WHS Newsletter

March 2019

Message from the Principal

The end of the third quarter is quickly approaching. Updated grades of student progress are always available on Canvas.

As we push forward to the end of the year attendance and literacy will continue to be our focus.


Students have completed the Open Response writing in English, Math, Social Studies and Science. Students will soon be completing the Open Response in Spanish, PE, Success Strategies, Music, and Health. To measure student's progress in writing, from Fall to Spring, students will complete the Open Response again in their English class in May. Our building goal is to increase the number of students proficient from Fall to Spring by 10%. Besides the Open Response, students continue to participate in other literacy strategies such as daily writing prompts and Close Reading.We are well on our way to our goal and look forward to seeing our students' growth.


We need your help, to ensure students are in school and maximizing their opportunities to learn.

  • Reinforce the importance of getting to school on time and not cutting classes. Your teenager may think it doesn’t matter to blow off the first or last class of the day, but it does. Even occasional skipping leads to dramatically lower grades. And it sends the wrong message to teachers about the desire to succeed.
  • Talk with your student’s teachers about how you can help your teen succeed, especially if you see his or her grades start to fall. Teachers should be helping struggling students, but sometimes it falls on freshmen (and their parents) to ask for that help. We know from our research that students do better in their courses when they trust their teachers and count on them for support. Communication with teachers is important, especially if there are personal issues affecting performance in class.
  • Make academics your top priority for your student. This means trying hard on assignments even when they aren’t interesting and choosing to study instead of socializing when there is a big test. Students with good study habits have higher GPAs and fail fewer courses than classmates who don’t make homework a priority.
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WHS Activities and Athletics Calendar

Click here for all athletic and activity schedules

West High Food Pantry Now Open!

The West High Food Pantry "Bear's Den" is now available to Westside families. Students can make an appointment with their counselor or principal if they are unable to attend one of the open days.

Clothing and Hygiene items are also available.

Bear's Den is located in room 100 right inside door 13. Patrons can park in the back lot and enter through door 13.

Bear's Den is a joint project with the Food Bank of Siouxland, a generous donor, and our WHS Students. The iJAG students and Student Council have worked to create a welcoming space and we are ready to share this resource with those that need it.

We will be open every Tuesday and Friday after school until 4:00 and on the following Saturdays 9AM - Noon:

  • March 16
  • April 13
  • May 11

Daylight Savings Begins March 10th - Move your clocks ahead one hour

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Speak Up in Our Schools!

Your Voice Matters.

Please participate in the School and District Climate Survey

The survey is open to all parents and guardians.

How to take the survey:

  • A link will be sent to you by email, text message and voicemail.
  • Paper surveys are available for pick up at your child’s school.
  • Take the survey online: www.siouxcityschools.org/newsletter

All survey responses are confidential.

Spanish –

Su Voz Importa.

Levante tu voz en Nuestras Escuelas.

Por favor participe en la Encuesta sobre el Ambiente del Distrito y las Escuelas

Fechas de la Encuesta: 19 de febrero-22 de marzo

La encuesta está disponible a todos los padres y guardianes.

Como tomar la encuesta:

· Se le enviará un enlace por correo electrónico, mensaje de texto y correo de voz

· Si Habrá encuestas en papel disponibles en las escuelas de su hijo.

· Complete la encuesta en línea: www.siouxcityschools.org/newsletter

Todas las respuestas de la encuesta son confidenciales.

After-Prom Fundraisers

The After-Prom committee has an upcoming fundraisers. After-prom's mission is to provide a safe and fun evening for our senior students following Prom.

Please contact Kat Pendleton at 712-899-4286 for more information.

Pancake Breakfast/Silent Auction

Sugar Daddy's

100 Military Road

April 6th 7AM - 10AM

Last Day to order a yearbook is April 1st - Cost is $55

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Graduation for the class of 2019

Saturday, May 25th, 2:30pm

401 Gordon Drive

Sioux City, IA

Preparations are underway for the 2019 graduation. It is important that all seniors finish strong and complete all of the required credits.

The Tyson Events center will be hosting all three high schools on this Saturday. Information regarding pictures and other details will come on upcoming newsletters.

The NEW Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress - Coming April 29 – May 17

Why a NEW version of the assessment?

Legislators passed House File 2235 during the last legislative session, which now requires all Iowa schools to give a new assessment called the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP). The new assessment is aligned with the grade-specific Iowa Core Standards, which means the ISASP more accurately reflects student understanding of the information currently being taught in our schools.

Who will take the assessment?

Students in grades 3 – 11 will take the reading, language and writing, and math assessments.
Students in grades 5, 8, and 10 will also take the science assessment.

