WHS Newsletter

December 2018

Message from the Principal

Are you planning a family trip for the holidays? As you think about your arrangements, we want to stress the importance of sending your child to school every day possible. Every year, absences spike in the weeks before and after the winter holiday as families squeeze in a few more vacation days. It’s time to break that cycle. We know that just a few missed days here and there, even if they’re excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and put your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school. Put simply, too many absences at any age can affect a student’s chances for academic success and eventually for graduation.

We recognize that holidays are an important time for reconnecting with families far away. The costs of plane tickets often influence when you want to travel. But keep in mind the costs to your children’s education if they miss too much school— and the message you will be sending about the importance of attendance. Our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning, right up until vacation starts and the first day back. You can help us convey that message. This holiday season, give your children the gift of an education and the habit of attendance.

To help stress the importance of attendance we are holding an attendance competition between the grade-level homerooms. We are tracking student daily attendance with a goal of 95%. The homerooms with the highest average daily attendance will receive coupons for free buffets to Pizza Ranch.

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Activity Parent Survey

Please complete the following survey if your child participated in a spring, summer, or fall activity here at West High School. The information you give to us allows us to make needed changes to improve the activities office, as well as providing you and your students the best possible opportunity to participate in activities here at West High School. Thank you for your time in this matter.

West Parent Survey: https://survey.k12insight.com/r/kitfc0

WHS Activities and Athletics Calendar

Click here for all athletic and activity schedules

SCCSD High Schools to Host ACT Exam for all Juniors

On April 9, each of the three Sioux City Community School District high schools will host an ACT exam date for all 11th grade students, in order to encourage college readiness and preparedness for the work force.

Data from this exam will inform the District on how current curriculum aligns with the ACT, as well as suggest areas of improvement. It will also assist in providing students with a smoother transition into college and increase their potential for future success.

In order to eliminate distractions and secure proctors for the exam, 9, 10, and 12th graders will not have school on this date.

Saturday School Now Available

The end of the semester is just around the corner. To provide opportunity for catch up or intervention, WHS will be hosting Saturday school 8AM - Noon Dec 15, Jan 5, and Jan 12. Students that are failing one or more course should plan to attend. There will be teachers available from all content areas to help students get caught up.

Marking Period Grades

You can now check Canvas for your student's grades. The marking period or quarter grade is not the final grade, but a progress grade that will continue to update until the end of the semester. The Semester grade is the final grade that will show up on a transcript. If you need assistance signing up for Canvas access visit: https://www.siouxcityschools.org/canvas/

Outreach, Understanding, Responsibility & Support (OURS) Parent Group

The Sioux City Community School District, Northwest Area Education Agency, and the Local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will continue their collaboration with the Outreach, Understanding, Responsibility, and Support (OURS) parent group. The efforts are focused at empowering parents/guardians of African American/Black students who attend public schools K -12th grades. The topics are in relation to the education of the Black student, community awareness, and other suggested topics.

The OURS parent group will meet the second Tuesday of January 2019:

Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019 @ 6pm High School Topic- ACT PREP & TEST

627 4th St.

A light meal will be provided. and to RSVP to the meetings for the meal contact:

Cate Combs, Equity Administrative Assistant

Student Service & Equity Education



Lori Gentry, Educational Equity Student Liaison


Barrel of Giving

Are you looking for a way to spread joy this holiday season? Contribute to our Barrel of Giving fundraiser, promoted in partnership with Bright Futures Sioux City. We are accepting donations of hats, gloves, and other warm winter apparel from now until January 3.

Help us keep our students warm through the coming winter months! Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

Educational Service Center: 627 4th St.

Earl May: 4141 Gordon Dr.

Earl May: 4101 War Eagle Dr.

Save A Lot: 1730 Pierce St.

Rocket Auto Wash: 2519 Correctionville Rd.

Hy-Vee: 4500 Sergeant Rd.

Knoepfler Chevrolet: 100 Jackson St.

