2021 Summer | Wildcat Chronicle

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SUMMER 2021

WILDCAT Chronicle

THE WESTVIEW SCHOOL | A PLACE WHERE YOU FIT

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS Westview begins a new decade of big dreams and bright futures

SCIENCE GETS A GRANT Westview science blasts off this year with an updated curriculum WESTVIEW GOES TO THE MOVIES Our first community event of 2021 was a great success!


contents MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

05 Dr. Koch reflects on the past, present, and future of Westview as we celebrate 40 years.

WESTVIEW CELEBRATES 40 YEARS

06 From small beginnings, Westview has grown into a thriving community offering big dreams and bright futures for children with autism. WESTVIEW THROUGH THE YEARS

09 We take a pictorial look at some school

highlights through Westview's 40 years.

THE FUTURE OF THE WESTVIEW SCHOOL

10 Westview enters Phase 3 of strategic planning with the help of Gershenson Consulting, LLC.

WONDERFUL WESTVIEW ALUMNI NEWS

11 Westview alums are doing great things.

WESTVIEW RECOGNIZES THE CLASS OF 2021

12 Westview bids farewell to five Middle School students at our Commencement Breakfast in May.

JANE STEWART AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

14 Prekindergarten teacher Ally Loewen received the Jane Stewart Award of Excellence.


THE NURTURED HEART APPROACH

16 Student and Staff Support Specialist Michael McKee shares how Westview uses The Nurtured Heart Approach® to shape students' behavior. JOEL STEWART AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

18 Former Westview parent, teaching assistant, and

future Kindergarten teacher, Liza Reyes was honored by her peers. CAMP FOR ALL COMES TO CAMPUS

20 Camp for All 2 U brought all the fun of camp to our 1830 students this past spring.

WESTVIEW DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

22 Hosting a community event plus securing donations from both local and international organizations, Westview Development had a busy year. SCIENCE BLASTS OFF

24 The Clark and Charlene Thompson Foundation

awards Westview a generous grant to enhance the science program for Kindergarten to eight grade. DONNA MARSHALL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

26 In a year where technology was vital to success, Kelli Blake, IT Director was the recipient of the inaugural Donna Marshall Award of Excellence.

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THE STEWART CENTER GROUP THERAPY

28 The Stewart Center has a full line-up of both

individual and group therapies for the 2021-2022 school year.


"Westview is celebrating forty years of being a place where children on the autism spectrum are given an opportunity to have big dreams for a bright future." BEVAN KOCH


40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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In the Beginning

The year was 1981. There were no electric cars, home computers, or streaming videos. We walked to the television to change the channel, and our phones were attached to the wall as opposed to our hands. In Houston, Texas, there were no special schools for children with autism. Jane Stewart was a teacher at The Briarwood School, which served children with many different types of disabilities. In the summer of 1981, several parents approached her asking for specific help for their children. And so the story of The Westview School began. Westview's beginnings were small. The first class consisted of three students and a handful of teacher friends that Ms. Jane invited to join her. School was set up in the kitchen of Ms. Jane's home. Despite the size, Westview looked and acted very much like a real school. Her students did schoolwork, went on field trips, enjoyed sensory activities, and even had recess in the backyard. They celebrated birthdays, holidays, and dressed up in costumes at every opportunity.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush and founder and Head of School Jane Stewart cut the ribbon on the brand new building at 1900 Kersten Drive.

Little by little, the small school started to grow. It outgrew Ms. Jane's kitchen, and she began looking for bigger spaces for the school. A small house was purchased on Shady Villa Drive in 1982, just off Westview Road, and the school was officially named The Westview School. Ms. Jane's guiding philosophy was that children with autism spectrum disorder could do many things with the proper support. She made it her mission to equip her students with the tools needed to have a future of success and independence. With that particular mission in mind, Ms. Jane taught her students with a focus on kindness, love, and patience. She took in students that hadn't found a place to accept them. Jane hired teachers and staff passionate about the mission, and word spread through Houston that The Westview School is a place where you fit. Parents brought their children, looking for hope. Soon, she needed an even bigger space to teach all the children who wanted to come to The Westview School.

