Westgate Weekly News

Good Afternoon Westgate Families,

Welcome back to school and I hope you had a wonderful and healthy winter break.  

As we enter into 2024, please remember to be mindful of our important safety procedures during arrival and dismissal.  As a reminder:

  • There are no left hand turns allowed in, or out of, Kiss & Ride during arrival or dismissal.  
  • There are no illegal u-turns allowed in front of the school on Magarity Road.  Please enter kiss and ride from the correct side (towards rt. 7) and follow the traffic pattern, as we've witnessed both student and staff safety being compromised too often. 
  • Please ONLY cross your child at the dedicated cross walk (with police officer).  Crossing you children at any other location is not safe.
  • There is NO parking on either side of Magarity Rd. right in front of the school.  Please do not park in these areas.

Our number one priority at Westgate remains student safety.  Thank you for adhering to these very important safety reminders.  Please note that the Fairfax County Police Department will be closely monitoring this situation.

Lastly, our next PTA meeting is this Tuesday, January 9.  This is an interactive  "Be Internet Awesome" family program that will be held from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  We'll review the fundamentals of digital citizenship for our students and discuss tools and resources to keep our students safer online.  We will have food to enjoy, as well as, give aways for the kids. This is sponsored by a grant from the National PTA, Google, and YouTube.  Please register for the event below by today, Friday, January 5.  We hope to see many of you there!  

As always, thank you for your continued support of all things Westgate and wishing you a happy and healthy weekend ahead!

All my best,

Hallie Demetriades


Be Internet Awesome - January 9 @ 6:00 p.m.

Come to Westgate’s interactive, Be Internet Awesome family program on Tues, January 9, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  We'll review the fundamentals of digital citizenship for our students and discuss tools and resources to keep our students safer online. We will have food to enjoy, as well as, give aways for the kids. This is sponsored by a grant from the National PTA, Google, and YouTube

Dont miss this helpful event and Register here by Friday, January 5th

Here are more details of what to expect.  

Before the event: Learn more by reviewing the Family Guide (en espanol). If you attended the Smart Talk event last year, now is a good time to review and update your family agreements.

Night of the event - January 9: Enter at Door 9. The doors will open at 5:45 p.m. First, stop at the welcome table so adults can sign a media release form and students can receive fun giveaways. Event will be in the cafeteria. We will have Breakfast for Dinner and are planning to order burritos from Anita's so please be sure to register. The night will consist of a brief, general PTA meeting, followed by the Be Internet Awesome session. The program will conclude by 7:30 p.m We look forward to seeing you and your kids there!

5th & 6th Grade Chorus Families

Hello 5th and 6th Grade Chorus Families,

Next week we will be having our first chorus concert of the school year.  Your singer has been working so hard and they are truly going to perform beautifully.  Ms. Jennelle and I wanted to send this email as a reminder of a few things as well as give you an update.

Reminders - - - -

Wednesday, January 10:

  1. We will have a dress rehearsal in the morning as well as a concert in the afternoon for the student body.  Please have your singer arrive to school wearing their concert dress.  They should have an all-white top and all black bottom (pants or skirt). 
  2. The evening concert will begin at 6:00PM for all families in the gym.  We ask that students report to Ms. Jennelle’s room that evening by 5:40 so they can warm up and get ready for the concert.

Updates - - - - -

  1. On Thursday, January 11 there will be a Marshall Pyramid Concert Workshop.  Due to space constraints, this is for 6th Grade Chorus Members ONLY!!!!!  Please see the attached for all the details about this awesome event.  This is an event that all 6th grade chorus members are expected to attend.
  2. Finally, 6th Grade chorus members also get to have an opportunity to participate in the 6th Grade All-County Chorus Festival.  This year it will be on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 at Hayfield Secondary School.  If your singer would like to be a part of this amazing opportunity, please have them audition on either Tuesday, January 16 or Wednesday, January 17 right after school in Mrs. Schubert’s room.  Also, please indicate what day they will be coming to audition by filling in THIS google form.

 We can’t wait to see everyone next week at the concert!

Portrait of a Graduate - Collaborator

Another Portrait of a Graduate attribute we focus on is being a collaborator. As students grow as collaborators, they can successfully work with their classmates, teachers, family, and community members now in the future.


  • Respect other people’s thinking
  • Work together within a group to learn, be productive, and achieve common goals
  • Consider perspectives to include a variety of viewpoints
  • Give and receive helpful feedback to improve work

Ideas for Discussing Collaboration at Home

Pay attention to when you use collaboration skills throughout your day.  Try to regularly share these examples with your student. Explain how you used specific collaboration skills to work through scenarios. Over time, you might share examples of how you used skills well and opportunities for you to grow, too. Sharing your stories will help build understanding of how skills can be used in and beyond school and why these skills are important.

