TOGETHER WE GROW TOGETHER WE GROW
Our theme for the year emphasizes the importance of working together to achieve great things
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Investing in our future with a focus on professional development for teachers
MEET OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEET OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Local professionals with a deep passion and vision for the future of WestviewTHE WESTVIEW SCHOOL | A PLACE WHERE YOU FIT
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Dr. Koch opens our Winter Westview Chronicle by reflecting on our amazing start to the school year and what lies ahead.
Ally Loewen, Prekindergarten teacher, shares her insights on a 14-week intensive training in DIR Floortime.
Elementary teachers share their key takeaways from a week of training on reading strategies.
Staff and students gathered for an all-school picture and planted a tree to celebrate founder, Jane Stewart.
Our Middle School teachers learn ways to blend online and face-to-face learning for engaging and personalized instruction. 14 16
Families gather on the Westview campus for comradery and fun with two POW favoritesPopsicles on the Playround and Trunk-or-Treat.
The Westview event calendar was full this Fall, welcoming families to campus, gathering students together, and enriching student experiences.
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WestviewEDU sessions meet monthly in Largent Hall, and our Spring schedule is filled with an informative and educational schedule of presenters.
Meet our board members Local professionals with a deep passion and commitment to the future of Westview.
Positive and enthusiastic volunteers enhance the summer camp experience for our Wildcat campers.
The Stewart Center Occupational Therapist, Lizzy Simon, gives insight into understanding your child's inner sense.
Save the date for the Fundraising Luncheon and invite your friends to support Westview
Westview is distinguished as a NASET School of Excellence and named a Houston Top Workplace.
WESTVIEWSTUDENTCOUNCILELECTED 1830 building students made their voices heard by casting their votes for the Westview Student Council. 29 30
Our Westview alumni are doing amazing things!
TOGETHERWEGROWmessage from the head of school
ear had a wonderful start The first semester has come and gone, and the second semester is guaranteed to be as exciting as the first.
Our theme this year is "Together We Grow," which we have taken to heart. From Founders Day and Popsicles on the Playground and the return of Dads, Grandparents, and Special Friends to campus, we have celebrated being able to gather together as a community. This is a welcome change from the precautions in place during the previous two pandemic years I have loved witnessing and being part of the collaboration, community, and connections made on campus in the first semester.
This issue of the Wildcat Chronicle highlights some of the fun that we had and achievements that we celebrated over the past few months. Being named a winner of the Houston Metro Area Top Workplaces 2022 by the Houston Chronicle and a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers affirms the work that we are doing to make Westview "the best little school on the planet."
Along those lines, we are continuing our work on the priorities identified by our community in the strategic plan that was developed just 15 months ago.
One area where we have made significant progress is in the support for professional learning for our staff. In this issue, you can read more about how we are investing in our teachers' learning and growth by providing robust professional development opportunities. From DIR Floortime and Reading by Design to Blended Learning, our teachers are learning and incorporating best practices into their classrooms.
This spring, we look forward to welcoming you to campus to show off the great things happening in our classrooms. One of my favorite spring semester events is the Celebration of Learning, when families are welcomed into the classrooms to see a curated collection of their child's best work I love seeing our young artists, mathematicians, authors, scientists, and musicians show off for their families.
I look forward to the semester ahead and am grateful to you for your support of The Westview School.
Great teachers help create great students! It is vitally important that teachers have opportunities to continue to learn and grow throughout their careers.
Professional Development ANINVESTMENTINOURPEOPLE
Great teachers help create great students! Research has shown that a highly effective teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement. It is vitally important that teachers have opportunities to continue to learn and grow throughout their careers. Teachers must continually expand their knowledge and skills in best educational practices to be highly effective.
Just as doctors, accountants, and attorneys are required to complete continuing education, it is critical that teachers have regular opportunities to learn together and from one another. Ongoing professional development keeps teachers up to date on new research on how children learn, emerging technology tools for classrooms, new curriculum resources, and more. The best professional development is experiential, collaborative, and connected to and derived from working with students.
