The Weekly

West High School's Weekly Updates: Sept. 18th-Sept. 24th

West leads the state with 24 Semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship Program

Congratulations to the 24 West High seniors who were named as National Merit Semifinalists last week. These students now go on to vie for National Merit finalist status. Finalists must have a high academic record, be commended by the principal and merit SAT scores that reflect their top-grade PSAT/NMSQT scores in the preliminary screening of program entrants. An essay regarding a semifinalist’s leadership roles in the school and community is also necessary. Winners will be granted the National Merit title and be given $32 million worth of Merit Scholarship awards between April and July.

Pictured below: (Row 1) Gracie Rechkemmer, Leah Brownsberger, Wingel Xue, Catherine Ju, Jeongwoo Seo, Rui Jin, Eman Elsheikh, Mason Wang; (Row 2) Kevin Liu, Joshua Burbidge, Evan Geng, Robert Walling, Daniel Burgess, Colleen Bloeser, Jingyi Du, Ethan Trepka; (Row 3) Jack Wolf, Lien Zhu, Alex Granner, Patrick Shirazi, Shawn Thacker Nathan Stone, Junhee Lee, Adam Conrad

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Go BOND Passes--What Does That Mean for West

The voters of our school district turned out in record numbers and passed GO Bond last Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who voted--please know how much we appreciate this investment in our schools. If you didn't vote for the measure, please also know that we hear these voices as well and that West High is committed to earn your trust every day. This means we are committed not only to creating a great learning environment for all, but also to getting the greatest value for every construction dollar. Below is the process for completing the work at West High.

  • Complete Phase One of construction--July 2017 to August 2018. This phase, which renovates our kitchen and cafeteria and adds a practice gym, also includes necessary infrastructure work for Phase Two.
  • Complete design work for Phase Two--Completed by the end of 2017. A local architectural firm, Shive-Hattery, has been working on the designs for Phase Two for over a year. Significant progress has been made to determine the window design as well designing new air handling pathways for the geothermal heating and cooling that will be installed.
  • Complete Saftey and Security planning--January, 2018. Embeddded into Phase Two of the West High renovation is the work to upgrade our Information Technology infrastructure and to provide secure door entries throughout the building. This work is not being paid for by the GO Bond funds, but this design work is in conjunction with Phase Two planning. One major aspect of this is potentially re-designing the main gymnasium entrance and the offices to provide a more secure main entry way.
  • Send Phase Two designs to the Board for approval and then out to bid--Spring of 2018. Once the designs are complete, we will have clear cost estimates for the project which will impact the final scope of the classroom renovation. One key item is whether it will be cost effective to replace the flooring in the existing rooms.
  • Begin construction on Phase Two--Summer or Fall of 2018. Timelines have not been completed for construction, but preliminary estimates call for 12-18 months of construction.
  • Address West building needs that are not currently a part of Phase One and Phase Two--On-going. There are several smaller projects that could be funded with SAVE or PPEL dollars which will bring West High up to 21st century learning standards. With the passage of the GO Bond, some monies from SAVE (one-cent sales tax) and PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) could be used for these projects in addition to all those found on the Master Faciliities Plan. They include: replacing all of the aging and smaller lockers in the building, adding fly space to Arganbright Auditorium, renovating classrooms in our special needs for teaching life skills, adding functionality to the front acreage, renovating Art and Industrial Tech spaces so they will not have to be shared.
If all goes well, we will have crews beginning the work on Phase Two just as Phase one is completed. This means next year we will be moving classrooms out to the temporary buildings as sections of the building are being renovated. As classrooms are complete, they will be moved from the temporary buildlings into the main building during the school year so students will see the benefits of the GO Bond as early as next school year.

Kaeding, Arganbright, Barker Set for Homecoming Party

West High is turning 50 and we are throwing a party on Friday, September 22 from 5pm-7pm prior to the Homecoming football game. This is an event for alumni and friends of West High. Special guests include former NFL football player, Nate Kaeding and former principals, Jerry Arganbright and Ed Barker. Music by the Plastic Relations, a local band of WHS Alumni and teachers. Order your tickets online here:

What: West High 50th Celebration of Excellence

When: September 22, 5:00-7:00

Cost: $15 per ticket

Who: West High Alumni and Friends of West High

Where: West High Courtyard


Music by Plastic Relations | Address by former principal Jerry Arganbright | Sneak Peak at West High On-Line Hall-of-Remembrance |Admission to Trojan/CR Prairie Football game | Displays Of West from the Past 50 Years | Food and Drinks | Meet and Greet with former and current teachers and coaches| Special Singing of the West High Alma Mater | Guided Tours of the Facility |

Homecoming Week Brings Fun and Excitment For Students and Alumni

Homecoming week has a little something for everyone this year. The student senate has issued a dress up decree for each day of the week. Monday is PJ day, Tuesday isTtwin Day, Wednesday is Wild West Day, Thursday is Class Color Day, and Friday is Green and Gold Day. To learn about which seniors have been nominated for Homecoming Awards, check out this video.

