Westar News


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4/14/14 > Request for Qualifications - RFQ #15-001

NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS

Date: April 14, 2014

RFP No. 15-001 Architectural and Engineering Services

Due Date: May 13, 2014 Time: 2:00p.m., Local Time

Click Here

4/13/14 > Westar Sports Camp June 16th - 20th

Westar Sports Camp

June 16th - June 20th

Space is Limited. Please sign-up today!

(See Attachments Below)


4/09/14 > Parent Portal App for Mobile Device Users

If you are a moblie device user (either Android or Apple), Infinite Campus has released an app that will give you access to the parent portal. 

The parent portal will give parents access to your child's attendance, grades, schedule and assignments !

Download the Infinite Campus Mobile Portal application from any of the following app stores:

App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore for Android

Download the App

Select Setting to launch the App

Enter the District code STFSWS

Enter the portal and sign in as you would on your computer

If you haven't signed up for a parent portal account, please contact your child's school office to request the access code for your child(ren) and instructions on how to set up an account. Office personnel cannot give it to you over the phone, but can either send the letter home with the child or you can come into the school office, provide identification and receive the code.

4/03/14 > Westar STEM Camp June 2nd - 6th

 

1st Annual Westar STEM Summer Camp! 

If you had the opportunity to attend camp invention at Westar Elementary last summer, you won't want to miss our STEM Summer Camp on June   2nd - 6th. Feel free to contact Mr. Paduano apaduano@liberty.k12.az.us for more information or stop by the Westar Front Office and get registered today!

~ Thank You 


3/10/14 > Westar Students Blend Music with Math

Raising Arizona Kids Article:

Thank you Mr. Simmons for visiting our Westar Campus


Attachment:
 Raising Arizona Kids
 
2/13/14 > STEM Saturday's at Westar

The Arizona Science Center will be at Westar!

When: December 14th

Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Who: 4th - 8th Grade are invited to attend

What: "Science in Music"

Cost: No Charge

Space is limited - Sign up now!

 Reserve your spot by signing up in the front office.

 

Look for more Westar STEM Saturday dates to follow:

 NASA Astronaut 1/25

 Scientist vs Nature 2/8

'X' Marks the Spot 3/1

CSI Mystery 4/12


Attachment:

 STEM_Saturday_pdf.pdf
1/13/14 > Yearbooks for Sale!

Announcing….

The Westar Elementary School

2013 - 2014 Yearbooks

Are now for Sale!

 

Our Yearbook is planned to include:

  • All color pages that vibrantly capture school memories
  • Sturdy soft or hard cover
  • School name and year imprinted in foil on cover

$20.00 Soft Cover

$25.00 Hard Cover

$1.75 Add Current Events Insert

 

  Deadline to Order: February 25th, 2014

 

Please make check payable to: Westar Elementary School

You may also Order Yearbook Online at YBPay.lifetouch.com with

Yearbook ID Code: 6513114

 

You may also UPLOAD YOUR PICTURES at: community.lifetouch.com #RUVPEB. Your pictures may be featured in our 2013-2014 Yearbook.

 

Thank You!

 

1/13/14 > Yearbook Dedication Page ~ 8th Grade

Parents of 8th Grade Comets ~

 

As your child's 8th Grade year is winding down, we would like to give you the opportunity to dedicate a portion of the current 2013/2014 Yearbook to your 8th Grader.  We will be selling the final 8th Grade pages and Deadline is Wednesday, February 5th.  For more information on the Dedication Pages please open the attached docs.

 

Thank You!!


12/26/13 > Author Conrad Storad to Visit Westar
12/16/13 > Add your Alma Mater to the Collection!

Why not envision the future of a college education? Here at Westar is what we are creating. College Banners wave in the gymnasium to inspire students to look into the future and start thinking about college, and what better way to start than at an early age? 

Children begin to see themselves as "college material" as early as kindergarten, and by the time they reach high school, most students have already made up their minds about whether or not they are going to college. Elementary and middle schools play a critical role in nurturing students' college aspirations. Westar already has some Comets who know they want to go to college, but we also have some students whose minds have changed from uninterested to interested. It's important to emphasize college to younger students.

If you would like your alma mater alongside others in the gymnasium, we are asking parents to please provide the banners and drop them off in the front office and we'll get them mounted.

Activities such as this will help our Westar Comets see college as a concrete reality that is within their reach.