Surveys from families and staff collected as part of the strategic planning process identified strengthening the quality of teaching practice as one of the top priorities. This year, Westview teachers have had some tremendous learning opportunities.
Our early childhood and prekindergarten teachers have learned about DIR Floortime In this issue, Ally Loewen will share what she learned about how to tailor interactions to meet a child’s unique functional developmental level.
All our kindergarten and elementary teachers have been trained in Reading by Design This weeklong training introduced an intensive reading program that provides a systematic approach to supporting literacy. A key takeaway of the course was the importance of meeting the student where they are and early ways to recognize reading struggles and maximize reading success for students.
Middle school teachers completed a Blended Learning course offered by The University of Texas. In our third year as a one-to-one campus where each middle school student is issued a Chromebook, we wanted to maximize the benefit of putting this technology in students’ hands As part of their course, the teachers were required to develop a unit that incorporated a variety of blended learning instructional models and strategies to foster the development of student 21stcentury skills and mastery of curriculum objectives.
In addition to these formal learning opportunities, all staff regularly engage with one another in professional learning communities. During these meetings, our staff explore strategies for differentiation, flexible grouping, formative assessment, and more. Providing world-class training for our staff ensures all students are educated in a nurturing and supportive classroom environment and meet their full potential
Professional DevelopmentBY:ALLYLOEWEN WhatILearnedatDIRFloortimeTraining
In Winter 2023, Westview PreKindergarten teacher Ally Loewen completed a fourteen-week DIR Floortime training course. DIR® is the Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationshipbased model (pronounced saying each letter as an initialism: D.I.R.). DIR provides a foundational framework for understanding human development and how each person individually perceives and interacts with the world differently This training is something Ally has wanted to do for years, and it did not disappoint Ally came away with many important lessons that have already started to pay dividends in the classroom In her own words, Ally shares with us her top takeaways from this recent professional development course.
AFFECT IS EVERYTHING
The first thing I learned is that affect is everything! The American Psychological Association dictionary defines affect as "any experience of feeling or emotion, ranging from suffering to elation, from the simplest to the most complex sensations of feeling…".
Essentially affect is what drives connection, and connection is our main goal. The affect that we use with our children is incredibly important and especially significant as a classroom teacher. We might think that our kids do not pick up on our tone of voice or how we feel; I can guarantee that they do It may not always be conscious or evident to us I learned that some students respond better to a low affect or low tone of voice This helped my relationship with my students and helped me become more regulated.
DIRFloortimetrainingis somethingIhavewantedtodo foryears,anditdidnot disappoint.Icameawaywith manyimportantlessonsthat havealreadyhelpedmeinmy classroom.
Regulating ourselves is the number one thing that needs to happen in order to best help our kids. If we are not regulated, then our kids feel the chaos. I learned what my individual differences are and what tools I need to use in order to keep myself calm and best help my students (low lighting, calming music, deep breaths, yoga stretches). I also model for my students, when I feel frustrated or upset, what tools I use to help me. Talking through a problem helps me stay calm and helps the students see that adults need tools as well
COMPLIANCE IS NOT THE GOAL
When our instructor said, "compliance is not the goal," it felt obvious and also revolutionary. My master's degree is in Applied Behavior Analysis, which focuses primarily on compliance. Our students need structure and to learn how to work with a group, but compliance as the focus is not beneficial. We want our kids to be able to make good choices on their own, to think critically, and to problem-solve Giving kids a chance to be themselves and show all their wonderful qualities and different ways of thinking lends to the expansion of skills and is more joyful for the caregiver and all those involved.
REFLECTION IS KEY
Reflection is also key to DIR Floortime. We had projects where we had to video ourselves with a child, watch it numerous times, and then reflect on what we did well and where we needed to grow. Watching a video of yourself is not always comfortable, but it was incredibly informative. I learned that I needed to be in the moment more, focus less on what the child is saying and more on their affect (especially if the child is hard to understand and you are playing with the child, not in instances where they are expressing a need) Being mindful and reflecting on interactions has helped me grow as a teacher and ultimately set my pride aside.
