West Side Story 2.0

October 23, 2020

Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.

It Takes a Village

When our own children were teenagers, I was often reminded that it takes a village to raise a teenager, and I was so grateful for the adults who were a part of our village. Given a global pandemic, and the challenges we have all experienced, our partnership is even more important in supporting our teens and their learning.

We need to work together to remind our students there is school every day. In a normal year, students average about 25 hours a week in a classroom, with another 5 - 7 hours of homework a week. On a virtual learning day, students should be expected to spend about four hours on school work.

Our teachers have been working very hard to create rigorous online courses. All of the teaching and learning activities, assignments, and assessments are in their moodle course. No matter if the student is at home or in school, the course is the same.

What is different is Hybrid students who come to school two days a week can receive in person instruction, get questions answered, and perhaps engage in enrichment activities. Students may be doing some hands on activities, if appropriate for the class, and they get the social interaction of a classroom. While Distance Learning students don't meet in person, they do have dedicated time with their teachers Wednesday afternoons through Google Meets.

While many of our students are doing well, others are struggling. If your child is one that is struggling, reach out to your "village". Teachers, counselors, support staff and administration are all willing to help.

Tips for Helping Your Teen

Establish Routines

1. Sleep schedules are important! Encourage your student to go to bed at a consistent time and wake up at a consistent time during the week.

2. Establish a daily schedule with your student that allows for about 4 hours of time to dedicate to school each day they are a virtual learner.

3. If your student has a job, work with their employer to schedule the student's work hours outside of their school day, on in person days and virtual days.

Check Infinite Campus to Monitor Progress

In the parent portal, you can see the teachers' grade books and have up to date information on how your student is doing on assignments and assessments and see their in-progress grade.


Moodle is the online platform used for all assignments, activities, and assessments. Ask your student to show you each of their courses to see what they are working on.


We will hold virtual parent-teacher conferences on Monday, November 9 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. During the first week of November we will be providing parents with a link to schedule times with teachers.

Congratulations to...

Eric Koser and his NASA students! The student team (representing both East and West) was one of the top 15 teams selected from 66 teams across the nation to advance to the final round of a NASA design challenge! Press Release The team will be presenting their final design to NASA experts at 2:30pm on Wednesday, October 28. The presentation, and all culminating events from the competition, can be watched live on the NASA STEM YouTube channel.

Ethan Dado, our Agriculture teacher, has received the MACTA (Minnesota Association of Career and Technical Administrators - under the ACTE umbrella) Educator Award for 2020!

Mr. Dado has been a driving force in creating our MAPS Ag Pathway. Thank you to Mr. Dado for your commitment to our students and Ag education!

Senior Coronation

We had to cancel Homecoming this year, but our seniors have been working to put together a COVID style celebration as a substitute. On Saturday, October 31, at 10:00am we will have a queen coronation in the gym. Due to the 250 limit, seniors will need to sign up using this form if they wish to attend. We will stream the coronation on the Mankato West Activities youtube channel.

To add some fun next week, we will have dress up days. Both Monday and Thursday are pajama days, and Tuesday and Friday are Costume days. DECA has organized some virtual activities, which include a talent show and a scavenger hunt.

Pictured below is the winning button design, created by Maddie Vosburg. This design is honoring #55, Andy Wendinger, who would have been a Senior. Buttons will be for sale before school and during lunches next week.

Big picture

Streaming Activities

To view Mankato West Athletics or Activities that are being livestreamed, please go to the Mankato West Activities webpage and look under "Livestream Events 2020".

Mankato West Activities

Free Applications at Minnesota Colleges

October is College Knowledge month. Seniors have received emails about FAFSA, college applications, and transcripts from the counseling office. Here is a link that tells you more about applications to colleges.


Check out this link to see the activities available to students and connect with the advisor listed if your student is interested in participating.

Important Dates

October 26 - 30

Dress Up Days

Monday and Thursday - Pajama Day

Tuesday and Friday - Costume Day

November 4

K-12 Distance Learning Day

November 9

Conferences 4:00pm - 8:00pm

November 12

Last Day of Quarter 1

November 13

No School - Teacher Work Day