One of the first locations of The Westview School was a house on Shady Lane Drive. 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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growing

today

In 1996, a capital campaign began to raise funds to construct a new and permanent school building to house the growing school. Through the generosity and hard work of Westview supporters and the Houston community, over 3 million dollars was raised. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Westview School's new building at 1900 Kersten Drive was held in May 1999. Despite torrential downpours, the event was well attended in celebration of the accomplishment. The 1900 building lobby was filled with families of The Westview School's first students, Westview's Board of Directors, and a very special guest, First Lady Barbara Bush.

The Westview School has grown from its early beginnings as a one-room school for preschool-age children to a vibrant, everevolving school serving more than 130 children, starting in Early Childhood through Middle School. The school encompasses two school buildings on 7 acres, an auditorium and gym, a soccer field, a track, a motor lab, speech rooms, two libraries, science labs, an art studio, and so much more.

In 2003, The Westview School again received generous donations from families and supporters that made it possible to purchase the property at 1830 Kersten Drive. Westview added both Upper Elementary and Middle School levels to the program. The addition of the second building also included Largent Hall, a dedicated space for PE classes, and a place for the community to gather together. In 2010, an outdoor track was added to the north side of the campus to further expand the space available for sports, group activities, and physical fitness for Westview students.

The spirit of Jane Stewart lives on. Because of Ms. Jane's philosophy that kids with autism can DO things and should get out into the world, Westview students have opportunities to go on field trips, go to Camp Smile at Camp for All each spring, enjoy weekend lock-ins and socials, holiday parties, and summer camp. They can join Boy Scouts, act in plays, and compete in spelling bees. Students can learn to ride bikes, play basketball, and Pokemon. The People of Westview (POW), the parents and caregivers' association, plan Spirit Weeks, Family Fun Days, and Halloween Trunk-orTreats. The Westview community is strong.

In 2010, Jane Stewart passed away, and Donna Marshall became the new Head of School. Donna came to Westview in 1991 as a kindergarten teacher and was promoted to assistant Head of School in 2007. Donna did an outstanding job of keeping Jane’s vision alive and carrying on the traditions Jane established, such as the Thanksgiving Feast and the all-school Holiday show. Donna’s commitment to hiring outstanding teachers and making sure the students were given every opportunity for success set The Westview School up for a bright future.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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In the spring of 2020, Donna Marshall announced her retirement. In June 2020, The Westview School hired a new Head of School. Dr. Bevan Koch is leading The Westview School into a new era, despite the challenges of a global pandemic. Westview has made a substantial investment in modern technology, new academic and social skills programs, and is committed to providing teachers with high quality professional development. The Westview School is steadfast in its commitment to making sure that a Westview education is the best for its students, and all

staff are committed to giving the students the care and support they need for success both at home and out in the world. We thank Jane Stewart for her passion for creating this wonderful school. We honor her memory by carrying on the mission of The Westview School and ensuring that Westview strives to grow and offer brighter futures for children on the autism spectrum. Thousands of Westview students have Jane Stewart to thank for dreaming big and creating a special place for many special children to learn and grow.

SRAEY EHT HGUORHT

loohcS weivtseW ehT

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1. Students enjoy a splash day in the early 1980s. | 2. A student performs in the annual Holiday play. | 3. Volunteers hung the final piece of an art installation by Largent Hall in 2011. | 4. Budding friendships on the Westview track. | 5. Wiley the Wildcat, school mascot, high-fives students at the annual Pep Rally. | 6. Jane Stewart shows her love and joy to a student. 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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the future of the westview school

a strategic plan

by: Bevan Koch, Ed.D. The Westview School Board of Directors has a clear vision for our school. It is for Westview to be “the best little school on the planet.” The men and women who serve on our board have a long history with The Westview School, and autism is something near and dear to their hearts. Our trustees have a passion for our school’s mission and supporting us in serving our students. One of the first tasks that I was assigned by the board was to begin the process of strategic planning for the school. The goal of a strategic plan is to identify priorities that will guide our work for the next 3-5 years. We interviewed three consultants to lead this process and hired Gershenson Consulting to guide us through the development of a strategic plan. We appreciated that they shared our commitment to ensuring ours was an inclusive process in which all voices are heard.