UNDERSTANDING SENSORY TOOLS
My favorite part about DIR floortime is the focus on individual differences and sensory profiles I have been an advocate for sensory tools for years, but I did not fully understand why certain tools helped students Now I can better explain to parents and other professionals why a child needs a "wrap" or other tighter clothing around their midsection, why they need to chew on something, or why swinging helps certain individuals. Overall, I learned new ways to connect with my students, how to expand playful interactions, and why some students need sensory input.
Ourinteractionswillnotbe perfect;therewillalwaysbe placeswherewecanimprove, andknowingthathelpsmebein themomentandfindjoyful connections.
READINGBYDESIGN professional development
Reading by Design is an evidence-based, week-long reading program that targets struggling readers Many tools and interventions that can benefit a student with dyslexia can often be used to support and improve a variety of reading deficits in children with autism spectrum disorder. This training was an excellent addition to the professional development of our Westview teachers in Kindergarten, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary.
Reading by Design training focuses on phonological awareness, sound symbol association, written spelling patterns, morphology, reading fluency, and comprehension. It also emphasizes the importance of early detection and intervention of reading disabilities and discusses tailoring teaching to meet the student's specific needs.
Some of the Westview teachers attending the course shared their key takeaways from the training and how they plan to implement what they learned in their Westview classrooms.
Liza Reyes, Kindergarten teacher, said, "I felt confident coming out of the training because it gave me a better understanding of how I could add additional supports in the classroom. A key takeaway was learning some fun new instructional activities that align with the kindergarten TEKS. I came away with a clearer understanding of reading challenges and how it impacts learning in our classroom."
"This program reinforces the importance of listening to students' needs and observing their behaviors," said Sarah Minns, Upper Elementary teacher. "It taught me how vital it is to build skills rather than supplement them periodically or as needed. Early identification and intervention are best. Reading By Design opened my eyes as a teacher and an individual who cares about the well-being and development of my students."
Christine Reilly, Lower Elementary teacher, said, "[Reading by Design] teaches us to meet each student where they are. One strategy is to work at a manageable pace using lots of repetition. This helps to store the information into long-term memory."
The differentiation of our instruction is a part of what makes Westview such a unique learning environment. No student learns the same. "This training gives us even more options to deliver material where students are and in the method they learn best," said Christine. "There are components for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners."
The Reading by Design training proves that Westview has the right idea, "meeting our students where they are and fostering their development in reading by creating multisensory lessons to support their learning style," said Chanmatty Harilall. "The integration of audio, visual, and print components help to link the sounds to print (words) and spoken language."
For students struggling to read, write, and spell, the earlier identification is made, the sooner intervention can begin and the more positive the outcome.
Ilearnedaboutthedifferent waysdyslexiacanpresentin childrenandwhattobeonthe lookoutfor.Identifyingthese traitsinastudentcouldleadto themgettinginterventionsooner.
BLENDEDLEARNING professional development middle school
g to do school in the midst of a ncement in the focus on using technology as a learning tool in the classroom We live in a world where technology is a large part of our day-to-day lives, and as students progress through school, technology becomes essential to learning and education.
"Practice and exposure to computers in general, are gateway skills needed to access 21st-century learning tools," said Jared Dawkins, Middle School teacher.
Technology is also constantly changing, so our teachers need to learn and to be exposed to the new and advanced ways technology can be used in the classroom. Middle school teachers recently completed a Blended Learning course offered by The University of Texas. Blended Learning is an instructional approach that combines online and inperson learning activities. This type of instruction gives students some control over the time, place, and pace of their learning.
