The Weekly

West High School's Weekly Updates: April 27th-May 3rd

Required Classes Beginning

After over a month of optional learning, required online classes begin on Monday, April 27. The District has provided a great amount of communication detailing how this will work. Here is a link to this very complete information. In addition, West High administrators held a webinar last week to explain how online learning will work. This was attended by 475 parents and it is available on Youtube at this link:

The key aspect to the District's plan is that it really allows for all students to get high school credits. The goal at West High is for 100% of students to earn credit for their 3rd trimester classes. This is indeed possible as students can earn credit and a P, for Pass, by being in good standing after the first two weeks of classes. Students who were not in good standing (that is, passing) after the first two weeks, just need to complete enough work to cover the first two weeks of classes.

According to rules set out by the Iowa Department of Education, schools are required to take attendance. Attendance in an online format looks very different from live classes. In this new, online format, a student can be in attendance for a class by doing any of the following:

  • Attend a virtual class or teacher office hours
  • Having an email exchange with a teacher about classwork
  • Turning in an assignment
  • Logging into Canvas and exploring the learning materials left there by the teacher

Attendance will be taken weekly by the teacher and if a student has done any of these, he/she is considered to be in attendance. West High will be contacting students and parents of students who are not in attendance to see if we can assist the student in accessing his/her classes.

Iowa City West Math Club Wins State Math Championship

It seems nothing can stop the West High Math Team from winning a state championship--not even a global pandemic. The West High Math Club competed on Saturday, April 25th in the State of Iowa Math Championship. In this online event, they earned the State Math Championship for the 16th consecutive year and for the 21st time in the event’s 22-year history. Congratulations to the entire team and their sponsor, West High math teacher James Kirpes.

Final overall school results

1st Place

Iowa City West, 324.5 points

2nd Place

Waverly-Shell Rock, 195.3 points

3rd Place

Northwest Junior High, 191.2 points

Individual winners from Iowa City West include:

Target Problems:

9th grade: Ashley Seo, 1st place; Jonathan Fan, 2nd place; Kyle Chi, 3rd place

10th grade: Akhil Bharanidhar, 2nd place

11th grade: Divya Shyamal, 1st place; Dominic Rutkowski and Ananth Shyamal, 2nd place tie; Nathan Deyak, 3rd place

12th grade: Michael Han, 1st place

Sprint Event:

9th grade: Ashley Seo, 1st place; Anish Lodh, 2nd place; Edward Li, 3rd place

10th grade: Bill Chen, 1st place; Akhil Bharanidhar, 3rd place

11th grade: Divya Shyamal, 1st place; Quincy Tate, 2nd place

12th grade: Michael Han, 1st place

Overall Top Individual Finishers in Iowa from Iowa City West:

Michael Han, 1st place: Individual State Math Champion

Divya Shyamal, 2nd place

Ananth Shyamal, 3rd place

Ashley Seo, 4th place

Dominic Rutkowski, 5th place

Jonathan Fan, 7th place

Bill Chen, 10th place

The following Iowa City West team members finished in a 1st place tie on the Team Test.

  • Michael Han, Bill Chen, Ashley Seo, Divya Shyamal, Quincy Tate, Ananth Shyamal
  • Nathan Deyak, Dominic Rutkowski, Edward Li, Vladimir Tivanski, Connor Curtiss, Anish Lodh

The following students competed as members of the Iowa City West state math championship team: Michael Han, Ashley Seo, Bill Chen, Akhil Bharanidhar, Mason Carter, Jonathan Fan, Connor Curtiss, Anish Lodh, Edward Li, Kyle Chi, Vladimir Tivanski, Ken Wilbur,

Omkar Yadav, Vicki Carrica, Ananth Shyamal, Nathan Deyak, Gautam Sharda, Dominic Rutkowski, Nathan Wei, Quincy Tate, Divya Shyamal, Mengcheng Guo, Rohan Tejomurtula, Jayden Shin

Also, a huge shoutout to Mr. Norton and the team from Northwest Junior High. They finished 3rd in the competition. Their members are Athena Wu, Richard Yang, Cade Benson,Andrew Dong, Catherine Xu and Florence He-Yu.

