Westgate Weekly News

Good Afternoon Westgate Families,

I hope this finds you having a fantastic week!

Please note that our Be Internet Awesome/PTA Meeting was rescheduled to January 16 at 6:00 p.m.  You can register and get more information below.

I would like to send a huge thank you to both Ms. Schubert and Ms. Jennelle, and a congratulations to our students, for the amazing chorus concerts this week.  Our students did a phenomenal job and should be so proud of themselves.  Thank you to all the parents and families who were in attendance supporting their student.    

As a reminder, there is no school this Monday, January 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.    

As always, thank you for your continued support of all things Westgate, and I wish you a wonderful long weekend ahead!

All my best,

Hallie Demetriades


Arrival/Dismissal Safety Reminders for Westgate

Please remember to be mindful of our important safety procedures during arrival and dismissal.  

  • 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.
  • Cars are not permitted in the bus loop between 8:20 - 9:00 a.m. and between 3:00 - 3:40 p.m.  

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.

Be Internet Awesome - NEW DATE - January 16 @ 6:00 p.m.

Come to Westgate’s interactive, Be Internet Awesome family program on Tues, January 16, 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 12th

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 16: 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!

PTA After School Programs - Winter Session - Registration Open!

The Winter session of PTA After School Programs will run January 29-March 22. Please be aware that we will have online only registrations this session, which means no checks or cash will be accepted. The website is open now  until January 22. Note that our classes fill quickly so if the class icon is no longer listed that is because the class is full. 

Please register here if you are interested in a PTA After School Program.  Deadline to register is January 22. 

Portrait of a Graduate - Critical and Creative Thinkers

An additional Portrait of a Graduate attribute we focus on is being a critical and creative thinker. As students grow as critical and creative thinkers, they can create new solutions to challenges that arise in their life and innovate for tomorrow's future.

Critical and creative thinkers:

  • Create through design-build processes
  • Problem-solve and create unique solutions
  • Apply learning in new and different ways
  • Express thoughts, ideas and emotions meaningfully through the arts
  • Evaluate ideas and information sources for validity, relevance, and impact
  • Use evidence to support their thinking

Ideas for Discussing Critical and Creative Thinking at Home

Pay attention to when you use critical and creative thinking skills throughout your day.  Try to regularly share these examples with your student. Explain how you used specific critical and creative thinking 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 ask your student questions such as:

  • How did you use your creativity today? 
  • Did you ask any questions today? How did questioning help your thinking?
  • Did you have a need to problem-solve? What steps did you take? 
  • Did your thinking change about anything? How so?
  • In what ways do you ensure information you use is meaningful and reliable?
  • How can you be a good critical and creative thinker when you are ____ (ex: figuring out a solution to a problem; evaluating the reliability of a news source; creating something to share your thoughts and feelings)?
  • What do you want to remember to be a good critical and critical thinker 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. 

Magnet School Application and Lottery Information

The Magnet Program registration window will be open from Tuesday, March 5, through Friday, April 12, 2024.  No late applications are accepted.

To learn more about the programs and the registration process, families are encouraged to attend one of the Parent Information Nights:

  • Bailey’s Upper, February 6, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. (Virtual only)
  • Hunters Woods Elementary, February 12, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. (In-person)
    • Snow date: February 26, 2024 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Bailey’s Primary, February 13, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. (In-person)
    • Snow date: February 21, 2024 at 6:00 p.m

Learn more about the FCPS Magnet Programs here.  

❄️ 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.