« July 2014 »
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


Upcoming Events
- WG - CC Mtg, 7 pm
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- WG - CC Mtg., 6 pm
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
District Announcements
Information About Westside Facilities Master Plan Available
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
Westgate Announcements
Home of the Gators
7802 Hascall Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68124-3413
402-390-6495 phone
402-390-2156 fax
School hours: 8:45 - 3:30
Westgate's Mission Statement
The mission of Westgate Elementary School is to educate each child to achieve (his/her) full potential in collaboration with school, family and community.
Tennis Enrichment Cluster
Students in the tennis cluster learned many different aspects of tennis. They practiced forehand, backhand, and volleying.  The group also learned the different rules of singles and doubles. They played many tennis related games. The students also created a book to show their new learning about tennis.
50 States Cluster
 For the Fifty States cluster, the children researched about their chosen state. Then they made Comic Life posters to display the information. On our last day, we had a party where we ate food produced by each person's state. We listened to patriotic music while we savored the food from across the USA. We also presented our Comic Life posters to our cluster.
Mr. Austen made one last appearance before the end of the school year.  This time, he brought insects and insect eating animals to show the Kindergarten classes!  This presentation was really exciting because the students were able to look, touch, hear, and learn all about different insects.  The students really enjoyed learning from Mr. Austen each month!!!
Mr. Broshar Visit
Mr. Broshar visited Mrs. Pontious' Kindergarten class this afternoon. During his visit, Mr. Broshar talked about the four main components of being a principal. He even drew diagram that any student can understand! The students really enjoyed his visit!!!
Interpreter Visit
Kindergarten had a special visitor this afternoon. Hamdi, Yasmin's mom, came and talked about her job as an interpreter. She explained what she does, where she works, and even taught the students how to say, "Good Morning" in a different language!
5th grade poetry

During fourth quarter, fifth grade practiced fluency by reading and performing poetry.  The students were allowed to do poems individually or with partners.  Some chose to memorize their poems.  The culminating activity was a "Poetry Cafe" allowing them to perform for their classmates.  Some students chose to use small props to enhance their performance.  The fifth graders did a great job and enjoyed familiarizing themselves with poetry.

Salon Visit
Kindergartners were visited by Didi, who works at a salon here in Omaha.  She showed them different tools she uses and taught them about healthy choices for their hair and why it is important to take care of their hair.  At the end, she gave every student a lip facial.  The students really enjoyed seeing all her tools and getting a lip facial.   
Virtual Field Trip
Westgate students went on a virtual field trip today.  They traveled to Morrill Hall in Lincoln, NE to learn about the Titanoboa.  
Enrichment Clusters Round 3
Today was the third week for Westgate's Enrichment Clusters.  Students were divided into different multiple grade level groups that provided different interests to each child.  These enrichment clusters will create opportunities for students to explore their interests through hands on learning activities.   
Tire Visit
Kindergartners were visited by Mr. AJ, who showed the students different sizes of tires.  They really enjoyed the hands on experience and seeing the huge tires up close!!!
Walking Field Trip
Kindergartners went on a morning walking field trip down to the Pizza Ranch for a lesson in making pizzas!  Each student helped make a pizza, watched it go into the oven at 425 degrees, then learned how to make pizza dough.  They enjoyed eating their pizzas and singing, "Let it Go" from Frozen for the store manager.  After the Pizza Ranch, the students walked over the First National Bank to learn about the what they do at the bank.  Students were shown safety deposit boxes and the vault.  The really enjoyed visiting a couple local businesses!!!
Hotel Manager Visit
Westgate Kindergartners were visited by Double Tree Hotel manager, Mike Costello.  During the visit, he discussed what goes on at the hotel and how he trains his staff to be safe, respectful, and responsible.  He really focused on why following the rules and directions along with listening to teachers and peers are important in school and in the real world.  
May Buddies
Westgate Buddies were at it again! This buddy activity was focusing on P.E. so many groups walked around the neighborhood or did exercising activities in the classrooms.
Mail Carrier visits Kindergarten
Kindergarteners were visited by Mr. Grant, who is an Omaha Mail Carrier. He talked to the students about what it takes to be a mail carrier and what he does every day at work. He also brought each student a post office coloring book to take home. The students really enjoyed asking questions and learning about Mr. Grant's cool job.
2nd grade Music Program
2nd Grade Field Trip
Kindergartners at Westgate were visited by Mr. Austin this week.  Mr. Austin talked about trees, why they are important to us, and what we need to know about trees.  After his discussion, the kindergarten students were able to go outside and plant a class tree.  Mr. Austin brought enough trees for every student at Westgate to have and take home.  The instructions on how to take care of the trees are attached to the seedlings.  This visit was in honor of Arbor Day and Earth Day.