Crystal shared an example of how Blended Learning has immediately benefited one of her students "I have a student who is very averse to writing with paper and pencil," shared Crystal "Having the work in Google Classroom gives him some flexibility in doing his classwork. Also, apps allow the student to create blogs, podcasts, or videos, so he can better explain his understanding of the material." Teachers find that lessons that embed a technology component help students stay on task, use creativity, and complete work quickly and efficiently.
"Allowing them to experience new creative apps to further their understanding is an excellent way to help the kids," said Jared. "There are a lot of great educational apps available that can help kids enhance their learning "
Jared's key takeaway from the training was that "you can utilize blended learning models to streamline some classroom routines, free up the teachers' availability to facilitate challenging activities better, or offer more assistance to students who need it."
Blending Learning was overall an excellent training for our Middle School staff. This type of learning offers an opportunity for anywhere and anytime learning. It supports differentiation and allows students to work at their own level and pace. The course provided training in how to design instruction for students that is engaging and personalized It develops teachers' skills to design instruction that addresses the "why," "what," and "how" of learning
Kidslovetechnology,sohavingit asanactivepartofthe classroomkeepsstudents engagedandallowsthemto learninanenjoyableway.
WESTVIEWCELEBRATES together we grow FOUNDER'S DAY
October 6, 2022 - For the first time since 2019, The Westview School honored our longstanding Founder's Day tradition by gathering in front of the 1900 building for an all-school picture. As an outward expression of our school's theme for the year, Together We Grow, our entire Westview community worked together to plant a beautiful magnolia tree to honor Ms. Jane and her work to start The Westview School. Our students each took a turn in adding dirt to plant this new tree near Ms. Jane's story spot on the north lawn of the Westview campus.
As our staff and students gathered for the tree planting, Westview Head of School, Bevan Koch, shared the following:
Trees are sometimes called majestic friends of the earth and have been treasured since ancient times. Every tree symbolizes the wonder of life. Trees evoke feelings of love, gratitude, protection, and happiness.
We chose a magnolia tree for several reasons First, we like that magnolia trees are evergreen. We also like that between April and June, Magnolia trees produce large, fragrant flowers that produce protein-rich pollen that is good food for bees.
Magnolia trees symbolize beauty. Ms. Jane's beautiful spirit drew people in who could help her create this special little school.
Magnolia trees symbolize magnificence. Ms. Jane dreamed of and created this magnificent place. Our school is a place where students and families find the support they need.
Magnolia trees symbolize endurance These trees are very strong and can grow in different conditions and various climates. As a school, we have endured some challenges, but together we have continued to grow and endure.
So, [today,] our entire school community worked together to plant this beautiful tree in honor of Ms. Jane and Founder's Day. In the years to come, we will watch this tree grow and bloom, just like each of us will strive to continue to grow and be a little bit better, smarter, and stronger each day.
August 20, 2022 - POW kicked off the school year with its annual back-to-school-bash, Popsicles on the Playground Hosted the Saturday before the first day of school, it was a morning of hot and sweaty fun on the Westview campus as families and staff gathered for the chance to meet incoming classmates, chill with teachers, and enjoy an icy treat
Thisissuchagreateventto transitionourkidsbacktoschool!We getachancetointeractwithother Wildcatfamiliesandfriendswhileour kidsarebusychasingbubbles, drawingwithchalkonthesidewalk, orenjoyingasweettreat.
October 29, 2022 - Westview's Annual Trunk-or-Treat gave our Wildcats a not-so-spooky start to the Halloween weekend. POW did an excellent job coordinating this year's event for our families. It was a fantastic and fun-filled morning, the weather was beautiful, and the Westview campus was packed with families and staff getting into the Halloween spirit. The costumes and creativity staff and families bring every year makes Trunk-or-Treat a favorite for all. The enthusiasm and imagination of all our trunk participants make this event a success for our school.
