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Upcoming Dates

Aug 23rd Volunteer Training

Sep 4th Holiday (No School)

Sep 20-21st The Big Give 2023

Sep 29th 6th Grade Coffee with the Headmaster

New Calendars Available Now! Click the links below to add our campus event calendar to your personal calendars:

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Quick Links

Upper School Family Handbook

Uniform Guideline, 6-10th

Academic Calendar 2023-24

School Supply Information

Classics to Keep K-10th

Athletics Website

Community Investment Information

Bonus: Click here to join the GHWH PSO Facebook Group

Covered in this Newsletter

  1. Headmaster Letters
  2. Carline Reminder
  3. Community Investment Donors
  4. Accordion Files
  5. Upper School Housekeeping
  6. Volunteer Training
  7. Map Testing
  8. Free or Reduced Lunch Application
  9. The Music Nook
  10. Intramurals
  11. Athletics
  12. Volunteer Opportunities

Please remember to scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to see all of this week's content.


Headmaster Letter

Dear Spartan Upper School Families,

We have thoroughly enjoyed getting reacquainted with returning students and getting to know all of our new students. We understand that the first few days had a lot of systems and routines that students had to learn and troubleshoot, but we are so impressed by the growth they made (especially 6-8th graders) in just one week. Our theme for this year is wrapped up in the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling, which students in all grades have been memorizing this week. The theme can be summarized in these three lines,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same; 

… Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it …

There were some Triumphs and Disasters this week for students, teachers, admin and parents. High schoolers had the luxury of top lockers and spacious hallways, while middle schoolers learned to negotiate tight hallways while wielding their accordion “suitcases.” Most of our teachers worked five 12-hour days this week but had many high moments in their classrooms, culminating with their first House meeting on Friday. Our parents suffered through long drop-off and pick-up lines, while the administration went back to the drawing board to turn disaster into triumph. Thank you so much to those of you who have emailed us suggestions, concerns, questions, and encouragements. The students have learned to do a lot of problem-solving, and hopefully, you find the drop-off and pick-up lines much less frustrating.

One of the things we did differently this year is that we took excerpts from the huge Family Handbook that pertained directly to student life on campus and walked the students through it little by little all week. It has allowed the students to ask many questions about school policies and culture, and the teachers feel a real sense of buy-in from the students. If you get a chance, ask your student about the student handbook and what they learned about bullying, sharing-is-caring, no excuses, house system leadership, and why attending every school day is essential. If your student is new, ask them if they met their House Mentor and if they got their free House patches.

Communication is essential; if you ever have a question, concern, or suggestion, please email either the teacher it pertains to or anyone on the leadership team (our emails are on the website). We are so glad you are a part of the Spartan family!


Trinette Keffer | Upper School Headmaster

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Click here to view the new CurbSmart App Document

Did you know the 2023-2024 COMMUNITY INVESTMENT CAMPAIGN goal is $150,000?

We are building a legacy at Western Hills. Please consider financially partnering with us through the Community Investment campaign. No gift is too large or too small.

Click Here for More Info on Donating

Thank you to our current monthly supporters!

Aguilar Family

Aguilar Family

Bass-Pineda Family

Caballegan Family

Cantu Family

Diaz de Herrera Family

Downing Family

Eller Family

Eng Family

Garcia  Family

Gonzalez Family

Guzman Family

Gyamera-Anquandah Family

Hinojosa Family

Hjorth Family

Hogue Family

Hunter Family

Jones Family

Luna Family

Mares Family

Martinez Family

Mascorro Family

Menjivar Family

Miccarelli Family

Miller Family

Navarro Family

Nitschke Family

Perez Family

Quiroz Family

Rincon Family

Roberson Family

Rodriguez Family

Sandoval Family

Springstead Family

Travis Family

Trujillo Family

Underdown Family

Uriegas Family

Valverde Family

Wendorff Family

Did you pledge to give this year on a monthly basis? Click here to start today!
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Accordion File Reminders

We wanted to set our students up for success, and as lack of organization is often the cause of many struggles and material infractions, the accordion folder system was put in place to assist students with their organization. That being said, we have found that many students have packed their accordion files with things that should not be there (and it was not designed to hold), like textbooks, classics to keep, extra packages of note cards, etc. We have tested the file with the necessary composition books, a pencil bag, and an agenda. Our intention was to reduce the number of times students needed to go to their lockers, reduce the number of materials infractions handed out, and give teachers a way to help all their students organize their materials. If your student would prefer a different type of accordion file to help carry their loose-leaf papers and handouts, at least that is acceptable. Please note that this will require them to think carefully about which color spiral is needed for which class at which period and make it to class with the accordion file, the correct spiral, book and pencil bag. Students are not allowed to carry backpacks from class to class. The backpack is helpful for carrying the lunchbox, PE bag, and books home. 

*If any family is in need of financial assistance with regard to accordion files or any other important school supplies, please email [email protected].


