Supporting excellence for our students and our community.
The Westside Foundation raises private funds to support the continuing improvement of educational programs offered by Westside Community Schools. The Foundation provides student scholarships, teacher recognition, classroom grants, facilities improvement, and support where tax dollars are not available. Supporters and donors include alumni, district residents, businesses, teachers, staff, parents, and friends who share a belief that a strong public education is essential to the quality of life and future well being of our community.
- VI-VI: Back for the Future – "I have to tell you about the future!" Join us on Friday October 6th to make tomorrow bright for District 66. In 2015 the Foundation raised $175,000 at the semi-annual district fundraiser. Contributions were distributed throughout the district in the form of several grants, and we hope to expand our impact this year with "VI-VI: Back for the Future".
- Omaha Gives – Omaha Gives! Is a 24-hour, online giving event organized annually by the Omaha Community Foundation to grow philanthropy in the metro area. In the 2016 campaign with the support of 159 online donors, we raised $25,939 for students in Westside Community Schools! We look forward to Omaha Gives! 2017 on May 24th.
- Grants – During 2014-2015 the Foundation gave $32,350 in grants to support educational work in the District. These classroom grants of $25,000 helped with reading, math, science, music and field trip projects that would otherwise not have been funded by the General Fund Budget. In addition, $7,350 from the Foundation’s Special Academic Needs Fund sent students to four competitions across the country including Destination Imagination, the History Bee, the Quiz Bowl competition, the National Leadership Conference for future business leaders, and the National Tournament of Champions for Speech.
- Teacher Recognition –The Foundation gives three Bravo Awards every year to recognize outstanding teachers in the District. The recipients receive a check for $500 and an engraved crystal award. The following were the recipients for 2013-2014: Rob Huebner (WMS Music), Terri Kleinschmit (Hillside), Marlo Tomich (Swanson), Nathan Bramley (WHS History).
- Staff Recognition – At the end of each school year the Foundation recognizes 10 non-certified staff members who work as educational assistants, maintenance staff, Access 66 food service and catering staff, or administrative assistants and secretaries for work excellence. Each employee who receives this recognition receives $500.
- Student Scholarships – The Foundation works with donors to set up scholarships and coordinates student distribution with the District. We give approximately $30,000 in scholarships every year. In 2014 the Foundation gave $29,000 in scholarships to 29 students. A few of those scholarships specified Nebraska schools, but most of them provided aid for students to attend schools of their choice across the nation.
- Facilities Improvement – Over the past 10 years the Foundation has raised money to renovate the football stadium, build tennis courts and a new baseball field, update the auditorium at Westside High School, and add a new auditorium at Westside Middle School. In 2014 the Foundation raised $800,000 for the new stadium entrance project and Champions Plaza. The new stadium entrance includes; new restrooms and concessions stand, ticket booth and a new picnic area. Champions Plaza recognizes all the state champion teams and athletes, as well as honoring Tom Pate with a new memorial. These improvements benefit the District and the metropolitan area as they provide top-notch facilities for numerous local, state and national events. For example several of the College World Series teams have practiced on the Westside baseball field. Football teams like USC and Midland Lutheran College have used the field. It is also used for play-off and metro tournament games.
- Additional District Support – In 2014 the Foundation supported the district with $30,000 towards a bond issue survey and other information gathering. An additional $50,000 was allocated for the development of new modular scheduling software in conjunction with the Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. Finally, $12,000 was given for the principal mentoring program.
- Shield/Lance Scanning Project – The Westside Foundation has created an online directory of Westside High School Yearbooks (Shield) and Newspapers (Lance). We’ve partnered with the Westside Alumni Association to find businesses, groups and individuals to sponsor the cost to digitize these moments in WHS history.
- Early Childhood Education – More than 40 years ago the Westside Foundation created the Westside Early Childhood Program—the first fully accredited early childhood program to operate in a Nebraska public school setting. Today the Foundation program offers developmentally appropriate social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth opportunities for more than 1,150 children ages eighteen months through sixth grade in a safe, engaging, educational environment that is supported and guided by 135 competent and compassionate adults. The toddler, pre-school, four-year-old day school and before and after school programs are spread across all ten elementary schools with the newest preschool program located on District property at the former Underwood Hills Elementary School site. The Foundation is proud to have six National Association for the Education of Young Children accredited centers; Westbrook, Sunset Hills, Rockbrook, Prairie Lane, Paddock Road and Oakdale. The 2014-15 annual operating budget for the program was $3.5 million.
Westside Community Schools is located in the middle of Omaha with approximate boundaries at Blondo Street on the north, 69th Street on the east, F Street on the south, and 120th Street on the west. The District serves 32.29% free and reduced lunch students with the following percentages for each school:
Westgate Elementary School 60.33%
Westbrook Elementary School 58.41%
Sunset Hills Elementary School 16.67%
Rockbrook Elementary School 22.15%
Prairie Lane Elementary School 18.27%
Paddock Road elementary School 39.54%
Oakdale Elementary School 19.44%
Loveland Elementary School 21.84%
Hillside Elementary School 43.93%
Carl A Swanson Elementary School 19.30%
Westside Middle School 34.55%
Westside High School 28.26%