The senate is running a Powder Puff flag football game between the junior and senior girls and also a Manball match (volleyball) between the the junior boys and the senior boys. These events will be played after school on Thursday. On Friday, the school will conclude the day with a whole-school assembly on the front lawn (weather permitting). Also on Friday the school is hosting a 50th Year Kickoff Celebration from 5:00 to 7:00. We are looking for at least one representative from each of the last 49 West High classes to attend. Saturday will be the Homecoming dance at the Coralville Marriott. Here are some other reminders for the week:

1.Battle for the Golden Goggles? Girls Varsity Swimming & Diving vs City High on Wednesday, Sept. 18th at Mercer Aquatic Center at 6:00pm

2. Varsity Volleyball vs Xavier on Thursday, Sept. 19th in the Main Gym at 7:00pm

3. Varsity Football vs Prairie on Friday, Sept. 22 on Trojan Field (Homecoming Game) at 7:15pm

4. Homecoming Dance on Saturday, Sept 23rd at the Marriott Hotel 7:30pm-10:30pm

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Homecoming is Coming: What Parents Need to Know

Q: How much are tickets?
A: Tickets for the dance are $12 a piece.

Q: What is the location of the dance?

The dance will take place at the Coralville Marriot Convention Center in the Iowa River Landing. The address is: 300 E 9th St, Coralville, IA 52241.

Q: What time is the dance?

The dance begins at 7:30 and will conclude at 10:30. Please do not drop off your student prior to 7:30, and please plan to pick up your student no later than 10:30

Q: Where and/or when can my student buy tickets?

A: Students can purchase tickets before and after school and during lunch in the West High foyer outside the cafeteria the week prior to the dance. Ticket sales close on September 22nd at 4pm. For safety and security reasons, no tickets will be available for purchase at the door, and only students with tickets will be admitted.

Q: What SHOULD my student bring to the dance?

A: Students must bring a ticket and a student ID. Students without a ticket AND ID will not be admitted. Also, the Coralville Marriott is pay-to-park, so students should bring parking money or they will not be able to leave the parking lot at the end of the dance.

Q: What should my student NOT bring to the dance?

A: Students should not bring backpacks, duffles, or other large bags. Small clutches, such as those that hold no more than some cash, cards, and a phone, are allowed.

Q: My student would like to bring a guest. What are the rules on guests?

A: Students are permitted to bring a non-West High guest to the dance so long as the guest meets one of the following criteria: 1) the guest graduated from West High School within the last two graduating years, or 2) the guest is a current high school student at another school. When students buy tickets, they will be asked to supply the name of their guest and the guest's home school if that guest is a current high school student. Unregistered guests will not be permitted entry into the dance. Guests must also supply a student ID or, in the case of a recent West High graduate, will be asked to show a valid form of state ID, such as a driver's license.

Q: My student has a room at the Marriott for that evening/will need to leave part way through the dance/etc., and would like to be able to come and go from the dance. Is that allowed?

A: Students who leave the dance will not be permitted re-entry under any circumstances. This rule helps us be certain that our students are safe and deters potential bad decisions among our students.

Q: When will the homecoming court winners be announced?

We will announce homecoming court winners around 9:30, but this time is not firm.

Q: What kind of supervision will exist at the dance?

West High takes the safety and security of our students very seriously, and this is our top priority. Several West High teachers will be on site at the dance checking tickets, monitoring the flow of students in and out of the dance, and monitoring the dance floor and surrounding congregation areas. Several West High administrators will be present to assist teachers in monitoring students and to help respond to unfortunate circumstances. Finally, uniformed police officers will also be present.

2017 Youth Salute Awards Ceremony

Over 60 West High seniors were honored at the Hills Bank Youth Salute Award Ceremony on Sunday, September 10th. Nina Elkadi and Khushi Kapoor were singled out for top honors in the program. Nina won top honor and Khushi was the runner up. The National Council on Youth Leadership is guided by the vision of making tomorrow's world better by developing leaders today. Their mission is to assist communities in applauding, encouraging, and providing opportunities for the leadership development of their youth. Nina will reprent West High at the "Town Meeting on Tomorrow" leadership conference held at Washington University in St. Louis in October. Congratulations, Nina and Khushi and all of the young leaders from West High.