You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights!   You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights! ~ Dr. Seuss

10/29/13 > Carnival Tickets for Sale!

Please visit the Front Office to

Purchase your Carnival Tickets in Advance!

.50 each

5 for $2.00

15 for $5.00

30 for $10.00

60 for $20.00

Carnival is Friday, November 1st 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

 

10/17/13 > Cyberbullying Presentation Oct. 22nd
10/17/13 > Character Counts ~ Spirit Week!

 


10/15/13 > A Note of Thanks from Ms. Strunk...
10/04/13 > Vanina Walsh, former Comet student visits Westar!

 

Vanina Walsh, a former Westar Comet will be visiting upper grade levels at Westar on Friday, October 4th. Vanina will discuss the importance of following one's dreams, the hardwork and dedication it takes and what it's like to become a professional surfer at such a young age. She will also talk about her experiences traveling the world for surf competitions while keeping up with schoolwork and life as a teenager. 

You will also have the opportunity to meet Vanina on Saturday at the Yacht Club here in Estrella Mountain Ranch from 12pm to 2pm. She will host a demonstration and signing autographs at the lake. This Arizona native now travels the world to compete alongside some of the best ocean athletes in the nation. Walsh specializes in Stand-Up Paddle Surf (SUP), Longboard, Shortboard and Stand-Up Paddle Racing. 

   Hope to see you at the Yacht Club!


9/25/13 > Westar Parent Survey

Westar Parents ~

Thank you for attending the 2013 - 2014 Westar Parent Teacher Conferences. As part of our continued efforts to improve at all levels, we are asking you to provide us with feedback regarding your experience in the Liberty Elementary School District. Please visit the following website to complete a brief survey.

 Thank you for your time & valuable input.


Attachment:
 
 
9/16/13 > Parent Meeting K-2 Standards-Based Report Card

PARENT MEETING

STANDARDS-BASED REPORT CARD

For Kinder - 1st - 2nd Grades

 

When: Thursday, September 19th

Time: 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Where: Westar Library

Who: Kinder, 1st & 2nd Grade Parents

 

At this informational parent meeting you will learn about our new standards-based report card which provides parents with accurate and meaningful information about their child. The report card provides specific information about how a student is performing on the standards and his/her journey toward meeting the expected level of mastery by the end of the school year. It also provides information on FAQ's, additional background information, a description of the proficiency levels, and further details on the content area standards included on the report card. We look forward to meeting you on Thursday. Please feel free to contact your child's teacher if you have questions, concerns or comments.

 

9/11/13 > Kinder Robot Parade on Sept. 13th
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Kindergarteners will have their Annual Robot Parade on Friday, September 13th at 8:15 a.m. Parents along with their kinders will create robot costumes while acquiring skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at their level of understanding. 

The Kindergarten Robot Parade happens to be one of the most exciting events for our students. We thoroughly enjoy watching our little robots parade around through the Westar amphitheatre!

9/03/13 > K-2 Standards Based Report Card

The Liberty Elementary School District is committed to excellence in education. Our dedication to increase rigorous educational opportunities for ALL children has helped us develop world class schools in every neighborhood. This is especially true as the District adopts and implements the Arizona Common Core State Standards.

Our new standards based report card provides parents with accurate and meaningful information about their child. The report card provides specific information about how a student is performing on the standards and his/her journey toward meeting the expected level of mastery by the end of the school year.

For more information about the report card, please click here. For Spanish version, click here .

8/23/13 > It's time for Music Lessons...
8/08/13 > Kindergarten After-School Pickup

 

Westar Families ~

Our first week of school is nearly behind us and I wanted to take a moment to thank you once again for your patience and understanding while our solar covered parking is underway. Soon you will be able to enjoy a shady spot for your vehicles and save energy at the same time. But until that time arrives, please remember if you are picking up your kindergartener after school in the North parking lot to please arrive 15 minutes prior to release time. M/T/Th/Fr please arrive at 2:30pm & Wednesday's please arrive at 1:15pm. If you are picking up upper grade levels, please arrive at school approximately 5 minutes after school releases. This will enable us to get our  kinder comets on their way and allow upper grade level parents much easier & smoother access for picking up in front of the school. Please stop by the front office if there is anything else we could assist you with. Thank you!

~ Mr. Dave Bogart, Principal

8/05/13 > Meet Your Teacher
 

Westar Families,

Please visit the front office to find out which Homeroom Teacher you will have for the 13-14 school year. Sign up for Parent Portal & grab a campus map.