The major themes that emerged from these robust conversations were fairly consistent across the different constituencies and help us better understand the quantitative survey results. Phase 3 is currently underway and involves the analysis and assimilation of all of the quantitative and qualitative data provided in the first two phases. We sincerely appreciate everyone who took the time to share their experiences, priorities, and ideas for the future through their participation in surveys and focus groups. Phase 4 will begin in August when a small working group comprised of trustees, administrators, and staff will develop a Strategy On A Page (SOAP) that includes the top priorities identified throughout this process. The SOAP will specify the action steps that will guide the work of school leaders and the board for the next few years. We are very excited about this process, and we hope that this brings excitement to our staff, faculty, and families too. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we continue to look for ways to build on the success of the past to ensure an even brighter future.

Phase 1 of the plan involved surveying Upper Elementary and Middle School students, staff, families (current and former), and Westview alumni. We had excellent response rates (students – 94%; staff – 60%; families – 45%). The surveys provided us with feedback on virtually every aspect of the school, from our facilities to our programs. Phase 2 of the process involved focus groups to gather more insight from stakeholders as to how well we are meeting the needs of our community. Elliott Gershenson conducted three focus groups with staff, five focus groups with families, and one focus group with the board. 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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Wonderful

Westview ALUMNI NEWS

ROHIT SEN

Rohit attended The Westview School from 2006 to 2014, and he remembers fondly all the good times with friends. He encourages Westview students to enjoy the present. "You will remember with nostalgia all your times at Westview," said Rohit. Rohit attended Bellaire High School following his time at Westview. He is currently studying graphic design at Houston Community College while working at Smoothie King.

JACK CAIN

Jack attended Westview from 2014 to 2016. Upon completion of middle school, Jack attended high school at Gateway Academy. After graduation from Gateway, Jack attended the Advance Program, where he learned to live independently and pay his own bills. He began work as a bagger at HEB. Jack recently received a promotion to the HEB produce department. He currently lives in Midtown independently and takes the Metro to and from work. Jack credits Westview for giving him his voice. "Westview helped me to speak up for myself, to raise my hand and have my voice heard." 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ

Anthony attended Westview from 2007 to 2015. He graduated from Westview Middle School and attended Bellaire High School. One of his favorite memories of his time at Westview is attending the art car parade and seeing his Westview teachers call out to him from the route. Anthony encourages Westview students to "Keep your mind and thoughts in focus." Anthony reflects, "Westview taught me how the world works and what people expect of me." He is currently seeking employment.

BRYCE EDWARDS

Bryce attended Westview from Pre-K through 4th grade. Before the start of middle school, Bryce moved to Friendswood and started 5th grade at Lutheran South Academy. Sixth grade was a fantastic year for Bryce, and he finished the year with two significant awards. He received the 6th grade Spiritual Life Award for showing kindness to others and the Principal's High Honor Roll for all A’s. Bryce said that Westview taught him to overcome some of his fears as well as build his confidence.

NOAH ANDERS

Noah attended Westview from age three until the first grade. He will be a senior at Waltrip High School and has been working at Whataburger since September of 2020. This summer was his fourth summer volunteering at Westview. "Westview definitely helped me out a lot in becoming the person I am today. I am thankful to all of my former teachers and people who have helped me out along the way." said Noah.

LUKE BOHREER

Luke attended Westview from 20082015. Upon completion of middle school, Luke attended Launch Academy and then moved to The HUB Houston. He recently graduated from The HUB and is currently enrolled in their Life 101 program, learning critical job skills. He is interning at St. Christopher's Resale Shop. Luke loved his time at Westview. The Halloween social was his favorite, and he loved all the teachers. Luke credits Westview for teaching him important skills like working with others in a group setting and putting forward your best efforts even when faced with something new and challenging. Page-11 | Wildcat Chronicle


Westview recognizes the

CLASS OF 2021

The Westview School held a commencement breakfast in May to recognize five of our Middle School students moving on from Westview this year. Students and families gathered in Largent Hall, and our Middle School teachers and administration celebrated the students' years at Westview with a commemorative slideshow, heartfelt speeches, and a certificate presentation. Westview is thankful to these families for trusting Westview with the education of their children.

