West Side Story 2.0

March 22, 2021

Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.


Who is tired of COVID? If we were in a classroom and this question was asked, I'm sure all of us would have our hands raised. While we continue to learn from experiencing a global pandemic, it doesn't change how difficult this really is. The good news is we are increasing the number of people vaccinated at a much quicker pace, but we are not out of the woods yet.

Since March 11th, we have had 6 positive cases at West High School, and 4 positive cases from students who are distance learners and not in our building. We have had 75 students in quarantine as a result of a close contact with a person who tested positive for the virus. Thank you to those students who have had to quarantine. This is an effective mitigation strategy in decreasing the spread of COVID.

Information on the variants (shared 3/18/21 by MAPS)

There are two new variants spreading around Minnesota including Blue Earth county. The new variant, known as B.1.1.7, was first identified in the United Kingdom. This variant is considered highly contagious and was responsible for the recent outbreak in Carver County.

According to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “The variants circulating now present added risk that we may see another surge in cases and we need everyone to do their part to prevent that from happening. That means masking, social distancing, staying home when sick and getting tested when appropriate.”

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Students Choosing Distance Learning

Due to the positive cases we have been experiencing, we have had many students choose to move to the distance learning model.

If a distance learning student wants to change models and return to in person learning, they will be able to do so, as long as there is room in their classes. There is not a waiting list to return to in person learning, and so far this year, we have been able to accommodate all of these requests. In a few instances, we have had to change the order of a student's schedule due to specific classrooms being at capacity, but the student has been able to attend all of their classes in person. Another rare situation is that a student was able to return to all of their classes but one, and continued to do the one class as a distance learner.

We anticipate we will be able to honor the requests to return to in person learning for all students who choose to do so, but we cannot guarantee this for all students and/or with all of their classes.

Booster Club Sponsoring a Teacher Amazon Wish List

Thank you to our Booster Club for organizing an Amazon Wish List for our teachers! If you would like to support our classrooms' wish list, please click on the link and place an order. The items are shipped to the school.

Thank you to those of you who have already made a purchase! Our kleenex cupboard is getting replenished and we have received calculators for the ACT!

Sophomores - Welcome to the Virtual Career Expo

On Wednesday, March 24 beginning at 12:00pm sophomores will be engaging in a virtual career expo in partnership with Junior Achievement. This event is an opportunity for students to explore career pathways in a virtual environment. Students should check their school email account for a message from Mr. Krause on Friday, March 19 that contains user specific information to access the JA Virtual Career Expo. Thank you to Junior Achievement for coordinating this virtual event.

Juniors - ACT Testing, March 30

On Tuesday, March 30, juniors will be participating in the statewide administration of the ACT. Juniors should check in between 8:00-8:40am with the test beginning promptly at 8:45am. Please see the linked document for more specific test day information. As a reminder March 30 will be a distance learning day for all students in grades 9, 10 & 12. The only students coming to the building on March 30 will be juniors who are taking the ACT.

Seniors - Prom

Prom will be Saturday, April 24th. Prom Committee will be sending out details soon. At this time, due to event size limitations, Seniors will have first chance to sign up for Prom. Once all of the seniors who want to attend Prom have had the opportunity to sign up, Juniors will be able to sign up until we have reached the event limit. Only West High School students will be able to attend Prom this year, due to the COVID restrictions.

Upcoming Events

March 30

Juniors take the ACT

Distance Learning Day for all students

March 31

In Person Learning Day

Last Day of the Quarter

April 1

No School - Teacher Work Day

April 2

No School

April 5

1st Day of 4th Quarter

Family Academy

Mankato Area Public School's Family Academy has been rescheduled for Monday, April 12. There are four breakout sessions to choose from providing families tips, tools and strategies to stay engaged with your student's education. All sessions will be held online. To register: Go to isd77.org and click on Connect and then on Family Academy or call 507-387-5501.