Westgate Weekly News

Good Afternoon Westgate Families,

I hope this finds you having a fantastic last week of February!

We were fortunate enough to host our FCPS Superintendent, Dr. Michelle Reid, at Westgate yesterday.  She had the opportunity to visit classrooms and meet many of our students and staff members.  We were proud to show off the powerful work around instruction and innovation that our students and teachers engage in every day.  We are certainly thankful to Dr. Reid for making it a priority to get out to schools and see the amazing things happening in our communities.

As a reminder, kindergarten registration is now open.  Students that turn five prior to September 30, 2024 are eligible to attend kindergarten this fall.  Please reach out to our Registrar, Tracy Green, at TMGreen@fcps.edu to schedule a registration appointment.  As as reminder, Kindergarten Orientation will be held Tuesday, April 2 at 9:00 a.m.  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.  We hope to see many new and returning families on April 2! 

Lastly, please join us in meeting our new Family Liaison, Ana Trevino on Friday, March 15.  We will gather for an informal meet and greet in the cafeteria starting around 9 a.m.  We are so thankful that Ms. Trevino has joined our school team and hope many of you will be able to meet her in-person at this event.

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

All my best,

Hallie Demetriades


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.  

  • Students should bring their own clean, pizza box tops, or similar size cardboard piece. Foam gliders will be provided.
  • We need volunteers to support three areas of activity that night, including an obstacle course. You are encouraged to sign up for a station where your student is likely to participate: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D4AABAB28A1FB6-47829732-designpalooza#/ 

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.


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

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!

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!

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 2024-2025 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

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.

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.

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.