305 Union St.
Principal: Jill Beiser
Office hours: 7:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Grades: Kindergarten through third
The goal for Westwood Elementary School students and principal Jill Beiser is to have a reduced-stress school year.
While school work, a new curriculum, and meeting new people will always come with some anxiety, Beiser told the Enterprise she’s hoping to alleviate as many struggles as possible.
During the summer, the teaching staff has participated in conferences and training sessions and will continue to do so throughout the upcoming school year.
Beiser implemented a stress-reducer at the end of the last school year by having a “transition day.” Each grade level spent an hour in the classroom with the teacher they’ll have this year.
Hopefully students aren’t spending their summer stressing over what teacher they’ll have or whether they’ll be with their friends, Beiser said.
Westwood also hosted an eight-week summer learning course. Beiser said stretching the summer school schedule will help minimize the summer learning loss that typically happens.
Kids have made huge steps to keep up their knowledge during break, Beiser said.
“This could change the future for them because everyone will be on the same level on the first day of school,” Beiser said.
A new state-mandated curriculum called the Common Core doesn’t worry Beiser. She said she’s looking forward to implementing its changes because it’s something that should have been around for years.
Beiser joined the district last year. She said there were a lot of changes made throughout the school year as she evaluated the building. Now she’s looking forward to continuing with those changes and hit the ground running.
The main focus at Westwood will be on literacy.
Many of the training programs the staff participated in revolved around reading techniques.
She said it’s important for students to read at their own level and not try to go beyond because it can get too complicated to understand. Beiser said if students don’t comprehend what they’re reading then they might give up rather than enjoy it.
Children’s vocabulary skills also improve when they are read to.
Beiser also urges parents to register their children before the first day of school.
Latecomers will miss out on important bonding periods with their peers and could miss out on vital instruction from their teachers, she said.