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Elisabeth O'Brien » Staff Profile

Staff Profile

Hello! I am happy to be returning to Westgate for my 3rd year. I am excited to be back on the 1st & 2nd grade team this year. Last year was amazing and I am looking forward to another great year.  In the past I taught 2nd grade in Adams 12 before coming to Westgate and am excited to bring my diverse experiences to the classroom. I earned my BA in special education from Metropolitan State University in 2012. Currently I am pursuing a Masters Degree in Gifted Education from Grand Canyon University and plan to complete my program by the end of this year. I have taught 3 years in special education and 1 year in the general education classroom in Adams 12 and at Westgate. I have spent most of my life in Colorado or Arizona. I am mother to 2 little boys who I love spending time with and taking on road trips (usually to AZ or ND). I love spending my free time working in the garden, playing video games with my kids and husband, reading, writing, and drawing.


Recent Posts


October Advocacy  

Upcoming Events: 

Monday, October 15th Start of Qtr. 2 

Thursday, October 18th 10th Anniversary Gala  

Tuesday, October 23rd  Fire Prevention  

Friday, October 26th Westgate Trunk or Treat 

Wednesday, October 31st  Carnival/Class Parties 


Pod Parent: We are in need of a Pod Parent that can help organize class parties using the Sign-Up Genius.  If you would be willing to take this on, please contact  We have a signup genius already built, it just needs adjusted to meet the needs of the party.   


Halloween K-4 Carnival 

It is a Westgate tradition that each year the 5/6 Team hosts a Halloween Carnival for the K-4 students.  This year the carnival will be from 1:30 – 2:30 PM. This is a student-only event. 

Halloween Class Parties 2:30 – 3:15PM 

Sign up for Halloween Party! 

These are student parties, not family parties.  

  • Please do not come to school for the party unless you are a volunteer with a background check through the school.  All volunteers must be approved by the Team. 
  • No young children may accompany volunteers for Class Parties 
  • All food and drink donations for the festivities can be left at the front desk or brought into school by the students in the morning. 

Halloween Costume Expectations 

Costume expectations for all students: 

No Masks 

No Full Face Paint (except what a student can apply themselves in the time they have to get ready before class parties).  Face paint may not be worn to school. 

No Weapons or anything that can be used as a weapon 

No inappropriate or offensive costumes 

1st – 8th Grades - May NOT WEAR THEIR COSTUMES TO SCHOOL.  All students will be given time to change into their Halloween costumes.  Students will be in regular classes during the morning. 

Advocacy Theme for October:  October is Bully Prevention Month, we will be doing a variety of activities to empower students to advocate for themselves against bullies.  We will also discuss the differences between being mean and being a bully.   

Definition: For a student’s behavior to be considered bullying, it must involve (1) an intent by the perpetrator to cause physical or psychological harm to the victim, (2) a power imbalance between the victim and the perpetrator, and (3) repeated negative acts. 

Qtr. 2 Club Sign Ups:  Club sign up fair will take place Monday after school in the front lobby.  This will be a great place to pick up permission slips and also find out about all the cool clubs being offered this quarter!   This information is also available at  under the academics tab.    

Scooters:  Your child is welcome to bring their scooters to school as long as they have a helmet.  If your child chooses to bring their scooters, their scooter needs to remain at school until Friday.  Scooters cannot be taken home daily.  It causes a lot of delays/issues during carline trying to load them.     

Toy/Electronic Policy:  Students are welcome to bring an appropriate toy for use at recess ONLY.  This item should fit in their backpacks and will not be allowed in class.  Electronics, such as a Gameboy or tablets, should not be coming to school.   Finally, there is no trading, buying, and/or selling of cards or other items at school.   


End of the Year!

Oh my!!  I can hardly believe that it is the last week of school.  I am so excited for all the fun things happening the last few days.  
  • Continuation for the 1st and 2nd graders at 10:00 to 11:00am.
  • Class Party from 1:00 to 2:10pm - see the sign up link below.

