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District Announcements
Information About Westside Facilities Master Plan Available
Information about proposed changes and improvements to Westside Community Schools facilities master plan is now available. A majority of this information comes from DLR Group, the Omaha architectural firm hired by the District to assess our facilities. This information was released over the course of two Board of Education meetings in March. We would like your comments and questions about this process. Please click here to make a comment or to ask a question.

DLR PowerPoint Presentation to the Westside Board of Education (March 10)
DLR Report on Facilities Conditions to the Westside Board of Education (March 10)
DLR Executive Summary Report to the Westside Board of Education (March 24)
DLR PowerPoint Presentation (March 24)
DLR Educational Adequacy Scorecard (March 24)
DLR Cost Summary (March 24) 
Video of March 10 Board of Education meeting
Video of March 24 Board of Education meeting

In addition to all this information, click here to view a series of reports on demographics, enrollment projections, statistics and stories about Westside Community Schools
Swanson Elementary ..... Home of the Swanson Superstars!
Family Movie Night
Movie in the Park is this Friday, April 25th. It will be family movie night here at Swanson Park. Popcorn and other concessions will be offered. All students must be supervised by an adult during "Movie In The Park". Come watch Frozen with your family and friends.

First Grade Vocal Music Performance
The first grade vocal music program combines Swanson and Oakdale students on Monday, April 28th. The program will be held at Westside Middle School Performing Arts Center. Mr. Huntley is asking for the children to arrive at 6:40 in preparation for the program.

Going Buggy!
The K-3 Performing Arts Program, Going Buggy, will premier on Thursday, May 1st at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 

Spring Enrichment Cluster!

Swanson will be offering an “Enrichment Cluster” on Friday afternoons from 2:15-3:15 p.m., beginning April 11th. Each course will be held at Swanson and will feature our Enrichment Showcase on May 29th. 

Fairy Tale Plays
On Thursday, Miss Beck's class performed four fairy tale plays for other classes and parents.  Each first grader had a part and had to practice their scripts every night for homework for 2 weeks.  They also made their own props, learned to speak loudly and clearly when performing, to speak with expression and most of all:  had FUN!  The four plays were: The Three Little Pigs, The Little Red Hen, Chicken Little, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. They did a fantastic job! Click here to see pictures.

Support our Scouts!

Formal Dining for ELL students
Do you know what napery is?  Do you know how to give a toast?  Do you know what makes a good centerpiece?  What do we call the cloth we wipe our hands on?  Where do the knife, fork, and spoon go?  How do you create ambiance for dining?  Click here for more photos.
These and many other questions are answered, as well as vocabulary learned, in the ELL Formal Dining "lesson."  It's not really a lesson; it's a rewarding experience.  Students in Swanson's ELL class save their "greens" earned for hard work in ELL classes.  For 25 greens, in the Menu of Privileges, students may choose breakfast with their ELL teacher.  Thus, their Formal Dining lesson is a reward.

The ELL students plan the menu (eg: chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, fruit, juice), set the table, provide some of the edibles, and invite the principal to join them.  We have a formal dining breakfast at the beginning of the school day.  A fun time is had by all!!

Answers to the questions:
1.  Napery is all the fabric tableware on the table, such as the tablecloth and napkins.
2.  Give a toast means to raise your glasses in the air and clink them with each table mate while one person says       something like, "Here's to keeping all our languages alive!"
3.  A good centerpiece draws the eyes to the center of the table where there is something lovely to behold or befiitting the occasion, such as a flower arrangement (just keep it low so as not to obstruct everyone's view of one another around the table).
4.  Napkin- it goes in your lap - is the cloth.
5. Fork goes to the diner's left-hand side next to the plate, with napkin placed alongside it and encircled by a napkin ring.  The knife and spoon go alongside each other to the diner's right-hand side, with knife next to the plate and sharp edge facing the plate (for safety).
6.  Music!! (soft music and not so loud as to drown out conversation) creates ambiance.

