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Anaverde Hills Elementary School has received a $2,000 grant from the Not In Our Town organization for their efforts to increase awareness and educate students about the impacts of bullying. The grant will fund t-shirts, camera equipment, educational materials for students and staff, banners to be posted throughout the campus and educational videos. Westside Union School District held a Not In Our School anti-bullying teen summit this past January. As part of this district-wide effort, Anaverde Hills began a program called “Raise the Roof and Set the Foundation”. As the new Anaverde Hills School is currently under construction, this program keeps students focused not only on setting the physical foundation, but building a foundation of kindness and mutual respect. “Bullying stems from the fact that kids don’t understand how influential they are among their peers,” said Westside Union Superintendent Gina Rossall. “We want them to understand the impact of their words, not only face to face, but on social networking sites and text messages.” Westside began its annual anti-bullying program in 2010 at Del Sur School when audits concluded only 62% of students felt safe on their school campus. Following the “Not in Our School” program, follow-up evaluations determined that 92% of students felt safe at school.! Anaverde Hills works to continue this effort with programs like Raise the Roof and Set the Foundation that serve to inspire awareness and end bullying in all its forms. “Our goal is an environment where 100% of the students feel safe.! We’ve made great progress, but we aren’t finished until we’ve achieved it.! This grant will surely help make great strides in meeting that goal,” said Rossall. For more information about anti-bullying education and awareness, call the Westside Union School District office at 661-722-0716.

August Issue

2012

Westside Wire

Anaverde Hills Elementary Awarded Anti-Bullying Grant

Serving nearly 9,000 students spread across 346 square miles, Westside Union School District prides itself on being “the district of choice” with more choice-based programs than any other district in the Antelope Valley. With the opening of the Gregg Anderson Academy, there are now 12 schools in the district providing world-class education to students from kindergarten to 8th grade. Continuing a tradition of high academic achievement, Westside Union School District was the only district in the Antelope Valley to see all of its schools exceed the coveted 800 score on the Academic Performance Index administered by the California Department of Education.


Board of Trustees John Curiel Steve DeMarzio Gwendolyn Farrell Linda Jones Joan Sodergren

Grand Opening of Gregg Anderson Academy " After much hard work and diligence from Westside parents, staff and volunteers, Gregg Anderson Academy held a ribbon cutting ceremony on the first day of school to celebrate its opening. # “This is an exciting time for Westside,” said Regina Rossall, Westside Union School District Superintendent. “Gregg Anderson Academy opens many doors for our students and we are very excited for them to embark on this journey. We praise parents, students, staff and volunteers for the hard work and effort put into the opening of this school.” " Gregg Anderson Academy offers students many new academic opportunities. Students will be immersed in classes that emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The programs employ the newest technology to prepare students for the challenges of the future. " Many after-school programs are offered to students including Chess Club, Math Magicians, The Boys and Girls Club, guitar lessons and Chinese Immersion. " Members of the Westside community are encouraged to show their support for Gregg Anderson Academy by purchasing a personalized Permanent Paver that will be placed in front of the school. For a Paver purchase form, visit the Westside Facebook page. Fill out the form and return to the District office or Gregg Anderson Academy office with payment. " A grand opening ceremony will be held on September 28 at 9:00am to commemorate this exciting milestone for Westside and the students of Gregg Anderson Academy.

Westside is now on Facebook! Like the page for easy access to calendars, menus, photos and frequent updates.

Visit www.facebook.com/ westsideschools or scan the QR code below on your smart phone.

Welcome back to another great year at Westside Union School District! It is going to be a fantastic school year at Westside filled with countless opportunities for our students. Good luck to all students, parents, teachers, staff and volunteers!


In the words of a Westside parent... “Westside has been an amazing educational experience for my children. They provide many wonderful programs and opportunities my children have taken advantage of. Westside works to help students and parents achieve their goals and take the initiative. ” - Jennifer Ruddy, parent of two Westside students

Rancho Vista Elementary Salutes the Troops #

Service men and women paid a special visit to Rancho Vista Elementary to share the true meaning of Memorial Day. # “To talk to our students about what it means to serve for one’s country and the importance of education in their lives,” said Principal Tom Morreale. “I want my students to understand that it’s not just a day off of school. It’s a day where we remember the sacrifices of our veterans and our active duty service men.” # The visit began with a brief Memorial Day ceremony on the school’s playground. All 800 students came out to greet the troops. # The students recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and then 4th grader Ruth Derrick sang a beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful.” # After the ceremony, about 25 active duty service men and 10 veterans were ushered to different classrooms to speak to the students about the importance of Memorial Day and what it’s like to be in the military. # Major Neil Wheldon, a special agent with the United States Air Force, spoke to 28 students in his daughter’s second grade class. # “Does anybody in here want to grow up and be in the military?” Wheldon asked the class. Nearly every hand in the classroom went up. # Students grilled Wheldon on everything from what his badges mean to what he eats every day. # “It was more interaction that I expected,” Wheldon said afterward. “They’re pretty sharp.” # His appearance also received the stamp of approval from his daughter, Claire Wheldon. # “I thought it was cool because he came up to the front and he talked to us in his uniform,” Claire said. # Wheldon said Memorial Day was a time for him to remember his friends killed in combat. # “I’ve had several friends die, several folks close to me who were killed in action,” Wheldon said. “So it makes it a little closer to home when you can come back and reflect on that.” # Principal Morreale said Friday’s event was a first for the school, but he said it will be an annual tradition going forward. # “I’m very proud to be an American and I know these students are as well,” Morreale said. “It’s important for us to understand that these guys are out there fighting for our freedoms every day making sure our country stays safe.”