Why is this assessment given?

In Iowa and in the Sioux City Community School District, the curriculum taught to students is aligned to the Iowa Core Standards. It is important to assess how well students understand the information taught in our schools. Therefore, ISASP will assess each student’s demonstrated knowledge and understanding of grade-specific content.

How will students take the assessment?

Students will take the assessment online.

What should parents/guardians know about the new assessment?

· Results are received quicker.

· Previous assessments relied heavily on multiple-choice questions. The new assessment will evaluate students’ skills using a mix of technology-enhanced questions, including open-ended essay questions.

· Today’s technology-enhanced questions provide greater insights into learning than previous assessments, which were formatted primarily with multiple-choice questions.

· The new assessment will provide parents/guardians with actionable information about their child’s learning.

· Over time, parents will also be able to access year-over-year analysis of how their child performed from one year to the next.

How can parents/guardians help prepare students for the assessment?

Practice tests are available online at http://iowa.pearsonaccessnext.com/test-prep/. Parents/guardians can help prepare students for testing by reviewing the practice tests online. Throughout the school year, and especially during testing periods, parents/guardians can ensure optimal student performance by making sure children get enough sleep, eat a good breakfast, and arrive to school on time. Most importantly, encourage students to try their best.

¿Por qué hay una NUEVA versión de la evaluación?

Los legisladores aprobaron el Archivo 2235 de la Cámara de Representantes durante la última sesión legislativa, que ahora requiere que todas las escuelas de Iowa realicen una nueva evaluación llamada Evaluación del Progreso Estudiantil del Estado de Iowa (ISASP). La nueva evaluación concuerda con los Estándares Básicos de Iowa específicos para cada grado, lo que significa que el ISASP refleja con mayor precisión la comprensión de los estudiantes de la información que actualmente se enseña en nuestras escuelas.

¿Quiénes tomarán la evaluación?

Los estudiantes en los grados 3 - 11 tomarán las evaluaciones de lectura, lenguaje y escritura, y matemáticas.
Los estudiantes en los grados 5, 8 y 10 también tomarán la evaluación de ciencias.

¿Por qué se da esta evaluación?

En Iowa y en el Distrito Escolar de la Comunidad de Sioux City, el currículo que se enseña a los estudiantes concuerda con los Estándares Básicos de Iowa. Es importante evaluar qué tan bien los estudiantes entienden la información que se enseña en nuestras escuelas. Por lo tanto, ISASP evaluará el conocimiento demostrado y la comprensión de cada estudiante del contenido específico a su grado.

¿Cómo tomarán la evaluación los estudiantes?

Los estudiantes tomarán la evaluación en línea.

¿Qué deben saber los padres/guardianes acerca de esta nueva evaluación?

· Los resultados se recibirán más rápido.

· Las evaluaciones previas se basaron considerablemente en preguntas de elección múltiple. La nueva evaluación evaluará las habilidades de los estudiantes utilizando una mezcla de preguntas aumentadas con tecnología, incluyendo preguntas abiertas de ensayo.

· Las preguntas de la tecnología mejorada de hoy día proveen una mejor comprensión del aprendizaje que las evaluaciones previas, que eran escritas principalmente con preguntas de elección múltiple.

· La nueva evaluación proveerá a los padres/guardianes información útil acerca del aprendizaje de sus hijos.

· Con el tiempo, los padres también tendrán acceso al análisis de año tras año, de cómo se desempeña su hijo de un año al siguiente.

¿Cómo pueden los padres/guardianes apoyar a sus estudiantes para prepararlos?

Los exámenes de práctica están disponibles en línea al http://iowa.pearsonaccessnext.com/test-prep/. Los padres/guardianes pueden ayudar a preparar a los estudiantes para los exámenes por medio de repasar los exámenes de práctica en línea. Durante el año escolar, y especialmente durante el periodo de los exámenes, los padres/guardianes pueden asegurar el rendimiento mejor, por supervisar que sus niños duerman lo suficiente, desayunen bien, y lleguen a la escuela a tiempo. Lo más importante es de animarlos a que hagan lo mejor posible.

SCCSD High Schools to Host ACT Exam for all Juniors

On April 9, each of the three Sioux City Community School District high schools will host an ACT exam date for all 11th grade students, in order to encourage college readiness and preparedness for the work force.

Data from this exam will inform the District on how current curriculum aligns with the ACT, as well as suggest areas of improvement. It will also assist in providing students with a smoother transition into college and increase their potential for future success.

In order to eliminate distractions and secure proctors for the exam, 9, 10, and 12th graders will not have school on this date.