Also,

"Westar is excited to have started the solar parking project in the North office parking lot of our school. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience and hope to make this transition as easy as possible. Dropping off and picking up procedures will remain the same. The West parking lot will be available for families to park. We know parking is limited and we encourage you to take caution when parking in the street and only park on the school side if possible instead of in the neighborhood. Thanks for your help in understanding", says Mr. Dave Bogart, Principal.

8/04/13 > Parent Portal Mobile App

Get Started...!

If you are a moblie device user (either Android or Apple), Infinite Campus has released an app that will give you access to the parent portal. 

The parent portal will give parents access to your child's attendance, grades, schedule and assignments !

Download the Infinite Campus Mobile Portal application from any of the following app stores:

App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore for Android

Download the App

Select Setting to launch the App

Enter the District code: STFSWS

Enter the portal and sign in as you would on your computer

If you haven't signed up for a parent portal account, please visit the front  office to request the GUID access code for your child(ren) and instructions on how to set up an account. Office personnel cannot give you access over the phone, but we can either send the letter home with the child or you can come into the office, provide identification and you'll be ready to go. 

7/29/13 > District Food Service System

On November 1st, 2012, Liberty Elementary School District will 'go live' with a new food service system.  Our current food service system, MealTracker, is 10 years old and lacks functionality needed for our parents, students and staff.

Our new food service system is part of our existing student management system - Infinite Campus.  We evaluated several systems before choosing this one and believe it is the best choice for our district.

Online payments will be rolled in around the same time as the new food service system but is a separate module and separate process.  We will announce when the online payment system is ready as well.

If you do not currently have a parent portal account, please obtain one at any of our schools or district office.  This parent portal account will allow you to pay online when we open the online payment module and see your child(ren)'s balances and meal consumption as of November 1st.

Some of the most frequently asked questions about this system and selection process can be found by going to http://www.liberty.k12.az.us/posfaq

If your question is not answered, please feel free to email sdarr@liberty.k12.a.us.

7/12/13 > A Newly Installed Rock Wall Awaits Westar Students...
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7/07/13 > Student Accident Insurance

Are you looking for accident insurance for your child(ren)? K&K Insurance has a variety of insurance plans available for students.

Please visit their website at http://www.StudentInsurance-kk.com for more information.

To download a brochure please click here .

Spanish version available here .

7/03/13 > School Supply List 2013 - 2014

The recommended supply lists attached are provided as a courtesy for parent requests. The grade level lists are suggested to assist in providing each child with personal materials and helps off-set maintenance and operations costs.

Thank You!


7/03/13 > Westar Welcomes You!!

 

New parents of incoming 2013 ~ 2014 Westar Comets:

First of all, Thank You for choosing Westar as the school

of your choice for your child(ren). We are anticipating a

remarkable school year and wanted to share a friendly reminder

that if you haven't registered your child, you may do so

 at our District Office at 19871 West Fremont Road in Buckeye.

You may print your registration packet on-line or you're more than

welcome to pick one up at the Westar Office.

~ Thank you ~ 

6/11/13 > Westar Library ~ Open Summer Hours!!

Westar Families ~

The Library will once again be open!! We encourage you to please continue to read during the summer and what a better way to do this. Stop by and visit Mrs. Schafer in the library:

Wednesday June Dates are: 6/5, 6/12, 6/19 & 6/26.

 From 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon.

You will be able to listen to a story, watch a movie, play games, and even check out books. 

 

 

5/28/13 > School is out for Summer!

Westar Comets ~

On behalf of the entire Westar staff,

we wish you a safe & happy summer!

Remember to continue reading and to

be extra careful around water.

See you in the Fall

 Summer Office Hours: Mon-Thurs 6:00am - 4:30pm

5/26/13 > Camp Invention....Register Now!

  Register Now....

What is Camp Invention?

.  "Parents tell us Camp Invention improves their child's outlook on learning and increases their child's interest in using science to solve problems."

 

If your child hasn't had the opportunity to participate in

Camp Invention here at Westar, please open the attached file and read

what a week of Camp Invention looked like last summer.

 

Register Now for this upcoming Camp Invention!!

 

June 3rd ~ June 7th

 

You won't want to miss out on all the Fun!!