Contact Westside 41914 N. 50th Street West Quartz Hill, CA 93536-2963#

(661) 722-0716 www.westside.k12.ca.us

www.facebook.com/westsideschools


Westside Takes Leap Toward Long Awaited Anaverde School " Promises of a new school are finally becoming a reality for parents and students who have waited for years for a school of their own in the Anaverde community at the southern edge of Palmdale. The Westside Union School District Board of Trustees awarded the construction contract for this school, Anaverde Hills Elementary, to Intertex General Contractors. The concept of a new Anaverde campus has been pending since 1993 but has suffered numerous delays associated with the housing collapse. With the actions of the Board, construction can finally begin and students will have their promised school open by the 2013 school year. # While the Anaverde community was growing rapidly, there was no school in the neighborhood. In 2006, the need for a new school was unavoidable and the Board of Trustees formally created the school without an actual building. For a time, Westside leased a portion of Palmdale School District’s Summerwind Elementary property. In 2010, this school was shifted to property on Westside’s Cottonwood Elementary, where they will remain until the school is completed. " The Board of Trustees ultimately chose to purchase the land in December to avoid further delays in development. With

Westside now the sole owner of the property and construction ready to commence, Anaverde is on schedule to open for the 2013-14 school year. Intertex General Contractors is based out of Valencia, but will hire locally for construction. # “This is an important victory for Anaverde students and parents,” said Westside Union School District Superintendent, Regina Rossall. “With construction underway, the new school is a promise kept to patient families. We are thankful for their continued patience and support.” # With a student population of roughly 350 students, Anaverde Hills is a relatively small school that consistently scores well academically with a recent API score of 823. The building of the new school makes it possible for more students to be admitted – particularly as the Anaverde development grows over the coming years. The new site will also deploy advanced technology including new computer labs to help students prepare for the challenges of the future. # “The opening of Anaverde is yet another reminder that here at Westside we provide excellence in everything we do for our students. Westside students deserve the best, and that is exactly what Anaverde Hills will provide,” concluded Rossall.

Westside Round - Up Anaverde

Cottonwood

Del Sur

Esperanza

Gregg Anderson

Hillview

Joe Walker

Leona Valley

Rancho Vista

Quartz Hill

Sundown

Valley View

Back to School Night will be held at the school on Wednesday, August 22. A 5:30pm PTSA meeting will take place in the cafeteria. Classroom presentations will begin at 6:30pm for parents and students. Check Facebook after the event for photos!

Parents are invited to Esperanza on August 22nd at 5:30 - 6:30pm for our Annual Back to School Night. This activity is a great opportunity for parents and students to meet teachers and staff. They will also have an opportunity to learn more about what is going on in the classroom.

This summer, staff collectively dedicated well over a hundred days to professional development to enrich educational programs such AVID, Civil Air Patrol, Project Lead the Way and Pre-AP. Students who attend Joe Walker STEALTH Academy will focus this year on establishing a rigorous academic foundation to prepare for the future.

The Quartz Hill PTA Membership Drive will be held August 27 - September 7. PTA is a great opportunity for parents to be involved in school activities that benefit their children. Parents who would like more information or would like to volunteer, please visit the school during this time.

Cottonwood students are excited about their campus-wide theme this year which is: “Be a Shining STAR, reaching above and beyond!” STAR represents Scholars Taking Academic Responsibility. Good luck to all the shining STARS as the new school year begins!

The Gregg Anderson Academy is now open with roughly 900 students. A Grand Opening Ceremony will be held at the school on September 28 at 9:00am to commemorate this great new school. Join us as we celebrate this exciting time for our Gregg Anderson Academy students.

The annual Back to School Night was held at Leona Valley on Thursday, August 16 . This was a great opportunity for parents and students to become more acquainted with the classrooms, the teachers and the curriculum for this school year. Leona Valley students are excited for the coming year and all the possibilities it brings!

Sundown Elementary has a new program for parents called The Parent Project. This is a support group for parents who have children who have been struggling. This is a great group for parents to lean on one another and generate ideas to help their children.

Del Sur teachers attended AVID training during the summer months. This training will help teachers to effectively instruct students in becoming more organized, more critical thinkers and help them as they prepare to get on the right track to college.

The Hillview Hawks Cross Country Club continued training during June and July. Current, past and future students along with other members of the community made their weekly runs that departed from Marie Kerr Park. Many students will participate in this Cross Country season.

This school year, Rancho Vista will be implementing the Nancy Fetzer Writing Program. This program is designed to increase students’ writing fluency, creativity and organization. Teachers attended workshops during the summer months to become acquainted with this great program.

The focus of Valley View continues to be student achievement and success. As such, this school will continue its FIT Intervention/ Enrichment program which will focus on helping students achieve their full learning potential.


Westside Wire