Also recognized were:

Niki Alden, Jake Anderson, Abigail Arens, Kat Armstrong, Micah Bailey, Quinn Baker, Madi Barta, Gabrielle Bode, Emma Brustkern, Brandon Burkhardt, Annie Chen, Catherine Collins, Ana Crespo, Callie Dains, Mason DeGrazia, Jingyi Du, Molly Erickson, Lauren Ernst, Taylor Fridrich, Brooke Goodman, Ellie Gretter, Breeyn Gryp, Megan Haman, Paige Harken, Reagan Hart, Timothy Hillberry, Fiona Holmes, Rui Jin, Carter Johnson, Chad Johnson, Catherine Ju, Lauren Katz, Brennon Keen, Junhee Lee, Hannah Luce, Isabella Martinez, Pareen Mhatre, Meg Moreland, Hieu Nguyen, Belle Parker, Gracie Rechkemmer, Zach Ring, Claire Ronnebaum, Arshaq Saleem, Rachael Olivia Saunders, Megan Schneider, Ethan Seylar, Anthony Shirazi, Patrick Shirazi, Leo Shriver, Halle Terry, Shawn Thacker, Drew Thayer, Samalya Thenuwara, Ethan Trepka, Joseph Verry, Robert Walling, Elizabeth Walters, Mason Wang, Sadie Widmer, Wingel Xue

Meetings about PSEO (University classes)

Juniors and seniors interested in taking PSEO (Post-secondary Enrollment Option) coursework at the University of Iowa for the Spring semester are required to attend a registration meeting.

Meetings will be held on Wednesday, September 20th in the Guidance Office at the start of each period (periods 1-5 only). Both students currently taking PSEO coursework and those interested in registering must attend.

If you have any questions regarding PSEO courses, please contact the Guidance Office at 688-1053.

2017 West High AP Scholars Recognized

As noted the past couple weeks, West High had 225 students recognized by The College Board for outstanding achievement on AP exams. Below are the West High students who earned AP Scholars with Distinction (Granted to students earning scores of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams). Those students in bold were also named National AP Scholars (Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.)

Congratulations to all of these fine scholars.

Nathan S. Abramoff, Nasim H. Abu-Dagga, Samantha R. Anderson, Jaya R. Blanchard, Colleen L. Bloeser, Leah P. Brownsberger, Daniel A. Brugess, Shanthi M. Chackalackal, Eugenia Y. Chen, Yuxiao Chi, Taihee Choi, Charles O. Code, John J. Colgan, Adam Conrad, Cameron E. Cook, Emma K. Cooper, Austin T. Curtiss, Christina J. Dai, Jingyi Du, Blake R. Ealy, Eman A. Elsheikh, Kelvin M. Encarnacao, Lauren A. Ernst, Laura S. Fletcher, Evan S. Flitz, Ned B. Furlong, Yiwen Gao, Evan X. Geng, Seth J. Goldman, Alex M. Granner, Reagan A. Grieser-Yoder, Kaylee N. Guymon, Maxwell H. Hill, Megan C. Hill, Jie Ting Ele Ho, Sebastian L. Hough-Lecuona, Maggie M. Houghton, Molly L. Hows, Brandon Hu, Deniz Ince, Asha R. Irani, Philippe S. Jay, Rui Jin, Catherine H. Ju, Aisha M. Kazembe, Gabrielle J. Klemme, Pranav S. Krishnamurthy, Joshua Y. Kwok, Andrew Lamkins, Junhee Lee, Kevin Liu, Sarah E. Longmire, Christmann J. Low, Zayetzy Luna, Casey M. Mcclenathan, Kaleb W. Mcclenathan, Ashley M. Mcmahon, Emily M. Mergenthaler, Abdalrhman M. Mohamed, Mary G. Mondanaro, Michael J. Moonjely, Andrew Murley, Daniel Neese, Hieu Q. Nguyen, Jacquelyn A. Nielson, Yuhka T. Niki, Nathaniel A. Nyberg, Sofia R. Perez, Jennifer L. Pigge, Olivia S. Read, Arshaq Saleem, Soren K. Schmidt, Benjamin L. Schroeder, Jeongwoo Seo, Alexis K. Shaffer, Wala Siddig, Meghan Sinn, Gisela C. Smith, Micah E. Smith, Cassandra R. Staib, Orion C. Staskal, Regan L. Steigleder, Logan W. Stuart, Mclean D. Sunderland, Shawn V. Thacker, Reid M. Thoeny, Ethan B. Trepka, David Wang, Mason Wang, Julie S. Watkins, Valerie J. Welch, Crystal Wen, Lily A. Westemeyer, Robert A. Wise, Wingel Xue, Amy L. Yan, Steven Z. Yuan

PSAT Registration

The PSAT/NMSQT will be given at West High on Wednesday morning, October 11th at 7:00am in the West High cafeteria, study halls and band room. Registration for the PSAT/NMSQT is now open and runs through Friday, September 29th. Juniors and high-achieving sophomores are encouraged to register. If you are not sure whether your child should take the test, or if you would like more information regarding the test, please contact the Guidance Office at 688-1053.

