November 18, 2021
Greetings, Westview families,

In the last 18 months, we’ve lived through a dozen new normals. It feels like we’ve pivoted a hundred times. As a school, we’ve leaned into new ways to approach education to meet our students’ and families’ needs. We’ve spent so much time reacting that I sometimes feel like we haven’t taken as much time as we should to reflect, connect, and share the things we are most thankful for. Fortunately, Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to pause and remember what is most important.
 
Expressing gratitude has a positive impact on the expresser and the recipient of the appreciation. There’s actually a science to it all. The giving and receiving of positive affirmation causes our brain to release dopamine and serotonin that makes us feel good. When our students see and hear expressions of gratitude, it supports their physical and mental well-being. Expressions of gratitude are just one more way to give positive self-care to ourselves, others, and our students. So, let it begin with me. 
 
Here are some of the things for which I am thankful:
 
I am thankful for our teachers, assistants, therapists, and support staff, who do a remarkable job each and every day with our students. Our students are incredibly fortunate to be with professionals who create a supportive and nurturing environment. Our staff really listen to our students in a way that demonstrates that even children have something valuable to contribute. Whether they are convincing a kindergartener that she doesn’t need a crown to be beautiful or a middle schooler that it is okay to make mistakes, our staff work tirelessly to build relationships that support learning and growth. I am most in awe of how Team Westview helps our students develop a strong sense of self and an appreciation for others. My heartfelt admiration and gratitude for the dedication of our team!
 
I am thankful for our students who bring us joy, hope, and inspiration every single day. They are an absolute gift. Yesterday, while I was giving someone a tour of our campus, we stopped into an Upper Elementary classroom, and Mrs. Minns paused the lesson for a moment so the students could introduce themselves. The students welcomed our visitor to our school, inquired about the nature of her visit, and told her what a wonderful place Westview is. We had a similar experience when we visited a middle school classroom. Our students are warm, welcoming, and positively charming hosts. As someone who has worked in and visited many schools, I can tell you that the way our students engage with others is impressive.
 
I am thankful for our non-instructional staff and leadership team, who support us in delivering our mission. They graciously help with carpool, health screenings, cover in classrooms when we are short substitutes, and ensure that we have what we need to do our important work. You may not have noticed the new and improved lighting throughout the 1830 building, but the students certainly appreciate the improvements to Largent Hall (Shout out to Mr. Chris, our facilities manager!). A huge helping of gratitude for our business office for their incredible work on our EANS grant (Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools). This project was (and continues to be) an enormous undertaking that will provide funds for a new social skills curriculum for students and high-quality professional development for staff to be rolled this spring. These are just a few examples of the essential behind-the-scenes work of keeping our campus running smoothly and efficiently so our teaching staff can focus on educating your children.
 
I am thankful for our families who collaborate with us to help our community thrive. It has been wonderful to see so many of you in person at Popsicles on the Playground, Trunk-or-Treat, and the Walk for Apraxia. I have always heard such wonderful things about our welcoming parent organization, POW. As our on-campus activities start to emerge, it is a joy to see all the creativity, time, and support POW gives to our Westview family. We are hopeful that the spring will continue to provide even more opportunities for us to gather as a community. We are truly grateful to all of you, our families, for your partnership and trust.

We wish you a safe and healthy week with your families.
Head of School
The Westview School
Calendar at a Glance

November 22 to 26
  • Thanksgiving Break

Thursday, December 2

Thursday, December 16
  • Virtual Holiday Play

December 17 to January 2, 2022
  • Winter Break
Annual Fund is Happening NOW
Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to this year's Westview Annual Fund. We are four weeks in and have already raised $23,000. There are a couple of ways to support this fundraising effort. First, please donate. You can access our online giving via our website or use the donate link found in the email. Secondly, please share. 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. A print mail-out of our Annual Fund letter is being mailed ongoing for those who like to write checks instead of using our online giving. 
THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING FAMILIES WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS YEAR’S ANNUAL FUND

Janette and Josh Babin
Misty and Tom Cornell
Teresa and Roland Cortez
Diego and Alejandrina Fraga
Christine Hobson and Amy Girimonti
Robert and Miriam Lin
Jackie and Sylvester Neely
Ly and Christopher Newcome
Laura and Ryan Smith
THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING GRANDPARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS YEAR'S ANNUAL FUND

Sherri Carver (The Rugaard Family)
Maia Felker (The Kobza Family)
Betsy Buisson-Fusselman (The Buisson Family)
Matthew Hoeg/HungerRush LLC (The Howarth Family)
Sherri Pye (The Babin Family)
Mariah Alexandria Schaefer (The Babin Family)
Frank and Pat Simons (The Hazeldine Family)
Jamie Walczak (The Babin Family)
Thomas E. Zalewski (The Buisson Family)
Travel Guidelines Reminder
The Thanksgiving holidays are here. t is important for us to remind families that 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 COVID-19 virus. One of our school policies requires quarantine for all unvaccinated individuals after traveling by airplane, train, bus, etc. 

If you and your family are planning to travel during any upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, please let us know so we can plan for your student to be absent from school 7-10 days following your trip. Thank you for your continued attention and dedication to keeping our students safe and healthy. For additional information, please refer to the CDC’s recommendations for minimizing exposure to the virus during travel.

It continues to be the practice of The Westview School to rely on the CDC recommendations plus advice from our Medical Advisory Board for all COVID-19 policies, procedures, and protocols. 
Thanksgiving Food Drive to Support the Houston Food Bank
Tomorrow is the last day to drop off your donation for the Westview Thanksgiving Food Drive. During the month of November, The Westview School is extending their love and gratitude to the greater Houston community by supporting the local Houston Food Bank with a school-wide food drive. Non-perishable donations can be dropped off at morning carpool through tomorrow Friday, November 19. Thank you to all who have donated to this time of giving. Please help us make the biggest impact by donating some of their most needed items. These items include canned meat (chicken, tuna, Vienna sausage), other canned proteins, canned pasta (pasta with meat sauce and ravioli), canned fruit, canned applesauce, canned vegetables.
WestviewEDU: The Experts' Guide to Picky Eaters
Are mealtimes a battle? Does your child have a limited food repertoire or only eat one brand of food? Desperately seeking tips for a successful family mealtime? Join WestviewEDU on Thursday, December 2 at 7 PM via Zoom as two of our Picky Eater Experts from The Stewart Center share their favorite tips and best practices from hands-on experience working with some of the pickiest eaters and their families.

Abby Cook, M.S. OTR/L, and Alexandra (Ali) Nevins, M.S., CCC-SLP are part of The Westview School's Stewart Center team and are trained in the S.O.S. Approach to Feeding®. This approach is a sensory-based feeding intervention that moves students through a hierarchy of exercises designed to increase tolerance of various foods.

 
Questions? Send an email to schauvin@westviewschool.org.
Westview is Hiring
The Westview School is hiring! Westview is seeking qualified, enthusiastic professionals, to join our team of educators and therapists to fulfill our mission of providing a stimulating, specialized learning environment where children with autism spectrum disorder can reach their fullest potential. If you or someone you know is interested, send a resume and letter of interest electronically to Candi Pettit cpettit@westviewschool.org.

The Westview School is looking to increase our substitute teacher list. We have found that Westview parents are a perfect fit for this role. As a Westview substitute, you will primarily work as the class assistant for the day. We are so appreciative of all our parents who have dedicated time to support our school by being a part of our sub-list. We would love to include YOU too! If you are interested in substitute teaching on a preschool, elementary, or middle school level or if you know someone who would be, please contact Michelle Chapa to complete the necessary paperwork and background check to be added to our list.