RAINER - 8 YEARS What a pleasure and joy it has been to teach Rainer during his years in Middle School. A quiet and shy student, Rainer has grown and matured in many ways over his eight years at Westview. I have watched him push himself outside his comfort level. In Middle School, Rainer developed friendships with both his teachers and peers. He will be missed at Westview, and we wish him the best of luck in the future. - Crystal Irvin

Rainer will attend public school for high school.

SOHAM - 7 YEARS I have always been impressed with Soham's intelligence, but his courage and curiosity to try new things remain the virtues I most admire in him. Whether it is something that comes naturally, like chess or something that doesn't, like hacky sack, Soham approaches new things with the same level of enthusiasm. The virtues of courage and curiosity, have made learning with him at Westview a pleasure, and I believe these traits will carry him far in future endeavors. – Jared Dawkins Soham will attend The Branch School for the completion of middle school.

MARCELO -4 YEARS Every task Marcelo tackles is treated with great pride and great diligence. I recall a day that Marcelo called me over to his desk during math. I thought he might have a question, but instead, he had completed a pretty tricky math problem. Pointing to his work, he said, “Look at what I just did! Wasn’t that good work?” What an honor it has been to be Marcelo’s teacher. I am proud of all the ways he has grown and matured during his years at Westview. His future is bright, and there is so much for him to accomplish as his education journey continues. – Megan Coleman

Marcelo will attend public school for the completion of middle school. 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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KAYLAN - 10 YEARS Kaylan is truly a Westview success story. Through his ten years here, he has learned the importance of self-regulation and asking for help. Kaylan's teachers have seen so much growth and maturity, especially once he moved into the Westview Middle School program. The hard work and dedication Kaylan has put into being successful has shaped him into a young man with a bright future. We are so proud and can’t wait to see how he continues to grow and flourish. - Crystal Irvin

Kaylan will attend Gateway Academy for high school.

BRADLY -8 YEARS Bradly is a student who is passionate about his interests— ranging from music to science to being a Japanophile; hanging out with him after school was the highlight of many school days. While Bradly may seem to be in his head at first glance, he never ceases to impress. He will ace the test you are not sure he is prepared for, or he’ll be the first to volunteer to help sanitize the classroom. We are all better for knowing Bradly, and he will be missed around the Westview campus. - Andres Gutierrez

Bradly will attend public school for high school.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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Jane Stewart Award of Excellence

Ally Loewen

When she was a sophomore in high school, Ally Loewen walked onto the Westview campus for the first time. She tagged along with a friend to volunteer for summer camp. "I didn't even know what autism was." said Ally. That summer was the first of three that Ally volunteered at The Westview School, and it was the spark that guided her toward a career in special education. "I have so many essays written from my youth about how my volunteer years at Westview changed everything for me," said Ally. At Sam Houston University, Ally majored in education with a minor in special education. "They wouldn't let me major in [special education]," laughed Ally, "but I tried really hard." Upon graduation, Ally began her teaching career in public school but quickly moved into a private school setting where she taught at both The Harris School then The Monarch School. "It's funny to think back that Westview was what originally started me on this trajectory [of special education]," said Ally. "I was always so grateful and appreciative of my early experience with Westview, but it wasn't even on my radar to work here."

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A friend recommended that Ally apply for a teacher opening at Westview because she thought Ally would be a perfect fit. And as Ally commences her fifth year as a Prekindergarten teacher at Westview, her coworkers agree with her. One staff member said, "To watch Ally connect with students can be described as nothing short of magical. She never gives up on a child and only sees the best in each and every one of them. Ally has a unique way of approaching each student and of seeing and bringing out his or her potential." Another colleague stated, "Ally doesn't shy away from challenging behaviors. Instead, she seeks to learn the cause and figure out how to reach each child. The unique needs of the students always come first, and Ally is always on board to learn and try new things when it comes to our students." On any given day, you will pop into Ally's prekindergarten classroom, and it looks like kids are just playing.