  • No school events, but we will be busy in the classroom getting ready for the summer break and student led conferences.
  • Student led conferences from 12:30 to 8:00pm.  Here is the link if you have not signed up yet.  Remember this is a time for your student to show you what they have done, not a meeting time with teachers. 
  • Last day of Advocacy!
  • Move up - 2nd graders will go up to the 3/4 pod.  1st graders will be helping show the incoming kindergarten students around.
  • Yearbook signing party outside with the whole school.  Students who did not purchase a yearbook in the 1/2 pod will be provided with an autograph book to have friends sign instead.  No one is allowed to sign clothing this year.

IMPORTANT - End Of Year Info


Monday, June 4th                                         1-2 Continuation 10:00-11:00 am

Tuesday, June 5th                                        ½ Day 11:30 Dismissal

Tuesday, June 5th                                        Student Led Conf.  12:30-8:00

Wednesday, June 6th                                  ½ Day 11:30 Dismissal-Final Day of School

Student Led Conferences: 

Conference signups are posted.  We will be doing these just like we did the winter Student Led Conferences.  There will be 5 slots available per 30 min slots.  This will be an opportunity for your child to show you all they have learned this year.  To sign up, follow this link:


  • Please return Friday folders ASAP.  We use these again next year so students need to bring them back in. 
  • Don't forget to check the lost and found for student items, it has gotten very full again! 
  • If your student is going to be gone over the last several days please let me know so that I can ensure everything makes it home with them.  

End of the Year Party

Here is the sign up for the end of the year party.  We will be having the party on Monday from 1:00 to 2:10pm.  Continuation is from 10:00 to 11:00am.  Parents are welcome to attend continuation.  Only volunteers are at the class party to help with food and games etc.  Please sign up here if you would like to donate or to help out. Let me know if you have any questions.

Student Led Conferences

Here is the link to the Student Led Conference Sign Ups.  
This will be a wonderful time for you and your child to see all the amazing things they have been up to this year!  This is your child's time to be the host!!  Please select one time slot for you and your child to view their digital portfolio. 
I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events:

Monday, April 9th                                                          Board of Directors Election All Week

Tuesday, April 10th                                                       Skate City Field Trip 8:30-12:30

Tues.-Fri.                                                                        CMAS Testing All Week

Thursday, April 12th                                                      Board Candidate Meet and Greet


Skate City Field Trip:  This Tuesday, April 10th, we will be going to Skate City.  We will leave Westgate at 8:30 and return to school by 12:30.  Please pack your child a sack lunch for this day and make sure they wear a good pair of socks. 

Turtle Sign Up:  If you would like to help with the turtles care and maintenance please sign up here.

Important Remiders

Hello Families!
I hope everyone enjoyed a restful break.  As we come back for the 4th and final quarter of the year I have a few reminders.  Please take a moment to read through these and let me know if you have any questions.
*Field Trip on Tuesday 4/10 (this is the day after we come back).
- Students need to bring a sack lunch, wear red if they can, and arrive on time since the bus will be leaving at 8:30 am.  
- Students MAY bring roller blades or skates from home (they are responsible for keeping track of them and bringing them home!).
- Students MAY choose to do other activities such as reading, drawing, puzzles, etc instead of roller skating.
- Students MAY NOT bring money with them.
- Students MAY NOT bring toys or devices from home with them.
*Testing in the building continues.
- There are no volunteers in the building or visitors for lunch.
- We will continue working on the modified schedule that was sent out before break, including a later lunch recess and lunch time.
- Students are being asked to be SILENT in the pods and halls to be respectful of the testers. 
1st Grade Science and Social Studies:
- In order to better meet the students needs we decided that we would be making some changes to the science and social studies groups.  
- We evened out the number of boys and girls to be more balanced.
- We adjusted the number of students in each class to be more balanced. 
- If you have questions about science you can contact me or if you have questions about social studies you can contact Ms. Kowalski. 
*General Rule Reminders:
- Students should bring a healthy snack each day, especially while we have a later lunch scheduled.
- Students are allowed to bring play things for recess ONLY!  These items should never be out or used during class.
- Friday folders: please check and empty your students Friday folder and send them back on Monday.  We try to check them for returned work but please remind you students that it is their job to turn in work to us. 
- Weather here is crazy.  Please dress your student appropriately for changing conditions (layers are great).  Please consider writing your students name in their coats or using a label so that the lost items can be returned. 
We only have 8 weeks of school left.  This time can get a bit hectic as we try to juggle end of the year activities, end of year assessments, finishing content, and being inside on beautiful Colorado days. If you have concerns don't hesitate to let me know.  A small issue is easier on everyone then something that has spiraled.  I am open to communicate and I want to communicate with all of you.  If you don't hear back a quick reminder is often just what I need to stay on top of things. 
The turtles have a new home!  After doing significant research on the species we have in our classroom I have found out that the need a much larger home and several other smaller changes.  The now have 150 gallon aquarium home that they can swim in as well as additional basking spaces.  I am in the process of updating the sign up genius to reflect their changing needs.  That said, they do require regular matinee and as they grow they are eating a ton.  Please consider signing up to help with them.  If your not sure how to help or have an idea for how to help with maintaining the tank let me know.  I love the turtles but the help with them makes it much easier to keep them long term. Look for a picture of them in their new home soon. 

