Principal's Message

  • Dear Parents,
    A big shout out and thank you to our Westside School Community for the support of our largest fundraiser of the school year, the Wildcat Chase. Students raised $25,068.00, which is an amazing amount of money in a short period of time. Funds raised will help pay for events such as the OMSI classroom based labs, school wide assemblies, the book giveaway, as well as putting aside money to purchase another piece of playground equipment, which is a multi-year fundraising project.
    There are a few changes coming for next school year with our staffing. This year we had four classes at 2nd and 4th grade in order to keep class size lower at these grade levels. We will now have four classes at 3rd and 5th grade to continue to keep class sizes down at these two grade levels that have higher than average enrollments. Due to these shifts, we’ll have three teachers teaching at a different grade level next year, including Joelena Evans and Megan Farrell at third grade, and Nathan Smith at fifth grade. We will also be hiring for a fourth 5th grade teacher due to Anne Gehrig’s retirement. As we did for this school year, we will be informing parents of their child’s teacher for next school year come August via a postcard mailed home.
    Speaking of retirements, we have three staff members who will be retiring at the end of this school year. Anne Gehrig has announced her retirement after 41 years of teaching in the Hood River County School District. Tina Pruitt and Melissa Ing, instructional assistants in our learning resource room have announced their retirements after 24 and 21 years working at Westside Elementary. Over 80 years of experience will be walking out the door at the end of this school year, which is a tremendous loss to our school. Please take a moment to thank these ladies for their contributions to Westside and to wish these ladies well with their next endeavor.
    As I have shared in years past, I encourage you to develop a daily routine over the summer with your child/children that dedicates some time towards reading, writing, and math. Anything you can do to keep your child’s learning ongoing through the summer will make the transition into the next grade that much smoother. While it’s important we all take a break, it is also important that we work towards keeping our students engaged in these academic areas over the summer. I recommend spending time visiting the Hood River library, taking part in Community Ed classes or activities, all the while enjoying the leisureliness that summer brings. 
    Thank you for making the 2017-18 school year a success! May you all have the opportunity to enjoy the summer with your friends and family!
    Bill Newton

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