Ally stands by her pedagogical approach. She knows that young children learn best through first-hand experiences. Play motivates, stimulates, and supports children in their development of language acquisition, communication skills, concept formation, and concentration. Skillful teachers help support this learning by facilitating meaningful play. Ally has a true passion for her [prekindergarten] age group. "I love PreK because you see so much growth. There are so many small changes that translate to really big deals for our kids." "Just listening to Ally talk about her kids brings a smile to my face," said another Westview teacher. "You can hear the love she has for her children in the way she talks about them. Ally's passion for working with her students and for what we do at Westview is truly inspiring." Congratulations to Ally Loewen for being named the 2020-2021 Jane Stewart Award of Excellence, Teacher of the Year.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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The final stand is “Absolutely Clear.” This requires that the adult maintains clear, unambiguous rules and gives brief, “un-energized” consequences when a rule is broken. This is the foundation for the “reset” that has become synonymous with Nurtured Heart. Rather than yelling or preaching when a rule has been broken, a simple “reset” is given to inform the child that the expectation is not being met. From there, the child has the opportunity to correct their behavior and get back to conduct that allows them to receive “energy” from the adult. To be successful, the response is given devoid of emotion or energy. The “reset” is simply a signal, and any other word or phrase could be used in its place, but it signals a pause in engagement that follows a broken rule. Once the rule is no longer being broken, the adult then reconnects with the child, typically in a manner that involves praise or energy (i.e., “Right now, you are no longer hitting me, even though I can tell that you are still upset. Thanks for resetting and showing such great self-control.”) From there, either the connection continues, or another “reset” is needed.

When done correctly, the Nurtured Heart Approach helps foster positive, successful relationships that will help address and improve many behavior problems that arise at home or in the classroom. The core of the Nurtured Heart Approach is that a positive parent-child or teacher-student relationship is fundamental and integral in helping children learn self-regulation. Without the connection of the positive energy between the child and the adult, the removal of that energy has no consequence. On the flip side, if the child can receive “energy” from an adult for their bad behavior, there is little incentive to change what they are doing. Broadly speaking, adults should focus more of their energy on identifying and acknowledging the positive things that children do than they do on correcting negative behavior. When done correctly, the Nurtured Heart Approach helps foster positive, successful relationships that will help address and improve many behavior problems that arise at home or in the classroom. 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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JOEL Stewart Award of Excellence

Liza Reyes It is a typical beginning for many staff members at The Westview School. Liza Reyes first came to Westview as a parent. Her son, Angel, was a student in the early childhood development class at The Westview School during the 2009-2010 school year. Angel transitioned out of Westview at a young age, and Liza enrolled him in public school and full-time ABA. Liza was a huge advocate for her son as he progressed through various public and private programs. She saw a serious need for more trained special education teachers, especially those with passion and empathy towards students with autism. She decided to go back to school to complete her degree. When she needed observation hours, Westview was the first place she turned. The observation hours turning into subbing, and in 2016, Liza took a full-time position at Westview as an assistant in Lower Elementary. Liza has significantly impacted both students and co-workers at The Westview School through her six years on staff. Her positive attitude towards students and co-workers and her willingness to go above and beyond make it clear why Liza is such an asset to Westview.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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"Liza has always been a fantastic assistant, but she really stepped up this school year. She took on the role of lead teacher when needed during the school year, and she stepped up and took on a leadership role for summer camp." Liza will move to a lead teacher position in the Fall of 2021. She will be teaching one of Westview's three kindergarten classes.

One co-worker sang Liza's praises, saying, "Liza goes above and beyond in dedicating her time to help students thrive. She is always willing to lend support to students when they meet challenges by helping them reset with effective redirection strategies. She also tutors students outside of the classroom. Her hard work doesn't go unnoticed!" In May of 2020, Liza graduated from the University of Houston in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Communications. She immediately began working towards her Texas Teachers Certification in Special Education.