 

 

 


Attachment:

 Camp_Invention.pdf
5/21/13 > STEM Open House May 21st
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Science Fun Day

8th grade students had the opportunity to assist all grade levels in a rotation schedule which included hands-on STEM activities. In this particular photo, 8th graders assisted Kindergarten students in making homemade ice cream.


5/14/13 > Westside Impact Teacher of the Year ~ Ms. Bicki Blasdell
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5/13/13 > Mrs. McCubbins class visits the Arizona Science Center
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Mrs. McCubbins 2nd/3rd Grade Combo Class

 had a unique and wonderful opportunity to visit the Arizona Science Center.

 NBC Education Nation came to Phoenix on May 7th and hosted an Opening Ceremony,

as well as a special event "NBC Education Nation: All Hands on STEM".

For the "All Hands on STEM" event a few classes were invited to come and engage in over 20 table-top hands-on STEM exploration activities, science demonstrations,

 and observing bottle rocket launches.

Students will be able to engage in free time to enjoy the Science Center galleries.

Portions of this event will be filmed by NBC.

4/11/13 > Westar Chorus Performs at the Phx Symphony

Attachment:

 WES_Phx_Sym.doc
3/25/13 > ASU Summer Camps for Middle School

 

Wondering what you're going to do this summer??

Open the attached file and see what ASU has to offer.

 


Attachment:

 ASU_Camps_pdf.pdf
3/07/13 > Safe & Civil Guidelines

Safe & Civil School programs inspire staff development and helps teachers to: 

  • Develop better behavior management strategies in schools.
  • Learn effective classroom management procedures.
  • Implement schoolwide Positive Behavior Support and Response-to-Intervention for Behavior.
  • Design and implement a better school improvement plan.

Here at Westar, our teachers are trained to make data-driven decisions on a schoolwide level, in classrooms, and with individual students. They learn how to develop proactive, positive behavior support strategies tailored to their classroom and our school. This teaching method has easy-to-use principles and procedures which helps build the knowledge base needed to create a positive school environment that is emotionally and physically safe and that foster independence, integrity, confidence, self-control, kindness, and responsibility.

By working together we can make a positive difference in our school!


3/01/13 > Spirit Week 3/4-3/8

Monday 3/4 ~ Dr. Seuss Day

Tuesday 3/5 ~ Western Wear Day

Wednesday 3/6 ~ Hawaiian Luau Day

Thursday 3/7 ~ Super Hero Day

Friday 3/8 ~ Comet Day

2/25/13 > Camp Invention at Westar Elementary 6/3-6/7

INVENT. DISCOVER. EXPLORE. ACHIEVE.

Inspire CREATIVITY and INVENTIVE thinking during a weeklong summer adventure of FUN and EXCITING real world challenges led by qualified educators! Camp Invention is open to all students in any school district.  Please visit the following website to find out more information and to register.  You can also call the 800 number below for additional information.

When: June 3rd - 6th

Where: Westar Elementary

Who: Any child in Grades 1-6

More Information: www.campinvention.org  or 800.968.4332

Coordinator: Amy McCubbins amcubbins@liberty.k12.az.us

2/15/13 > LESD #25 Spring Job Fair

JOIN US IN BUILDING WORLD CLASS SCHOOLS

DISTRICT JOB FAIR

 Saturday, February 23rd

Location: Freedom Elementary School

22150 West Sundance Parkway South,

Buckeye, Arizona 85326.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CLICK ON LINK BELOW.

THANK YOU!


2/13/13 > Nominate a Westar Teacher for The Silver Apple Award!
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Many people remember a teacher who made an impact in their lives. Or that one special teacher who helped them through a difficult subject or who made school a place they wanted to be and most importantly who helped them believe in their own self. Channel 3 and Westar believes that those teachers deserve special recognition. We call it the Silver Apple Award. You can nominate any Westar teacher. You have until February to get your nominations in. Please visit the front office for more information or for the Silver Apple Award Form or feel free to print the attachment. Once filled out, please drop off nomination form in the office.

~ Thank You ~


12/19/12 > School Safety Notice to Families
11/06/12 > Launching Groundbreaking Ceremony
10/22/12 > Yearbook Picture Opportunity

Submit Your Snapshots!

There is a new added feature to our Yearbook this year! You may submit your own pictures and directly upload them into a Lifetouch folder. All pictures will be reviewed for use in 2012-2013 Yearbook. 

