Newsletter Archives

A Message from Principal Larson - December 11, 2019

Math and "The Struggle" - it's a good thing

In moments when students are not understanding, we often find ourselves trying to explain more clearly. But sometimes, more teacher and parent talk doesn't offer clarity. When we consistently lean on trying to "explain" as a primary tool, we teach our kids that we are the dispensers of information and they are the consumers. Instead of jumping into showing the way, we should provide the tools and time to encourage cognitive struggle to get students doing more while you say less. 

Removing the struggle for students also removes the cognitive heavy lifting that leads to deep learning and understanding. 

The CPM and Math Expressions materials we use in SLP align with teaching kids to think critically rather than rote memorization of an algorithm. Teachers start with a question to solve, then: 

  • Students partner with classmates to provide feedback to each other and work through the problem while the teacher continues to question the group to lead them to a solution.
  • Students show their work and thinking by using pictures, manipulatives and explain their thinking to others. 

This week:

Grade 5 students worked on the following problem - "Teri and Jon each have a granola bar from their dad. Teri ate 2/5 of hers. Jon ate 2/3 of his. Who ate more? Exactly how much more?"

Grade 7 students worked on solving - "How many different boxes can you create to hold 64 cubic inches of cereal? Which box has the least amount of surface area to create the least amount of waste for the cereal company?"

Grade 5 Report Cards

The Grade 5 Report Cards did not print the key for the marks given and some of the standards were cut off. Please click here to view a template of the report card with all the standards and see below for the key of the marks: 

Marks for the Standards: 

  • E - Exceeds
  • S - Standard
  • AS - Approaching Standard
  • MS - Minimal Progress towards Standard
  • NA - Not Applicable (not reported on at this time/not taught yet)
  • NG - No Grade

Marks for the Work Habits: 

  • C - Consistently
  • ST - Sometimes
  • I - Improvement Needed

Lunch Times

We have adjusted the lunch scheduled based on the feedback from our 8th-grade students and staff. The 8th graders will no longer have a split class where students go to fifth period, have lunch and then finish the fifth period. Instead of pushing back lunchtimes for the rest of the students, we moved two teams to earlier times. The new schedule is reflected below and the bold times reflect a change. 

TEAM TIME
5B & 6D (SI) 10:55 - 11:25 Lunch/Recess
Grade 7 11:17 - 11:47
6C & 6A 11:50 - 12:20 Lunch/Recess
Grade 8 12:10 - 12:40
6B 12:40 - 1:10 Lunch/Recess
5A 12:45 - 1:15 Lunch/Recess
5D (SI) 12:55 - 1:25 Lunch/Recess
5C 1 - 1:30 Lunch/Recess

Reminder: If you are planning on visiting the school to have lunch with your child, please sign into the office. Only people who are labeled on campus may visit during lunchtimes. When bringing in food for your child, please be aware that you should only be providing food for your own child. Due to allergies and other parental concerns, we ask that you not bring in food for others (including birthdays).

Athletic and Activity Announcements - December 11, 2019

Westwood Middle School after school programs, including athletics, intramurals and clubs are coordinated by Spring Lake Park Schools Community Education. These activities are supervised and led by certified coaches, licensed teachers and/or knowledgeable staff who emphasize skill development, participation, teamwork, leadership, social growth, sportsmanship and respect for others. 

Most activities are available to all Westwood students. Activities will start after school (2:45 p.m. for 7th and 8th grades and 3:15 p.m. for 5th and 6th grades) and run until 4:30 p.m. Activity buses are available. 

2019-2020 Fall MS Athletic Events Pass

Students who want to attend games need to register for "19-20 MS Athletic Events" on FeePay and see Mr. Lammers (office W103A or cafeteria after school) for the Weekly Game Pass. 

Coming Soon

Winter Intramurals

LEGO Club

  • Starts on January 16 through March 5
  • Let's get creative! 3000+ legos will be available to create cars, houses, ships, or anything you can think of. The club will also be working on two special projects. 
  • Will meet on Wednesdays
  • Registration fee is $25
  • Register for LEGO Club.

Chess Club

  • Starts on January 8
  • Will meet on Wednesdays in the WW Cafeteria
  • Registration is free but students but must register
  • Register for Chess Club.

