loveland Elementary, 8201 Pacific Street, Omaha, NE.  The meeting will take place in the library. 
No Board action will be taken at this meeting – the purpose of the Board members’ presence will be only to hear information being presented to the community and to possibly answer questions.  This is an open meeting and members of the public are welcome to attend. 
School Closed Wednesday, February 4, 2015
February 4, 2015
Westside Community Schools will be closed on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 due to inclement weather.
Westside Seeks Proposals for Boys Town Well Managed Schools Training
March 4, 2015
Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, is currently accepting proposals to enter into a contract with a qualified provider to offer professional development on Boys Town Well Managed Schools Training for Westside staff.  The District requests a “train the trainer” model implemented once a year over three years to train a total of 15 staff members.  The program is funded by a three-year United States Department of Education grant. The RFP document is available for review at this link.  Proposals must be submitted no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, March 13.
School Closed Wednesday, January 7
January 6, 2015
Westside Community Schools will be closed Wednesday, January 7 due to inclement weather.
Westside Community Schools Soliciting Bids for External Evaluator
January 28, 2015
Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, is now soliciting bids from qualified firms to serve as the External Evaluator for its Elementary and Secondary School Counseling program.  The program is funded by a three-year United States Department of Education grant, and the External Evaluator position is provided for the life of the grant. The External Evaluator will work closely with the District to guide the program’s evaluation to ensure the availability of data for regular program review and the completion of required reports.
The program’s focus will be on promoting academic success and behavioral, social, and emotional development of all students.  An increase of student engagement and a decrease in discipline referrals are two main goals.  In addition, the program aims to close the achievement gap in regards to low-income students.
The program addresses the needs of all district students, pre-K through 12th grade.  An increase in mental health personnel, addition and enhancement of programs, and related professional development are included. 

The RFP document is available for review at this link.  Proposals are due on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m.  
Westside Seeks Proposals for Transportation Services
February 3, 2015
Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, is requesting proposals from transportation providers to establish a contract to furnish student transportation services. 
The services sought are for school bus and van (“vehicle”) transportation for students and other persons designated by the District to and from designated schools and buildings operated by the District, and/or to and from points as directed.  Such transportation shall be furnished by means of buses, vans, and other such vehicles specified by the District and at such times and locations specified by the District.
The RFP document is available for review at this link
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE: Proposals must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6.
Westside Community Schools 2013-14 Annual Report
December 19, 2014
The 2013-14 annual report for Westside Community Schools is now available. Please click here to download a copy of the annual report.
"Celebration of Life" for Irv Yaffe Set for April 19
March 25, 2015
 A "Celebration of Life" gathering for former school board member Irv Yaffe will take place Sunday, April 19, at the Community Conference Center, 3534 S 108th St. The event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.  Yaffe passed away on Jan. 5, in Austin, Texas.  He was 96. Yaffe served on the District’s board for 24 years, beginning in 1958.  He had been a lifelong resident of Omaha prior to moving to Austin in 2013.
Request for Qualifications for Owner’s Representative Services
June 1, 2015
Westside Community Schools in Omaha, NE, is issuing this Request for Qualifications from qualified firms or individuals to perform professional services as its Owner’s Representative as a result of passage by voters of a $79.9 million dollar bond issue. 

A pre-proposal conference (attendance is voluntary) will be held on June 9, 2015, at 10 a.m. at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76th St., Omaha, NE 68114.  Deadline for submissions is June 16, 2015, at 3 p.m. at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76th St., Omaha, NE 68114. 
Open Enrollment Deadline is March 15, 2015
September 19, 2014
Open enrollment for the 2015-16 school year begins November 1, 2014 and ends March 15, 2015.  Applications are available on the District website.  Contact Julie Thacker at 402-390-2107 with any questions. A list of frequently asked questions can also be found here.  
Big Idea Meeting
May 26, 2015
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will hold a budget "Big Idea" meeting on Monday, June 1, 2015.  The meeting will be held at the ABC Building, 909 So. 76 Street. Click here to view the agenda.  Click here for the executive summaries.  
Student In-District Transfer Request for 2015-16 School Year
December 16, 2014
To request a 2015-16 in-district transfer for your K-5th grade student, click here.
Kindergarten Registration for District Residents
December 16, 2014
District residents who have a child who will be 5 years old by July 31, 2015, should register their child for entrance into kindergarten for the 2015-16 school year.  For more information click here.
Westside 2013-14 NeSA Scores
September 16, 2014
The 2013/2014 Reading, Math, and Science (Nebraska State Accountability) NeSA test results for Westside Community Schools are now available.
The NeSA tests are one-time, drop-in checks of student performance on state standards. It is important to note that not all of the state standards are tested on the NeSA exams and that no single test score can tell the full story performance of an individual student, school building, or district. The child’s teacher will continue to be the best source of information on how well an individual child is learning. 
Westside Seeks Bids for Kitchen Construction
June 25, 2014
Westside Community Schools is soliciting bids from qualified firms for the construction of a new central kitchen facility at a site at 7667 D St. in the Ideal Water Building. In general the work will include (but is not limited to) framing, drywall, electrical and plumbing based on architectural drawings and specification. Note: This is a re-bid of the kitchen production project that closed on July 10, 2014.  At that time two bids were formally submitted, and thereafter opened in public as required by Nebraska bidding statutes. Two additional contractors provided informal bids to the District, but did not submit them to the Chief Financial Officer as required in the Invitation to Bid.  Those bids were not considered because of the failure to submit as required. As to the two submitted bids that were simultaneously opened in the presence of bidders, neither bid contained a bid bond as required in the intitial Invitation to Bid. Both bids were thereafter rejected by the Board of Education at its July 14, 2014, meeting.  
The two bid amounts submitted and opened under the public bidding statutes are available to any member of the public upon request, as are the amounts of the informal bids submitted but not considered by the District. Contact Diane Zipay at 402-390-3383 for more information.
For complete information and drawings about the project, click here.

Westside Laptops Available for Purchase
July 14, 2014
Westside Community Schools is offering used Apple MacBook laptops for sale to the public. The laptops will be available for purchase in the entryway of Westside High School, 8701 Pacific, on July 23 and 24, from noon to 4 p.m. each day. Laptops are sold "as is," no warranty. No personal checks will be accepted. Payment only in cash, cashiers checks, certified checks, money orders, credit cards/debit cards The cost ranges from $150 or $310. Please read the terms, conditions, and other details carefully. 
Board of Education Public Hearing
June 2, 2014
The Westside Community Schools Board of Education will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the proposed student fees policy for the 2014-2015 school year. The meeting will take place at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, June 9, 2014 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street. Click here to view a copy of the meeting agenda.
Communications Survey
May 28, 2014

Westside Community Schools is conducting a communications survey with District parents. The survey is anonymous and will take about 5-7 minutes to complete. Your answers will help us to enhance communication with District families. Click on this link to take the survey. 

External Evaluator Needed
May 13, 2014
The Westside Community School District is accepting proposals until May 23, 2014, to serve as the External Evaluator of its Youth Career Connect grant.  Click here for more information.
Westside Community Schools Career Opportunities
July 18, 2014
Westside Community Schools has several career opportunities available. Click here to view the list. Click here to apply.
Imagine a District
August 11, 2014
Westside Community Schools is currently engaged in a large-scale project to modernize and re-shape its facilities to better serve its faculty and students as the District meets the challenges of delivering and receiving uniquely individualized education in an increasingly global and interconnected world.  More information is available at ImagineADistrict.org.  An online comment form is also available.  

This short video captures how Westside Community Schools is looking ahead to meet
the educational needs of current and future students. 

Imagine a District from Westside Community Schools on Vimeo.

Virtual Town Hall on Facilities, Vision to be Held
April 9, 2014
Westside Community Schools will hold a virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, April 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The District's plans for a vision and a facilities master plan will be discussed during this online event. You can submit questions for the Virtual Town Hall to townhall@westside66.org. Click here to join the town hall or copy and paste this link into a browser:  
  • http://youtu.be/3BS9FSAR0YQ
Information About Westside Facilities Master Plan Available
March 24, 2014
Information about proposed changes and improvements to Westside Community Schools facilities master plan is now available. A majority of this information comes from DLR Group, the Omaha architectural firm hired by the District to assess our facilities. This information was released over the course of two Board of Education meetings in March. We would like your comments and questions about this process. Please click here to make a comment or to ask a question.

DLR PowerPoint Presentation to the Westside Board of Education (March 10)
DLR Report on Facilities Conditions to the Westside Board of Education (March 10)
DLR Executive Summary Report to the Westside Board of Education (March 24)
DLR PowerPoint Presentation (March 24)
DLR Educational Adequacy Scorecard (March 24)
DLR Cost Summary (March 24) 
Video of March 10 Board of Education meeting
Video of March 24 Board of Education meeting
List of Members of the Westside Community Schools Facilities Task Force

In addition to all this information, click here to view a series of reports on demographics, enrollment projections, statistics and stories about Westside Community Schools
No School Wednesday, February 5
February 4, 2014
Westside Community Schools will be closed on Wednesday, February 5, due to inclement weather. For future weather announcements, follow us on Twitter @westside66, or Facebook at Westside Community Schools - District 66.
March 31, 2014
Notice to Public:  Members of the Westside Community Schools Board of Education may be present at the Facilities Town Hall meeting to be held on Thursday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 220 at Westside High School.  If any members of the Board are present they will be present only for purposes of listening to information presented.  No action will be taken by the Board nor any discussion among Board members will take place, either formally or informally.  This is only to notify the public that any number of Board members may be in attendance.  
School Closed Monday, January 6, 2014
January 5, 2014
Westside Community Schools will be closed on Monday, January 6 due to inclement weather. For more information, please call the ABC Building during regular business hours at (402) 390-2100.
Voting for Caucus is Today, Tonight
January 6, 2014
All residents of District 66 are invited to attend the 2014 Caucus for Westside Community Schools Board of Education. Up to four candidates for two positions on the Board will be selected. The caucus will be held tonight beginning at 7 at Westside High School, 8701 Pacific St. Daytime voting will be held at WHS from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To participate as a voter in the caucus you must be a registered voter in District 66. Residents of the District may register to vote at the Douglas County Election Office, 225 N 115th St., Omaha, up until 5 p.m. today. Click here for more information and a complete set of caucus rules.
District 66 Visioning Information Available
December 19, 2013
Are you interested in learning more about plans for the future of Westside Community Schools? Last spring and earlier this school year, facilitator Jim Rickabaugh visited Westside to conduct a series of focus groups. Members of the focus groups discussed the next generation of Westside Community Schools. Dr. Rickabaugh finalized his report and shared his findings at a community forum on Dec. 11. View a video of his presentation and read the focus group report.

Enrollment, Transfer Information Now Available
December 12, 2013
If you are a District 66 resident and would like your K-5th grade student to attend a different elementary school (other than the school that serves your attendance area) for the 2014-15 school year, click here. If you have a child starting kindergarten next year who has a sibling currently attending a Westside elementary school through the open or option enrollment program, you must submit an open enrollment application. Click here. Do you live in Westside Community Schools attendance area and have a child who will be kindergarten in the 2014-15 school year, or do you know a neighbor or friend with a child entering the Westside Community Schools next fall? Click here.
Invitation for Bids
March 3, 2014
Bids are requested for replacement of the artificial turf at the Westside baseball field.  Project bidding requirements and information is contained in the “Invitation to Bid Artificial Turf Replacement,” which can be accessed by clicking here. Bidding process closes on March 18 at 3 p.m.
Demographic, Enrollment Trends Studied
October 14, 2013
Westside Community Schools has embarked on a long-term study of its facilities in order to plan for the future. Knowing enrollment trends during the next five years will be invaluable as the District makes decisions about facilities and class sizes. On Oct. 10 in a presentation to the Westside Board of Education, RSP & Associates presented a five-year enrollment projection. To see this presentation, please click here.
School Closed- Monday, March 11, 2013
March 11, 2013
Westside Community Schools will be closed on Monday, March 11 due to inclement weather. Designated staff should report. The District will provide any additional updates through our automated phone system, our Twitter feed (@Westside66), our Facebook Page (Westside Community Schools) and here on our website. Or, you can call  the Westside ABC Building during regular business hours at 402-390-2100.
Elementary Parent Pre-Algebra Meeting
May 5, 2014
The Elementary Parent Pre-algebra Meeting Video and Presentation materials are available here.
District Sponsors Information Sessions about the Budget
December 21, 2012
In January, Westside Community Schools will hold a series of informational sessions for parents and other community members to learn more about the District’s budgeting process for the 2013-2014 school year.  Click here for a copy of the budget presentation.
Tuesday, January 8 at 7:30 a.m. Rockbrook Elementary
Thursday, January 17 at 6:00 p.m. Westbrook Elementary
Wednesday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. Westside High School Little Theater

RFQ for Facility Review
March 6, 2013
The Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, invites statements of qualifications for professional planning and design services from qualified firms. The purpose of this process is to outline the enrollment characteristics of the Westside Community Schools, review the scope and location of the proposed work, provide an estimated project time line, and describe the evaluation and selection criteria. In general, the proposed services will include the following:

·     Identify and document present condition of facilities and infrastructure;

·     Recommend corrections for all deficiencies;

·     Provide cost estimates for facility corrections;

·     Forecast future facility renewal costs based on life cycle analyses of existing facilities

For more information, please contact Dr. Andy Rikli, Assistant Superintendent, at (402) 390-2100.
2011-2012 Annual Report
August 30, 2012
Click here to read the 2011-2012 Annual Report to the Community.
All Enrollment/Open Enrollment/In-District-Transfer/Early Entrance
January 4, 2013
Click here for more information
Weather Conditions- Wednesday, Dec. 19
December 18, 2012
In light of the impending weather, Westside Community Schools is cancelling all after-school and evening activities for Wednesday, December 19.  The District will provide any updates regarding school on Thursday, December 20 through our automated phone system, our Twitter feed (@Westside66) and here on our website.
Superintendent's Listening Survey
December 11, 2012
Please click here to take a survey offering your views and opinions of Westside Community Schools.  The survey will remain open until December 31, 2012.
Tragedy in Connecticut
December 14, 2012
Westside Community Schools sends its condolences to the families impacted by the elementary school shooting in Connecticut. District counselors have created an informational sheet with tips on how parents can talk to their children about the tragedy. Click here for more information.
Westside Community Schools Offers Counseling Services to Students
March 5, 2013
Westside Community Schools, in partnership with Arbor Family Counseling, is supporting Westside students and families with their mental health needs.  Click here for information on the services available.
Board of Education Workshop
September 14, 2012
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet at the Gallup Organization, 1001 Gallup Drive, on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.  An agenda is available for public inspection at the ABC Building.
Westside Mill Levy Override Election September 11
September 10, 2012
The Westside Community Schools mill levy override election takes place on Tuesday, September 11.  Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Westside parents are encouraged to vote in this election.  For more information on polling sites, go to www.votedouglascounty.com.
Board Approves Resolution for Mill Levy Election
August 3, 2012
At the Westside Board of Education meeting on Friday, July 27, 2012, the Board approved a resolution to hold a special election on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. The purpose of this election is to ask registered voters of District 66 to vote on a proposal that, if approved, would allow the district to exceed levy limits up to an additional 10 cents. This is a continuation of the current levy authority. If approved by voters, this levy authority would be in place for a period of 5 years, beginning in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The additional levy authority would be used for the purpose of general operations, building construction, remodeling, or site acquisition. To see a copy of the resolution, click here.
Board of Education Meeting
September 20, 2012
The Board of Education for Westside Community Schools will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street, on Monday, September 24, 2012.  Property tax ask public hearing at 6:00 p.m., and regular business meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Click here for a copy of the agenda.
Westside Board of Education Selects New Superintendent
February 6, 2012
At the Westside Board of Education meeting on Monday, February 6, 2012 Board Members voted to appoint Dr. Blane McCann as the District's ninth Superintendent. Click here to read more.

PLC's Begin August 15
August 14, 2012
Every Wednesday throughout the school year, students will be dismissed early to allow time for teachers to collaborate in professional learning communities (PLC's). This early dismissal will not impact instructional time in the classroom. The following schedule notes the PLC dismissal times for the 2012-2013 school year:

Elementary dismissal at 3 p.m. (begins August 15)
Westside Middle School dismissal at 2:36 p.m. (begins August 15)
Westside High School dismissal at 2:50 p.m. (begins August 22)

Please contact your building principal if you have any questions regarding PLC's.
Educators Honored with Schrager Foundation Awards
June 5, 2012
Westside Community Schools teachers Mary D’Angelo and Cheryl Houser were honored with the Phillip and Terri Schrager Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award. In a surprise announcement, the teachers were recognized at an awards ceremony at Westside High School. Each teacher received a plaque and a $10,000 award. The Phillip and Terri Schrager Foundation provides ongoing philanthropic support for a variety of community activities, with a focus on young people. Read more

Standards Based Reporting Survey Results
March 20, 2012
At the Westside Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 19, 2012, Westside Assistant Superintendent Sue Evanich presented results of the January Standards Based Reporting (SBR) survey.  Click here to see a copy of that presentation. For a more detailed report on the results of the Standards-Based Reporting Survey, click here.  For more information or for questions, please contact Dr. Evanich at sevanich@westside66.org.
Westside Board of Education Candidates' Forum
March 23, 2012
Meet the declared candidates for the Westside Board of Education. Westside Community Schools is sponsoring a forum on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  School Board candidates Mark Drabik, Beth Morrissette, David Williams, and Rosie Zweiback will answer questions from the community from 7:00-8:00p.m. Click here for more information.

Technology Surplus Auction
May 6, 2012
Westside Community Schools is selling surplus 7-year old and older G4 iBooks on eBay.  (Click on eBay link to see sale)
2012-2013 Open Enrollment Applications are Now Available
January 3, 2012
The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy counties has announced the start of the 2012-2013 Open Enrollment application process. Click here for more information. The deadline for Open Enrollment is March 15.
2012 Board of Education Caucus
January 23, 2012
The Westside Community Schools will host its 2012 Caucus on Thursday, February 2 at 7p.m. The Caucus will be held at the Westside High School auditorium, 8701 Pacific Street. The purpose of the Caucus is to select candidates for the Board of Education. Persons who choose to vote for candidates during the day rather than participate in the Caucus may vote between 8:00a.m. and 5:30p.m. at Westside High School. Voting booths will be located at the main entrance of the high school. All registered voters residing in the Westside school district are eligible to participate. Individuals living outside the Westside district as well as non-registered voters are welcome to attend the Caucus. If you have any questions, please contact Kent Kingston at (402) 390-2242.
Board of Education Meeting Wednesday, May 30
May 17, 2012
The Westside Board of Education will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street, on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. Board Meeting including Executive Session begins at 6:00 p.m. An agenda is available for public inspection at the ABC Building. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Board of Education Meetings January 16-20
January 13, 2012
The Westside Board of Education will meet at 6:00 p.m., January 16- 20, at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  The purpose of the daily meetings is for the Board of Education to interview each of the finalists for the Westside Superintendent position. The community is invited to observe the interviews conducted by the Board.

Westside Board of Education Announces Finalists in Superintendent Search
January 11, 2012
On Tuesday, January 10, 2012, the Westside Community Schools Board of Education selected the finalists for the Westside Community Schools Superintendent position. Click here for more information about the candidates, along with the interview schedule during the week of January 16-20.  
Stakeholder Input Report for Superintendent Search
December 27, 2011
On September 26 and 27, 2011, consultants from McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. met with stakeholder groups to gather input regarding the selection of a new superintendent for Westside Community Schools. Click here to see a copy of that report.
Student In-District Transfer Request for 2012-13 School Year
December 6, 2011
To request a 2012-13 in-district transfer for your K-5th grade student, click here.
PLC Schedule
August 10, 2011
Beginning August 17, on every Wednesday throughout the school year, students will be dismissed early to allow time for the teachers to collaborate in professional learning communities.  This change will not impact instructional time in the classroom. To download the professional learning communities or PLC's schedule for the 2011-2012 school year, click here.
Kindergarten Registration for District Residents
January 6, 2012
District residents who have a child who will be 5 years old by July 31, 2012, should register their child for entrance into kindergarten for the 2012-13 school year.  For more information click here.

Kindergarten Registration for Non-District Residents
January 6, 2012
Parents who live outside the Westside District and have a child who will be 5 years old by July 31, 2012 must complete an Open Enrollment Application to be considered for entrance into Westside’s kindergarten program.  Click here for more information.
Westside Communications Survey
October 14, 2011
Westside Community Schools is conducting a communications survey with District parents/guardians.  The survey is anonymous and will take about 5-7 minutes to complete.  Your answers will help us to enhance communication with District families.  Thank you for taking time to complete this survey. Please click on this link to take the Westside Communications Survey.
Second Annual Food Evolution and Jump with Jill
October 5, 2011
Mark your calendars for November 3rd for the second annual Food Evolution featuring Jump with Jill, the Rock Star Nutritionist.  Food Evolution will be held at Westside Middle School in the Performing Arts Center from 5:30-8:30 p.m.  Enjoy lots of food sampling and healthy activities from participating vendors.  Plus you will see and taste samples of elementary school lunch.  Tickets available in all Elementary Schools and the Westside Nutrition Services Office starting October 10th, seating is limited.  For more information please contact 402-390-3380.  Click here to see a personal message from Jump with Jill and here to go to her website.
Westside Superintendent Search
October 6, 2011
The Westside Community Schools Board of Education is seeking a highly qualified, fully certified leader to serve as its next Superintendent.  The successful candidate will assume the responsibilities of the position July 1, 2012.  For more information, please click here.
Automated Phones Messages
August 10, 2011
You may occasionally experience problems receiving messages from our automated phone system. We want to ensure that you hear every phone message we send you. To help with this, we’ve listed the following suggestions:

If you pick up a live call and hear silence or an incomplete message, press 1 and the entire message will repeat itself. 
2.    If you receive an answering machine message that is incomplete, go to www.alertnowmessage.com. Type in either your phone number or your e-mail address and you’ll be able to listen or view messages from the past 15 days. Please use a browser other than Safari (such as Explorer or Firefox) to retrieve these messages.
3.    For other troubleshooting suggestions, click here to download a tip sheet.
Community Focus Group Invitation
September 16, 2011
The Westside Community Schools Board of Education has selected McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C., Executive Recruitment and Development, to assist them in the important task of selecting superintendent candidates for the Board to interview.
Your thoughts and advice are very important. You’re invited to participate in a Community focus group to determine the qualities of Westside’s next Superintendent. Please join us at the Community Conference Center, 3534 South 108th Street on Monday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. or Tuesday, September 27 at 1:00 p.m. to meet with representatives from the search firm, who will be facilitating the conversation. Anyone in the Westside community is invited to attend.  If you are not able to attend these forums, please click here to offer your comments and suggestions.

Outdoor Education Parent Meeting
September 21, 2011
6th Grade Pre-Algebra Parent Meeting (4/28/2011)
May 2, 2012
December Board of Education Meeting
December 2, 2011
The Board of Education of School District 66, Douglas County, will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76 Street, on Monday, December 5, 2011; Executive Session and Board Dinner at 5:45 p.m.; and Business Meeting at 6:30 p.m. An agenda is available for public inspection at the ABC Building.

Westside Celebrates VI-­VI 2011 "The Drive for Excellence"
August 18, 2011
Westside is making plans for its biennial VI-­VI event. VI-­VI is a Gala evening sponsored by Westside Community Schools and the Westside Foundation for the betterment of the school district. VI-­VI 2011, The Drive for Excellence, will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2011. Click here for more information.
Superintendent Estee Announces Retirement at the End of 2011-2012 School Year
August 8, 2011
At the Westside Board of Education Meeting Monday, August 8, Superintendent Jacquie Estee announced her retirement as the District's eighth superintendent, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Ms. Estee has held Westside’s top position since the 2008-2009 school year. Read More
PLC Registration
July 28, 2011
Click here for PLC on-line registration.
Flu Shots
October 5, 2011
Westside Community Schools has again partnered with the Visiting Nurse Association to provide flu vaccinations for all Westside School families. Click here for the schedule.
Surplus Technology Interest Survey
May 10, 2012
The Westside Community Schools has surplus technology that they would like to make available for sale to their community through eBay.  They are trying to determine the level of interest that community members have in purchasing these items.

Completion of this survey does not commit you to a purchase OR reserve items for you.  This is only to help us gauge the level of interest.

If you are interested please click here, read the introduction carefully, and complete the survey.
Information for Westside Residents Concerning the Proposed Economic Redevelopment Zone
July 6, 2011
Recently, you may have read or heard about a blighted/substandard economic redevelopment zone proposed by the City of Omaha Planning Department. The District was able to reach an agreement with the Planning Department to reduce the size and scope of the zone. Read More
May Board of Education Curriculum Meeting
April 27, 2011
The Westside Board of Education will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street on Monday, May 2, 2011 at  4:30 p.m. An agenda is available for public inspection at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street. Everyone is invited to attend.  
May Board of Education Business Meeting
May 10, 2011
The Westside Board of Education will meet on Monday, May 16, 2011 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  Notice of Budget Amendment Public Hearing is at 6:15 p.m.; Board Meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Agendas for the meeting are available for public inspection at the ABC Building. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Recent Food Safety Concerns
September 30, 2011
There have been recent reports in the news that some produce items such as cantaloupe and lettuce have been recalled due to reported illnesses. Westside Nutrition Services has confirmed that all fresh fruits and vegetables served at school are NOT included in the recall and are SAFE for consumption. Please call the Nutrition Services office if you have any questions.
March 6 Board of Education Meeting
February 28, 2011
The Westside Board of Education will meet in Executive Session at the Westside House, 1101 South 90th Street on Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. An agenda is available for public inspection at the ABC Building.
Student Enrollment Deadlines for 2011-2012
February 3, 2011
Open Enrollment Applications
Open Enrollment Application Due March 15th
All open enrollment applications for the 2011-2012 school year must be submitted by either U.S. mail, postmarked on or before March 15, 2011, or personal delivery, received by 5:00 p.m. on March 15, 2011 to the ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., Omaha NE 68114. For additional information regarding the open enrollment process, click here.
PLEASE NOTE: If you submitted an application for the 2010-2011 school year and were not approved, you will need to submit a 2011-2012 application if you wish to be considered for open enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year.
If you have questions regarding the application process, please call 390-2107.
Westside Reaffirms Decision Not to Participate in Focus Programs
March 11, 2011
During the Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 7, 2011, the Westside administration reaffirmed its decision not to participate in the focus programs at Underwood Hills and Lewis and Clark Middle School during the 2011-2012 school year.  To learn more go to http://www.omaha.com/article/20110308/NEWS01/703089908.
Cyber-Safety for Parents: Protecting your Kids Online
March 1, 2011
Date: March 15, 2011
Presenter: Jeff Ingraham
ESU#3 Technology Trainer
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Location: WHS, Room 222
                 8701 Pacific St.
Facebook, MySpace, file sharing, chat rooms, instant messaging, spam email, phishing, etc. What does it all mean for you and your child?
This session puts the spotlight on how parents can keep their children safe while enjoying the immense benefits of technology. It includes information about personal safety online, plagiarism and intellectual property theft, virus prevention, and more. Parents will learn ways to talk to their children about online dangers. One doesn't need to be a "techie" to help keep children safe in cyberspace.
Please register in advance with Nancy Yount at 390-2113 or nyount@westside66.org

School Closed Wednesday, February 2
January 31, 2011
Westside Community Schools will be closed on Wednesday, February 2 due to inclement weather. Teachers should report. For more information, please call the ABC Building at 390-2100.
Softball Field Meeting Information
August 12, 2011
Information on Safety Procedures
January 5, 2011
Wednesday’s shooting at Millard South High School has left the entire community in shock and disbelief.
In order to help parents talk to their students about issues such as this, District counselors have created a tip sheet for families. Click here for more information.
Westside Community Schools uses a number of strategies to provide a safe climate. Click here for information on the District's safety procedures.
Safety is a top priority for us. Westside regularly reviews its emergency procedures, conducts safety drills and maintains access control in all of our schools.
Learning Community Holds Public Forum
November 29, 2010
The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties will hold a Community Forum for Subcouncil No. 3.  Westside Community Schools is part of Subcouncil No. 3. The Forum takes place at Lewis and Clark Middle School on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 6 p.m. Click here for more information about the Community Forum, which is located under the Subcouncil No. 3 link.
Seasonal Flu Vaccinations for Westside Families
October 4, 2010
The Visiting Nurse Association, working with Westside Community Schools, will once again offer flu shots for Westside families. Click here for more information on the locations and the cost for the annual flu shot.
Elementary Standards Based Report Card Information
August 11, 2010
Click here to view a short video about the new elementary standards based report cards.
Learning Community's Annual Joint School Fair
December 28, 2010
Mark your calendars for the Learning Community's Annual Joint School Fair
Sunday, January 23, 2011
1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.
UNO's Milo Bail Student Center
60th and Dodge Streets
Every Kid EATS! With Westside's Summer Program
May 27, 2010
EATS!, a program of Westside Community Schools, ensures that all children have access to at least one nutritious, balanced meal a day for absolutely no charge.  This annual summer lunch program starts on June 1 and runs through July 31 at 35 locations throughout Omaha.  Click here for more information about the program and click here for site locations.
February Board of Education Curriculum Meeting
February 15, 2011
The next Board of Education meeting for Westside Community Schools will take place at 6:30p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  Click here for more information on the meeting.
Governor Recognizes High Achieving Students
May 10, 2010
Gov. Dave Heineman and Nebraska's Commissioner of Education, Roger Breed extended special congratulations for academic achievement to students who earned the highest possible composite scores on college entrance exams. Of the ten superior students honored in the state, two were Westside Warriors. Read More

Health Department Confirms Measles Case in Douglas County
May 17, 2010
A laboratory-confirmed case of measles has been identified in a visitor to Douglas County. The Health Department has released the following advisory.  For more information, contact the Health Department at 444-7214 or 444-7000 after regular business hours.
Westside Foundation Honors Oakdale Educator with Bravo Award
April 26, 2010
The Westside Foundation recently recognized Julie Schmitz, a sixth grade teacher at Oakdale Elementary, with a Bravo Award. The Foundation created this award to recognize the work of outstanding teachers. Read More
Underwood Hills Focus School Dancing Classrooms Showcase
April 23, 2010
For 10 weeks, fifth grade students from Underwood Hills Focus School prepared for a performance of a lifetime. They pulled together their poise and confidence, “dressed for success” and set stage on the dance floor for the Dancing Classrooms Showcase.  Read More

Fostering Hope Against Hatred
May 10, 2010
Westside Middle School students experienced a glimpse of history when Holocaust survivor Judy Meisel revealed to them her history.  Meisel “speaks in the memory of those who did not survive.” To read more about Judy's message click here.

Board of Education Candidates' Forum
April 15, 2010
Make plans now to attend the 2010 Westside Community Schools Candidates' Forum. Meet the individuals who are running for the Westside Board of Education. The Forum takes place Monday, April 26, 2010 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at the Westside ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street. Everyone is welcome! Click here to learn more about the candidates.
Parent Surveys
March 4, 2010
Access information for these surveys will be distributed at Parent/Teacher Conferences.
Elementary Parent Survey
Middle School Parent Survey
Senior Projects Help Students Grow
March 8, 2010
Westside High School English teacher Jana Brawner knows the future is in good hands. “We’ve got some really capable and smart kids,” she said. Read More


Parent Involvement Conference
January 19, 2010
Join us at the 2010 Parent Involvement Conference on Saturday, March 27 at Westside Middle School. Click here for more information and to download a conference registration form.
Elementary School Receives Action for Healthy Kids Award
March 19, 2010
The Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids has awarded Westbrook Elementary a Silver level action award for the school's walking club, nutrition and wellness programs. In April, school representatives will attend an awards ceremony and conference in Lincoln to receive the award. In addition to the award, the school will be featured with other award-winning schools in a booklet highlighting wellness success stories.
Educator Chosen as McAuliffe Award Winner
March 19, 2010
Congratulations to Rockbrook teacher Rhonda Josten, who was honored Sunday, March 7 as one of the 2010 recipients of the Christa McAuliffe Award.  The award recognizes teachers who exhibit courage and excellence on the job.
The Next Word is 'Winner'
March 16, 2010
When it comes to spelling, eighth-grade WMS student Emma Johanningsmeier might as well be the definition of winner.  She took home the title of 2010 Midwest Spelling Bee champion when she correctly spelled the words “quiescency” and “convalescent.” Read More
‘West Side’ at Westside
March 9, 2010
The musical West Side Story is a classic, familiar show recognizable by the sound of a single snap – snap, snap, snap. This show has integrated itself into American culture with catch phrases that make anyone, “feel pretty, oh so pretty.” And, this spring Westside High School will rejuvenate the classic love story. To read more about West Side Story at Westside, click here.

Westside Middle School Proudly Presents Willy Wonka Jr.
April 12, 2010
Westside Middle School proudly presents Willy Wonka Jr. April 27, 28 and 29 at 7:00pm in the brand new WMS Performing Arts Center.  The cast has been working tirelessly to present the audience members a fanciful and imaginative tour inside the Wonka Chocolate Factory. Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors and students. The show traces the journey of little Charlie Bucket and all of the other kids as they vie for  their own golden tickets,  a chance to tour the factory while learning valuable lessons along the way. Imaginations are welcome as the cast creates some of the more memorable scenes throughout the chocolate factory. Mr. Wonka is superb and cunning as he teaches life lessons to the kids who come to tour the factory. Come for a ride with us through the magical land of Oompa Loompas and chocolate fountains as we present to you Willy Wonka Jr.!
Underwood Hills Focus School Opens Branch Bank
March 8, 2010
First National Bank of Omaha opened its first “educational branch bank” on Wednesday, February 24 at the Underwood Hills Focus School.  The Underwood Hills Focus School is a collaborative effort among the Westside Community Schools, Elkhorn Public Schools, and the Omaha Public Schools.  Read More

The We in Westside
February 24, 2010
Westside Community Schools celebrates its staff and students.  Click here to learn more about the WE in Westside.
Westside High School Named Apple Distinguished School
February 16, 2010
For the third year, Westside High School has been named an Apple Distinguished School. At the February 16 Board of Education meeting, Apple representative Paul Pittman presented Principal Pat Hutchings with the award. Pittman said Westside High School was one of the best schools in the nation in its effective use of technology as a learning tool for students. 

Holocaust Survivor Spoke to Students at Westside High School
February 26, 2010
Gerda Weissmann Klein, Author, Academy Award Winner, Holocaust Survivor and Human Rights Activist spoke at Westside High School on behalf of the high school and the Institute for Holocaust Education. To read more about this event click here.
Future Problem Solving Students Teach to "Be Healthy, Be Happy"
February 11, 2010
The Future Problem Solving Club at Westside High School teaches Swanson Elementary students what it takes to live healthy by trying to engage students in active, healthy lifestyles.  Click here to read more.
Westside Community Schools Open Enrollment Process
February 9, 2010
March 15 is the deadline to apply for Open Enrollment in Westside Community Schools.  Do you have questions about the process?  Click here to watch a short video about Open Enrollment.
WHS Students to be Honored with President's Volunteer Service Award
January 27, 2010
Twelve Westside High School students in the Future Problem Solving Club will receive Presidential honors for their commitment to community service.  Read More

2010 School Board Caucus
December 4, 2009
The Westside Community Schools will host its 2010 Caucus to nominate school board candidates on Tuesday, February 23, at 7pm at Westside High School. Click here for more information.
WMS Students Learn about Diversity and Inclusion
December 23, 2009
In the new Westside Middle School auditorium, students sat quietly and attentively as they watched a presentation by members of the IncluCity Middle group. Read More
School Closed Friday, January 8
January 5, 2010
Westside Community Schools will be closed on Friday, January 8 due to inclement weather. Designated staff should report.  For more information, call the Westside ABC Building during regular business hours at 390-2100 or visit this website for further updates. 

Broadway Performer Pays a Visit to Westside Middle School Students
January 19, 2010
Judine Somerville, a Broadway performer known for her most recent role as one of the Dynamite Singers in “Hairspray,” visited and worked with students at Westside Middle School. Click here to learn more.
Kindergarten Enrollment Information for 2010-2011
December 23, 2009
Click here for important information about Kindergarten Enrollment for 2010-2011 and for In-District Transfer Requests for 2010-2011.
Learning Community Coordinating Council Education Fair
January 8, 2010
Make plans now to attend the Learning Community Coordinating Council Educational Fair at UNO on Sunday, January 31 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center. Representatives from the 11 Learning Community school districts  will be on hand to share information about their schools. The event is FREE and open to the public. Click here for more information.
December Board of Education Meeting
December 3, 2009
The Westside Board of Education will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, December 7, 2009; followed by the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. An agenda for the meetings is available for public inspection at the ABC Building.
H1N1 Clinic at Westside High School
November 23, 2009
The Douglas County Health Department, in partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association, will offer H1N1 vaccinations at Westside High School on Monday, November 30 from 4:30p.m.-8:30p.m.  Click here for more information.
Visiting Nurse Association Offers Seasonal Flu Shots
November 17, 2009
If you did not yet receive your seasonal flu shot, the Visiting Nurse Association will be in the District on Tuesday, November 24 to administer them to members of the Westside community.  The cost for the vaccination is $25.  Please note, this is the seasonal flu vaccination, NOT the H1N1 vaccination.

Tuesday, November 24
Westside High School 7-8:30a.m.
Westside Middle School 3-4:30p.m.
Cost:  $25

Technology Surplus Auction
December 7, 2009
Westside Community Schools is sponsoring a technology auction to sell surplus technology to the public. Click here for more information.
Westside High School Educator Honored as Nebraska Teacher of the Year
October 21, 2009
Westside High School science teacher Michael Fryda is named the 2010 Nebraska Teacher of the Year.  Click here to read more.
Teacher Receives Bravo Award from Westside Foundation
November 3, 2009
The Westside Foundation recently recognized Jolene Vance, a second grade teacher at Westbrook Elementary, with a Bravo Award.  The Foundation created this award to recognize the work of outstanding teachers. Click here to learn more.
Swanson Celebrates 50 Years
November 6, 2009
Current and past principals, teachers and students wished Swanson Elementary a “Happy Birthday” as they celebrated 50 years of excellence on Monday, October 26. Read More

Westside Employee Receives U.S. Citizenship
November 2, 2009
Applause and congratulations were heard throughout the day in the staff lounge and during the student lunch periods at Westbrook Elementary on September 30. Nutrition services employee Maria Franco became an American citizen in a September 11 ceremony.
Read More
Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics Postponed
October 26, 2009
The seasonal flu shot clinics scheduled for this Thursday at Westside High School and Westside Middle School have been postponed. The Visiting Nurse Association has informed us that it has temporarily run out of the vaccine. Westside will reschedule these clinics at a later date.  Please check the District website for the latest updates. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Nigerian Artist Visits Westbrook Students
November 2, 2009
Nigerian artist Ibiyinka Alao spent a week at Westbrook Elementary working with students.
Read More
Performing Arts Open House
October 21, 2009
Please join us on Sunday, November 1 to celebrate the completion of the Performing Arts Projects.
Open House
Westside High School
Westside Middle School
Transportation is available between the middle school and the high school.
Community Information Session on Open Enrollment
February 19, 2010
Learning Community’s Achievement Subcouncil 3 (serving the Ralston Public Schools, Westside Community Schools, and Omaha Public Schools in the midtown area) is holding a Community Forum Wednesday, February 24, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the UNO Thompson Alumni Center.

Learning Community invites families to come out and learn more about the new Open Enrollment Process. As part of the new Learning Community law, beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, parents in the Learning Community may apply to send their children to any public elementary, middle or high school within the eleven Learning Community member school districts, if there's room, subject to rules designed to foster socioeconomic diversity. Open enrollment replaces option enrollment for students living in within the Learning Community. The deadline for submitting Open Enrollment applications is March 15th.

Your Achievement Subcouncil #3 representatives from the Learning Community as well as representatives from Omaha Public Schools, Westside Community Schools and Ralston Public Schools will be presenting information and answering your questions at this Community Forum. Please visit the Learning Community website at www.learningcommunityds.org for more information about Open Enrollment.

H1N1 Presentation with Dr. Adi Pour
August 26, 2009
On Tuesday, August 25, 2009, Dr. Adi Pour, the Director of the Douglas County Health Department, offered information to Westside families on the H1N1 virus.  Click here to watch three videos from that evening's presentation.
Seasonal Flu Vaccinations
October 1, 2009
Westside Community Schools is again partnering with the Visiting Nurse Association to offer seasonal flu vaccinations to students and their families in October.  Click here for more information about the vaccination schedule.
New School Year
July 30, 2009
Westside Community Schools begins its new school year on Thursday, August 13. 
H1N1 Presentation
August 24, 2009
Westside Community Schools invites you to a presentation by the Douglas County Health Department on the status of the H1N1 virus in the community.  Dr. Adi Pour, the Director of the Douglas County Health Department and several of her colleagues will be at the presentation to answer your questions.  That meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25 in Room 220 at Westside High School.  On Wednesday afternoon, August 26, a podcast of the presentation will be available on the District website for those who are unable to attend the meeting.  

In addition, we want to remind you that new cases of H1N1 are being reported in schools and throughout the community almost daily.  You should monitor your student for signs of illness and connect with your health care provider if you have any questions.  Students who have a fever cannot return to school unless they are fever free for 24 hours, without fever-reducing medicine.

June Board of Education Meeting
June 2, 2010
The Board of Education will meet at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street on Monday, June 7, 2010; Notice of Amended Budget Hearing at 8:30 a.m.; and Regular Board Meeting at 8:40 a.m.  A agenda is available for public inspection at the ABC Building.
District Sponsors Open House for Performing Arts Projects
November 5, 2009
On Sunday, November 1, Westside Community Schools unveiled the performing arts projects at Westside Middle School and Westside High School. The Open House gave the public their first glimpse at the $10.4 million project.  Click here to read more of the story and to view a slideshow of the renovation at both buildings.

June Board of Education Meeting
May 20, 2009
The next Board of Education meeting for Westside Community Schools will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  The public is invited to attend.
May Board Curriculum Meeting
May 6, 2009
The next Board of Education Curriculum meeting for Westside Community Schools will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 18 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  The public is invited to attend.
Westside Community Schools Launches New Website
April 10, 2009
Westside Community Schools is proud to introduce a new look to its District website.  Click here for more information.
2009 Presidential Award for Math and Science
June 8, 2010
Congratulations to Westside High School science teacher Brenda Zabel, who is a recipient of a 2009 Presidential Award for  Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Enacted by Congress in 1983, this program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year.  An award ceremony will be held in Washington D.C. later this year.
May Board of Education Business Meeting
April 15, 2009
The next Board of Education meeting for Westside Community Schools will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4 at the ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street.  The public is invited to attend. 
April Teacher Collaboration Day
March 20, 2009
The next Teacher Collaboration day for Westside Community Schools will take place on Friday, April 17. All grade levels will dismiss at 1 p.m. that day. 
Happening in Our District
Retired Teacher's Horse Honors Former Student
May 20, 2016
Paul Hundtoft’s latest painting project, turning a life-size white fiberglass horse into a memorial to a fallen Omaha Police officer, started with a chance conversation at a Superbowl party.
Hundtoft, a retired Westside teacher, found himself chatting at the Blair event with Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman.
They realized they had a connection in Officer Jimmy Wilson Jr., a Westside graduate and third-generation officer fatally shot in a traffic stop near 40th and Blondo Streets on Aug. 20, 1995, also Hundtoft’s 41st birthday.
Tierney and Wilson graduated in the same police academy class. Hundtoft taught Wilson in art classes and coached him in football and basketball in the mid-80s at what was then Westbrook Jr. High.
“They were a terrific family,” said Hundtoft, who won the District’s Schrager Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002-3 while at Westside Middle School. He retired in May 2009 after 32 years with the District.
Tierney passed Hundtoft’s name to Werner Enterprises, which was sponsoring a horse in Wilson’s name as part of the Horses of Honor public art exhibition.
Recently unveiled at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing, the display features seven riderless horses, each painted by a local artist, memorializing seven deceased Omaha police officers. An eighth represents all fallen officers and another honors K9 Kobus, an Omaha police dog killed in a January standoff. Click here for the rest of the story. 
Hillside Celebrates Rocket Launch Tradition
May 20, 2016
Hillside Elementary School's annual sixth-grade rocket launch isn't just a science experiment, it's a tradition dating back 28 years. Each sixth-grader created and launched a rocket during the year-end event. Teacher Chris Turner said the launch caps the class' study of Newton's laws of motion and energy transfer, from electrical to chemical to light and motion. The cheering from the watching students had to come close to rivaling that of a NASA launch. Click here for more photos.

WMS Hosts Eighth-Grade Career Day
May 16, 2016

Students began the day learning about Westside High School's graduation service learning requirement, which eighth-graders can begin with permission this summer, and about volunteer opportunities in the community. Sgt. Lance Worley of the Omaha Police Department's Special Victims Unit gave a keynote address. During the remainder of the morning, students participated in three sessions that represented their chosen career clusters.  Approximately 30 professionals from the community shared their expertise with the middle school students. In the afternoon, students attended individually-arranged job shadows.

WHS Student Wins Silver in National Arts Awards
May 12, 2016
Harper Newell, a Westside High School senior, has earned a Silver Medal in the National Scholastics Art and Writing Awards of 2016.  Harper has been identified by panels of creative professionals as one of the most talented of young artists in the nation. Nearly 320,000 works of art were submitted this year. Only the top one percent were recognized at the national level.  Harper received two national awards: one Silver Medal for her art portfolio entitled "Intimate Intrusions" and another Silver Medal for her painting "Closeness."  
Celebrating Oakdale
May 11, 2016
Current Oakdale Elementary families and staff as well as alumni, retirees, neighbors and other friends are invited to a celebration of the school May 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Click here to visit the event Facebook page.  
District Graduates First Project SEARCH Class
May 9, 2016
Westside Community Schools congratulates the 10 students who graduated in its inaugural Project SEARCH class in partnership with Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha.
Project SEARCH provides on-site internships and job skills training for students with disabilities who want to seek employment and are in their last year of education.
The program began in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and since has expanded to 400 sites in 45 states and five countries. Several other Nebraska school districts have programs in partnership with various businesses, including Embassy Suites, Cabela’s and Valmont. The hospital already has hired several students.
“I could not be more pleased with how Project SEARCH at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has worked out this year,” said Kami Jessop, Westside’s director of special services. Click here to read more. Click here for a video by WTV's Nick Ward, a WHS junior. 
2016 Bravo Award Winners Announced
May 5, 2016
Westside teacher Jason Fry, teacher leader Megan Poell and school counselor Dr. Vicki Londer are the winners of the 2016 Westside Foundation Bravo Teaching Awards.
The Bravo Award recognizes teachers who skillfully and successfully tap the unique academic, social, emotional and/or physical talents of students and who inspire students to fully engage in school and/or community life. The Bravo Award comes with $500. Click here to read more about what these amazing educators do for kids every day. 

