November 19, 2020
Dear Westview families,
To reiterate the words of my friend Doran in Lower Elementary, “I am thankful for my school. [Westview] is my happy place.”
It wasn’t that long ago that I said yes to a new adventure at The Westview School. While COVID has presented far more challenges than anyone could have expected, gratitude abounds and joy is quite an apropos word for what this school year has brought to my life.
I love the practice of gratitude. It keeps me centered on what there is, instead of what there isn’t. It takes the focus off the challenges and puts it squarely on our successes. Our students are flourishing, they are learning and growing socially, emotionally, and academically. This week, your children have been writing about gratitude and thankfulness. The halls are lined with their expressions of appreciation.
Inspired by the students, I will share a few of the things that I am thankful for.
I am thankful for our teachers. I have watched in awe as they have facilitated relationships between students on and off-campus, differentiated lessons to meet the needs of all of their students, and collaborated to support one another in what has been an incredibly challenging year.
I am thankful for our leadership team. They have supported me in my transition, researched and implemented best practices in everything from health screenings to online learning, and even jumped at a chance to take on carpool, recess, art, and PE coverage to provide teachers with time to plan. Also, I appreciate their willingness to continue our collective learning on our quest to become the “best little school on the planet.” 
I am thankful for our students. They bring all of us such joy! Four afternoons a week, I join Mrs. Amanda’s class for recess. Yesterday, sweet little Joanna grabbed my hand and said, “Oh... Dr. Koch! Do you want to go to outer space with me?” And, I said yes to sliding down the slide in a dress as we blasted off from the 1900 playground. It was awesome! Moments like these remind me that every day that we are able to be on campus with our students is an absolute gift. One for which, I am incredibly thankful.
I am thankful for you, our families. You put your trust in us, lean into challenges with us, and are always willing to lend your support to us. I think about how difficult it must have been for our new families to drop off their children on the first day of school. Many of them have never set foot in our building, that is a huge leap of faith! 
And, one final thanks... I am thankful in advance for you staying within your family bubble over the Thanksgiving break. With the spike in COVID cases across the country, it is more important than ever for all of us to be diligent in heeding the guidance from experts to control the spread. Please continue to practice social distancing, mask usage, and hand hygiene when you are off-campus. This is our key to successfully returning to school after the Thanksgiving break and staying open through to the Winter Holiday. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our campus open and our students in class.

We wish you a safe and healthy week with your family.

Stay safe and well,

Head of School
The Westview School
Calendar at a Glance

November 23 to 27
  • Thanksgiving Break

December 3
  • WestviewEDU: When Is Your Child Ready for Mainstreaming?

December 21 to January 1
  • Winter Holiday Break
Homework for the Holidays: Virtual Holiday Play
Our students are working on a holiday surprise with the help of our music department, and we need your help! Please send in a picture of your child “home for the holidays" by Friday, December 4. We are looking for a photograph of just your child participating in a holiday tradition at home. Pictures from the previous year’s winter holidays will work. Please email your photo to your child’s teacher or Sarah Chauvin.

This year marks our 39th anniversary of the Westview Holiday Program, and while this year’s event will be prerecorded and online versus live action in front of an audience, we hope that our event continues to bring joy to our students and families. Thank you for your help!
Thanksgiving Food Drive to Support the Houston Food Bank
The Westview School Thanksgiving Food Drive ends tomorrow, and if the overflowing and heavy bins at the carpool entrances are any indication, the drive is a great success. Still haven't made your drop off? Do not worry. It is not too late to give. Non-perishable donations can be dropped off at morning carpool through tomorrow, November 20. All food donations will go to the Houston Food Bank. Make sure to check out their most needed items. We thank you for your support of this year's food drive.
Are You Traveling Over Thanksgiving Break?
Is air travel in your plans for the Thanksgiving holidays? If so, please let us know. We will need to transition your child to virtual learning two weeks after the break.

Our ability to stay open and serve our students on campus depends on all of us doing what we can to stay healthy and avoid contracting and spreading the virus. One of our policies in the Campus Reopening Plan requires a 14-day quarantine after travel by airplane, train, bus, etc. 

Thank you for your continued attention and dedication to keeping our students safe and healthy. Please call or email Bevan Koch to share any travel plans.

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching and cases of COVID-19 on the rise across the country and locally, we wanted to share the CDC’s recommendations for minimizing exposure to the virus at Thanksgiving.
WestviewEDU: Is Your Child Ready for Mainstreaming?
Parents face many challenges when deciding whether to move their children from a “special needs” environment to a “mainstream” setting in a public or private school. Save the date for Thursday, December 3 at 7 pm for our next Westview EDU. Michael McKee, Ed.S., LSSP, NCSP will share the differences between as well as tips, tricks, and tools for navigating either setting with your child with ASD and/or special needs. This presentation will help you to better understand when your child is ready to mainstream, and how to prepare and be successful in the mainstream classroom. Please RSVP and a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Thank You For Your Annual Fund Support
The print mailing of our Annual Fund letter is going out this week. If you have a friend or relative you would like us to mail it to, please contact John Moring.

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to this year's Westview Annual Fund. Since 1998, The Brown Foundation has graciously offered to match donations up to $50,000. This is a huge part of our annual fundraising target, so we need your help!
For those preferring online giving visit our website. Also, we would love for you to share our Annual Fund Information with any family or friends who might be interested in supporting our school. Here is the link to our email or you can direct them to the Annual Fund page on our website.
New Items Added to the POW School Store
Bumper stickers and yard signs have been added to the POW Spirit Store!  Support POW, and zhuzh your yard and car!  Visit the POW Spirit Store and get yours today!

Any questions about available items and shopping can be directed to Ang Jennings, POW President.
Westview is Hiring!
Westview is looking to increase our substitute teacher list. Applicants for a substitute teacher at Westview must be over the age of 18 and a high school graduate. Experience working with children is a plus. References are required. As a Westview substitute, you will primarily work as the class assistant for the day. If you or someone you know may be interested in substitute teaching on a preschool, elementary or middle school level, please email a resume to Russell Avery.
Any additional questions/inquiries regarding job opportunities at The Westview School can be directed to Russell Avery. 

Please refer to COVID-19 tab on The Westview School website for the most up to date information regarding our Child First Reopening Plan.

For the Kids

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION: Based on receipt of federal financial assistance through a Paycheck Protection Program loan administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under the CAREs Act, the School acknowledges its obligation to prohibit discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, citizenship status, genetic information, handicap or disability in admissions, access, employment, tuition assistance, educational policies, or other school administered student and employee programs and activities. Questions regarding the School’s compliance with the application and administration of the School’s nondiscrimination policies should be directed to Carol Harrison, Principal,, 713.973.1900 x100, 1900 Kersten Dr., Houston, TX 77043, or to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) or to the SBA. Please refer to the School’s SBA Non-Discrimination Compliance Policy on the School’s website for information on how to file complaints with OCR or the SBA. This notice will remain in effect until the School has satisfied and paid off the SBA Paycheck Protection Loan.