You might also ask your student questions such as:

  • How did you help someone today?
  • When did you listen to other points of view? What did you learn?
  • How did you help members of your team finish the ____  [activity, project, assignment]?
  • Were there moments when your group struggled? How did you handle that? What did you learn from that experience?
  • How can you be a good collaborator when you are ____ (ex: a member of a team; in a group with people you don’t know yet; disagreeing with someone)?
  • What do you want to remember to be a good collaborator tomorrow?

Career Day - February 2 - Volunteers Needed!

Westgate is excited to announce we are holding Career Day on Friday, February 2.  We would love to have you speak to our students about your career and how you use Portrait of a Graduate (POG) attributes in your job.  POG attributes are:  Communicator, Collaborator, Global & Ethical Citizen, Creative & Critical Thinker, and Goal Directed & Resilient Individual.  Each presenter will be asked to commit to a 2 hour timeframe (9-11 or 1-3) and present to different classrooms for 20 minutes each during that time.  See this sign up form for more details: https://forms.gle/nqpcwF7EqnGhysDJ9  If you have specific questions, please reach out to our school counselor, Kelly VanTassel, at kavantassel@fcps.edu

Taim Fundraiser - January 12th, 3:00-10:00 p.m.

Get dinner from Taim (7502 Leesburg Pike, in the same plaza as Trader Joe's) on 1/12/2024 from 3-10 pm and support the PTA. It's a great way to enjoy some delicious food on a Friday night and support Westgate. Don't forget to mention Westgate when ordering in the store to support!

🗺️ Dual Language Immersion Program Registration

Registration for the countywide lottery for Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs will open on Monday, January 22. Current pre-K students may apply for the kindergarten immersion program, and current kindergarten students may apply for the first grade immersion programs for the 2024-25 school year. Programs are available in French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. 

Parents/caregivers who are interested may want to attend an informational meeting. Meetings are held at the school site. Check the FCPS events calendar for the most current information. Meetings will begin on Tuesday, January 16

A virtual meeting hosted by the World Languages Office will include general program information. Access to this virtual meeting will be made available on the FCPS events calendar and the Dual Language Immersion registration site on the day of the meeting.

Get more information on the immersion program webpage and registration page.

🗺️ Inscripción para el Programa de Inmersión en Dos Idiomas

La inscripción para la lotería en todo el condado para los programas de Inmersión en Dos Idiomas (DLI) se abrirá el lunes 22 de enero. 

Los estudiantes actuales de pre-K pueden aplicar para el programa de inmersión de kindergarten, y los estudiantes actuales de kindergarten pueden aplicar para los programas de inmersión de primer grado para el año escolar 2024-25. Los programas están disponibles en francés, alemán, japonés, coreano y español. 

Los padres/cuidadores que estén interesados pueden asistir a una reunión informativa. Las reuniones se llevan a cabo en la escuela. Revise el calendario de eventos de FCPS para información más actualizada. Las reuniones comenzarán el martes, 16 de enero. 

Una reunión virtual organizada por la Oficina de Idiomas Mundiales incluirá información general del programa. El acceso a esta reunión virtual estará disponible en el calendario de eventos de FCPS y en el sitio de inscripción de Inmersión en Dos Idiomas el día de la reunión.

Obtenga más información en la página web del programa de inmersión y en la página de inscripción.

Safe Students, Safe Schools

Fairfax County Public Schools believes that academic success is built on the foundation of a safe learning environment. This includes physical safety, and mental health and wellness. 

FCPS has a comprehensive approach to safety that involves physical security measures, online monitoring by security staff, and crisis intervention support. The division has created the Safe Students, Safe Schools Brochure (PDF) to enhance your awareness of potential hazards and to equip you with practical tips for how you can help. Visit the FCPS website for more information.

Estudiantes Seguros, Escuelas Seguras

Las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Fairfax (FCPS) creen que el éxito académico se construye sobre la base de un ambiente de aprendizaje seguro. Un ambiente de aprendizaje seguro incluye seguridad física y salud mental y bienestar. 

Conversation to Raise Awareness of Fentanyl and Other Drugs

In this video, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid interviews the Fosters, a family who tragically lost their son Cayden to a half pill of fentanyl mistaken for Percocet. This heart-wrenching yet eye-opening video of their experience is essential to raise awareness among parents/caregivers and students about the dangers of fake painkillers.