Two WHS Musicians Recognized by Judges
May 4, 2016
Judges at the District Music Solo & Ensemble Contest can award one Outstanding Performance solo award and two Honorable Mention Awards. Kate Hamann received an Outstanding Performance Award for a trumpet solo and Ben Battafarano won an Outstanding Performance Honorable Mention Award for a french horn solo.
DECA Shines at Nationals
May 4, 2016

Westside DECA competed along with 17,500 students from across the world in Nashville, TN.  The following students had an amazing competition.

  • Jackson Frerichs: Top Performer on the Comprehensive Test in Hotel Lodging Management
  • Michael Merical:Top Performer on the Comprehensive Test in Principles of Finance
  • Rachel Zetzman and Lizzie Harwood: Top Performer on the Role Play/Presentation for their Advertising Campaign
  • Eliza Jasa, Nikki Wagner and Lauren Zimmerman: Top Performer on the Role Play/Presentation for their Innovation Plan
  • Hannah Stodolka: Top 10 IN THE WORLD for her Advertising Campaign
Students Explore Painting, Origami at Seminar
May 2, 2016
About 40 students spent a day exploring their inner artist as part of the annual Spring Art Seminar. They were led by visiting artist Abby Hack, a Westside High School senior, as her Lighthouse Project. Hack gave a presentation about Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky and his themes, including his use of color. Students then painted their own mini-Kandinskys. Students also took a turn at origami. "We learned that people use origami a lot in science," said Jack Meehan, a Rockbrook fifth-grader. Space shuttle engineers, for instance, use origami to help figure out how components fold up. Edward Davis, a Westbrook fifth-grader and origami enthusiast, helped fellow students create folded paper art. To enroll in the seminar, students had to submit a piece of art created just for the event. Click here for more photos. 
AdvancED Team Recommends Accreditation
April 29, 2016
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, 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.
Click here for a video of the exit interview. Click here for an excerpt from the report to the Board of Education.
WMS Students Create New Magazine
April 27, 2016
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
April 25, 2016
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.

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
            Saxophone – Simon Bessmer - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
            Trombone – Christian Madsen - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
            Alto Saxophone / Simon Bessmer  - WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT JAZZ BAND
WHS Shines in District Music Contest
April 25, 2016
Congratulations to all of our Warrior Band department members for their performances at District Music Contest.
Warrior Band:   Division I + / “SUPERIOR PLUS” Rating
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
April 21, 2016
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
April 13, 2016
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.
WHS Presents "The Manchurian Candidate"
April 11, 2016
Westside High School theatre presents "The Manchurian Candidate."  Showtimes are April 13-15 at 7 p.m.  Adult tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5.  For more information, visit www.warriortheatre.org
Buffalo Bill Rides Again, at Hillside
April 11, 2016

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
April 11, 2016
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
April 4, 2016
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.
WMS Holds Mock Primary Election
March 28, 2016
While some Americans may feel like checking out of this year’s contentious presidential race, students at Westside Middle School have been getting engaged.
Last week, every student had a chance to vote in a primary election organized by students in Angela Madsen’s two current events classes. Seventh-graders cast paper ballots during homeroom time; eighth-graders voted electronically using a Google form. Bernie Sanders outpolled Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side of the ticket, and Donald Trump topped Ted Cruz in the Republican race.
Madsen, a reading specialist at the middle school, said current events students approached her with the idea of holding a primary after studying the candidates.
“Then I let them go,” she said. “This is entirely student-driven.” Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for more photos. 
Sunset Hills Shares Breakfast with Parents
March 23, 2016
Students, parents and others at Sunset Hills Elementary recently enjoyed a morning treat at "Bring Your Parents to Breakfast Day," hosted by Westside Nutrition Services. The event was part of National School Breakfast Week. All of the District's elementary schools participated in some way. Click here for more photos.
Prairie Lane Hosts Dancing Classrooms
March 21, 2016
Prairie Lane Elementary last week hosted its Dancing Classrooms Showcase. Students, led by instructors from the ARTery, spent 20 weeks learning ballroom dances such as the foxtrot, merenge and polka, and then put their skills to work on the gym floor for families and friends. At the end, everyone got to join in. Click here for more photos. 
Sixth-Graders Shine in Speech Contest
March 14, 2016
The top 10 sixth-grade speech contestants (one from each elementary school) participated in the 2015-16 Kiwanis Speech Contest on Friday, March 11. The theme for this year's speech was Innovation in History, Impact and Change. Below are the top three finishers: 
1st Place:  Benjamin Kutler from Swanson: 
  • Topic: Anesthesia
2nd Place:  Elle Hoffman from Paddock Road
  • Topic:  Florence Nightingale
3rd Place:  Allison DeSordi from Westbrook
  • Topic:  Billy Jean King
Dr. Seuss Breakfast at Westgate
March 14, 2016
For over 15 years, Westgate has held a Dr. Seuss breakfast.  Each year over 120 parents come out to eat breakfast with their child and celebrate reading with activites in their classrooms.  Westside's Nutrition Services staff set up the breakfast and prepare the green eggs and ham along with cinnamon rolls.  This year a new event was added: "One Book One School" where every student in the school received the book "The World According to Humphrey".  Some began reading the book with their parents in the classroom.  Westgate will be reading the book over the next month and participating in fun activities and contests. The Dr. Seuss breakfast is one of Westgate's strongest events in bringing parents into the school and the classrooms! 
Sunset's Art & Soup Evokes History
February 22, 2016
This year, Sunset Hills Elementary’s Art & Soup student art show and fundraiser took a page out of the school’s history.  
Neil Griess, this year’s visiting artist, is a former Sunset Hills student and a Westside High School graduate. And the house near 93rd and Pine Streets where Griess grew up and still lives served as a temporary elementary school in 1957 while the current building was under construction.
In fact, his ties to the neighborhood and to the school all have come together in his time as visiting artist.  
Griess said his neighbor, Sunset parent Alexis Studenburg, had mentioned that the existing building was slated to be replaced – with construction starting in spring 2017 – by a new, two-section school under the $79.9 million bond issue voters approved last May.
Griess went to the school to take some photos. Principal Cyndi Reed, whose daughter attended school with Griess, let him in the building.
In December, Griess returned to the school for two days. He led students in second through sixth grades through the process of turning a memory from their time at the school into a 3-D model. 
Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for more photos.
Rockbrook Club Receives Garden Grant
March 14, 2016
The Rockbrook Garden Club recently received a $2,000 garden grant from the Whole Foods Kids Foundation. The foundation supports school gardening and nutrition education. The funds are being used to improve the current garden spaces at Rockbrook Elementary and for educational activities through the weekly club.
New This Year: ACT Testing for All Juniors
February 17, 2016
A good night’s sleep? Check. No. 2 pencils? Got ‘em.
On March 15, all Westside High School juniors will have the opportunity to take the ACT college entrance exam at school, during school hours, at no charge, with the District covering the cost.
The test offering was set in motion last fall when the Board of Education approved a recommendation to require the exam for juniors.
Jim Sides, Westside’s director of secondary teaching and learning, said the District wanted to increase opportunities for students who might not have seen themselves pursuing post-secondary education.
Said Theresa Henson, head of guidance at WHS, “Honestly, we feel like some kids are going to take it and see they can go to college based on their scores.”
Click here for more about the test offering, including Westside's place in state and national trends. Click here for additional photos of teachers training to give the exam. 
Teachers Put Tech to Work in Primary Grades
February 8, 2016
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
February 8, 2016
A number of Westside teachers 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. 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
February 1, 2016
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
January 25, 2016
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. 
Show Choirs Rock Ralston's Ramegeddon
January 25, 2016
All three WHS show choirs competed in the 2016 Ralston Ramageddon this past week. Warrior Express placed first in the Prep Division and qualified for Finals with the varsity groups and placed fifth runner-up. Simply Irresistible placed first in the Female Division and also qualified for Finals where they placed second runner-up.  Maddy Stark was also named Best Female Soloist. The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir was named Grand Champions and earned caption awards for Best Vocals and Best Choreography.  The true champion, however, was our accompanist, Denise Millard, who played 6 warm ups and 6 performances in one day.
Westside will host the 16th Annual Competition of Excellence on Saturday, Jan. 30. Nineteen groups from Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota will be competing.  Show your staff I.D. and you will be admitted free of charge.  ATSC will perform at 5:30 p.m. and Simply Irresistible at 7 p.m.
College Possible at WHS Helps Students Bridge Barriers to College
January 20, 2016
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
January 14, 2016
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.

WHS Thespians Shine at Festival
January 14, 2016
Forty-one Warrior Theatre students attended the International Thespian Society's State Festival on Jan. 8 and 9. Twelve students competed. Of that number, senior Ryan LaHood, junior Matthew Kischer, and sophomores Maddie Stark, Abby Cameron, Shannon Chinn, and Grace Johanningsmeier received "superior" ratings. As a result, they will be invited to compete at the international festival in June on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. In addition, Abby, Shannon, and Grace were selected to perform their three-woman scene, "Bright. Apple. Crush." at the state festival's final showcase for an audience of more than 700 of their peers.
Maryanne Ricketts, WHS principal, received the Administrator of the Year award from the Nebraska International Thespian Society. State board members vote based on letters of recommendation from students, teachers and parents.
Westside Night at Do Space, Personalized Learning Talk
January 13, 2016
All Westside families and teachers are invited to join the Westside High School Community Club for a tour of the new Do Space digital library at 7205 Dodge St. on Thursday, Jan. 28. The free open house is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mark Weichel, Westside's assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, will give a talk at 6:15 p.m. outlining the District's focus on personalized learning. Please RSVP to drelicharz.cristina@westside66.net to ensure adequate seating. 
Warrior Sneak Peek Set for Feb. 22
January 11, 2016
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
December 9, 2015
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. 
Rockbrook Construction Meeting Set
January 5, 2016
Upcoming construction at Rockbrook Elementary will be the topic of a conversation Monday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at the school, 2514 S. 108th St. 
Students Learn to Turn Trash to Treasure
December 10, 2015
WHS students got a chance Thursday to learn how to turn trash into treasure -- and help the homeless.
The process involves cutting plastic shopping bags into strips, looping the strips into strands, rolling strands into balls of plastic yarn or “plarn” and crocheting “plarn” into sleeping mats.
Kathy Knust, a WHS educational assistant, set up a demonstration outside the cafeteria with the help of local volunteer mat-makers. Knust has materials in the Social Studies/Business IMC, and some students already have begun working on the project during free time.
Not only is it a great opportunity for students to complete service hours, particularly for those who struggle getting to off-site agencies, it also recycles bags and produces mats that provide insulation and warmth.
“There’s so much good that comes out of this,” Knust said.
Read the rest of the story here. Click here for more photos. 
Students Join Hour of Code
December 16, 2015
Students across the District recently joined thousands worldwide in participating in the Hour of Code. The campaign is a celebration of Computer Science Education Week, but it dovetails with Westside's strategic goal of integrating technology into teaching and learning. The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding participation in computer science. Click here for a slideshow featuring more coding activities.
Westside Students Sit in Red Chair
December 4, 2015

A group of Westside students visited UNO's Peter Kiewit Institute on Dec. 2 to participate in Explore Computer Science Day. Students learned about degrees that UNO offers in the field of Computer Science, including Cybersecurity, Bioinformatics, and IT Innovation. At the end of the day, the female students that attended had a chance to sit in the red chair, a symbol of the Sit with Me Campaign sponsored by the National Center for Women and Information Technology. When women and men “sit” to take a stand, they validate women in computing and IT and recognize them for the important role they play in creating future technology. For more information, visit http://sitwithme.org.

Maker Spaces Come to WMS, Elementary Schools
December 1, 2015
At the start of the school year, Kristen Job proposed turning her Westside Middle School office into a Maker Space and invited Excellence in Youth students to come up with ideas.
Eighth-grader Kelly Kroeger responded with an artist’s rendering created with a free floor plan app and a mission statement. She also recruited three friends – fellow eighth-graders Eva Collins, Thomas Lundin and Theo Jansen.
The four since have sought and received an $800 grant from the Westside Foundation to help fund supplies and equipment for the space and have launched a campaign on the crowd-funding site indiegogo.com to raise up to $10,000. In the first month, donors pledged $325. 
 “They had a vision,” said Job, secondary EY coordinator, “and they’re literally making it happen.”
On a larger scale, the WMS Maker Space is part of the larger “maker movement” that has kids and adults across the country tinkering, building and making.
Schools increasingly are joining in. Several Westside elementary school librarians and EY coordinators are in various stages of setting up Tinker Labs – smaller versions of Maker Spaces -- in most of Westside’s elementary schools. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for more photos.
WMS Quiz Bowl Teams Take Top Spots
December 2, 2015
Congratulations to the WMS Quiz Bowl team. The recent Quiz Bowl at ESU3 turned into a Westside vs. Westside matchup, with Team A and Team B out-quizzing teams from at least 18 other schools and facing off in the championship. It was a close match, but Team A came out on top. Team B took second place.
Youngsters Learn Programming, Launch Drones
November 30, 2015
There was a buzz in the air at Hillside Elementary as students in first through third grades learned about programming and then put their new skills to work flying Parrot Spider drones in the school gym, led by the District's Matt Lee and Bridget Brown and Jeff Ingraham, technology specialist with ESU 3. The lessons were part of the Hour of Code taking place worldwide in December. 
Pam Van Fleet, a Hillside first-grade teacher, said the activity aligned with the class' language arts indicators involving predicting and cause and effect. She also teaches a unit on commands, which ties in with app the students use to program the drones. Click here for more drone action.
Showcase of Student-Directed Plays Takes Stage
November 30, 2015
Warrior Theatre will present Project 66, a showcase of four student-directed plays, Dec. 3 through Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at warriortheatre.org
Swanson Student Wins By Investing
November 24, 2015
Eleven-year-old Nathan Chan knows a bit about money management.
He can quote the favorite sayings of billionaire investor Warren Buffett and discuss the benefits of  buying a home in a good neighborhood.
So it’s probably no surprise the Swanson Elementary sixth-grader won a grand prize -- $1,500 to be used for his education – in the Money Confident Kids essay contest sponsored by T. Rowe Price and Scholastic Inc.
To enter, students had to interview a parent or guardian about money management, asking about a time he or she set a financial goal and then made saving and spending choices to reach it.
Nathan interviewed his mom, Irene Au. Her goal was to save for his college education, so she invested in a 529 education savings plan. Nathan wrote about her goal and her plan. 
Nathan plans to invest his winnings. “I save up a lot of money," he said, "but I never have the guts to actually spend it." Click here for the rest of the story. 

Westside Spelling Bee
November 20, 2015
Reese Pike, an eighth-grader at Westside Middle School, won her second-straight Westside Spelling Bee on Friday. Twenty-seven spellers -- two from each elementary building and seven WMS students -- advanced to the District bee. In the final round, runner-up Jacob Caffey, right, misspelled "allium." Pike, second from right, followed with the correct spelling and aced "jackanapes" for the win. Caffey, also a WMS eighth-grader, nonetheless improved from his fourth-place finish last year. Other top finishers: Hayden Bauer, seventh grade, third; Ava Steele, seventh grade, fourth; Ella Paulson, eighth grade, fifth; and Emma Kopetzky, sixth grade at Prairie Lane Elementary, sixth. Pike will advance to the Midwest Spelling Bee on March 12. Click here for photos of the elementary and middle school spellers.
WHS's Stucky Wins Teaching Excellence Award
November 19, 2015
Judith Stucky, a physics teacher at WHS, is among 42 public school teachers nationwide to receive the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. California Casualty, the Nebraska State Education Association-endorsed auto and home insurance provider, sponsors the award in conjunction with the NEA Foundation.
Stucky will represent Nebraska at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Washington, D.C., in February. She also will be among 35 winners who will travel to Peru this summer as global fellows. 
Students Follow Pathway to Personalization
November 17, 2015
Nearly two dozen elementary students from across the District got a chance to do what most people would envy – spend a day working on projects that inspire their passions.
The first-ever Pathway to Personalization Seminar built on what District elementary schools already are doing with their extended learning time but gave students a longer block to explore their interests, said Jenny Henningsen, Excellence in Youth Coordinator for Swanson and Prairie Lane schools.
Students created “tickets” outlining their “passion projects.” The final list ranged from creating items with light-up, sewn-in circuitry to learning how to use a 3D printer, not to mention artwork and writing.
Most plan to continue their projects. Swanson fourth-graders Charlie Yale and Weston Siebler want to create presentations about what they learned and write a speech to persuade benefactors to fund a 3D printer for their school. Click here for more photos. 
Two WTV Productions Win National Awards
November 16, 2015
Two WTV stories recently received scholastic journalism's top honors -- the Pacemaker Award.
The awards were announced at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association Fall Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Matt Rasgorshek, WHS online and broadcast media adviser, said WTV has been nominated for Pacemakers in the past but had never won one -- not to mention two. The Pacemakers are to scholastic journalism what the Emmy Awards are to the television industry.
A story by Jon Bass (class of '15) about a graffiti artist earned second place in the Feature Story category. Click here to watch it.
A piece about "Coach Al" by Connor Flairty (class of '15) received Honorable Mention in the Sports Story category. Watch it here.
WHS's Service Learning Club Helps Homeowners
November 11, 2015
Members of the Service Learning Club at Westside High School last weekend broke out their gloves and rakes and helped two area homeowners tackle some of that never-ending yard work. Jordan Klepfer, an English teacher at the high school and the club’s sponsor, said the students got a lot done and had a great time.
Schools Celebrate Veterans on Veterans Day
November 11, 2015
A light mist was beginning to dampen the ground early Wednesday when the co-captains of Hillside Elementary’s safety patrol hoisted the American flag up the school's flagpole.
Students and visitors stood with their hands over their hearts and sang the national anthem, led by Principal Cynthia Bailey. Then they filed into the gym for rolls and coffee, capped by presentation of the colors by students from the school’s Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups.
Hillside was one of a number of Westside Schools to host Veterans Day breakfasts and programs to thank veterans. Oakdale’s breakfast included music. Staff wore T-shirts with American flags and the words, “Thank you,” on the back. Prairie Lane students offered salutes; Paddock Road celebrated veterans at an assembly. Loveland raised the flag, and Westgate hosted a breakfast.
Bailey also thanked servicemen and women at the close of the Hillside ceremony. “What we do wouldn’t be possible without what you’ve done,” she said. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for a slideshow featuring Veterans Day events.
Oakdale Community, Traffic Meetings Coming Soon
November 9, 2015
Two separate listening sessions have been scheduled to gather input from the community about building design and traffic issues. The design input meeting will be Nov. 23; the traffic discussion will follow on Dec. 15. No design concepts or solutions will be presented at either meeting. Both will be at Oakdale at 6:30 p.m. For more construction details, visit www.imagineadistrict.org 
WMS Fund-Raising Aids Students in Georgia
November 5, 2015
Westside Middle School students raised $250 last year to support education in developing countries as part of the Girls Learn International Club. WMS students chose to support the students of St. Andrew's the First Called in Batumi, Georgia. Special needs students at the school will get new textbooks, computer software, school supplies and a special field trip as a result of the donation. Special needs students are underserved in schools in Georgia, and the students were grateful for a donation intended to help all students succeed in school.
43rd Army Band Stages Free Concert at WHS
November 3, 2015
Join the Nebraska National Guard's 43rd Army Band for a free, 2 p.m. concert Sunday, Nov. 8 at Westside High School.
The band includes two Westside teachers -- James Kordik, director of bands at WHS, and Mike Freeman, instrumental music teacher at Westgate Elementary. The concert will be Freeman's last with the 43rd before he retires from the Army National Guard.
The band, comprised of citizen soldiers, is the Nebraska National Guard's musical ambassador and performs at a variety of community and military events throughout the state.
Westside Middle School Meeting Set
November 3, 2015
Westside residents are invited to hear about construction plans at Westside Middle School. For more details about bond-funded projects, visit www.imagineadistrict.org
Career Center Holds Book Fair to Welcome Oakdale
November 3, 2015
Students and staff at the Westside High School Career Center are planning a little housewarming gift to welcome Oakdale Elementary students and staff to the Community Conference Center next year.
The Career Center will hold a book fair Nov. 7 at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Crossroads Mall to raise money to buy books for Oakdale teachers’ classroom libraries.
Oakdale will temporarily relocate to the renovated CCC while its new building is under construction.
The book fair also will serve as a service learning project for Career Center students, who designed fliers for the book fair and will help run a children's craft station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The in-store book fair runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The online portion will continue through Nov. 11 at BN.com Just enter book fair No. 11740800 at checkout.

Political Campaign Comes to WHS
October 26, 2015
It's official. The new President of the Westside High School portion of the United States is Jackson Frerichs, the Republican candidate.
In a mock election wrapping up the WHS Political Campaign Project, Frerichs out-polled Democratic candidate Stephanie Dong and a write-in candidate.
During the project, students in American Government and AP American Government classes – 250 or more – divide into sections representing 17 states, each holding its own congressional race and participating in a “national” election for president.
Jon Preister, American Government team leader, said the project is intended to make lessons as close to real life as possible, not just to engage students in class but also to prepare them as citizens.
Frerichs and Dong were nominated in mock party conventions that resembled down to the skimmer hats and speeches the real conventions that will be held this summer in Philadelphia and Cleveland. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for a slideshow with more convention action. 
WHS Hosts State Football Play-Off Friday
October 26, 2015
Westside High School will host a state football play-off game Friday, Oct. 30. The Warriors will face the Papillion-La Vista Monarchs. Gates open at 6 p.m. Game time is 7 p.m. 
Because the match-up is a Nebraska State Activities Association state play-off game, passes of any kind will not be accepted. That includes staff I.D.'s, WAC passes and Metro passes. 
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. 

Middle School Artists at Work
October 22, 2015
The Art Plus class is working on "Erase My Face" self-portraits, left. Students cut away half of their photo and draw back the erased features and details. Seventh grade students are finishing a dimensional one-point perspective and collage project. The Mixed Media class just finished a Cubist portrait in oil pastels, using Photoshop to combine a front and profile view and then drawing mixed-up version of their faces. The Art Plus class recently completed "Wrapped Animals," which teaches cross-contour line drawing and shading. Click here to view more art.

Celebrate Cabaret Night 2015
October 22, 2015
Cabaret Night, an evening of musical performances by Westside High School's vocal music students, is set for Sunday, Nov. 1. Performances will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the WHS auditorium. The annual event is the sole fundraiser for the Westside Vocal Music Parents Association. Proceeds support students through scholarships, purchase and maintenance of Warrior Choir robes, equipment purchases and funding for music programs such as Voice Day and All State. Tickets are $10 each and will be available to the general public outside the WHS Bookstore Oct. 29 and 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students receive a $5 discount with I.D.
WMS Airs Poe Show
October 19, 2015
Nothing says spooky like Edgar Allen Poe. Get ready for Halloween with Westside Middle School's production, "Twisted Tales of Poe: A Radio Show" on Oct. 29 and 30 at the Westside Middle School Performing Arts Center. The production features four mysterious and macabre tales in a live radio-style drama from the days of yore, complete with sound effects. The classic stories include, "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Raven" and "The Black Cat." Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'"

Professional Learning
October 19, 2015
While students had a day at home, teachers went back to school to hone their skills, learning from each other in sessions led by peers. The lighter side of learning included a few moves from the pop song, "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)." For a slide show, click here.
WMS Students Step Out, Step UP
October 12, 2015
WMS students recently volunteered at the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands Buddy Walk. Kudos to the kids! Teachers Melissa Jackson (health) and Guy O'Brien (special education) were proud of their efforts.
Chicks Part of Science, Writing Lessons
October 7, 2015
The newly hatched chicks in Westbrook Elementary’s three second-grade classrooms were fuzzy and cute, for sure.
But their real purpose was to serve as hands-on subjects for students’ science and writing projects.
Teachers Anna Raneri, Michelle Moore and Sara Elder got eggs and incubators through a Douglas-Sarpy Extension program. Students researched the chick life cycle and learned how to care for them as part of their lesson on scientific inquiry. Their research, in turn, helped them write instructional pieces about caring for the chicks, part of their writing unit.
“It’s a great way to integrate science and writing in such a hands-on and fun experience,” Raneri said.
The chicks hatched over the weekend. Students got to meet them early this week, after plenty of instruction on how to hold them and reminders to wash hands afterward.
 “I pretty much love these guys,” said student Joe Millen. “They’re adorable. I just want to keep them.”
Extension staff was scheduled to pick up the chicks at the end of the week. They’ll return to the extension office to continue with the next phase in their life cycle, including producing more chicks for the next group of students to study. For a slideshow, click here.
Performances Set for "Fiddler on the Roof"
October 1, 2015
Warrior Theatre at Westside High School will stage the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" on Oct. 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and on Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets for this family-friendly and educational show go on sale Oct. 11 at www.warriortheatre.org or via email at westsidetheater@gmail.com Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Children under five are admitted free. 
Four Named National Merit Semifinalists
October 1, 2015
Four Westside High School students have been named National Merit Semifinalists for 2015-16.
Bridget Mizener, Andrew Mizener, Greg Tracey and Eric Lund were among about 16,000 semifinalists announced earlier this month.
Nationally, semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. They are selected based on their index score, the sum of three subtests on the PSAT test. About 1.5 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools nationwide took the test last year.
Semifinalists must complete an application to become National Merit finalists. About 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, from which they will compete for three types of National Merit Scholarships. For addition details, click here.
Create Something at WMS
September 28, 2015
Eighth-grade language arts students at Westside Middle School have put their creativity to work not just on paper but also at the inventor’s bench.
Teachers Sarah Schoenrock and Lois Rasgorshek encouraged students to celebrate innovation by creating something of their choice and presenting it to their peers.
The list of student creations includes a dress made from recycled plastic bags, a Viking catapult and a children’s book written by students and crafted from recycled materials. Click here for the rest of the story, including what inspired the teachers. Click here for a slide show. 
The "James Bond" Experiment
September 23, 2015
Ever wonder how a movie hero can jump off a building and manage to land squarely in the passenger seat of a speeding sports car?
Students in AP Physics I at WHS this week combined what they've been learning about motion to help “James Bond” do just that – or at least get pretty close.
In their experiment, Agent 007 had a stand-in -- a 1-inch steel ball. Students calculated how quickly the ball would drop from a stairway landing and how far a battery-powered car needed to travel to intercept him, said Ben Powers, physics teacher. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for a brief slide show. 
Call it "Air Bee and Bee"
September 14, 2015

Students in the STEM I class at WHS recently have been combining math and science concepts – and power tools – to design and build “bee hotels.”
The hotels are designed for species of solitary bees, the kind that don’t live in hives, said Tyler Foster, a teacher in the engineering and technology department. They normally would nest in logs or reeds, materials people typically clear from residential neighborhoods. Like many pollinators, such bees face threats from loss of habitat and food sources, as well as from pesticide use.
Students studied not only the problems pollinators face but also their value to the environment and the economy. They decided providing habitat offered one solution.

“We were looking for a good project to get kids engage,” Foster said. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for a slide show from the construction.
Local Author Visits Rockbrook
September 11, 2015
Local author and illustrator Bruce Arant demonstrated his craft Friday at Rockbrook Elementary. Arant was scheduled to return next week for illustration workshops during art with all classes. Arant, whose titles include "Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep," also will be visiting other District schools. 
Warriors Help "Buddies" Play Ball
September 11, 2015
Twenty-one senior WHS football players better known for their talents on the gridiron recently put a different set of skills to work on a baseball field.
The seniors spent part of the day Sept. 5 volunteering as “buddies” for the AllPlay Miracle Baseball League, helping disabled young players run bases, field balls and enjoy a day on the barrier-free ball field near 68th and Harrison Streets.
Kathy Knust, an educational assistant in social studies and business at WHS, said the league was short of buddies for the day’s games because of the Labor Day holiday weekend. Knust, who volunteers with AllPlay, appealed to advisors and coaches. Brett Froendt, head football coach, asked the senior players to help.
“They really stepped up and came through for me and AllPlay,” Knust said. 
Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for a slideshow from the event.
Professional Development Day: Teachers, Teaching and Learning
September 4, 2015
Westside teachers spent the morning Sept. 4 learning from each other in a series of teacher-led breakout sessions and hearing from keynote speaker Sue Presler as she highlighted questioning and student response in relation to noted educational expert Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching. Afternoon sessions focused on grade-level and building topics. Click here for a slideshow of teachers in action.
Football Team Gets Drone Flyover
August 28, 2015
Jeff Ingraham, technology specialist with ESU No. 3, recently gave WHS football coaches another angle on their game with a drone flyover at football practice. Click here for a slideshow. Click here for the rest of the story. 
District Offers New Personalized Learning Option for Students, Staff
August 25, 2015
All Westside students and employees now have access to thousands of online courses, from Photoshop to app development, through Lynda.com 
Providing access to the website's wide array of professional-quality, video-based courses aligns with two key elements of the District's strategic plan -- personalizing learning and integrating technology, said Paul Lindgren, director of technology. 
Students ages 13 and under need parental permission to sign up. Lindgren stressed that access is available to all employees. "Even if it doesn't apply to your current assignment, anything our staff members learn will make them better stewards of our kids," Lindgren said.
For instructions, click here.
District Stays Course on ACT Scores
August 26, 2015
Westside Community Schools' average ACT composite score held steady this year at 23.2, the same as last year's average. Graduates bested both the state average of 21.5, which was down from last year's 21.7, and the national average of 21.0. Roughly 80 percent of the District's 2015 graduates took the test. The college-entry exam  tests students in English, math, reading and science. The maximum composite score is 36.  
Welcome Back to the 2015-16 School Year
August 13, 2015
The Westside Community Schools welcomed students to the 2015-16 school year Wednesday. Click here for a slideshow of opening day activities. 
New Teachers for 2015-16
July 30, 2015
The District has hired 48 new teachers for the 2015-16 school year.   The first day of school for students is set for Aug. 12. 
Job Fair Takes Place July 23 at Community Conference Center
July 15, 2015
A career fair focused on school support staff positions is set for Thursday, July 23, at the Westside Community Conference Center, 3534 S. 108th St.  The event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Available positions include teacher assistants, early education (preschool) assistants, food/nutrition services, custodians, maintenance, and drivers.  The career fair is sponsored by the District, Elkhorn Public Schools, and Ralston Public Schools.  Job openings within Westside can always be viewed at https://westside.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx
Bergman Receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching
August 3, 2015
WHS science teacher Angela Bergman recently visited the White House as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 

This year’s 108 awardees represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. 

Bergman has taught science for 13 years. During this time, she taught Earth Space Online classes, Natural Science, and Biology. For the last eight years, she has taught Earth and Space Science to 10th and 11th graders at Westside High School. As the Earth and Space Science Team Leader, Bergman has written and coordinated the curriculum for the instructors on the team.

WHS Teachers Goes to Space Camp
June 18, 2015
Judith Stucky, a physics teacher at WHS, recently attended Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, NASA’s official Visitor Information Center for the Marshall Space Flight Center. The educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students and adults with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and decision-making.
Stucky was part of the Space Academy for Educators Program, which is designed for teachers who want to advance education in the STEM fields. She experienced astronaut simulators and took a virtual tour into space. Trainees also followed lesson plans based on NASA content (which is correlated to the National Science Education Standards) and received content and knowledge to pass on to their students in the classroom. 
Director of Nutrition Services Part of Congressional Staff Briefing
June 8, 2015
Diane Zipay, director of Nutrition Services, has been invited to serve on a School Nutrition Association Congressional Staff Briefing panel on Thursday, June 11, in Washington, D.C.  In the morning, Zipay and four colleagues from around the country will speak to U.S. Senate staffers; the panel meets with House of Representative staff members in the afternoon. 

SNA is holding the briefing to provide information on the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. Topics that will likely be addressed include sodium and whole grain standards, student participation, financial challenges facing school nutrition programs, and Community Eligibility and Farm to School programs.
Breakfast Optimist Club Awards WHS Career Center Scholarships
May 29, 2015
The Breakfast Optimist Club recently awarded a pair of $500 scholarships to Westside High School Career Center students Muerynda Kelly and Andy Pintado. Applicants for the scholarships were judged on their demonstrated involvement and leadership at school, academic standing, and career goals.                                     
District Hosts Session on Standard Repsonse Protocol
May 29, 2015
Westside Community Schools hosted sessions on Standard Response Protocol (SRP)--which provides a common language for first responders, teachers, administrators, staff, and students during emergency situations--for area educators and law enforcement officials on May 29.  John-Micheal Keyes, the founder of the SRP through the I Love U Guys Foundation, gave the presentations and led the discussions.  The District coordinated the event in cooperation with both the Omaha Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.  School districts and law enforcement agencies across Nebraska have started looking at SRP in an effort to develop common terminology and procedures in the event of a school emergency.  More than 10,000 schools across the nation now use SRP. 
Anti-Defamiation League Gives WMS "No Place for Hate" Award
May 22, 2015
The students of WMS were presented the No Place for Hate School Award on Thursday, May 21, by the Anti-Defamation League.  No Place for Hate in schools seeks to provide a model for combating intolerance, bullying and hatred, in schools. During lunch students signed the Resolution of Respect.
Governor Visits WHS; Recognizes Students With Perfect College Entrance Scores
May 21, 2015
On May 21, Governor Pete Ricketts came to WHS to recognize metro area seniors who had perfect college entrance scores. WHS seniors Jennifer Solheim and Shaket Chaudhary (who both were error-free on the ACT) are pictured here with WHS Principal Maryanne Ricketts and the governor. Only 1/10 of one percent of high school students are able to ace the ACT with a perfect score. Nearly 1.85 million students took the ACT this past year.
Kindergarten Teacher Named Apple Distinguished Educator
May 21, 2015

Dustin Carlson, who teaches kindergarten at Rockbrook Elementary, has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Educator.  The Apple Distinguished Educator Program began in 1994, and it recognizes K-12 and higher education instructors who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways.

Paddock Road Student Learn About Plants, Gardening
May 21, 2015
First grade students at Paddock Road Elementary recently took a field trip to a local garden store to learn more about plants.  In addition to seeing a variety of flowers, students brought back perennials for the school's community garden.  
Jump With Jill Nutrition Show Visits Westgate, Hillside
May 14, 2015
Students at Westgate and Hillside elementary schools enjoyed the world’s only rock & roll nutrition show, "Jump with Jill," on May 12.  The show used music and dance to celebrate healthy habits and provide nutrition information in a live concert format. "Jump with Jill" was created by a registered dietitian and professional musician, and the show uses singable anthems to get students moving and learning about healthy habits.
MUD Mascot Visits Rockbrook Elementary
May 12, 2015
Thurston, the mascot for MUD, visited third grade students at Rockbrook Elementary last month.  The students  learned where Omaha's drinking water comes from and how it is made safe to consume. 
Students Win Gold at Leadership and Skills Conference
May 6, 2015
WHS had seven students compete at the Nebraska State Leadership and Skills Conference.  Two students took first place honors.  Ellie Furchert brought home the gold medal in Welding Art Sculpture.  She built a model of her pickup truck.  Besides building the model, she also had a face-to-face interview with judges and presented a notebook about the build process she took in its construction.   Zach Summers placed first in Action Skills.  He was required to present for about an occupation he is interested (in his case welding) and why he is interested in pursuing it after high school.  Along with his presentation, he assembled the basic type of welded joints and displayed some examples of his welding work.  
Grandfriends Spring Vocal Concert at Rockbrook Elementary a Succeess
April 28, 2015
Rockbrook Elementary's recent Spring Vocal Concert also was a day where students were asked to invite grandfriends.   The event included a variety of vocal groups and students playing instruments.
ATSC Finishes in Top Ten at FAME Show Choir Finals
April 27, 2015
Congratulations to the members of the Amazing Technicolor Show Choir, show band, and stage crew on their top ten finish at the FAME National Show Choir Finals in Chicago this past weekend. Also, Xzavier Fort was named Best Male Performer of the entire competition.


Westside will hold "An Evening of Show Choirs" on Saturday, May 9 at 7 p.m., as well.

Fifth Graders Create Digital Portraits
April 21, 2015
Art teacher Sam Gollehon had her fifth grade students create digital portraits using the app Sketchbook Express. A few selected students were able to do some app smashing and upload their finished Sketchbook Express portrait into Wordfoto app. The results are striking.  Some examples can be seen in this slideshow
Students Organize Kids Against Hunger Event
April 20, 2015
More than 140 student and staff volunteers at WHS spent a morning packaging 50,000 meals for the nonprofit organization Kids Against Hunger on April 9.  A Kids Against Hunger pre-packaged meal consists of rice, soy protein, and vegetables.  The meals can be quickly made and will feed a family.  The 50,000 newly packed meals from Westside have gone to the Heart Ministry Center in Omaha and to the Omaha Kids Against Hunger reserve. 
WHS Girls Soccer Team Visits Pediatric Patients
April 20, 2015
The WHS Girls Soccer team spent part of an afternoon at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center visiting pediatric patients on April 14.  The visit was done in conjunction with the team taking part in the Kicks for a Cure soccer exhibition this past weekend.  Kicks for a Cure was first envisioned in 2004 by Dave Karnes and Steve and Amy Lindsay and was launched in 2006. The primary purpose of the weekend is to raise awareness for cancer education and prevention. 
WMS Musicians Learn About Jazz During Workshop
April 17, 2015
WMS seventh and eighth grade band members participated in a jazz workshop presented by musician/educators from the Cathedral Arts Jazz Workshop program on April 9.  The students had an opportunity to play in a call-and-response exercise to replicate characteristic jazz rhythms and riffs.  During the workshop, students learned how to use blues scales and got to "jam" with the visiting faculty.  The Cathedral Arts musicians provided a steady rhythm section for the students to practice their improvisational skills and gave an overview of the history of jazz, as well. A slideshow of the workshop is online.  To view the photos, please follow this link
WMS to Stage "Footloose" April 16-18
April 13, 2015
Westside Middle School will stage "Footloose" later this week!.  Curtain is 7:30 p.m. on April 16,17, and 18.  Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 fort students, and children under 5 are free.
Warrior Theatre to Present "12 Angry Jurors"
April 8, 2015
Warrior Theatre at WHS will present "12 Angry Jurors" on April 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m.  The play will be presented with an "alley theater" seating arrangement, which places the audience on stage with the actors. Due to this format, there is an unusually limited amount of seats available. To reserve tickets, email westsidetheater@gmail.com with name and requested number of seats. Tickets will be held at the front doors the night of the show and can be paid for at that time.
Rockbrook Elementary Student Council Collects Books
April 7, 2015
The student council at Rockbrook Elementary recently coordinated the collection of more than 150 books.  The Child Saving Institute and the Open Door Mission received the books earlier this month.  
Sixth Grade Prairie Lane Student Repeats as State Geography Bee Champ
March 31, 2015
Brendan Pennington, a sixth grader from Prairie Lane Elementary School, took top honors at the 2015 Nebraska State Geographic Bee held March 27.  Brendan also won last year’s competition and becomes Nebraska’s first two-time Nebraska State Bee champion since 1996-97.  The Championship Round came down to a sudden-victory tiebreaker question: “Saxony is a state in what present-day country?”  Brendan correctly answered ‘Germany’ to take home the Nebraska State Geographic Bee championship for a second straight year.

A record 107 fourth- to eighth-graders participated in the Nebraska State Geographic Bee.  Concurrently, Bee competitions also took place in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Atlantic and Pacific territories, and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.  As a state winner, Brendan receives $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Nebraska in the 27th annual national finals of the Bee at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 11-13.
Westbrook Elementary to Host Next Love and Logic Sessions Start
March 25, 2015
Interested in learning more about parenting? Check out Love and Logic sessions.  The free classes take place on Tuesday evenings (start time is 6:30 p.m.) beginning April 7.  For more information and to register, follow this link.  

Swanson Hosts Artist in Residence
March 24, 2015
Lisa Worrall, a retired District teacher, spent two days at Swanson Elementary as an artist in residence.  She showed students how she creates artwork by creatively cutting and pasting paper.  Worrall’s works have been shown at Dundee Gallery and she was profiled last year in Inspired Living magazine. 
WMS SkillsUSA Club Competes at State Conference
March 23, 2015
The WMS SkillsUSA Club traveled to Metro Community College on Friday, March 20, to participate in the fourth Annual Nebraska Middle School SkillsUSA Conference. It was a day filled with various competitions and camaraderie with 200 middle school students from around the state. Other middle schools participating were Beveridge, LaVista, Logan Fontanelle, Louisville, Niobrara, Papillion, Raymond Central, Sterling, Thedford, and Wahoo. Earning medals for WMS were: Neha Khalid and Rebecca Podariu, first place in Presentation; Georgia Wimmer, second place in Bridge Building; Madigan Brodsky, third place in Bridge Building; Neha Khalid, third place in Applied Math.
Battle of the Books 2015 Involved 120 Students
March 19, 2015
Third through sixth graders created more than 150 authentic book projects, which were on display March 13, during the District's Battle of the Books 2015.  Three authors, via Skype, and a local playwright also spoke to the 120 students involved in the annual celebration of literature. More information about BOTB 2015 is available at http://ey.westside66.org/battle-of-the-books-recap/  
Preschool Peer Models Needed for 2015-16
March 12, 2015
Westside Community Schools is currently seeking three- and four-year-olds to serve as peer models in preschool settings for 2015-16.  The District has six Early Childcare Centers and one Early Learning Center.  Peer models serve as examples of age-appropriate cognitive and pre-academic skills, language skills, social-emotional skills, behavior, and fine and gross motor skills.  Research suggests that combining children with special needs with typically developing peers is beneficial to both groups of children.  All students are provided opportunities to learn through play and other developmentally appropriate activities.  Also, peer model attend free of charge.  Anyone interested in learning more about peer models can view this pdf.  The application deadline is March 27.
STEM Student Build, Test Model Trebuchets
March 3, 2015
A trebuchet is a medieval siege engine (sort of like, but different from, a catapult) that was used during the Middle Ages to fling stones. STEM students at Westside High School recently built model trebuchets for class after doing research both on the history of the devices and the physics and math involved with tossing objects great distances.  Follow this link to a brief slideshow.
Sunset Hills Enjoys Evening of Art, Soup
February 27, 2015
Sunset Hills Elementary had a great Art and Soup night on Feb. 20. The third annual event featured an all-school art show, a free soup/chili dinner and contest, and many art activities. Students and families browsed art displays, got their faces painted and participated in the numerous art-related activities.  This year was extra special because visiting artists Lisa Worrall and Bart Vargas attended. Both artists had previously worked with students to create art for the show. Donations that were collected will support the Community Club's art program, ArtPALS.  Check out a slideshow of the event.


"Triangle" Opens at High School
February 26, 2015
A new play, "Triangle," will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Feb. 26 -28) at Westside High School.  Curtian is 7 p.m.  Set against the backdrop of the historic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, the play explores the immigrant experience then and now through the tragedy of the "fire that changed America."
Paddock Road Read-A-Thon Benefits Food Bank
February 24, 2015
With the support of parents, teachers, community and family sponsors, the students at Paddock Road Elementary had an amazing Read-A-Thon.  The results:
* 80 percent of the students participated
* Students read for 142,145 minutes
* 142 cases of food and $1,519.70 will be donated to the Food Bank for the Heartland on behalf of the school.
The Read-A-Thon's theme was "Feed your Imagination AND your Community…READ."
WHS Student Designers Prepare for Fashion Week
February 23, 2015
In a first for Westside High School, two senior students will have their clothing designs included in Omaha Fashion Week, which takes place March 10 through 15.  Mary Jo Losen, Fashion class instructor in the WHS Family and Consumer Science Department, said the two students—Chris DiGiorgio and Alyssa Koory—have been hard at work for weeks.  DiGiorgio will have six outfits (a total of13 items of clothing) in the show; Koory created 12 outfits.  Read more at this link

Elementary Students Prepare for Strings Concerts
February 23, 2015

Elementary school students from across the District will give concerts on March 10 that will feature both solo and group strings performances.  To promote the event, a short video preview was created. 
Oakdale Students Conduct Experiments
March 3, 2015
Oakdale Elementary's sixth grade students recently had visitors come from College of Saint Mary's.  The guests reviewed states of matter.  During hands-on experiments, students created safe physical and chemical reactions. 
Kindergarten Students Donate Books
February 13, 2015
Learning to give starts young. A kindergarten class at Swanson Elementary collected new and used book and gave them to the Open Door Mission. They donated more than 80 pounds of books. 
Valentine's Day Event at Loveland
February 11, 2015
Loveland Elementary celebrated Valentine's Day earlier this week with a pancake event. Students had time to pose for camera, too.
Bully Awareness Week Brings Students Together
February 10, 2015
In late January, students at Rockbrook Elementary participated in Bully Awareness Week activities with their cross-age buddies.  For many, the theme was Be a Buddy, Not a Bully or Stomp Out Bullying.  Students read stories and brainstormed ways they could prevent bullying or be a good friend to others.  
District Students Bring Home Arts Awards
February 6, 2015
Westside Community Schools students earned an astounding 168 Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions from the Nebraska Arts Awards.  Honorees were announced on Feb. 5, and Westside High School’s 146 total awards nearly doubled the total of the second-most honored high school.  Westside Middle School students received 22 awards.  Westside Wired covered the awards.  The story is online

(Gold Key-winner Jenny Solheim's "Norwegian Fiddler" is the artwork with this story.)
WHS Holds Career Fair Focuse on STEM
February 2, 2015
The District's Career Education Readiness and Transitions program held a career fair at WHS on Jan. 28.  More than a dozen businesses and colleges/universities had displays up during the school's lunch mods. The focus of the January fair was science, technology, engineering, and math career options.  More career fairs are planned (one a month) for the rest of the academic year.    
District to Sell Used 2008, 2010 Laptops on Jan. 31
January 21, 2015

SALE is SATURDAY! On SATURDAY, Jan. 31, Westside Community Schools will sell 2008 and 2010 "as is/no warranty" MacBooks at the Westside ABC Building, 909 S. 76th St., from noon to 5:00 p.m.  These laptop computers were leased by the district for use by staff and students.  They are ready for sale to the public. For details, follow this link
15th Annual Competition of Excellence Set for Jan. 30, 31
January 27, 2015
The 15th Annual Competition of Excellence will feature 27 choir groups from Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota on Friday evening, Jan. 30, and Saturday, Jan. 31. Westside High School hosts the competition.

Female show choirs will begin competing on Friday evening starting at 6:45 p.m. Prep and open class groups will compete on Saturday beginning at 8:20 a.m. with finals set for 7:15 p.m. Westside’s Simply Irresistible will perform at 9:40 p.m. Friday evening; ATSC will perform at 5:40 p.m. on Saturday. 

Admission is $12 for all day on Saturday; $5 for Friday evening. Westside staff are welcome to attend free of charge.
From Superintendent to Kindergarten Teacher
January 27, 2015
Dr. McCann, Superintendent of Westside Community Schools, subbed at Rockbrook Elementary on January 26th in Mr. Carlson's Kindergarten classroom. Click here to see the Channel 6 News story.  Click here to view a slideshow. 
Warrior Jazz Band Festival Takes Place Tuesday
January 26, 2015
The annual Warrior Jazz Band Festival takes place Tuesday, January 27. Ten jazz bands (including three from WHS) will participate. Performances and critiques all will occur in room 183 throughout the school day.  The public is welcome to attend.

Clinicians for the festival will be Dr. Pete Madsen, Darren Pettit, and Joey Gulizia.