Hit the Books 2014
On April 22, 2014,  105 students from grades 3 through 6 had the opportunity to hit a Storm Chasers baseball game. The students had to meet their reading goals four months in a row in order to earn 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.  Way to go Gators!!
Earth Day
Kindergarteners at Westgate helped the Earth by walking around Pipal Park and picking up trash. Happy Earth Day!!! 

Hello Westgate Families,

It is time to place your yearbook orders. The cost for the yearbook is $14.00 and is due Friday, April 11th. Please make checks payable to Westgate Elementary.

Thank you,

Ryan Broshar
Westgate Elementary

Science Olympiad
Students attended the 1st Annual Science Olympiad at WCS!  The kids had a great day full of learning opportunities.  Hopefully the students take the time to share some of their experiences from the day.  Check out our blog for some pictures and videos!


Love and Logic Parenting Class
Recycling World
Kindergarteners learned how important recycling and taking care of the environment is for our planet. They were given helpful tips to do around the house and classroom to ensure they are not wasting any precious resources. They learned about the three R's, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, along with finding a cool way to recycle their banana peels, apple cores, and other common items that are thrown away.
Lizard Lowdown
Kindergarteners were visited by some lizard friends this month. They learned fun facts and were able to get up close to these amazing creatures.
St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's day was celebrated by all at Westgate. Students and Staff were decked out in green throughout the building.
Pasta for Pennies
Thanks to everyone for their participation in the Pasta for Pennies fundraiser benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Westgate raised $714.83! The winning classroom was Mrs. O'Brien's class with $163.78. Ms. Carlson's class was 2nd with $93.38. Congratulations!
District Speech Contest
District Speech Contest participant, Siara Cramer, represented Westgate at the CCC last Friday. Great job, Siara!
High Schoolers in Kindergarten
Mrs. Kleppinger from Westside High brought students from her technology class into kindergarten.  The high students are learning to use technology on the ipad so their teacher came up with a  collaborative idea.  The high school students interviewed kindergartners to create individual stories about each kindergarten on the ipad.  Each kindergarten student in Ms. Wortmann's class will receive their own story DVD at the end of the project.
Battle of the Books
Westside's 2014 Battle of the Books competition took place this past Saturday, March 1 at Westside High School.  Over 200, 4th-6th grade students 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. 

Six Westgate teams participated in the competition.  The following students represented Westgate:

  • The Candymaker Girls:  Delaney Gray, Rachel Dyer, Ayana Lewis, Yasmin Lopez Morales, Kaitlyn Mungia
  • Book Munchers:  Elijah Wagner, Hakim Lotoro, Shayla Criddle, Mia Boolinger
  • Gator Warriors:  Franklin Lowe, Ariana Aguilar, Darcy Nelson, Mariama Fenelon
  • Chapter Champions: Ariana Dykhouse, Olivia Neito, Emily Fast, Zara Selin
  • Question Masters: Caleb Dykhouse, Alex Carson, Claire Wing, Grant Guyett
  • Psychics: Colin Davis, Chainey Thompson, Miles O'Brien

It was truly amazing to witness the excitement and enthusiasm on Saturday!  Way to read Gators! 