Currently Running

Knowledge Bowl

Knowledge Bowl practice is every Tuesday with Coach Gullickson. First meet will be Thursday, December 12 at Shakoppe Middle School. This is available for students in grades 6 through 8. Total cost is $75. Register for the Knowledge Bowl Team.

MS Wrestling

The first practice was Monday, October 28. This is available for students in grades 5 through 8. The total cost is $100 and a Sports Physical is required. Practice are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at SLPHS Wrestling Room and Meets will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

  • 7th and 8th graders will take the 2:45 p.m. shuttle to the HS
  • 5th and 6th graders will take the 3:15 p.m. bus 127 to the HS

Matches start at approximately 3:45 p.m. Register for Middle School Wrestling.

MS Weight Training

The first practice was Thursday, October 31 with Mr. Luecke and Mr. Fields. This is available for students in grades 7 and 8. Practices will be Mondays and Thursdays from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m. until December 12. The total cost is $50. Register for Middle School Weight Training.

MS Girls Basketball

Basketball practice is every day after school with Coaches Ms. Becker and Ms. Eschrich. This is for female students in grades 7 and 8. The program's total cost is $150 and a Sports Physical is required. The next game days are: 

  • Thursday, December 12 - Away @ Oak-Land
  • Thursday, December 19 - Home vs. Roseville 8

Register for the MS Girls Basketball Team.

Registration Open

Grades 7/8 Boys Basketball 

  • First practice is January 2
  • Sports physical required
  • Coaches are Ms. Eschrich and Ms. Nelson for 7th grade and Mr. Fields and Mr. Waldon for 8th grade. 
  • Registration fee is $150
  • Register for MS Boys Basketball.

SLP Curling Club

Welcome to the 2019-2020 season of the Spring Lake Park Schools Curling Club in partnership with Four Seasons Curling Club. Any SLP student in grades 7-12 may join and no prior experience is necessary. Practice is every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Four Seasons Curling Club starting on Tuesday, November 19. Bussing is provided after school from Westwood to the Club. Total cost for the program is $130 and equipment will be provided. If you have additional questions, please contact Coach Marsol.

Register for the SLP Curling Club.

Band, Choir and Theater

Band

Drumline, Jazz Band and Showcase bands are now forming. Permission slips went home with band students. Contact your student's band teacher for more information. 

Choir

  • Grade 5 Choir: Thursdays from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in Room 172
  • Grade 6 Choir: Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in Room 172
  • Soundtrax Show Choir: for grades 5 and 6, Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30 in Room 182
  • Encore Show Choir: for grades 7 and 8, Mondays through Fridays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Room 182
  • Contact: Ms. Howard at ahowar@district16.org or Mr. Black at hblack@district16.org
The Need to Know - December 11, 2019

Yearbooks For Sale Now!

Westwood 2020 Yearbooks are now for sale. Place your orders online OR over the phone or by mail with this flyer. Orders are due by December 31. 

One Act Play Auditions

This year's one-act is called "Alicia en el pais de las maravillas." It is a comedy with many wild and zany characters living in a fantasy world that Alice discovers quite by accident. It is fast moving and has a lot of parts and different sized parts!

If you speak Spanish or English and want to act, pick up an audition packet from Sra. Kennedy in Room 123 (on the Westwood 5/6 side). Auditions are open to all Westwood students in grades 5-8 and will be held on Tuesday December 17 and Wednesday December 18. Callbacks will be on December 19. 

Parent Tips for Assisting a CPM Student

CPM is the Math curriculum used at Westwood in grades 6 through 8 as the core material. CPM stands for College Preparatory Mathematics. We will be posting weekly tips as a resource for parents. These tips are made to assist you as a parent to understand this program better. 

Upcoming Events - December 11, 2019

December and January Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, December 12 - 6th Grade Band Concert, 7 p.m. in FAC
  • Monday, December 16 - 7th Grade Choir Field Trip to Northtown Mall
  • Tuesday, December 17 - 8th Grade Choir Field Trip to SLPHS and Northtown Mall
  • Tuesday, December 17 - 7th and 8th Grade Choir Concert, 7 p.m. in FAC
  • Thursday, December 19 - Team 6A Field Trip: MN History Center
  • Monday, December 23 - January 1 - Winter Break, No School
  • Monday, January 6-8 - Team 6B Field Trip: Deep Portage
  • Monday, January 13 - PTO Meeting at 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 15 - Team 6D (SI) Field Trip: U of M
PTO Corner - December 11, 2019

PTO Meeting

The next Westwood PTO meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 13 at 9:30 a.m.