This site can only be used for uploading pictures. You will not be able to view any other pictures that have been uploaded.

Please stop by the front office for more information. 

Thank You!

community.lifetouch.com

Access Code: ZWOHTG

 


Attachment:
 
 
10/15/12 > Participating in the Individual Education Process

 

Participation in the Individual Education Process

Please join us on Monday, November 5th at Liberty Elementary School District. Meeting will be held in the District Office Board Room. This PowerPoint training will provide you with an overview of an IEP and it's purpose. Presenter will be Jill Castle from Parent Information Network (Parent Information Network (PIN) is a parent information, support, and advocacy program designed by parents and professionals to help families who have children with emotional, behavioral, and/or health challenges). Interested in attending, please RSVP: Dr. Catherine Cisar @ ccisar@liberty.k12.az.us.

Thank You!


9/11/12 > Westar Remembers & Honors 9/11
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Westar Elementary was honored to have an WWII Veteran from JFI who educated our students on the importance of history, civics and public service. Students were also taught to appreciate our country's history and understand how freedoms were earned.

John Adams wrote, in 1787, that children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. He echoed the thoughts of others who clearly saw civic education as a necessary investment in our nation's future freedom.

9/04/12 > Channel 5 Weather Road Show visits 2nd Grade!
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Channel 5 "Weather Road Show" visited 2nd Grade!

Meteorologist Mr. Paul Horton presented our Westar students with an opportunity to learn about severe weather, television weather forecasting, fun weather facts, as well as other specific weather elements from CBS 5 Meterorologists who live weather daily! 

Thank You Channel 5!!

5/22/12 > Engaging Your Child in STEM

Attachment:

 STEM_Camp.pdf
5/22/12 > Westar Art honored at EMR Symphony
5/11/12 > Breakfast / Lunch Account Balances

 

Please visit the cafeteria and see Mrs. Slusher to make sure you bring

your breakfast / lunch accounts to a zero balance prior to summer.

Thank You!!

5/04/12 > Lost & Found

 

Lost Something??

Please make sure you visit our Lost and Found

prior to school ending this year. 

It's located near the Kinder and First Grade Hallway.

Thank you!

 

4/20/12 > FOX 10 visits Westar!
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Penny Wars ~ It's on!!

A 4th grade student at Westar has the privilege of being the Youth Ambassador for the American Lung Association and she is so excited that Westar Elementary is helping her and her team step up to help fight lung disease.  All money submitted to the Penny War will be donated to the American Lung Association Fight for Air Walk. Each classroom will have a jug and try to collect the most pennies. The classroom with the most pennies at the end of the week will win a pizza and ice cream party. The teacher of the classroom with the most pennies collected will win an autographed football from an Arizona Cardinal Player.

 We are hoping to reach our goal of $2,500. FOX 10 News will be at Westar on the morning of April 18th for Whirlybird Wednesday to report on how much was earned!! 

 

 And the winning class is.....Mrs. Flagg!!

 

Thank you Westar Comets and Westar Families for supporting such a worthy cause.

We well reached our goal!!

4/09/12 > Robotics Club News!
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A group of fourteen students completed essay applications in competition for ten spots on an afterschool robotics club that is led by 4th grade teacher, Mr. Flagg. The 4th and 5th grade students are currently working collaboratively to design and build two robots utilizing LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics' kits. The robots have been named Steve and Siri in tribute to the late Steve Jobs and his contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Students are learning about schematics, principles of design, circuitry, and computer programming among other topics. Once students have built the robots, they will use computer software to program the robots to interact with their environment. This can range from simple programs that allow the robots to identify colored balls, to more complex programming that allows the robot to sense and respond to its surroundings.

The students are embracing S.T.E.M concepts and have since communicated interest in learning more about careers in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math. Two of the students have goals of engineering robots for the military while another student has envisioned the use of robotics and engineering in her goal of becoming a doctor. Mr. Flagg has high hopes for the program and has subsequently applied for a grant that would provide an additional ten robots along with two dedicated laptops for student programming.

 

2/08/12 > Friendship / Bullying Awareness Week Feb. 27th - Mar. 2nd
2/02/12 > Xooms on the Liberty Campuses

Have you heard your kids talk about the Motorola Xooms they are using in their classrooms? Liberty Elementary School District placed almost 400 Motorola Xooms in the hands of our students for the 2011-2012 school year! We are very excited to use the technology in a wide variety of ways to enhance learning and instruction. Over 50 applications were placed on the Xooms before they went into the classroom. All of the apps were downloaded from the Android Marketplace and are free apps. To learn more about the apps, please click here .