There will be a concert Tuesday night featuring the WHS Concert Jazz Band, the UNO Faculty Jazz Combo, and UNO Big Band at 7 p.m. in the WHS auditorium.  The Westside Band Parents Association has sent fliers to the elementary and Westside Middle School for their band students to attend for free with a paying adult.  Tickets will available at the door for $5.
Literacy Night Brings Families to School
January 22, 2015
Recently, the Prairie Lane Community Club sponsored a Family Literacy Night.  Parents and students came to school wearing pajamas to participate in a night of reading and writing activities.  Guests spent time reading in the gym, playing sight word bingo, writing story boards of favorite books and hearing teachers and drama students from the high school read books aloud.  The event was part of the school's two-week Read-A-Thon.
ATSC Wins at Viteboro 101 Competition
January 16, 2015
Westside High School's ATSC recently won Grand Champion honors at Viteboro 101, a show choir competition held at Viteboro University in Wisconsin.  ATSC  also received captions for Best Vocals and Best Choreography.  Thirteen groups from Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska competed.  
Celebrating 100 Days of School
January 27, 2015
Earlier this month, students in the District celebrated the first 100 days of the school year.  Students at Loveland Elementary marked the day in various ways, including wearing clothing "100" shirts. 
Anti-Bullying a Focus in January
January 16, 2015
Once a month students at Westgate Elementary get together with their cross-grade buddies to focus on a common theme. This month's theme is anti-bullying, and Anti-Bullying Week is being recognized in the District's elementary schools from Jan. 19 through Jan. 23.  
WHS Home Room Giving
December 17, 2014
More than 100 WHS home rooms adopted families within the District who have expressed a holiday season need.  On Tuesday, Dec. 16, students brought in wrapped present to the Guidance Office, which has coordinated the donation program.  The project is spearheaded by the high school's Key Club.  A slideshow is available by following this link.  


SkillsUSA Makes Fleece Blankets For Open Door Mission
December 9, 2014
The Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club's most recent service learning project was making handmade fleece tie blankets for the Open Door Mission's Lydia House and Crisis Center.  The group gathered recently after school to have a blanket making party, and a couple days later traveled to the Open Door Mission to deliver the blankets.  Their donation even made the Open Door Mission's Facebook page, garnering several Likes, Comments, and Shares. 
More than 40 Students Join Hour of Code Event at WMS
December 15, 2014
The Westside Middle School Computer Science Club hosted an Hour of Code Event on Dec. 8 to kick off Computer Science Education Week.   More than 40 students came together after school to learn computer programming. 
WHS Warrior Theater Now Staging "The Complete History of America {Abridged}"
December 4, 2014
Theater students at Westside High School are staging "The Complete History of America {Abridged}" along with Individual Events and Improv Team on Thursday, Dec. 4, and Friday, Dec.5.  Curtain time both nights is 7 p.m.

More information is available at www.warriortheatre.org.  
A Small-Scale Construction Project
December 9, 2014
At the start of December, Westside Community Schools early childhood peer model classroom has been learning about trees.  Students and staff focused on the life cycle of a tree, parts of a tree, and how animals and people use trees. One thing the students learned is that people use trees to build many types of homes. To conclude the, families were invited to join their child at school and build a house with crackers and candy that were donated by the parents.
Lunch and Dancing for Westgate Sixth Graders
December 1, 2014
Last week, sixth grade students from Westgate Elementary had a lovely lunch that was followed by ballroom dancing at Westside's Community Conference Center. It was all about etiquette. Check out a short slideshow by following this link.  
Loveland Elementary Sharing and Learning With School in Ghana
December 2, 2014
Opportunity Education is a foundation that promotes education to all children around the world by matching schools in developed countries with those in developing nations. From these partnerships, pen pal relationships are formed. For the past seven years, Loveland Elementary has been an Opportunity Education school.  St. Paul’s R/C Primary School in Kumasi, Ghana, became a new sister school with Loveland last year.

The students at Loveland Elementary wanted to do a project that would teach the students in Ghana a little more about Nebraska. Each student designed a puzzle square depicting either a place or item specific to Nebraska, a self-portrait, or a letter identifying the school's location. The puzzle poster (shown in the photo above) at Loveland is identical puzzle to one that has been sent to the school's friends in Ghana.
WMS Student Wins Spelling Bee
November 24, 2014
The top 31 spellers from Westside Community Schools gathered for the District Spelling Bee on Friday, Nov. 21.  Two spellers from each of the ten elementary schools and eleven spellers from the middle school participated.  After spelling "transcutaneous" and "camelopard" correctly, seventh grader Reese Pike from Westside Middle School was determined to be the winner.  Graham Waterstraat, a sixth grader from Swasnon Elementary, was the runner-up.  Reese will attend the 89th Midwest Spelling Bee at the Omaha Public School Teacher Administration Building on March 15. 
Author Ben Mikaelsen Visits School District
November 24, 2014
Children's author Ben Mikaelsen visited eight Westside Schools during the week of Nov. 17.  Mikaelsen, who lives in Montana, talked with students about writing and about one of the subjects of his books--a bear named Buffy, who Mikaelsen rescued as a cub and raised. He also talked with students about bullying and his own experiences with being bullied as a child.  Mikaelsen is the author of several award-winning books including Rescue Josh McGuire, Stranded, Petey, and Touching Spirit Bear.  He spent time at Loveland Elementary, Westgate Elementary, Westbrook Elementary, Prairie Lane Elementary, Rockbrook Elementary, Paddock Road Elementary, Hillside Elementary, and Westside Middle School.


Prairie Lane Elementary Choral Concert Slide Show
November 24, 2014
Prairie Lane Elementary posted a nice set of photos of fourth through sixth graders dressed to impress for a recent choral concert. The students showed off their musical talents at Westside Middle School on Nov. 13.  To see a slideshow, follow this link.
Dr. McCann to Attend White House Event Focused on Education Technology
November 14, 2014
Dr. Blane McCann, Superintendent of Westside Community Schools, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the White House. President Obama will host the meeting. Dr. McCann was the only Nebraska superintendent selected for this honor.  A news release is available at this link.
WHS Holds Cultural Fair
November 13, 2014
The Westside High School Cultural Fair featured more than 80 displays on countries of the world. Teams of students spent several weeks getting together information and creating their booths for the Nov. 13 event. The facts and figures students gathered included country customs, language, politics, and more. (Some students even cooked or baked food from the country they studied.) A short slideshow can be viewed by following this link.
WHS Career Center Students Help in the Neighborhood
November 10, 2014
Westside High School Career Center students were offered an opportunity to earn service learning hours on Nov. 2.  Two students and two teachers volunteered to do yard work for an elderly couple in the school neighborhood. Students earned four service learning hours for their participation. The elderly couple stopped by Career Center's front desk on election day and said how thankful they were for the help and that everyone did a fantastic job. A short slideshow is available at this link.
Biometrics Set to Speed Up Cafeteria Lines
November 10, 2014
Paying for lunch at Westside Middle School and Westside High School will soon take just a quick touch on a pad when a new biometric system goes live in early December.  The two secondary schools will be the first in the Omaha metropolitan area to use this new technology to help speed up cafeteria lines.  To learn more, follow this link
WHS Football Team Video Aims to Educate About Violence Against Women
November 7, 2014
Westside High School football players and coaches have created a pledge and produced a video that asks the community to stand against violence against women.  A story about their efforts and a link to the video can be be seen by following this link.  
Enjoying the Weather and Learning at Rockbrook
November 6, 2014
At the end of October, second graders at Rockbrook Elementary took advantage of the wonderful weather to work outside.  Students observed nature and recorded their observations in drawings and writing.  
Westside High Students Learning Medical Technology
October 31, 2014
Eighteen Westside High School students began an online medical terminology class at Nebraska Methodist College on Oct. 20. The students are part of the new Capstone Program in the health sciences career cluster, which was made possible by the Youth Career Connections grant that the district received last spring from the Departments of Labor and Education.
Cabaret Night 2014 Takes Place Nov. 9
October 31, 2014
Cabaret Night is an evening of musical performances by Westside High School’s vocal music students. The annual event, held in Westside’s auditorium, will take place Sunday, Nov. 9, and show times are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Proceeds directly support Westside’s vocal music students.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for Westside High School students.  Tickets will be for sale to the general public and students outside the Westside High School Bookstore on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 6 and 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
(Photo by Westside Wired) 
WMS SkillsUSA Club Holds Trunk-or-Treat
October 29, 2014
The Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club held a Trunk-or-Treat for Westside Community Schools staff and their families on Oct. 27.  A variety of Westside Middle and High School clubs took part.  A great slideshow of the event can be seen by following this link.  
VNA to Provide Flu Shots
September 17, 2014
Westside Community Schools has partnered with the Visiting Nurse Association to provide flu immunizations for all Westside School families. The flu shot and FluMist will be offered. Details about when and where immunizations will be offered, along with insurance information, are available by viewing this pdf


What insurances are accepted

Habitat for Humanity Receives Donation from WMS
October 28, 2014
The Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club recently held a fundraiser benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Omaha.  From Sept. 22 though Oct. 3, SkillsUSA Club members collected money before school and raised more than $600.  The money will go directly towards the cost of building decent, affordable housing in the Omaha metropolitan area.
Hillside Hosts Breakfast and a Book
October 23, 2014
Earlier this month, Hillside Elementary School held its first "Breakfast and a Book."  The event brought parents and other adults into school to read with students in their classrooms.  The teachers supplied donuts, breakfast pizza, and fruit.  The school plans on holding another "Breakfast and a Book" later this year.
Schau Receives Award of Excellence Honor
October 20, 2014
Westside High School business teacher Sara Schau is one of just four teachers in the state to be named a 2015 Award of Excellence Winner in the competition for the 2015 Nebraska Teacher of the Year. Schau, who is also the high school's DECA sponsor,  will be honored at a Nebraska Department of Education luncheon in November.
Rockbrook Students Visits Lauritzen Gardens
October 17, 2014
Students from Rockbrook Elementary recently visited Lauritzen Gardens.  Fall is a great time of year for a field trip. 
Movie Night at Swanson Elementary
October 16, 2014
The Swanson Elementary School community enjoyed an outdoor movie night on Sept. 26.  The screening of "The Lego Movie" included popcorn and snacks.  Check out the slideshow.
WMS Hosts Encuerto Event
October 15, 2014
Westside Middle School Spanish teacher Kelly Schulz recently hosted an Encuentro (meeting night) for her students and their families.  Families came to her classroom and discussed school-home connections and what learning strategies work best for students.  Those who attended also ate pizza that was supplied by the Hawk's Pizza truck. 

Renaissance Club Travels to Kansas City
October 13, 2014
Westside High School's Renaissance Re-Enactors Club traveled to Bonner Springs, Kansas, to participate in the Kansas City Renaissance Faire last month. This Faire is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the Renaissance period, with a little fantasy world thrown in.  The club meets weekly during the school year.
Westbrook Elementary Hosts Radio Guest
October 13, 2014
Gina from Kat 103's radio morning show came to Westbrook Elementary last month and read to Mindy Lima's third grade class. She also recorded students saying the Pledge of Allegiance and played that audio on the radio.  To hear the students reciting the pledge, follow this link.
Tech Team Visits Westbrook Elementary
October 6, 2014
The Westside Community Schools Tech Team recently visited Westbrook Elementary.  Students learned about iPad care and used new educational apps to help with learning.  
WHS Teacher Receives Mathematics Rookie of the Year Award
October 2, 2014
The Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics gave its Rookie of the Year award to Westside High School math teacher Kristen Hogan. The honor came as a surprise to Hogan, who teaches Advanced Algebra and Honors Geometry.  The award is given annually to outstanding teachers in their first three years of teaching mathematics.  
Keeping It Clean in the Neighborhood
October 1, 2014
Students from Sunset Hills Elementary participated in the Green Apple Day of Service after school on Sept. 22.  The students were given a short presentation on the importance of keeping storm drains free of trash, debris and toxic materials, and then went out with safety vests and gloves to clean debris from storm drains close to the school.  
Cooking and Learning at Rockbrook
September 29, 2014
First grade students at Rockbrook Elementary made stone stew to kick off a recent class project. Along with the cooking, students wrote personal narratives about the experience. Stone Stew was a story that was included during oral vocabulary time.
Westside Student Creates App for Henry Doorly Zoo
September 22, 2014
Westside High School junior Edmon Adams created an app for the Henry Doorly Zoo that helps visitors find the shortest routes between exhibits.  The process of feedback and revision, along with submission to the Apple App Store, took more than nine months.  Anyone with an iPhone or iPad can now download the app, "ZooNav," by searching on “Henry Doorly” in the App Store.  Follow this link to read more
National Merit Semifinalist from Westside High Announced
September 19, 2014
Six Westside High School students have been named National Merit Semifinalists for 2014-2015.  Four of the students are (from left to right) Aren Rendell, Evan Piquette, Silas Hammel, and Jenny Solheim.  Michelle Xiao and Cyrus Khandalavala, the other two semifinalists, were not available for a photo.  National Merit semifinalists are selected by their index score on the PSAT test. Of those 1.2 million juniors who take the PSAT, approximately 16,000 will qualify as National Merit semifinalists. 
"Putnam County" Tickets Go on Sale Starting Sept. 22
September 17, 2014
Tickets for Westside High School's production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" will go on sale starting Sept. 22.  Curtain time is 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, 26, and 27 and at 2 p.m. on Sept. 28.  Adult tickets are $10 and student tickets $6.  For more information, go to www.warriortheatre.org.  
Westiside High Pre-Selling Football Tickets for Friday's Game
September 10, 2014
Due to construction at the Westside High School stadium, the school will be pre-selling tickets for Friday night’s home game on Thursday and Friday.  Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students.  The Warriors play the Patriots of Millard South starting at 7 p.m.  “Purchasing tickets in advance will help us keep the lines into the game moving,” said Tom Kerkman, Westside High School athletic director.  Ticket purchases can be made at the Main Office. 
Westside Study Center Students Work at Camp Fontanelle
September 12, 2014
The Westside High School Study Center was awarded a grant from the National Education Association Foundation to create service-learning opportunities for students. Twelve members of the Study Center went on a Service Learning trip to Camp Fontanelle in Nickerson, Nebraska, on Aug. 26.  While there, they helped recycle wood from a nearby barn for use at the camp. The students also had a campfire to cook their meal. 
Tech Crew at Hillside Elementary Offers Help
September 9, 2014
Several Hillside sixth grade students have been pulled together to form a student technology (tech) crew. Students have been assisting fellow students and staff with technology trouble shooting, like putting the final touches on the iPad carts before they are placed into classrooms. 
Westside High Stadium Renovation Work Nearing Completion
September 3, 2014
No renovation project, big or small, takes place without a few surprises along the way.  Still, the work being done at Westside High School’s stadium has gone mostly smoothly from beginning to almost the end.  Renovation work completed and underway includes new field turf, expanded restroom facilities, a new concessions stand, and Championship Plaza -- an area that will showcase past athletic champions from Westside.  Private funds paid for the $800,000 project.  Read more here.
Taking Time to Set Up Tech Tools
August 28, 2014
Parents at Rockbrook Elementary made time to set up iPads for student use during the first days of the 2014-15 school year.  Students will use this new technology tool throughout the school day in all curriculum areas.  
Start of the Year Slideshow 2014-15
August 11, 2014
The first day of school is always special.  Click here to see a brief slideshow featuring Rockbrook Elementary School.
Making a Donation, Making a Difference
August 26, 2014
Elementary schools in the district have a new curriculum for reading and writing this year.  Staff at Sunset Hills Elementary researched how to put their older and outdated books, teacher's guides, and other materials to good use.  The school connected with Reading Drive for Africa, a program committed to promoting literacy in Cameroon by providing access to books for children in the primary and secondary schools.  The materials were loaded out and shipped on Aug. 8
A Peaceful (and Colorful) Playground
August 22, 2014
Students at Westgate Elementary are now learning new recess games with the start of the 2014-15 school year.  The new colorful patterns on the school's playground are designs from the Peaceful Playground Program, which the school is now part of.  Peaceful Playground reduces bulling and exclusion, promotes fair play, and builds good sportsmanship.  Physical Education teacher Reed Weber said he believes Westgate is the first school in the area to use Peaceful Playground.

Reading Never Gets Old
August 21, 2014
Even with all the technology schools have, some things never change . . . like reading a book to a class.  Westgate kindergarten teacher Chrys Wolf-Schneider does just that with her students. 
WHS Freshmen Get Orientated
August 11, 2014
This year's freshmen class at Westside High School spent their first day learning the layout of the school, meeting faculty, and spending time with classmates.  Some of the activities took place on the football field with trust-building and get-to-know-you activities. 
Beautiful Day, Great Start to 2014-15
August 11, 2014
Garrett Higginbotham, principal at Rockbrook Elementary, met students and their parents at the front door on the first day of school.  Rockbrook Elementary has about 300 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Lunch Accounts Can Now Be Filled
July 30, 2014
Westside Community Schools families can now access the online payment system for school lunch for the 2014-15 school year. Mylunchmoney.com is now up and running. Any money in the account from last school year will still be there. Applications for free and reduced-price lunches are available at all schools. If you have any questions, please call (402) 390 3383 or email dzipay@westside66.org.
WHS Students are Part of Honor Choir
July 16, 2014
Twenty Westside High School students sang their way across Europe together for two weeks this summer as part of the Midwest Honor Choir. They traveled to France, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein and Germany. Students sang at Notre Dame, the American Cemetery at Normandy, Bordeaux Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia and the Monaco Cathedral where Princess Grace was married. They were part of a 70-voice choir organized by Dr. Peter Eklund from University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Join Westside for Breakfast, Lunch This Summer
June 20, 2014
Children and their parents are invited to free breakfast and lunch at four locations in the Westside Community School District this summer. The meals are served at Westbrook Elementary, 1312 Robertson Dr., Hillside Elementary, 7500 Western Ave., Westgate Elementary, 7802 Hascall, and Prairie Lane Elementary, 11444 Hascall. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meals are kid-friendly and healthy, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to the Westside sites, the meals are also served at 29 other locations throughout Omaha. Click here to see a list.
WHS Football Players Help Pilger
June 27, 2014
More than 30 players and three coaches from the Westside High School football team combed the fields around Pilger on Wednesday, picking up debris from the devastating tornado that hit the community on June 16. Head Coach Brett Froendt said the players and coaches walked through about 90 acres of corn fields. They picked up wood, metal, shingles and other debris that would have damaged farm equipment. One piece of twisted grain bin was so heavy and large that it took five players to carry it out of the field. The “kids had a good experience and provided some relief to stressed out farmers,” he said. Westside, along with teams from many other Nebraska communities, responded to a call for help from the Wisner-Pilger High School football coach. He asked teams from the state to help clear debris. The Westside team ate lunch with a farmer who had lost everything on his place, including his home. The farmer’s family sheltered in their basement tornado cellar during the storm. They all survived, along with three of the family’s racehorses who were dropped into the basement by the twister.

Foundation Grant Provides a MaKey MaKey
June 24, 2014
A grant from the Westside Foundation provided a MaKey MaKey, an invention kit for the 21st Century, to students at Westside Middle School. Students in Mrs. Shabram’s Digital Media class used their computer programming skills to program a game that is controlled by a MaKey MaKey.  What is a MaKey MaKey? The MaKey MaKey turns everyday objects, like play-doh or a penny, into touchpads and combines them with the Internet.  Mrs. Shabram’s students spent time designing how they wanted to program their game using the MaKey MaKey. Then students had the opportunity to have their peers test their game and their design.
Congratulations to Schrager Award Winners!
June 18, 2014
Congratulations to Westside Community Schools teachers Cara Kimball and Anna Sumner, who were recently honored with the Phillip and Terri Schrager Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award. This award is presented to those teachers who through exemplary teaching and devoted service have positively influenced the lives of young people. Each teacher received a plaque and $10,000. Kimball is a sixth-grade teacher at Rockbrook Elementary School. She has worked for Westside for the past 12 years. Sumner is a teacher at Westside Middle School. She has worked for Westside for 20 years. Congratulations! 

End-of-the-Year Assembly at Sunset Hills
May 28, 2014
Sunset Hills had a very busy end-of-the-school-year assembly!  The Anti-Defamation League recognized Sunset as a No Place for Hate School.  The students and staff were presented a banner to proudly display. 
Two students, first grader Sophia Cole, and third grader Frank Torres-Delgado, were the two students who earned the most “good behavior Tiger paws”’ this school year.  A representative from Horace Mann Insurance Company presented these students with brand new bicycles.
Woodman of the World presented custodian Orlando Stubblefield with a Lifesaver award.  Earlier this year, Orlando came to the rescue of Addison Hager when she was choking on some food during lunch.  Orlando was presented with a certificate and a flag for his heroic efforts.  Click here for more photos.
PL Teacher Uses the Socrative App
May 23, 2014
Prairie Lane Elementary teacher Kristin Westbrook uses the Socrative app to test her students. In this short video, she shares how the app works.
Enrichment Program Piloted at Three Schools
May 22, 2014
As part of the Future Problem Solvers group at Swanson Elementary, Faith Jolkowski sharpened her problem solving skills and honed her brainstorming techniques. The fifth-grader said being part of the problem solver group has been fun, and it’s enriched her regular classroom work. “It’s helped me in math when we do our equations,” she said. Faith and her fellow Superstars at Swanson have spent the last six weeks participating in the pilot of a school-wide enrichment program. Students at Westgate and Paddock Road have also been pilot schools for this new program. Students spent one hour a week during a regular school day working on projects and enrichment activities together. Read the full story about this pilot program here.

Supt. McCann Subs at Hillside
May 21, 2014
Westside Community Schools Superintendent Blane McCann served as a substitute teacher in sixth-grade at Hillside Elementary recently. McCann has substituted at Westside Middle and Westside High schools this school year, too. Serving as a substitute has helped McCann get to know District 66 schools better. The Omaha World-Herald featured a story on his work in the clasroom.
Two Westside Teachers Win Bravo Awards
May 20, 2014
Westside teachers Marlo Tomich and Nathan Bramley are the 2014 winners of the Westside Foundation Bravo Teaching Awards. The Bravo Award recognizes teachers who skillfully and successfully tap into the unique academic, social, emotional and/or physical talents of students and who inspire students to fully engage in school and/or community life. Read more here.

New STEM Class at WHS Planned for Fall
April 1, 2014
If combining lessons from Algebra I, physics and engineering sounds challenging, the new STEM class at Westside High School is for you. A first-ever of its kind class at WHS, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) will be a hands-on class to help students connect the world and the classroom. Read more here.
WMS Green Team Explores Sustainability
May 19, 2014
At Westside Middle School, Mr. Durante and Mr. Allemang supervise an after-school club where students come together to explore earth-friendly solutions. Currently, members of the club are working on making a solar collector, a miniature green house and solar chargers to power devices like cell phones and remote toy cars.

Prairie Students Step Back in Time
May 19, 2014
First-grade students at Prairie Lane Elementary took a step back in time when they dressed and participated in activities from the 1800s. The students in Mrs. Neuman's and Ms. Fey's classes came dressed like the students from the 1800s. They also spent time learning how to play marbles and hopscotch. They ate lunch outdoors too. Before the day was over, students sat down and listened to a guest speaker who talked about the one-room schoolhouse and how the students in many grades all spent the day together. See more photos here.

WHS Listed on Most Challenging List Again
May 16, 2014
For the fourth year in a row, Westside High School has been listed by the Washington Post as one of the most challenging high schools in the country. The High School Challenge Index, created by well-known Washington Post education writer Jay Matthews, measures a high school's challenge level with a formula that takes the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given in a school each year and divides it the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. Read more about Westside and the challenge index here.
Last Day for Elementary Summer School Registration
April 28, 2014
Registration for elementary summer school in District 66 is currently underway. A booklet of class offerings can be found here. Parents can register their children in person at their schools, or online registration will be offered for summer school this year. Read the guide for online registration and then follow this link to set up an account and register. If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch, summer school tuition may be waived. Complete this form to be considered for this waiver.
Hillside Teacher Wins Air Force Award
May 16, 2014
Congratulations to Hillside fourth-grade teacher Amy Falcone, who is the winner of the Teacher of the Year Award from the Aksarben Chapter of the Air Force Association. This award of $500 is given to teachers who excel in teaching science, technology, engineering and math. Falcone will be entered into the association’s national contest for a prize of $3,000 and a trip to Washington D.C.

Students Taste Test Pizza for Westside
May 15, 2014
Some Westside elementary students got their fill of pizza recently. They volunteered to taste test pizza that will be served in Westside schools in the future. The student rated the pizza on various qualities, including appearance, aroma, crust, sauce, taste and mouth feel. Diane Zipay, director of Westside Nutrition Services, coordinated the testing. "This is the one time you can play with your food," she said with a smile. For more photos, click here.
LV Students Run, Hear from World Champion
May 15, 2014
Loveland Elementary students welcomed World Champion Boxer Terence Crawford.  Mr. Crawford told students about the importance of not letting a bully take away your dreams, connecting with friends that support you and making good choices. After his inspiring talk, Loveland students, staff, parents and assorted four-legged escorts participated in the Nannen Fun Run.

LV Kids Against Hunger
May 15, 2014
Thirty Loveland Student Council members traveled to the local Kids Against Hunger site and packed 4,002 meals. Kids Against Hunger packages highly nutritious, life-saving meals for starving children and malnourished children and their families in developing countries and the United States. See more photos here.

Swanson First-Grade Field Trip is Educational
May 15, 2014
The field trip for first-graders at Swanson Elementary was a ton of fun! Classes toured the Bookroom and enjoyed storytime with great books. At Great Western Bank, students applied money counting skills, saw the vault, estimated the amount of money in a piggy bank and enjoyed a snack in the lobby. At OPPE Arboretum, the children sat on blankets and quilts for a picnic lunch and then explored the trails. Finally, at a US Post Office they went behind the scenes where the mail carriers sort mail. For all the photos, click here.

WMS Students Enjoy Career Day
May 15, 2014
More than 30 professionals from our community shared their career experiences with Westside Middle School students during the school's annual Career Day on May 8. Students learned about everything from agriculture to architecture to education. Dan Morrissey, of Meeting and Event Design, Inc., was the keynote speaker for th event. Morrissey and his company have been involved in planning for the College World Series for many years.
PR Students Donate to Rainbow House
May 15, 2014
Members of the Paddock Road Student Council delivered May Day baskets to the Carolyn Scott Rainbow House on May 1. They toured the house, learned about its purpose and the new building.

PL Students Entertain with Dancing
May 14, 2014
For the third year, fifth-graders at Prairie Lane Elementary School took 19 dancing lessons and put on another amazing dancing showcase for the school and their parents. The students actually had one of their former teachers, Ms. Worrall, come back as a trained Dancing Classrooms instructor. They learned dances like the Tango, Foxtrot, Swing and Rumba, to name a few. The favorite is always to end the show with all in attendance to join them on the floor for a line dance. This year it was the Cupid Shuffle. See photos here.
Westside Students Can Purchase Laptops
May 14, 2014
As a result of the District's plan to purchase new student laptops, for the first time, students in grades 8-12 will be able (with parent/guardian permission) to purchase their laptops at their respective laptop check-in times. The cost of the laptop will be $300 for a cash or money order purchase and $310 for a swiped debit or credit card purchase.
It should be noted that Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and other pieces of software will be removed at the time of sale. LibreOffice (an open source Microsoft Office substitute) will remain on the laptop. It should also be noted that all school management, monitoring, and internet filtering will be removed. Other restrictions and conditions apply. Please click here for complete details.

Study Center Students Work in Big Garden
May 13, 2014
Students from the Westside High School Study Center recently worked at the Big Garden Project. The site was the Intercultural Senior Center on 21st and U in Omaha. The Big Garden Project creates community gardens in “food deserts” in Nebraska. The students were working on double high beds to accommodate the needs of the elderly gardeners. This project was funded by a grant from the National Education Association Foundation.
External Evaluator Needed
May 3, 2014
The Westside Community School District is accepting proposals until May 23, 2014, to serve as the External Evaluator of its Youth Career Connect grant.  Click here for more information.   
WMS Spanish Students Collect Food
May 13, 2014
Students in Mrs. Bendorf's and Ms Schulz’s Spanish classes at Westside Middle School collected more than 1,500 items for the Juan Diego Center.  Students delivered the items to the center and learned more about the program.

Oakdale Students Sing the National Anthem
May 9, 2014
Oakdale Elementary School kindergarten students sang the National Anthem at the Storm Chasers' game on May 2. This has been a long-standing Oakdale tradition with the Storm Chasers and pairs with the kindergarten social studies work around patriotism. The three classes started practicing the Star Spangled Banner around President's Day and have been working hard ever since. 

WHS Art Show is Tonight
May 6, 2014
The Westside High School's annual Excellence in Design show featuring the work of juniors and seniors will be held tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 at WHS, 87th and Pacific. Please join us to celebrate the talent and creativity of our students!
RB Community Cleans Up!
May 8, 2014
Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, parents, friend, neighbors ... you name it, they turned out to help recently! The grounds at Rockbrook Elementary School was busy with people, rakes, shovels and yard waste bags. More than 40 people came to help clean weeds, old plants and leaves. One garden will become a pumpkin patch and the other a traditional vegetable garden.
Information from Pre-Algebra Parent Meeting
May 6, 2014
More information is now available for elementary school students in Westside Community Schools who will be taking pre-algebra next school year. Watch the video and see the presentation here.
WHS German Students Win Testing Awards
May 6, 2014
Westside High School students Madeline Witte, Ellie Bruckner and Everett Henry (from left to right) earned awards as high scorers on the National German Exam for the state of Nebraska. They were recognized at April 12th event at WHS.  The test is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German. On the level 4 exam, Madeline, Ellie and Everett all scored in the 80th percentile and above. WHS students Rebecca Joyce, Zachary McCarty, Gregory Tracey, and Colton Armstrong scored above the 76th percentile on the level 2 exam, and Brody Hughes scored above the 77th percentile on the level 3 exam. Congratulations!

Westside Brings Home Top Classical Honors
May 6, 2014
Westside High School students brought home almost two dozen awards from the Nebraska Junior Classical League Convention on April 26 at Creighton University.
Westside won the first place Olympika trophy, first place overall academic trophy for Level 4 and second place overall academics for Level 3. From the Latin 4 class, the following students won awards:
Drew Gerber - tied for first in Roman Life and Culture, third in Advanced Grammar
Derek Richardson - tied for first in Roman Life and Culture, first in Mythology, second in Derivatives
Stuart Willet - second in Mythology, second in Advanced Reading Comprehension, third in Derivatives
Danny Dooling - third in Mythology
The Latin 4 Certamen team (Stuart Willet, Olivia Thiel, Derek Richardson, Danny Dooling) came in second.
From the Latin 1, 2 and 3 classes, the following students won awards:
Gabi Christensen - second in Roman Life and Culture
Shaket Chaudhary - second in Mythology
Marie Matthews - second in Advanced Reading Comprehension
Hannah Dickson - first in Vocabulary, first in Heptathlon (second place overall against all levels in the state)
Carly Pribus - third in Vocabulary
Paola Avalos - third in Mythology
Kisten Wilson - third in Mythology

Two Students Honored for Perfect ACT Scores
May 2, 2014
In a ceremony on Thursday, two Westside High School seniors, Emma Johanningsmeier and Naomi Samuel, were honored by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman for scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT. Congratulations Emma and Naomi!
WHS Student Competes for National Google Prize
May 2, 2014
Westside High School senior Augusta Thacker is the Nebraska state winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest. She is now in the running for the national Google prize. As part of a Friday pep rally at WHS, Augusta was honored by representatives from Google and students and staff were encouraged to vote for her doodle at http://bit.ly/S6HWoy. Voting ends on May 9. If she wins, Augusta will receive a $30,000 college scholarship. Westside will receive $50,000 worth of technology. To see more photos of the pep rally, click here.
Project 66 Showcase Continues Tonight!
April 29, 2014
Drama students at Westside High School will present original works in the Project 66 showcase tonight (Thursday May 1) and tomorrow night (Friday, May 2) at 7. Tickets are now on sale from westsidetheater@gmail.com. They will also be sold at the box office at WHS, 87th and Pacific.
WHS Latin Students Visit Greece, Italy
April 30, 2014
Over spring break, Westside High School teachers Sarah Percival, Katie Claus and Liz Mawhiney took 17 Latin students to Greece and Italy to visit the ancient sites they have learned about/will learn about in Latin class. Among other sites, students visited the Parthenon in Athens, a theater in Pompeii, the city of Rome, the ancient city of Delphi and the Temple of Apollo, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The trip reinforced what is taught in class and made the information in the textbook come to life. 
PR Students Visit Children's Museum
April 29, 2014
First grade students from Paddock Road Elementary School visited the Omaha Children's Museum before spring break.  They visited the "Things that Go" exhibit. See more photos here.

Swanson Students Enjoy Enrichment
April 29, 2014
Swanson Elementary School students are enjoying exploring various interested - from art to science - during a pilot schoolwide enrichment program. Recently students in an art enrichment group painted acrylic on canvas and then came up with an inspirational word to describe themselves. In another group, students experimented with making rockets out of ordinary materials. See more photos here.

Rockbrook Students Celebrate Earth Day
April 29, 2014
Second graders at Rockbrook Elementary took time to honor Earth Day and Arbor Day by cleaning around the schoolyard.  They have been reading about how to care for Earth, conserve natural resources, and make our environment a good place for plants and animals.  At first, students were a little disappointed they didn't get much garbage.  We then realized it was because our community has been taking care of our environment!
Big Band Extravaganza is Saturday
April 24, 2014
Westside's Big Band Extravaganza is Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 4:45 at the WHS Gym. Tickets available at the door. $5 for adults; $3 for students. This event benefits the Westside band program. Please come and enjoy fantastic music, free swing lessons and fun! Dinner, drinks and dessert will be available for purchase. For information, contact mel@clarkcreativegroup.com or (402) 345-5800.
Meet the Board Candidates Forum Set
April 9, 2014
Save the Date! Westside Community Schools in partnership with the Westside Education Association will host on April 28 a Meet the Candidates forum. The public is invited to meet the four candidates running for the two positions on the ballot for the Board of Education. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. at ABC Building, 909 South 76th St.
Westside Employee Reunited with Military Memorabilia
April 24, 2014
Thirty years ago, Tim Hill’s days consisted of life on a small, isolated military base in Turkey. Recently the Westside payroll processor was reunited with an item that reminded him of that time. Read more here.

WMS Students Study Science, Peeps
April 24, 2014

Students in Mr. Allemang’s eighth grade science class at Westside Middle School took a break from NeSA testing to learn what happens to a human body when exposed to the vacuum of space.  They observed some of the effects firsthand as Mr. Allemang placed a Peep and water in a vacuum chamber.  The Peep expanded under the lack of pressure and the water boiled.  


RB Student Creates High-Tech Poster
April 24, 2014
Students in Mrs. Davenport's third-grade class at Rockbrook Elementary School recently read a novel called The Liberation of Gabriel King. From this story, students chose topics for further research. Some students created paper posters, but Aiden (pictured) created a technology project about The Liberation of Gabriel King.
Westgate Students Hit the Books
April 24, 2014

More than 100 Westgate Elementary School students who met their reading goals for four months in a row were treated to a StormChasers baseball game on April 22. These students in third through sixth grades earned a ticket and a day at the park.  The weather was gorgeous, sunny, and breezy!  The kids had a great time watching the Chasers beat the Nashville Sounds 5 to 1. 

Fairy Tales Staged by Swanson Students
April 24, 2014
On April 17, the students in Miss Beck's class at Swanson Elementary School performed four fairy tale plays for other classes and parents. Each first-grader had a part and had to practice their scripts every night for homework for two weeks. They also made their own props, learned to speak loudly and clearly when performing, to speak with expression and have fun.  The four plays were: The Three Little Pigs, The Little Red Hen, Chicken Little and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. For more photos, click here.
WHS Senior Curates First TED Event
April 16, 2014
Westside High School senior Ruby Hickman will curate the first TEDxYouth event at WHS on April 21 at 7 p.m. This event, featuring five WHS students speaking on the theme of Innovation, is free and open to the public. Read the story here.
WHS Hall of Fame Dinner is May 9
April 17, 2014
Westside High School will induct five alumni, one former coach and a varsity team during its eleventh Athletic Hall of Fame dinner. The Westside High School Athletic Hall of Fame evening will take place at Legacy Hall on Friday, May 9, beginning at 6:00 p.m. 
This year’s inductees include Ron Volberding (‘67) football and wrestling star, Steve Gerdes (‘70) boys tennis standout, Anne Gilmore Jordan (’74) diving standout, Ty Stewart (‘90) football and soccer star and Carla Bennett (‘99), volleyball and basketball standout. Former head football coach, Larry Morrissey, will be recognized and the 1971 Varsity Boys Swim/Dive team will also be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. This team is the second team to be selected for this honor. The 13th annual Harley and Beth Schrager Outstanding Coach Awards will also be announced.
A limited number of tickets are still available. They are $25 per person. Contact Cathy MacInnes at (402) 343-2602. The reservation deadline is April 30. For more information, please contact Tom Kerkman, (401) 343-2605.

Westside Show Choir Featured at Metro Show
April 15, 2014
Westside High School's Amazing Technicolor Show Choir will perform along with nine other choirs from the Omaha area at the Metro Magic Show and Jazz Choir Extravaganza on Sunday, April 27, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Holland Center. It's a collaboration between Omaha Performing Arts and Metro Activities Conference. This non-competitive event will also feature choirs from Bellevue East, Burke, Millard North, Millard West, Omaha North, Omaha Northwest, Papillion La Vista, Papillion La Vista South and Omaha South. Tickets are $5 for general admission seating. To purchase, call (402) 345 0606 or visit TicketOmaha.com. Tickets will also be for sale at the Holland box office on the day of the event.
Paddock Students Debut StuCoBucks
April 11, 2014
Paddock Road Elementary students honored their teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week by opening a store, StuCoBucks (think Starbucks) and serving free treats all day. Students provided coffee, tea, soda, water, juice, along with doughnuts, popcorn, muffins, and other fun treats!  Paddock Road Student Council members served staff members who enjoyed some relaxation before school in a coffeehouse setting.
103.7 Visits Paddock Road Elementary
April 10, 2014
Radio personality Steve Lundy, from KAT 103.7, visited Ms. Dinkel's third-grade class at Paddock Road Elementary recently.  He read books to the students and recorded them saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Paddock and Westbrook Pen Pals Meet
April 10, 2014
On Friday, April 4, first-graders from Miss Lewis' room at  Paddock Road Elementary traveled to meet the first-graders in Miss Kestel's room at Westbrook Elementary. The students have been penpals this school year. This was a chance to meet face to face. They made posters to find out how they are the same as and different than one another,  then the students enjoyed some time on the playground. It was fun to see a new school and finally meet new friends in person! 

Video Features Innovative Math Instruction
April 15, 2014
Westside teachers are constantly looking for new technology to engage students and enliven teaching. In this short video, Paddock Road Elementary teacher Matt Kock talks about using Khan Academy to individualize math instruction for his students. Check it out!
History with a Modern Twist at Sunset Hills
April 8, 2014
Students in Deb Kruse's sixth-grade class at Sunset Hills Elementary hosted the school’s annual History Day with an added twist this year. They employed QR codes in their displays. Students created their annual tri-board display with an option for visitors to use technology. Matt Lee, from the District 66 technology team, worked with students to create a QR code that linked the students' biblography, biographical essay and position paper. In a packed house, visitors were able to use a QR scanner on an iPad to read the students' essays and view their sources, in addition to speaking with the students. Click here to see more photos.

Guest Speakers at Westgate Elementary
April 7, 2014
Omaha attorney and NFL referee Clete Blakeman recently visited the sixth graders in Mr. Pesek’s classroom at Westgate Elementary.  Mr. Pesek invites guest speakers on a regular basis to speak about their professions and answer students’ questions.  The students were fascinated to learn the in’s and out’s of being on the field during a professional football game.  It’s Mr. Blakeman’s job to focus on the quarterback.  He said it’s very important not to get distracted with other aspects of the game.  He started out small.  He refereed high school games, small college games, Big 12 football games and now is one of 120 officials in the NFL.    
Westside Wins Federal Grant!
April 7, 2014
Good news! Westside Community Schools is the recipient of a $2.6 million federal grant that will assist in preparing high school students for college or careers. The grant will allow District 66 to hire a K-12 career coordinator who can build partnerships with businesses and the community. Supporting Westside's grant request were Gallup, Children's Hospital and Medical Center and Apple.
WMS Teachers Win Technology Award
April 7, 2014
Congratulations to Westside Middle School teachers David Shabram and Anna Sumner, who recently received the 2014 Program Excellence Award from the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association. The Program Excellence Award is the most prestigious award given in recognition of technology education programs. It is awarded to technology education classroom teachers at the elementary, middle or high school levels. WMS was one of 31 programs recognized at the ITEEA Conference recently.
Medical Personnel Visit Swanson
April 7, 2014
Students in Mrs. Dickhut's sixth-grade reading class at Swanson Elementary have been learning about human body systems as they use the reading strategies of Determining Importance and Summarizing & Synthesizing.  Recently four medical personnel visited to share more information.
Rachel Schweikert, an orthopedic nurse, showed students different items used with patients suffering from a variety of skeletal and muscular issues. Dr. Dawn Gary, a pediatrician, showed students the steps of a school physical. She brought tools used in those exams to measure hearing, examine ears and listen to hearts. Dr. Gary shared with students that if you cough when you get a shot, the shot won't hurt as much. Dr. Jolene Fixley, an internal medicine specialist, took students through the critical thinking process involved in diagnosing a condition. She showed students how to look at all of the body systems as a patient presents with certain symptoms. Dr. Ann Anderson-Berry, a neonatologist, showed students what is involved in the care of premature babies. She brought in a teaching mannequin with the equipment used with the smallest of infants. Click here for photos.

Sumner Chosen as Einstein Fellow
April 2, 2014
Congratulations to Westside Middle School teacher Anna Sumner, who has been chosen as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow for the 2014-15 school year. Sumner will serve at the National Science Foundation, Education and Human Resources Directorate, in Human Resources Development.
This program is made possible through the D.C.-based Triangle Coalition for STEM Education. Sumner is one of 14 STEM educators chosen for this honor. Einstein Fellows are selected through a rigorous application and interview process from a nationwide pool of competitive applicants. The 2014-15 group includes elementary, middle and high school teachers from public and private schools in 13 states. Beginning Sept. 1, 2014, the selected educators will serve an 11-month fellowship in Washington, D.C.. Sponsoring agencies include the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.

Swanson Third-Graders Earn Crazy Hair Day
April 1, 2014
Third-grader students at Swanson Elementary School recently earned a celebration day for good behavior. They picked crazy hair day!

Student Helps WMS Replace Flag
April 1, 2014
Westside Middle School seventh-grader Brin Hinde noticed that the flag outside her school building was a little tattered, so she decided to do something about it.
Using a special iPad designated for communication, Brin wrote a letter to Nebraska Congressswoman Deb Fischer asking for a new flag. When the flag arrived from Fischer’s office, she presented it to WMS Principals Russ Olsen. “I felt proud when I got the flag,” she said. Well done Brin!

Félicitations to Mdzinarishvili
March 31, 2014
Westside Middle School student Kati Mdzinarishvili placed first in the Level 1 poetry competition at La Convention Française at Creighton Prep High School on March 29. Kati earned a perfect score! La Convention Française is a biennial event, with many academic competitions and fun activities. This year there were nearly 400 Nebraska middle and high school French students who participated. Congratulations Kati!!!

WMS Student Receives Presidential Award
March 27, 2014
Westside Middle School student Jillian Dinkel has been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her community service.
Dinkel, an eighth-grader, was a volunteer camp counselor last summer at Camp Munroe, a camp for people with development disabilities. She also frequently volunteers in a special education classroom at WMS. “It’s really fun to see the little things you do make such a big impact,” said Jillian, who is considering a career in special education. She received a certificate and a letter from President Barack Obama for her work. Congratulations Jillian!

Westside High School Theater Presents: INTO THE WOODS
March 11, 2014
Into the Woods begins tonight at Westside High School!  Adult tickets: $10, student tickets: $6. Tickets will be available for sale in the high school lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning March 24, or through reservation by emailing westsidetheater@gmail.com. Shows will continue Friday and Saturday.
WMS Students Bring Home Awards
March 27, 2014
Westside Middle School students have been bringing home multiple academic awards recently. The WMS Destination Imagination team qualified for state competition in April. Team members Joitree Alam, Ben Brodkey, Grace Calderon, Ellie Hellman, Maddee Rauhauser and Hailey Tierra will take their extreme challenge to University of Nebraska Kearney in April. Brodkey also qualified for the state Geography Bee in April. Ben will compete with 100 other students from across Nebraska for a chance at a qualifying spot at the national bee! In addition, Alam, Anna Fleming and Asa Dewitt competed at the regional history bee recently. They all earned a spot to the National History Bee competition in June in Atlanta, GA. Also competing at the regional history bee was Grace Johanningsmeier. Well done WMS students!

Ahn Competes at Nationals
March 21, 2014
Westside High School junior Jennifer Ahn competes this weekend at the Music Teachers National Association competition in Chicago. She is a finalist in the MTNA senior strings competition.
Ahn, a student at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, has been studying violin for 10 years. She is the winner of many local and regional competitions. She is currently the concertmaster of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra's Youth Symphony. She is the daughter of Jongsam and Jiyoun Ahn.
Love & Logic Offered in Westside
March 26, 2014
A Love & Logic Parenting Class, Becoming a Love & Logic Parent, will be offered in Westside Community Schools at Loveland Elementary, 8201 Pacific St., from April 22 through May 27. This six-week parenting program will be held on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $70, which includes a workbook. Childcare will be available during class time at a cost of $5 per child. Register online  or call Karrie Barnes at (402) 408 8725.
RB Bulldogs Hold Successful Book Drive
March 20, 2014
Rockbrook Elementary Student Council sponsored a book drive for the month of March. Students brought in hundreds of new and used books to donate to various Omaha organizations. Well done Bulldogs!
Westside Artists Win Medals
March 20, 2014
A Westside High School student, Jenny Solheim, and two Westside Middle School students, Sara Evans and Elena Pepitone, have earned medals in a prestigious national art awards contest.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the longest running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the United States. Past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and John Updike. Solheim earned a gold medal for her painting, Soda Fountain. Evans and Pepitone won silver medals. Evans, a student in Ms. Royer’s Art 8 class, won for a drawing titled, Alfonsino Fish. Pepitone, from Mr. Pingel's Mixed Media class, won for a sculpture titled, Water Bottle. Congratulations!

WHS Needs Volunteers for Senior Projects
March 19, 2014
Westside High School seeks volunteers to evaluate senior projects in April. Volunteers will get the opportunity to read papers and hear verbal presentations given by the excellent students of the class of 2014! Dates for the evaluations are April 10, 29 and 30. AM and PM shifts are available, and training is given. If you can help, please contact deannawagner@westside66.org or (402) 639-5428.  In addition, the public is invited to the Senior Project Showcase on April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at WHS. This is a chance for the community to see all the amazing projects completed by WHS seniors.

