• Thankful for Westchester

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 11/26/2018

    Today at morning carpool, I was thrilled to see so many smiling faces (students not the parents) jumping out of cars ready to come back to school!  During this time of year, it is important to pause, look around, and give thanks for all that we have in our lives.  Here are some of the things that I am thankful for: 

    • our school 
    • our students
    • our teachers and staff
    • our PTA and all of the support they provide
    • our parents
    • our community

    Over the next couple of weeks life here at Westchester will get a little hectic with MAP testing, Expedition Celebrations of Learning, a general PTA meeting, WE presenting at the CSD Board of Ed meeting, and Term 3 ending. During this hectic time of year, take time to be thankful . . . I know I will! 

    "Instructions for living a life:

    Pay attention. 

    Be astonished. 

    Tell about it."  

    From "Sometimes," by Mary Oliver

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  • Heading to Philly!

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 11/8/2018
    Yesterday was Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.  Thank you to some of our parents and teachers who went into classes to teach our students about this celebration!  
     
    Tonight I leave with 7 teachers to attend the EL National Conference.  Friday morning, we will be honored as one of seven schools in the country to received 'credentialed' status.  Our teachers have worked over a year to accomplish this!  Thanks to PTA for funding seven teachers to attend.  
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  • Implicit Bias Training

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 10/9/2018

    Yesterday during the Teacher PL/Work Day, the Westchester faculty and staff had Implicit Bias training from the Anti-Defamation League.  The WE Equity team made the suggestion last year that we continue working on how to serve our students and families better and this was the first identified step.  The learning was powerful and prompted lots of conversation and vulnerablility amoung the staff.  

    I hope you all had a restful 3-day weekend because we were thankful for the time together yesterday!  

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  • TOTY and EOTY

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 9/14/2018

    Today it was such a pleasure to announce Westchester's 2018-2019 Employee and Teacher of the Year at Community Circle!  Congratulations to Julia Walsh, Media Clerk, and Latonya Henry, PE Teacher.  We all work with such an amazing Crew!

    Mrs. Walsh and Coach Henry

    Have a wonderful Fall Break wolves and I'll see you on September 24th. 

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  • Three Weeks

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 8/22/2018

    The past three weeks have flown by!  Tomorrow night is our Curriculum Night so come on out and hear about what is going on here at Westchester.  Remember that there is no parking on campus so be prepared to park on Westchester Drive or bike/walk from  home.  We have our first Community PTA meeting on September 4th at 6:30 PM and our first School Leadership Team meeting on September 6th at 5:00 PM.  If you want to get involved in the school or in school leadership, there are a ton of opportunities!  I am thankful for all of you who help make this community collaborative and fun.  

    Last week at the CSD Board Meeting, the academic calendars for the next two years were approved.  Go to www.csdecatur.net and go to Our District and Board of Ed meeting agendas to see the calendars. 

    Your classroom teachers will be reaching out to you soon to schedule Fall Conferences.  This is a time to meet your student's teacher, see where they are academically at the start of the year, and where we hope they will be at the end of the year.  Teachers help students set their goals for the year and then measure their progress toward growth.  It's so much fun to talk to the students about their personal growth.  

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  • Welcome Back!

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 8/1/2018

    One of the hardest things about working all summer is entering a building that is empty - not full of children's laughter and joy for learning.  So it should come of no surprise that I have spent the past two days in classrooms, in the cafeteria, and walking around the halls visiting with everyone.  It sounds like you had a great summer of camps, swimming, traveling, and reading!

    We are gearing up for our EL Education credentialing presentation in a couple of weeks.  I'll share it with you all when it is 'approved'.  

    Have a wonderful weekend . . . I know that I'll be getting plenty of rest!  

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  • It's Almost Time!

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 7/20/2018

    I’ve spent the past three days in Cordele, GA at the Superintendent’s Staff Retreat.  Central Office staff have worked together on updating principals and instructional coaches on operations, instruction, curriculum, technology, etc.  for the 2018-2019 school year.  Mrs. Manasso, our Instructional Coach, and I have collected, organized, and analyzed our achievement data in order to draft School Improvement Plan goals which I will share with staff, SLT, and parents in the coming weeks. 

     

    New teachers start New Teacher Orientation on Monday and returning teachers come to us on Thursday.  WOW . . . the 2018-2019 school year is here! 

     

    Our family mailing went out today via USPS.  It has info about the start of the school year and procedures here at Westchester.  The portal will be open on Monday, July 30th around 9:00 AM so that you can see your student’s homeroom teacher.  Then, come out on Tuesday night at 4:00 PM to meet them and see who else is in your class! 

     

    I’m excited about seeing everyone!  I’ve had a productive summer but I’m ready for all of you to come back :)

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  • New School Year Begins

    Posted by Rochelle Lofstrand on 7/9/2018
    Happy July and 2018-2019 school year!  I hope you are all having a fun summer with family and friends!  I wanted to update you on staff changes and EL Education Credentialing news!  

    I am so excited about the teachers joining our WE Crew this year!  We are attracting some of the most talented educators from around the state.  Please join me in welcoming them to Westchester:

    • Hillary Seides - Kindergarten - Mrs. Seides is joining us from Dekalb County.  She has her own YouTube Channel (Teaching Without Frills) where she shares her vast knowledge of writing with students, teachers, and parents.  
    • Judith Rhodes Gonzalez - Spanish - Ms. Gonzalez taught part-time at Westchester two years ago.  She has also taught at Glennwood, Clairemont, and F. Ave.  We are so excited to have her musical talents and knowledge of CSD and EL Education! 
    • Jeanne Renaux - 2nd Grade - Ms. Renaux is joining us from working in an EL school in Arizona.  She has a strong professional background in the performing arts and is excited about continuing the arts integration work we have begun here at WE.  Ms. Renaux also created a performance based literacy program called Stories Alive which allows students to see their writing come to life!  
    • Lori Bigham - 2nd Grade - Ms. Bigham is a former WE parent who is joining us from the United Arab Emirates.  She is excited about bringing her world-wide experiences into our school and into her classroom! 
    • Dawn Stephen - 3rd Grade - Mrs. Stephen is joining us from Drew Charter School where she worked as their literacy coach.  We now have three former instructional coaches teaching our 3rd grade classes!  Mrs. Stephen along with Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Frix have already been working to create an exceptional year for our third graders.  
    • Christie Manasso - Instructional Coach - Mrs. Manasso is a Decatur resident who is joining us from Clairemont where she worked as an EIP teacher and RtI Coordinator.  Mrs. Manasso is excited about bringing her vast classroom and EL Education experience to Westchester! 

    We were sad that some of our teachers left last year but it is very exciting to see the talents, diversity, and professionalism that is joining our crew this year!  

    Other exciting news . . . we have received approval from EL Education to move forward with our credentialing portfolio/presentation.  Our teachers and staff have been working very hard this past year to 'show' how our students have grown because of EL Education implementation.  To be a credentialed EL Education school starting our 5th year is simply amazing!  I look forward to sharing more info about this process and achievement in the coming weeks!  
     
    Your summer mailings will be sent out the end of next week but please mark your calendars for July 31st at 4:00 PM for 'Meet & Greet' and August 1st at 7:30 AM for our first day of school.  
     
    Year 5 is the Power of WE! 
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