"Kindergarten is such a fun age," said Liza. "Being a mom of a special needs child, I have a good understanding of Westview students, and I love being able to help our young kids. Kindergarten days are full, and there are a lot of opportunities for hands-on learning. I am so excited about lead teaching next year. I feel thankful that Westview gave me an opportunity to give back." And, according to one Westview staffer, the feeling is mutual. "Liza loves our students and is a dedicated staff member. We are lucky to have her!" Congratulations to Liza Reyes for being named the 2020-2021 Joel Stewart Award of Excellence, Teacher Assistant of the Year.

"Because of COVID-19, my college graduation was virtual," said Liza. "They are offering us the opportunity to walk and accept our diploma this summer, and I'm considering it. I want my girls to see what hard work can do." Aside from her son, Angel, Liza also has two daughters, currently enrolled in college programs, pursuing nursing and special education degrees. "I am proud that I can show my daughters the importance of hard work," said Liza, "I think it made an impact on them to see me work towards my degree and teaching certificate. I am proud to be an example to them." Not only is Liza an example of dedication and hard work to her family, but Westview co-workers also notice. Many nominations for Liza came in praising her hard work in "raising the bar this year."

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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alex's 5k community support

A Gift from Qatar

Alex's 5K is a fun, family-friendly race event created as a tribute to the life of Alex Jamrich, who passed away suddenly in 2010 at the age of 17. The event not only celebrates Alex's life, but also promotes autism awareness, and raises funds for research and services in the Houston community. All race profits from Alex's 5K benefit Houston-based charities that support the autistic community. In 2020, Alex's 5K celebrated ten years. Despite being unable to gather in person due to the pandemic, the virtual race was met with the same purpose and enthusiasm as in previous years. The Westview School is thankful to Bayou City Road Runners (BCRR) and Alex's parents, Milan Jamrich and Kathi Mahon. Each year they include Westview as a beneficiary of Alex's 5K. Westview is proud to be affiliated with this event that honors the life of such a special young man.

international support

In April of 2021, Qatar's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, recognized World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month by selecting several charitable organizations to be recipients of support. The Westview School was chosen as one of those recipients. As part of Qatar's generous support of the autistic community and their families in the United States, a three-year scholarship fund for Westview students was established. Westview is thankful to the State of Qatar for selecting our program to be a recipient of their generosity. We are excited to use this partnership as an opportunity to help us grow our mission and serve more students in the Greater Houston community.

This wonderful partnership with the State of Qatar will help our scholarship fund impact the lives of almost 100 Westview families in the next three years. This collaboration will help us serve more children in the greater Houston area with autism spectrum disorder in need of our programs by bolstering our scholarship fund. 40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

JOHN MORING

Director of Development

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40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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What will science instruction look like next year?

Some essentials for the program were that it included best practices in science instruction, would provide a cohesive experience for students as they move through the program, included opportunities for students to practice using critical thinking skills, and could be easily adapted to meet the unique needs of our students. We requested samples of materials from 12 different publishers for our review. Amplify Science emerged as the front runner. The program is highly engaging, easily adaptable for multiple grade levels, and is a perfect fit for our students and their learning styles.

Next year, students in Kindergarten through Middle School will take on the roles of scientists, chemists, and engineers to investigate interesting problems and propose workable solutions. Our students will gather evidence, think critically, solve problems, make and defend claims about the world around them, and communicate their findings. As students advance through the grade levels, the complexity of laboratory investigations will increase, and students will explore topics from various strands of science, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, geology, and physics. Our goal is to develop our students as people of intellect. We are very excited that our students will be engaging in scientific inquiry and are eager to support them in the development of logical and critical thinking skills. We believe that these experiences will lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning about the complex world in which we live and will inspire them to think big about how to solve some of the world’s trickiest problems.