Now Playing: WMS Spring Musical
March 12, 2014
Westside Middle School drama students will present "Little Shop of Horrors" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the WMS auditorium. This will be a dinner theater. A gourmet pasta dinner including salad, breadsticks and a beverage will be served. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. To buy tickets for this event, click here.
Career Center Students Donate to Animals
March 19, 2014
Students at the Westside High School’s Career Center celebrated Valentine’s Day by raising funds for Hearts United for Animals, a no-kill animal shelter and animal welfare organization in Auburn. Students sold “Treats for Hearts” (cookie bags and lollipops) to raise funds. Students presented Jean, a volunteer from Hearts United for Animals, with a check for $63 on March 3. She brought along her foster dog, Cupcake, who is a puppy mill rescue dog.

PL Students Win Kindles
March 19, 2014
Winners of the Prairie Lane Elementry 2014 read-a-thon are sixth-grader Dylan Folda and first-grader Elaina Kratky. They both received their own Kindle; Elaina had the most minutes read, and Dylan had the most pledge money raised! Congratulations! 
Spelling Bee Winner from Westside
March 17, 2014
Congratulations to Westside Middle School student Grace Johanningsmeier, who was the winner of the Midwest Spelling Bee on Saturday. She will now compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. Well done Grace! 
Westside's Fischer Honored with Jet Award
March 12, 2014
Pat Fischer, a graduate of Westside High School, will receive the 2013 Jet Legacy Award for a return specialist from the 1960s. Fischer, a University of Nebraska Lincoln player from 1958-1960, held the school’s punt return record for 11 seasons. As a senior Fischer led the Huskers in scoring and was an “electrifying return man”. He was Husker team captain in 1960 and won the Nebraska Tom Novak Trophy in 1960. He played for the Cardinals and Redskins from 1961 to 1977, was a three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, on the First All-Pro team in 1964 and 1969 and on the Second All-Pro Team in 1965 and 1972. Fischer spent 17 years in the NFL and helped the Redskins to Super Bowl VII in 1972. He was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1974. The Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers National College Football Return Specialist Award honors the best return specialist in college football. Drawing its name from 1972 Heisman trophy winner Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers. The Jet Legacy Award winner is selected by Coach William Reed, John M. Heisman and Johnny “the Jet” Rodgers. The award ceremony will be held April 10 at the Ralston Arena. The keynote speaker will be Jay Harris of ESPN. The award event funds the Johnny Rodgers Career and Technical Education Scholarship at Metropolitan Community College.

Swanson Hosts Living History Timeline
March 12, 2014
Sixth-graders at Swanson Elementary School recently presented a living history timeline project. The students dressed as characters from history and presented speeches from their characters. See a slideshow here.
Big Idea Meetings Scheduled
March 7, 2014
The public is invited to two upcoming Big Idea meetings to discuss the future of facilities in Westside Community Schools. On Monday, March 10, the DLR Group, an architecture firm hired by WCS, will present to the Board of Education its findings regarding the physical shape of District buildings. This meeting will take place beginning at 6:30p.m. at the Westside ABC Building, 909 South 76th Street. If you are unable to attend the meeting, the District has arranged for the DLR presentation to be videotaped. Following the meeting, we will post the video link on our District website. We will also post a link where you can ask any questions about the long-term building study. On Monday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the ABC Building, the District will hold its second Big Idea meeting regarding facilities. During this meeting, the DLR Group will address the functionality of our buildings. This presentation will also be videotaped and shared on our website. Please consider attending one or both of these meetings. As we prepare educationally for schools of the future, we need to understand how the physical structures of our buildings will meet the academic needs of our students.

WMS Show Choir Connects with Awards
March 12, 2014
WMS show choir, Westside Connection, recently finished one of its most successful competition seasons in many years.  Connection was named contest champions at Waukee Star Struck, UNO, Lewis Central Clash of the Titan Invite and first runner-up at Johnston Showzam contest. Westside Connection received three best vocal awards and a best choreography award along the way as well! Connection is directed by Rob Huebner and choreographed by Westside HS grad Megan Tantillo.
Loveland Student Wins Speech Contest
March 10, 2014
Loveland Elementary student Hannah-Kate Kinney was the winner of the Westside Community Schools District speech contest on March 7. She gave a speech on Christopher Reeve. Harper Gordman from Swanson Elementary earned second place with her speech on Talia Y. Leman. Josh Siegel from Oakdale Elementary took third place with his speech on Dr. Seuss. The contest was held at the Community Conference Center. The top winner from each of the 10 elementary schools represented their school and gave their speech to a panel of judges and a small crowd of spectators.

Swanson Students Tote Hope for Mission
March 7, 2014
Students at Swanson Elementary School created more than 80 hope totes and donated them to the Open Door Mission. The totes contain toiletries and other items that are given to people in need at the mission. This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Westside Foundation. To read more about the Hope Totes project and the foundation, click here.

PR Students Build Race Cars for Science
March 6, 2014
Employees from Home Depot helped first-grade students at Paddock Road Elementary build race cars that they will use as part of the science curriculum. The Home Depot visitors helped the students assemble their own race cars using a hammer and nails. Students painted their cars once they were assembled. The students will use the cars as part of the science unit on movement. See photos of the activity here.
WHS Students Collaborate with Westgate Students
March 6, 2014
Mrs. Kleppinger from Westside High School brought students from her technology class into Mrs. Wortman's kindergarten classroom at Westgate Elementary. The high school students are learning to use technology on the iPad, so both teachers came up with a collaborative idea. The WHS students interviewed the kindergartners to create individual stories about them on the ipad. Each kindergarten student will receive their own story DVD at the end of the project. 
Warrior Bands to Host Concert on Monday
March 6, 2014
The public is invited to an evening concert of Westside High School Warrior concert bands on March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the WHS Auditorium. Some selections during the concert will be conducted by Dr. Gary Davis, who is a retired professor of music from the University of Nebraska Kearney. Dr. Davis will also work with all Warrior concert bands during the first Warrior Concert Band Festival/Clinic on March 10.

WHS Player Honored by Kiwanis
March 6, 2014
Westside High School varsity basketball player Shannen Pickering was honored recently by Kiwanis of Westside for performance excellence in the classroom and on the court. Pictured are Coach Jamie Davis, Shannen Pickering, and Coach Steve Clark. Congratulations Shannen!
Dr. Seuss on the Loose
March 5, 2014
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish... Dr. Seuss was on the loose Friday morning at Westgate Elementary. The annual Dr. Seuss breakfast was a huge success again this year. Students and their parents enjoyed a delicious breakfast of green eggs and ham, then the fun continued into the classrooms. Westgate families could be found throughout the building engaged in Dr. Seuss activities. 
Westgate Innovators Earn First Place
March 5, 2014
Westgate fourth graders Caleb Dykhouse and Alex Carson earned first place in the Documentation competition at the fifth annual Nebraska Robotics Expo at Strategic Air and Space Museum.  Caleb came up with an innovative solution for his over-stuffed clothes dresser and Alex designed a new comfortable classroom chair. 
Westside Robotics Success!
March 4, 2014
The Westside High Robotics team had a successful outing at the fifth annual Nebraska Robotics Expo. More than 100 teams competed this year in elementary, middle and high school divisions. The WHS team consisted of senior Youssef Eweis, freshmen Soren Johnson, Shawn Plucinski and David Atri Schuller. The WarriorBotics team competed in Hail Storm (Robotic Foosball), Water Rescue (Team Scoring Challenge) and Tornado Relief (Team driving and scoring remotely). Youssef, Soren, and Shawn all competed in Robotic Foosball. David and Soren worked extensively the last few months creating quite an impressive pair of modified CEENBoTs, but they fell to the Marian AquaPhoenix in the first round. Shawn and Soren drove for Tornado Relief and placed first in the high school division. This contest only allows you to watch monitors connected to cameras on the playing field. Imagine driving a robot on Mars from Earth. They were one of the first teams to compete, and experienced some camera glitches, but their score held for the day. Soren and Youssef drove in the Water Rescue and placed first in the high school division with a perfect score (32) and returned to the starting grid with 1:09 left on the clock to earn their bonus points. They had to use teamwork to hold a draw bridge open, granting the other robot to grab objects in another section. They were the only team to score all possible points.  

Westside Hosts Battle of the Books
March 4, 2014
Westside Community School's 2014 Battle of the Books competition took place March 1 at Westside High School. More than 200 students in fourth through sixth grades from all 10 elementary buildings came together to share their love of reading. During the competition, students were asked questions about the 20 books they read and had to respond with the correct book title and author. The top 16 teams were Loveland Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Sunset Story Sasquatches, Prairie Lane Band of Bookworms, Prairie Lane JADE, Loveland EEMAARS, Prairie Lane Reading Warriors, Prairie Lane Book Bandits, Rockbrook Bookarellys, Sunset Sassy Readers, Sunset Books Ahoy!, Loveland Peanut Butter Cups, Swanson Novel Characters, Prairie Lane Rapid Readers, Oakdale Title Waves, Oakdale Lightning Bolts and Oakdale Wonderful Reading Dragons. After several tie-breaker questions, The Rockbrook Bookarellys team of Gus Parsonage, Andrew Li, Anna Henningsen, and Mia Snow took first place. The Sunset Story Sasquatches team of Nadifo Nur, Reese Pike, and Claire Garman came in 2nd. Prairie Lane Reading Warriors came in third, and Loveland EEMAARS came in fourth.
Sunset Students Love Tennis
March 4, 2014
The students in Mrs. Schmidt's first-grade class at Sunset Hills Elementary School received their very own tennis lessons from Doug Greenwald. As a reward for being respectful, responsible and safe in the classroom, students transferred their safety and responsibility skills to the tennis courts.  Students were respectful when listening to Mr. Greenwald, responsible when following his directions and safe when using the equipment appropriately.

Hillside Staff Member Recognized for Excellence
March 4, 2014
Hillside Elementary School's very own Jann Hopkins was honored by Gregg Young Chevrolet and WOWT/Channel 6 News for Going the Extra Mile for Education. Mrs. Hopkins, an educational assistant, works primarily with Mrs. Foster's kindergarten classroom. Mrs. Foster nominated Mrs. Hopkins for the award Going the Extra Mile for Education. Mrs. Hopkins received a check for $150 and her story was featured on WOWT Channel 6.
Westbrook Gets Grant from Donorschoose.org
March 4, 2014
The Westbrook Elementary School Media Center and Miss Young were recently awarded a grant from DonorsChoose.org. The grant was funded by US Cellular and a few Westbrook parents. Our media center received two iPad minis and two cases. The iPad minis will be checked out to classrooms so students can read eBooks that have been loaded on them.

PR Read-A-Thon Produces Amazing Results!
February 24, 2014
Paddock Students read 110,621 minutes and with the help of Westside Superintendent Blane McCann learned that they raised $13,471! Ice c0ream party winners were Mrs. Butterfield (1st), Miss Dinkel (3rd), and Mr. Jacobson (5th). Pizza Party winners were Mrs. Butterfield (1st), Mrs. Ohm (2nd), and Mrs. Goecke (4th). Grand prize winners were Mr. Jacobson and Mrs. Ohm. Top readers in each room were awarded with a certificate. The top reader along with the student who raised the most amount of money was awarded with drawings from our guest illustrator Henry Cole. 

WHS Students Are National Merit Finalists
February 25, 2014
Three Westside High School students are National Merit finalists. They are: Jessica Murphree, Emma Johanningsmeier and Ari Juster. These students are among approximately 12,000 finalists from across the nation. Congratulations and well done! For more information on National Merit, go to http://www.nationalmerit.org/.
Westside Students Excel at Writing
February 24, 2014
Four Westside students have been recognized by the Metropolitan Reading Council for excellence in writing. Benjamin Kutler, a fourth-grader at Swanson Elementary School, won first prize in kindergarten-sixth grade division of the writing contest. Benjamin’s story was titled “Super Ending Marks.” It was about a family of punctuation marks with super writing powers.  Emma Miller, a sixth-grader at Oakdale, won first place as well. Her story, The City of Drab, was about Nat #3,057 from the city of Drab who joins forces with Crayon-Man in order to save her grey and colorless town. Harper Gordman, a sixth-grader at Swanson, Eliot Gray, a fifth-grader at Prairie Lane, and Marin Davis, a first-grader at Westgate, received honorable mentions for their stories.The Council received over 450 entries in the grade K-6 division. The students will be recognized at a celebration on March 1 at University Nebraska Omaha.

Funeral Arrangements Are Set
February 20, 2014
Westside Community Schools has learned of the funeral arrangements for Jeff Nannen. Services will be 11 a.m. Sat., Feb. 22, at First United Methodist Church in Blair. Visitation will be prior to the funeral service. Cremation will follow services. Jeff Nannen was a physical education teacher at Loveland and Sunset Hills. He had been a teacher with Westside Community Schools for 20 years. He began his career with us at Westside Middle School. Jeff was highly regarded among parents, students, and staff members who knew him. We have activated our District Crisis Response Team. They are here to support staff members and families who are impacted by this news. Crisis team members will be available at Sunset Hills, Loveland and Westside Middle School all day today. Please reach out to them if you or your children need any support.
Mea-"ssss"-uring Up at Hillside
February 20, 2014
Students in Mrs. Frederick's second grade classroom at Hillside Elementary School had special visitors in their classroom recently to help them with their math. Second grade students are learning about measurement in their math class right now. Hillside parent and Henry Doorly Zoo Scott Aquarium curator, Mitch Carl, stopped by to share some of the amazing animals students can visit at the zoo. Students took the opportunity to put their measuring talents to use to determine the length of their scaly visitor.

Thanks Russell Stover!
February 20, 2014
The Russell Stover Candy Store on 72nd Street, together with the Ward Family Foundation, recently made generous donations to four Westside schools. Hillside, Swanson and Loveland elementary schools and Westside Middle School each received $1,000. The money will be used for various things at the schools, from field trips to school enrichment clusters.The donations were a part of the grand reopening celebration at the store, which was recently remodeled.

WHS Show Choirs Do It Again!
February 20, 2014
Westside High School show choirs brought home big awards again last weekend from the Elkhorn South "Crystal Cup."  Warrior Express placed first in the Prep Division. Simply Irresistible placed first in the Female Division. ATSC was named Grand Champion and received captions for Best Vocals, Best Choreography and Best Band. In addition, they are the owners of the "Crystal Cup" until next year's event. Also, Warrior Express competed at the University of Nebraska Omaha last week and placed first in the Prep Division.
Swanson Music Program Delights Audience
February 20, 2014
Swanson Elementary school students wowed parents, families, friends and staff at their recent musical concert. Some people declared it the best music performance they've seen! That must have been "music" to Mr. Huntley's ears.
Westside Meets the Individual Needs of Students
February 21, 2014
Colby Koski-Aparo doesn’t know it, but he and Donald Rumsfeld have at least one thing in common. The third-grader at Sunset Hills Elementary uses a stand-up desk. So does the former secretary of defense. “I like it,” said Colby. The stand-up desk at Sunset is just one of the innovative ways Westside staff members are working to meet the individual needs of students. At Oakdale, students in Stephanie Swanson's class sit on exercise balls. Read the story here.

Sunset Custodian Helps Choking Student
February 18, 2014
On Feb. 10, first-grader Addison Hager was choking on some food from lunch when Sunset Hills custodian Orlando Stubblefield stepped in and administered the Heimlich maneuver. Tonight he will be recognized by the Westside Board of Education for his heroic efforts. Read the story here.
Westside Show Choirs Win Again!
February 18, 2014
Congratulations to all three Westside High School show choirs for bringing home multiple awards from the Southwest Showdown in Lincoln on Feb. 8. Warrior Express placed first in the Prep Division and seventh overall of 18 groups. Simply Irresistible placed first in the Female Division and qualified for finals where the choir was named fifth runner up. The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir was named Grand Champion and earned caption awards for Best Vocals and Best Band.
Warrior Sneak Peek Tour on Tap
February 18, 2014
Are you an eighth-grade student or the parent of an eighth-grade student at a local private school who is thinking about attending Westside High next year? Or do you know someone like this? Please consider taking the Warrior Sneak Peek tour on March 10. The tour gives private school eighth-graders a chance to see WHS on a typical school day and also to meet with counselors who can answer questions about our award-winning school. We would love to share Warrior excellence with you. The tour will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Monday, March 10. To sign up for the tour, email mnelson@westside66.org or call (402) 390 2109, by Wednesday, March 5.
Congratulations to WHS Robotics Teams
February 12, 2014
Five Westside High School students who competed in the first CREATE Open Robotics Tournament at Millard South High School on Feb. 8 brought home some big awards. Jordan Estee, Alex Zimmerman and Gregory Tracey were named tournament champions. They also received the sportsmanship award. Ben Frazier and Zane Homan received an honor award for a robot built with parts of their own design and printed on the 3-D printer at WHS or cut from the school's laser cutter. The five students also qualified for the Open Robotics State Tournament being held Feb. 14.
Candidate Chosen at Westside Caucus
February 12, 2014
Four candidates will advance to the May 13, 2014, election for the Westside Community Schools Board of Education. The candidates are (from left to right): David Woodke, Beth Morrissette, Dana Blakely and Douglas Krenzer. They were chosen at the caucus held Feb. 11 at Westside High School.
WMS Student Chosen for Code Crush
February 10, 2014
Congratulations to Kati Mdzinarishvili, an eighth-grader at Westside Middle School. She has been chosen to attend Code Crush, an immersion IT experience for girls at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
WMS Hosts Second Successful Blood Drive
February 10, 2014
The National Junior Honor Society chapter at Westside Middle School, in conjunction with the Red Cross, hosted a successful blood drive on Feb. 3. Forty pints of whole blood were collected from 40 donors. This is enough blood to save 120 lives! Congratulations on a successful event! 
Swanson Students Experiment with Indian Art
February 10, 2014
Students in Mrs. Buchholz's room at Swanson Elementary School have been making Rangoli. They used pattern blocks to create a Rangoli design. Then they used colored rice to complete their design. Students learned about the rice designs while studying different New Year traditions around the world. In North India, the rice designs are called Rangoli. Mrs. Johnson, Swanson's art teacher, helped with the creation of the beautiful designs.

Mitchell Wins McAuliffe Award
February 7, 2014
A huge congratulations to Paddock Road Elementary teacher Pam Mitchell, who has been awarded the 2014 Christa McAuliffe Prize for Courage and Excellence in Education from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Learn more about the prize at UNL's website.
LV Students Debate Rocksburg Dam
February 7, 2014
Fourth-grade students at Loveland Elementary School recently participated in the annual Rocksburg Dam debate. Each year, students debate whether their hypothetical town (Rocksburg) should build a dam upriver from their rural home. The students took on character roles and debated the issue in front of a the Rocksburg City Council.

Loveland Students Visit Joslyn
February 7, 2014
As a part of the Art Smart program, students from Loveland Elementary School had the special opportunity of visiting the Joslyn Art Museum in downtown Omaha. Mrs. Gollehon, Loveland's art teacher, along with the docents at the Joslyn took the students on a guided tour on an age specific area of art. Each student will have an opportunity to create a sketch which will be on display at the spring art show in April.

Micek's Path to Education is Well Paved
February 7, 2014
Leon Micek is in his first year of teaching at Prairie Lane Elementary, but his path to education has been well paved with various other careers that have prepared him for the challenges of fourth graders. Read more here.
SH Battle of the Books Team Gets Magical Help
February 3, 2014
Sunset Hills Elementary had a special visitor to help students prepare for the upcoming Battle of the Books. Gandalf (Andy Liakos) stopped by recently to help students with knowledge about The Hobbit.
Some Assembly (Line) Required
January 29, 2014
In fourth-grade social studies at Prairie Lane Elementary, some assembly is required. Students studied the Hershey Chocolate Factory and created an assembly line to discover how mass production decreased the cost of items and increased the amount of items. Using rocks instead of chocolate kisses, the process started with a few students tearing tin foil, then other students wrapped the foil around the rocks and passed it down the line where the "kisses" were packaged for the finished product.
Prairie Lane Kicks Off Read-A-Thon
January 27, 2014
Students, staff and supporters of Prairie Lane Elementary School recently kicked off a school-wide read-a-thon. The event is a new fund-raiser for the PL Community Club. The read-a-thon will raise money for the school and enhance students’ reading skills. One-hundred percent of the profits will be used to enhance the education of the students.  The kick-off was an assembly in which teachers started a flash-mob dance. They danced to the front of the gym and performed to singing that encouraged the students to read “a good, good book” and “keep reading, and reading, and reading, reading, reading.” Later in the week, everyone was invited to wear their pajamas for Pajamas Day. Classrooms set aside special time to get cozy and read. Go here to see more photos.

Westside Budget Report is Here
January 27, 2014
The 2013-14 Westside Community Schools budget report is now available to the public. This document contains valuable information about property valuations, District 66 expenditures and levies.
Rockbrook Students Remember MLK
January 23, 2014
Rockbrook Elementary students in Mrs. Siem's fourth-grade class and Mrs. Raphael's second-grade class recently commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday and great accomplishments. They read about his life and wrote about how they could make their world a better place. Some wrote about a dream they had and how they could make that dream a reality.
Paddock Road Read-A-Thon
January 21, 2014
Paddock Road Elementary held an all-school assembly to kick-off their 2nd annual Read-A-Thon fundraiser. Staff members danced to “Read” Around the Clock, encouraging students to read morning, noon and night. Students will collect donations with the promise of reading a certain number of minutes each day. The money raised will go to the Community Club for various school needs. 
Language Survey Results Released
January 14, 2014
In December, Westside Community Schools surveyed parents and guardians of elementary students about foreign language instruction in the District. More than 600 people took the survey. They were entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card. Vincent Meyer of the Hillside community was the winner of the gift card. Click here to read more about the survey results.
WMS Blood Drive Coming Up
January 13, 2014
The Second Annual Westside Middle School Blood Drive will be held Feb. 3 at WMS, 8601 Arbor St. The drive, sponsored by the Red Cross, will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. It is co-sponsored by the WMS chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. Please consider making a life-saving donation. Sign up at www.redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code 0092685. Or call 1-800-Redcross and use the same sponsor code.

Three Schools to Pilot Breakfast Program
January 9, 2014
On Jan. 13, Westside Nutrition Services will begin a pilot program for Breakfast in the Classroom at Hillside, Westgate and Swanson elementary schools. All students will receive a healthy breakfast each morning to be eaten in their classrooms. The program is being funded by the Midland Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  “We are excited to begin this program in our schools. Studies show that ensuring students eat breakfast helps improve learning and behavior at school,” said Nutrition Services Director Diane Zipay. The menu will range from pancakes to sausages to egg tacos. For the first week, from Jan. 13 to 17, breakfast will be free to all students. Beginning Jan. 21, breakfast will cost $1.30 or 30 cents for students who qualify to pay a reduced price for lunch. Student who qualify for free lunch will be provided breakfast for free.

WHS Seeks Basketball Sponsors
January 7, 2014
Westside High School basketball supporters are seeking sponsorships for home basketball games. Three levels of sponsorship, ranging from $75 to $125, are available for each of the remaining eight home games. Sponsors will have their names printed in the programs and broadcast by the announcer. All funds go to the basketball programs at WHS. If you are interested in a sponsorship, email kknust@westside66.org or call (402) 612 8873.
Lunch Menu Will Change
January 5, 2014
Due to the closure of Westside schools on Monday, Jan. 6, the lunch menu for Tuesday, Jan. 7, has changed. The choices for Tuesday will be: Chicken Patty on a Bun or Cottage Cheese and Fruit with Pretzel Bites or Yogurt and Cheese Stick with Pretzel Bites, Autumn Crisp, Fruit Cocktail. The menus for Wednesday through Friday remain the same.

PR Class Featured in National Magazine
January 6, 2014
Paddock Road Elementary teacher Pam Mitchell and her fifth-graders were featured in the most recent edition of Live Happy, a national magazine promoting happiness. As part of the article, the students and Mitchell worked with Shane Lopez, a leading researcher on hope who has consulted with Westside schools in the past. Read the article here.

Westgate Students Track Animals
January 6, 2014
Kindergarten students at Westgate Elementary had three visitors come in and teach about animals. Austen talked about animal skulls and what we can learn from them. Christine talked about different animals and their fur. Tara did a fun activity where the students were able to make their own animal tracks sheet. 
Swanson Students Adopt A Family
January 6, 2014
Students in the three sixth-grade classrooms at Swanson Elementary adopted families to help over the holidays through a program of the Star 104.5 FM radio station. Classes were hugely successful in collecting donations. Students were asked to earn their money and donations by washing dishes, taking out the trash, volunteering their time with community service, vacuuming, cleaning their room, etc.

Swanson Tests Students' Knowledge
December 18, 2013
Which river flows into the Hoover Dam?  If you said "Colorado" you were correct.  This was just one of the many questions answered by students at Swanson Elementary on Dec. 17 during the school Geography Bee. Sixth-grader Ethan Yaroch was the Swanson winner and sixth-grader Jaycie Swanson was the runner-up.  Twelve students participated in the bee answering questions about cities, states, continents, countries, rivers, mountain ranges, oceans and landmarks.

WMS SkillsUSA Students Compete at State
December 18, 2013
The Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club traveled to Grand Island to participate in the Third Annual Nebraska Middle School SkillsUSA Conference on Dec. 16. It was a day filled with various competitions and camaraderie with over 90 middle school students from around the state. Other schools participating were Doniphan-Trumbull, Elmwood-Murdock, Keya Paha County, Louisville, and Sterling. Earning medals for WMS were:  Madigan Brodsky, 1st place in Prepared Speech; Technical Team Problem Solving team of Benjamin Brodkey, Rebecca Kisicki, and Austin Middleton, 1st place; Quiz Bowl team of Madigan Brodsky, Ethan Goldner, Tommy Mitchell, and Jack O'Dell, 2nd place; Presentation team of Benjamin Brodkey and Roman Constantino, 3rd place.Others competing for WMS were Roman Constantino in CO2 Dragster, Ethan Goldner in Bridge Building, Gabby Henderson in Bridge Building and CO2 Dragster, Rebecca Kisicki in Bridge Building, Austin Middleton in CO2 Dragster, Jack O'Dell in CO2 Dragster, and Rebecca Podariu in Applied Math.  The WMS SkillsUSA Club is sponsored by teachers David and Kristeen Shabram.

Officer Visits Hillside
December 17, 2013
Third-grade students at Hillside Elementary School have been learning about public services in communities all over the world. As part of this unit, Officer Kinsey and her service dog, Mojo, visited with the third grade classes on Dec. 12. Officer Kinsey explained her job and she also explained what Mojo's job was in the community and in our schools. Officer Kinsey showed students all of the different tools she uses in her job as a police officer. Mojo also showed students how much he likes to have his favorite toy ball given to him! Students have learned about the roles of police, fire department, public works, health care and child care services in a community throughout this unit of learning.

Dice Day at Prairie Lane
December 17, 2013
Fifth-grade students at Prairie Lane Elementary recently celebrated National Dice Day by incorporating the cubes into lessons in art, math and reading. Students read about the history of dice. They learned that dice go back to ancient times when they were made of bone. Once they read about the history, students participated in an art activity where the roll of the dice told them what to draw. They also had three other activities where the dice roll helped them order their outcome, see what happens when you get greedy with your turn, and they tried to guess what their roll of the dice would produce.
Writer, educator Will Richardson Speaks at WHS
December 17, 2013
Author and educator Will Richardson spoke at Westside High School on Dec. 11 as part of District 66's work to envision the future of schools and students. Among other fascinating things, Richardson called this "the most disruptive moment" in the history of education. Click here to watch a video of his presentation.

Hansen Wins Paddock Pie-Eating Contest
December 16, 2013
Heidi Hansen, the speech-language pathologist at Paddock Road Elementary, was the 2013 winner of the school’s annual philanthropic pie-eating contest. Hansen and teachers Matt Kock and Ariel Shearer were chosen to compete in the contest based on the amount of food students donated. Eight boxes, labeled with eight teacher volunteers, were located in the front lobby of Paddock Road. Students voted for the teacher that they wanted to participate in the pie-eating contest by placing canned or dry goods in their box. Hansen, Kock and Shearer had one minute to eat as much pumpkin pie as possible. Student council students delivered the goods from the food drive to the Food Bank for the Heartland on Monday.

Shared Vision Meeting is Tonight
December 2, 2013
Join us tonight at 6:30 in the auditorium at Westside High School for a conversation about the future of Westside Community Schools. Author Will Richardson and facilitator Jim Rickabaugh will join us as we work toward creating a shared vision for our school system. Richardson, who works on the concept of personalized learning networks, will speak from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. See Richardson's TED talk; check out his books. Rickabaugh, who met with 19 District 66 focus groups, will discuss themes from those groups and his final report. He will speak from 7:15 to 8 p.m. To learn more about Westside Superintendent Blane McCann's vision of future learning, read his new blog post.

Congratulations to WMS Teacher
December 10, 2013
Westside Middle School teacher Anna Sumner has recently been awarded the renewal of her National Board Certification. In 1994, she became the first Nationally Board Certified teacher in Nebraska. Sumner teaches engineering and technology at WMS. She has been a teacher for 34 years. Before coming to Westside, she worked in schools in Rapid City, SD, and Alliance, NE, and at Chadron State College and the University of Nebraska Kearney. Sumner was first certified in 1993 after being encouraged by her principal. Sumner decided to renew her certification to keep up with current teaching and learning. “I believe the process impacts student learning and drives me to be an accomplished teacher,” she said. Westside is home to 13 Nationally Board Certified teachers.

Fairy Tale Awards Staged at PR
December 10, 2013
Students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Paddock Road Elementary School recently staged the "Fairy Tale Awards" musical for staff and students at Paddock Road and for families and friends in the auditorium at Westside Middle School. The musical included several solo speaking and singing parts along with multiple chorus songs.

RB Integrates iPads
December 10, 2013
At Rockbrook Elementary School, iPads have become integrated into the curriculum. Recently, second-grade students used the geoboard app on the iPad to creat polygons for the geometry unit in math. They also used iPads to practice money counting, fractions, and many other skills.

District Spelling Bee Held
December 6, 2013
Westside Middle School eighth-grader Grace Johanningsmeier won the Westside Community Schools district spelling bee on Friday. Johanningsmeier spelled the word duenna correctly to win the bee. She will now represent Westside in the Midwest regional bee. Seventh-grader Justin Solheim came in second. Sunset Hills sixth-grader Reese Pike was third. In the elementary level bee, Pike was first, Sunset Hills fifth-grader Ramya Iyer was second and Prairie Lane sixth-grader Dylan Folda was third. To see photos of the winners and the bee, click here.

Swanson Celebrates History with Music
December 2, 2013
The fourth, fifth and sixth grade students at Swanson Elementary celebrated the lives and times of Lewis and Clark in a musical performance recently. Students recreated the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804. For more photos, click here.
Westgate Hosts Formal
December 2, 2013
Sixth-grade students from Westgate Elementary School were treated to a formal event at the Westside Community Conference Center on Nov. 27. The students were instructed in ballroom dancing and had an etiquette lesson before the event. On the day, many dressed in their finest and were treated to a formal, sit-down dinner with dancing after. See photos of the event here.
WHS Gives Warriors a Send-Off
November 26, 2013
Westside High School students and staff members gave the Warrior football team a proper send-off today as players get ready to head to Lincoln for the state championship football game tonight. The day began with Westside Nutrition Services staff creating made-to-order omelets in the WHS cafeteria for players. This was followed by a rousing pep rally in the gym with the whole student body. Student photographers with the WHS journalism program captured the rally with some great shots here and here and here. The Warriors meet Omaha North at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is 7:15. Tickets for the game are still available at the gate. The game will also be broadcast on NET and on netnebraska.org. Go Warriors! (photo credit: E. Fox/Westside Wired)
Westside Theater Hosts Competition Showcase
November 25, 2013
On Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. in the WHS Auditorium, Westside Theater will present "11 Variations on Friar John's Failure (Adapted)" by Yuri Baranovsky, an entry for the NSAA play production competition. Students taking an 'individual event' entry to the state festival competition in January will also showcase their work. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students, available at the door the night of performance, or in the Warrior Walkway between 11 am and 1 pm Monday through Friday the week of the show.  
Strings Concert Rescheduled
November 25, 2013
The strings concert originally set for Tuesday, Nov. 26, has been rescheduled due to the number of families who will be traveling to Lincoln tomorrow night to watch the state championship football game. The new date is Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at Westside High School. 

Go Warriors!
November 25, 2013
Westside's Warrior football team meets Omaha North in the state championship game tonight at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Gates will open at 6:15.  Kick-off is

Tickets can be purchased in the main office until Tuesday, Nov. 26 at noon. They are $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Students will need to turn in a release form in order to ride the bus by Monday, Nov. 25.

Buses will leave from Westside High School at 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There are still 15 spots left on the 5:15 bus. If that fills, 35 students will need to sign up for the 5:30 bus.

Gates open and tickets can be purchased at 6:15 p.m. Students will not be allowed into the stadium any earlier than that.

- See more at: http://www.westsidewired.org/16417/sports/game-day-need-to-know/#sthash.gRC4J8eV.dpuf

Tickets can be purchased in the main office until Tuesday, Nov. 26 at noon. They are $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Students will need to turn in a release form in order to ride the bus by Monday, Nov. 25.

Buses will leave from Westside High School at 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There are still 15 spots left on the 5:15 bus. If that fills, 35 students will need to sign up for the 5:30 bus.

Gates open and tickets can be purchased at 6:15 p.m. Students will not be allowed into the stadium any earlier than that.

- See more at: http://www.westsidewired.org/16417/sports/game-day-need-to-know/#sthash.gRC4J8eV.dpuf
at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are for sale at the stadium at Gate 10. The cost is $5 for students, $7 for adults. The game will also be broadcast on Nebraska public television. You can watch on TV or online at www.netnebraska.org. To see highlights of the season and get pumped up, check out Westside Wired's video.
Westbrook Dancing Team Takes Second
November 21, 2013
Six dancing couples from Westbrook Elementary brought home second place from the Colors of the Rainbow Dancing Competition on Nov. 18. For the past 10 weeks Westbrook fifth graders have been practicing their ballroom dance moves. The 12 students chosen for the competition were selected based on their dancing abilities, as well as respectful behavior. The competition consisted of two rounds. In the first round each couple knew ahead of time which dance they would be performing; the Waltz, Tango, Rumba, Merengue, Swing or Fox Trot. For the second round, the couples had to draw out of a hat for a surprise dance. During both dances judges scored the dances on technique and dance frame. For more photos, click here. Congratulations Wildcats!

Westside Teachers Win Bravo Awards
November 20, 2013
Hillside teacher Terri Kleinschmit and Westside Middle School teacher Rob Huebner are the 2013 winners of the Bravo Teaching Award from the Westside Foundation. The award recognizes teachers who skillfully and successfully tap into the unique academic, social, emotional and/or physical talents of students and who also inspire students to fully engage in school and/or community life. Kleinschmit, who teachers fourth grade, was nominated by several people, including former Hillside Principal Ruby Larson. In her nomination letter, Larson wrote: "Terri's students are excited about learning because she creates an inviting, stimulating environment. Huebner, who teaches vocal music, also was nominated by several people, including a student. The student wrote: "Mr. Huebner is always encouraging kids to keep their grades up, not only in chorus but in other classes as well." Huebner and Kleinschmit received a plaque and $500. To see photos of the presentation of the awards, click here.
WHS Student, Mentor Meet Osborne
November 19, 2013
Westside High School student Hosea Briggins and his mentor, Ken Barjenbruch, had the opportunity to meet with Tom Osborne during a weekly Omaha Business Men's Association meeting at Anthony's Steakhouse. Hosea's mentor, Ken, is a member of the organization, and invited Coach Osborne to come speak on behalf of the TeamMates organization. Hosea and Ken were both introduced as a TeamMates match when Hosea was a student at Westside Middle School.

Westgate Students Take Celebrity Quiz
November 19, 2013
Students in Mr. Pesek's sixth-grade class at Westgate Elementary participated via Skype in a "Celebrity Quiz" on Nov. 15 with Sonny Melendrez. Celebrity Quiz is a question and answer session devised to provide hope, inspiration and motivation for students. Melendrez is a radio, entertainment and motivational speaker from San Antonio, Texas.

Alumni Basketball Tourney Scheduled
November 19, 2013
The annual Westside Alumni Association Basketball Tournament is set for Saturday, Nov. 30, in the WHS gym. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Tom Hall and Vic Porter Scholarship fund. Play is limited to WHS alumni. Registration information is here.
Author Henry Cole Visits Westside
November 18, 2013
Author Henry Cole visited all Westside elementary schools the week of Nov. 11, sharing his love of drawing and the special surprises in his many books. Cole, a former teacher and the author and illustrator of more than 100 books, demonstrated drawing a six-foot crocodile and a mouse from his chapter book, Nest for Celeste. He also signed books and helped students find the hidden letters in each of his illustrations. To learn more about Cole, visit his website. To see photos, click here.

Westside Leaders Attend Marzano Event
November 15, 2013
Several administrators and teachers from Westside Community Schools attended a two-day conference conducted by Robert Marzano. The conference focused on Marzano's latest research and book, The Art and Science of Teaching. Dr. Marzano focused on the importance of teachers using various strategies to reflect on their teaching and improve based on those reflections. Pictures, from left to right, are Westbrook Teacher Leader Garret Higginbotham, Career Center teacher Dawn Nizzi, Marzano, Swanson Principal Beth Welke and Westgate Principal Ryan Broshar.

Making Hope Happen at Paddock Road
November 14, 2013
Curing cancer and becoming a track star are just two of the hopes that the students in Mrs. Mitchell's class at Paddock Road shared with Shane Lopez, the world's leading researcher on hope. And he was pumped! "Yes!" said Lopez, adding that "where there's a will there's a way." He encouraged the students to make a plan (called goal-chasing) for making their hopes happen. Lopez visited Paddock Road as part of his work with Live Happy magazine. The Texas-based publication is featuring Lopez in an expert profile in its January 2014 issue. Live Happy is a publication of the Live Happy company, which is dedicated to promoting and sharing authentic happiness through education, integrity, gratitude and community awareness. For more photos of his visit, click here.
WHS Administrators Travel to China
November 13, 2013
Westside High School Assistant Principals Tony Weers and Trudi Nolin traveled to northern China to attend and present at an international forum on education at WHS sister school, Tianjin Experimental High School. Learn more about their trip here. See photos here.

Westside Honors Veterans
November 12, 2013
Students at schools across District 66 honored veterans of the U.S. military on Nov. 11 with Veterans Day ceremonies, songs, speeches and gifts. To see some photos from celebrations at Paddock Road Elementary and Swanson Elementary, click here.
Westside Team Takes First in Math Quiz
November 11, 2013
A team of three students from Paddock Road Elementary School and one student from Rockbrook Elementary School took first in the 23rd annual McMillan Magnet School math competition on Nov. 7. Theo Jansen, Ashleigh Madsen,  Emma Reiser from Paddock Road competed with Angela Li from Rockbrook to win first place in the math quiz bowl.  

PL Students Study Sun
November 11, 2013
Third- grade students at Prairie Lane Elementary School have been studying the sun in science. Students tracked how their shadows changed throughout the day.  They learned how the earth rotates and revolves, causing day and night, and  the four seasons. They traced the outlines of classmates'  shadows on the playground to observe how the sun moved across the sky. To see photos, click here.

New Westside Warrior TV Show is Out
November 8, 2013
A new broadcast of Westside Wire Warrior TV is out for viewing. Included in this broadcast are stories about flu season, the District's focus on hope, athletic trainers, teacher's favorite sayings and piercings. Watch it here.

Loveland Mathletes Win!
November 8, 2013
Team A from Loveland Elementary placed second in the written competition at the 23rd Annual McMillan Math Contest on Nov. 7. Members of Team A were: Eleanor Dodge, Victoria Fleming, Kenan Hanke and Max Trenhaile. Team B from Loveland also competed. Members of Team B were: Bella Forman, Abby Hellman, TJ Kim and Isabella Tyler. Team A actually tied for first place but lost on a tiebreaker to secure a second place finish in the written competition. Both Team A and Team B also participated in a math quiz bowl. Congratulations!
Final M*A*S*H Performance is Tonight
November 4, 2013
The cast of the 4077 invites the public to the Westside Middle School production of M*A*S*H tonight (Nov. 8) at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The show features some amazing middle school actors who will have you laughing at their familiar antics. If you remember watching the old M*A*S*H shows on TV you will love this version. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. To see some terrific cast photos, click here.
Westside Billboard is Up
November 7, 2013
Sam Bergman, a second-grade student at Swanson Elementary, celebrated his appearance on the new Westside Community Schools billboard by stopping by the sign at 96th and L Street and taking a photo. The photo on the billboard featuring Sam was taken when he was a first-grade student in 2012-2013 in Mrs. Conyer's class.

Firefighters Visit Westgate
November 7, 2013
Firefighters from the Omaha Fire Department visited kindergarten classes at Westgate Elementary School recently. Firefighters taught the students about fire safety rules, what to do in case of a fire and also encourage families to make fire safety plans for their homes. Students had fun checking out all the firefighter gear and equipment, too.

Terry Visits WHS
November 7, 2013
Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry visited Westside High School last week to speak to a large-group government class. Terry spoke about the Affordable Care Act.
Scarecrows and Skype Oh My!
November 6, 2013
Kindergarten students at Prairie Lane Elementary shared a scarecrow story with their peers at Rockbrook Elementary on Oct. 16, but they didn't even have to leave their classroom to do it. Via Skype, Rockbrook students watched as Prairie Lane students stuffed a scarecrow and then acted out the story "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams. At the end of the performance, the students greeted each other.

PL Awards SHEW
November 5, 2013
Mrs. Adams, the library assistant at Prairie Lane Elementary School, became this school year's first winner of the SHEW award. The SHEW (Staff, Hope, Engagment, Wellbeing) award recognizes a staff member at PL who exemplifies hope, engagement and wellbeing for students. Mrs. Adams was nominated by a fifth-grade student who said that Mrs. Adams is always there to help her with any problems, academic or social. Mrs. Adams "just makes her feel better about herself," the student said. Mrs. Adams received the traveling shoe trophy and gift certificate. The trophy will be passed on to the next SHEW winner at the end of the second quarter. 
Study Center Students Volunteer
November 1, 2013
Nineteen Westside Study Center students and graduates volunteered at Camp Fontanelle Haunted Corn Maze on Oct 25th.  The students worked at various sites, including the maze entrance, concessions, zip line, bouncing pillows and petting barn/fire pit areas.  In addition to volunteering, the students cooked dinner over the fire that they built and toured the camp. The transportation and food was purchased with a grant from the National Education Association Foundation. The HyVee at 90th and Center also donated. Dr. Cindy Serfass and Pam McGeary, who supervise the Study Center, organized the trip.

Lifesavers Help Mix It Up at Career Center
October 31, 2013
On Oct. 29, Westside Career Center students participated in Teaching Tolerance's annual Mix-It Up at Lunch Day. During two breaks between classes, students and staff were given a Lifesaver. They then sat a table with other people who had the same color Lifesaver. Each table was provided a list of conversation starters. The goal of Mix-It Up is for students to interact with other students outside of their typical social circles. Students and staff actively engaged in the activity and even mixed it up on their own during lunch break.

A Great Pumpkin Visits Swanson
October 31, 2013
Thanks to Hy-Vee on 90th & Cass, Swanson Elementary students in Mrs. Conyer's first-grade class have spent this week with a great (big) pumpkin. The donated gourd weighed in at 149.2 pounds. Students carved the pumpkin into a zebra and will count the seeds as part of a math lesson. Other pumpkin-themed reading, writing and science lessons are planned.

WMS Trunk or Treat Event is Success
October 30, 2013
The Westside Community Schools Trunk-or-Treat sponsored by the Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club was a huge success! The event was held at WMS on Oct. 28. Many clubs and individuals decorated their trunks and passed out candy to little ones. The SkillsUSA Club hopes to make this an annual event. See all the photos here.

Swanson Students Learn About States
October 30, 2013
Third-graders at Swanson Elementary School recently created dioramas based on various states' geography, climate and natural resources. The students researched states, wrote papers about them, designed brochures and created dioramas based on the research. The students then shared their findings with other classes at Swanson.  See more photos here.
Sunset Hills Hosts Talent Show
October 29, 2013
Sunset Hills Elementary School recently held its annual talent/variety show.  Students put on all kinds of acts, including: singing, dancing, gymnastics, Taekwondo, drums, glass music and much more. See more photos here.

Westgate Buddies Meet
October 29, 2013
Students at Westgate Elementary School got together for a buddy activity that combined art and drug free schools. Students participated in a variety of lessons that included buddy band, a collage, drawing, singing or a lesson for Red Ribbon Week. Some buddies combined the arts with posters and decorations, promoting a drug free, healthy message. These buddy activities encourage community and togetherness among the students at Westgate. See more photos here.
Help Shape the Future of Westside Schools
October 8, 2013
Westside Community Schools is currently engaged in an inclusive visioning process to align the District's vision, mission and core beliefs with a set of strategic goals. This shared vision will guide the District in making instructional decisions now and into the future. Recently, a facilitator met with Westside students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members, business leaders and retired Westside employees to discuss their vision for the future. For those who did not participate in these focus groups, please take the opportunity to share ideas through a quick survey. Please click on this link to take the survey.
LV Students Beautify Campus
October 25, 2013
Members of Loveland Elementary School's Student Council sponsored the annual fall cleanup of the school campus on Oct. 23. Students in grades third through sixth helped beautify the campus.
Nutrition Woman, Dr. Exercise Visit RB
October 25, 2013
Nutrition Woman and Dr. Exercise, from the Rose Theater, came to visit second-graders at Rockbrook Elementary School recently. These mighty health super heroes demonstrated, through humor and suspense, how to be healthy through good eating habits and physical activity. Con Agra has been providing this fun activity to Rockbrook.
Firefighters Visit Swanson
October 23, 2013
Firefighters from Omaha Fire Department Station 53 visited the first grade classrooms at Swanson Elementary School on Oct. 16. Students learned that the best place to wait for a firefighter is near a window so that they could be rescued quickly. One firefighter put on all his gear so students could hear the air tank. It sounded like Darth Vader, but not scary at all. All first graders climbed into the pumper truck to see what it would be like to ride in a fire truck.
District 66 Annual Report is Available
October 21, 2013
Westside Community Schools annual report for the 2012-13 school year has been released to the public. The report contains stories, facts and figures that enlighten and inform about the events and accomplishments of the 2012-13 school year in District 66. A report will be mailed to each household in the District. An electronic copy can be found here. If you would like an extra printed copy, please contact our Communications Office at (402) 390-2109.
PL Kinders Enjoy Touch Tubs
October 16, 2013
Kindergartners at Prairie Lane Elementary School have been learning about their five senses and recently focused on their sense of touch. They walked through tubs filled with bubble wrap, sponges, flour, mud, and ice. With each step, students thought about the message that their nerves were sending to their brains.  Back in the classroom, they brainstormed a list of those describing words. Some words were pokey, freezing, slippery, smooshy, hard and poppy.
WMS Raises Nickels for Nails
October 16, 2013
Students at Westside Middle School raised almost $500 for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha through a Nickels for Nails fundraiser. The winner of the "Guess the Number of Nails" contest was Mohammed Alomar. There were 848 nails in the jar, and Mohammed had a guess of 852.  For his win, Mohammed received a $15 iTunes gift card. The homeroom contest was hotly contested, but there can be only one winner.  So with a total of $65 collected, Ms. Skinner's homeroom won the $5 gift cards to either Starbucks or CherryBerry for all students in the homeroom. Pictured is Aly Eveland from Habitat for Humanity of Omaha receiving a donation check from SkillsUSA Club member Gabby Henderson.  Also pictured are SkillsUSA Club members Roman Constantino, Benjamin Brodkey, Jack O'Dell, Austin Middleton and Rebecca Kisicki, SkillsUSA Club sponsors David and Kristeen Shabram and Principal Russ Olsen.