The Human Body
Students in Mrs. Dickhut's 6th grade Reading class have been learning about human body systems as they use the reading strategies of Determining Importance and Summarizing & Synthesizing.  This week they had the opportunity to learn from four different medical personnel.  Rachel Schweikert, an Orthopedic Nurse, shared with students the field of orthopedic medicine.  She showed students different items used with patients suffering from a variety of skeletal & muscular issues.  Dr. Dawn Gary, a Pediatrician, showed students the steps of a school physical.  She brought tools used in those exams to measure hearing, examine ears, and listen to hearts.  Dr. Gary shared with students that if you cough when you get a shot, the shot won't hurt as much.  Dr. Jolene Fixley, an Internal Medicine Specialist, took students through the critical thinking process involved in diagnosing a condition.  She showed students how to look at all of the body systems as a patient presents with certain symptoms.  Dr. Ann Anderson-Berry, a Neonatologist, showed students what is involved in the care of premature babies.  She brought in a teaching mannequin with the equipment used with the smallest of infants. Click here for pictures.

The Media Wise Family
Check out the upcoming parent opportunity to learn more about media safety. Don't miss this event! Click on the link below to read all about it!

 Topics to be covered:
· The Do’s and Don’ts of the Media Wise Family
· Family Boundaries
· Resources for Parents
· Keeping Kids Safe on Computers

April Fool's Mrs. Godinez!
Third graders came to school in their PJ's! April Fool's!

Crazy Hair Day
Third graders earned a CELEBRATION day for good behavior and they picked crazy hair day! Click here to see pictures! 

Flat Stanley returns to Omaha, NE
First graders in Mrs. Conyers class read the classic story Flat Stanley, a story of a boy who becomes flattened by a bulletin board and travels to many places through the mail! After reading our chapter book, each student wrote a letter to a family member or family friend living outside the Omaha area. The children have been getting mail daily from coast to coast, even from Ireland! We hope ALL Flat Stanleys return! Click here to see our pictures.

Love and Logic Parent Class at Loveland
Become a "Love and Logic" Parent. Classes begin April 22nd at Loveland Elementary School. Childcare is available. Click here for more details and to sign up online.

Living History Timeline
Click here to see fabulous photographs of Swanson's Living History Timeline.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss
First grade students and parents in Mrs. Conyers class celebrated Dr. Seuss and his amazing books. In every nook and crany, I could see a parent reading a Dr. Seuss book to a small group of children. The parents showed great enthusiasm and the students created fun projects in honor of Dr. Seuss! Click here to see more amazing photos!

Swanson Variety Show
Give a welcoming roar to the endless talented Swanson Superstars who performed for the Variety Show! Click here to see terrific talent!

Hope Totes for Open Door Mission
A HUGE thank-you to all who donated and helped to organize the Hope Totes for the Open Door Mission. We made over 80 Hope Totes to donate!
Click here for more pictures!

Teammates Needed
TeamMates Mentors Needed

Swanson Elementary is looking for adults to serve as mentors for 3rd-6th grade students for one hour a week. TeamMates is a school-based mentoring program.  Meetings with students will take place during the school day and in the school building.  We ask that mentors commit to one year, with the hope that the match will continue through to the student’s high school graduation. If you are interested in finding out more information about TeamMates, please go to www.teammates.org or call Westside Middle School to speak with Quinn McGuire (402)408-8670 or Scott Becker (402)408-8632, to become a mentor. 

