Principal's Message

  • Dear Westside Families, 

    As we all struggle to find our rhythm and place during these strenuous and challenging times, I wanted to share with you where Westside is currently at with our efforts to support student learning. As you have heard from our Superintendent, Dr. Sara Hahn-Huston, Oregon’s Department of Education shifted our direction for student learning earlier this week from supplemental learning packets to a focus on distance learning. This is a pretty big change for all involved, so please take a moment to review the graphic below that explains the differences between the two forms of learning.

    Following our Spring Break, Westside staff returned to work, meeting virtually to begin collaborating on our next steps. The first step our teachers focused on was connecting with our students' families, checking in to see how everyone is doing and to gather some information that will be helpful as we move forward together. Secondly, our teachers have been working on putting together supplemental learning packets that will be available on Monday, April 6th. Packets will be available at Westside on Monday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., as well as at the meal drop off sites as indicated below in this newsletter. Our staff has already begun receiving training on the use of Google Classroom and will continue to receive support and training in preparation for distance learning. Keep in mind that this isn’t ideal nor the preferred method of instruction, but we are going to do our best to make it work! 

    Over the next two weeks we will be working to distribute iPads following April 13, beginning with the third through fifth grade students, while at the same time trying to figure out ways to support families who don’t have internet capabilities. This will be a big lift for our school district and will take some time. I’ll do my best to keep you updated with our district’s plan and timeline.

    Parents, know that we realize this puts a lot of expectations on you with the schooling of your child(ren). Strive to find balance between completing the work students are being asked to do, with games, puzzles, art, reading books, learning topics that your child is interested in and getting outside for some fresh air. That sunshine is showing itself more and more. Keep things light and don’t stress out if your son/daughter is struggling to complete a worksheet or identifying key facts in a reading passage. We’re all struggling with how our lives have been turned upside down right now, including your child(ren), so I emphasize to all of you to give yourself some grace. Love and comfort one another during these difficult times.

    Stay well!

    Bill Newton


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