For Swanson Students, it's Outdoor Ed Time
October 16, 2013
The Swanson Elementary School sixth-grade superstars, along with their teachers, principal, PE teacher and counselor, spent Oct. 7 and 8 at Platte River State Park participating in outdoor education. Students attended nine different sessions over the two days. The sessions included egg drop, horsemanship, fishing, canoeing, owl pellets, a nature hike, GPS, archery and team building. The group also went on a night hike, learned some line dances, slept in cabins, listened to an extreme backbacker and participated in cooperative games. Enjoy some photos of the trip here.

Swanson Second-Graders Visit Lauritzen
October 16, 2013
Second-grade students at Swanson Elementary School had the chance to visit Lauritzen Gardens recently. The students toured the gardens and learned about the plants. They also enoyed some beautiful weather.
Four WHS Students are National Merit Semi-Finalists
October 15, 2013
Westside High School students Ari Juster, Emma Johanningsmeier, Jessica Murphree and Derek Richardson are semi-finalists for the National Merit Program. They are among 16,000 students nationally who achieved this status based on their PSAT scores. Congratulations!

DECA Students Collect Food
October 14, 2013
Members of the Westside High School DECA club collected 1,100 cans of food for the Westside food pantry. Students and parents made the donation during homecoming week during the PowderPuff and PowerBuff games. Students delivered the boxes to the Westside food pantry on Friday, October 4. District social workers will make the pantry donations available to those Westside families in need of additional assistance. Westside DECA members who organized the food drive included, (L to R) seniors Alexa Kelly, Jimmy Esola, and Charlotte Tjaden (not pictured Maddie Schremmer)

Father of the Internet Visits WHS
October 14, 2013
Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet, toured Westside High School and spent an hour or so with students today, talking about the past and the future of computing. Cerf, who was in town to work with Gallup, encouraged students to invent something and to try computer programming. He was a military scientist 40 years ago when, along with partner Bob Kahn, he designed the architecture for the military's Internet. Ten year later, it was "turned on" for the rest of the world. Today, one of his roles is chief Internet evangelizer for Google. At WHS, Cerf told stories about Google's self-driving car and the Internet refrigerator, which will scan its contents and can send you a text if you need to buy something for dinner, or tell you when the milk is expired. "I wish I was like about 8 so I could see what happens in the next 50 or 60 years," he said.
Video Conference Connects WMS, Georgia Students
October 9, 2013
A class discussion at Westside Middle School stretched across more than 200 years of history and almost 1,000 miles to Atlanta on Oct. 4. Students in Lance Mosier's history classes recreated the Second Continental Congress' vote for American Independence from British rule with students at The Davis Academy in Atlanta. Mr. Mosier met the Davis Academy teacher, Mr. Barry, on Twitter. Barry was recreating the Second Continental Congress and the voting on the Declaration of Independence. "He was looking for some teachers to share in their experience and ask students questions. Since my students already had discussed this topic earlier this year we thought it would be good to spend five to seven minutes via Skype where students could ask each other questions," said Mr. Mosier. " I think it gave students a chance to share what they learned about the causes of the American Revolution and a way to connect with other students discussing a similar topic."
Early Childhood Programs Busy this Fall
October 10, 2013
Children in District 66 early childhood programs have been busy learning about fall activities, tools and taking care of buildings. Families of the children in the program also recently shared a fall feast! Click here to see some photos of the fun.

WB Students Contribute Art to VI-VI
October 10, 2013
Students in two classes at Westbrook Elementary School have contributed pieces of art to be auctioned at the Westside VI-VI celebration on Saturday. Fourth-grade students in Mrs. Clark's class and second-graders in Mrs. Elder's class chose to focus their art pieces on the District's 2013-14 theme, Building Hope. VI-VI, the district's major fund-raising event, will be held at Embassy Suites in La Vista. All proceeds from VI-VI go to support various programs in District 66.
Jackson Wins Health Education Award
October 9, 2013
Congratulations to Melissa Jackson for receiving the Health Education Teacher of the Year award from the Nebraska Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Jackson will be honored at an awards luncheon during NAHPERD’s fall conference on Nov. 5 in Lincoln. She is a health teacher at Westside Middle School.

WB Students Enjoy Literary Festival
October 8, 2013
Second- and third-graders from Westbrook Elementary School attended a literary festival in Seward recently and met three women who write and illustrate books for children. Students had the opportunity to meet with Judith Schachner, Anna Dewdney and Marla Frazee (pictured) at the Plum Creek Literacy Festival at Concordia University on Sept. 27. Each author/illustrator discussed the writing process and their work.
Building Hope is the Theme of New Blog Post
October 4, 2013
In a new entry on his blog, Westside Superintendent Blane McCann writes about the importance of building hope in students and how the District will use this theme, along with a rigorous curriculum, well-educated teachers and a supportive academic environment, to help students succeed. Read more here.
Dr. Nose Visits Swanson
October 4, 2013
The Nebraska Medical Center presented "Dr. Nose" to the kindergarten and first grade classrooms at Swanson Elementary School on Oct. 1. They read, "I am a Booger...Treat me with Respect!" written by Fremont author Julia Cook. The children enjoyed the assembly and learned to cough and sneeze into their elbows to help prevent the spread of germs.
Oakdale Students Use School-Grown Tomatoes
October 4, 2013
Oakdale Elementary students used tomatoes grown in their school garden to create pizza sauce and their own pizzas. First-graders in Mrs. Mason's class enjoyed creating their own tasty treats.
Governor's Wife Reads at Hillside
October 3, 2013
Today is Read for the Record day across the United States, and Sally Ganem, wife of Governor Dave Heineman, read to students at Hillside Elementary. Ganem, a former elementary school principal, read the book, Otis, by Loren Long to second-graders in Jamie Frederick's class. Otis is the story of a friendship between a tractor and a calf.
WHS Robotics Team is Overall Champion
October 2, 2013
The Westside High School Robotics Team I was named overall champion, and Westside High School Robotics Team III took second place in the high school division at the River City Robotics Competition this past weekend. Students designed and constructed robots that would repair internal injuries and retrieve foreign objects from the inside of a cow. Team I members included: Jordan Estee, Alex Zimmerman, Becca Joyce, Cooper Castan, Nate Bendorf and Zane Homan.  Team III members included: Jacob Bowen, Todd Pursel, Kaleb Buss, David Atri Schuller and Soren Johnson.  Team II also competed and members included: Nik Decker, Connor Furchert, Ben Gottsch and Thomas Schnell. The club is sponsored by WHS teachers Gregg Ratliff and Paul Cross.

Swanson Hosts Fun Fair
October 1, 2013
Swanson Elementary School's annual Fun Fair was held Sept. 27. The fun fair is a "friendraiser" for friends and families to get together early in the fall to greet each other and meet new people. Click here to see photos of the event.
WMS Robotics Team Wins First!
September 30, 2013
The Westside Middle School robotics team took first place in the middle school division at the River City Robotics Contest this past weekend. The mission of the contest was medical. Using robots, student had to design and construct a robot that would repair internal injuries and retrieve foreign objects from the inside of a cow. Member of the team are: Grant Cai, Karissa Flora, Joshua Paul, Connor Smith, Samuel Sweeney and Olivia Wing. Sponsors for the team are Anna Sumner and David Shabram.
Mayor Stothert Visits WHS
September 27, 2013
Omaha's new mayor, Jean Stothert, visited Westside High School today to talk with students in Mr. Bywater's American government and politics classes. Stothert, Omaha's 51st mayor and first female leader, talked a little bit about what she loves about her job (helping people with issues that affect their day-to-day lives.) She also talked about an upcoming review of the city's charter and the potential for changing the budget process to a biennial event. Stothert answered students' questions about federalism and how the city interacts with the federal government.
PowerSchool Guide Now Available
September 26, 2013
Parents and students in Westside Community Schools can now download a free parent/student portal user guide in iBook format via the iBooks bookstore. Users of this resource will learn how to access the PowerSchool student and parent portals and how to navigate through the application. To get started, click here.
Warrior Sneak Peek Tours on Tap
September 20, 2013
Are you an eighth-grade student or the parent of an eighth-grade student at a local private school who is thinking about attending Westside High next year? Or do you know someone like this? Please consider taking one of the Warrior Sneak Peak tours coming up in October and November. These tours give private school eighth-graders a chance to see WHS on a typical school day and also to meet with counselors who can answer questions about our award-winning school. We would love to share Warrior excellence with you. Tours will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, and on Wednesday, Nov. 27. To sign up for a tour, email mnelson@westside66.org or call (402) 390 2109.

LV Students Work on Reading
September 26, 2013
Students in the first-grade class of Mrs. O'Neill at Loveland Elementary School have been working on their reading skills. The students are working on building reading stamina and reading to their partners.
WHS Homecoming Festivities This Week
September 25, 2013
Westside High School homecoming festivities are being held this week. The homecoming football game against Benson High School is tonight, Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. at WHS Stadium. Fireworks will follow the football game, at about 9 p.m. Festivities conclude with the dance and coronation of the king and queen on Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. at WHS.
EY Students Enjoy Enrichment Day
September 24, 2013
The day began with a group thumb war, and it ended with the entertainment of dozens of homemade arcade games. For 140 students from Westside’s Excellence in Youth program, Sept. 20 was all about fun and learning. The students, from fourth, fifth and sixth grades, gathered at Westside Career Center for sessions on economics, programming, ninja strategy and game design. Read more about the day in this blog post by Lynn Spady, the District’s EY coordinator.

WHS Staff Members Shine at Omaha Marathon
September 23, 2013
Two Westside High School employees shone brightly at the Omaha Marathon on Sunday. Derek Fey won the overall event of 1,000 runners with a time of 2:35:53. Theresa Gosnell came in second in the women’s division with 3:04:08. Fey is a geography teacher, head coach of the boys cross country team and an assistant track coach. Gosnell is a librarian and head coach of the girls cross country team. To read more about their accomplishments, click here.
Westside Elementary Art on Display
September 23, 2013
Artwork created by Westside elementary students is on display in the lobby at American National Bank through Wednesday. The art show is open during normal bank hours, 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and 9 to noon on Saturday. The show is being held at the American National Bank branch at 90th and Dodge.

Today is TeamMates Event at Amigos
September 19, 2013
Support the TeamMates Mentoring Program of Westside Community Schools today by eating at Amigos, 84th and Dodge.  Amigos will donate 10 percent of the all sales to Westside’s TeamMates’ chapter. If you would like to become a mentor for a student in our community, please go to www.teammates.org and apply today.

Survey for 2012 Graduates
September 18, 2013
Westside Class of 2012 graduates are invited to take a survey and get a chance to win a $100 Amazon certificate. It takes five minutes to complete and you could win $100. The questions have to do with your school experience and your experiences since. Please encourage the 2012 graduates you know to complete this, too!  Click here for the survey.

Forecaster Visits Oakdale
September 20, 2013
Channel 7 Meteorologist Bill Ranby visited three first-grade classes at Oakdale Elementary School on Sept. 12. The students were studying the weather and Ranby's visit was a celebration of all they had learned. The meteorologist was also able to visit with one of his biggest fans, fifth-grader Zane.

WG's New Posse Dons Special Reading Glasses
September 19, 2013
There's a new reading posse in town at Westgate Elementary. You'll know the members of the posse by their glasses. Fifth-graders in Mrs. LaFond's class are working on comprehension and fluency to build confidence, reading skills and lifelong habits. Students have focused on leaving tracks and monitoring and clarifying comprehension. In Mrs. LaFond's class students became a 'reading posse' by donning super-cool glasses to help 'focus' and 'clarify' attention.

WB Classrooms Turn to Dancing
September 19, 2013
Westbrook Elementary School's fifth-graders have been participating in a Dancing Classrooms Residency Program. In the program students will learn a number of different ballroom dances, while also learning the life long skills of respect for themselves and for others. At the end of the program the students will perform for parents, teachers and peers to demonstrate all that they have accomplished.

District 66 Board Members Honored
September 19, 2013
Westside Community Schools Board of Education members Rosie Zweiback and David Woodke were honored recently by the Nebraska Association of School Boards. Woodke and Zweiback were honored for the time they have spent volunteering, as well as for commitment to education. In recognition the Association commended their continued participation and growth in knowledge and best practice governance. Association members from across the state may participate in board development training by attending workshops and conferences to help strengthen their role in governance, legislative advocacy, and stewardship of district resources in support of student achievement. The association is a private, nonprofit organization that serves the needs of Nebraska public school districts and Educational Service Unit board members. The 2013 awards of achievement were presented during a regional meeting in Omaha on Sept. 11.

Practicing Hope is Today!
September 10, 2013
Westside Community Schools - District 66 will hold a Practicing Hope Event today from 3 to 4 pm. Staff members will hold conversations about building visions for the future - or practicing hope - with each other. The District invites others to do the same with three questions. What is the next thing you're looking forward to? What do you need to do to make it happen? What do you need from others around you to make it happen? Share your responses using #Westside66Hope on our Facebook page, Westside Community Schools - District 66, and on our Twitter feed, @westside66. To learn more about the concept of practing hope, check out this blog post in Psychology Today. See the flier for the event here.
Rockbrook Students Honor Patriot Day
September 13, 2013
Kindergarteners in Ms. Miller's class at Rockbrook Elementary School honored the memory of 9/11 by wearing their red, white and blue.  Students across the school wore patriotic colors, sang patriotic songs and participated in activities about our country.
Westside Celebration Coming Soon
August 30, 2013
The Westside Foundation's popular VI-VI event is set for Saturday, Oct. 12. "Westside Rocks" is the theme for the event that will include dinner, entertainment and live and silent auctions. All proceeds from VI-VI support programs in Westside schools. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at Embassy Suites in La Vista. Tickets are $125 per person, or $75 for anyone under the age of 35. For tickets and information, call the foundation at (402) 390-2193 or visit the foundation website.
WMS Students Build Arcade Games
September 17, 2013
Drawing inspiration from a very popular YouTube video, Westside Middle School students created their own version of Caine's Arcade. Students in Kristen Job's Destination Imagination, Future City and SMP classes created arcade games using cardboard, tape and recycled materials. The students took a week of class to create their games, a ticketing system and prizes. Staff and other students came during their lunches to play pinball, skee ball, plinko, mini golf and a variety of other awesome arcade games.

SH Students Create Hopeful Artwork
September 12, 2013
Sunset Hills Elementary students spent the week of Sept. 2 with UN Art Ambassador Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao. Ibiyinka and the students focused on themes of peace and hope and worked together to create visual and written art. The school hosted an art show and presentation on Sept. 5. To see some pieces of student artwork, go here. To see a slideshow about Ibiyinka's visit, go here.
Paddock Road Hosts Harvest Party
September 12, 2013
Paddock Road Elementary School's annual curriculum night had a tasty twist this year. On Sept. 5, in conjunction with curriculum night, the school celebratd a Harvest Festival in the garden of its outdoor classroom. Several Paddock cooks prepared garden-inspired dishes. Family members and staff members learned how veggies and herbs are grown and harvested and saw how the garden will enhance learning experiences.  Everyone also got to dig-in and take some Paddock-grown produce home. Enjoy more photos from the event here.
Prairie Lane Celebrates 50 Years
September 10, 2013
Students and staff celebrated the 50th birthday of Prairie Lane Elementary on Sept. 3. Hascall School, the original name for Prairie Lane, opened its doors on Sept. 3, 1963. Students gathered for an afternoon assembly during which Principal Jennifer Harr opened a time capsule containing items from 1963 and showed students an original yearbook from the 1960s. The time capsule contained a mood ring, three types of candy (Zots, Smarties and Atomic Fireballs), a deck of playing cards, a magazine from 1963, a Magic Fifteen puzzle game and a slinky. Students and staff watched a video presentation of photos from the last 50 years. A student from each class was selected to join in blowing out the birthday candles on a special cake. Students then returned to class and had birthday cupcakes to complete the celebration. Prairie Lane will celebrate this 50th year throughout the rest of the 2013-14 school year.

Paddock Road's First Pep Rally
September 9, 2013
Westside High School football players and cheerleaders helped kick off the first pep rally of the school year at Paddock Road Elementary recently. The WHS students encouraged Paddock Road students to make good choices. Each quarter two PR students from each classroom will be recognized with the Panda Pride Award. To receive the Panda Pride Recognition students have to demonstrate skills on a consistent basis and/or have shown improvement in practicing the 3 Be's: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible.
Swanson Teacher Travels to Japan
September 6, 2013
Swanson kindergarten teacher Katie Susman spent two weeks in Japan this past summer. She traveled there with an exchange program called the Omaha Sister Cities Association. For Susman, who had a college friend from Japan, it was the trip that gave her insight and information about a culture she greatly admires. “I felt a renewed energy to make time, even in kindergarten - maybe especially in kindergarten - to teach about respect and the many cultures in our vast, small world,” she wrote. See photos of her trip here, and read more here.

Westside High School Theatre Presents...
September 13, 2013
DRACULA by Bram Stoker.  September 19, 20, and 21 at 7:00 p.m.  Adults $8, Students $5 (children under 5 not advised).  Tickets are available at the door Monday - Friday from 11:00-1:00 in the Warrior hallway or at the box office.  Reservations are available at westsidetheater@gmail.com.
U.N. Art Ambassador Visiting SH
September 3, 2013
Nigerian art ambassador Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao is visiting Sunset Hills Elementary this week to share through art, stories and songs his message of peace, hope and love. “With art you can create the things you see in your heart,” he told students at an opening assembly on Tuesday. To learn more about Ibiyinka's visit, click here. To see some fantastic photos of his visit, click here.


High Turnout for New Warrior Wellness Program
September 5, 2013
Eighty-five percent of Westside Middle School eighth-graders have joined a new wellness program. Warrior Wellness, the District’s employee wellness program, is being offered to students for the first time. Eighth-graders who enroll receive a slingbag, a bottle of water and a package of fruit snacks. Students are currently signing up for the first online program: Kindness Matters. They will be required to practice a daily random act of kindness. For enrolling and being EXTRA kind, students will receive a pack of Extra gum. Students who complete the program will be eligible to win a Subway gift card.

Thanks for a Great Food (r)Evolution!
September 4, 2013
Crowds were wowed by a concert by the world's only rock star nutritionist and enjoyed delicious food samples and a fun fitness challenge at the third annual Food (r)Evolution event on Aug. 29. More than 1,000 people attended the event at Westside High School Stadium. Thanks to everyone who contributed, sponsored, volunteered and attended! Check out this slideshow of photos from the event.
WMS Student Wins Scholastic Contest
September 4, 2013
Westside Middle School student Ella Hubbard is the winner of Scope Magazine's "You Write It" Contest from the May 6, 2013, issue. Ella transformed an infographic into a well-written, engaging, and persuasive article about the benefits of having a potbellied pig as a pet. Ella's article will be published on the Scholastic website www.scholastic.com/scope. She is an eighth-grader at WMS.

School Improvement Information
September 30, 2013
In the 2012-13 school year, Hillside Elementary, Westbrook Elementary and Westgate Elementary were identified as “in need of improvement.” Of the 402 student at Hillside eligible for school choice, one student participated. At Westbrook of the 480 student eligible, one participated. At Westgate, none of the 304 students eligible participated. The schools offered to students who are eligible to participate in school choice are: Paddock Road, Swanson, Loveland, Sunset Hills, Rockbrook, Prairie Lane and Oakdale. Hillside, Westbrook and Westgate students who qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible for supplemental educational services. Find information about state-approved SES providers by clicking here.

Westbrook ECC Earns Accreditation
August 30, 2013
The Early Childhood Center at Westbrook Elementary has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Westbrook's ECC is the first in District 66 to earn accreditation from NAEYC. Five other sites are currently in the accreditation process. Read more here about this prestigious award.


Food (r)Evolution is Today!
August 29, 2013
Westside Community Schools Nutrition Services and ConAgra Foods present the third Food (r)Evolution today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Westside High School Stadium. Come and enjoy this free event that is open to our whole community. Rock star nutritionist Jill Jayne will be back with her upbeat and informative rock-n-roll show, Jump With Jill. The Fuel Up to Play 60 Fitness Challenge will provide fun and physical activity. And everyone can enjoy shopping at a farmers' market and watching cooking demonstrations by local celebrity chefs. Lots of food will be available to enjoy, including a Super Power Fruit and Veggie Buffet. Follow us on Twitter @evolvingfood; Facebook at Food \r\Evolution.
Warriors Seek Football Sponsorships
August 19, 2013
Westside High School seeks sponsors for its home football games. Sponsorships benefit the football program. As a thank you, the names of sponsors are printed in programs, as well as announced during the game. Sponsors can be companies, groups (i.e. Senior Parents) or individuals. There are four levels of sponsorships, ranging from $100 to $275. For information, or to become a sponsor, contact Kathy Knust at kknust@westside66.org or (402) 612 8873.

Classes Cancelled at Hillside Elementary
August 22, 2013
Due to a power outage, classes are cancelled today, Thursday, Aug. 22, at Hillside Elementary. If your student is enrolled in Hillside's Club 66 program, Club 66 will provide full-day care from 7am to 6pm at the Underwood Hills Early Learning Center at 9030 Western Avenue. Please call (402) 390-2100 for more information, since the phone lines at Hillside are not working. 

Smiles on the First Day
August 20, 2013
Westside schools opened on August 14 to lots of smiles, fun and hope. District 66's 12 schools welcomed 6,133 students. Take a look at this slideshow and this slideshow featuring first days in many classrooms across the district.
Westside Tops Again in ACT Scores
August 27, 2013
Westside students who took the ACT last school year scored above their peers. Westside students' average ACT score was 24.2, well above averages for their peers in the metro, as well as in the state of Nebraska and nationally. The state average was 21.5. The national average was 20.9. ACT tests students' knowledge in science, reading, English and math. The maximum score is 36.

Loveland Has High Hopes
August 27, 2013
Congratulations to the community at Loveland Elementary School. Gallup has named Loveland Elementary as one of the 192 U.S. schools with a high-hope student body. Hopeful students are more likely to go to school, engage in learning and make good grades. To find high-hope schools, Gallup polled students in more than 1,700 schools nationally. The poll, given in the 2012-13 school year, measured students’ hope, engagement and wellbeing. Students at high-hope schools scored 4.53 or higher out of a maximum score of 5.

Tiger Adorns Oakdale Playground
August 15, 2013
Members of the Oakdale K Club painted the school's mascot on the playground over the summer.  Twelve dedicated and energetic sixth-graders worked from June through August to complete the image. K Club is sponsored by an Omaha Kiwanis group.

First Day of School Update
August 14, 2013
After-school activities and a laptop meeting at Westside High School will be held as previously scheduled tonight (Wednesday, Aug. 14) now that power has been restored across District 66. Despite a few snafus do to the power outage, the first day of school in Westside went well. Students at Westgate Elementary began the day with an assembly on the District's theme for the year, Building Hope. At Sunset Hills, students cheered when the power came back on during lunch.
Welcome to the 2013-14 School Year!
August 14, 2013
Welcome Westside students, staff and families to the 2013-14 school year. It's going to be a great year. The tabs on the left of this page contain lots of useful information for everyone. Remember to check school websites for more information about the upcoming year. The nutrition services tab has information about menus and payments. PowerSchool will provide schedules. Volunteers can look for opportunities to help in schools. If you're looking to make a donation or find an alumni, there is information for you, too. Our theme is Building Hope and we look forward to working together to build hope in students to help them succeed.
WHS Plans for New School Year
August 12, 2013
Freshmen at Westside High School get the school to themselves on the first day, Wednesday Aug. 14, for a special orientation session. Learn more about that schedule here. On Thursday, Aug. 15, each grade will visit the school at assigned times for various back-to-school activities. This will include laptop distribution. Learn more about that schedule here. Welcome back Warriors!

"Building Hope" is Theme for School Year
August 6, 2013
Westside Community Schools staff members gathered today to prepare for the 2013-14 school year. Building Hope is the theme for the year. The all-staff opening event began with this video. Staff members learned more from Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., the world’s leading researcher on hope and a Gallup senior scientist. Building hope and engaging kids in learning is linked to an understanding of students’ personal and professional goals. School staff members must know students’ individual goals. “Students want a meaningful way to spend their time in the future and they want to spend it with people they love,” said Lopez. “We need to know this to encourage students to learn on behalf of their futures.”

Westside Schools Start Aug. 14
July 31, 2013
Westside students will be back at school on Aug. 14. Are you ready? You will find a lot of information about supply lists, schedules, new staff etc. on our individual schools' websites. Just click on the "school websites" tab over on the left to get more information. See you soon!
Free Lunch and Breakfast in Westside
June 25, 2013
Westside Community Schools' summer feeding program continues through Aug. 5. It is free to all children between the ages of 1 and 18 and their parents or guardians. The program is available Monday through Friday at four school sites: Prairie Lane Elementary, 11444 Hascall; Westbrook Elementary, 1312 Robertson Dr.; Westgate Elementary, 7802 Hascall; and Hillside Elementary, 7500 Western. Breakfast is served from 8 to 9 a.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Diane Zipay, director of Westside's nutrition programs, said the meals are free to any child, including those not enrolled in Westside schools. There is no need to sign up either, she said. "Just turn up at the door." 
Warriors Softball Supporters to Host Golf Event
July 9, 2013
Supporters of the Westside High School Warriors softball team will hold an inaugural golf tournament on July 21 to raise money for the program. The tournament will be held at Eagle Hills in Papillion. It will include a round of golf, a cart, dinner, a variety of prizes, a raffle and an auction. The entry deadline is July 15. Get more information here.

Westside Foundation Seeks Warrior Club Members
July 9, 2013
The Westside Foundation is currently seeking members for the 2013 Warrior Club. Club members enjoy many perks at home football games, including a parking spot in the foundation lot, two tickets for every home football game, food and drink at the tailgates and the ability to bring four guests to each tailgate. Spots are limited and are going fast, so don't delay! Print the membership form today. ~ photo courtesy of WestsideWired

Westside Summer School Ends With a Bang
June 28, 2013
Westside Community Schools' summer school ended in style on Tuesday with a rousing performance of Pirates - The Musical. Loveland vocal music instructor Gloria Stover led students, decked out in pirate gear, in songs that celebrated the life of pirates, and poked a little fun, too. Performers even perservered through an accidental fire alarm.
Westside Foundation Launches New Website
June 28, 2013
Westside Community Schools are generously supported by our community. The Westside Foundation, a non-profit fundraising organization affiliated with District 66, recently launched a new website. The website will be a place where everyone can celebrate the accomplishments of our students and staff and find ways to help District 66 continue to be a place of high achievement in every way. Please visit wcsfoundation66.org to learn more.
Save the Date for Food (r)Evolution!
June 26, 2013
Westside Community Schools Nutrition Services presents the third Food (r)Evolution on Aug. 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Westside High School Stadium. Come and enjoy this free event that is open to our whole community. Rock star nutritionist Jill Jayne will be back with her upbeat and informative rock-n-roll show, Jump With Jill. The Fuel Up to Play 60 Fitness Challenge will provide fun and physical activity. And everyone can enjoy shopping at a farmers' market and participating in hands-on cooking demonstrations. Little Red Barn burgers will be served for dinner. A selection of fruits and veggies will be included in the Super Power Buffet. Follow us on Twitter @evolvingfood; Facebook at Food \r\Evolution. And don't miss the most rock-n-roll family food event Omaha has ever seen!
Summer School 'Thank You!'
June 26, 2013
Retiring Loveland principal, Sandy Irish, has been the District summer school coordinator for the past 15 years. To thank her for all of her hard work, the students and staff gave her a “Hip, Hip, Hooray!” Job well done!

Warrior Golf Classic is July 27
June 26, 2013
The 11th Annual Warrior Classic Golf tourney will be held July 27 at Eagle Hills Golf Club. It will be a day of fun, golf, refreshments and great raffle prize giveaways. The tournament is organized in a four-person scramble format. The cost is $70 per person, which includes golf, cart, lunch and mulligans. The tournament benefits the Westside Community Schools' football program. Contact Shawn Blevins at (402) 343-2672 or sblevins@westside66.org for reservations. For general information, call Craig Secora at (402) 343-2777.
Westside Alumni Golf Event is Monday
June 25, 2013
The Westside Alumni Association's Annual Golf Outing is Monday, July 1. There are still spots if you haven't signed up already! Please visit the alumni association's website for information on how to join this fun, philanthropic event.
PR Garden is in Full Bloom
July 16, 2013
The new garden at Paddock Road Elementary School is in full bloom this summer, and students, staff and community members are enjoying its bounty. PR Teacher Melissa Wurth said the garden has been providing fresh vegetables, along with some tools for learning. Summer school students are spending a lot of time in the garden, adapting writing, reading and math lessons to the outdoor space. Staff members and community members have been volunteering to water and weed the garden all summer. Read more about the garden, and future plans for outdoor spaces at Paddock Road, here. Check out photos of the garden before and now.
Sunset Student Honored by White House
June 21, 2013
Sunset Hills Elementary student Bence Brown will be honored at the White House Kids' State Dinner on July 9. Bence created a winning recipe, Terrific Tuna Casserole, for a contest sponored by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. For the second consecutive year, The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” invited a parent or guardian to work with their child ages 8-12 to create a lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable, original and delicious.  Recipes had to adhere to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal were met. Entries had to represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half the plate or recipe. The second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, originated by Epicurious to promote healthy eating among America’s youth, received more than 1,300 entries. At the state dinner, 54 students will represent the 50 states. Congratulations Bence!
Westside Welcomes New Administrator
June 18, 2013
Westside Community Schools welcomes Mark Weichel, Ed.D. to the District's administrative team. Dr. Weichel will serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Mark is currently the Director of Secondary Curriculum for the Papillion-LaVista School District.  He will join the District on July 1.
WMS Teachers Honored
June 14, 2013
WMS Engineering & Technology teachers Anna Sumner and David Shabram were recently honored with the Nebraska Industrial and Technology Education Association's Program of the Year Award.  This honor is awarded to programs that provide technology and engineering education instruction through a high quality, learner centered, and relevant study of technological literacy.  This award was presented at the 2013 Nebraska Career Education Conference in Kearney, NE.
WMS Business Teacher is the BEST
June 14, 2013
Westside Middle School business teacher Crystal Bolamperti has been recognized with a BEST award by the Nebraska Department of Education. Bolamperti, along with 47 other teachers, was recognized at the Nebraska Career Education Conference held June 5 in Kearney. These teachers' professional activities influenced business and marketing education in Nebraska during the past year. The BEST — Belong, Excel, Study and Travel — Awards were given to the teachers for their involvement in professional associations, community and school activities, professional leadership development and service to the business education profession. BEST awards exemplify superior qualities, including dedication to students, community outreach and continual classroom improvement efforts. Congratulations!

Westside Students Receive Gifts of Books
June 10, 2013
Westside students in several programs at Hillside Elementary this summer received gifts of books from a North Carolina family that is traveling around the United States this year promoting reading. Brenda Berg and her children, Kelly and Anton, chose Omaha as one of the six cities in the country where they bought books for local kids. At each of the stops, the Bergs give away 1,000 books. The family created a partnership with firstbook.org to give away the books. In Omaha, firstbook.org is coordinated by Hillside teachers Ally Hauptman and Crystal Shirkey, Westgate teacher Tamara LaFond and former Oakdale teacher Mara Demory. At Hillside students in summer school and the Club 66 childcare program received books. The book donation will also benefit the boys and girls reading clubs at the school. Learn more about the Berg's trip on their website.
Summer Feeding Program Begins
June 5, 2013
Westside Community Schools' Summer Feeding Program has begun. Breakfast and lunch are being served at four sites this year: Prairie Lane Elementary, Westbrook Elementary, Westgate Elementary and Hillside Elementary. Please click here to find all the details about this program.
Save the Date for VI VI!
June 5, 2013
Please save the date for the 2013 Westside Foundation's VI VI event. Every other year, Westside Foundation hosts the fundraising auction to support Westside students and programs. This year's event will be held Oct. 12 at La Vista Embassy Suites. More information to come soon.
Westside Welcomes New Administrators
June 4, 2013
Westside Community School District will welcome many new administrators on July 1, including Enid Schonewise, Ed.D., who was approved Tuesday by the Board of Education for her new role as assistant superintendent of human resources. To learn more about Enid and Westside's other new administrators, click here.
RB Third-Graders Win Math Prizes
June 4, 2013
Third-graders at Rockbrook participated in challenge math activities tailor created and presented to them by a group of Exceptional Youth students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades. The third-graders completed a practice challenge packet prior to the competition to give them an idea as to the kinds of problems they might hear at the event. M&Ms were given to Charlie Davis, Carter Hogan, Olivia Gao, Ellie Mahlendorf and Erin Pratt for the top five scores on the written practice. Students were also given the opportunity to estimate the number of pieces of candy in a box full of candies. Each classroom had their own guessing box. Megan Harden and Jack Ellison won the candy with their estimates being the closest to the 130 pieces of candy. All third-grade students got to compete to buzz in and answer questions. The first person to buzz in with the correct answer got the point for the round. Sometimes, Miss Faimon even needed to get out tie breaker questions! After 13 rounds of great math thinking, the championship round ended with Erin Pratt winning the bronze medal, Milena Morris earning the silver and Lucian Reiter winning the gold medal.
Praire Lane Buddies Work on Probability
June 4, 2013
Prairie Lane sixth-graders have been buddies with preschoolers for the school year. One of their last activities involved playing probability games that the sixth-graders designed themselves from their math studies on probability. Preschool buddies didn't have any problems playing the new games. Everyone had a lot of fun. Click here to see photos.
WMS Student Adopts Chickens
June 4, 2013
A Westside Middle School student was inspired to adopt a little flock of chicks after reading the book Flipped by Wendelin VanDraanen. Josh Jansa read the book in a reading skills class taught by Mrs. Cunningham. After some discussion, and because she had access to a chicken coop, Mrs. Cunningham said sure! Josh energetically researched information on the Internet and called places in Omaha and Council Bluffs to find out where to buy baby chicks. Josh’s mom and dad became very involved in the “project” and soon Josh had learned a lot about what it takes to care for baby chicks.He used his own money to buy the chicks, food and other supplies. He made a cage all on his own and brought the chicks to school. The news spread far and wide and soon the chicks had visitors every period of the day. Josh became engaged in his learning as he demonstrated curiosity, persuasive speaking, parent involvement, community involvement, business and math skills, woodworking skills, responsibility and care for living things, and most of all, he demonstrated to himself that learning can be ultimately rewarding!

Career Center Stages One-Act Plays
May 31, 2013
Students at the Westside Career Center recently debuted a series of original one-act plays. The plays - written by students in a Career Center English class - ranged from comedy to satire, with some improv, too. "The kids had fun with this process," said English teacher Jennifer Smith. The six plays ran about five minutes each. Two comedies involved characters who heard voices, while a satire featured a reporter interviewing a homeless woman. Yet another play featured tough guys hanging out at a mall, while another involved two characters, called wolf and ogre, who banter while sitting in school detention. Students performed the plays at the WCC for family, friends and staff members. Admission was not charged, but donations were collected for the Hearts United for Animals organization. Smith hopes WCC students will stage more plays in the future.
Happy Last Day of School!
May 30, 2013

Sunset Plants Roses for Reigle
May 30, 2013
Members of Sunset Hills Elementary School's Student Government recently held a fundraiser to honor Karen Reigle, who passed away earlier this year. Karen had a long teaching career at Sunset Hills, and the students wanted to always remember her dedication. They decided the best way to do this would be to plant rose bushes in our school courtyard. Student Government was also able to purchase a cement stone with an engraved plaque in her remembrance.
WMS Student Wins STEM Award
May 29, 2013
Christian Kasel, an 8th grader at Westside Middle School, was recently awarded the AIM Achiever Scholarship, sponsored by the AIM Institute. This scholarship is awarded to students who show a strong aptitude and interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) areas, and provides $4,000 in scholarship money upon enrollment to attend a two- or four-year postsecondary institution.  During his two years at WMS, Christian has been actively involved in the Robotics Team, earning top awards for his work at multiple competitions.  Christian also placed second out of 671 students during the 2013 World Math Day Competition. AIM Institute Grant Director Marie Hiykel presented the award to Christian.
Locks Donated in Love
May 29, 2013
Two Swanson Elementary students and P.E. teacher Debra Kaplan donated their hair to Locks of Love recently. Third-grader Evelyn Fixley and her sister, Clare, a fifth-grader, and Ms. Kaplan had their hair cut during the Swanson Spokes Bike Rodeo. Locks of Love is a non-profit charity that makes wigs for children who have medical-related hair loss. To donate you need to cut a minimum of 10 inches of hair. Thanks to Swanson parents Brenda Bahan and Ina Cohoon for their expertise with scissors to do the cuts of over 30 inches of long brown hair!

Swanson Butterflies Released
May 29, 2013
Swanson Elementary second graders in Mary Urosevich’s class have been studying the life cycle of animals and plants in science. We watched tiny caterpillars eat and grow. Then we watched them become a chrysalis and finally become beautiful painted lady butterflies. We learned many interesting facts about the butterfly’s life cycle and had fun watching them. It was finally time to let them go and enjoy the bright sunshine and the Swanson gardens. 

Westside Celebrates Mentors
May 28, 2013
More than 150 people volunteer to serve as mentors to Westside students each year, and the district recently had a chance to celebrate their efforts. The annual Westside Mentor Breakfast was held May 16. Mentors were recognized for the time and attention they give to help Westside students. Mentors work in various roles in the district. There are mentors who work in "Teammates," a program from Tom and Nancy Osbourne. Some mentors work on reading with students at all levels. Mentors read with the students and/or help them with skills they are lacking in language arts. To become a mentor, contact your local school.

Westbrook Students Join Honor Society
May 24, 2013
Nineteen Westbrook Elementary students were inducted into the school's chapter of the National Elementary Honors Society on May 16. The NEHS at Westbrook represents a group of students who have met high standards in scholarship, responsibility, and respect. NEHS members learn skills in leadership and goal setting as they work together to plan four projects each school year.

WMS Staff Member Honored
May 24, 2013
Christy Davis, an educational assistant at Westside Middle School, was honored for her courage and commitment to WMS' students by throwing out the first pitch for the Storm Chaser's game on May 22 at Werner Park. WMS teacher Mickey Dobbs nominated Christy to throw out the first pitch. Mickey nominated Christy for her professionalism, dedication, courage and overall positivity for teaching students while battling breast cancer. Christy also got to sit in one of the four Susan G. Komen Nebraska Johnny Rosenblatt Legacy Seats available for breast cancer survivors or those who support the Komen Promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find a cure. 
Paddock Road Digs a New Garden
May 24, 2013
Paddock Road Elementary students are digging their school's new garden, in more ways than one. Parents, students and staff members came together recently to construct raised garden beds. Plants are coming soon. The outdoor classroom will provide pre K to sixth-grade students with the opportunity to grow food and flowers while learning about gardening and nutrition. Check out some great photos of the outdoor classroom here.

It's Throwback Thursday on Facebook!
May 23, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday on our Facebook page. Check it out the throwback photo from the 1970s!
Bookstore Hosts Hillside Students
May 22, 2013
Kindergarten students from Hillside Elementary got a behind-the-scenes look at Barnes & Noble Bookstore at the Crossroads Mall on May 17. Students toured of the store, including the basement! They received warm cookies and refreshing punch from their kind hosts as well. Each student was able to pick a free book to take home as a souvenir of their field trip.
Sunset Mathletes Score a Victory
May 20, 2013
Sunset Hills sixth-graders took top awards at the Bennington Math Competition recently. Sunset's Team A (Sylvia Fehr, Laura Liu and Ian Pinhero) won first place in the written exam and quizbowl competitions. Sunset's Team B (Grant Cai, Vivian Jacobitz, Madison Jagels and Daniel Wood) won third place in the written exam. Twenty-four teams from the Metro participated in the inaugural event where the students participated in a group written team test and quiz bowl competitions.

WMS is No Place for Hate
May 20, 2013
Westside Middle School was recognized as a "No Place For Hate School" by Anti-Defamation League. WMS students participated in a variety of activities promoting acceptance, tolerance and making the school safe. May 17th was the conclusion of the activities, with a presentation of a "No Place For Hate" banner from Alan Potash, executive director of Anti-Defamation League.

Hillside Gets Visit from Thirstin'
May 15, 2013
Hillside's second-graders had a special visitor recently.  Thirstin the Water Bottle, the new mascot from Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD), came to promote drinking water for health and refreshment.  Thirstin also shared a "Water Follies" video, which students loved watching. 

WMS Teachers Awarded for Turbine Club
May 15, 2013
Westside Middle School teachers Caroline Sheffield and Mark Durante have been recognized by the Nebraska Association for Middle Level Education (NAMLE)  for going above and beyond the textbook to develop new projects to engage their students. NAMLE President, Julie Herink, at left, awarded Sheffield and Durante with NAMLE's Merit Award for their wind turbine project. They were presented with a check for $250 for their efforts.

WHS Named One of America's Best High Schools
May 14, 2013
Westside High School has been named to the list of most challenging high schools in America by The Washington Post. This is Westside's third consecutive year in the annual Washington Post poll. Schools are ranked by a simple formula. Read more about Westside's ranking here.

WMS Seventh-Graders Serve
May 14, 2013
Seventh-grade students from Westside Middle School spent May 10 serving others. Students picked up trash, worked with young children at a school and with seniors at a skilled nursing center, along with a variety of other projects.
Oakdale Students Dabble in Augmented Reality
May 14, 2013
Math, social studies and technology were integrated at the "Shops of Oakdale" recently. Oakdale Elementary third-graders operated stores where guests could purchase food and clothing and enjoy games. The project was a culminating activity for the students, who had studied how communities use resources and a variety of math skills. Students also integrated technology using the "Aurasma" augmented reality app on the iPad. The app plays a pre-recorded video, in this case a commercial the students created, when the user aimed the iPad's camera at the shop advertising poster.
Westside Foundation and Omaha Gives
May 13, 2013
The Westside Foundation will be part of a new online, fundraising campaign on May 22. Omaha Gives, a 24-hour charitable challenge, is a community-wide event that will celebrate Omaha's spirit of giving, raise awareness of local non-profits and celebrate the collective effort it takes to make Omaha great. The 24-hour donation period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 22. The minimum donation is $10. To donate or get more information, visit omahagives24.org. More than 300 non-profit have signed on to participate in the event, including Westside Foundation. The Foundation currently supports the Westside Early Childhood Education Program at 11 locations within the District, involving 100 teachers and 1000 children. Other activities and projects are curriculum improvement, mentoring programs, parental support activities, facilities improvement, student activities, grants to teachers and staff, scholarships to graduating seniors and donor-established scholarships and honorariums.
Westside Seniors Pile Up the Awards
May 13, 2013
Congratulations to Westside seniors Ben Ashby (at left), Grant Glazer, Mackenzie Mikkelsen, Joe Hack and Andrew McVea. Ashby was named one of the 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2013. Scholars are selected annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Glazer, Mikkelsen, Hack and McVea were named to the Omaha World-Herald's All State First Academic Team. Read more about their selections here.
WMS Scientists Create Gliders
May 13, 2013
Westside Middle School eighth-graders created walk-along gliders as part of their science class with teacher Caroline Sheffield. You can watch a video of students flying their gliders here.  A walk-along glider is a lightweight flying model designed to be kept afloat by controlling air flow with a piece of cardboard. A walk-along is designed to catch the air very easily once in flight. Essentially, the air works like a wave. When you walk forward with the cardboard the air bends upwards, creating a column of air/draft that pushes the walk-along. Getting the walk-along to work is a combination of having the right size cardboard, the right weight of paper, and the right walking speed. The walk-along then surfs on the wave of air, causing it to fly when you walk forward with the cardboard.

Oakdale Holds Kickball Tournament for Bella
May 10, 2013
Oakdale Elementary School's annual kickball tournament raised funds for "Bella's Battle" this year. The tournament, held on May 6, 7 and 9, is coordinated each year by the sixth-graders at Oakdale. It features teams from third through sixth grades. This year participation and concessions raised money for "Bella's Battle," benefiting local middle school student Bella in her fight against cancer. As a special treat, Bella and members of her family were able to visit and even play in part of the tournament.

Hillside Recognized for Diversity Work
May 9, 2013
The staff and students of Hillside Elementary have been recognized for their work to instill respect and appreciation of diversity. On May 3, Jessica Gall from the Anti-Defamation League presented students and staff with the "No Place for Hate" banner. Students also participated in a number of diversity activities. Fourth-graders attended a presentation of The Bully Show presented by the Rose Theater. Third-graders viewed the Blend of Friends puppet show.

It's Throwback Thursday on Facebook!
May 9, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday again on our Facebook page. This week it's a two-fer. Two pictures, two chances to relive your Westside years. Check it out!
Westside Warriors Work for a Cure
May 8, 2013
Westside: Warriors for the Cure was recognized recently as one of the top 25 teams in Nebraska for participation and fundraising. Westside’s team, comprising students, families and staff, has worked to end the disease that has touched so many. The team is led by Swanson P.E. teacher Debra Kaplan. The team was recognized on April 12 at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Nebraska Full Circle Breakfast. The Nebraska Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is committed to the promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

WHS Show Choir Tops in the Nation
May 7, 2013
Congratulations to the Westside High School Amazing Technicolor Show Choir for finishing the show choir season ranked #8 in the National Show Choir Ranking System, http://ow.ly/kLbz6
Oakdale Students Visit Latino Museum
May 7, 2013
Oakdale Elementary third-graders took a tour of Omaha recently and stopped in at El Museo Latino to learn more about Latino culture. Along with a visit to the museum's exhibits, students also learned the history of the pinata. And then they created their own pinatas.

WB Teacher Recognized for Math Excellence
May 6, 2013
Westbrook teacher Davina Faimon recently received the Future Leader in Mathematics Award from the math and education departments at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Davina is pursuing a master's degree in mathematics at UNO. UNO Associate Professor Michael Matthews, quoted from one of Davina's papers at the award event:  "Math is thinking.  It is the ability to reason that all other learning flows from. Reasoning is the foundation for all knowledge.  Without the ability to reason logically people find great obstacles to anything they are trying to accomplish." 