Jump Rope for Heart
Grades 3-6 will be participating in our American Heart Association (AHA) Jump Rope for Heart on February 21, 2014. Students in K-1 will be practicing their jump roping skills in PE. Parents are able and encouraged to come to the event to participate. All of the funds raised are donated to the AHA to fight heart disease, fund life-saving research, and share educational materials. Heart disease and congenital heart defects touch so many lives- including students and staff right here in our school. Students will learn about heart health in class and may raise money by asking family, friends, neighbors and parents to support them while they do activities in physical education classes. We accept cash, checks (made out to the American Heart Association) or online donations. You child can create their own free, life-saving web page for online donations by going to the following: www.heart.org/jump
K-1 Parents are happily invited to their student’s P.E. class on Wednesday, February 19th if they want to join us for a fun class of jumping and your student showing off their skills! Click here for pictures.

Mr. Mantzaris wore approximately 60 pies home!

Mr. Huntley was taped at the JRFH event!
Students who raised $15 for JRFH were able to tape Mr. Huntley to the gym wall! If students raised $25, they had the privilege of throwing a pie at Mr. Mantzaris. 

Honoring Presidents of the Past
Miss Beck's class is learning about our Presidents in honor of President's Day.  Some activities included reading and writing about a president, writing what we would like or not like about being the president, and having our profiles traced in case we were on a coin someday.  We also learned about Abe Lincoln and measured ourselves next to a life large poster of him.  He was 6 ft. 4 in. and looked even taller when he wore his stovepipe hat!  What a fun week celebrating our nation's Presidents!

Husker Football Players Read to Third Grade!
Huskers football players Joey Felici, Trevor Roach, and Tyler Evans visited our third grade classroom this afternoon.  So fun!  They talked to the kids about how important school is and how important it is to work hard and study hard.  They also talked about good character choices and how choices we make in third grade follow us throughout our lives.  

Click here to see more!

Rangoli - North India New Year Tradition
Students in Mrs. Buchholz's room have been making Rangoli.  They used pattern blocks to create a Rangoli design.  Then they used colored rice to complete their design.  Students learned about the rice designs while studying different New Year traditions around the world.  In North India, the rice designs are called Rangoli.  Mrs. Johnson, our art teacher, helped with the creation of the beautiful designs!

Click here for more pictures!

Words of Kindness
Swanson Superstars have written many kind words on the petals of a giant flowers. We are learning to say kind things to others more often! There are so many kind things children do everyday and this is just a good reminder! Enjoy the snow amongst this beautiful garden of kindness! Click here to see the garden!

Hope Totes for Open Door Mission
Let’s Spread the Love and a Warm Heart with HOPE TOTES to provide personal care items bringing HOPE for a new
life to men, women and children served at Open Door Mission. You can help make a difference by donating items such as…
*toothbrush and toothpaste *deodorant
*combs and brushes *hand sanitizer and lotion
*disposable razors and shaving cream *socks
*facial tissues and toilet paper
*shampoo and conditioner

We will collect items through February 14 and deliver the totes on Friday, February
21st to the Open Door Mission. Items can be placed in a donation box located at the
Swanson School office or in sacks located in each classroom. Thank you so much for
your generosity and for creating HOPE for those in need. 

Miss Nye's Kindergarten Class Welcomes KAT 103
Gina from the local country radio station, KAT 103.7, came to read to our class yesterday!! She also delivered books for each student to take home! Gina recorded our class saying to Pledge of Allegiance to play on the radio! They will air the Pledge this Friday morning at 7:30am! 

Click here to see more pictures!

First Graders Study the Moon
The First Graders are learning about the Phases of the Moon and why the moon looks different each night. All students participated in an activity using Oreo Cookies to create the different phases of the moon! Finally, the children brought home a calendar to draw how the moon looks each night. This is an optional activity, but I strongly encourage you to explore with your child as it is very fun!

Kindness Week Celebrated at Swanson
On January 22nd, students worked with Buddies in other classes to create Valentines to be delivered to Local Hospitals.

here to see more pictures.

100th Day of School Celebration
Today, January 23rd, marked the 100th Day of School. Students celebrated by participating in a variety of activities surrounding the number 100! As one student put it perfectly, "It's the best day of the year!"
Click here to see photographs of school activities.

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