West Side Story 2.0

January 22, 2021

Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.

Last Week of the Semester

As we enter the last week of the semester, we understand that many students have had a difficult time. MDE’s Safe Learning Plan states, “Districts should continue to consider the principle of “do no harm” to avoid damage to both students’ future education opportunities and struggles that students and families will experience during this time beyond their control. Grades should include evidence of mastery at the end of a unit or course and that evidence should be able to be collected in a variety of manners to allow students to demonstrate their understanding.”

In a typical year, the last week of the semester would be finals week. As was shared earlier this quarter, we will not be giving finals as we would in a typical year. In an effort to help support students who may have struggled this semester and are in danger of not earning credit, the last week of the semester (January 25 - 28) students can expect the following:

No new content during the last week of the semester

  • Time for student to do retakes

  • Time and support for students with a failing grade to earn a passing grade

  • AP courses may continue moving forward

    • Material covered during the last week of the semester would be part of second semester

Monday and Tuesday

  • Brief google meets for student check in

  • Teachers will work with students in need of support during the class period

  • Teachers may schedule times to meet with specific students

Wednesday and Thursday

  • No classroom google meets scheduled

  • Teachers will be working with students who are in danger of failing the semester

New Semester - Possible Return to Hybrid Learning Plan

Tentatively, we are planning for our students to return to the hybrid learning model on Thursday, February 4th. The transition days for this would be Monday and Tuesday, February 1st and 2nd, which would be no school days for our students.

Again, this is tentative, as we will be following current guidance from our state and local partners and examining the required data that informs our learning models. Please know, for those seeking an in-person education, even if in hybrid, we are doing everything possible to make that a reality as soon as we can while ensuring it is safe to do so.

We intend to confirm this plan by the middle of next week. While we want nothing more than to welcome our students back into the building, our first priority is providing a safe environment for all the students and staff.

If we are able to transition back to hybrid on February 4th, here is the timeline we will follow:

Thursday, January 28th - Last day of Distance Learning Model-(End of Semester 1)

Monday, February 1 - Teacher Transition Day (No School for high school)

Tuesday, February 2 - Teacher Transition Day (No School for high school)

Wednesday, February 3 - 1st Day of Semester 2 - distance learning only day

Thursday, February 4 - 1st day B group in person

Monday, February 8 - 1st day A group in person

Enhanced Hybrid Model

During distance learning, we have gathered feedback from our staff, students, and families. Given this, we have made some enhancements to the hybrid learning model. Based on increased participation and positive feedback, we will continue to provide synchronous learning for all students upon our return to Hybrid based on increased participation and positive feedback.

Teachers will host Google Meets during each class hour. All students will be expected to attend the Google Meet at their scheduled class hour just as they are in our current distance learning model. This means that all students, distance only and hybrid, will attend class either in person or online at their assigned class hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Teachers will take attendance each class hour. Wednesdays will continue to be distance only days for all students when students can schedule individual meets with teachers as needed.


We will continue to have the students broken into Group A, Group B, and Distance Only. We will follow the AA, D, BB schedule as before. Group A will attend in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays. Group B will attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will follow this bell schedule. If a student is not attending in person, they should log in to their Google Meet at their normal class time.

What if that doesn’t work for me?

We encourage all students to participate in synchronous Google Meets. However, the same guidelines will apply as in during distance learning. Student attendance will be verified via attendance at Google Meets and through up to date coursework in Moodle and passing grades.

Reminder, parents/guardians should contact the school attendance line if their student will not be attending school either in-person or online for any reason, or if they have additional questions regarding attendance.

What if I want to switch models?

For group assignments, we will assume students and families wish to continue with their initial learning model choice as indicated in Infinite Campus. Students will remain in their previous hybrid assigned group (A group or B group). If you would like to switch learning models from hybrid to distance learning only, please contact your counselor. If you wish to switch from distance only to hybrid, we will accommodate this based upon classroom capacity and staffing. To make this switch, please contact your grade-level Assistant Principal.

Grades 9 and 11 - Mike Elston melsto1@isd77.org

Grades 10 and 12 - Andy Krause akraus1@isd77.org

Textbook & Instructional Materials Return

As we transition to second semester, we will be coordinating efforts for the return of textbooks and other materials from first semester courses. Distance Learning (Always Virtual) students will be able to return textbooks and other instructional materials January 25-28 during normal school hours at Door 19. Hybrid students in Group B will return textbooks February 4 & 5 and Group A on February 8 & 9 as they return to the building.

Need Tech Assistance?

Family Help Desk Support

Email (same): familytechhelp@isd77.org

Phone (support in Spanish and English): 866-804-1753

Service support hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Distance Learning Resources for Families

Improving internet connection during distance learning

Device routines during distance learning

Social Justice

MOFF, Moving Our Futures Forward, is a student-led club focused on social justice. This group has been engaging in group discussions on differences and acceptance.

Students who are interested in social justice, and in making our school a community where all are valued and feel a sense of belonging, can join this club by using this form.

Big picture

Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural

Did you know Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in our auditorium in 1961? Thanks to Mr. Moore and a group of talented students, we are finally commemorating this event at West. Maddie Vosburg, Elli Kim, and Jolee Slechta are creating a MLK mural in the auditorium.

Dr. King's words from his “Facing the Challenge of a New Age” speech relates to the events of this past year as much as they did in 1961.

Some of the quotes from this speech that have resonated with people include, "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the loud vitriolic words of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. You can always find examples of that in the modern world of leaders in power who maybe should be taking a stronger stance.” “We must rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” and, “The time is always right to do right.”

The students shared they feel this is what our school community needs right now, a "message of equality and to do what’s right.”

Tutoring Available

Does your student need homework help after school? MAPS is offering an Online Study Center for all secondary youth (grades 6-12) and sessions are with our MAPS teachers. Sessions are FREE and do not require any pre-registration.

The attached document provides a link and website where students can access the Online Study Center Monday-Thursday from 4-8pm.

Important Dates

January 28

Last Day of Semester 1

January 29

No School - Teacher Work Day

If We Transition Back to Hybrid on February 4th

February 1 & 2 - no school, transition days

February 3 - 1st day of Semester 2, distance learning only

February 4 & 5 - B group - synchronous learning days for all students

February 8 & 9 - A group - synchronous learning days for all students

If We Are Not Yet Transitioning Back to Hybrid

February 1 - 1st day of 2nd semester - synchronous learning