A RECAP OF RECENT EVENTS
Middle School hosted the first social of the school year with special guests from Grace School who showed up to dance and socialize with our students (October)
Westview after-hours had our Lower Elementary students hanging out with friends for an early evening pajama party that included playground time, pizza, and glow-in-the-dark dancing. (October)
Oh, Happy Dads' Day! Dads play a huge role in children's growth and development, so it was with great excitement that we welcomed our Westview dads to campus for our annual Dads' Day. Laughter, activity, and joy marked the morning from the littlest Wildcat up through Middle School. (November)
The Westview Holiday Play was back LIVE this year. Much preparation went into supporting our students to take the stage. Our staff and teachers worked diligently to prepare our students. Music teacher, Nelson Armstrong, was responsible for he creative direction of this year's event. Our students did an xcellent job and made us proud (December)
t was such a special morning honoring grandparents and pecial friends who play an essential role in our students' lives. Westview loved having the chance to share the great learning appening on campus, and we are thankful to all the loved ones who showed up to share in Westview with their students.01.MIDDLESCHOOLFALLSOCIAL 02.LOWERELEMENTARYPAJAMALOCK-IN
After School Activites
WELCOME BACK TO WESTVIEW
Extracurricular activities are back on The Westview School campus. Students have the opportunity to participate in after school activities such as chess club, coding, yoga, and karate.
Outside providers offer extra-curricular activities for students in Kindergarten through Middle School that are scheduled in the afternoons throughout the week. Specific offerings this year have included karate, yoga, coding, chess, and Scouts. Activities are based on the level and age of the child.
us at The Westview School this ing for Westview EDU, our education es for parents and caregivers of dren with autism spectrum disorder. have an excellent and informative up of sessions from both Westview community experts with the wledge to share. Visit us online for stration details.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2023
Planning/Saving/Paying for Autism by Arlis Steel, Financial Advisor Edward Jones
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2023
Preparing Your Teen for Next Steps by Brandi Timmons, MEd, BCBA, LBA Education Director, Social Motion Skills
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2023
Cyber Safety and Autism: Creating an Internet Safety Plan for Your Child by Sue Hoyer, MEd
Dean of Instructional Technology & Culinary Arts Gateway Academy
THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2023
Board of Trustees
The Westview School Board of Trustees is comprised of highly experienced professionals with a deep passion for the mission and vision of The Westview School. These local men and women bring a wealth of expertise from their respective fields, and each has a strong and personal commitment to Westview's success. Westview's Board plays an essential role in guiding the strategic direction of The Westview School. Our board is responsible for setting the overall goals, objectives, and strategies. In addition, they provide oversight and guidance to ensure that Westview is on track to meet those goals.
Paul became a part of the Westview family (at the original Shadyvilla location) in 1996 when his oldest child Paul Jr , was diagnosed with autism Paul was a part of the Capital Campaign to build the campus on Kersten Drive He has been a member of our Board since 2010 He currently serves as our Board Chairman.
Stacy has been an educator for over 30 years, working in public and private school settings. She was first introduced to Westview through the Picture Pals program at the Junior League of Houston. She was invited to join the Westview board by Trey and Denis Mayfield, having worked with their twins, James and Jack, when they were younger She currently chairs the Governance Committee and serves on the Advancement Committee
Walter considers it an "honor to be of service to such a fantastic organization." His son, Will, attended Westview from 1999 to 2008, and his daughter, Emma, taught Middle School English Language Arts for eight years Walter's wife, Catherine, helped chair the Capital Campaign to build Westview Middle School in 2005 Walter has been a member of our board since 2009 and currently serves on the Finance Committee Walter is generous in support of Westview, and he and his wife, Catherine, annually provide underwriting for our Fundraising Luncheon.
Seth's wife, Emma, taught at Westview from 2013 to 2021. Her dedication to Westview and its mission inspired Seth to take a more active role in helping Westview achieve its goals Seth currently chairs the Finance Committee and serves on the Advancement Committee.
Fred’s two oldest sons attended Westview from 1994 to 1998 Fred co-led the 1995-1997 Capital Campaign for the construction of the 1900 Kersten campus and has served on the Board since that time He currently chairs the Advancement Committee and is co-chairing the committee in charge of the feasibility study.