Students and Staff of the Month

Each month one student from each grade level and one staff member will be recognized for living by the WHS motto We Are WEST! This month our student and staff member of the month are as follows:

Freshman – Frenesi Hiriarte

Sophomore – Rosario Chaclan

Junior – Karen Cooper

Senior – Caden Baldwin

Staff – Katie Gordon

After School Tutoring

After School Tutoring is available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the media center from 3:05-4:05 pm. The time is staffed with teachers from each of the core content areas. Students report to the media center and get support. This is a great way to catch up in a class or get help with current homework. No Sign-up required. Students may show up as needed.

Saturday School Available

To provide opportunity for catch up or intervention, WHS will be hosting Saturday school 8AM - Noon March 16, April 13, May 11 and May 18. Students that are failing one or more course should plan to attend. There will be teachers available from all content areas to help students get caught up.

Immunization Information for Class of 2020

Iowa Immunization law requires that all students entering 7th grade have both a Meningococcal vaccination and a Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis/whooping cough) vaccination before school starts in the fall.

Iowa law requires that all students entering 12th grade have a Meningococcal vaccination. The requirement is 2 doses of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students in grade 12, if born after September 15, 1999; or 1 dose if received when students are 16 years of age or older are required before school starts in the fall.

The Tdap requirement has been in place since the 2013/14 school year and requires a booster dose of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis containing vaccine for students entering 7th grade, regardless of the interval since the last Tetanus/Diphtheria containing vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe.

The meningococcal vaccine has been required since the start of the 2017/18 school year. Meningococcal disease is a life threatening illness that is caused by bacteria that infects the brain, blood, and spinal cord. It easily spreads in crowded settings. The vaccine is required prior to both the 7th and 12th.

What does this mean for you? You will need to call your physician’s office to make an appointment for these vaccines. You will need to check your home records or call your physician’s office to see what your student’s status is. If you do not have insurance, you can contact the Siouxland District Health Department at 279-6119. Please send a copy of your student’s updated immunization record to the school nurse prior to the first day of school in August 2019. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Seal of Biliteracy

We are excited to announce, beginning this academic year, the Sioux City Community School District (SCCSD) will offer a Seal of Biliteracy to graduating students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which being English. Students in SCCSD that complete requirements for AP Language and Culture, pass the AP language and culture exam with a minimum score of 3, and complete district determined requirements will be awarded the Seal of Bilteracy on their diploma, and receive a certificate of completion.

Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. The seal of biliteracy recognizes the value of language diversity & cultural identity, prepares students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society, and provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to attainment of biliteracy.

The Seal of Biliteracy, designated by the Iowa Department of Education, will be recognized statewide. The honor focuses not on “seat time” or completion of language courses; it relies on demonstrating proficiency in a given language.

Additional information can be found at https://educateiowa.gov/pk-12/instruction/biliteracy-seal. Questions about the Seal can be directed to Victoria Albright, world languages coordinator for the Sioux City Community School District.

Maintaining A Safe and Healthy Environment

The Sioux City Community School District is committed to providing an environment where students and staff members are treated with dignity and respect. We recognize that we are not unique, in that we experience the challenges of school and community-based bullying, yet we want to be unique in serving as a District that works to make a significant and positive difference in this arena. Please, join us in the effort to maintain a safe and healthy school environment. Visit our website, www.siouxcityschools.org/anti-bullying-harassment-hazing/, to learn more about our anti-bullying policy, view resources to help us combat bullying, or report concerns. We also welcome your feedback. Consider sharing your ideas or concerns using the Let’s Talk tool on our website.

Let's Talk

An engaged community makes our District stronger. That is why we have made it easy for you to connect with us whenever it is convenient for you. We encourage you to take advantage of Let’s Talk! our 24/7 online submission site, by reaching out with your ideas, questions, concerns, and praise. To make a submission, please visit http://www.siouxcityschools.org/lets-talk/.
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Non-discrimination Statement

The Sioux City Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following areas: Business & Marketing, Family & Consumer Science, Health Science, and Industrial Arts, Technology, & PLTW.

The Sioux City Community School District is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. It is an unfair or discriminatory practice for any educational institution to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information (for employment), national origin, religion, age (for employment), disability, socioeconomic status (for programs), marital status (for programs), or veteran status (for employment) in its educational programs and its employment practices. Inquiries or grievances, including Section 504 grievances and grievances under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, may be directed to Jen Gomez, Director of Student Services & Equity Education at 627 4th Street, Sioux City, IA 51101, (712) 279-6075,gomezj2@live.siouxcityschools.com. Please see District Board policies 103 and 504.4 for additional information on available grievance procedures.