Westgate Weekly News

Good Afternoon Westgate Families,

I hope this finds you well after the long weekend.  It is hard to believe that we are quickly making our way towards the end of February.  We have a busy March ahead so make sure you keep up to date with your child's classroom teacher and our PTA for upcoming events and activities.

Do you have a rising Kindergartener?  Now is the time to start thinking about the registration process.  The sooner that students register, the better prepared we are to have the adequate staffing we need for the fall.  Please reach out to our Registrar, Tracy Green, at TMGreen@fcps.edu to schedule an appointment.  Also, Kindergarten Orientation will be held Tuesday, April 2 at 9:00 a.m.  *Please note that this is an updated date*  You will learn more about the kindergarten curriculum from our staff and your child will be able to visit classrooms and connect with new friends.  Please plan on making this day a priority for both you and your child.  We hope to see many new and returning families on April 2! 

As always, thank you for your continued support of all things Westgate and have a wonderful week ahead!

All my best,

Hallie Demetriades


SOL Dates - 3rd - 6th Grade Students

Please note that students in 3rd - 6th Grade take end of year SOL tests.  We ask that you avoid scheduling out of school appointments and vacations during the testing window.  The following are our tentative SOL dates.  If you you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your child's classroom teacher or our School Testing Coordinator, Ally Gilmore.  Thank you for ensuring a smooth testing window for your child.

SOL Testing Dates:

  • Wednesday, May 15 – Grades 3-6 Reading
  • Friday, May 17 – Grade 5 Science
  • Wednesday, May 22 – Grades 3-6 Math

Portrait of a Graduate - Questions Families Can Ask at Home

We’ve been sharing our school’s focus on Portrait of a Graduate, or POG.  A focus on these important attributes will support all students in order to develop the skills to be successful today, tomorrow, and in the future!  We’ve shared how we do this in school by regularly using and reflecting on these skills across all of the great things that students learn every day!  How can you help at home? Ask questions that encourage your child to talk more deeply about their day. These questions will lead to specific answers of what they really did and how they did it!

If you ask, “what did you do today?” your child’s answer might be very general, not descriptive, and you might not have learned much about what they did.  If you use more specific,  open questions, we are more likely to get better answers that highlight not only what your child learned, but the skills that they used along the way! 

Consider some of these options: 

  • What kids in your class did you work with today?  What did you work on together? What was hard about working with someone else?
  • What new ideas did you come up with?  What was good about your ideas?
  • How did you share your ideas with your friends or your teachers today?  What did you share?  How did you share?
  • What did you do today to help you learn or stay focused?  What did you learn because you did that?  How would it help you do well in other areas?
  • What did you get better at today?  How do you know you got better?  How could you improve even more?

These are some simple suggestions that might help your child share more. These deeper questions will encourage deeper answers!  We hope that this empowers your child to share more of the great experiences they get every day!

Design Palooza

Thursday, March 7, the PTA is planning Design Palooza from 6-7 p.m. The theme this year is  "Gliding the Distance", inspired by the trial event of Science Olympiad. Students can have the chance to fly a piece of foam, surfing it on a wave of air created with cardboard as pictured in this video

The PTA needs your help to bring the event to life: 

  • Do you have a career, talent, or special interest related to this type of engineering?  If so, we would appreciate your insight on this event.
  • Please save your clean, pizza box tops to donate for use at the event. 
  • Consider representing your class and form a relay team(s) that practices this month.  If you want to form a team, please notify Dottie at president@westgatewolvespta.com by Friday, February 23 to obtain a foam glider to practice with in advance.  Please also share the names of the students/grades that would like to form a team and one parent leader that can support the practice of the team.  Note: students can participate that night as individuals, teams are not required.  

Contact Dottie at president@westgatewolvespta.com

PTA BINGO - March 15

If you're a BINGO veteran or have never played before, join us for a night of fun on Friday, March 15. We will play 5 regular rounds and 1 blackout round. The winners of each game gets to select a prize from the table.  Order your pizza and bingo cards now!

