It’s Okay, I Get It. I Do…

You might be cycling through some, or all of these emotions right now – excitement, fear, sadness, joy, bliss, blinding anxiety. Really, it’s going to be okay. One year ago I was there; ready/not ready to send my one and only into the big, BIG world of kindergarten at West Portal Elementary. I won’t lie, WPE wasn’t our first choice. It felt too big, expansive even. I knew I liked Mr. Lucey, but that pretty much summed it up. But, this was it, WPE was going to be our community for the next 6 years and it was time to dive in. (Spoiler alert: we LOVE WPE, and it didn’t take long at all to get there.)

Your first year at WPE, whether with a kindergartener and/or older kids, is a great exploration of amazing opportunities for your family. There are days when it all feels like too much (What’s that kid’s name again? I got an email about some event sometime this week and now I can’t find it. Shoot, I met that mom yesterday and I can’t remember her name now.) and that’s okay. As Taylor Swift would say, just shake it off and take on the next day with vigor and remember that whether it’s your first week or 210th, we’re all in it together.  

Some things to keep in mind as you navigate your time at WPE…

  1. You’re likely to notice how AWESOME your kid’s teacher is right away. Really. I still tear up when I think of our daughter’s kinder teacher and how great she was at guiding our family through our first year. The WPE teachers are dedicated, caring and hard-working educators. 
  2. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, so keep an eye out in your inbox and on the WPE website. But don’t wait for school or WPPC (West Portal Parents Club) events – strike up conversations, smile, say hi. We’re a friendly bunch, I swear. 
  3. WPE has concrete. A lot of it. Like, a lot of it. Your kids’ shoes are going to get torn to shreds, so invest in shoe futures. 
  4. We ask for money. Yep, we do, we just do. We have to if we want to keep up the support the WPPC provides to the WPE community. Trust me, we toil over every single penny we spend to make sure it makes a difference and has an impact for all students.  (You’ll be hearing more about the programs and projects that are funded through the WPPC.)
  5. Don’t sweat it if monetary donations aren’t possible, because we are ALWAYS looking for volunteers of various sorts – and that’s a great way to contribute.  We never ask you to give beyond your means.
  6. Stuff is going to get lost. WPE has 4 yards, all on different levels. 4. 4! Eventually the lost item will likely make its way to the lost-and-found, so check for a few days following the alien abduction of the lost item. 
  7. You’re going to forget your kid’s schedule. When is PE again? What day is library day? Write it down – you’ll be glad you did. Trust me. 
  8. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate. The teachers & staff understand and want to help and appreciate any insights they get from parents about how things are going. 
  9. Lastly, get involved. It takes a village of people to keep WPE running like the exceptional and distinguished school that it is. Volunteer, come to meetings, attend monthly assemblies, ask questions, report concerns and share what you learn with friends and encourage them to get involved too.

In closing, welcome to our community. You’re in a good place. Your children are going to thrive here at WPE. 


Nicole Poulson

WPPC Board Member & 1st Grade Parent (1st Grade?! What? When did that happen?!)