On behalf of all of the staff please accept a warm welcome back for the 2019-2020 school year at Westmount School! Like our students, we are filled with excitement and nervous anticipation for what this year will bring and we look forward to sharing in the fun, engagement, and learning with you.
Involvement of our parents, grandparents, guardians, and other community members is critical to the success of our students and to achieve the goals we have as a school. I encourage you to be informed about what is happening in your child’s classroom and the broader school as a whole. Please get involved where and when you can and, at the very least, communicate with us whenever you have a question, concern, or suggestion.
Last year we worked hard to reinvigorate our School Council and I encourage you to attend one or more of those meetings. They are an opportunity to hear about and have input on the direction of the school, engage with the School Board Trustees and Executive Team, and help to shape the structure and functions of our building. Please also consider joining or supporting FOWSS, the Friends of Okotoks Westmount School Society, our fundraising society, who plan and organize many of the great fundraisers and events that allow us to do many great things for student learning.
We know that clear, reliable, and readily accessible information is important to you. Please check our school website (westmount.fsd38.ab.ca) as your first stop for information. We will continue to send home a weekly email outlining celebrations and upcoming events. Individual teachers will be reaching out to the parents in their classrooms to discuss how they will be communicating between home and school. Please feel free to contact teachers by email or through the front office.
We will be continuing with the Leader in Me program as our character education platform for the 2019-20 school year. Please watch for a renewed focus and energy on this front!
Please join me in welcoming the following staff members new to Westmount School…
Debbie Sorensen, Vice-Principal, previously at Blackie School
Liv Jacks, grade 6, previously at Dr. Morris Gibson School
Emily Vandebeek, grade 5, previously at Longview School
Leslie Cole, EA, previously at Heritage Heights School
Tammi Archer, EA, previously at Heritage Heights School
Gayle Gillis, EA, previously at Heritage Heights School
Amanda Lynn, EA
And a warm welcome back to a couple members of our staff returning to the building…
Tori Maciejewski, grade 1
Natasha Wurz, grade 2
The 2019-20 school year also brings a change to the school timetable and how classes are offered. Previously WMS operated on a rotating 6-day schedule. This year we will continue to have a 6-day schedule, however, the only day on which the schedule will not be consistent will be Friday. Students will have two versions of a Friday schedule, Friday5 and Friday6, and you can find a list of which dates those are assigned to here.
Additionally, there have been some modifications the bell times for our students. Classes for students in grades K-6 will now begin at 8:45am. There will be a bell at 8:40am to signal for students in grades K-6 to enter the school. K-6 lunch/recess happens from 11:55am to 12:35pm. Students in grades 7-9 will continue to start classes at 8:40am. They will be permitted to enter the building at 8:25am. Grades 7-9 lunch is from 11:41am – 12:21pm. All students are dismissed at 3:15pm. Please see the full bell schedule here.
Jr High students will continue to take Career and Technology Foundations, and Fine Arts courses in the last block of every day. We will be calling students down to the office starting on Wednesday September 4th to discuss option changes with students.
New for 2019-20 will be how the mid-day options operate for Jr High students. All students will work through three classes over the course of the year on a 4-cycle rotation. Students will experience classes in Enrichment (project-based learning designed to answer big questions, blend curricular areas, and challenge students), Achievement (focused on academic supports, skills, and key concepts), and Foods (kitchen safety and theory, baking, and meals) We are excited about the opportunities these classes provide for our students and the potential they bring.
Finally, I want to reiterate that as a school we are dependent on the connections we have with individual families and our community to be successful in educating our students. I encourage you to contact the school at any time or stop in to discuss your child’s learning.
Thank you for trusting your children to us and for engaging with us in their learning. Here’s to a fantastic school year!