Please join Dr. Reid on Wednesday, January 10, at 6:30 p.m., at Edison High School for a community conversation about opioid awareness. You may register to attend. However, registration is not required; it is simply for space considerations. 

The evening’s program is appropriate for parents/caregivers and students in grades 6-12. All attendees will receive free REVIVE! Narcan training during the event and learn about support services currently available within FCPS and Fairfax County.   

FCPS’ website also has resources to help you to start the conversation and additional support for families struggling with substance misuse.

Conversación para Crear Conciencia Sobre el Fentanilo y Otras DrogasEn este vídeo, la superintendente Dra. Michelle Reid conversa con los Fosters, una familia que perdió trágicamente a su hijo Cayden a causa de una media pastilla de fentanilo confundida con Percocet. Este vídeo desgarrador y a la vez muy informativo sobre su experiencia es esencial para concienciar a los padres/cuidadores y a los estudiantes sobre los peligros de los analgésicos falsos.Por favor, únase a la Dra. Reid el miércoles, 10 de enero, a las 6:30 p.m., en la Escuela Secundaria de Edison para una conversación comunitaria sobre la conciencia de los opioides. Puede registrarse para asistir. La registración no es obligatoria; pero nos ayuda a poder coordinar el evento. 

Este programa es apropiado para padres/cuidadores y estudiantes de 6to a 12vo grado. ¡Todos los participantes recibirán un entrenamiento gratuito de REVIVE! Narcan durante el evento y aprenderán sobre los servicios de apoyo actualmente disponibles dentro de FCPS y el Condado de Fairfax.   

Nuestro sitio web también tiene recursos para ayudarle a iniciar la conversación y apoyo adicional para familias.

❄️ Preparing for Winter Weather

Winter weather will be here before you know it! Watch this video to see how weather-related closing decisions are made.

FCPS’ website is generally the first place where we will post an emergency weather closing. Other communication channels will be used as quickly as possible including email, text, social media, and news stations. Learn more about how schedule changes are communicated

Be sure to plan for the winter season. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in SIS ParentVUE, bookmark the FCPS website, and plan for childcare if appropriate.

Join the PTA Today! 

Our PTA is amazing and we would love you to join and be part of this great community of Westgate families! Signing up is easy and you can help us reach our membership goal by signing up today! You can sign up here.

SIS ParentVue

Access your student’s attendance records, grades, and assignments at any time with SIS ParentVUE. Caregivers should receive an activation code when they register their child. 

Once you have activated a ParentVUE account for an FCPS student, you will keep the same account until the student graduates. Information about students in the same family can be accessed through the same ParentVUE account. Access SIS ParentVUE by using an app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. 

Need help creating a SIS ParentVUE account? This video walks through the steps. Find out more about SIS ParentVUE.

Multilingual Parent Information Line

☎️ Parent Information Phone Line Available in Eight Languages

Parents/caregivers who speak Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, or Vietnamese may call a telephone information line for general information about FCPS. View the list of phone numbers.

Spanish: ☎️ Línea Telefónica de Información para Padres Disponible en Ocho IdiomasPadres/cuidadores que hablan Amárico, Árabe, Chino, Farsi, Coreano, Español, Urdu o Vietnamita pueden llamar a una línea telefónica de información para obtener información general sobre FCPS. También pueden obtener apoyo para comunicarse con la escuela de su hijo. Vea la lista de números de teléfono.

Zones of Regulation 

This year we are excited to have implemented the program, Zones of Regulation at Westgate school wide.  This program teaches students how to name their emotions and build strategies to help manage them.  Emotions are categorized by blue, green, yellow, and red and each color represents a state of alertness.  The green zone is the calmest and a place where we are ready to learn.  You can find out more by clicking this here (English) or here (Spanish).


Free, On-Demand, Online Tutoring

Does your child need homework help or feedback on their writing? How about a practice quiz to get ready for a test?  FCPS students who’ve used Tutor.com have provided positive feedback:

    • “This tutor was very helpful! She didn't tell me the answers. When needed, she helped me solve them! She was very kind and she really helped me!” –Elementary Math Student
    • “This was an awesome tutor! She explained why I needed to do specific steps, and she gave me practice problems! Best tutor I have had!” –IB Chemistry Student

Unless they’ve been opted out, students can access Tutor.com through Schoology. Every session is personalized to meet students’ needs from remedial to advanced levels. Sessions focus on conceptual learning and critical thinking—not quick answers.

Learn more on FCPS’ Tutor.com webpage.