Scheels: 4400 Sergeant Rd #54.

Fareway: 4016 Indian Hills Dr.

Fareway: 4040 War Eagle Dr.

Bomgaars: 1732 Hamilton Blvd.

Bomgaars: 5901 Gordon Dr.

United Real Estate Solutions, Inc.: 302 Jones Street #100

Seal of Biliteracy

We are excited to announce, beginning this academic year, the Sioux City Community School District (SCCSD) will offer a Seal of Biliteracy to graduating students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which being English. Students in SCCSD that complete requirements for AP Language and Culture, pass the AP language and culture exam with a minimum score of 3, and complete district determined requirements will be awarded the Seal of Bilteracy on their diploma, and receive a certificate of completion.

Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. The seal of biliteracy recognizes the value of language diversity & cultural identity, prepares students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society, and provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to attainment of biliteracy.

The Seal of Biliteracy, designated by the Iowa Department of Education, will be recognized statewide. The honor focuses not on “seat time” or completion of language courses; it relies on demonstrating proficiency in a given language.

Additional information can be found at https://educateiowa.gov/pk-12/instruction/biliteracy-seal. Questions about the Seal can be directed to Victoria Albright, world languages coordinator for the Sioux City Community School District.

Students and Staff of the Month

Each month one student from each grade level and one staff member will be recognized for living by the WHS motto We Are WEST! This month Mr. Jay Barto was honored as the staff member of the month and the following students were recognized: 9th grader Audrey Enszer, 10th grader Estefany Algeria, 11th grader Joseph Grima, and 12th grader Jose Luna Arrieta. Congrats to all!

After School Tutoring

After School Tutoring is available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the media center from 3:05-4:05 pm. The time is staffed with teachers from each of the core content areas. Students report to the media center and get support. This is a great way to catch up in a class or get help with current homework. No Sign-up required. Students may show up as needed.

West High School in the News

Winter Weather Information

With cold weather upon us, it’s important to plan for inclement weather.

School Closure Information: The winter in Iowa provides us with some days that make it a challenge to hold classes at the regular time, and sometimes we must close our schools early, late, or for the entire day. As you know, our weather is not only challenging at times, it is constantly changing. Please remember that parents and guardians have the right to make the decision to keep their child home on any day that they feel it is unsafe for their student to be in school because of weather conditions. If you believe the weather provides a sincere reason why you may have to keep your students at home, or take your student home when classes are scheduled to continue, you as a parent or guardian will simply need to contact your child’s school to let them know. If a decision is made on the day of school to cancel classes or to have a late start, a call goes out at 6:00 AM to all parents and guardians. Parents can also check the following sites for closure information.

1. GovDelivery

2. District’s Facebook

3. District’s Twitter @siouxcityschool

4. All media outlets

If the schools are dismissed early or if school is called off entirely, there will be no evening activities. If you have before and after school care, please check with your provider about their procedures.

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Let's Talk

An engaged community makes our District stronger. That is why we have made it easy for you to connect with us whenever it is convenient for you. We encourage you to take advantage of Let’s Talk! our 24/7 online submission site, by reaching out with your ideas, questions, concerns, and praise. To make a submission, please visit http://www.siouxcityschools.org/lets-talk/.

Non-discrimination Statement

The Sioux City Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following areas: Business & Marketing, Family & Consumer Science, Health Science, and Industrial Arts, Technology, & PLTW.

The Sioux City Community School District is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. It is an unfair or discriminatory practice for any educational institution to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information (for employment), national origin, religion, age (for employment), disability, socioeconomic status (for programs), marital status (for programs), or veteran status (for employment) in its educational programs and its employment practices. Inquiries or grievances, including Section 504 grievances and grievances under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, may be directed to Jen Gomez, Director of Student Services & Equity Education at 627 4th Street, Sioux City, IA 51101, (712) 279-6075,gomezj2@live.siouxcityschools.com. Please see District Board policies 103 and 504.4 for additional information on available grievance procedures.