Updated student schedule during CMAS Testing

Hello Families, 

We have made some minor adjustments to our schedule in the 1/2 pod to accommodate changes in our lunch and lunch recess during testing.  Literacy and math have stayed the same as well as specials.  Please let me know if you have any questions. 

8:00 - 8:15 Morning Advocacy

8:15 - 10:00 Literacy & snack

10:00 - 10:15 Morning Recess

10:15 - 11:15 Math

11:15 - 11:45 Advocacy

11:45 - 12:15 Lunch Recess

12:15 - 12:45 Lunch

12:45 - 1:15 Quiet Time & Clean up

1:15 - 2:15 Science & Social Studies

2:15 - 2:30 Pack up

2:30 - 3:25 Specials

3:25 Carline & Dismissal

Photo taken by one of the parent volunteers during the tour of DMF.  The kids had a great time learning about the work they do there and handing out the cards they made.  

Carnival Basket!

Hello amazing families!  We are going to be collecting items to create an amazing basket to be auctioned off at the Spring Carnival.  Please help us make an amazing basket by contributing something (no matter how big or small, all support is appreciated) to the basket.  This is a huge part of our fundraising efforts and is so fun to see what our classes combined efforts creates.

Week 12/18/2017

Calendar 12/18/2017

  • Now through January 16, 2018: Annual Campaign! 
  • Tuesday, December 19, 6:00 PM; 7/8 and HS Music Concert
  • Tuesday, December 19: Great Harvest Bakery orders delivered!
  • Thursday, December 21; Student-Led Conferences – Half Day – Dismissal at 11:30!
  • Friday, December 22; Half Day – Dismissal at 11:30!
  • December 23–January 15: Winter Break Read-a-Thon

Student Led Conferences:  Sign-ups for Student Led Conferences will be Thursday, December 21st. from 12:30- 6:30.  Sign Ups for these conferences will open this Monday at 4:00 P.M.  You will be signing up for your advocacy teacher only. The purpose of these conferences is for your child to share what they have learned thus far.  Please understand that these are optional conferences and we will have another opportunity in the spring for you to see your child’s portfolios.

1-2 Holiday Party Sign Ups:

Only parents that sign up to volunteer for a job at the party will be allowed to attend the party and all volunteers must have completed background checks.  There are 86 students in 1-2 so please keep that in mind when bringing items in.  Also, all items must be store bought and peanut free. 

Turtle Sign Up

If you would like to help out with the turtles here is the link for the sign up.

Our 2nd annual Winter Break Read-a-Thon is coming soon!

Students may begin gathering pledges now! 

Pledge forms and reading logs are available on the Westgate website:

The Winter Break Read-a-Thon will take place from December 23rd to January 15th, kicking off with an all-school DAY OF READING! the week before Winter Break. Money raised through our 2nd Annual Winter Break Read-a-Thon will count toward our total Annual Campaign goal of $15,000!

Every child is asked to read over Winter Break at whatever level is interesting, challenging, and enjoyable to them. Students are encouraged to ask friends, family, and neighbors to support them, either through flat donations or per-minute pledges.

Scholastic Orders Due! 12/8

Please submit your scholastic order by Friday so that we can get our books in before the winter break.  If you want to keep your order a surprise just let me know and we can work out a different pick up time. 
Our class code is Q3X9H