1/27/12 > Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!
1/17/12 > Lids on Arizona Kids

Attached is an outstanding article explaining our "Lids on Arizona Kids"

 program and the importance of what we're setting out to accomplish.


Attachments:

 AzKids1.pdf
 AzKids2.pdf
1/10/12 > PTO Meeting 6:00 p.m

Please join us in the Library at 6:00 pm. Special guest from Arizona in Action and Phoenix Children's Hospital will be sharing the importance of getting families more active and how we may increase safety in our community through a new program coming to our school, "Lids on Arizona Kids". Please plan on attending to learn more.

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1/10/12 > Lego Club Launches Feb. 7th K-3 Grade

After School Lego Club will begin February 7th.

LEGO CLUB IS CURRENTLY FULL!

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO JOINED!

If you'd like to sign up, now is the time to do so.

Please print attached flier and return to Mrs. Bertel (K) or Mrs. Spallina (2nd).

Thank you


Attachment:

 Lego_Club.pdf
1/07/12 > Music at Westar by Mr. Orme!

Attachment:

 Mr_Orme.pdf
11/22/11 > Mask Making in Art Club

Artist Alert at Westar!!!

Visiting local artist Frank Williams and his wife Karen stopped in to Art Club Monday afternoon to share with the students some examples of his dynamic work with gourds. Frank cuts gourds to create masks, vases, cairns, and bowls. His pieces are then embellished with natural elements such as feathers, leather, and turquoise. The completed work is spectacular and inspired the Art Club students on how to finish their own plaster masks that they have been working on. The William's live her in Estrella and generously donated their time and supplies to the students of Westar. Watch for photos of the completed works by the Art Club students on the Westar web page. If you would like to see examples of Frank Williams work, please check out his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Frank-Williams/205254346196675 or at his website www.Gourd-Geous.com. Frank has pieces available for sale now or you can contact him and commission a work that you would be interested in.

10/04/11 > Mr. Flagg's 4th Grade Class Took the Chevron Energyville Challenge.

Using the Xoom tablets, students navigated to the Chevron Energyville website where they had to make tough energy decisions. They were in charge of engineering the power grid to power an entire city while keeping cost, environmental impact, and security in mind. The city then went through 30 years of simulation using the selected energy sources allowing students to make changes along the way. At the end of the 30 years, students got to compare their score with hundreds of thousands of other students who have taken the Energyville Challenge. The students loved this project because it allowed them to make decisions where they could immediately see the results. The "Ah-Ha" moments were neat to see when students began to make connections to their own environmental impacts. Students were also able to weigh the options and reliability of renewable energy to that of non-renewable energy sources. This kind of project makes learning relevant and timeless for students. The integration of science, technology, engineering, and math, along with the social impact aspects of life ensure that students are continually working toward excellence in every aspect of their lives.


 

10/04/11 > Pinwheels for Whirled Peace in Ms. Guylene's 5th Grade Art Classes

 

Pinwheels for Peace Project imagine… whirled peace!  In today's world youth are bombarded with images of violence.  September 21st was International Peace Day and in honor of the day the 5th grade class created pinwheels that were "planted" in our courtyard.  Peace can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives.  Peace means many things to different people but in the end it all comes down to a simple definition:  a state of clam, and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.  Pinwheels are a childhood symbol that reminds us of a time when things were simple, joyful, and peaceful.  The first Pinwheels for Peace were installed on September 21, 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, in Coconut Creek, FL.  The project quickly grew from 500,000 "planted" to three and a half million in 2010 and the numbers continue to grow.  The 5th grade class at Westar made remarkable pinwheels and enjoyed seeing them spinning in the wind spreading their thoughts of peace around the world. 

9/19/11 > 4th Grade Presents A Night at the Museum

In fourth grade we are studying the Ancient tribes of Arizona, and creating a museum display for our parents to come and see for "A Night at the Museum". The students are using technology to create a documentary about the tribes they are studying in class. Students are using Science Weekly Readers, the Internet, and Social Studies curriculum to conduct research, and are compiling their research into multiple projects including engineering a replica of the early Native dwellings, a newsletter about the various tribes using Microsoft Publisher to publish, tea-stained narratives from the perspective of a Native American, making Kachina dolls, dream catchers, Petroglyphs, and other authentic learning experiences. This Social Studies unit will integrate nicely into our Science studies of weather and Solar energy. In time we will create Solar Ovens, and relate the early Native dwellings to their use of the land and how they made food etc. It is an awesome unit!