Nebraska Robotics Expo
Caleb Dykhouse and Alex Carson earned 1st place in the documentation competition at the 5th 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.
Dr. Seuss on the Loose
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 Phone Drive

Please help us reach our goal of 150 headphones.  Thanks for all your support!!!

Pasta for Pennies
Westgate Student Council is partnering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the Pasta for Pennies Fundraiser. This fundraiser will run March 3-12, with a kick-off assembly Friday, February 28th at 2:45. Students will be asked to bring money (pennies, dimes, dollars, whatever!) to be collected during this time. There will also be a couple of additional fun activities:

(Dates TBD)
-Pennies for Popcorn---students can buy a bag of popcorn after school for $1
-Teachers dress down, students dress up $0.50
-Guess the teacher's baby picture- $0.50 

You may also donate online at schoolandyouth.org.
1. Click find a school
2. Click on your state
3. Click Donate to my school

Thanks for all your help and participation!!!
Nebraska Robotics Expo
This past Saturday, a group of students attended the 5th annual Nebraska Robotics Expo at Strategic Air and Space Museum.  There were over 100 teams from elementary through high school and the students did a great job!  The Westgate team consisted of 4th graders Caleb Dykhouse, Alex Carson, and Claire Wing (Loveland) and 6th graders Chloe Getty, Alyssa Butler, Angela Selin, Leah Sip, and Siara Cramer.  The students competed in Hail Storm (robotic foosball), Tornado Relief (team driving and scoring remotely), Mine Shaft (autonomous programming maze), and Engineering Notebook.

Slide Show
Slithering Serpents
Did you know before snakes were feared, they were worshipped? Kindergartners at Westgate learned why they are not to be feared with the help of a few Nebraska snakes.  Mr. Austen brought in several snakes for the kids to look at, feel, and learn about.  Kindergartners had an exciting adventure in the world of snakes!

Slithering Serpents Slide Show
Bird Nests
In January, Kindergarteners discovered the diversity of bird nest designs as well as fun facts about the little engineers who made them. 
4th grade field trip
What does the symphony and the scientific method have in common?  Fourth graders attended the "Sound Lab with the Symphony" at the Holland Center today and found out!  During the program, students listened to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and the world premier of Shooting Stars by Benjamin Taylor, all the while making hypotheses and recording observations as they learned about sound waves, acoustics, and making music.
5th grade science
The 5th grade students have been investigating different forces like gravity, magnetism, electricity, and friction, to identify their affects on the motion of objects.  Some forces only pull, like gravity.  Other forces can push or pull on an object.  These outside forces can cause objects to speed up, slow down, or change direction.  We had a lot of fun checking out the power of magnetism!
4th Grade Science Experiement
The 4th graders in Miss Ingles science class observed gummy worms and live earth worms to understand the difference between living and non-living things. 
All About Animals
Westgate Kindergartners 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.  All three presentations caught the eyes of all the Kindergartners here at Westgate and left them wanting to learn more!  We love hands on learning!!!

Animal Slideshow
The Bubble Lady
This year Westgate's Community Club sponsored The Bubble Lady to come out and visit the Westgate Students.  She was full of energy, knowledge, and bubbles, of course.  She captivated the students through her funny tricks, mad science experiments, and life size bubbles. 

Bubble Lady Slideshow
Westgate Food Drive

The Westgate Student Council voted to help the Food Bank for the Heartland this holiday season. It was a success as Westgate students donated generous amounts of canned goods and other nonperishable items. The total was over 800 lbs. of food! The drive was turned into a contest between K-3 and 4-6 classrooms. The classrooms that collected the most items were Ms. Wortmann's Kindergarten class and Ms. Ingles' 4th Grade class.  When we all work together, we can achieve greatness!