We are looking forward to working with all of our parents and families this year to support the staff and students at Westwood. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Westwood will be hosting the Lock-in for Grades 5 and 6 on Friday, January 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. and we are looking for a few parent volunteers to help us during this activity. If you are interested in helping us with the Lock-in, please contact Jacqui Smith.

Spotlight on Student Learning - December 11, 2019

Mr. Oyoo's visits to Team 5B

Team 5B had an amazing visit from our very own Mr. Oyoo, who spoke to the team about his experiences and life in Sudan. Students are currently reading the novel "A Long Walk to Water," which contains two stories about characters who live during different times in Sudan. In addition to his own experiences, Mr. O compared himself and his life with the characters in the book and shared some cultural traditions from his own tribe, the Acholi. 

District Information - December 4, 2019

Winter Break hours in Spring Lake Park Schools

During winter break, December 23-January 1, the District Services Center (DSC), other buildings in Spring Lake Park Schools and child care will have different hours.

The DSC is closed to guests on the following days:

  • Monday, December 23-Friday, December 27
  • Wednesday, January 1

The DSC is closed to staff on the following days:

  • Tuesday, December 24
  • Wednesday, December 25
  • Wednesday, January 1

All buildings will be alarmed and non-accessible to staff during these days. Regular staff key cards will work on the other days.

The DSC will be open the following days from 8 a.m. – noon:

  • Monday, December 30
  • Tuesday, December 31

Centerview Elementary is open for Learning Ventures Child Care on the following days from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.:

  • Monday, December 23
  • Thursday, December 26
  • Friday, December 27
  • Monday, December 30

Child Care is closed December 24-25, 31 and January 1. Learn more about non-school day child care.about non-school-day-side-treks

All other schools will be closed Monday, December 23-January 1. If you have any questions, please contact the DSC at 763-600-5000.

Mathematics: An update on our journey

Where we’ve been, where we’re going as we help each student become a mathematician

Math is in the spotlight. Reports of test scores, opinion articles pitting those who wonder if calculus is still important against those who find it essential and headlines about essentials skills for the jobs of the future are in the news.

A team of Spring Lake Park Schools teachers tackled some of the very same questions that have become more prevalent in the public domain in our K-12 math study completed during the 2017-18 school year. Learn more about our work in mathematics and what’s happened since then and our continued efforts in the area of mathematics.

Community Education - December 11, 2019

Panther Store Winter Sale

Don't miss the Panther Store winter sale, going on until Wednesday, December 18. Deals include dollars off and a free gift.

Deals Include:

  • $20 off $100 in-store and online with code $20OFF$100, plus a free gift with purchase 
  • $10 off $50 in-store and online with code $10OFF$50, plus a free gift with purchase 

Special Store Hours before the Fine Art Center shows:

  • Thursday, December 5 – 3-6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, December 6 – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, December 9 – 5-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 10 – 3:30-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 12 – 3:30-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 17 – 3-7 p.m.

Shop Online

A Message from Principal Larson - December 4, 2019

Report Cards

Report cards will be sent home with students on Friday, December 6. The report card is one way of communicating how students are doing in school. The report card is also available through Parent Portal in Campus. 

Lunch Times

We have adjusted the lunch scheduled based on the feedback from our 8th grade students and staff. The 8th graders will no longer have a split class where students go to fifth period, have lunch and then finish the fifth period. Instead of pushing back lunchtimes for the rest of the students, we moved two teams to earlier times. The new schedule is reflected below and the bold times reflect a change. 

TEAM TIME
5B & 6D (SI) 10:55 - 11:25 Lunch/Recess
Grade 7 11:17 - 11:47
6C & 6A 11:50 - 12:20 Lunch/Recess
Grade 8 12:10 - 12:40
6B 12:40 - 1:10 Lunch/Recess
5A 12:45 - 1:15 Lunch/Recess
5D (SI) 12:55 - 1:25 Lunch/Recess
5C 1 - 1:30 Lunch/Recess

Reminder: If you are planning on visiting the school to have lunch with your child, please sign into the office. Only people who are labeled on campus may visit during lunchtimes. When bringing in food for your child, please be aware that you should only be providing food for your own child. Due to allergies and other parental concerns, we ask that you not bring in food for others (including birthdays).

