December 10, 2020
Greetings, Westview families, 

Several weeks ago, some of our families celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Today marks the start of Hanukkah, and this evening some families will light the first candle of the Menorah. On Sunday, some families will light the third candle on their Advent wreaths. And, if the photos pouring in for the virtual holiday program are any indication, many families celebrate the season by lighting a Christmas tree. 

Light.

In science, our Upper Elementary students are learning about light and how it travels. They are learning that light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed. Light is also a common symbol in literature; it can represent the spiritual and divine, illumination and intelligence, and a source of goodness.

The Westview community is comprised of people with different life experiences and beliefs, and still, we have much that unites us. We are all working toward a common goal of staying healthy and protecting those we care about. This year all of us have faced unexpected challenges, made hard decisions, and made personal sacrifices. Many of our staff have not seen members of their extended family in months. It has been a humbling experience to give up some control and embrace the flexibility that we work on with our students.

In the face of these challenges, your children are bringing us light and joy. While others may focus on their differences, we see their strengths and light. We see their gifts and all that they have to offer. Our students are resilient. They are happy. Being with them reminds me to find joy in the moment. When things are hard, it is easy to allow the light to be reflected or refracted. I encourage you to take time instead to look for the light, to really see it, appreciate it, and absorb it.

Our teachers are the first to identify the light that students bring to their lives. Mr. Dawkins shared one of his favorite quotes from Dr. Stephen Shore, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Every one of our kids is unique; they are happy being their own person. English teacher Mrs. Spurgers added, “It is fun to tailor instruction to meet individual student’s interests and needs.” And Mrs. Elsenbrook shared that she finds it incredibly rewarding when the students get genuinely excited to share something they learn.

As we count down to winter break and anticipate the start of a new year, we want to wish your family a season of joy, peace, hope, and light. We encourage you to find joy in the simple things, find peace in the comfort of the new routines, hope that the new year will bring health and wellbeing, and bask in the goodness of light.




Head of School
The Westview School
Calendar at a Glance

December 17
  • Home for the Holidays: A Virtual Holiday Play

December 21 to January 1
  • Winter Holiday Break

January 4
  • Students Return

January 14
  • Grandparents & Special Friends Day (Virtual Event)

January 18
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No School)
Notes from Nurse Ana
We have come to the time of year when we begin to experience cold and flu symptoms. Some of these are unavoidable, but there are several things you can do at home to help prevent illness and keep everyone feeling healthy. Here are some tips to remember:

WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS! This is still the best defense against illness. Encourage your children to wash, especially before meals, using soap and warm water. To ensure they are taking enough time to adequately kill germs, have them sing the ABC song while scrubbing.
Get plenty of rest. School-age children should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night. Adults should try to get 8 hours.

Drink lots of fluids and eat a balanced diet - especially breakfast! I am seeing a lot of children with stomachaches and headaches due to hunger.

Dress appropriately for cold weather. Please help your child choose warm, comfortable clothing for school each day, including socks. Make sure they are wearing a coat, and you may want to consider a hat and gloves as well. Even in cool weather, they need exercise and fresh air during recess.

Have a safe and HEALTHY winter!

"Home for the Holidays: A Virtual Holiday Play" debuts Thursday
We cannot wait to share our virtual holiday play with our families. Kudos to Jason Zacher and Trey Clark for the creative vision and skillful execution of our "Home for the Holidays: A Virtual Holiday Play". The play will be released on Thursday, December 17 via the Westview Weekly. We are so excited to share the fun students have been up to during music.

If you have not yet submitted your child's "Home for the Holidays" photograph. Tomorrow is the final deadline. Please email your photo to Sarah Chauvin.
Are You Traveling Over Winter Break?
Is air travel in your plans for the winter break? 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 winter break 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.
Are You a Digital Calendar User?
Our online calendar is up and running. Keep track of the Westview School calendar by subscribing to our events online. Visit our calendar page or click this link to set up your Westview calendar subscription.
Alex's 5K Run/Walk & Kids K
Alex's 5K Run/Walk & Kids K for 2020 is happening now. This year's event is a little different in that it is virtual. Participants can run or walk a 5k at any time or place between Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, 2020. The virtual race means you will set your own start time, date, and course. 

Alex's 5K is a yearly event presented by The Bayou City Road Runners (BCRR) to honor the life of Alex Jamrich. Lower elementary assistant Juliana Arce was a former nanny to Alex.

The proceeds from Alex's 5K support three Autism-related charities: Autism Speaks,  Avondale House, and The Westview School. We are so thankful for their generosity.

For more information and to register for the event, visit the official Alex's FiveK website.

Westview is Hiring!
Westview is looking to increase our substitute teacher list. Applicants for a substitute teacher at Westview must be over 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.
Resources


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, charrison@westviewschool.org, 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.