Doors open at 6PM and the first game starts at 6:30PM sharp! We need volunteers to make this evening fun for all! Please sign up.  Students who require volunteer hours (6th grade and up) can sign up as well.

Taco Bamba Fundraiser- March 19

Dragons love Tacos and so does Westgate! Grab food at the Falls Church location of Taco Bamba on Tuesday, March 19th and support Westgate's PTA. If order in the store just mention the fundraiser and if ordering online use coupon code: WESPTA. If you have other plans that day or need a wonderful gift, you can also buy a gift card on March 19th and it supports the fundraiser!

Volunteers Needed for the PTA

To ensure the success of planned events we need parent and family volunteers. We want you to be involved with us. 

  • We need support with the ongoing administration of the PTA in the form of a nominating committee.  Our goal is to have this committee formed by March 1st to help in identifying/nominating PTA Board Members for the upcoming school year.
  • Do you have a rising kindergartener for the 20224-2025 school year? We need a volunteer to coordinate three playdates over the spring and summer for the incoming kindergarten families. We are asking now in the hopes this person can solidify some dates before the rising kindergarten orientation in April. This person also coordinates the Boo Hoo breakfast for families on the first day of school.

Please share your time and talents.

Email president@westgatewolvespta.com

Girls on the Run @ Westgate! - Registration Ends 2/27

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is coming back to Westgate this spring! GOTR has fun, evidence-based programs that inspire girls in 3rd-8th grade to build their confidence, kindness, and decision-making skills. Dynamic lessons instill valuable life skills including the important connection between physical and emotional health. Starting the week of March 4th, the team will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 5pm. The program culminates in a celebratory 5K at the end of the season! The standard program fee is $185 and   20 lessons/practices, a t-shirt, GOTR giveaway, entry into the 5K, a 5K medal, and more. Financial assistance is available for anyone who needs it, with the lowest program registration cost being $22 for the season. Registration for the spring 2024 program is open February 5-27, and the season will run from the week of March 4 through May 19. Please register at www.gotrnova.org.

For more information, go to the Girls on the Run of NOVA website (www.gotrnova.org) or contact the Westgate GOTR team’s head coach, Naveed Khan at 1naveedk@gmail.com.

Registro está abierto ahora para el programa de Girls on the Run a Westgate. Usando un currículo que se integra creativamente actividad física con lecciones de vida, Girls on the Run empodera a las chicas para que desarrollen la confianza y el carácter que necesitan convertirse adultas jóvenes fuertes y saludables. Comienza la semana de March 4th, el equipo encontrará cada martes and jueves de 3:30 to 5pmRegistro para el programa de primavera de 2024 está abierta del 5-27 de febrero, y la temporada se extenderá del 4 de marzo al 19 de mayo. El precio estándar del programa es $185, pero ofrecemos descuentos de militar y hermanas, tanto como asistencia financiera para familias que califiquen también. 

Para más información, va al sitio web de Girls on the Run of NOVA (www.gotrnova.org) o contacta la entrenadora del equipo de Girls on the Run, Naveed Khan, a 1naveedk@gmail.com.

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.

Fiscal Year 2025 Proposed Budget Focused on Educational Excellence and Competitive Compensation 

At the last School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid proposed a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 that focuses on excellence and providing students an equitable education in an inclusive and respectful environment, where access, opportunity, and achievement are available to all. 

The budget also prioritizes competitive compensation to attract and retain a world-class workforce. 

The FY 2025 Proposed Budget totals $3.8 billion, an increase of $301.8 million, or 8.6%, over the FY 2024 Approved Budget. Nearly 86% of the budget is focused on instruction. Key highlights include:

  • Supporting students academically by maintaining existing class size formulas and providing necessary support to all students. 
  • Retaining and attracting world-class educators with a 6% market scale adjustment.
  • Strengthening student well-being outside of the classroom with expanded athletics offerings, additional athletic trainers, and enhanced stipends for fine and performing arts.
  • Continuing initiatives including expansion of inclusive preschool, adoption of green initiatives, and funding assistant director of student activities positions previously funded with ESSER III.