Denis is a native Houstonian and former Westview parent Her twin sons attended Westview from the age of 28 months to five years She was a member of the Capital Campaign Committee, which funded the building of the current school at 1900 Kersten Drive. The 1830 building and Largent Hall are named after Blanche Largent the great-aunt of her two children Denis currently serves on our Governance Committee.
B O A R D M E M B E R
B O A R D M E M B E R B O A R D M E M B E R
B O A R D M E M B E R
The Joy of Volunteering
Volunteering at Westview Summer Camp can be an incredibly rewarding and fun experience. Enthusiastic and engaged volunteers help to motivate our kids to stay focused on the activities and help to create a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all Wildcats campers.
Volunteers take on the role of instructional assistants in the classroom during summer sessions Last summer, we had 96 volunteers provide over 3000 hours of support at Westview Summer Camp These teens came to Westview from Houston area high schools and local philanthropic organizations, such as the National Charity League. Our volunteers showed up daily with good attitudes, positive energy, and most importantly a willingness to help. Getting to know Westview and our amazing students made quite an impact on these Houston area teens.
Iabsolutelylovedbeingable tovolunteeratWestview lastsummer.Notonlyisit incrediblywellrunand organized,makingvolunteers feelliketheyhaveclear purpose,butbeingableto createrelationshipswiththe kidsissospecial.Ienjoyed gettingtoknoweachchild’s uniquepersonality,andwould definitelyrecommenditto otherteenagers.
As we prepare for this year's summer camp, we are once again looking for volunteers for both summer sessions to help give our campers a safe and memorable summer where they can learn, grow, and have a lot of fun!
VolunteeringatWestviewhas beenareallyspecialexperience.I havegainedalotofknowledge, appreciation,andfunmemories.I becamereallyinvestedinthe kids,andIwashappyandready togobackeverymorning!Ithink itisagreatopportunityfor teenagerstodooverthesummer.
Volunteers must be 14+ and must be able to commit to a minimum of one full week of camp. Many volunteers choose to do more. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering at Westview Summer Camp, scan the QR code to access the interest form
First Session: June 12-30
Second Session: July 10-28
Camp is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday - Friday
And the winner is...
It's become a pretty fun Westview tradition that 1830 building Student Council elections are held on the Halloween dress-up day at Westview. All Middle School is encouraged to run for office. In the weeks leading up to the campaign, interested Middle School students are encouraged to campaign by creating posters, preparing speeches, and talking up their candidacy to both Middle School and Upper Elementary students.
This year the entire student body of the 1830 building assembled outdoors at the amphitheater to listen to the candidate speeches. Running for student council is a great opportunity for our middle schoolers to practice public speaking, and the relaxed holiday atmosphere of being dressed up for Halloween serves as a great ice breaker. This year's candidates came prepared and we were so proud ofASTON president JAYSON vice president CASON secretary THOMAS treasurer
Save the Date
MUSIC FOR AUTISM
Beginning this spring, Westview will again partner with Music for Autism. Music for Autism is a national organization that aims to enhance the quality of life and raise public awareness through autism-friendly, interactive concerts developed specifically for individuals with autism and their families For the first time since 2020, Music for Autism will be holding in-person performances. These performances are live, interactive, open to the community, and autism-friendly. Westview is excited to be the host venue for the Music for Autism events. Save the date for Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 11:00 AM. The concert will be held on the Westview campus in Largent Hall. This event is open to the community, and registration is required. More details are to come via email and social media Visit Music for Autism online at www musicforautism org
What is Interoception?
Understanding Your Child's Inner SenseBY: LIZZY SIMON, OTD, OTR/L
Many of us learned growing up that there are only five senses. In reality, our senses are any sort of signal or feeling that the body receives and sends to the brain to create an active response. This can be pain, sight, hearing, balance, knowing where your body is in space, smell, and taste, to name a few. Most of these stated senses provide input from outside of our body, but we can sense the inside of our body too For example, we sense our hunger, when our heartbeat fluctuates, and when we have to use the restroom. This internal sense is known as interoception, and because it is internal, it is easily dismissed-especially with our neurodivergent populations.
