Dear Westwood Heights Community

It has been an exciting start to the new school year, and it is hard to believe that the holidays are nearly upon us.  We are fortunate to be in a position to highlight many positive developments that are taking place in the district:

  1. We remain in solid financial condition, which allows us to introduce new programs and services at each of our buildings.
  2. Our enrollment this fall was very strong, as families are recognizing the safe and caring environment that we provide. Our discipline efforts, and the adoption of restorative practices have reduced our suspensions to almost zero. We want the students in school and in their classrooms, and they are responding in a positive manner.
  3. We are aggressively investing in our facilities to improve the classroom environment for our staff and students.  New blinds may seem like a small issue, but they allow our teachers to use our technology more effectively. We are pursuing an energy conservation plan which will upgrade our heating, cooling, lighting, and other factors that directly affect the effectiveness of our instruction.
  4. Our sports and other extracurricular programs have very high levels of participation this fall. All of our fall sports programs were very successful, and I am especially proud of the fact that we have had not negative incidents with any of our players or coaches during the course of their seasons. These programs should bring out the best in our students, and their sportsmanship has been brought to my attention by many other schools.
  5. We have added some very special people to our staff this year.  Kela Geisert is now leading our special education department.  Dorene Towery serves as the new special education social worker for the district.  Jeanene Brewer is our new music teacher and band director.  Jamal Bransford is the new community outreach specialist and is upgrading our presence on social media and the community at large.  We welcome our new teachers:   Jared Noel, Social Studies; Ryan Richardson, Science; Greg Gardner, 4th grade; Jennifer Cavness, ELA. In an era of teacher shortages, we are fortunate to be able to add quality teachers and staff to our buildings serving your students.
  6. Our food service personnel are serving more meals than ever, and also providing after school meals, team dinners, and lots of smiles and positive energy to our students.

Many people are working long hours to make all of this happen, and I thank you all.  Your building administrators are always available to visit with you, and we welcome your volunteer efforts.

Finally, with the holidays approaching, we are reminded that many of our families need help coping with setbacks. We have a full array of counselors, social workers, and therapists who can help you, or someone you know deal with any issues that they may be struggling with.

We are honored that you have chosen our school district to educate and help your children grow. The irony is that we often learn more from your students than they do from us. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Peter Toal,

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