West Side Story 2.0

Monday, March 30, 2020

Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.

We Miss You, Scarlets!

I hope this newsletter finds our Scarlet families safe and healthy. While we know it is best for everyone to Shelter in Place and practice social distancing, I sure miss our Scarlets. As we travel into uncharted waters, know that we are all in this together. This is a difficult time, but I do believe there will be good that comes of it.

I want to remind our Scarlets that we care about you and have been thinking about you over these past two weeks while putting massive amounts of positive energy into planning for distance learning. Our students have been our focus as we navigate new learning, prepare lessons to move learning forward, while being sensitive to our students' academic and social/emotional needs. While we may not be together in one building, we are going to continue to be there for you.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of our staff. With all the challenges we have faced, our staff has continued to have a positive, can-do attitude. I can't imagine another time when someone has been told, "You have 8 days to change everything you do, and then be ready to go live with your new plan." This is an enormous task, and our teachers are ready. We are all learning new things!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office at 507 387-3461 or email me at sblasi1@isd77.org.

This will be different, that's for sure, but we've got this! We are Scarlets!

Take care,

Sherri Blasing

Distance Learning Starts Tuesday, March 31st

Mankato West Distance Learning Plan

On Tuesday, teachers will be contacting students to begin distance learning. It will be important for students to be checking their email and google classroom daily.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) defines distance learning as the following: “Students engaging in distance learning have access to appropriate educational materials and receive daily interaction with their licensed teacher(s).” Students are expected to be connecting each day, interacting with their teacher, and engaging in learning. Classes will continue to be aligned to the Minnesota Academic Standards.

Grading and Attendance

Attendance and Grading

In accordance with the Minnesota Department of Education and Mankato Area Public Schools' guidelines:

  • All distance learning students will be considered Present on each distance learning day.

  • Students are expected to complete activities and assignments, and communicate with their teachers as guided by the teacher or other staff members engaging with students.

  • If students do not turn in assignments, do not participate online, or are inactive for several days, the instructor will contact the student and parents.

  • Counselors, Case Managers, and Student Support teams will assist teachers in monitoring student attendance.

  • If the absence continues, the student will be referred and regular attendance policies will be enacted.

  • District 77 attendance rules continue to apply for all students during distance learning.

To provide an equitable outcome for all students, distance learning grades will be recorded as a pass or fail. Our students and staff missed the last 9 days of 3rd quarter. Due to this unique situation, we will not be posting 3rd quarter grades. Students will be graded as pass/fail based on the entire semester. A pass/fail will allow teachers to focus on learning and growth as we move into new ways of teaching and learning. A pass will not impact a student's GPA. Our goal is to provide teachers and students an opportunity to focus on moving learning forward and for students to earn credit toward graduation in this unprecedented situation.

Message from the Counseling Center

The Mankato West High School Student Support Team has created a comprehensive website to share information about the services we are providing during virtual learning. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our staff members, please follow the directions provided and select a time that works best for you. Due to the nature of virtual counseling sessions, we want to make students and families aware of our informed consent document as well. We are looking forward to connecting and supporting our Scarlet community as we enter the fourth quarter of second semester!


Speaking of Counselors...

Amanda Bomstad has been named Minnesota's 2020 Secondary School Counselor of the Year!

We have always known how amazing Ms. Bomstad is, and now all of Minnesota will know.Thank you, Ms. Bomstad, for all you do to support our students, staff and families. We appreciate you!

Tech Support

Our district has a family email tech support email set up and ready to go

Website: bit.ly/MAPSfamtech

Email: familytechhelp@isd77.org

MAPS Options for Reduced Internet Service

Testing Updates

Here is what we know about spring test:

  • ACT Testing: postponed, possibly a May date or a September date. Class of 2021 stay tuned!
  • MCA & NWEA Testing: Cancelled
  • AP Exams: The specific test dates and the free-response question types will all be posted by April 3. AP Central® will also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam.

Yearbook Orders & Distribution


Don't miss out on ordering your Mankato West High School 2019-2020 yearbook! The deadline for ordering your yearbook has been extended through Friday, May 15th.

Order your yearbook online HERE.


Due to the changes over the last couple of weeks, we will be unable to meet our yearbook deadline for a spring distribution. Instead, the Otaknam staff will work to finish the yearbook in the coming weeks working toward a fall distribution. This means students in grades 9-11 will be able to pick up their yearbook at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Seniors who order a yearbook will have their yearbook mailed to their homes. We will be using the primary address listed in Infinite Campus. Contact Meredith Mayra directly if there a change of address or preference for senior yearbook distribution.

Please contact Yearbook Advisor Meredith Mayra at mmayra1@isd77.org with any questions.

Questions about Events

There have been many questions about our spring events. Here is what we know at this time.

Prom, scheduled for April 25th, has been postponed. If we are able to return to school and it is safe to hold large events, we will do our best to reschedule Prom for a later date.

Big 9 Music Festival, scheduled for May 4th, has been canceled.

Commencement Ceremony, scheduled for June 4th, has not changed at this time.