Webinar Explores Graduation

On Friday, April 24, 275 seniors and parents of seniors attended a webinar regarding events related to end-of-year activities for seniors, including options for classes, the senior recognition assembly, graduation and the request of transcripts for colleges. Use this link to watch a screencast of this webinar:

Included in the webinar were a few timely issues for senior to act on this week:

  • Information for the senior recognition needs to be completed by Friday, May 1. Please use this form to turn in this information.
  • Caps and gowns will be distributed on Friday, May 1 from 8:00 am to 10:30 am in front of the West High Main entrance.
  • Forms for Silver Cord hours need to be completed by May 1. Please email these to Amy Sundermann at
The Senior Recognition Program will now run as a webinar and will take place on May 14, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Finally, if you are a senior or a parent of a senior and you have an idea about ways to hold a graduation while doing social distancing, please email Dr. Shoultz at

West Side Story Featured in the Press Citizen

The staff at the West Side Story are used to reporting on the news, not making news. This week, the West Side Story was featured in the Iowa City Press Citizen for delivering copies of their latest edition. Student volunteers donned masks and gloves as they walked, pedaled and drove around town delivering copies of the papers to families who filled out a form requesting home delivery. In addition, over 150 copies of the paper were distributed at during lunch distribution last Thursday. Use this link to read the story and see the photos:

World Language Dept Greeting

Mr. Cooper Recognized by the National Speech & Debate Association

Recently we were notified that WHS Debate Coach John Cooper was recognized for exemplary service by the NSDA. Here is what National NSDA Director Scott Wunn wrote about Mr. Cooper.

John Cooper is being recognized by the National Speech & Debate Association for their exemplary volunteerism to promote speech and debate. John serves on the East Iowa District Committee, which manages your school’s local community of speech and debate activities.

John goes above and beyond in service to the speech and debate community at large. Committee member responsibilities include:

  • Expanding access to speech and debate by recruiting new programs
  • Providing ongoing mentoring for first-time coaches as they learn the ropes
  • Organizing and hosting local tournaments
  • Communicating with local coaches about upcoming events and rules
  • Coordinating recognition opportunities for students and coaches across the district

On top of all of that, this spring John was tapped to help make difficult decisions about tournament operations for the safety and well-being of students throughout your district. In these challenging times, the leadership and input that John offers our national organization is more valuable than ever. While this spring hasn't gone the way we expected, one thing we know for sure is that John has made a big difference in the lives of students this year.

This week is National Volunteer Week, and we are proud to celebrate the commitment that John has made to help students in your area access speech and debate. Without John, our community would not be what it is today. Moreover, the future of our activity would not be as bright.

Craig Huegel Receives CAA Designation

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) is pleased to announce that Craig Huegel, Athletics Director at Iowa City West High School, has been recognized by this association as a Certified Athletic Administrator.

To earn this distinction, Craig has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience and professional contributions, as well as a rigorous, comprehensive written examination.

Craig is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.

The NIAAA is a national professional organization consisting of all 50 state athletic administrator associations and more than 12,000 individual members. It is dedicated to promoting the professional growth of high school athletic administrators and preserving the educational nature of interscholastic athletics and the place of these programs in the secondary school curriculum.

Get Your 2020 Commemorative T-Shirt

Get a t-shirt to go along with the story you will tell your grandchildren about the spring of 2020. The Iowa City West Covid-19 webstore is now open T-shirts are only $10 and were designed by West High students Ella Rosenthal and Sydney Wilde. Also, follow @wsspaper on Twitter for ways to win a free t-shirt!

Silver Cord Hours

Seniors who have additional SIlver Cord hours to turn in should scan or photograph their Silver Cord hours sheets and email them to Amy Sundermann at by Friday, May 1st. Seniors need a minimum of 200 approved community service hours to receive a silver cord, and a minimum of 400 hours to receive an additional gold W pin. Cords and pins will be distributed with diplomas and other honors cords.

Students currently in grades 9-11 who have completed Silver Cord hours should hold on to their sheets and turn them in to Amy in the Guidance office when we return to school in August.

Candenza Club Plans Online Concert

United in Isolation is an upcoming virtual performance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, produced jointly by Cadenza and the UNICEF Club of Iowa City West High. A series of video concerts, beginning on May 14th, will be uploaded daily. Viewers will be encouraged to donate to the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties' Community Disaster Relief Fund through these videos. Through this digital fundraiser, we hope that with our performers and our audience, we can all help support our community's most vulnerable families in these troubled times.
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United in Isolation: Starting May 14th

NAVIGATE 2020 Virtual Conference and College Fair

This event will host three days of live-stream expert presentations for students and families and a concurrent virtual college fair with fully interactive booths. Students can chat live with college admissions representatives, helping to find fit.

Students and families have lost opportunities in their college search due to COVID-19.

This event is free-of-charge to attendees and is designed to help students and colleges connect safely during the COVID-19 crisis. The event will be live for three days, packed with informative sessions about the college decision process. During those three days, students can also browse interactive college fair booths, chatting live with admissions representatives.