I am excited about updating our curriculum. It impacts our science program across the board. Amplify Science is really cool. It not only is more aligned with current science standards, it has a fun problem-solving approach to teaching and learning science.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

jared dawkins

Upper Elementary and Middle School Science Teacher

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donna marshall Award of Excellence

Kelli Blake

The success of any educational institution during the 2020-2021 academic school year was the result of lots of moving parts: competent administrators, hard-working teachers, dedicated students and families, and the unsung behind-the-scenes heroes the ever-resilient, knowledgeable, and flexible Information Technology (IT) departments. At The Westview School, our IT Department consists of one amazing woman, Kelli Blake. To provide an exceptional program for each student this past year, it was essential for us to fully utilize the technology we already had and secure additional technology to better support our students in person and online. A thorough review was done for every classroom to address the specific requirements for delivering the instructional program to each group of students. Kelli’s role in this process was essential. “Kelli has been an important part of our success this year,” said one co-worker. “Kelli has supported us in countless ways through the toughest year yet. She makes herself available to help, and we can always count on her to quickly resolve any issue that may arise.”

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One staffer said, “Kelli has been such an important part of our school this year. She has taken us into an entirely new realm of technology.” Kelli has gone above and beyond this year. She is such a hard worker. She can often be found working long hours and weekends away from home, with an end goal to keep Westview technology online and running smoothly for both staff and students. Kelli is an employee that everyone can count on, and she is consistently and reliably available with patience and expertise when needed.

She has accomplished so much for both buildings and is consistently there for when we need her help. During this unexpected online learning time, her role at our school was essential. She should know how much we value and the work she has put in for us to succeed this year. We love our PC Queen!!

award named for

donna marshall

In a year full of tough decisions, it was an easy choice to recognize a non-instructional staff member for the end-of-year awards—the decision of who to name this inaugural award after was just as simple. Donna Marshall has been an integral part of The Westview School community since 1991. An administrator since 2007, Donna has played a huge role in Westview's success. We are proud to honor her years of service and commitment to Westview by lending her name to this Award of Excellence for noninstructional staff. It was a great joy to have her attend our end-of-year ceremony and present to Kelli Blake the award named in her honor.

Our entire Westview community highly values the work Kelli has put in to make Westview successful this year. She is loved by all and is an integral part of our team. Our success could not be without her. Westview is proud to present the inaugural Donna Marshall Award of Excellence for NonInstructional Staff to Kelli Blake, IT Director.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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the stewart center The Stewart Center has a full lineup of both individual and group therapy for the 2021-2022 school year. To learn more or to register your child, email The Stewart Center at info@stewartcenterhouston.org or call at 713-973-1842

group therapy

Picky Eaters Group

Individual or group therapy offered by both a speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist. Our therapists use sensory-based feeding intervention from the SOS Approach to Feeding ® . Therapy is designed to diversify the diets of your picky eaters.

Art Therapy

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Emotional Awareness

Group therapy sessions using creative ways to support emotional regulation in a group setting offered by licensed professional counselor and registered board-certified art therapist plus a speech pathologist. Therapy is focused on identifying feelings, emotions, and socioemotional learning concepts using creative and narrative storytelling. Sessions will review the ways emotions impact our everyday lives and the people in it.

social skills group

Group therapy sessions informed by the Social Thinking ® curriculum offered by speech-language pathologists. Therapy is focused on collaborative play, shared space, cooperation and negotiation, emotional management, and executive functioning. Groups include discussion, role-playing, and engaging in social activities such as conversation, playing games, and perspective-taking.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

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Creative Executive Functioning

Group therapy offered by a professional counselor/certified art therapist. Sessions combine art with lessons and activities informed by the evidence-based curriculum, Unstuck and On Target, developed for children with ASD. Therapy is focused on building flexibility, planning, and goalsetting skills for children with ASD and/or ADHD who often struggle with executive skills such as organization, planning, completing tasks, shifting ideas, and thinking flexibly. Mindfulness

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Art Therapy

Group therapy sessions offered by a professional counselor/certified art therapist. Sessions use creative ways to teach mindfulness to help increase attention, emotional regulation, and behavioral regulation. Therapy will teach strategies for coping “in the moment” with stress in difficult situations plus long-term mindfulness practices to help create thoughtfulness and decrease impulsivity. Mindfulness strategies can help calm and reduce stress and increase overall awareness and coping skills.

Because many individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers, artwork can facilitate forming connections with peers because it offers a concrete way to see another's perspective.

40 Years of The Westview School | Big Dreams + Bright Futures

hillery jones

Licensed Professional Counselor Board Certified Art Therapist

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