Winter Weather

All students, 5-8 grades, go out for recess during the school day. In grades 5 and 6, they have two recess times – one is after lunch and the second is with their team. In grades 7 and 8, it is optional for kids to go outside during their lunchtime. Students going outside for recess should come to lunch prepared to go out. If the temperature or wind chill factor is -10 or lower students will not go outside. 

If schools are closed due to inclement weather a communication will go out to all parents once the decision to close school is made. If you are unsure if school is closed, go to our district's website and a message will appear immediately that school has closed. If the website does not have the message on it, then school is open.

The Need to Know - December 4, 2019

ABCs of the IEP for Transition-age Students and Their Parents Workshop 

This workshop is for students with IEPs in 8th grade or above and their parents. Participants will learn how to use the IEP to support the transition to adulthood. Participants will also learn how each required part of the IEP can be developed to meet the student’s transition needs.

The workshop will take place on Thursday, December 12 from 6-8 p.m. at the District Services Center, 1415 81st Ave NE Spring Lake Park, MN 55432

Register for the Workshop. Or can also leave register by leaving a voicemail at 952-838-9000. If an ASL interpreter is needed, call 952-838-1338 with a 48 hours notice.

Check out the ABCs of the IEP for Transition-age students and their parent's flyer.

Yearbooks For Sale Now!

Westwood 2020 Yearbooks are now for sale. Place your orders online OR over the phone or by mail with this flyer. Orders are due by December 31. 

Grades 5-6 Musical

Theater students in grades 5 and 6 are excited to present "And Justice for Pigs: Revenge of the Bad Guys" this Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the SPLHS Fine Arts Center. (Please note: Performance times have been changed to a 6:30 p.m. show time) 

It starts off as a typical day in court, but as the docket is revealed, it features no ordinary plaintiffs - the classic fairy tale bad guys (who are sick and tired of seeing their reputations dragged through the mud) have decided to fight back, suing all of the “goody two-shoes” for libel and defamation of character.  As the judge examines the cases, we learn that the Big Bad Wolf was, in fact, victimized by some bullying pigs.  Rumplestiltskin was simply a guy with a knack for spinning who was exploited by a crafty young girl.  And we all know that Jack of “beanstalk” fame was a little thief!   Between those tales and several others, we learn an important lesson – that there are two sides to EVERY story!

To get your tickets for "And Justice for Pigs: Revenge of the Bad Guys", please click here. 

Parent Tips for Assisting a CPM Student

CPM is the Math curriculum used at Westwood in grades 6 through 8 as the core material. CPM stands for College Preparatory Mathematics. We will be posting weekly tips as a resource for parents. These tips are made to assist you as a parent to understand this program better. 

Upcoming Events - December 4, 2019

December and January Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, December 5 - WW 5/6 Grade Musical "And Justice for Pigs: Revenge of the Bad Guys," 6:30 p.m. in FAC 
  • Friday, December 6 - WW 5/6 Grade Musical "And Justice for Pigs: Revenge of the Band Guys," 6:30 p.m. in FAC
  • Tuesday, December 10 - 7th Grade Band Concert, 7 p.m. in FAC
  • Thursday, December 12 - 6th Grade Band Concert, 7 p.m. in FAC
  • Monday, December 16 - 7th Grade Choir Field Trip to Northtown Mall
  • Tuesday, December 17 - 8th Grade Choir Field Trip to SLPHS and Northtown Mall
  • Tuesday, December 17 - 7th and 8th Grade Choir Concert, 7 p.m. in FAC
  • Thursday, December 19 - Team 6A Field Trip: MN History Center
  • Monday, December 23 - January 1 - Winter Break, No School
  • Monday, January 6-8 - Team 6B Field Trip: Deep Portage
  • Monday, January 13 - PTO Meeting at 9:30 a.m.
Athletic and Activity Announcements - December 4, 2019

Westwood Middle School after school programs, including athletics, intramurals and clubs are coordinated by Spring Lake Park Schools Community Education. These activities are supervised and led by certified coaches, licensed teachers and/or knowledgeable staff who emphasize skill development, participation, teamwork, leadership, social growth, sportsmanship and respect for others. 