There are two principal reasons one might wish to take this test:

1. The PSAT/NMSQT is a shortened, practice version of the SAT and offers a “preview” for the longer and more complete SAT. The PSAT/NMSQT is returned to you along with a complete report of right and wrong answers so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses as you prepare for competitive tests.

2. The PSAT/NMSQT is the initial selection device in the National Merit Scholarship program, which identifies capable high school students and awards scholarships to those who score highest on the PSAT/NMSQT.

To register, please bring a check (made payable to West High School) for $17 to the West High Guidance Office no later than Friday, September 29th.

Peyton Hayes Memorial Plaque Dedication

There will be a dedication for a memorial plaque for West High student Peyton Hayes on Tuesday, September 26th at 1:00 in the West High Little Theater. Peyton was a West High student who died during heart surgery at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. Peyton's smile was a daily presence at West High and he particularly enjoyed visiting the offices. His plaque will be hung in the guidance office as a reminder of his positive spirit and love of life.

Iowa City West Three Class 4A Individually Ranked Cross Country runners Kiara #29 Colleen #10 Bailey #1

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Congratulations to West High custodian Daniel Carlos on receiving the District Shine Award!

The District Shine Award recognizes staff who positively influence, inspire and make a lasting impact on those they work with every day. When chosen, the staff member receives a recognition ceremony in their workplace, a t-shirt and a golden apple.

Daniel Carlos was nominated separately by three different West High teachers for his outstanding work. Here is some of what said about Daniel.

I've just wrapped up 18 years of teaching, four different school districts, 6 different classrooms, and I am 100% positive that Daniel Carlos is the BEST custodian there is! He takes pride in his work and works very efficiently! He picks up every piece of garbage on the floor (with his hands) every night! In fact, There was nothing that Daniel would even flinch about doing for me and my room. He is top notch---a man proud to be doing what he's doing--and a super pleasant man to also have a daily conversation with! Daniel is so deserving of the District Shine Award!!

--Julie Kennebeck, Math Teacher

Daniel goes above and beyond all the time. I've never received a Christmas gift from a custodian before. He is super thorough in cleaning and unbelievably conscientious in not interrupting to clean while meetings are going on or even if one or two people are quietly working in a room. He often comes back more than once to make sure that areas are clean after skipping an area if people are still using it when he is making his normal rounds.

Tyson Smith, Economics Teacher

Daniel leaves my classroom in Temp 5 immaculately clean every single day. The room is always just as I left it, only cleaner and neater. He is a very pleasant man, and is very diligent about details. My blackboard is always erased and free of dust residue, the desks are always in perfect order, not pushed together. In my years of teaching at West HS since 1998, I have not had a custodian who left the room in better condition, and I could count on it each and every day. Daniel is awesome!!

Joye Walker, Math Teacher

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West High's Mohamed Yousif remembered for his helpfulness, high energy

Students and staff at West High are celebrating the memory of Mohamed Yousif, a student who died in July while visiting family in Sudan.

Read more on the memories of Mohamed Yousif and the Award that will be given out in his honor starting this school year here:

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Canvas Parent App Available

A simple app for smartphones and tablets, Canvas Parent, allows parents to observe West High Canvas sites. Canvas is the learning management system that West High teachers use to manage assignments and other classroom activities. Currently, grade integration between Canvas and Powerschool has not been fully integrated, so parents interested in grade information should continue to use their Powerschool logins.

Check the links below for more information about our Chromebook initiative:

West High 50 Years of Celebration Party

Friday, Sep. 22nd, 5pm

2901 Melrose Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Alumni and Friends: West High is turning 50 and we are throwing a party on Friday, September 22 from 5--7 prior to the Homecoming football game. Tickets are only $15 and include entry into the Homecoming football game:
West Side Story--Online Edition Up and Running

The West Side Story publishes a newsmagazine once a month, but the online edition never sleeps. Check back often for the latest West High News.

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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 Kingsley Botchway II, Director of Equity, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,