Special education daily contract extensions, funding for the safety and security screening program, and late buses to support academics and activities at middle schools are several of the priorities to be addressed at the end of FY 2024. 

The School Board is scheduled to adopt the Advertised Budget on Thursday, February 22. Read more about the proposed budget. Keep up with FCPS’ budget development process

El presupuesto propuesto para el año fiscal 2025 se centra en la excelencia educativa y la remuneración competitiva

En la reunión de la Junta Escolar de la semana pasada, la Superintendente Dra. Michelle Reid propuso un presupuesto para el Año Fiscal (AF) 2025 que se centra en la excelencia y en proporcionar a los estudiantes una educación equitativa en un entorno inclusivo y respetuoso, donde el acceso, la oportunidad y el logro están disponibles para todos. 

El presupuesto también da prioridad a una remuneración competitiva para atraer y retener a una mano de obra de categoría mundial. 

El presupuesto propuesto para el año fiscal 2025 asciende a $3.8 millones, un aumento de $301.8 millones, o del 8,6%, con respecto al presupuesto aprobado para el año fiscal 2024. Casi el 86% del presupuesto se centra en la instrucción. Los aspectos más destacados incluyen:

  • Apoyar a los estudiantes académicamente manteniendo las fórmulas existentes de tamaño de clase y proporcionando el apoyo necesario a todos los estudiantes. 
  • Retener y atraer educadores de clase mundial con un ajuste de escala de mercado del 6%.
  • Reforzar el bienestar de los alumnos fuera de las aulas con una mayor oferta de actividades deportivas, más entrenadores deportivos y más becas para bellas artes y artes escénicas.
  • Continuación de iniciativas como la ampliación del preescolar inclusivo, la adopción de iniciativas ecológicas y la financiación de puestos de subdirector de actividades estudiantiles financiados anteriormente con ESSER III.

Extensiones de contrato diario de educación especial, financiamiento para el programa de seguridad y revisión de seguridad, y autobuses tardíos para apoyar las actividades académicas y en las escuelas intermedias son varias de las prioridades que se abordarán al final del año fiscal 2024. 

La Junta Escolar tiene programado adoptar el Presupuesto Anunciado el jueves 22 de febrero. Lea más sobre el presupuesto propuesto. Manténgase al día con el proceso de desarrollo del presupuesto de FCPS.

Eating Disorders Resource Materials 

Eating disorders are conditions that can have a serious effect on health.  They are serious behaviors that affect every aspect of the child’s life. Eating disorders are not identified based on weight changes as much as behaviors and attitudes. Signs of eating disorders may differ between males and females and in different age groups.  Often, a young person may not recognize the signs that they might have an eating disorder.  Parents/guardians and family members are in a position to notice behaviors that cause concern.  It is important that a child with an eating disorder be treated early by someone who understands this type of care.  You can find more information about Eating Disorders here.  

🎤 Our Schools, Our Future: Community Conversations Continue

Join Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for Our Schools, Our Future – A Community Conversation. Your voice matters! Share your thoughts about FCPS and bring your questions to a conversation on:

Pre-registration for a Community Conversation is not required but will help FCPS plan. Childcare and interpretation services will be provided for all events based on staff availability. Events are open to all. Learn about other opportunities to connect with Dr. Reid.


🎤 Nuestras Escuelas, Nuestro Futuro: Las Conversaciones Comunitarias   Continúan

Únase a la Superintendente Dra. Michelle Reid para Nuestras Escuelas, Nuestro Futuro Una Conversación Comunitaria. ¡Su voz es importante! Comparta sus pensamientos acerca de FCPS y traiga sus preguntas a una conversación el:

No es necesario inscribirse con antelación para asistir a una conversación comunitaria, pero nos ayuda a planificar el evento. Se ofrecerán servicios de cuidado de niños y de interpretación para todos las conversaciones comunitarias. Estos eventos están abiertos para todos. Infórmese sobre otras oportunidades de conectarse con la Dra. Reid.

🗺️ 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.

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.