WB Celebrates Earth Week
May 6, 2013
Westbrook Elementary students went beyond celebrating the earth for just a day and took a week recently to think about ways to improve our planet. Monday was "Keep It Clean Day." Classes were encouraged to go out and clean up the school grounds. Tuesday was "Turn It Off Tuesday." Teachers and students were encourage to unplug for one day. That meant turning off all electronic devices and learning tools, as well as keeping the lights off. Wednesday was "Wear Green and Blue Day." Everyone was invited to wear green and blue to show support for Earth Day. Thursday was "Give Back Snack Day." Students paid 50 cents to bring a snack to enjoy during school. The money then went to purchasing plants for the school grounds. The week ended with the Recycled Bookstore and Poster contest. All week students brought books/posters from home. For each book brought in a student could then exchange it for a new one at the recycled book store, which was open on Friday morning.

Loveland Students Help Others
May 1, 2013
Loveland’s Student Council’s April outreach project was a huge success.  Council members collected multiple boxes of gently used clothing and peanut butter for the Heartland Hope Mission. This mission provides food and clothing, while promoting self-sufficiency, to those in need.  Pictured in the photo are 3rd grade Student Council members, Elina Gigantelli, Ellie Bowen, and Gretchen Nelson.
WMS Students Participate in Music Festival
April 30, 2013
On Saturday, April 27 several 7th and 8th graders participated in the Millard Solo and Ensemble Festival at Millard Central Middle School.  Westside finished with 15 Superior ratings and 7 Excellent ratings.  7th grade students receiving Superior ratings were:  Hannah Johnson, flute solo; Ellie Sadler, clarinet solo; Grace Calderon, oboe solo and alto saxophone solo; Christian Madsen, trombone  solo.  Kaitlyn Mathis received an excellent rating for her clarinet solo.  8th grade students receiving Superior ratings were: Allison Hall and Gillian Herrera for flute solos; Daniel Guo and Simon Bessmer, alto saxophone solo; Daniel Guo and Danny Berentson, alto saxophone duet; Tyler Douglass and Jacob Wigodsky, trumpet solos; Simon Bessmer, french horn solo; Candace Cusimano, trombone solo and Taylor Schendt, tuba solo. Students receiving Excellent ratings were: Howard Thiel, oboe solo; Anna Shehan, alto saxophone solo; Zach McCarty, tenor saxophone solo; TK Kim and Phillip Trimble, trombone solos and Francine Watkins, vibraphone solo.  Congratulations to these fine musicians!
Swanson First-Graders Tour Omaha
April 29, 2013
Swanson Elementary first -graders' recent community field trip covered a lot of ground, from a bank to a ferris wheel. The students in Miss Beck's and Mrs. Conyers's classes started the day at Great Western Bank where they saw the safety deposit box vault, estimated how much money there was in a piggy bank, did a money activity and left with a goody bag and a roll of pennies for everyone. Next they went to the Omaha Public Power District Arboretum where they hiked on the trails and ate lunch. Then it was off to Scheel's for a Ferris wheel ride. The students ended the day at the Apple store where they learned the program Photo Booth and were given a free T-shirt!
WMS German Students Strong at Convention
April 29, 2013
More than 20 German students represented Westside Middle School and brought home multiple awards from the annual Nebraska State German Convention recently. They competed against 300 other German students from Nebraska. The convention theme was "Zusammen Sind Wir Stark?" (Together We Are Strong). For a list of students who placed in various competition, click here.  

Hillside Fifth-Graders Visit Creighton
April 29, 2013
Hillside fifth-graders got their first college visit in early, spending the day at Creighton University recently. A small group from Mrs. Beran's class even got to meet basketball Coach Doug McDermott. Students soaked in the atmosphere of a campus, took tours and heard tips intended to help them to be prepared to attend any college.
Shows Preview Countryside Art Fair
April 29, 2013
Hillside and Loveland elementary schools held art shows recently. Students from kindergarten through sixth-grades chose their favorite pieces of art to showcase at the events. The shows were a preview to the upcoming Countryside Village 2013 Art Fair. This annual event will be held June 1 and 2 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Countryside Village, 87th and Pacific. The art fair showcases various artists, including a large display of work from the students of Westside schools.

Sprechen Sie auch Deutsch?
April 26, 2013
Five Westside High School students have been recognized for scoring in the 70th percentile or above on the National German Exam. An awards tea was held in the Dodge Room at the University of Nebraska Omaha on April 13. The WHS students pictured from left to right are: Stevie Allison, Everett Henry, Elizabeth Bruckner, Adela Moravova, and Kristin Udhus.Teacher Diane Wulf is on the far left, and teacher Mike Bendorf is on the far right.

WMS Teacher Takes it to the Hoop in Math Class
April 26, 2013
Westside Middle School math teacher Vicki Tomlinson is taking to the hoop in math class. Tomlinson was selected as one of 300 teachers nationally to pilot a new math game called NBA Math Hoops. She was selected by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “What attracted me to it was the idea of sports and math. If you can draw them in through sports, you can gain their attention,” said Tomlinson. To read more about this fun math option, click here.
Swanson Students Extreme About Gymnastics
April 25, 2013
Swanson Elementary students are extreme about their gymnastics! The school hosted an afternoon of extreme gymnastics on April 12. Students who had been studying gymnastics in P.E. had the chance to share their knowledge and skills with family and friends. Swanson students demonstrated skills of balance, weight transfer, strength, rotations and rolling. Go here to see more fantastic photos.

Swanson Wins Healthy Awards
April 25, 2013
Swanson Elementary was recently recognized as a 2013 "School in Action" at the Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids Summit. The vision of NE AFHK is that all school-aged children will adopt lifelong habits necessary to health and learning. The mission is to engage and educate to improve children’s nutrition and physical activity. Swanson was recognized for wellness activities; nutrition services and nutrition education; physical education and activity; and community involvement. Swanson was represented at the ceremony by fifth-graders Harper Gordman, Alex Estopare and Kelly Kroeger and P.E. teacher Debra Kaplan. In addition, Swanson has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Healthier U.S. School with a Silver Level Award. This award recognizes excellence in nutrition and physical activity.
PL's Squeegee Patrol Protects Playground
April 25, 2013
Prairie Lane Elementary has a secret weapon when it comes to dealing with April showers. The school's Squeegee Patrol of sixth-graders from Miss Krysl's class clears the playground of puddles. Armed with industrial-sized squeegees provided by the Prairie Lane Community Club, the students spend about 20 minutes clearing the playground's low spots. When the job is done, there's plenty of room for recess fun.
It's Throwback Thursday on Facebook!
April 25, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday on our Facebook page. We're celebrating the 1990s today. Check it out and see if you can name anyone in the photo.
Students AIM High at Robotics Competition
April 23, 2013
Westside students brought home multiple awards from the Youth@Infotech Conference at the CenturyLink Center recently. They competed in the AIM High Robotics Challenge. This fast paced and exciting event challenged their skills in technical understanding, driving, programming and game strategy. WHS students Todd Pursel and Mark Coldanghise earned the CEENBoT Freeze Pool Champion award. WHS students Ben Frazier and Greg Tracey were Obot Freeze Pool Champions. Ben and Greg also won the programming challenge and received an honor award, including $200 scholarships from the AIM Institute. WHS students Kaleb Buss and Jacob Bowen placed fifth in Freeze Pool. Competing for WMS in the team driving challenge, called Freeze-Pool, were Christian Kasel and JJ Life. In the team programming challenge, the group of Olivia Robino, Samuel Sweeney, and Olivia Wing competed for WMS. See more photos of the event here.

Snakes! Turtles! Toads! Oh My!
April 23, 2013
Paddock Road Elementary students and their families had the chance to be up-close and personal with snakes, toads, ducks and rabbits at the school's annual Nature Night recently. The event was sponsored by the Papio-Missouri Natural Resource District. Families learned about natural habitats of animals and the environment of Nebraska and Iowa. Parents and students made bird-feeders out of natural materials, made duck-calls out of wet string and paper cups, demonstrated water pollution and much more! See more photos from the event here.

Students Celebrate Reading with Dance Party
April 22, 2013
Second-graders in Mrs. Frederick's class at Hillside Elementary celebrated their reading success with a hard-earned dance party. The students read more than 10,000 minutes during the third quarter. Each student recorded how much time they spent reading outside of class. Parents signed their reading records, and when all the minutes were put together the class had read more than 10,000 minutes. In other words, a person would have to read for a full seven days with no sleep or breaks to equal 10,000 reading minutes! Wow!

WG Readers Hit the Books
April 22, 2013
Students in third through sixth grades at Westgate Elementary read more than 1,200 minutes each from December through March to win a free ticket to a Omaha Storm Chasers baseball game. On April 15, the 120 students who met their reading goals attended the Storm Chasers vs. the Nashville Sounds game. It was also "Jackie Robinson Day" at the ballpark. During the game, all the players wore 42 on their jerseys and the students saw the "42" plaque unveiled in the outfield in honor of Jackie Robinson. Although it was snowing and a little chilly, all 120 students braved the weather to watch the Chasers beat the Sounds 3-2.
Loveland Strings Students, Teacher Get Master Class
April 19, 2013
Loveland Elementary strings students and their teacher, Viktoria Matheson, were recently treated to a master class given by an Omaha conductor. David Barg, an educator and conductor with the Omaha Symphony, spent the afternoon of April 17th at Loveland. He worked with students on musicianship and with Matheson on conducting. The goals of the program, called Educator as Maestro, include providing unique opportunities for teachers to study conducting and creating mentor relationships between teachers and conductors. Teachers also have opportunities to attend seminars and observation sessions given by symphony conductors. This program is provided for free to local schools by the symphony.

WG Kinders Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
April 18, 2013
Westgate Elementary kindergarteners learned about the three Rs from speaker Kumari Durick. She showed the students many examples of items that can be recycled and reused. The highlight of the program was her worm bin. She has four bins at her home for composting. Students observed the worms with a magnifying glass and touched the red worms. Durick gave the students many examples of items that can be composted.
New SkillsUSA Chapter Competes at State
April 18, 2013
The five members of WHS' new SkillsUSA chapter brought home multiple awards from the 2013 state SkillsUSA State Leadership Conference held April 11-13 in Hastings. More than 1,200 students from across Nebraska competed. Kaleb Buss placed fourth in oxywelding. Keith Wilwerding placed eighth in cabinetmaking, and Jacob Bowen placed 10th in automotive service. Keith and Jacob were also honored with academic achievement awards. Erik Williams competed in state-only cabinetmaking, and the four students (plus freshman Ben Frazier) competed in technical team problem solving. See photos of the competition here.

Throwback Thursday for Gen Xers
April 18, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday on our Facebook page. And this week it's for Gen Xers. Visit the page and see if you can name that cheerleader.
PR Students Cast Golden Tickets
April 17, 2013
Paddock Road students voted for "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle," "Because of Mr. Terupt" and "Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever" as their nominees for the Nebraska Golden Sower Award. The Nebraska Golden Sower Award develops an appreciation among Nebraska's youth for excellence in writing and beauty in illustrations. The award's sponsor, the Nebraska Library Association, hopes the program will sow seeds that stimulate children's thinking, introduce different types of literature, encourage independent reading and increase library skills. "Nubs" was chosen by kindergarten through third-grade students. The other two books were tied in voting by fourth, fifth and sixth-graders. Students voted for their favorite selections in the library the week of April 8th. Paddock's votes will be sent to the Golden Sower committee, and the statewide winner will be announced on May 1st.

WHS Student Wins Design Contest
April 17, 2013
WHS art student Natasha Arritt is the winner of a design contest to create a new logo for the Metro Conference.  Natasha also won $250. She is a student in Liz Dittrick's design class.  WHS Assistant Principal Tom Kerkman presented Natasha with the award.

Swanson Students Fuel Up at UNL
April 16, 2013
Some Swanson Elementary students spent a day at Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln learning about nutrition and physical activity and meeting UNL athletes. The eight students were invited to the Fuel Up to Play 60 Game Day Reward Summit on April 10 because Swanson has been involved in Fuel Up to Play 60 throughout the year.

The Westside High School Theater Department presents: RUMORS
April 16, 2013
April 25th & 26th at 7 pm and 27th at 2 pm in the WHS Auditorium
“Rumors”, by Neil Simon, is a madcap, door slamming  farce set in a large home located just outside of New York in the year 1988. The characters are arriving as guests at a 10th Anniversary Dinner. The first couple to arrive discovers that one of their hosts (Charley) has apparently attempted suicide...unsuccessfully. So find a date for the "dinner party", settle into your seat and watch the eventful evening unfold for these high society friends. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 22nd online at seatyourself.biz  and in the Warrior Walkway from 11–1 pm. Adult tickets are $8. Student tickets are $5.
WTV Wins UNO Journalism Awards
April 15, 2013
Warrior TV staff members brought home a first place award for best broadcast for the sixth year year in a row from the spring journalism conference at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Executive producers of the broadcast were: Grace Hoyme, Brigit Mahoney, Anna Skold and Sydney Wieseler. Hoyme also brought home a first for best news story and a first for best sports story. Wieseler won third place for a news story; Laurel Oetken and Rachel Kaup won third for a sports story; Madison Pflug won second for a feature story. Dilnoza Inoyatova and Hannah Hadley won third in features.
WMS Teams Wins Engineering Award
April 15, 2013
Members of a Westside Middle School engineering team earned an award of distinction for their solution to the challenge “Keeping Coal Caged” at a recent competition at the University of Nebraska Omaha.Team members were: Claire Smith, Joitree Alam, Daniel Guo, TK Kim, Dylan Patten, Jim Hallgren and Avery Wetzel. In addition to the Award of Distinction, they also earned Gold Achievement Awards in Presentation, Research, and Technology and Silver Achievement Awards in Proposal, Applied Science, Innovation and Teamwork. The competition was part of the Society of American Military Engineers' Student Mentoring Program. SMP is designed to stimulate secondary school students' interest and excitement in engineering, architecture and related sciences. SMP is a critical thinking program that challenges students to solve real world problems in the community. The Society of American Military Engineers and the Peter Kiewit Institute provide teachers and students with mentors from engineering/architectural fields, guidelines, teacher/student workshops and an authentic audience for the demonstration of student solutions.

Girls Scouts Donate to the Food Pantry
April 12, 2013
Families receiving food from Westside’s food pantry will have a special treat. On April 5, Girl Scouts from Prairie Lane, accompanied by their parents, visited Westside’s food pantry. The scouts, from Troop 44713, have collected donations for the pantry through the program Gift of Sharing. As the scouts sold cookies this year, they encouraged people to buy a box of cookies to donate to Westside’s food pantry. When the cookies and other items were dropped off, the girls and their parents stayed to help sort and shelve food.
Westside DECA Brings Home Awards
April 12, 2013
Westside DECA had an amazing weekend at the State DECA Career Development Conference that was held in March in Lincoln.  We are very proud of our students. Seventy-four out of our 112 students who participated ranked in the top eight.  That is outstanding!  More than 900 students from across the state competed. Read more about the competition, as well as the names of the all the Westside competitors, here.
It's Throwback Thursday on Facebook!
April 11, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday on our Facebook page. Check out the cool black and white, 1940s-era photo and see if you can answer the questions.
PR Student Qualifies for National Geo Bee
April 8, 2013
Paddock Road Elementary student Theodore Jansen took first place in the Nebraska Geography Bee and will represent the state at the national competition in Washington D.C. on May 22. Jansen took a test to initially qualify for the state bee. He then competed against 99 other students at the state event on April 5 at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Theodore made the top 10 and moved into the finals after a perfect score in preliminary round. After many exciting rounds, Theodore took first place. At the national bee, Theodore will meet Jeopardy host Alec Trebek and have the chance to be crowned the 25th National Geographic Bee champion. Prairie Lane student Brendan Pennington and Sunset Hills student Daniel Wood also performed well at the state bee. Daniel was in the top 16 and Brendan was in the top 14 out of the 100 contestants. Other Westside students who earned a spot at the bee included: William Clark (Westgate);  Anna Fleming (Loveland); Andrew Li (Rockbrook); and Preston Noll (WMS).

RB Students Study Magnets
April 5, 2013
Students in Mr. Fry's sixth-grade class are studying the relationship between electric currents and magnetism. Students created electromagnets and attempted to see how many paper clips they could attract. Electromagnets are useful because they can be turned on and off.

Musician Visits PR
April 4, 2013
Paddock Road Elementary School students learned about sound and vibrations during a recent presentation by musician Joey Gulizia.  He demonstrated many ways to create sound with such instruments as the saxophone, the steel drums and the didgeridoo, as well as homemade creations such as vacuum cleaner parts and rulers with holes in them. A member of the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame who sometimes performs with Manheim Steamroller, Gulizia is an artist in residence at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
It's Throwback Thursday!
April 4, 2013
Head over to our Facebook page to learn more about the history of Westside schools, especially the instruction of foreign language.
WB Students Raise Pennies for Pasta
April 3, 2013
Members of the Westbrook Elementary National Honor Society raised more than $1,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Pennies for Pasta teaches students about helping the community and raises money to help fight against blood cancers. Each student received a coin box to collect money for two weeks. After two weeks, the class with the most money won a pasta party from Olive Garden. Mrs. Sinclair's class raised more than $240 and won the pasta party!
WB Students Dance the Night Away
April 2, 2013
Westbrook Elementary fifth-graders recently put on their dancing feet and demonstrated the merengue, foxtrot, rumba, tango, swing, waltz and polka for friends and family. The students ended the night with a performance of the cha-cha slide, inviting parents onto the floor to dance, too. It was the culmination of third-quarter lessons from dance instructors provided by The Artery Foundation. Instructors taught students at Westbrook twice a week for 10 weeks. Click here to see more photos of the event.

RB Students Work on Writing
April 1, 2013
Students at Rockbrook Elementary School have been busy recently working on writing skills. Third-graders in Mrs. Davenport's room (photo at left) have been studying literary devices and organizational patterns. Students worked on using sequence to understand how text is organized and to use sequencing as a way to understand texts they read. Sixth-graders in Ms. Dorn's class (photo at right) worked on a writing piece about what their lives would be like in 20 years. Students told about where they would live, what jobs they would hold and what things they would do for fun. Students had to use vocabulary words that their friends may not know. Within their writing they used clues to help their friends figure out what the word meant.

WB Students Jump Rope for Heart
April 1, 2013
Westbrook Elementary School students raised more than $2,200 for Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart this year. The top fundraiser this year was sixth-grader Emma Allison, who raised over $250 dollars.

WMS Students Earn Spots at National History Bee
March 29, 2013
WMS students Kathryn Horwath, Zach McCarty and Preston Noll earned spots at the National Middle Level History Bee after a regional competition on March 27. This is the second year WMS students have competed in the event. Joitree Alam also competed. At the beginning of the competition, students take an online tests to determine if they qualify for regionals. Joitree, Zach, Kathryn and Preston qualified for the competition in Des Moines, which included students from Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. At that competition, after three rounds of questions, Zach, Kathryn and Preston moved on the top 10 and then the top 5. Then they had to earn their way into the top two. Zach made it and barely missed the championship. Zach placed second, Kathryn, the only girl in the top 10, placed third. Preston  was fourth. All 3 have earned their way to nationals in Atlanta. The event is sponsored by the History Channel and hosted by Al Roker.
RB Eggs Hatch
March 29, 2013
Kindergartners at Rockbrook are studying living and non-living things. They categorize them by the characteristics of each group. Over the course of the last three weeks they have been observing and collecting data on their eggs. Finally, two eggs hatched this week!

Westside Teachers Highlight CEENBots
March 28, 2013
David Shabram and Anna Sumner recently presented at the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Their presentation highlighted the CEENBots robotics program and how the engineering and teacher education departments at the University of Nebraska cooperated to develop the CEENBoT with STEM robotics curriculum.  At the conference Anna Sumner was recognized as one of the nations Outstanding Affiliate Representatives for ITEEA.

It's Throwback Thursday
March 28, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday on the Westside Facebook page. Check out the photo and let us know if you can identify the gentlemen who gathered to celebrate Westside Community School's 35th anniversary in April 1982.
Engineering and Technology Program Receives Tool Donation
March 27, 2013
Northern Tool + Equipment Omaha store manager, Richyrd Sorsveen (center), presented $1,000 in donated tools to Westside High School students on Friday, March 22, 2013 to support the school's engineering and technology program. (L to R) Tyler Foster, WHS skilled and technical science teacher, Hanco Germishuys/WHS student, Taylor Hedrick/WHS student, Richyrd Sorsveen/Store Manager, Jacob Andrews/WHS student, and Grant Schuttler/WHS student.


WMS Students Show Their Skills
March 27, 2013
The Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club brought home multiple medals and even more memories from the Second Annual Nebraska Middle School SkillsUSA Conference held in Grand Island on March 22. Earning medals for WMS were Taylor Schendt, first place in Mousetrap Vehicle Distance; Gabby Henderson, second place in Bridge Building; the Quiz Bowl team of Benjamin Brodkey, Kathryn Horwath, and Jack O'Dell earned second place; the Technical Team Problem Solving team of Brianna Beasley, Gabby Henderson and Rebecca Kisicki earned second place. Others competing for WMS were Christopher Alexander in Applied Math and CO2 Dragster, Kathryn Horwath in CO2 Dragster, Shawn Plucinski in Applied Math and Bridge Building, Taylor Schendt in CO2 Dragster and Rebecca Kisicki in Bridge Building. The WMS SkillsUSA Cub is sponsored by David and Kristeen Shabram. Other middle schools participating in the conference were Elmwood-Murdock, Keya Paha County, Louisville, Thedford and Wahoo. To see photos of WMS students, click here.

Westgate Student Chosen for Leadership Conference
March 26, 2013
Westgate fifth-grader Orion Shayder has been chosen to attend the 2013 Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. Orion was recognized for his strong academic performance and his leadership potential. While at the conference, Orion will tour museums and monuments, the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and have a sleepover at a science center.

Annual Golf Outing is July 1
March 25, 2013
The annual Westside Hall of Fame Golf Outing is set for July 1. The event will be held at The Players Club in Omaha and is open to all players of all abilities. All funds raised at the golf outing will benefit the Westside Foundation and the Westside Alumni Association. To get all the details for this event and to register, click here.
Prairie Lane Continues a Popcorn Tradition
March 25, 2013
A Prairie Lane tradition of more than 20 years continued this March as students and teachers gathered to create green popcorn balls. The popcorn balls are sold throughout March as a school fundraiser. Early in the month, in the hour before school starts, student council members and some early-rising teachers come together with popcorn, butter, marshmallows and green food coloring. The teachers take the ingredients and huddle around microwaves, brought in just for this project, and wait for the few minutes it takes to melt, stir, add food coloring and stir again. This mixture becomes the perfect sticky concoction that will form the popcorn into popcorn balls. The students, with gloved hands, wait patiently at the green, paper-covered tables around the large buckets filled with popcorn. After the sticky concoction is added to the popcorn, the students' hands dive in and begin the messy, yet fun job of producing some 500 or so green popcorn balls. For the next week, all students are given the chance to buy popcorn balls after school. To see photos of the fun, click here.

Westside Raises Money for Cancer Research
March 25, 2013
Westside For A Cure has kicked off the 2013 campaign to raise money for cancer research. Westside For A Cure T-shirts will be sold by members of the WHS soccer teams. The cost is $10; shirts will be on sale until March 29. Westside staff, students and parents can wear their T-shirts with jeans on April 19. Jeans Day will be held to honor the memory of Liz Karnes, a long-time District 66 supporter and school board member. She died in 2003 after a 12-year battle with cancer. Westside soccer teams will participate in Kicks for a Cure soccer games on April 20 at Creighton's Morrison Stadium. The girls will play Marian at 11: am and the boys will play Prep at 1:30 pm. Come cheer on the teams and wear your shirts! 

ATSC Rocks Orlando
March 22, 2013
Westside's Amazing Technicolor Show Choir was named first runner-up at FAME Orlando, a national show choir event held at the Hard Rock Live concert venue on the Universal Studios property. Choirs from eight states competed at FAME.  ATSC earned a record five Grand Championships during the 2013 competition season. ATSC has one final performance this year on Friday, May 3, for An Evening of Show Choirs at 7:30 pm in the WHS Auditorium.  Tickets will be available at the door the night of the performance.
Westside Wins Platinum Wellness Award
March 21, 2013
Westside is the first school district in the country (and one of only 37 workplaces total) to receive the Well Workplace Platinum Award from the Wellness Council of America. This is WELCOA’s highest designation. Platinum workplaces are leaders and innovators in workplace health promotion and demonstrate exemplary implementations of all seven WELCOA benchmarks. Read more about the award here. 
Westside's Throwback Thursday
March 21, 2013
It's Throwback Thursday on the Westside Community School's Facebook page. Visit the page to see if you can name the guys in the photo from 1957. We'll give the names at the end of the day today, March 21.
History Lives at Swanson
March 20, 2013
Excellence in Youth students at Swanson walked a timeline through history recently - tracking the impact of innovation and change through the lives of famous inventors. Fourteen fourth and fifth grade students researched the lives of inventors, wrote papers on them and then presented first-person narratives to students, friends and family on March 7. Inventors featured on the timeline were: Alexander Graham Bell (telephone); Thomas Edison (phonograph); Nikola Tesla (AC current); Anna Wessel Williams (diphtheria vaccine); Wilbur Wright (airplane); Henry Ford (Model T); Walt Disney (multi-plane camera); Charles Drew (plasma and transfusions); Hedy Lamarr (secret communication system); Virginia Apgar (APGAR scale); Jonas Salk (polio vaccine); Ruth Handler (Barbie doll); and Gertrude Elion (drug AZT). Click here to see photos of the presentations.
RB Students Hold Food Drive
March 19, 2013
Students at Rockbrook Elementary are busy collecting food for the annual food drive. Food collected will be donated to the Westside Food Pantry. Classes will compete with each other to build a creative sculpture out of the goods they bring.
Westside DI Teams Qualify for State
March 19, 2013
Two WMS Destination Imagination teams have qualified for the state competition. Wind Visible team members Taylor Schendt, Libby Seline, Kate Alston, Ava Bowman and Alexander Bayles placed first in their division. This team had to solve a creative problem using wind energy research and kinetic art. The team also placed first in the instant challenge, which is a creative problem-solving exercise. The Real to Reel team of: Olivia Robino, Audrey McCann, TK Kim, Lilli Marvin and Ande Bilyeu, won second. These team members had to do a community service project and create a movie and press conference about their problem. This team also scored first in the instant challenge. The two teams competed at the Lewis and Clark Regional Competition on March 16. The state competition is April 6 in Kearney.

WMS Stages HONK!
March 18, 2013
Westside Middle School presents the musical comedy HONK! It is the story of Ugly, whose odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. Separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry Cat, Ugly must find his way home. Along his rollicking and harrowing journey he discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny, as well as love and acceptance in all its forms. HONK!  is a story for all ages to enjoy. The musical will be presented at 7 p.m. on March 21, 22 and 23. TIckets, available at the door, are $6 for adults; $5 for seniors and students.

PR Puts the Fun in Fundraiser
March 18, 2013
Paddock Road parents decided to do fundraising differently this year – with amazing results. The PR Community Club substituted a read-a-thon for its standard fundraiser. Students read 100,926 minutes and raised $15,874.56 - triple the goal set by organizers. Click here to learn more about the PR read-a-thon.

Gallery Offers Glimpse of WHS Life
March 15, 2013
Getting a glimpse into life at Westside High is now as simple as walking down a hallway at the school. Nineteen framed photos of everything from soccer games to friends goofing around to the school play line the hallway between the Social Studies IMC and the journalism wing. The gallery is a project of teacher Rod Howe. He wanted to use student photography to “add living history to the hallways, I thought it was the perfect solution to making our long, gray hallways more vibrant and interesting.” The photos have come from past yearbooks. “The photos had to be technically sound, be well composed and have story-telling quality,” he said. The funds to frame and mount them came from a $1,000 grant from the Westside Foundation. Howe plans to refresh the gallery from time to time with new photos. He’s still working on the process of choosing photos. Before his retirement in May, Howe hopes to establish a committee that would choose new photos periodically throughout the school year. Click here to see more photos of the gallery.

Happy 3.14 Day from Westside Schools
March 14, 2013
Excellence in Youth students at Rockbrook and Westbrook elementary schools are celebrating Pi Day by researching Archimedes, who discovered Pi, and Einstein, whose birthday is 3-14. The students will dress up as either Archimedes or Einstein for a Battle of the Brains on March 22. During the battle, students will hold a round table discussion/debate and eat … what else? Pie.

RB Donates to Project Linus
March 13, 2013
Rockbrook preschoolers and the sixth-grade students in Ms. Dorn's class cooperated recently to create quilts for Project Linus. This was the culminating event for the preschool's unit on clothes and cloth. The students made eight fleece tie-blankets to donate to Project Linus. Project Linus distributes blankets to children who are hospitalized.  

Hillside Wins SMART Board
March 13, 2013
Students and families at Hillside Elementary won a SMART Board for their school through a program at the Peony Park Hy-Vee. Members of the Hillside family have been shopping and collecting SmartPoints from Hy-Vee since the start of the school year. Lily Goc, a fourth-grader, was the Hillside student who collected the most points. She won an iPad 2, which she generously donated to Mrs. Falcone's fourth-grade classroom. On Feb. 28, officials from the Peony Park Hy-Vee, including store director Martin Stokes, presented the SMART Board to Mrs. Frederick's second-grade class.

Wired is Finalist for National Award
March 12, 2013
Westside Wired is a finalist for the Pacemaker Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. It's the top honor for scholastic journalism. Click here to learn more.

WMS Hot Jazz is First!
March 12, 2013
In their first-ever jazz band contest, musicians in the WMS Hot Jazz band placed first in the junior high division of the Bellevue East High School Jazz Festival held March 7. Eighth-grader Tyler Douglass was named outstanding trumpet soloist for the festival. There are 30 students in the 2012-2013 jazz band, under the direction of Matt Sheppard.
RB Students Celebrate Presidents
March 12, 2013
Teddy Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and George Washington, along with many other of our country's past leaders, made appearances at Rockbrook Elementary recently. The second-graders researched presidents and then made presentations to their classes and family members, about the lives and accomplishments of our presidents. Ronald Reagan was a favorite as he brought jelly beans to share.

That's A Lot of Math!
March 8, 2013
WMS student Ethan Beier was the winner of the World Math Day Competition. He solved 2,083 correct problems to win the contest held at WMS on March 6. In second place was Christian Kasel with 1,686 correct problems; in third was Samuel Sweeney with 1,462 correct problems. Students went online and were matched up with other students from around the world to compete with each other to solve math problems. There were 32 math classes participating and a total of 671 students. These students worked a grand total of 165,709 math problems correctly!

Speech Contest Celebrates Innovation
March 8, 2013
Laura Liu, a sixth-grader at Sunset Hills, is the winner of the 2012-13 Kiwanis Elementary Speech Contest for the Westside School District. Sydney Sheridan of Paddock Road took second; Connor Smith of Prairie Lane took third. The theme of this year’s contest was: Innovation in History/Impact and Change. Other participants included: DiAuvion Conner, Erik Henry, Mamie Sayre, Sam Ali, Jerald Bergman, Chloe Shepherd and Britney Ryder. The contest, in its 35th year, was held March 8 at Westside Community Conference Center. Click here to see photos from the contest.

Oakdale Raises Funds to Fight Cancer
March 8, 2013
Sixth-graders at Oakdale Elementary have raised $1,157 to support Bella Fuccio and her family as she fights cancer. The students raised the money during Night of the Notables event a few weeks ago. A check was presented to the Fuccio family during an assembly on March 7. The fundraising event was a powerful reminder of the good character Oakdale students strive to show.

Grab N Go Breakfast Served at Swanson
March 8, 2013
It’s National School Breakfast Week and the Grab N Go breakfast program at Swanson Elementary means everyone has a chance to start the academic day off right. The new pilot program provides a quick breakfast for bus students who don’t arrive at school in time to eat breakfast from the school program. Grab N Go items such as bagels and muffins are packaged and can be taken to their classrooms to be eaten. Diane Zipay, director nutrition for Westside schools, said the program is important because over and over research finds “clearly and convincingly” that eating breakfast helps students learn. The program could expand to other schools in the District in the future, Zipay said.

Loveland Celebrates Innovators
March 7, 2013
Loveland sixth-graders used art and technology to research and present information about famous innovators.  Students created and narrated a Keynote presentation about a famous innovator, along with his or her portrait. The portraits and presentations were put on display for parents to view using QR codes.

Loveland Students Collect Donations
March 7, 2013
Loveland's Student Council sponsored a donation drive for Children's Hospital / Carolyn Scott Rainbow House. Students collected items to fill the Rainbow House's pantry. The Rainbow House is a home-away-from-home for patients and families that need to stay in Omaha for extended medical care. Sixth-grade student council officers Emily Bauer, Mia Weisbach and Ariel Smith helped deliver the donations.

Westside Show Choirs Rock LC
March 7, 2013
Westside show choirs rocked the Lewis Central "Clash of the Titans" Show Choir Invitational on March 2 in Council Bluffs. Members of the Amazing Technicolor Show Choir kept their winning streak alive, earning awards for Best Vocals, Best Choreography and Best Band. Westside Connection won the Middle School Division. Simply Irresistible placed second in the Female Show Choir Division and Warrior Express capped a perfect season by winning the Prep Division. With a record five Grand Championships to ATSC's credit this season, the possibility of a perfect season is alive. Next stop is FAME Orlando to compete for a national title.

Loveland Art Featured on Website
March 6, 2013
Art students at Loveland have their own online gallery. Art teacher Jamie Krueger uploads pictures of student artwork to the website, We (heart) Art, to share with the community. The website features artwork inspired by famous artists, books and landscapes. Various art techniques and supplies are used to create the work in the colorful and imaginative online gallery.
Team Turbine at Work at WMS
March 6, 2013
Newton’s Laws of Motion are in full swing at Westside Middle School. Ten members of Team Turbine are using their science knowledge to design prototypes of wind turbines. The group eventually hopes to mount a larger finished turbine atop an old weather station tower at WMS. “We are hoping to run the electricity to an outlet in one of our classrooms that students can use to charge their laptop or cellphone,” said teacher Caroline Sheffield who is coordinating the team with teacher Mark Durante. Students spent many weeks researching designs before settling on an idea and building their prototypes out of coat hangers, cardstock, plastic cups and many other household items. Click here to see more photos of students and turbines.

Teacher Recognized for Gifted Education
March 5, 2013
Westside teacher Debra Hanslip has been recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the National Association for Gifted Children. Hanslip received the award for her many years of service to NAGC and gifted education in Nebraska. Dennis Hansen, Hanslip's mentor at Westside, attended the annual spring convention to present the award.

Prairie Lane Celebrates Dr. Seuss
March 4, 2013
On the morning of Friday, March 1st, Kindergarten students and parents (and even some siblings) joined together to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday. Everyone had a yummy bagel breakfast and enjoyed reading books together. Parents read to children and children enjoyed reading to parents. Click here to find eight photos from event - you might even find yourself!

Battle of the Books Held
March 4, 2013
The Atomic Brains team from Oakdale Elementary took first place at Westside's annual Battle of the Books competition on Saturday, March 2 at WHS.  Members of the team are Lilly Bowman, Mily Loo, Justin Solheim and Catherine Boyce. The Green Book Packers from Sunset Hills took second place. Members of that team are: Daniel Wood, Nate Weibel, Sawyer Barnhart and Grant Cai. All 10 Westside elementary schools were represented, with more than 180 students participating. Forty-seven teams entered in the competition. Students have been reading from a list of 20 books to prepare for the competition. At the contest, students were asked questions about the 20 books and earned points for knowing the title and author of the book to which each question pertained.

Algebra and Real World Applications at WHS
March 4, 2013
Security National Bank employees spoke to Advanced Algebra students at WHS on Friday, March 1, about the real-world applications of exponential and logarithmic functions. Dawn Dries, Emilee Harvey and Joe McGonigal gave a lesson to students about a variety of subjects, including establishing good credit.
Mayor Suttle visits WHS
March 4, 2013
Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle visited WHS on Friday, March 1, to speak to students who are studying federalism in an American Government class. The mayor visited the class taught by Diana Schergin. He spoke about his personal political history and about how city government relates to federal government. Suttle's political career began when he was a student at West Virginia University. He was elected to the student legislature and vowed then to someday become the mayor of a city. Decades later, he was sworn in as Omaha's 50th mayor in 2009. Along with Suttle, the class also celebrated the state of Nebraska's 146th birthday.  Click here to see more pictures of the visit.

WHS Student to Tour with Joshua Bell
March 1, 2013
Westside High School Orchestra violist Jehong Ahn has been invited to be a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America during the Summer of 2013.  Ahn, a senior, is going to New York and will tour with conductor Valery Gergiev and violin soloist Joshua Bell. The tour includes stops in Washington D.C., St. Petersburg, Moscow and London.

Night of the Notables at Oakdale Elementary
March 1, 2013
On Feb. 28, sixth grade students participated in their annual "Night of the Notables" event at Oakdale Elementary.  From Michael Jackson to Jackie Robinson, each student researched an influential person in history. Students dressed in costume and stood next to their research project. Students were instructed to stand frozen in a pose until family members or friends dropped a coin into their can bringing them to life. All donations will support a community service project chosen by the sixth graders. 

RB Collects Books for Charity
February 28, 2013
Rockbrook Elementary students are on a mission to collect one book for every child enrolled at the school. That's 273 books that will be donated to charities around the city of Omaha! The book drive is sponsored with Westside High School’s National Honor Society.
WMS Students Awarded for Tech Skills
February 28, 2013
Four WMS students have been recognized by the Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) for excellent technology skills. NETA sponsors various contests that allow students to use technology to create logos, videos, etc. Dani Barton earned first place honors in NETA's Brand It Contest. For this contest, students were asked to re-design their school logo. Jaylen Knight received an award for one of the top entries in NETA's LOGO Contest for the 6-8 grade level. Jackson Zito and TJ Sheibal received an award for creating a point/counterpoint video about why cell phones should be allowed in the classroom.
Swanson Teacher to Visit Japan
February 27, 2013
Swanson kindergarten teacher Kathleen Susman has been chosen to travel to Omaha’s sister city, Shizuoka, Japan, this June. Susman was one of three Omaha-area teachers who were chosen. The teachers will depart Omaha on June 5 and return on June 13. Highlights of the trip include: a home stay with a Japanese family, sightseeing trips as well as visits to schools. At the schools, the teachers will present English lessons, speak with teachers, observe a variety of classes and meet with principals. Special meetings will be held with the city’s mayor and superintendent of schools.

PR Students March for Civil Rights
February 27, 2013
Fourth-graders at Paddock Road Elementary re-enacted a march for civil rights as part of a social studies lesson recently. Students in Mrs. Woodland's and Mrs. Kring's classes studied the history of Montgomery, Ala., the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. Students learned about segregation in the 1950s and about examples of prejudice at that time. For example, African Americans couldn't vote or drink from water fountains reserved for whites. Class members made protest signs and marched around the classroom while "We Shall Overcome" was played. To see more photos of the march, click here.
WHS Teacher is Apple Distinguished Educator
February 26, 2013
Matt Lee, a social studies teacher at WHS, has been chosen for the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013. The ADE program was established in 1994 by Apple to recognize K-12 and higher education pioneers who were using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. There are 2,000 ADEs worldwide. Lee is the third in the Westside Community School District.
It's All Smiles at Loveland
February 26, 2013
Third-graders at Loveland learned how to keep their smiles bright. Kristin Schroeder, D.D.S., from Got Smile Dental Group taught the students all about dental health. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Westside Robotics Teams Compete
February 25, 2013
More news about success of Westside teams at the Nebraska Robotics Expo and CEENBoT Robotics Showcase on Feb. 15! Elementary teams from Paddock, Sunset, and Westbrook competed in the showcase at the Nebraska Air and Space Museum. The Westbrook team of Korbin Wolfe, CJ Litton and Jordan Schlautman took first place in the Ball Course, Navigation Course, and the Arena Robot Foosball competition. The team of third grade students from Sunset and fourth grade students from Paddock enjoyed meeting the Governor and exploring all the areas of robotics. The Career Center team of Michael Sanchez, Zane Slatten, Hoang Le and Antonio Acosta placed third in the Foosball competition. The WHS CEENBot Robotics team of Mark Coldanghise, Kaleb Buss, Todd Pursel and Jake Bowen also competed. Mark Coldanghise and Kaleb Buss received second place trophies in the Ball Course and Navigational Course. Click here to see pictures.

WHS Presidential Scholars Candidates Chosen
February 25, 2013
Three Westside High School seniors have been named candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. Benjamin K. Ashby, Ella P. Sherman and Mackenzie L. Mikkelsen are now eligible to be chosen as semi-finalists in the competition.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars program recognizes students who excel in a variety of ways: academics, leadership, the arts and involvement in school and community.

WMS Robotics Team Wins
February 20, 2013
The WMS Robotics team brought home multiple awards from the Nebraska Robotics Expo and CEENBoT Robotics Showcase on Feb. 15. The event was held at the Strategic Air and Space Museum. Team members are: eighth-graders Christian Kasel, Nyca Gaskill, Søren Johnson, JJ Life and Olivia Robino; and seventh-graders Samuel Sweeney, Kyle Trivilino, Olivia Wing and Frank Owusu. Christian Kasel won first place in the Engineering Notebook Documentation contest. The Autonomous Programming team led by Olivia Robino, Olivia Wing and Samuel Sweeney also took first. Presenting on the topic of Ag Robotics: Past, Present and Future, Nyca Gaskill and Søren Johnson took second. The teams also competed in the Navigational Course and Ball Course, performing well.  Working themselves up from the loser's bracket, a third place finish went to all the team members as they rallied and defended their positions in the Arena Robot Foosball competition. In the Robotics Creative Visual Arts Expo, eighth-graders Kate Jensen and Josh Wonder both received first place ribbons for their entries.
WMS Honor Society Holds Blood Drive
February 19, 2013
A Red Cross blood drive held at WMS on Feb. 2 provided enough blood to save 126 lives. The drive was the first ever organized by members of the WMS chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. NJHS students were in charge of every aspect of the drive and more than exceeded their goal of 25 donors.

Westbrook Students Dance in P.E.
February 19, 2013
Fifth-graders at Westbrook Elementary have been learning ballroom dancing for the past three weeks. They have been participating in a Dancing Classrooms Residency Program. The student have and will continue to learn ballroom dances, while also learning the life long skills of respect for themselves and for others. At the end of the program the students will perform for parents, teachers and students to demonstrate what they have accomplished.

WHS Basketball Player Honored by Kiwanis
February 19, 2013
Karly Meyer, WHS senior basketball player, has been honored by Westside Kiwanis Club for achievements on and off the court. The club honors a senior boy and a senior girl basketball player each year. Honorees are represented from Westside, Marian, Northwest and Burke.  They receive a plaque and certificate for their accomplishments. Meyer is pictured with Assistant Coach Jamie Davis and Head Coach Steve Clark.

History Lives at Sunset Hills
February 15, 2013
On Feb. 7, fifth and sixth grade students and some fourth graders participated in History Day at Sunset Hills Elementary.  Each of the students researched an influential person in history following the theme; Innovation in History: Impact and Change. Their work was shown with a written report and trifold display board. In addition, the students dressed as their chosen person and presented information about that person during an event held for family and friends at Sunset Hills. Click here to view photos from the event.
RB Readers Record Fluency
February 15, 2013
Second graders at Rockbrook Elementary use Garage Band to record stories for fluency practice. Students read their story into the computer, listen back, and see how they can improve their reading. They do another recording and compare the two. Students use a fluency rubric to guide the expectations for reading.

WMS Quiz Bowl Team is Victorious
February 15, 2013
Congratulations to members of the WMS Quiz Bowl team for their first place win at the Roncalli Wits Clash tournament on Feb. 8. The following students participated in this competition: Zach McCarty, Preston Noll, Robert Gabel, Ava Bowman, Audrey McCann, Alexander Bayles, Asa DeWitt and Madeleine Rauhauser. The team is coached by Holly Weeks and Corrie Philo.

Newscaster Visits Hillside Kindergarteners
February 15, 2013
As part of a unit studying community helpers, Hillside's kindergarten classes invited Jim Siedlecki from WOWT Channel 6 to visit the classroom on February 11th. He shared information about his job as a newscaster, and he read Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. Siedlecki also spoke about being on TV and the work he did in school to achieve his goal of being a newscaster.
Oakdale Students Serve Others
February 13, 2013
Oakdale third graders participated in a service project this winter lending a hand to children and their families at Children's Hospital and Medical Center. Students, parents and siblings stayed after school in January to make more than 20 fleece blankets for patients at the hospital. The blankets are one way to help the children at the hospital feel just a little bit better. Families also came together to prepare a delicious meal for families of the patients staying at the Rainbow House. "Breakfast for dinner" was a big hit!
WHS Offers Modeling Physics Class
February 13, 2013
WHS is offering a new physics class focused on real-life examples rather than memorization. Modeling Physics might begin with students observing a car rolling downhill. Instead of memorizing formulas and theorems, students are first asked to share their thoughts about the car and problem solve – what can they measure? What relationships can they explore? How can they analyze their data? Teachers and students agree, it's a good way to learn. Junior Michael Trivilino says, "... it makes more sense. We get more examples to apply it to the world around us." Click here to read more about Modeling Physics. 

WHS Robotics Team is Excellent!
February 13, 2013
WHS Robotics Team members Jordan Estee, Victoria Johnson and Alex Zimmerman brought home a prestigious award for excellence from the Nebraska State VEX Robotics Championship last weekend. The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) presented the award to the three students for their outstanding achievement. The award also includes $350 to be used for the development of VEX Robotics at WHS.

Fellowship Fuels Passion for Teaching
February 12, 2013
Halfway through his year as a teaching fellow for the U.S. Department of Education, Aaron Bredenkamp is more passionate than ever about his profession and about Westside Community Schools.
“I feel more connected across the United States. It’s easier for me now to think that there is a whole group of people out there as passionate as I am about teaching,” said Bredenkamp, a math teacher at Westside Career Center. To read more about Bredenkamp's fellowship, click here.
Rockbrook Students Work on Ratios
February 12, 2013
Sixth graders in Mr. Fry's room at Rockbrook Elementary used the SMART Board to help with their work on ratios. Students watched a video presentation, used the interactive tools to practice working with ratios, and used activities to demonstrate their individual understanding of ratios.

WMS Show Choir Wins Again
February 11, 2013
Westside Connection won the UNO Show Festival this week for the eighth straight year and the ninth out of the last 10 years. Connection competed against 21 different schools in the metro and western Iowa area.
WCC Student Volunteer Recognized
February 8, 2013
WCC student Jorge Encalada was named Volunteer of the Year 2012-13 for Access 66. He was recognized at a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8, at WCC. Encalada, 18, has given more than 200 hours of volunteer service in the Access 66 kitchen over the past year. “No one has worked harder than Jorge Encalada,” said Kathy Sullivan, banquet coordinator. “He washed a lot of pots and pans.” Encalada began volunteering as part of one of his WCC classes last spring and then continued to come on his own throughout the summer. Access 66 Executive Chef Arturo Valenzuela presented Encalada with a chef’s coat. Encalada also received a plaque and several gifts from Pepsi Co., including roller derby tickets. To see more photos, click here.