-NO textbooks should go in your file!

-All EXTRA supplies should go home. When you bring your accordion home you can refill any supplies you need. That includes:

-Extra Loose-leaf Paper

-Extra Notecards

-Any other supplies that you don’t need on a regular basis

*If you don’t know what is necessary, ask your teacher!


-If all your notebooks, agenda, and pencil pouch are already in your accordion, you should ONLY get into your locker for textbooks or to put your accordion file away to get your lunchbox or P.E. clothing.

-When you open your accordion folder AT your locker, it is taking up space in an already crowded hallway.


-If you place it the other way, it will jam your locker.

-Your backpack shouldn’t have anything in it once you take out textbooks and your lunchbox!

-Please see this photo for reference on locker storage:


Because of the accordion folder use, we have noticed:

-significantly fewer material infractions

-almost nothing in lost and found

-Quicker transitions at lockers

Doing something new always gets easier with time! Give this system a week and see if you can make it work to your advantage.

Upper School Housekeeping


Students may share treats with students from their Housemates at lunch. To do that, the student must bring in the items in the morning and leave it on the cart located at the front desk to be retrieved before going to lunch. If a parent wants to drop off treats, they must be dropped off before their student’s lunchtime. Parents need to have prearranged with their students that they will be dropping them off, so they know to look for them on the cart. Items that have worked best include donuts, cookies or prewrapped snack items. The administration has the right to refuse any item dropped off that is messy or not conducive for our lunch systems, such as frozen items, pizza, sodas or anything requiring utensils. The school is not responsible for items that are dropped off after the student’s posted lunchtime, nor are we prepared to facilitate the distribution. The school lunch times are listed below:

6th gr & HS – 11:25-11:55 am (10:09-10:41 am Early release)

7th & 8th – 12:25 – 12:55 pm (10:53-11:24 am Early release)

Another way to celebrate birthdays is to surprise them by decorating a friend’s locker. Students wishing to do that must get permission to enter the building before 7:30 and bring all of their own supplies. The decorations must be tasteful and free from pop culture. The decorations must come down after a week.

Homework Recovery

Starts Tuesday, Aug 22 from 3:30pm-4pm and runs every day we have school. HW Recovery is assigned to any student who does not have the assigned HW completed at the time it is due to be served at the end of the day. HW Recovery is a gift of time that allows the student time to complete the missing HW and turn it in for full points minus 10% for being late. HW Recovery must be served before attending any House, Intramural or Athletic responsibility. Homework Recovery sessions are held every day from 3:30-4:00 p.m. Parents will be notified in carline if they arrive before 4pm that their child is in HW Recovery. If the student’s parent releases them from HW Recovery before 4pm, please note that the school late work policy states that any HW turned the day after it is due will receive only 50% credit. It is our hope that students earn HW Recovery on rare occasions and gladly take advantage of the extra time to complete before going home.

Congestion in the MS Hallways

On Wednesday, we gave a short tutorial on how to problem solve the hallway congestion to our 6-8th graders during lyceum. Some of them included the fact that they have almost everything they need for every class in the accordion file, so unless their next class needs a book, they should skip going to their locker and just go straight to their next class. We also started giving 6th & 7th graders their own designated time during lyceum to pack up so they can avoid the congestion in the hallway. As of Thursday 2nd period we had only a few tardies.

1st-period Tardies

Until carline in the morning is less congested, students late to school will NOT get an infraction in 1st period if they are at least in the building by 7:50am. We will be giving out tardy infractions in all other periods starting Monday now that the hallway congestion has been sorted.

Volunteer Training

Become a Volunteer! Attend training on August 23rd

  1. Complete the Volunteer Interest Form so we know where to plug you in
  2. Sign and Return the Confidentiality Form by emailing [email protected])
  3. Complete an Online Background Check 
  4. Then attend either the in-person Volunteer Training on August 23rd from 8:15-9:00 AM in the LS Multi-Purpose Room (MPR).

*Please note: even if you have completed it before, you must submit another Background Check and Confidentiality Form to volunteer for the 2023-24 School Year.

*You can find details and volunteer opportunities on the Official PSO Website or email the PSO leadership directly with your questions at [email protected]

Apply for Free & Reduced Lunch!

Great Hearts participates in the Free & Reduced Lunch (FRL) Program. Your family may qualify for breakfast and lunch meals at a minimal or no cost. You can submit an application at

This state application is still required even if you applied and qualified for preliminary assistance with the campus over the summer. 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

The Music Nook

Please Note: 9th-grade students who are taking music first semester will need a 1” black 3-ring binder. 

Welcome! This list of SA Music Performances is just a snapshot of the opportunities for live music in SA. I am hoping it will encourage families to attend performances and experience the beauty of live music! If you are interested in a different genre of music performance, please reach out to me so I can share those opportunities.