9/06/11 > Look what’s “Popping up” in First Grade…

 

We are reading The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola and learning the parts of a popcorn plant.  Our Science experiment will answer the question, can popcorn kernels "push" a lid off of a jar?  In writing, we will start our creative story with the sentence, I found a magic popcorn kernel….  Popcorn graphing and adding will be included in our Math lessons.

8/17/11 > Westar Fourth Graders Learn About Magnetism, Electricity, the Preamble, and Xooms

Westar Fourth graders will be discovering the properties of magnetism and electricity this month through various hands-on experiments.  They will be challenging their families to participate in a NED- no electricity day to get a real glimpse of how much we rely on electricity. 

 

Students will be creating a personal narrative about a family trip, and will create a class scrapbook to document their collective experiences.  Students will get to experience first hand what it was like to write with ink and a feather pen, as they publish the words to the Preamble.

 

Students will use the Xooms to apply their problem solving skills, and practice their math facts.  Fourth graders have a LOT to look forward to at Westar!

8/11/11 > 6th-8th Grade Social Communication Class Zooms in on Bugscope

On Friday, September 9th, our class will be viewing, via internet access, the image of an insect (that we have collected and sent in) on an electron microscope at Beckman Institute in Illinois. We will also be conversing with a scientist during our session about what we see. Here is more information about the Bugscope project:

The Bugscope project provides free interactive access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) so that students anywhere in the world can explore the microscopic world of insects. This educational outreach program from the Beckman Institute's Imaging Technology Group at the University of Illinois supports K-16 classrooms worldwide.

Bugscope allows teachers everywhere to provide students with the opportunity to become microscopists themselves-the kids propose experiments, explore insect specimens at high-magnification, and discuss what they see with our scientists-all from a regular web browser over a standard broadband internet connection.

Here is a link to an article that was written this summer about the program: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6042/534.full.pdf

8/10/11 > Art at Westar is Bustling with Excitement!

The art room at Westar Elementary has been bustling with excitement the first few days of school…I have been blown away with the enthusiasm that the students possess and look forward to a productive year.

Along with getting to know one another and procedures in the art room this month students will be creating portfolios that will keep their art organized and neat. All students K-8 will be participating in the visual art program and each grade will be creating different projects. I look forward to illustrating song lyrics from Michael Jackson's song Man in the Mirror to create posters to be displayed through out the school, using ants to learn about line with Kindergarten and 1st grade, and using form to create value studies with the upper grades. Focusing on visual art standards, integrating academic subjects with an emphasis on STEM, and applying character education to my visual arts lessons gives a balance to the art experience in my class. As the year progresses student art will be displayed at Westar and also at the district offices. The months of December and April have been set aside for Westar Art. Please be on the lookout for our young artist as they make their artistic debuts.

~Guylene Ozlanski

 

2/28/11 > Check Out Some Westar Photos!

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2/23/11 > Westar Students AIMing for Success!
Parents of 3rd-5th grade students met this morning to learn more about our state testing instrument - AIMS. The parents then made their way to the classrooms where the students taught them many of the math fluency games that they have learned this year. All parents also received a set of manipulatives and game instructions to use at home with their student to practice math.

Parents of 6th-8th grade students will meet in the library tonight and will also discuss the AIMS instrument. Content area teachers will be available and will have handouts and information that will help their students to succeed!
2/14/11 > 4th Grade Goes Back in Time to 1912

Westar 4th Graders Board a Time Machine Back to 1912

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Westar Elementary 4th Graders got a chance to see what Arizona was like at the turn of century. They visited Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum on February 14th, 2011. This also happened to be the 99th birthday of Arizona.  Students (like the ones pictured above) had a chance to experience an old school house, living quarters, bakery, livery, barber shop, wheel house, church, and even witnessed a live reenactment from volunteers.  The students loved the trip and said it was so much better to "experience" history, rather than just read about it!

1/05/11 > BMX Stunt Team Visits Westar!

A BMX stunt team visited Westar Elementary to teach the students about natural energy and setting and reaching goals.

A BMX Stunt Rider Jumps Over Mr. Bogart's Head!

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