WHS Quiz Bowl Team Qualifies for State
February 8, 2013
For the third year in a row, a WHS Quiz Bowl team has qualified for the state tournament. To qualify for state, team members Zane Fletcher, Joe Hack, Emma Johanningsmeier, Andrew McVea and Mac Mikkelsen took first place at the ESU 3 Quiz Bowl Tournament on Jan. 28. The state tournament will be held April 24. The team advisor is WHS teacher Angela Mosier. Quiz Bowl is a team competition based on academic trivia. Topics include, but are not limited to: math, American history, art, politics, science and health. 

Congressman Visits Oakdale Class
February 7, 2013
Congressman Gene Green of Texas visited Mr. Higginbotham's class at Oakdale Elementary on Feb. 1. Congressman Green read the book House Mouse, Senate Mouse to the students and spoke a bit about his job in the House of Representatives and about the recent Presidential Inauguration.  In addition, the Congressman presented the school with a flag previously flown over the House of Representatives and a copy of the book House Mouse, Senate Mouse.

Prairie Lane Students Celebrate 100 Days
February 7, 2013
On January 23rd, second grade students at Prairie Lane Elementary celebrated the 100th day of the 2012-2013 school year. Students participated in numerous curriculum activities to celebrate the hard work they have put forth in the first 100 days of school. One of the favorite activities was dressing up as 100 year olds and writing about what life would be like at that age.Click here to see more photos.
MLK Celebrations in Westside Schools
February 6, 2013
Students in the Westside Community School District celebrated the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. with speeches, readings and activities. Students pledged to make the world a better place and to promote peace and togetherness. Click here to read more.
WMS Students Make History Fun
February 6, 2013
At Westside Middle School, David Baker’s seventh grade social studies students are bringing history to life. The students were given a list of historical figures from which to choose. These figures were from the Age of Exploration or the Age of Renaissance. Students had the option of displaying their information in a variety of ways: a tri-fold board, an accordion-style book, a flip-book, a newspaper, or a children’s book. They had one week to complete the assignment. WMS staff will view the display, which is set up in the Performing Arts Center Hallway, and vote for the top winner in each category. The winners will each receive $10 gift cards. Click here for more photos.

WHS Forms Lacrosse Team for Girls
February 5, 2013
Westside High School is the first school in the state to form a lacrosse team for girls.
The players began practicing on January 23. So far, 19 girls have turned out for the team. Three coaches, Carly Preston, Linda Lam and Kelly Gorski, will be working with the players. WHS girls’ lacrosse will travel to tournaments in Iowa and Kansas to compete, along with hosting two tournaments locally, this spring. A parent-player meeting for the girls and boys lacrosse teams will be held Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. in Room 220 at WHS.

Hillside Students Meet Reading Challenge
February 4, 2013
Third-grade students in Mrs. Riffner's class at Hillside Elementary celebrated reading success with a Read and Feed event on Feb. 1.
The students were challenged by Dr. Hauptman to read at least five hours over the winter break and to record their reading times on a log. Mrs. Riffner's students returned the most logs of any class at Hillside. Students who completed the challenge received a book and enjoyed some popcorn and juice, along with more reading.

Westbrook Student Wins Regional Art Award
February 4, 2013
Westbrook Elementary fourth-grader Angel Sabino took her own advice and followed her dreams. She is the regional winner in the music making category of the Boys and Girls Club's annual digital arts competition. Sabino, 9, won for her original song, Follow Your Dreams. She created the song using computer software and knowledge she gained while at the Westside Boys & Girls Club. Entrants were asked to create a song that speaks to their peers about future life goals. Sabino will now compete in a national competition in the 6-9 age group. She was surprised by Boys & Girls Club representatives on Feb. 1 when they came to her classroom at Westbrook to present her with the award.
WHS Presents The Outsiders
February 1, 2013
Westside High School presents "The Outsiders" on Feb. 13, 14 and 15 at 7 pm in the Westside High School Theater.  This dramatic adaptation of S.E. Hinton's classic coming-of-age novel stars Ponyboy, an insightful young man caught in a class war between the "have-it-all" rich kids - the "Socs" - and his underprivileged "Greaser" friends and family. In the midst of this urban warfare, kids on the brink of adulthood must face the loss of their innocence, and the line between hatred and acceptance.  Tickets are $8 for Adults, $5 for Students (Children under 5 are free). Tickets go on sale February 11th at www.seatyourself.biz

Oakdale Students Meet Radio Show Host
February 1, 2013
Gina, one of the morning radio hosts from Omaha’s country music station, KAT 103.7, read to fourth grade classes at Oakdale Elementary recently. Gina read The Upside Down Boy and then answered questions from the students about her job as a radio host.  Each student received a book. They were then taped saying the Pledge Allegiance and it was aired on KAT 103.7 on January 25. Boystown Pediatrics sponsored the book tour.

WHS Show Choirs Win Awards
January 31, 2013
Three Westside High School show choirs brought home multiple awards from The Battle of the Best competition held recently in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Simply Irresistible placed 2nd in Class B (after the performance was interrupted by a fire alarm), Warrior Express placed 1st in Class 4A and ATSC placed 1st in Class 5A. Kate Hughes was named best performer, and ATSC earned the award for Best Ballad. Both Warrior Express and ATSC qualified for the Finals competition where Warrior Express finished as 3rd Runner Up and ATSC was name Grand Champion. ATSC also earned caption awards for Best Vocals, Best Band and Best Diction. ATSC is also featured on the homepage of www.showchoir.com, and the choir is tied for 2nd place in the National Show Choir Ranking system.

Loveland Fourth-Graders Debate Dam Project
January 31, 2013
Loveland Elementary fourth graders held the annual Rocksburg Dam debate on January 28. In preparation for the debate students researched and composed their arguments for or against the dam. The fourth graders did a great job presenting their arguments in front of their peers and many parents. In the end, the fictitious city of Rocksburg voted to build the dam.  

Swanson Celebrates 100th Day of School
January 31, 2013
First grade students at Swanson Elementary celebrated the 100th Day of School in style. They made 100 day hats with 100 stickers, spelled 100 words, completed 100 math problems and drew pictures of what they might look like when they are 100 years old. The 100th Day of School was January 23.
Paddock Road Read-a-thon and Flashmob
January 29, 2013
Paddock Road Elementary held an all-school assembly to inform students about the upcoming Read-a-thon fundraiser. Students will collect donations with the promise of reading a certain number of minutes each night. The money the students raise will go to the Community Club for various school needs. At the end of the assembly, Paddock Road staff members surprised students with a flashmob performance to the song “This Book’s Gonna Be a Good Book” – a twist on the Black Eyed Peas’ song “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night!” Students had great time watching their teachers have fun. 

WHS Varsity Basketball Team Visits Rockbrook Elementary
January 24, 2013
Westside High School's varsity basketball team visited Rockbrook Elementary to work with Jered Hellman's fifth-grade class. The students chose a Readers Theater script to read with their second grade buddies and the basketball team helped them record their readings into iMovie to make a video to share with the class.
Boys Read Book Club Engages Readers at Hillside
January 14, 2013
With choices like video games, iPads and sports for boys, it’s easy to see why reading may not be a top activity. “Research shows boys just don’t like reading as much as girls and I have seen that teaching for 13 years in this district,” said Hillside literacy coach Ally Hauptman. She and Hillside librarian Stacy Johnson saw a need to engage boys to spend more time reading. “We want to motivate our unmotivated readers,” Hauptman said, so they wrote a grant that was approved by the Westside Foundation to start the Boys Read Book Club at Hillside Elementary. Click here to read more.
Hillside Collects Pennies for Patients
January 24, 2013
Hillside Elementary's Student Council decided to collect money for Pennies for Patients, a program sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during the first semester of the 2012. Hillside families, staff, and students raised a grand total of $567.38. The money will be sent to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help blood cancer research.
Westgate's Celebrity Quiz
January 14, 2013
Westgate Elementary sixth-grade teacher, Stephen Pesek, regularly brings in guests to be a part of ‘Celebrity Quiz’. January’s celebrity was Channel 6 News anchor, Jacki Ochoa.  Each student has an opportunity to ask a question, such as:  What kind of student were you in 6th grade?  What do you value most in others?  What advice would you give?  The question and answer session is designed to inspire and motivate his students. 

African Culture Connection Performs for Third Grade
December 28, 2012
Third-graders throughout the District spent the morning of December 6 dancing and drumming with nine artists from African Culture Connection.  Students saw the program at Westside High School while the third-grade teachers were at training as part of Volunteer Council's Student Enrichment Program.  African Culture Connection is an organization of professional artists using traditional African dance, music and story to encourage students to learn more about the positive contributions African cultures have made to society.  Students, parents and volunteers watched three dances and participated by drumming and playing instruments. Executive Director Charles Ahovissi taught the students about African culture and the countries and languages of Africa.  The program was made possible by grants from the Nebraska Arts Council and The Westside Foundation.

Westside High School Students Mentor Westgate Students
December 20, 2012
Six Westgate Elementary students have been matched with six Westside High School student as mentors.  The high school students volunteer their time during their open mods or after school at Club 66.  Mentors spend time with the elementary students doing homework, playing games, eating lunch, shooting hoops and throwing the football around.
Swanson Students Create Blankets for Project Linus
December 20, 2012
First-graders and third-graders at Swanson Elementary have been learning about how others help the community.  As a class they made six fleece tie blankets for Project Linus. The new, bright-colored blankets will be donated to area hospitals and given to children. For more information on Project Linus, visit their home page at www.omahaprojectlinus.org.

Oakdale Students "Gift-a-Family"
December 20, 2012
During the week of December 3rd through the 7th students from Oakdale's Student Council led a drive to gather money for the annual "Gift-a-Family" event which supports community families in need.  Last year students raised $700 so this year's goal was set at $800.  The generosity of families far exceed the goal with student and staff donations topping $1,500 that helped provide a happier holiday for several families. 
WHS Cheerleaders Adopt a Family
December 20, 2012
The Westside High School cheerleaders held a fundraiser at the student vs. staff basketball game to adopted a family through the Salvation Army. They raised enough money to purchase gifts for a mother of four children. The cheerleaders gave a gift card to Hy-Vee and clothes for the kids 14-months to 12 years-old.
Holiday Program at Westbrook
December 20, 2012
Under the direction of vocal music teacher Connie Tompkins, Westbrook fourth and fifth graders performed a holiday program for parents, students and staff. With songs like Jingle Bells and The Everlasting Fruitcake, the students had lots of fun sharing the holiday spirit.

Students donate to Project Linus
December 17, 2012
The Westside High School Future Educators of America club, along with staff sponsor Lori Huffman hosted a Project Linus Make-a-Blanket day. Students made blankets to donate to Omaha Project Linus. Westside High School cheerleaders and members of the volleyball team also helped to make more than 30 large blankets. The blankets are distributed to children who have faced trauma or have experienced a serious illness.
Loveland Donates Mittens to Salvation Army
December 17, 2012
Loveland Elementary's Student Council Outreach Committee sponsored the Loveland Mitten Tree to help the Salvation Army's Winter Night Watch program.  The Night Watch program helps make cold winter nights bearable for homeless people in Omaha by providing hot meals and warm clothing. Loveland collected 37 hats, 87 pairs of mittens and gloves, six scarves, 21 pairs of socks, and 10 sets of hat, gloves, snd scarves.

Hillside Kindergartners Help Servicemen and Women
December 17, 2012
Hillside kindergartners have been writing to some servicemen and women who are serving overseas. They mailed flags around Veterans Day and made holiday cards to send with their Social/Emotional Learning buddies. Recently, as a service project, the students decided to collect goodies like beef jerky, candy, gum, chapstick, etc. and send the items overseas. They collected 98 different items and will be sending them to our servicemen and women. "The kids were super excited to see all of the goodies we collected. I think this was a great opportunity to show love and respect for others," said kindergarten teacher Jill Foster.
Paddock Students Explore Geometry Outside the Classroom
December 10, 2012
Students at Paddock Road used digital cameras to explore the geometry in the world around them. After learning the basic geometry vocabulary and being able to identify the various lines, angles and polygons, students headed out with cameras to capture the geometry that is all around. Students went through the school in partners and took as many pictures as they wanted. Then they used their technology skills to download and export the photos, saved them on a flash drive and printed two shots per student. The pictures will hang in the hallway of the school for others to see.
Spelling Bee
December 10, 2012
The District spelling bee was held on December 7th at the Community Conference Center. The competition included 36 students in fifth through eighth grade.  Each building held their own competition and sent their winners to the District competition. The first place District winner was Olivia Robino from Westside Middle School.  Olivia will represent Westside Community Schools at the 82nd Midwest Spelling Bee at Creighton University on March 9th. 


Westside Foundation Recognizes Two Teachers with Bravo Awards
December 5, 2012
On Monday, December 3, 2012, the Westside Foundation recognized two Westside teachers with the Bravo Teaching Award. The Westside Foundation created the Bravo Award to recognize the work of outstanding teachers.  Read More

Students Win at Math Contest
December 3, 2012
Fourth-grade students from Oakdale Elementary placed first in a Math Contest at Marrs Magnet Middle School in Omaha.  The contest took place on Monday, November 19th and students from Loveland, Oakdale and Sunset Excellence in Youth program participated in this competition.  Loveland's team tied for fourth-place in the contest in which students competed against 30 other teams in a timed written team test and participated in a math quiz bowl.

Pitch Owner Talks with Entrepreneurship Class
December 3, 2012
Willy Theisen, restaurant entrepreneur, stopped by Westside's Entrepreneurship Class to speak with seniors. Theisen spoke to the class on November 29 and mentioned the importance of being a part of something you are passionate about, engaging in projects, working hard, getting excited and giving back to the community.  One of the most important things the students took away from his presentation was “have confidence in yourself.”  Theisen is the founder and former owner of Godfathers Pizza with locations in over 40 states, he also owns Pitch Pizza which opened in 2009.  Entrepreneurship is an elective class offered to seniors and each student works with a team to plan and operate a small business within the school.  The students are also exposed to local entrepreneurs that share their time, knowledge and success stories on a weekly basis.
Students Help Stock the Westside Food Pantry
November 30, 2012
Students from Westside's elementary i66 Program helped stock the District food pantry as part of the service learning component of the i66 curriculum.  The students worked with Social Worker Jessica Lowe on stocking shelves and sorting food that came in during the food drive.
Author Visits Elementary Students
November 30, 2012
Author Michael Shoulders visited all ten elementary schools during November 26-30 and spent time discussing his writing process with students.  Shoulders, the author of a number of non-fiction alphabet books including "T is for Titanic: A Titanic Alphabet" and "D is for Drum: A Native American Alphabet."
Songwriter Tim Halperin Visits Westside Connection
November 29, 2012
Westside High School graduate, songwriter and American Idol finalist Tim Halperin paid a visit to Westside Middle School's show choir Westside Connection.  They are singing one of his original songs, "I Believe" as a ballad in their competition show.  The students performed it for Tim and he gave feedback and told his personal story on this song as well as some background on how show choir had helped him along the way.  Tim took a few requests and Westside Connection ended the rehearsal singing "I Believe" as a group with Tim.
ATSC Wins at Viterbo
January 8, 2013
Congratulations to the Amazing Technicolor Show Choir and Show Band on being named Grand Champions at Viterbo 101 this past weekend at Viterbo University in Lacrosse, WI.  In addition to placing first, they received caption awards for Best Vocals, Best Choreography, Best Male Soloist: Will Frei and Best Female Soloist: Sophie Goldberg.  The show band also received the highest instrumental score of the day and Josh Montanye placed first in the solo competition singing "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables.  ATSC has never won their first competition before and this is their first win in the state of Wisconsin.  Congratulations on this huge achievement!
WHS Hosts "Remembering our Fallen" Exhibit
November 28, 2012
Westside High School is hosting a traveling exhibit that honors military personnel who gave their lives for our country.  The "Remembering our Fallen" exhibit will be on display in the front entry of the high school from November 26-30.  During the opening ceremony on Monday, November 26, Westside Superintendent Blane McCann and Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry thanked veterans for their service to our country.  The free exhibit is open to the public.
Westside Middle School Presents The BFG
November 29, 2012
Westside Middle School presents The Big Friendly Giant at the WMS Performing Arts Center, December 12-14 at 7pm.  Tickets are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students.  For more information click here.
Paddock Students Practice Team Building
November 28, 2012
Kindergarten students at Paddock Road Elementary built a web out of yarn as they participated in a lesson of team building.  The objective was "when we are part of a team, we must all do our share and help others when needed."  The students had to throw the yarn ball to each other, without letting go of their string of the web  Students then held their friends web string while they took turns crawling under the web.

SkillsUSA Club Holds Fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity
November 28, 2012
The Westside Middle School SkillsUSA Club recently held a fundraiser benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Omaha.  From October 29 through November 9, the SkillsUSA Club members collected money before school, raising a total of $376.43. 
Oakdale Sixth Graders Host Bounce for Bella
November 27, 2012
Oakdale Elementary's kindergarten through second-grade students participated in Bounce for Bella, a fundraiser for a student battling cancer put on by the Oakdale sixth-graders as a service project. Students brought in their loose change and had the opportunity to participate in a fun basketball activity. The sixth-grade students ran the stations that were set-up in the gym and coordinated the event.  The event raised $1,005 for Bella and her family, click here to see a slideshow of students participating in Oakdale's Bounce for Bella.
Swanson First-Graders Celebrate Career Day
November 27, 2012
Swanson Elementary first-grade students celebrated Career Day on November 20, 2012. Students were studying neighborhoods, communities and where people work within our community. They chose a career they would like to be when they grow up and came dressed with "tools of the trade" for those careers. The class showed up as doctors, nurses, space jumpers, teachers and a principal, moms and dads, zookeepers and veterinarians, a chef, mail carriers and artists just to name a few.   
Westside Journalism Wins National Awards
November 20, 2012
Congratulations to Westside Journalism, they had a terrific showing at the National Scholastic Journalism Convention in San Antonio, TX.  Warrior Television received sixth-place in the Best of Show Broadcast category, Craze Magazine won third-place in Best of Show Newspaper Special Edition Category and The Lance won eighth-place in Best of Show Newspaper Category.  The Warriors also had several individual award winners: Emily Glazer and Laurel Oetken won for Honorable Mention for Broadcast Package, Ally Stark won Superior Rating- Photo Story, Jordan Meradith won Excellent Rating- Literary Magazine Layout and Eva Phillips won Excellent Rating - News Magazine Layout.

Veterans Day Celebrations
November 20, 2012
Thank you, Veterans! In honor of Veterans Day, several Westside schools held activities to celebrate and recognize these American heroes. Click here to view a slideshow.
Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Westside High School Students
November 15, 2012
On Tuesday, October 30, Holocaust survivor Bea Karp spoke to Westside High School students participating in the Dynamics of Global Intolerance class. Bea spoke about her childhood in Nazi Germany, her time living in a concentration camp, and her eventual reunification with family members.
Creighton Volleyball Coach visits Paddock Road Elementary
November 12, 2012
Creighton University Head Volleyball Coach, Kirsten Brenthal Booth visited with the Paddock Road Pandas on October 23, 2012.  Kristen spoke to the students about the importance of making safe, respectful and responsible decisions at school and in life.  Following her speech, first quarter Panda Pride Awards were given out and two students from each classroom received a trophy and an award for making safe, respectful and responsible decisions.
Westside Students Compete in Math Competition
November 9, 2012
Two hundred students across the metro area participated in the 22nd Annual Sixth Grade McMillian Math Competition on Thursday, November 8.  Five teams from Loveland, Oakdale and Sunset Hills represented Westside Community Schools in the head-to-head contest.  The first portion of the competition consisted of 60 questions the teams had to complete in 40 minutes.  To win, the students used their math, teamwork and strategy skills.  The Quiz-Bowl competition was designed to be a quick-paced, fun event for the participants. The team from Sunset Hills took first place in both the written competition and Quiz Bowl.
Swanson Students Play Algebra Election
November 9, 2012
Sixth-graders at Swanson Elementary celebrated Election Day by playing Algebra Election.  Students worked to win a state's electoral votes by solving an algebraic equation.  Students substituted the variable in the equation with the number of electoral votes designated to the state.  The first team that collected 270 or more votes won the election.  The winning red or blue team members became the President and Vice President.
Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise visit Rockbrook Elementary
October 31, 2012
Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise from the Rose Theater paid a visit to second-graders at Rockbrook Elementary. They talked about the importance of having a balanced diet and 60 minutes of exercise each day. Try as they might, many villains tried to get the duo to stray from their healthy ways to become slugs however health won out in the end.

Westside Teacher Named Music Educator of the Year
October 26, 2012
Westside Choral Director Doran Johnson has been selected as the 2012 Nebraska Music Educators Association Music Educator of the Year!  The letter that Doran received from NMEA stated "this is a wonderful tribute to your dedication and commitment to music education, your program, and students.  Your nomination letters were inspiring and spoke to the quality of the program you have developed and the richness of the musical experiences you provide for students.  Your mentorship of students and fellow educators is recognized and truly admired by many." Doran will be presented his award at the Annual NMEA Awards Banquet on Thursday, November 15 at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.
Congratulations to the Boys Varsity Tennis Team
October 25, 2012
The Boys Varsity Tennis team finished fourth-place in the State Championship which was held on October 11 and 12. Congratulations! Grant Glazer, Camden Bilyeu, Sean Padios, Trent Gardner, Michael Mellen and Noah Placzek are pictured.
Westbrook Students and Staff Celebrate Boss's Day
October 25, 2012
For Boss's Day, Westbrook students and staff showed their appreciation to their principal by wearing ties to school. Principal Glen Jagels wears a tie everyday, so they felt it was a great way to show how much they appreciate all the hard work he does for Westbrook. The students all decorated paper ties and wore them around throughout the day while staff members brought ties from home. 
Kindergarten Students Create and Deliver Scarecrows to Residents at Ambassador
October 24, 2012
Students in Hillside's kindergarten classes made scarecrows for the residents at Ambassador Omaha.  The students made the scarecrows out of a paper lunch-sack and decorated the sacks with construction paper. They stuffed them and made two each, one to keep at school and one to give away. "The kids really enjoyed saying 'happy fall' to the residents at Ambassadors." said Hillside kindergarten teacher Jill Foster.

Students and Staff Raise Money for United Way
October 19, 2012
Westside Community Schools held its annual United Way fundraiser October 1-12. Staff and students participated in a variety of activities to raise funds for the United Way. Click here to see more pictures of how schools raised money.
Westside High School Counselor Recognized
October 17, 2012
The Nebraska School Counselor Association recognized Westside High School Guidance Counselor Theresa Henson with the Nebraska High School Counselor of the Year award.  The award, which recognizes outstanding service at the local, state, or national level and reflects professional school counseling concerns, was presented to Theresa on the annual NSCA annual luncheon. “Theresa has an unparalleled enthusiasm for her job that is infectious to all of us that work with her,” said Doug Hauserman, guidance counselor at WHS, in his recommendation of Theresa. Congratulations!

Westside Journalism wins Cornhusker Awards
October 16, 2012
Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Lance, Shield, Wired and WTV staffs.  Each of those publications/media (newspaper, yearbook, media convergence and broadcast journalism) received a Cornhusker award at the Nebraska High School Press Association convention in Lincoln on Monday, October 15. The Cornhusker is the highest rating awarded by the NHSPA critique service. Westside was the only school to earn this honor for all four mediums.
Westside Educator Named 2013 Nebraska Teacher of the Year
October 15, 2012
Westside High School math teacher Angela Mosier was named the 2013 Nebraska Teacher of the Year in a surprise announcement at Westside High School on Monday, October 15, 2012. The Nebraska Commissioner of Education Roger Breed made the announcement in Mosier's classroom. Mosier has been teaching in the District since 1999. She is a Nationally Board Certified teacher, receiving her certification in 2007.  (Read More)
Bullying Awareness Week September 24-28
October 15, 2012
The week of September 24-28 was Bullying Awareness Week for Westside Community Schools. Schools used the week as an opportunity to educate students and staff, and to highlight anti-bullying and anti-cyber-bullying efforts in their buildings. Click here to see how schools participated.
Students Participate in International Walk to School Day
October 15, 2012
Several Westside elementary schools including Hillside, Swanson, and Loveland participated in International Walk to School day on October 3. Students met staff along the route to their schools, to form "walking school buses." The day was designed to build awareness and support on the need for walkable communities. The activity also promoted exercise and wellness among students.
Westgate Students Learn About Healthy Foods
October 5, 2012
Westside Community Schools dietician Tracy Watsabaugh spoke to Westgate kindergartners about making healthy food choices.  She told the students that healthy foods give them the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow, be strong, and have the energy to learn. Following the talk, students were able to sample some new foods, including kiwi berries and romanesco (cross between broccoli and cauliflower).
WMS Students Place in Robotics Competition
October 5, 2012
On Sunday, September 30, the Westside Middle School Robotics team traveled to the CenturyLink Center Omaha to compete in the River City Robotics Competition, held in conjunction with Ak-Sar-Ben’s River City Rodeo & Stock Show. 

The mission of the contest was medical robotics based, using robots to retrieve foreign objects from a cow's stomach. A giant 20 foot-long cow-shaped mat was used as the surface for this competition.  Each team had approximately 2 hours to design, construct, and test their solution before competing in a 5 minute competition to collect as many foreign objects as they could from the cow's stomach.

The WMS team made up of Nyca Gaskill, Christian Kasel, and Taylor Schendt. They competed against 14 other middle school teams fhroughout the state, earning 2nd Place in the middle school division.  The team is coached by WMS teachers Anna Sumner and David Shabram.
Rockbrook Touch Tubs
October 5, 2012
Rockbrook kindergartners are learning about their five senses and how to use those senses to make observations. The students used their sense of touch to see what messages the nerves in their skin would send to their brains. The kindergartners stepped in bubble wrap, flour, ice, sponges, and dirt. Afterward, they washed their feet in water. Following the activity, the kindergartners brainstormed words to describe the sensations they felt.  

Paddock Road Students Create Imaginary Cities
October 5, 2012
As part of the social studies curriculum dealing with sequence of events and change, students in Jamie Pedroza’s second grade class at Paddock Road Elementary created buildings where people can work, play, and live. Students then worked in groups to build an imaginary community and decide where to place their buildings within their community. Each group presented their community to the class and explained why they arranged their community the way they did.
Scarecrows on Display in Oakdale's Outdoor Classroom
October 2, 2012
On September 27 and 28, the crows didn't stand a chance as 17 scarecrows were created by each of the classrooms and pre-school at Oakdale.  Themed to topics the classes have been studying, and connected to District indicators, each scarecrow demonstrates the learning and creativity of the students that worked to create it.  Weather permitting, the scarecrows will be on display through parent teacher conferences October 16 and 17.  Click here to see a slideshow.

Firefighter Fred Visits Hillside Elementary
September 28, 2012
Firefighters from the Omaha Fire Department presented a program to Hillside Elementary on the importance of fire safety.  The discussed  having an escape plan for students and their families as well as their homes.  Students participated in skits and demonstrated ways of having a fire escape plan. Firefighter Fred, a 10 ft tall mascot, attended the assembly and helped students learn more about fire safety. 
Fourth Grade Twins at Paddock Road
September 28, 2012
Fourth graders at Paddock wanted to be with their parents "in spirit" on Curriculum Night.  So they created a twin to sit with their parents while they listened to their teachers explain what is taught in fourth grade.  Click here to see more twins!

Loveland Holds Family Football Frenzy and Math Night
September 21, 2012
Loveland Elementary invited families to join them for their Open House/ Family Football Frenzy and Math Night.  Parents had the opportunity to play a math game with their students.  By participating in the math games, they were given a ticket which was turned in to the office to earn yardage for their child's classroom. The classroom with the most yards and touchdowns won a prize. 
Westside High School Presents Macbeth
September 12, 2012
The Westside High School Theater Department presents Williams Shakespeare's "MACBETH", adapted and directed by Vincent Carlson-Brown, Thursday through Saturday, September 20, 21 and 22, at 7:00 pm at Westside High School.  Tickets are $8 for adults; $5 for students.  Advance ticket sales begin Sept 17 at www.SeatYourself.biz.
Former Students Visit Loveland and WHS
September 10, 2012
Former Loveland students, Dave Humphry, Larry Meyers, and Ed Zschau, as well as former Underwood Hills student Gregg Millett had a reunion of sorts, when they visited their old stomping grounds in September.  The foursome and their guests toured Loveland Elementary, visited classrooms and answered questions from students about what school was like in the 1940’s and ’50’s. Although many things have changed over the last 67 years, one thing remains the same, noted Zschau – the value of a great education. The 1957 WHS graduates wrapped up their afternoon with a tour and lunch at the high school.  

SEL Program Promotes a Caring School Community
September 6, 2012
Students in Mary Urosovich’s classroom at Swanson Elementary sat together in a circle near the end of the school day. During this weekly class meeting, the second grade teacher talked about making choices. She asked the class, “How many people think you will make choices to be the best you can be?”  Conversations like this one are happening at elementary classrooms throughout Westside, as part of the District’s Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum. Read more.
Paddock Road Students Learn About QR Codes
September 6, 2012
Fourth graders at Paddock Road Elementary spent some time in the classroom using QR codes to check their math. QR codes, otherwise known as Quick Response codes, are "super" barcodes that contain stored information.  
Students Celebrate Success with Ice Cream
August 30, 2012
The Westside High School Social Studies Department hosted its first ever Ice Cream Social celebrating students who earned a 3 or better on last year's College Board exams in the social studies.  Over 120 students, sophomores through seniors, were invited to attend for their efforts within the AP European History, AP Human Geography, AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, AP Psychology, and AP U.S. History exams. "The idea for this event began when we were brainstorming how we could get students motivated to increase AP test preparation and improve scores on the AP U.S. History exam," said Social Studies teacher Bob Brousek. "When we announced last spring of this incentive, I was surprised at the positive response from the students in class."  Current AP students volunteered to helped serve the ice cream at the social.
Oakdale Students Take Part in Frog Olympics
August 30, 2012
In honor of the 2012 Olympics, sixth-grade students at Oakdale Elementary did a little research about the ancient and modern Olympics. They then competed in the "Frog Olympics" by creating an origami frog to compete in events like the long hop, the timed hop (30 seconds), the high hop/jump, and the sprint hop. Students integrated skills of measurement and inquiry, and all paper amphibians were checked for matching dimensions and weight class.
Sunset Hills Holds Fun Run for Learning
August 30, 2012
Sunset Hills Elementary held a Fun Run to celebrate the start of the school year. The students started at Sunset Pool with some stretches before the run. After the run, they had healthy snacks and water donated by parents and staff at the Snack Shack.  Click here to see a slideshow of pictures from the Fun Run.

Superintendent Reads to Youngest Westside Students
August 22, 2012
Swanson Elementary kindergartners were in for a storytime treat on Tuesday, August 21 when they received a visit from Westside Superintendent Blane McCann. Dr. McCann read two books about going to a new school, Froggy Goes to School and The Kissing Hand. Dr. McCann acknowledged the fears students sometimes face when they start at a new school. Students listened while Dr. McCann shared how he felt the night before he started at Westside; then students shared how they felt. Everyone agreed that nervous feelings don't last long when you're part of Westside Community Schools.

Underwood Hills Creates Outdoor Classroom
August 21, 2012
With the help of the Nature Explore Classroom Certification Program and the City of Omaha, Underwood Hill Early Learning Center is creating an outdoor classroom for students to learn.  The classroom will include a gathering area, music area, nature art center, a messy area and a garden grown by the students.  The City of Omaha donated 35 tree stumps and truck load of mulch to spark this project. "Our goal at Underwood in regards to our nature yard, is to give children the opportunity to explore all their senses and develop social and emotional skills. Allowing children to be outside, helps in their self-regulation and improves upon their social and physical being," said Andreea Shnayder, Site Director at Underwood Hills.  Click here for a slideshow of Underwood Hills' outdoor classroom. 
Kindergartners Help a Rabbit Named Buddy Find his Way
August 20, 2012
Loveland Elementary kindergarten students read a story called "Listen, Buddy" where Buddy was a rabbit who had a hard time listening.  When Buddy went down a wrong path, the kindergartners tried to help him find his way by following Buddy’s clues around the school. They met school helpers and visited important places around Loveland including the Principal's office, the lunchroom, the media center, and the health office. The students found Buddy resting in their classroom when they returned.
Westside Students Head Back to School for 2012-13
August 17, 2012
School was back in session on Tuesday, August 14 and teachers and students alike were excited to get back into the classrooms. Click here to see a slideshow of back to school pictures from around the district.
Westgate Holds Basket Races to Celebrate Olympics and the Start of the School Year
August 15, 2012
Westgate Elementary started the year off right with an all-school assembly and in honor of the Olympics, students and teachers participated in a bucket race. Racers had to complete two laps around the gym gliding in their laundry baskets. Music was played at different speeds so that during the fast music the audience would cheer loudly and the racers would move quickly. During the slow music the audience cheered silently and racers moved in slow motion.

Superintendent Welcomes Students and Staff to the 2012-2013 School Year
August 14, 2012
Superintendent Blane McCann welcomed students and staff to the 2012-2013 school year. During the first day of class, he visited schools throughout the District. Dr. McCann joined the Westside Community School District as the new superintendent on July 10.
Welcome to the Start of the 2012-2013 School Year
August 14, 2012
We are excited to welcome you to the start of the 2012-2013 school year! What an exciting time for our students, parents and staff.  Click here to watch a welcome back video. 

Westside High School Teacher Selected as a 2012-2013 Teaching Ambassador Fellow
August 14, 2012
The U.S. Department of Education recently recognized Westside High School Career Center math teacher Aaron Bredenkamp as one of 12 Teaching Ambassador Fellows. The 12 fellows were selected from a field of 625 applicants from throughout the nation. Bredenkamp is the first Nebraska teacher selected for this honor. Read More
WHS Brick Mural Honored by the Brick Industry Association
August 13, 2012
The Brick Mural that sits to the left of the main entrance of Westside High School has won the silver medal in the 2012 Brick Industry Association Competition Education Division.  The mural will also be featured in the November issue of Architecture Magazine.  It was created in 2009 by Westside High School students and teachers Al Vap and Erin Lunsford. Click here to see pictures of the mural. 
2012-2013 School Year Starting Soon!
July 26, 2012
The start of a new school year is just around the corner! Be sure to check your school's homepage for any summer newsletters, dates for sneak-a-peeks and curriculum nights and any announcements.  School starts August 14!
Westside Choral Students and Staff Travel Across Europe
July 10, 2012
Fourteen Westside High School choral students recently returned from a two week trip through Europe where they were touring with the Midwest American Honor Choir.  Students, along with Vocal Music teachers Doran Johnson and Kyle Avery, traveled through France, Spain, Monaco, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.  Johnson said the highlight of the trip was performing in La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain.
Westside Middle School Teacher Wins BEST Award
June 27, 2012
Westside Middle School technology and business teacher Crystal Bolamperti won a BEST award at the 2012 Nebraska Career Education Conference.  The award, which stands for belong, excel, study and travel, is based upon involvement in professional associations, community and school activities, professional leadership development and service to the business education profession.  BEST awards exemplify superior qualities including: dedication to students, community outreach and continual classroom improvement efforts. Congratulations Crystal!
Don't Fry Day Celebrated at Swanson
June 19, 2012
Swanson Elementary students celebrated Don't Fry Day sponsored by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.  Students were encouraged to protect their skin by wearing protective clothing and eye-wear like hats and sunglasses when playing outside.  They also were encouraged to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher while enjoying the outdoors.  Click here to see a slideshow of Don't Fry Day.
Sunset Hills Sixth-Graders Give Back
June 15, 2012
Sunset Hills Elementary sixth-graders have been earning money throughout the school year to present a gift to the school.  The class decided to use their money and improve the playground at Sunset Hills for all students to use.  The sixth-graders met on a Sunday afternoon and they painted new forms on the playground.  In addition, there will be new basketball nets and paint on the backboards and poles this fall. Click here to see a slideshow of the sixth-graders updating the Sunset Hills playground.
Flashmob at Westgate Elementary
June 12, 2012
It started out like a typical end-of-the-year assembly. As Westgate teacher Ted Dondlinger welcomed the students and began to speak, he was interrupted by some music. Music teacher Nick Djernes and a handful of other teachers danced their way to the front of the gym. Students were confused as they looked around. As the music played, staff members slowly began to trickle in and perform the choreographed dance moves. Students were buzzing with excitement as they realized their teachers and principals were part of a flashmob. Click here to see a slideshow. 

Westside Foundation Recognizes Prairie Lane Teacher with Bravo Award
June 11, 2012
The Westside Foundation recognized Sarah Ehlers, a special education teacher at Prairie Lane Elementary, with a Bravo Award. She received this award in a surprise announcement on May 30. The Foundation created this award to recognize the work of outstanding teachers. Sarah was recognized for her ability to inspire and engage students to more fully participate in school and community life. She possesses a unique combination of skills, including innovation, organization, and diligence. Westside Superintendent Jacquie Estee, Westside Foundation Executive Director Laura Iliff, and Prairie Lane Principal Jennifer Harr presented the award to her.
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June 7, 2012
Double Escalator Climber at Swanson
June 8, 2012
At the end of May, Swanson Elementary unveiled a new piece of playground equipment. The Double Escalator Climber is essentially a two-sided rock-climbing wall. Kids can climb up one side of the wall and down the other. The Double Escalator Climber was a cooperative effort with funding through the Fuel Up to Play 60 grant, "Blend It Up...Build You Up!”, Swanson’s 5-4-3-2-1 Go! Dance Challenge Prizes from 2011, Box Tops for Education savings, a private contribution and the Swanson Community Club. Westside Community Schools installed a border and mulching around the new play structure.

Olympic Swimmer Visits Westside Middle School
June 7, 2012
In May, Westside Middle Schools students learned more about the Olympic Trials in Swimming, following a visit by a former Olympian.  Brooke Bennett won an Olympic gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, when she was just 16 years-old.  Four years later in Australia, she won two additional gold medals in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events. During her talk at Westside Middle School, Brooke encouraged students to dream big, to make good decisions about nutrition and exercise, and to say "no" to underage drinking. The Olympic Swim Trials are scheduled to take place in Omaha June 25- July 2.

Westside Middle School Named a Nebraska 2012 Safest Company
June 7, 2012
The National Safety Council of Nebraska has named Westside Middle School one of Nebraska’s 2012 Safest Companies. Westside Middle School has undergone an extensive review by the Nebraska’s Safest Companies Awards Committee made up of safety professionals representing a broad variety of industries and safety disciplines. As a result, Westside Middle School achieved the Bronze Award of Honor. Middle School representatives Russ Olsen and Anna Sumner received the award at the Safety and Health Summit.

Swanson Literary Resource Center
June 4, 2012
To honor the 2012 retirees of Swanson Elementary, Vicki Wojtalewicz, T.J. Jensen, and Kristy Damkroger,  the Swanson Literary Resource Center was created and dedicated on Friday, May 25, 2012.  The Swanson Literary Resource Center will meet the needs of students and teachers through a wide assortment of books to be used to teach reading comprehension and instill a love of reading.  Donations were made in honor of the many years these teachers have impacted students in the Westside Community Schools.
Loveland Raises Coins for Kumi
June 4, 2012
Loveland Elementary students participated in a week of fun to raise money for their sister school in Kumi, Uganda.  Students brought in donations to participate in Crazy Hat Day Monday, Twisted Tuesday, Run Your Socks Off Wednesday, Read-n-Feed Thursday and Beach Bonanza Friday.  Students raised $417.72 and all proceeds went to fund their continued partnership with students in Africa. 

Prairie Lane Students Participate in Dancing Classrooms
May 30, 2012
Prairie Lane fifth-grade students got the opportunity to participate in “Dancing Classrooms”, a program put on by The ARTery.  The mission of Dancing Classrooms is to build social awareness, confidence, and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance. The fifth-graders learned the steps to traditional dances such as, the Merengue, the Tango, and the Rumba. In addition to learning the proper footwork, students were taught about rhythm, body posture, and style for the dances, as well as learning the history and background of each dance.  After several weeks of practice, the students performed for parents and staff. 

Community Service Project at Westbrook
May 29, 2012
Westbrook Elementary Girl Scout troop #42266 recently finished a community service project to earn their Bronze Award, which is needed in becoming a Cadet. Under the supervision of a Westbrook parent and artist, the girls came up with an idea and spent several weeks after school painting a mural on a wall outside the school. 

Horsing Around
May 29, 2012
Special visitors, Little Dude and Scotch, came to Hillside Elementary. Each spring for the past nine years, kindergarten teacher Jill Foster and her dad, Vern Oswald, bring their Quarter horse and Miniature horse to school. “Are they coming inside?” is a question Ms. Foster hears from her students each year. Bringing both horses allows kids who may be afraid to still share in the experience of petting and feeding a horse.    

Westgate Elementary Holds Science Workshops
May 25, 2012
Four teachers from Westside High School ran four different science workshops for Westgate Elementary students.  The workshops called "What do My Fingerprints Look Like," What Colors of Light do Plants Use to Make Food," "How Can We Build Rubber Band Rockets," and "What Parts of My Tongue are Most Sensitive," were geared to a specific grade level.  Students had the opportunity to work with the High School teachers and to explore interesting aspects of the world as interpreted through science.  Click here to see a slideshow of the four workshops.

Oakdale Sixth-Graders Launch Rockets
May 25, 2012
It has been a long standing tradition for sixth-graders at Oakdale Elementary to launch rockets. Earning rockets is part of Oakdale's classroom management system and it is something the students work towards all year. In the fourth quarter, students learn about rocket design and the importance of following a multiple-step process as they build the rocket in science class. "The final step is to launch the rocket which is a symbol of the students launching their middle school education," said Rebecca Kratky, Oakdale sixth-grade teacher.
Swanson Students Bike to School
May 24, 2012
Students and families at Swanson Elementary opted for two wheels instead of four and participated in Bike to School Day.  They started at 96th and Harney street and stopped by two other locations, picking up more students and family members along their way.  "We had a great turnout and the event was a huge success," said Debra Kaplan, Physical Education Teacher at Swanson.  Click here to see a slideshow of Bike to School Day.

Students and Families Participate in Swanson Spokes Bike Rodeo
May 23, 2012
Swanson students and families participated in the Swanson Spokes: A Bike Rodeo Event in Swanson's park.  The rodeo included minor bike tune-ups and tire inflation, an obstacle course, the smoothie bike blender and Vitamix smoothies, helmet checks and bike decorating.  Students also received information on safe riding from the National Safety Council in Nebraska.  The rodeo was sponsored by the Swanson Wellness Committee and Activate Omaha.  Click here for a slide show from the Swanson Spoke Bike Rodeo. 
Westside Middle School Particpates in Digital Citizenship Week
May 17, 2012
Sixty eighth-grade girls at Westside Middle School presented to seventh and eighth-grade homerooms about becoming cyber allies during Digital Citizenship Week.  The girls have been working all year on how to be allies against bullying and cyberbullying.  They met with the Anti-Defamation League and participated in a three hour training session on being cyber allies called The Secret Life of Girls.  In homerooms, the girls presented two video clips, one from Omaha Town Hall and Common Sense Media and one from MTV's A Thin Line, both on cyberbullying.  They asked students about what they share online and how they can take a stand against cyberbullying.  The cyber allies shared tips on how to be a good digital citizen by guarding your privacy and wisely choosing the information you share.  Students then had the opportunity to sign a pledge that stated "I will stand connected against cyberbullying." Click here to see a slideshow on the presentations.
Students Participate in Career Day at Westside Middle School
May 15, 2012
More than 32 career professionals from the community and 30 Westside Volunteer Council members contributed toward the success of Career Day at Westside Middle School. Eighth-grade students began their morning by learning about service hour opportunities required for graduation from Westside High School.  The keynote speaker and former Westside student, Pete Ricketts, spoke about the importance of pursuing students’ interests in addition to essential education and skills. Students previously completed a career interest survey that represented their top career clusters or categories identified by the Nebraska Career Education Model.  During the remainder of the morning, eighth-graders attended presenters representing their top career clusters.  This is one of many career education opportunities offered within Westside for students to recognize their career interests and obtain real-world knowledge from professionals working in the industry. 

WMS Students Present Superintendent with Retirement Gift
May 10, 2012
During the Monday, May 7, 2012 Board of Education meeting, four Westside Middle School students presented an original art piece to Superintendent Jacquie Estee as a retirement gift. The students from Cindy Royer’s eighth grade mixed media class created clay tiles of what District 66 meant to them throughout the year. Thirty-five tiles were chosen to create a mosaic piece for Ms. Estee. Students and staff who presented the gift were Abby Hack, Lindsay McCormick, Jackson Cunningham, Carleigh Pope, and their teacher, Cindy Royer.

Westside Journalism Takes Third at State
May 10, 2012
Westside High School's Journalism Department including the Lance and the Shield took third place at the 2012 State Journalism Championships at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  The one-day championship event is sponsored by the Nebraska School Activities Association, the Nebraska High School Press Association and UNL. Click here to see the individual results.
Owls Visit Rockbrook Elementary
May 10, 2012
Rockbrook Elementary students in Mrs. Elizabeth Raphael’s first-grade class got quite a treat when parent and Department of Natural Resources representative, Shelly Bough, brought in owls for the class to see. Bough brought a screech owl and a great horned owl and shared information about them with the class. Students then took turns sharing research they gathered on the owls. 

Swanson Students Celebrate Earth Day by Sponsoring an Animal
May 8, 2012
In celebration of Earth Day, all Swanson Elementary students had the opportunity to cast two votes for their Henry Doorly Zoo Adopt an Animal Project. Students voted on their top two choices out of animals like a penguin, clownfish, shark, frog and butterfly. Once the ballots were counted, the winners were a tiger and a polar bear. This was a project sponsored by the Swanson Student Leadership Team.
Loveland Students Create Stepping Stones for Art Smart
May 7, 2012
Each year Loveland Elementary students participate in Art Smart, a program that enriches student's learning through art-focused projects that complement Loveland's curriculum. These projects give the students hands-on opportunities to learn about, experience and apply art in many forms as it relates to culture, history, science, geography, math, reading, writing, nature and so much more. This year, the students created Garden Stepping Stones for the new Nature Path.  "We had 302 students each create an 8x8 garden stepping stone," said Amy Kelly, co-chair of Art Smart.  Each grade was represented by a different color. The program, which is presented annually is sponsored by Loveland's Community Club. Click here to see a slideshow of the Art Smart stepping stones.
Student Council Delivers May Day Baskets to Rainbow House
May 3, 2012
Paddock Road's Student Council assembled May Day Baskets to deliver to the Rainbow House.  Destinee Rosemond, Anna Carrig, Christian Madsen, Casey Brattain, Lauren Kruger, Kelsi Staehlin and Virginia Jansen, helped delivered these May Day Baskets and received a tour of the Rainbow House.  The Carolyn Scott Rainbow House is open to anyone who has family receiving treatment at the Children's Hospital & Medical Center.  Created to be a home-away-from home, the Rainbow House is a free place for families who live 60 miles or more outside of Omaha to sleep, eat, do laundry, and more.  The baskets brought joy to everyone spending their May Day at the Rainbow House.
Westgate Students Celebrate Earth Day
May 2, 2012
Westgate Elementary students used recycled materials to create sculptures to celebrate Earth Day.  Students brought their own materials and each classroom created a piece of art to be showcased during the Earth Day performance.  During the performance the sixth-grade classes sang and used the recycled materials to make music. Students also picked-up trash from around the school grounds.  Click here to see a slideshow of Westgate's Earth Day celebration.