Mrs. Lewis, [email protected]

Music Instructor, Upper School

Click here to View SA Music Performances!


We are just one week away from our fall intramural season start date! As a reminder we are having Volleyball for our 5th-6th grade girls and flag football for our 5th-6th grade boys. So, if you are a 6th grader that tried out for the middle school team but did not make come get some extra practice in on the intramural team! 



Registration is OPEN to sign-up your scholar for Intramural Flag Football and/or Volleyball.  

Registration is through Aktivate:

As a reminder: Intramural is only for 5th and 6th graders

Registration will CLOSE on August 28th, and practices will begin on August 28th.

*note, all students will have been sorted into a House by August 28th - which will determine their practice schedule



Make your payments here: 

2023 Intramural Fall Sports – Layaway:


2023 Intramural Fall Sports:


Flag Football

Flag football practice schedule (tentative):

Middle Earth and Narnia will practice on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:15-5:15. 



Volleyball practice schedule (tentative):

Middle Earth will practice on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:15-5:15.

Narnia will practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:15-5:15 


Requirements for All Intramurals

  1. Students must be academically eligible to compete. This is determined by receiving a 70% or above in all classes.
  2. A medical physical completed by a physician clearing the student for physical activity must be on file before students can participate.
  3. Registration through Aktivate ( including a preparticipation form, medical physical, and signed athletic handbook).
  4. Parents must read and understand that by signing up for intramural sports, you have accepted and acknowledged the sports club disclaimer at checkout).


If you have any questions, please email our Intramural Director, Hannah Cavazos, at [email protected]


Click Here to Access GHWH Athletics Site

Important Upcoming Athletic Dates:

Monday August 21st – Fall Sports Practices Begin

Friday August 25th – Registration cut off for Cross Country.

Upcoming Competitions:

August 26th – XC Meet @ San Antonio Spartans – Joshua Springs Park and Preserve

August 28th – MS FFB vs Valor – 5:30 pm – Home

September 1st – 9th & 10th Girls VB vs GH Monte Vista – 5:00 pm - Away

Stay up to date on your favorite teams by checking out our website: You may also download important information such as the forms for physicals by clicking on the links/forms button.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to athletic director Elizabeth Disney Alvarado at [email protected]

9th & 10th FFB

Adam A.

Christian Z.

Cristian S.

Erik C.

Henry G.

Jack S.

Jacob P.

Jesse-James G.

Jordan A.

Jude A.

Jude P.

Luke U.

Matt S.

Peter G.

Sergio S.


MS Flag Football


Alaryk G.

Alex G.

Caden V.

Daniel D.

Ethan A.

Jacob G.

Josh B.

Josiah Z.

Juan W.

Jude A.

Liam R.

Mike H.

Ronell J.

Slade Y.

Men’s Volleyball Roster:


Ariel S.

Christian P.

Cristian S.

Daniel E.

Diego C.

Jet A.


Jorge F.

Kaeleb B.

Kekoa S.

Matt S.

Max W.

River C.

Sebastian V.

9th & 10th G Girls VB:

Alessandra A.

Autumn M.

Brianna M.

Christianne P.

Eilidh M.

Lia B.

Mackenzie M.

Marlyse S.

Rayah G.

Samantha R.

ALT: Evolet E.

Kaitlyn B.

Laila C. 

MS Spartan Girls Volleyball

Aubrie L.

Avianna M.

Elsie W.

Genesis B.

Jade K.

Leah B.

Liliana C.

Noor K.

Sarah R.

Victoria D.

MS Girls Agoge Volleyball

Addie F.

Aliyah G.

Catalina A.

Frankie G.

Leila M.

Leahnny S.

Macayla S.

Olivia P.

Sofia L.

Sophie P.

Cross Country

Mario A.

Marcus B.

Christian C.

Gavin C.

Aaden D.

Raul E.

Alyssa H.

Anbriell H.

Cruz H.

Reuben H.

Aiden K.

Aubrie L.

Mirsa L.

Alejandro M.

Leila M.

Eli M.

Elisa M.

Heath N.

David N.

Olivia N.

Ean O.

Christopher P.

Jorel P.

Theodore P.

Sarah R.

Jeremiah R.

Jonah T.

Reese U.

Tatum U.

Inoki V.

Isaac W.

Elizabeth W.


Parent Service Organization

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The transformative education offered at Great Hearts Western Hills will only be possible through the generous and passionate commitment of a Parent Service Organization (PSO).

Upcoming Events

August 23rd - PSO Volunteer Training for Upper and Lower School Volunteers, Lower School MPR at 8:15 am

August 31st - PSO General Meeting for Upper and Lower School Families, Lower School MPR at 6 pm

September 12th - Spirit Night - Raising Canes, 8915 Potranco Rd, from 12 pm - 8 pm

Daily School Lunch Volunteers

It takes many hands to make sure our students are fed quickly every day.

Click Here to Volunteer
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