Interoception was discovered in the early 1900s and was first coined as the receptor for smooth muscle movements in the autonomic system. We now know that the interoceptive nerves and neurons directly communicate these movements and processes in our insular cortex- or insula. The insula is a limbic structure, also known as our emotional brain, which focuses solely on understanding our internal state Since it is within our emotional brain, it also plays a huge role in understanding our emotions. For example, when we feel on edge, excited, anxious, relaxed, or angry, our interoceptive neurons are processing the senses in our insula, making our brains aware of our internal body feelings. When we are aware of the internal feelings of our body, we can learn to process these feelings, label them as emotions, and then learn tools to understand and regulate these emotions in a way that can support our holistic health.
Humans are relational beings The primary way we learn, process our emotions, and grow is through social interaction. As adults, we have close friends, family, and sometimes even professional help to support this emotional regulation. If we have a maladaptive foundation of emotional regulation, it takes a LOT of practice and effort to rewire those neurons. Just as adults need to constantly learn about themselves and how to process emotions, we need to think about the support and foundation a child needs too. Children need trusted adults to build a foundation because they are in the process of learning about their bodies. Remember, all behavior is communication founded on one ’ s ability to process and respond to external and internal sensations/perceptions This is especially true in the neurodivergent population with people who can’t communicate the way neurotypical people do. If we view a child as a behavior to manage, a child will never fully develop their interoceptive sense, directly impacting their understanding of themselves, their ability to regulate their emotions, and their ability to communicate their needs and advocate for themselves. Therefore, it is our responsibilty as adults who interact with children to help develop the interoceptive sense and validate feelings and emotions.
So how can we support a child’s interoceptive sense and development? The first thing is to be aware of our emotions and interoceptive sense. We are the foundation for a child’s success. We can model healthy and supportive emotional regulation for a child, helping them become aware of their internal body feelings through practical application and conversation when regulated. We can get close and co-regulate with a child and model these strategies when they are dysregulated, and we can validate every emotion they feel.
Secondly, listen to the autistic community Many autistic individuals are coming forward and teaching neurotypical people how to best support and interact with them, and how to best support the future generations
Be Our Guest FUNDRAISING
Be our Guest at The Westview Fundraising Luncheon on Wednesday, February 15th, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM at River Oaks Country Club, and join our community in support of The Westview School. Our Fundraising Luncheon is an annual event and is our largest fundraiser of the year
The key to the success of the Fundraising Luncheon is to have our valued supporters host tables and invite friends, family, and other potential Westview supporters. We truly appreciate the help of our families and supporters who host tables and attend our luncheon. Here is how it works: Register as a guest or table host. Then, you invite friends, family, and co-workers to sit with you at our luncheon and learn all the great things Westview is doing for our students.
It costs nothing to host a table. The event is FREE to attend for all guests, but registration is required. At the event, there will be a short program with both student and parent speakers concluding with a soft ask for donations from our Board of Trustees. If you have guests interested in supporting The Westview School, please consider hosting a table and extending an invitation to them. Think friends, family, neighbors, business associates, professionals, and church members.
The Westview School is proud and honored to announce that the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) has distinguished The Westview School as a 2022 School of Excellence. Since 2008, NASET has annually bestowed upon qualified licensed private special education schools throughout the United States the distinction of being selected as a NASET School of Excellence This selection is the highest honor a private special education school can achieve through our professional association. This recognition is bestowed on private special education schools that meet rigorous professional criteria and have demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment, and achievement in the field of special education.
In addition, The Westview School has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2022 honor by Houston Chronicle Top Workplaces. We are very proud of this honor as the list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third‐party anonymous survey. The survey is administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC and measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization; some of these include alignment, execution, and connection.