After three days of live interactions, this event will remain posted at the event site until the COVID-19 crisis is over. Students need access to information and this site will remain a robust tool for exploring their options.

We hope you can join us in this important event! Register soon, space is limited.

Learn More or Register Now

Virtual Tours Support Learning

Virtual Field Trips Farm Edition

1. Farm Fresh 360
Farm Fresh 360 lets you immerse yourself in life on a Canadian farm through a variety of tours. In the process, you will learn about everything from producing milk and cheese to raising pigs.

2. Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips
Another fantastic option is the American Egg Board website, which features Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips. Tours explore the challenges facing the farms that produce the nation’s egg supply. They cover how farmers manage their ecological footprints to operate more sustainably.

Aquarium Virtual Field Trip Options

3. Seattle Aquarium
One of our favorite options is the Seattle Aquarium’s 30-minute video tour, which teaches about Puget Sound’s food web and the marine wildlife found there.

4. The National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.
If you’re after a more traditional aquarium experience, then check out the self-guided virtual tours available through the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.

5. Georgia Aquarium
You also have a wide variety of options when it comes to scoping out the behavior of marine animals on live streaming webcams. Among our favorites? The Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager webcam offers fascinating glimpses below the surface of the water, including a whale shark!

6. Monterey Bay Aquarium
There’s also the “jellycam” at Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s sure to pique your interest in learning more about the oceans.

Virtual Field Trips Zoo Edition
Like aquariums, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to observing wildlife at zoos. Many across the nation have live webcams in some of their most popular exhibits.

7. Smithsonian National Zoo
For example, Smithsonian National Zoo’s Panda Cam will delight those interested in knowing more about these gentle mammals.

8. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo also maintains a variety of live camera feeds highlighting different exhibits. Among our favorites? The Giraffe Cam lets you view giraffes, rhinos, and more at the Safari Park’s African Plains habitat. There are also endless antics on the Penguin Cam.

Biomes Virtual Field Trip Options
Ready to explore biomes all over the planet in search of biodiversity? From the vast coral reefs of Palau to the deserts and grasslands of Africa and the mind boggling biodiversity of Peru’s coastal ecosystems, there are fantastic virtual options.

9. The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy has created 11 excellent virtual field trips that will change how you view the natural world. Each field trip lasts approximately 45 minutes.

10. Great Lakes Now
If you’re looking for an exploration of ecosystems a little closer to home, check out the virtual field trip from Great Lakes Now. This tour explores three topics in brief five-minute-long videos: coastal wetlands, algae, and lake sturgeon.

11. The US Geological Survey
If interested in geology and volcanoes, there’s also the US Geological Survey’s interactive volcano map. It allows you to click on and learn about any volcano located in the US.

West Side Story Moves to Home Delivery

Although the newsroom is empty, the West Side Story is going ahead with publishing the next printed edition of the award-winning school newspaper. Editors, writers and photographers have been working remotely to complete the April 24 edition. Since the paper can't be distributed in school, the staff is finding unique ways to distribute the paper. Fill out this form by 8 a.m. on April 21, and WSS staff volunteers will safely deliver the paper to your doorstep on April 24.

In the meantime, check out the online edition of the West Side Story for these and other stories:

District decides to continue voluntary online schooling

What Have your Teachers Been Up To?

What Shows to Watch During Quarantine? WSS Has You Covered

Lunch, Breakfast Pick-up Continues

Daily pick of lunch and breakfasts will continue this week at all sites. As a reminder, all children in the Iowa City School District age 1-18 are eligible for free lunches. Meals can be picked up in person or by a parent or guardian between 11 and 1 at any of the following sites:

  • West High School
  • City High School
  • Hills Elementary School
  • North Central Junior High School
  • Northwest Junior High School
  • Twain Elementary School
  • Wood Elementary School
  • Breckenridge Mobile Home Park
  • Cole/Thatcher Mobile Home Park
  • Lakeridge Mobile Home Park
  • Regency Mobile Home Park
  • South East Junior High
  • Mann Elementary School

MINECRAFT an Outlet for Students Looking to Hangout

Calling all West High Trojans who are interested in meeting online during the COVID-19 outbreak! We are looking to virtually join together the West High Community in a fun and educational environment. We plan on hosting sessions of MINECRAFT Education Edition on Thursdays while school is closed. Our first session is Thursday, April 16th at 2:00 pm. This will allow us to continue to practice social distancing and healthy habits, and, most importantly, to stay home while learning. If you are interested in joining us, please email Mr. Audia or Mr. Cooper to get more information about session times. Click on the link below for more details:

West High MINECRAFT Education Instructions

Scholarship Opportunities

Attention Seniors and Parents of the Class of 2020,

Due to the fact that West High School is currently closed to both students and those of us who work there, we wanted to make sure you are all aware of the numerous scholarship opportunities that are still available. Many of them will have deadlines in the coming days or weeks!