Student Survey
All 2nd through 6th graders will need to follow this link and complete the survey before break this Friday.  Thank you!
Teacher of the Week
Mrs. Danica Lieberth was awarded the Star 104.5 teacher of the week!!!  She received the Crystal Star Award because she was nominated by three different students!  Danica was given gift certificates to Runza, a teacher supply store, and Mockingbird Cupcakes.  Her class was given certificates for a field trip to Fontenelle Forest.  She is a great teacher who is always dedicated to the needs of all her students.  Congratulations Danica!
Owl Presentation
Kindergarten had two special visitors come into thier classrooms in November.  Luna, a Great Horned Owl, and Red, an Eastern Screech Owl, visited all three Kindergarten classes to teach the Kindergarteners about the lives of different owls.  The presentations were filled with fun facts, hands-on activities, and seeing actual live owls.
Over the past few days, a group of four 4th graders have been meeting together because of their interest in Computer Programming.  They learned some basics of StarLogo and began writing programs for the turtle to draw the word "Westgate."  This is a very popular enrichment cluster and it was neat to see how kids as early as 4th grade could handle something like this. 
Cardboard Challenge
Approximately 8 kids from 5th grade participated in the Caine's Arcade Cardboard Challenge.  They met during lunch/recess on 6 different occasions and the kids built their arcade games.  A couple weeks ago, the kids presented their games to their classmates during science class since it fit so nicely with the scientific process.
Henry Cole
Henry Cole is a well known author and illustrator who illuminated his passion for writing and drawing through theatrical stories that kept the students at Westgate engaged throughout the entire presentation.  He encouraged the students to strive for their dreams and to never give up.  He spoke to them about hard work and determination to get everything they want in life.  Henry Cole has put inspiration into the hearts of the students here at Westgate.

Henry Cole Slide Show
Celebrity Quiz with Sonny Melendrez
For 11 years I visited Mr. Stephen Pesek's class at Northwest Crossing Elementary, here in San Antonio, for the "Celebrity Quiz" to motivate and answer questions from his joyful students. When Stephen moved to Nebraska, we wanted to continue the tradition, and did so today, via Skype. What a joy to talk to these bright and enthusiastic young 6th graders at Westgate Elementary in Omaha. They are truly fortunate to have the kind of teacher you never forget and I am proud to be his friend.
 --Sonny Melendrez
Veteran's Day Breakfast

Veteran’s Day is a time to honor America’s heroes who have served in the Armed Forces.  Students welcomed thier veterans to Westgate for Veteran’s Day on Monday, November 11th from 9:00 to 9:30 am.  Student Council hosted breakfast for students and their veterans in the media center.  This was a nice way to say THANKS for all the veteran's have done for our country!

Fire Safety with Local Firefighters
Westgate's Kindergartners were visited by a local fire station who talked to the kids about fire safety.  The Firefighters went over fire safety rules, what to do in case of a fire and encouraged students to make a fire safety plan at home with their families.  Firefighter Slide Show
October Buddies Gather
Today, classes did a buddy activity that involved the topics, Arts or Drug Free Schools.  Teachers could pick from a variety of lessons that included, buddy band, a collage about us, drawing, singing or they could do a drug free 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 here at Westgate! Watch the October Buddies Slide Show.
WG Students Meet Father of the Internet
Westgate 6th graders went to WHS on Monday to hear one of the "fathers of the Internet" speak about the past and future of computing.  Vint Cerf is the chief Internet evangelist for Google and during his talk he told stories about Google's self-driving car and Google Glass.  He encouraged students to learn how to program and said all students should have to write a program before graduating high school.
Dr. Knows Presentation
Westgate's Kindergarten and first grade students were introduced to Dr. Knows, who helped them understand the importance of proper hygiene. She read the book, Respect Your Boogers by Julia Cook and had a special guest (Dr. Knows) to reinforce proper hygiene when you sneeze, cough, or need to blow your nose.  The nose sneezed confetti to show the students when they sneeze how the germs are projected and spread to the surrounding areas.  She had two volunteers come up and show the group the wrong way and the right to get boogers out of your nose.  She used a giant magnifying glass to show the kids all the germs on your hands when you touch boogers.  The kids really enjoyed the presentation and will hopefully think twice next time they need to sneeze, cough, or blow their noses!