EarningaTopWorkplaces awardisabadgeofhonor forcompanies,especially becauseitcomes authenticallyfromtheir employees,"saidEricRubino, EnergageCEO."That's somethingtobeproudof.In today'smarket,leadersmust ensurethey'reallowing employeestohaveavoice andbeheard.That's paramount.TopWorkplaces dothis,anditpays dividends.
Ryan attended Westview from 2008 to 2011 before transitioning to public school in Katy ISD. Ryan's Westview memories include participating in karate classes with Master Plumber and dressing as Santa in the holiday play Ryan's high school years are active ones as he is involved in the marching band and National Honor Society. He enjoys his health sciences and anatomy and physiology classes. Ryan shares that marching band takes up most of his time He is in the front ensemble as a student leader and plays the marimba. Ryan credits Westview with teaching him how to interact with others socially and overcome obstacles with perseverance He shared the following words of wisdom for our Westview students, "To be successful in life, you have to be willing to take risks and to be able to work hard and accept help when needed "
Sophia started Westview in 2007 and was a student for six years After Westview, she attended The Monarch School. Her favorite memories of Westview are the holiday plays and lock-ins. Sophia attended college at the University of St Thomas and received her associate's degree in pragmatic studies. She currently works as an office assistant at the AD Players Theater and plays the violin for the Baytown Symphony Orchestra. She credits Westview with teaching her to read and write, do math, and complete projects independently She also says Westview helped her learn to focus, follow directions, and regulate herself. Sophia offers the following advice to Westview students, "Don't be afraid! Try new things Join in on all the activities "
P J started Westview in 2008 and completed the middle school program in 2012. He attended high school at Gateway Academy. Upon high school graduation, P.J. spent time performing in theatrical productions and interning and helping other students at Stageworks Acting Academy. P.J.'s favorite memories of Westview include going to CampFor-All every year, experiencing the Scholastic Book Fair, and appearing in the annual holiday programs before winter break P J is a current student at LoneStar College-Tomball enrolled in a lifePATH Program. This program is designed to help students with learning disabilities and prepare them for thriving in the workplace. At LoneStar, P J is involved with the drama department He designed lighting for multiple productions and performed in last year's improv show. He is considering a major in drama or theatre tech. P.J. considers himself a very social person. He shared, "Westview gave me plenty of opportunities to make friends and hang out with them as often as possible throughout the day." His advice to current students is to "get to know your classmates and see how many friends you can make " P J emphasizes the importance of relationships throughout life and that it is never too early to start building your social skills.RYAN NORMAN ALUMNINEWS SOPHIA VELASQUEZ
Cole was a student at Westview from 2009 to 2013. Following Westview, Cole transitioned to Crossroads School and Launch Academy and completed his high school years at Monroe Homeschool. During that time, Cole participated in horseback riding, where he competed in numerous competitions, including the local Special Olympics and the Top Hands Competition at the Houston Rodeo. Cole also earned his Comp TIA certificate for computing software during this time. Cole remembers all his past teachers with great appreciation and has expressed his fondest memories of Westview participating in the school plays One former teacher Cole still has a strong relationship with is Ms. Susie Norman, his music teacher and piano instructor for the past eleven years. Cole graduated from high school in May 2022 and aims to obtain additional computing certifications to pursue a career in Computer Software
Micah attended The Westview School for his Prekindergarten and Kindergarten. In 2013, Micah transitioned to Legacy Preparatory Christian in The Woodlands. His memories of his time at Westview include running on the track, nap time, and meeting his friend, Noah Micah's family currently lives in Minnesota, where he attends high school. Micah stays active with soccer and swimming. His favorite classes are science and math, and he loves to travel internationally with his family. During this past winter break, Micah's family traveled to Europe, where they visited London and the island of Goza Micah credits Westview with teaching him better ways to socialize, which helped him to make friends. If he could offer some advice to Westview students, Micah said, "find things you're good at and keep working at it!"COLE MONROE