There are a number of scholarships available on the Guidance Website for the class of 2020. It should be noted that many of these scholarships are local, meaning that they will be awarded to either West High students specifically or students who live in Johnson County.

Please note that if you are planning to apply for one of the following scholarships, the senior student will need to be logged in under their ICCSD account to complete the Google form. The deadline for these scholarships has been moved back to April 10, 2020. This Google Form must be completed to apply for one (or any) of the following scholarships:

  • Braverman

  • Cretzmeyer

  • Gatens

  • ICCSD Administrator

  • Kanellis

  • Levy “Growth Mindset”

  • Robertson or

  • Stack

West High Guidance Department

AP Testing--What You Need To Know

More information regarding testing was communicated by CollegeBoard on Friday, April 10th. AP Students should note the following additional details:

As your teachers and AP coordinators, we cannot stress enough that nearly every aspect of AP testing this year falls under your (the student’s) sole responsibility. Unfortunately, coordinators and teachers do not have the ability to help you access and/or submit your AP exams.

All information about testing, including how to access your AP exam on test day, will be communicated by CollegeBoard directly to you via the email address you provided in your MyAP account. This means that every student needs to log in to their MyAP account to double check key details.

  • Verifying Email Address

    • Within your MyAP account, double check the email address you have listed is the email address you want your AP exam to be emailed to. You do so by logging in to your account, and near the top left of your screen, clicking your name and “Account Settings”. Scroll down to view the email address you have listed. If it is correct, no change is needed. If you want to change it, please do so and click “Update” at the bottom. Again, this is the email address all testing information will be emailed to on test day.

  • Sending Scores

    • You must indicate within your MyAP account which college you want to receive your AP scores. This is most relevant to all seniors. All other students are able to send AP scores in the future, once your college plans are solidified.

    • You do so by clicking “MyAP Profile” in the top right corner. You will then see a “Send Score” tab, and update it as necessary.

Again, if you have any issues logging in to your MyAP account, you must call 888-225-5427. Unfortunately, high schools do not have access to your MyAP account information aside from the email address you currently have on file with CollegeBoard.


Below is a summary of previously released information.

  • Here is the link to the 2020 AP Exam Schedule, which starts May 11th. There are three time blocks per day. Each student will be taking the exam on the regular testing date and assigned time, with each exam lasting a total of 45 minutes. Please note the exam start time, based upon the Central Time Zone. No student is registered to take an exam within the late testing window.

  • In late April, CollegeBoard will release a student At-HomeTesting Guide that will include additional details and video demonstrations on how testing will be conducted. This Guide will also include more information about testing with accommodations.

  • If students need technology assistance (device or internet) for exams, please visit this website by April 24th.

  • If you wish to cancel your AP exam, you are required to complete this Google Form. No AP exam cancellations will be processed via email, and full refunds will be processed via our district office. CollegeBoard has not yet established a cancellation deadline. We encourage you to work with your teacher as much as possible, as we know you will be successful on the exam!

What Are You Reading, West High?

Reading for pleasure has been shown to have a powerful impact on academic success, but many high school students report they do not have time to read just for fun. Now would be the perfect time, though, for kids to escape to books. To support our students’ return to reading for fun, the West High library has recently added dozens of new ebooks and digital audio books to our collection. A tutorial on accessing ebooks and audio books from our own library can be found here. West High students also have free access to the digital collections of all of the public libraries in Johnson County through the AIM Student Card service using their district student ID number. This demonstration video will show students how to access those materials. Any students who do not know their student ID number can email our teacher-librarian for help at Need some inspiration for creative ways to incorporate reading into your daily schedule? The ICCSD is providing fun reading challenges for students at all grade levels. Download or print this PDF for the West High Edition of the ICCSD Reading Challenge.

Selective College Presentation Video

The Selective College Presentation that was scheduled for March 30, 2020 has been canceled; students and parents may access a video recently recorded on this topic...
West Side Story Online Edition

For all the latest WHS news, check the on-line edition of the award-winning school newspaper.


Click here for the most current scholarship application opportunities!

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Welcome to The West High Weekly

The West Weekly is an on-line publication by West High School administration and staff and will be distributed on Sundays via email and popular online media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The purpose of The Weekly is to keep the West High Community informed of upcoming events and also report the news of the previous week. If you have some suggestions or ideas of things you would like to see in this publication, please email.

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact Jeremy Tabor, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,