Most activities are available to all Westwood students. Activities will start after school (2:45 p.m. for 7th and 8th grades and 3:15 p.m. for 5th and 6th grades) and run until 4:30 p.m. Activity buses are available. 

2019-2020 Fall MS Athletic Events Pass

Students who want to attend games need to register for "19-20 MS Athletic Events" on FeePay and see Mr. Lammers (office W103A or cafeteria after school) for the Weekly Game Pass. 

Coming Soon

Winter Intramurals

LEGO Club

  • Let's get creative! 3000+ legos will be available to create cars, houses, ships, or anything you can think of. The club will also be working on two special projects. 
  • Starts on January 16 through March 5
  • Will meet on Thursdays
  • Registration fee is $25
  • Register for LEGO Club.

Chess Club

  • Starts in January
  • Will meet on Wednesdays in the WW Cafeteria
  • Registration is free but students but must register
  • Register for Chess Club.

Currently Running

Knowledge Bowl

Knowledge Bowl practice is every Tuesday with Coach Gullickson. First meet will be Thursday, December 12 at Shakoppe Middle School. This is available for students in grades 6 through 8. Total cost is $75. Register for the Knowledge Bowl Team.

MS Wrestling

The first practice was Monday, October 28. This is available for students in grades 5 through 8. The total cost is $100 and a Sports Physical is required. Practice are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at SLPHS Wrestling Room and Meets will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

  • 7th and 8th graders will take the 2:45 p.m. shuttle to the HS
  • 5th and 6th graders will take the 3:15 p.m. bus 127 to the HS

Matches start at approximately 3:45 p.m. Register for Middle School Wrestling.

MS Weight Training

The first practice was Thursday, October 31 with Mr. Luecke and Mr. Fields. This is available for students in grades 7 and 8. Practices will be Mondays and Thursdays from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m. until December 12. The total cost is $50. Register for Middle School Weight Training.

MS Girls Basketball

Basketball practice is every day after school with Coaches Ms. Becker and Ms. Eschrich. This is for female students in grades 7 and 8. The program's total cost is $150 and a Sports Physical is required. The next game days are: 

  • Thursday, December 5 - Home vs. Fridley
  • Tuesday, December 10 - Away @ Columbia Heights
  • Thursday, December 12 - Away @ Oak-Land

Register for the MS Girls Basketball Team.

Registration Open

Grades 7/8 Boys Basketball 

  • First practice is January 2
  • Sports physical required
  • Coaches are Ms. Eschrich and Ms. Nelson for 7th grade and Mr. Fields and Mr. Waldon for 8th grade. 
  • Registration fee is $150
  • Register for MS Boys Basketball.

SLP Curling Club

Welcome to the 2019-2020 season of the Spring Lake Park Schools Curling Club in partnership with Four Seasons Curling Club. Any SLP student in grades 7-12 may join and no prior experience is necessary. Practice is every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Four Seasons Curling Club starting on Tuesday, November 19. Bussing is provided after school from Westwood to the Club. Total cost for the program is $130 and equipment will be provided. If you have additional questions, please contact Coach Marsol.

Register for the SLP Curling Club.

Band, Choir and Theater

Band

Drumline, Jazz Band and Showcase bands are now forming. Permission slips went home with band students. Contact your student's band teacher for more information. 

Choir

  • Grade 5 Choir: Thursdays from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in Room 172
  • Grade 6 Choir: Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in Room 172
  • Soundtrax Show Choir: for grades 5 and 6, Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30 in Room 182
  • Encore Show Choir: for grades 7 and 8, Mondays through Fridays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in Room 182
  • Contact: Ms. Howard at ahowar@district16.org or Mr. Black at hblack@district16.org
District Information - December 4, 2019

Native American Parent Advisory Committee Meeting 

  • When - Wednesday, December 4, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Where - Woodcrest Spanish Immersion

RSVP to Abbey Pierce at apierc@district16.org. Childcare will be available and provided by student volunteers from the SLP National Honors Society. If childcare is needed, please include the number of children with RSVP. A meal will be provided by Gatherings Cafe.