Westside Varsity Track Wins South Sioux City Invite
May 2, 2012
Both Westside boys and girls Varsity Track teams won at the 51st annual South Sioux City Invitational in South Sioux City, NE. Senior Grant Costello and Matt Berkshire reached personal records along with freshman Hayley Krumwiede who had personal records in both long jump and triple jump. The boy’s team ranked first with 162 after 17 events scored and the girl’s team ranked first with 161 and 17 events scored. Click here to see the final results. 

Bruce the Spruce Finds a Home
May 1, 2012
Paddock Road celebrated Earth Day with a whole week of Student Council events encouraging students to appreciate the world around them.  The week ended with the planting of a Colorado Blue Spruce tree purchased by Student Council for Paddock Road.  With the help of Tony, a representative from Earl May Nursery, and Mike, Paddock Road's engineer, the Student Council representatives dug a hole and planted the tree.  The Student Council named the tree Bruce the Spruce.  Click here to see a slideshow of the tree being planted.
Avalanche Book Sparks Research from Swanson Students
May 1, 2012
After reading a novel where the main character survives an avalanche, Charlotte Simon, Jaxon Duin, Harry Boggust, Laina Bayles, Kaelyn Mettler and Rosalie Wilke, Swanson fifth-graders, conducted a phone interview with former Westside graduate, Matt Jensen, son of fifth-grade teacher Mrs. T.J. Jensen.  Matt, Program Director of the University of Washington's Climbing Facility, teaches avalanche search and rescue classes in the Seattle area.  Prior to conducting the interview, students researched avalanches, developed questions and organized their information. One of the coolest things students learned about were avalanche air bags. Matt stressed the importance of using your brain, "the most important piece of safety equipment," to avoid getting into dangerous situations. 

Rockbrook Students Show Off Works of Art
April 30, 2012
Students at Rockbrook Elementary showed off their artwork for parents and staff at the Rockbrook Art and Pizza Night.  Families enjoyed pizza and drinks in the gym and then strolled throughout the school to see displays of art from every class.  Rockbrook's string students performed for attendees as well to give the school more of an art gallery feel.
Paddock Road KKids Spring Clean-Up Day
April 27, 2012
Paddock Road Elementary students planted flowers and cleaned up trash from the school grounds as part of a service project called Spring Clean-Up Day for KKids.  KKids is an international student-led organization providing members with opportunities to perform service, build character and develop leadership.  Paddock Road has about 40 members who belong to KKids, a program which is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. Click here to see a slideshow of Spring Clean-Up Day. 

Professional Ballroom Dancers Visit Prairie Lane
April 26, 2012
Professional ballroom dancers visited Prairie Lane Elementary's fifth-grade class to exhibit different types of dance.  The fifth-graders watched the waltz and fox trot and then had an opportunity to dance with ballroom dancers.  The students have been taking ballroom dance for the past nine weeks through a grant provided by the ARTery, a non-profit organization to promote dancing in schools, the arts and diversity.  They will show off their dance skills on May 17 when they perform in a showcase for parents, students and guests.
Swanson Students Try a Bite
April 25, 2012
Swanson Elementary kindergarten students were treated to a demonstration of how to crack open and try coconut. Lanessa Lehr and Tammara Nusrallah from Westside's Nutrition Service showed the students how by poking a hole in the coconut with a nail.  Students shook out the coconut milk and then kindergartner Griffin Bahan hammered the coconut to crack it open. All the students then tried a bite of the raw coconut fresh from the shell.
Students Score High on National German Exam
April 25, 2012
Seven Westside High School students were recognized for scoring in the 70th percentile or higher on the National German Exam. The awards tea was held at University of Nebraska-Omaha and students Samuel Adams, Tessa Fulmer, Connor Rock, Elizabeth Deonarain, Andrew Gerber, Richard "RJ" Weiss and  Elizabeth Bruckner were awarded with certificate.
Westside Students Take Top Awards at the Brownell Talbot Math Competition
April 24, 2012
Students from Loveland, Oakdale, Rockbrook, Sunset Hills and Westbrook participated in the annual Brownell Talbot fifth and sixth-grade math competition.  Laura Liu, representing Sunset Hills, won first place in the fifth-grade individual competition.  Preston Noll, a sixth-grader from Rockbrook, tied for second in his division for the individual competition.  Rockbrook's Team A, which included Rylan Bishop, Melissa Holmes, Preston Noll, Olivia Washburn, and Matthew Zimmerman, won the overall team competition.  Click here to see a slideshow from the competition.
Teachers Recognized for National Board Certification
April 23, 2012
Westside Middle School English teacher Sarah Kroenke and Westbrook sixth-grade teacher Deb Kruse were recognized with a certification pin at the University of Nebraska at Omaha National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Cadre event.  Both teachers earned their National Board Certification in November of 2011.
Nuclear Engineer Visits Excellence in Youth Students
April 23, 2012
Rockbrook Elementary parents, Tim Leibel and Toni DiBlasi-Leibel, volunteered their time to engage Rockbrook and Westbrook Excellence in Youth students in learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM concepts.  "The STEM curriculum has become an important focus in exposing today's students to future career possibilities," said Davine Faimon, EY Coordinator.  Nuclear engineer, Tim Leibel taught the students how to code and decode binary numbers and then transmit binary numbers using a simple multiplexer circuit.  The students learned how to read circuit diagrams, build circuits, read blueprints and much more.  The Westbrook and Rockbrook EY students will continue to use this information as a springboard for continued study of other STEM concepts. Click here to see a slideshow of the visit.
Hillside Students Participate in Reading Pups Program
April 21, 2012
In March, Hillside students enjoyed a book swap and an evening of reading to some furry friends as part of their Reading Pups program.  The program is designed to motivate students and to improve their confidence levels in reading in a fun and unique environment.
Westside Middle School Students Inducted in National Junior Honor Society
April 21, 2012
At a ceremony in March, 83 WMS students were inducted into the newly formed National Junior Honor Society. Students selected for this honor were high academic achievers, displayed outstanding leadership both in the classroom and outside of the classroom, are members of a variety of school and extra-curricular activities and dedicated many hours to service within their communities. Along with the students application core teachers were asked to evaluate each student on the leadership they display in the classroom, their citizenship and their character in the classroom. Established in 1921 and 1929, respectively, the National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are the nation's premier organizations established to recognize outstanding high school and middle level students.

Westside's Big Band Extravaganza
April 20, 2012
After 37 years of teaching, Westside High School's Director of Bands Roger Groth is retiring.  But not before the annual celebration of the area’s top student musicians, the Big Band Extravaganza. Seventeen alumni, including members of the band 311, to pay tribute to Groth. Tickets on sale now, only 300 left.  Read more.
Loveland Hosts Art Show "Rizzi-Style"
April 19, 2012
James Rizzi was an American pop artist who, in his life, created many prints, drawings and paintings. Students at Loveland Elementary hosted an Art Show where all of the art was inspired by Rizzi and his style.  Each grade worked together to create large canvases celebrating an important landmark in Omaha.  Rizzi was inspired by his city and he used bright and cheerful colors to create scenes of New York.  Students also worked individually to create something that they loved about Omaha. Click here to see a slideshow of art displayed at the Loveland Art Show.
DECA Announces Awards, Westside Winners
April 18, 2012
DECA awards were given to Nebraska high school students, teachers and business partners recently at the 55th DECA conference in Lincoln. Westside High School had 40 students place at the conference and Westside DECA teacher Sarah Schau won Marketing Educator of the year. Read more.
Loveland Fourth-Grader Wins Clay Movie Contest
April 18, 2012
Loveland fourth-grader Rayann Maze was surprised with an award for a clay movie contest, sponsored by The Boys and Girls Club. She won first place out of all the entries submitted across thirteen states. Congratulations!

Students Respresent Westside in State Geography Bee
April 18, 2012
Students Theodore Jansen, Ethan Beier, Jim Schueneman and Grace Johanningsmeier represented Westside Community Schools at the 2012 Nebraska State Geography Bee on Friday, March 30, 2012. Only one hundred students with the top scores across our state were invited to the competition in the Milo Bail Student Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Grace, Jim, Theo and Ethan participated in eight rounds of questions to determine if any of them would be in the final round.  Theodore and Ethan each missed one question which sent them into the largest head to head run-off competition.  Both students went out on question three, a respectable conclusion to their competition. Congratulations on your hard work!

Senior Lauren Meyers Receives More Honors
April 16, 2012
Westside High School senior Lauren Meyers is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Earl Siegel Female High School Athlete of the Year award. She will receive this award on May 9 at the 58th annual Sports Banquet presented by B'nai B'rith held at the Century Link Center. Meyers also received an award from the Omaha Sports Committee who honored five athletes from the winter sports season as Outstanding Scholars and Athletes. Lauren Meyers was honored for her success in the classroom and the basketball court, as well as her many other activities she's been involved in throughout her high school career. Pictured are from left to right, Athletic Director Tom Kerkman, Assistant Dean, Varsity Volleyball Coach and teacher Kim Eymann, Lauren Meyers, and Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Steve Clark. Congratulations!
Destination Imagination Team Takes First
April 16, 2012
The Westside Middle School Destination Imagination Team of: Lauren Chesire, Amy Conaway, Madison Hoy, Bridget Mizener and Ben Volberding placed first in their state competition. This team has now qualified for Global Competition in Knoxville, TN on May 21-26. Destination Imagination, is an educational program in which student teams solve open-ended Challenges and present their solutions at Tournaments. Teams are tested to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the Challenges. Participants gain more than just basic knowledge and skills, they learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving.
Mystery Readers Visit Sunset Hills Elementary
April 9, 2012
Students at Sunset Hills Elementary have to solve a mystery, the mystery of who will be reading to them on Fridays.  Parents, siblings and family members have become Mystery Readers for Tiffney Koopman's second-grade class.  Students are given five clues by Koopman on Monday and additional clues throughout the week.  By Friday, they have to guess who will be reading to the classroom.  "It's a great opportunity to show students the importance of reading and how exciting it can be," Koopman said.  The mystery reader can bring their child's favorite book to read or borrow one from classroom. 

Sunset Students Show the Wonders of Omaha to Superintendent-Elect
March 30, 2012
Sunset Elementary sixth-grade Excellence in Youth students presented the "Wonders of Omaha" to Superintendent-Elect Blane McCann.  Boys Town, the Henry Doorly Zoo, Children's Hospital and the Nebraska Humane Society were a few of the highlights the seven students covered.  They brainstormed an extensive list and then selected the individuals or places they were interested in researching.  Many of the pictures used in the presentation were taken by the students on a field trip of Omaha.  Each student then created a Keynote presentation of their specific topics and presented them to the class. Read more.

Westgate Participates in The Buddy Program
April 5, 2012
Westgate Elementary students participated in The Buddy Program, a program sponsored by All Children Experiencing Success or ACES. The program pairs older students with younger students to help build a community feeling at Westgate and to reinforce the District’s Three Expectations: Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful. The buddy groups meet every month and work together on themed activities in areas such as health and fitness, science and reading. Click here to see a slideshow of The Buddy Program. 

Westbrook Principal Climbs Rope Tower
April 3, 2012
Westbrook Elementary's Principal Cindy Vann followed through on a promise she made her students, if they read 140,000 minutes in two weeks she would climb the rope tower on Westbrook's playground.  Vann, who is afraid of heights, climbed up the tower in front of her students as they went well beyond the goal she set for them, by reading over 160,000 minutes.  "I felt very good when my feet were down on the ground," Vann said.  Click here to see a slideshow of Vann scaling the rope tower. 
Westbrook Students Host Blood Drive for Parents and Staff
March 30, 2012
Students from Westbrook's National Elementary Honor Society sponsored a blood drive in honor of Savannah Kniewel, a second-grader at Westbrook.  Twenty-three parents and staff attended and donated blood at this event. The National Elementary Honor Society is a group of fifth and sixth-graders that are chosen based on their grades, good character, and recommendations by their teachers. The students choose four projects throughout the school year that will impact the community and in May, they will host a breakfast for the Police and Fire Departments to thank them for their service.
Student Mentoring Program Wins Awards
March 30, 2012
Westside Middle School's Student Mentoring Program consisting of Jowe Tombi, Jackson Cunningham, Jim Hallgren, and TK Kim competed at the UNO Scott Conference Center on March 29. “Brace Yourself” an engineering solution that increases the use of cofferdams, received Silver Achievement Awards in Innovation, Sustainability, and Proposal Writing. Gold Achievement Awards were earned in Applied Science, Research, Technology, and Presentation. They were the highest scoring team and received the Post President Award of Honor. In May they will present at the Industry Days Conference in Omaha. The Student Mentoring Program is designed to stimulate secondary school students' interest and excitement in engineering, architecture, and related sciences.

District Celebrates Success of Its RTI Program
February 29, 2012
The reading intervention program that focuses on data to make sound instructional decisions is finding success at Westside Community Schools. In 2006, the District began a Response to Intervention (RTI) program to help young, struggling readers reach their reading potential.  Read More

Two Students Receive National Recognition from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
March 20, 2012
Congratulations to Westside High School students Jenny Solheim and Casey Callahan for receiving national recognition in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2012, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.  Both students received recognition in Drawing.  These students have been identified by panels of professional artists as the most talented young artists in the nation.  This year, 200,000 works of art and writing were submitted.  Only the top 1,500 were recognized at the national level.  Jenny and Casey have been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on June 1st and to participate in a number of showcase events at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City. 
Rockbrook Students Participate in Spring Cleaning
March 19, 2012
Rockbrook Elementary's first-graders teamed up with their fourth-grade buddies to do some Spring cleaning.  The students prepared the garden for planting vegetables and raked up old leaves and twigs from last fall. First-graders are learning about plant growth and are working on a "How To" writing project about how to plant a garden. Click here to see a slideshow of the Spring cleaning.
Oakdale Elementary Celebrates Safe, Respectful and Responsible Behavior
March 19, 2012
Oakdale Elementary held their third-quarter High Five Assembly which celebrates students' safe, respectful, and responsible behavior each quarter. Teachers Nick Djernes and Garret Higginbotham kicked the assembly off with a tunnel walk, several students in fifth and sixth-grade participated in the walk, carrying the 'We are Oakdale' banner. They performed an Oakdale rap written by Djernes and dressed like rappers to complete the theme. Students names were then drawn from each of the grade's high five containers. Several students from each grade level earned the opportunity to participate in a high five celebration after the assembly.

WHS Presents The Who's Tommy
March 14, 2012
Westside High School's Theater Department presents The Who's TOMMY, a rock musical by Pete Townshend. Dates for the musical are March 22, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. and the performance will take place in the WHS auditorium.  Tickets are available online here and will be sold at Westside's front entrance on March 19 through the 23.  $12 adults, $6 students. For more information visit the Westside Theater Department.
Rockbrook Students Partner with Early Childhood
March 13, 2012
Third-grade students at Rockbrook Elementary have partnered up with students from Rockbrook's Early Childhood Program.  The new guidance program, which assigns a third-grade student with a pre-school student meets each month.  The students play games for learning skills, cooperation, taking turns and how to work with others.
Underwood Hills Early Learning Center Holds Sweet Heart Dance
March 13, 2012
Underwood Hills Early Learning Center held a Sweet Heart Dance featuring DJ Shif D.  The students dressed-up in their nicest dress and suits and danced with parents and staff.  The Underwood Hills Early Learning Center has toddler, half-day and full-day preschool programs and its curriculum focuses on nature and the arts. 
District Speech Contest
March 12, 2012
Congratulations to all the participants of the District Elementary Speech Contest.  The theme for the contest was “The Individual in History:  Going Beyond the Extra Mile”. Sarah Harrison from Sunset Hills took third place for her speech on Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. Second place went to Caroline Leibel from Rockbrook who delivered a speech on Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman of Nike. First place went to DeKyah Rosemond from Paddock Road. Her speech focused on Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist, humanitarian, and an instrumental part of the Underground Railroad. The top three winners will present their speeches at a Kiwanis luncheon in April. 

Swanson Kindergarten Students Visit Great Western Bank
March 12, 2012
Swanson Elementary kindergartners traveled to Great Western Bank on 93rd and Dodge to learn about money and how a bank works. They were treated to a snack and a story about saving money and given a tour of the facility. Kindergartners reviewed coins and their values and each student dropped coins into the coin-counting machine. They also saw where the safety deposit boxes were stored and greeted a customer who went through the drive-through window. Great Western Bank is a community partner with Swanson Elementary.
Loveland Elementary Raises Money for Sunset Student
March 12, 2012
Students and staff at Loveland Elementary helped raise over $200 for Sunset Elementary student Isaac Barchus.  Isaac, a second-grader at Sunset was diagnosed with CANDLE syndrome, a very rare auto-inflammatory disease. The student council sold bracelets for Isaac at a Loveland pancake breakfast. 
Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Dynamics of Global Intolerance Class
March 9, 2012
Robbie Waisman, a child survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp spoke to students in Westside High School’s Dynamics of Global Intolerance class. He spoke about growing up in Poland, working as a slave laborer in an ammunition factory and his imprisonment at Buchenwald. He left them with the message of empowerment against hate and to speak up the next time they heard or saw bullying. Waisman's talk was part of A Week of Understanding: Stories of Survival and Liberation, an educational initiative produced by the Institute for Holocaust Education in Omaha.

Swanson Elementary Partners with New Cassel Retirement Home
March 8, 2012
Swanson Elementary's kindergarten class partnered up with New Cassel to carry out projects funded by a grant from Westside Foundation. Kindergartners develop academic and social skills in addition to learning the value of community outreach and inter-generational relationships. One of the projects included a family pajama party and blanket making night at which students and parents measured, tied and counted the blankets for Cassel Companions.
Oakdale Students Win Robotics Showcase
March 8, 2012
Three groups of sixth-grade students from Oakdale Elementary attended the 2012 Robotics Showcase hosted by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha departments of Engineering and Education. The competition was held at the SAC Museum and each group participated in a ball course challenge, a driving course challenge and a navigational course/robot rescue challenge. Team Bridwell, consisting of Austin Middleton, Joshua Ray-Price and Jordan Reeves brought home a first-place trophy for the navigational course. They were the only team to reach all four rescue areas of the course and completed three out of four rescues within four minutes.
Senior Basketball Player Honored by Kiwanis Club
March 8, 2012
Congratulations to Lauren Meyers, a senior basketball player at Westside High School. She was honored by the Kiwanis Club of Westside, as the oustanding senior basketball player.  Athletics, academics, and leadership were the criteria used to choose Lauren.  Also being honored at the luncheon were players from Omaha Northwest, Omaha Marian, and Omaha Burke.  Pictured with her is Head Coach Steve Clark and Assistant Coach Jamie Davis. 

Westgate Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday with a Breakfast
March 7, 2012
Westgate Elementary celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with it's annual birthday breakfast.  Parents and students enjoyed a delicious breakfast of green eggs and ham in the gym. Then is was off to the classrooms where more Seuss activities were going on throughout the building. Students and parents enjoyed reading Seuss books, playing Seuss games, and doing Seuss art activities. Click here to see a slideshow of Dr. Seuss' Birthday Breakfast.
Westside High School Celebrates Local Black History
March 7, 2012
In 1976, the Great Plains Black History Museum opened in the former Western Telephone Exchange Building on 2213 Lake Street in Omaha. Since then it has become the place to visit to see photographs, documents, paintings and read newspaper articles on the African American experience in the Great Plains.  Board of Directors Chairman Jim Beatty brought some of that history to students at Westside High School. Beatty spoke about events that took place in Omaha and how they shaped the local history. Click here for a slideshow of Beatty's presentation.
Westside Middle School Performance
March 1, 2012
Westside Middle School presents “BIG” the musical March 8, 9, and 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the WMS Performing Arts Center.  Tickets for adults are $6, kids $5.

Swanson Elementary Wins $4,000 Grant
March 6, 2012
Swanson Elementary wins a $4,000 grant and has launched a new school wellness initiative called Fuel Up to Play 60. A joint project between the National Dairy Council, Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL Movement for an Active Generation, Fuel Up to Play 60 helps students make better choices every day. Click here to read more.
De La Cruz and Stover Win Foundation Bravo Awards
February 28, 2012
The Westside Foundation has recognized Kimberly De La Cruz, an English teacher at Westside High School and Gloria Stover, a music teacher at Loveland Elementary with the Bravo Award.  The Foundation created this award to recognize the work of teachers who skillfully and successfully tap into the unique academic, social, emotional and/or physical talents of students and who inspire students to fully engage in school and community life. Click here to read more.
WMS Students Compete in Robotics Expo
March 1, 2012
In February, several WMS students attended the 2012 Nebraska Robotics Expo at the Strategic Air and Space Museum to compete in a variety of CEENBoT Robotics competitions. Two WMS teams, made up of 7th and 8th graders, competed in a variety of contests against 30 other middle school teams from the metro area. Click here to read more.
Battle of the Books
March 1, 2012
Thirty-six teams representing all 10 elementary schools participated in the 2012 Battle of the Books competition at Westside High School. Participants were given 20 books to read between May and February.  During the competition, the teams are asked questions about the books and they have to answer with the title and author.  All the teams did a great job and were well-prepared. Many rounds ended with tie-breaking questions.  The winning team was the Bookheads from Hillside. The Paralyzing Paragraphs from Sunset Hills took second place.
Seventy Students Receive Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
February 29, 2012
Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Scholastic Art and Writing Award winners! A combined 70 students from Westside High School and Westside Middle School submitted artwork and received awards. Click here to see the winners and read more.
VEX Robotics Team Wins State Runner-up
February 27, 2012
Congratulatios to the Westside High School VEX Robotics Team! They finished the Nebraska State VEX Robotics Championship as the State Runner-up.  The team made up of ninth-graders Alex Zimmerman, Jordan Estee, and Tori Johnson persevered through many mechanical challenges. They will advance to the National Tournament in March.
Oakdale Sixth-Graders Celebrate the Night of the Notables
February 24, 2012
Students and parents visited Oakdale Elementary sixth-graders as they held their annual Night of the Notables.  The theme this year was "The Individual in History: Going Beyond the Extra Mile." The sixth-graders dressed up and presented research on their historical figure.  They raised over $300 in donations for Children's Hospital in exchange for answering questions related to their historical figures. The project started when the students read a biography book on their chosen figure and they researched and wrote an essay about that person. The students then had to write a three to five minute speech on their notable.  Click here to see pictures of Oakdale's Night of the Notables.

Westside Teacher Awarded Fellowship from the U.S Department of State
February 17, 2012
Westiside High School Spanish teacher John White has been awarded a fellowship from the U.S. Department of State to participate in the 2012 Uruguay Educator Exchange Program.  As part of the exchange program, Julio Barreiro, an educator from Minas, Uruguay, traveled to Westside High School for two weeks. Julio spoke with students and collaborated with staff while at Westside, he also visited many of Omaha's cultural and local attractions including the Henry Doorly Zoo, El Museo Latino and the state capitol.  The program provides a short-term professional development opportunity for the U.S and Uruguay educators to share best practices on issues of mutual interest to their schools, students and communities.  John will travel to Uruguay for two weeks during the summer 2012.
"Cold Cereal" Author visits Loveland Elementary
February 16, 2012
Author and illustrator Adam Rex visited students at Loveland Elementary as part of a four city tour promoting his new book "Cold Cereal".  Students were amazed at his artwork and illustrations and laughed at his wild writings. 

Paddock Road Students to Compete in Nebraska Robotics Expo
February 16, 2012
Five fourth-graders from Paddock Road Elementary will compete in the Nebraska Robotics Expo at the SAC Museum. Team PANDA has been practicing for the competition using a CEENBoT provided by the district. Team members include Mia Flores, Oliver Gurney, Ashleigh Madsen, Hannah Olson, and Quinton Peterson.
Nine Students Receive the President's Volunteer Service Award
February 16, 2012
Eight students from Westside High School and one student from Westside Middle School received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for volunteering at various agencies throughout Omaha and the surrounding communities. Click here to read more.
Westside High School Technology Team Finds Apple Fix
February 13, 2012
As members of the Westside High School technology support team, Rob Uchtman, Joe Morris, and Jordon Bellanti are used to having their hands full. Yet, on February 2nd, they found themselves faced with a unique challenge that impacted nearly every laptop in the building. Read more
Sunset Hills and Loveland Elementary Celebrate History Day
February 13, 2012
Students at Sunset Hills and Loveland Elementary celebrated History day, an educational program that makes history come alive.  Students studied an individual in history and what made that person go above and beyond, or the extra mile.  Loveland sixth-graders and Sunset Hills fifth and sixth-graders completed boards, presentations and biographical papers on their historical figure. Sunset Hills kindergartners drew pictures of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln and first-graders created a fact board on their figure. Second, third and fourth-graders researched a person in history and wrote a paragraph about them. Click here to see a slideshow on history day.
Rockbrook Students use SMART Boards in Math
February 13, 2012
Rockbrook Elementary first-graders use SMART boards and Fact Platters to help them learn math. Students can point at the operations on the interactive whiteboards in the center of the Fact Platter. Then they use the numbers in the next ring to find the answer to problem. Fact Platters are a part of the Everyday Math program.

Hillside Student of the Month
February 8, 2012
Congratulations to Benjamin Stokowski for being named Hillside Elementary's Student of the Month! Benjamin was awarded $50.00 to start a college fund from Five Points Bank.  The award was presented by Tom Kelley, Omaha Market President of Five Points Bank and Director of Operations Jackie McCabe.
Elementary Students "Try a Bite" of Kumquats
February 8, 2012
Westside Nutrition Services has students "try a bite" every other Wednesday to encourage them to try new foods.  Kumquats, a little fruit that tastes similar to an orange, were on the menu this week.  Students at Oakdale Elementary ate them, skin and all and were surprised how sweet and sour they were. Next on the menu is pomegranate seeds.
Five Westside Seniors Selected for the United States Presidential Scholars Program
February 2, 2012
Westside High School seniors Ben Fenwick, Lilly Phillips, Jacob Poots, Jake Quinn and Aisha Wang were selected as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program.  Each year 3,000 candidates, 20 women and 20 men from every state, are selected based on their SAT or ACT scores. These students have the opportunity to submit their academic credentials and apply to be a part of the 121 Academic Scholars who will travel to Washington, D.C. in June to participate in National Recognition Weekend.
WHS Students Sign Letters of Intent
February 7, 2012
Congratulations to three Westside High School seniors, who signed athletic letters of intent to play football in college.  Tyler Schuster and Jack Sortino signed with Hastings College in Hastings, NE and Brandon Wiles signed with Grand View University in Des Moines, IA.
WHS Students Sign Letter of Intent
February 1, 2012
Congratulations to WHS seniors Megan Thacker, Malcolm Willett, and Kirsten Smith who all signed athletic letters of intent with Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD.  Megan and Kirsten will play soccer.  Malcolm will play football.
Westgate Students Learn What a Doctor Does
January 31, 2012
Kindergartners at Westgate Elementary were treated to a visit by Dr. Bert van Blerk.  He spoke to students about the job responsibilities of a doctor. During his visit, Dr. van Blerk allowed students to listen to his heart with a stethoscope.  He also gave each of them a surgical cap and mask.
Oakdale and Westgate Kindergartners Celebrate 100 Days of School
January 31, 2012
Kindergartners at Oakdale Elementary celebrated 100 days of school by reading 100 books, counting 100 pennies, making 100 paper hearts and singing the '100 Days of School' song.  Students also read a book about chicks and made 100 chicks to display in the classroom. Westgate students counted to 100 in different forms and celebrated by having a 100th day snack at the end of the day.  Click here to see a slideshow.

Hillside Community Club Hosts Pizza Bingo Night
January 31, 2012
Hillside Elementary students, families and staff gathered last Friday night to participate in Hillside Community Club’s Pizza Bingo Night.  Everyone gathered for yummy pizza followed by some fairly competitive bingo games.
Swanson Students Learn RESPECT
January 30, 2012
For No Name Calling Week, held the week of January 16-20, Swanson Elementary students learned about RESPECT.  RESPECT is a educational theater presentation.  Actor-educators role-play with students, showing them, as bystanders, how to stand up to bullying behavior.

Rockbrook First Graders Read "Gingerbread Man" Books
January 31, 2012
During a lesson where Rockbrook first graders learned about comparing and contrasting, teacher Elizabeth Raphael read several versions of the Gingerbread Man story.  Students wrapped up the lesson by decorating gingerbread man cookies and by sponge-painting gingerbread pictures.  Click here for additional pictures of the activity.
Swanson Students Treated to CAPOW! Presentation
January 30, 2012
Swanson Elementary students experienced a science show of pops, bangs, and flashes on January 26th. The University of Nebraska at Omaha's CAPOW! presentation (Chemistry and Physics on Wheels) helped to teach 4th-6th graders about physics, chemistry, and energy resources. The students enjoyed Dr. Dan Sullivan's hands-on presentation.
Westside Senior Jennifer Jimenez wins "Youth of the Year"
January 30, 2012
Westside High School senior Jennifer Jimenez was named the Omaha area's "Youth of the Year" by the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands. It's the highest award given to club members and is based on character, academics and community involvement. Jimenez will serve as the group's 2012 ambassador and plans to attend the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles after she graduates.  Omaha had five other finalists for this award including Westside High School sophomore Devin Rollins. 
Paddock Students Learn The Science of Goo
January 24, 2012
Paddock Elementary fourth-graders investigated The Science of Goo with Jim Woodland, the Director of Science Education at the Nebraska Department of Education.  During their inquiry the students mixed cornstarch and water to create the goo, which they then studied for changes in shape, consistency and texture.  The lesson tied in with the Blue Man Group's visit to Omaha.  Click here to see a slideshow.
Visitors from Kumi, Uganda at Loveland Elementary
November 12, 2012
For the past three years, thanks to Opportunity Education, Loveland has had a sister school in Kumi, Uganda.  Last week, nine international educators visited Loveland to see what a student holiday celebration was like.  They attended Loveland's Halloween Parade and parties.  The educators came from Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, India and Zambia and stayed in Omaha for a week of intensive training.  Loveland was the only school in the United States that the educators visited.
Caring K-Kids
January 10, 2012
Paddock Road’s K-Kids group provided some community service during the months of November and December. The group decorated Halloween treat bags for Heartland Family Services and made turkeys for the Hospice House. In December, they rang bells for the Salvation Army at Nebraska Furniture Mart and went caroling at the Hospice House

The Spirit of Giving
January 10, 2012
Teaching her class that “it’s better to give than to receive”, Katie Mason’s first-graders at Oakdale Elementary put together gift bags for the second-graders in Kathy Taylor’s class at OPS’s Liberty Elementary. The boys’ bags included football banks, Hotwheels, and noise putty. The gift bags for the girls had journals, pens and pencils, and nail polish. Both sets of bags included 10 books for each child, lunch boxes, hats, gloves, socks and of course some yummy treats!

Westgate Students "Hit the Books!"
January 10, 2012
Third through sixth graders at Westgate Elementary kicked off their reading program "Hit the Books"!  Representatives from the Omaha Storm Chasers came and spoke to the students about how to earn a day at a Storm Chasers game. They brought Casey, their team mascot, to help get the students fired up to read! 

Mitten Tree at Loveland Elementary
December 22, 2011
Loveland Elementary's Student Council sponsored a mitten tree to collect items for the Salvation Army's Winter Night Watch program.  Students brought new mittens, hats, gloves and scarves for the program which helps make cold winter nights bearable for the homeless and near-homeless of Omaha.
Penguin Visits Hillside Kindergarteners
December 20, 2011
Kindergarten students at Hillside Elementary had a visit from Lucius, an African penguin from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Lucius was accompanied by Stephanie Huettner, the Assistant General Curator and Curator of Birds and Mitch Carl, the Curator of Aquatics at the zoo.  Stephanie answered the students questions about what penguins eat and where they live while Lucius greeted the students.  To see a slideshow of the visit, click here.
Hillside Performance at WHS
December 19, 2011
In October, Hillside 5th and 6th graders began their rehearsals for “The Best Little Theater in Town”. The students practiced before and after school and learned about terms used in theatrical production. On November 22nd, the production was performed in the WHS auditorium. The performance featured 120 students, including 32 speaking parts and 9 solos. The last number even included a kickline!

Author Visit
December 9, 2011
Author Kate Klise visited several Westside elementary schools the week of November 28th. Kate is the author of more than 20 chapter and picture books including “Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth,” and “Imagine Harry”. One of her chapter books, “Dying to Meet You,” is currently a Golden Sower nominee for students in grades 4-6. She taught the students a simple writing equation: one character + one problem + one journey = a story! Let your imagination run wild! Check out her website by clicking here.

Westside Step Team Awarded First Place at Sigma Youth Step Explosion
December 7, 2011
Congratulations to the Westside High School Step Team. They won first place at the Sigma Youth Step Explosion at the Ray and Joan Kroc Center on Saturday, December 3. The team competed with others from across the state and were judged by representatives of collegiate step teams from the Midlands in six categories.
Owney the Dog Visits Paddock Students
December 1, 2011
Owney, the unofficial mascot of the Railway Mail Service in 1885 traveled the world accompanying mailbags on trains and steamships. Today, a toy Owney travels from school to school to connect students across the United States.  Fourth-graders at Paddock Road had a visit from their Owney, who started his travels in Maine and Minnesota before arriving in Omaha.  The students involved him in their daily activities before sending him to his next stop in Colorado.  Click here to see a slideshow of Owney's time at Paddock Road.
Oakdale Sixth-Graders Donate Craft Supplies to Children's Hospital
December 1, 2011
Sixth-graders at Oakdale Elementary have decided to support Children's Hospital and Medical Center as a part of their annual community service project.  Every quarter, students will complete a project that will benefit the patients at Children's.  This past month, the sixth-graders collected craft supplies from all grades at Oakdale and donated over eight boxes to the hospital.

Westside Middle School Students Visit the University of Nebraska
November 28, 2011
Westside Middle School's Student Mentoring Program traveled to Lincoln to participate in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Discover Engineering Day.  During the day, students participated in a variety of engineering-based problem solving activities.  UNL College of Engineering students organized and conducted the activities and also spoke to the middle school students about making engineering a future career choice.  At the end of the day, the students were treated to a tour of Memorial Stadium.
Oakdale 5th Graders Skype with Senator Ben Nelson
November 28, 2011
The 5th graders at Oakdale Elementary got a first-hand government lesson on November 15th.  Senator Ben Nelson spoke with the students via Skype. The kids asked fantastic questions such as “Why did you want to be a senator?” and “What’s your favorite part of your job?” The senator concluded by encouraging the kids to make education and learning a priority. 

Veterans Day Celebrations
November 28, 2011
Thank you, Veterans! In honor of Veterans Day, several Westside elementary schools held activities to celebrate and recognize these American heroes. Click here to view a slideshow of the Veterans Day activities held at Oakdale and Westbrook. 

WCC Students Take Part in Apprentice Style Thematic Unit
November 14, 2011
Westside Career Center Students recently took part in an "Apprentice" style thematic unit.  The students worked in groups to develop a public relations, marketing, and advertising campaign for the Omaha Roller Girls. Representatives of the Roller Girls met with the students and discussed what they liked about each campaign.  Ultimately, the women selected one winning group from both the morning and the afternoon sections. Team WCC developed the winning campaign from the morning section.  Click here for more information on the winning students. 
Sunset Hills Halloween Food Drive
November 7, 2011
Sunset Hills sixth-graders decorated boxes to organize a food drive for the Omaha Food Bank. For a week, students brought can goods and non-perishable items to fill the decorated boxes.  On Halloween, the sixth-graders collected the boxes from each classroom and filled the blue bins from the Food Bank.  Click here to see a slideshow of the boxes and students. 

WHS Students Learn to Play Cricket
November 2, 2011
What in the world is a wicket?  How about a flat bat?  Or a bowler?   P.E. students at WHS got a first-hand lesson in the game of Cricket from members of the Omaha Cricket Club. After some instruction time, the students got a chance to play the game and show their skills. Click here to see a slideshow.

Physical Education Teacher wins Award
October 31, 2011
Swanson students and staff surprised Physical Education teacher Debra Kaplan with a sign and flowers in honor of her winning the 2011-12 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NAHPERD).  Kaplan will be recognized at the NAHPERD Awards celebration luncheon during the NAHPERD Conference on Tuesday, November 8th in Lincoln. This is the third time Kaplan has been recognized as Nebraska’s Elementary P.E. Teacher of the Year.
Westside Students Support the Salvation Army
October 31, 2011
Fourteen students and three teachers supported the Salvation Army by participating in the Red Kettle Run 5K.  The race took place at Zorinsky Lake Park and for many of the participants, it was their first 5K. The Red Kettle 5K Run asked participants to donate $10 or bring a minimum donation of 10 non-perishable items to run in an effort to help stock pantry shelves in Omaha.
Westside's Lance, Wired and WTV win Cornhusker Awards
October 20, 2011
Congratulations to the 2010-2011 staffs of Lance, WTV and Wired. All three received Cornhusker awards from the Nebraska High School Press Association at the state journalism convention. The Cornhusker award is the highest honor bestowed upon Nebraska high school media through its annual critique service. In addition, Wired and WTV adviser Matt Rasgorshek was named "Distinguished Adviser," the year's outstanding journalism teacher by the NHSPA advisers.
Rockbrook Students hold Twin Day for United Way
October 17, 2011
During their United Way campaign week, Rockbrook Elementary held a dress-a-like day/Twin Day. Students donated 50 cents and dressed like a friend. Some of the kindergartners decided to dress alike with pink shirts that said "Kindergarten Rocks."  Rockbrook Elementary raised over $800 for United Way during their campaign.
Fourteen Students Earn National Merit Semifinalist Status
October 17, 2011
Fourteen Westside High School students were among 16,000 from throughout the country who achieved semifinalist status based on their PSAT scores. Click here for a photo of students who earned this status.
World Language Teachers Win Awards
October 17, 2011
Congratulations to Ginger Starks-Yoble and Barb Irvin, who received awards at the Nebraska International Language Association's annual conference.  Ginger was awarded the New Educator award which is given to a world language teacher in his/her first five years of service, who shows creativity and imagination in teaching, and is actively involved outside the classroom in promoting the study of world languages. Barb won a STAR Teacher award which is given for a world language teachers' Study, Travel, Achievement and Recognition. This is the fifth consecutive year Barb has won this award. Ginger and Barb are both world language teachers at Westside Middle School.
Westside Students Participate in a Cardboard Boat Race
October 12, 2011
Thirty students in the Systems Technology Course at Westside High School participated in the Annual Systems Technology Cardboard Boat Race.  Students started the project by each designing and constructing a cardstock boat scale model, the prototypes were tested for speed and weight using sand and the final boat was created by selecting the best prototype from a team of two and making the boats out of cardboard and one to two rolls of clear packing tape. The students then had to both fit in the boat and make a round trip up and back the length of the Westside High School pool to get an A for a grade. Click here for a slideshow of the boats and the competitors.
Swanson Students Raise Money for the United Way
October 12, 2011
Students at Swanson Elementary raised $1,111 for their United Way Just Give campaign. The campaign was based off the book The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.  Students read the book aloud at an assembly to kick off the campaign and used a tree with dollar bills attached to act out the story. 

WHS and Hillside Pen Pal Project
October 12, 2011
The 2011-12 Pen Pal Project between senior WHS National Honor Society students and Hillside third and sixth graders is off to a great start! This project partners these students from Westside High School with third and sixth grade students at Hillside to encourage the students' interest in writing. The students write letters to each other to help motivate them to become better writers and build relationships with great role models.  The program will continue every two weeks throughout the school year and will end with a closing celebration in the spring.

Swanson Superstars Participate in Homecoming Parade
October 11, 2011
Swanson Elementary Superstars participated in this year's Westside High School homecoming parade.  Families came out and helped show the "Hollywood" spirit that shined throughout the streets, as students of all ages walked from Westside Middle School to Westside High School.
Swanson Sixth Graders Think Pink
October 11, 2011
Sixth graders, Ellie Hansen, Bronson Hosey and Jaydon Carlson show off their pink on Swanson's Think Pink Day.  Think Pink was celebrated to support the Susan G. Komen walk and Breast Cancer Awareness month that takes place in the month of October. 
WHS Teacher Wins Award
October 7, 2011
Congratulations to Westside High School teacher Dana Christensen on winning the Dale E. Black Outstanding Young Teacher Award.  The award is given by the Nebraska Speech Communication & Theater Association and given for such traits as enthusiasm for work, scholarly integrity, knowledge of subject matter, innovation, ability to motivate and stimulate students, worthy goals in teaching, and professional promise including such areas as involvement in professional associations, research, and writing. Christensen is the Debate Director at Westside High School.
Loveland Community Spruces Up School
October 6, 2011
Parents and neighborhood residents surrounding Loveland Elementary school met on Saturday, September 24 to plant hundreds of beautiful plants, trees, and flowers in new neighborhood planting areas created as part of the playground improvement project.  Ninety-five percent of the plants were "recycled" and donated from Loveland neighbors at no cost.
The Jersey Boys and Tim Halperin visit WMS
October 4, 2011
What a treat! The cast of The Jersey Boys and Tim Halperin stopped by Westside Middle School the same week! Using a script and under the guidance of The Jersey Boys, Mr. Huebner’s vocal music students performed some of the scenes from the hit Broadway show. The cast allowed time at the end for students to ask questions.  Tim Halperin, an American Idol finalist and former Westside student, drew cheers from 7th and 8th graders when he walked onto the stage in the Performing Arts Center. Between songs, Halperin answered questions from the kids and encouraged them to “…do what you love and love what you do. Always follow your dreams.” Click here to see a slideshow. 

WHS Students Listen to Motivational Speaker
September 22, 2011
Students in Brian Nemecek's Sociology Large Group heard an inspirational message from motivational speaker Ron Gustafson.  Gustafson was just nine years old when he was seriously injured in a farm accident while growing up in Lyons, Nebraska. Gustafson spoke to students about overcoming adversity and turning a setback into a comeback.
Prairie Lane Students Learn About Schools Then and Now
September 22, 2011
Prairie Lane first graders recently completed a reading theme titled "Schools Then and Now."  As a culminating activity, the students spent a day pretending to be part of a pioneer school.  They wore clothes that students may have worn, and used chalk and chalkboards to do math and spelling.  Students read books about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her pioneer days in South Dakota. They also learned how to play marbles and cut out paper dolls. Click here to see more pictures.
Meteorologist visits Oakdale Elementary
September 15, 2011
How do you get a water balloon through the neck of a narrow jar? Can you really balance a ping-pong ball in the air using a hair dryer? How does a funnel cloud work? The first graders at Oakdale Elementary can tell you! KETV meteorologist Bill Randby stopped by and talked with the kids about the wacky world of weather. Click here to view a slideshow.
Nutrition Man visits Rockbrook Elementary
September 12, 2011
The Rose Theater's Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise visited with Rockbrook Elementary second-graders as a part of the play "The Super Adventures of Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise."  The play taught students about nutrition and health and how to make healthy eating choices.
RESPECT Play Presented at Hillside Elementary
September 8, 2011
On Friday, September 2, ‘RESPECT2presented a play to Hillside Elementary students. The focus of the group is to teach kids skills to combat bullying behavior.  The play was followed by a discussion where students could ask and answer questions, and participate in anti-bullying strategies.
Hillside Fourth Graders Participate in Bullying Performance
August 31, 2011
Hillside Elementary fourth-graders became game show contestants in The Rose Theater's The Bully Show.  The performance takes place at the taping of a new game show, You Wanna Be a Bully!, with the students acting as the studio audience and contestants. The show challenges students to reconsider their assumptions about bullies, victims, and spectators.
Westside Concert Jazz Band Performs at United Way Kick-Off
August 31, 2011
Members of the Westside High School Concert Jazz Band volunteered to perform at the 2011 United Way Kick-off event, held at Security National Bank on Tuesday, August 30.  These jazz musicians weren't the only Westside students giving of their time.  On Saturday, August 27, more than 100 Westside High School students volunteered for the United Way's Day of Caring.  Students spent the day helping out at Girls Inc.  Click here to view a slideshow of their volunteer efforts.
Westgate Fifth Graders Participate in the SEL Program
August 29, 2011
Westgate fifth-graders participated in the The Social Emotional Learning Program which is a research based kindergarten through sixth-grade program that fosters classroom and schoolwide community. It provides specific lessons and activities that integrate community building efforts throughout the school day and the school year. The program consists of four components designed to work together to build community in the classroom and school:  class meeting lessons, cross-age buddies, homeside activities and the schoolwide community building activities. 
Westside Students are Back to School
August 19, 2011
The first week of school is in the books! Click here to check out some of the back to school pictures we received!

Oakdale's Photo Safari
August 19, 2011
Fifth-graders at Oakdale Elementary used digital cameras to go on a Photo Safari around the school.  The pictures student took will be used to spark ideas for writing topics for the semester.
Early Learning Center Opens at Underwood Hills
August 15, 2011
The Westside Early Learning Center at Underwood Hills opened on Monday, August 15 with year-round toddler, half-day, and full-day preschool programs. Its curriculum is focused on nature and the arts. The Westside Early Learning Center at Underwood Hills uses the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines and is a licensed facility through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Construction Started on New Softball Complex
August 12, 2011
Construction has started on the new Westside Girls's Softball Complex at 80th Street and Western Avenue.  The new complex will have two fields, a track, green space, batting cages, bullpens and will include an area for storage.  There will also be a multipurpose building that will house restrooms and concessions. 
WHS Students Place Strong in FPS Competition
June 29, 2011
Westside High School students who recently competed in the Future Problem Solving International Competition placed second in the Senior Education division of the Community Problem Solving competition.  The competition took place in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in early June. This is the second year Westside students have participated in the community problem solving competition.  (Read More)
Westside Featured in Nebraska Loves our Public Schools Campaign
June 13, 2011
The Westside High School 1 to 1 technology initiative was recently featured in the Nebraska Loves our Public Schools campaign, a social media project design to promote the great things happening in public schools throughout Nebraska.  Click here for a link to Westside's story.
Students "Celebrate" at Summer School
June 29, 2011
Westside's Summer School program kicked off in June with 450 students attending from all ten buildings.  The theme of this year was "Celebrate" and four sessions were offered each day with 17 different sessions in all.  Students could take classes like writing, reading, math, pottery, rockets, ooey gooey science, drama, claymation, show choir, guitar and inventions just to name a few.  Click here to see a slideshow of summer school.
Loveland Student Creates "Project Loveland"
June 29, 2011
Francis Stevens, a sixth-grade student at Loveland created a model of Loveland Elementary and what it would look like in the future.  He started working on it in August 2010 and finished it this past May.  The model is complete with a outdoor eating area called the "Loveland Buffet," a football field, a basketball court, an outdoor courtyard and a rooftop terrace.  It has 50 light fixtures, 100 windows and a swing set which is Francis's favorite part.  Francis will be