Dr. Knows Slide Show
Celebrity Quiz with John Oakey
John Oakey, KETV news anchor, visited Mr. Pesek's class for a Celebrity Quiz. It is a question and answer session designed to offer students hope, inspiration, and motivation. A sample of questions that John answered were, "What advice would you give a 6th grader? What do you value most in others? What kind of student were you in 6th grade?"  He spent about 45 minutes interacting with students.
Sixth-Graders Enjoy Outdoor Education

Sixth grade students attended Outdoor Education. They did an awesome job both days! The weather was great and it is fun to see everyone learning outside of the classroom. Students got to experience a variety of different activities. Students rode horses, did archery, went on nature hikes, did tower studies, went canoeing and fishing along with getting a lot of team building experiences.  They even got to break open an owl pellets and use GPS devices when geocaching! Outdoor Education is a great experience for students to build confidence, build teamwork skills and use those skills outside of the classroom.  

Westgate Nature Night
The Metro Omaha Resources for Exploring Nature -- M.O.R.E. Nature -- hosted a family nature night here at Westgate Thursday, September 26th.  This was a wonderful opportunity for Westgate and its families to come together and experience nature through activities by local experts.  We all enjoyed a night with nature!!!

Nature Night Slide Show

Snake Slide Show

Eating Healthy For Kindergarten
Kindergarten had a special guest that came in and talked to the students about eating healthy. They discussed making good choices about what food they eat and why those foods are important.  Each student was also given three new foods to try.  They were, Kiwano, White Dragonfruit, and Kohlrabi.
First Buddy Activity of the Year
Today was the kick off for buddies this year.  During the first buddy meeting, students were to introduce each other and get to know one another.  Each classroom is paired up with a classroom of older or younger students at least three years apart.  This activity helps build community among the students here at Westgate.

Slide Show
Lauritzen's Gardens
Westgate’s Kindergarteners went on a half day field trip to Lauritzen’s Gardens.  They spent the afternoon exploring and learning about nature.

Slide Show
 On Wednesday, September 18th, all Westside Community Schools staff members participated in an event called "Nexting While Walking."  This event came about after a visit to the staff by Gallup researcher, Dr. Shane Lopez.  Lopez's message was how to encourage hope, well being and engagement in our students.  This walking event gave time for colleagues to connect and talk about what's next for the future of Westside Community Schools. As staff members walked through the Westgate neighborhood they were surprised to find signs with encouraging messages posted.
New Mascot
 Westgate students, families, and staff voted on a new look for the Westgate Gator. The 'happy gator' was the popular selection receiving 51% of the votes. Second place was the 'gator head' at 32%, and the 'crawling gator' received 17% of the votes. Thank you to everyone that participated in the voting.
Super Readers in 5th Grade

By developing students' reading comprehension and fluency, we can build confidence, reading skills, and lifelong readers.  Since we have been focusing on leaving tracks and monitoring and clarifying our comprehension, Mrs. LaFond's class became a 'reading posse' by donning super-cool glasses to help us 'focus' and 'clarify' our attention on digging a little deeper to gain more meaning from our reading.

Vote for the New Gator
 This year Westgate students will get to vote on our new school mascot.
Click here to vote.
2nd Graders Hard at Work
 Mrs. Lewis' class was hard at work on the first day of school. They were very busy learning the rules and procedures for the school year.
Back to School Night
Back to school night at Westgate was a big success. Students got to meet their teacher and then go join a big party in the back of the school. There was a grill out, a DJ, bounce houses, and face painting.  It was a great way to kick off the school year!
We Can. We Will.
The first day of school started off right with an all school assembly. Students got an introduction of all the staff in the building. Then Mr. Broshar told us the theme of the 2013/2014 school year is We can. We will. He explained that if students all choose to have this positive attitude and set goals they will have a great year at Westgate. 
The Westside Community School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin or disability.
All Content Property of Westside Community Schools
Site Map | Privacy Policy | View "printer-friendly" page | Login   In Japanese  In Korean  En français  Auf Deutsch  In italiano   No português  En español  In Russian  
Site powered by SchoolFusion.com © 2014 - Educational website content management