Wolfpack Howler

Volume 18 Issue 21

Learn to work and think for life.

Week Four - Remote Learning

Greetings Wolfpack Students and Families,

Another week has gone by, and while it seems we've just gotten remote learning up and running, we now have to consider how to scale things back down as we prepare for the end of the school year. This week, we were provided the following guidance from the school district.

  • High Schools will begin collecting Chromebooks and textbooks, starting with Seniors, the week of May 4, and for everyone else the week of May 11. Please look for information about the return schedule at each school. All checked out items, including textbooks, library books, Chromebooks, instruments and uniforms must be returned to the school by May 15.

Please be mindful of this timeline as students work with teachers on any assignments/activities to raise their grade from the third quarter. Additionally, teachers will work on providing other enrichment work families could access as we phase down our remote learning. We will work next week to determine a process/timeline for the returning of materials, starting with our seniors and ending with our students enrolled in eLearning classes. Please watch for more information on this process and thank you for those families that have already returned items.

SENIORS - at the end of the year, we typically do a senior clearance card to ensure you've returned all of your school items. Please keep an eye out for emails from your teachers, counselor, library, and the front office to ensure that you've returned items and textbooks and are cleared from the fees/fines list. In the graduation information below, I have have a few "to-do" items for you to complete for me.


Lastly, below is an update on our graduation plan for the Legendary Class of 2020. Through each stage of our school closure I know I have personally just felt so incredibly sad as the reality of ‘losing’ our days together as well as these important milestones and celebrations, which are truly some of my favorite moments as the principal of the Wolfpack.

I’m sure many of you have felt similar sadness and grief. Graduation is truly such a special moment for students and families and we want to provide as many opportunities as we are able to in order to properly celebrate this amazing and resilient group of students. These moments aren’t lost, they’re different, but these differences don’t change the overwhelming feelings of pride that I have in each and every one of our 178 graduates that make up the West Valley Class of 2020.

Seniors please note: While I may not be able to hug you while wearing a hazmat suit yet, you can be assured even in a pre-recorded ceremony I won’t be able to get through reading all of your names without crying. I am so proud of each and every one of you.

Thanks again and please take care.

Sarah Gillam

Principal, West Valley High School

(907)479-4221 x46501

2020 Yearbook Update

Because of the COVID-19 phenomenon and school closure, WV Yearbook has had to make the following adjustments:

  • Yearbooks are still available for pre-order online until 5/15 www.yearbookforever.com

    • Books with namestamps can still be purchased until 4/30

  • Ad space is still available for purchase until 4/30 www.yearbookforever.com

    • Design online or upload your completed ad

  • Yearbooks for this year will be delivered to the school at the beginning of the fall semester

    • Students in attendance at West Valley will be invited to pick up their book

    • Seniors and others who aren’t attending West Valley but are still in Fairbanks will also be invited to come and pick up their books after the school day has ended

    • If a family has moved, or are otherwise unable to pick up their yearbook, they will call/email West Valley and we will figure out an individual plan to get them their book


(especially from Q4)

Students, families, and staff can submit them by filling out this Google form:


School Items Pick-up: Tues & Thus

All student lockers have had personal items bagged up to be picked up. We have not included textbooks in these bags and have simply checked them back in to the library.

We will have staff available for pick-ups and drop-offs on Tuesday and Thursdays from 7:30-2:30.

Call our front office at 479-4221 ext 0 to find a time to schedule a pick-up of school items. If your student has a PE locker, please look for an email from their PE teacher on process for collecting gym locker items.

CNA Applications

Students: If you are interested in applying to the Certified Nursing Assistant program for the fall of next school year please contact Ms. Sawchuk (melissa.sawchuk@k12northstar.org) for more information and how to apply.

Applications will be due by April 27 with zoom or phone interviews taking place on April 29.

National Honor Society - Postponed

Juniors -

We have decided that we will be postponing the invitation, application, and induction process until the Fall of 2020. Watch for more information when we come back in the fall.

Thanks - NHS Sponsors (Julie Zundel & Krystal Bass)

UPDATED Staff Contact - Department Office Hours

Families - We heard you, office hours were hard to navigate. This updated spreadsheet now has Department Office Hours so you can be sure to have an opportunity to contact teachers with questions.

Wolfpack Class of 2020 Graduation Celebration Plans

Dear Students and Families of the Class of 2020:

I know you have been waiting to hear about official plans for West Valley’s graduation and we’ve been working hard to put together the best graduation we can for you. Thank you for your patience and for sending me such wonderful and creative ideas.

At this time, due to current state mandates and direction from Superintendent Dr. Gaborik, we will be planning a pre-recorded graduation ceremony in collaboration with KXDF Channel 13. Unfortunately, we cannot plan an official ceremony that involves gathering in large groups, including people in vehicles.

West Valley's official graduation ceremony will be aired on KXDF Channel 13 at 7pm on May 12 - our original graduation date and time. Thank you students for identifying the most important parts of the ceremony - we will be focus our short time frame on allowing for you to hear from student speakers, hearing your individual name, and capturing each of you moving your tassels.

In the coming weeks, we will explore other options for students and families to celebrate this milestone that follow social-distancing guidelines for graduation ceremonies that were recently shared by the commissioner of education. We understand these in-person connections and good-byes are important and we will see what we can do to honor these moments.

Below I will highlight the elements we have been working on for our seniors as well as a few "To Do" items for seniors to complete.

My heart is truly with each of you, I miss all of you so much, and it was great to see and connect with those of you who stopped by on Tuesday for caps and gowns.

All of this information will also be on our Wolfpack Class of 2020 Graduation Celebration Website, which is linked below and here: https://www.k12northstar.org/WVClassof2020

West Valley High School - Graduation Ceremony

Tuesday, May 12th, 7-7:30pm

The comfort of your home.

KXDF Channel 13 will be broadcasting a pre-recorded West Valley High School Graduation Commencement Ceremony from 7-7:30pm. Tune in or stay posted for a possible online viewing link.

Do you still need your cap and gown?

While we distributed almost all of the caps and gowns on Tuesday, if you didn't get yours yet, please contact Becky Phillips with Herff Jones at 907-378-0006 or rphillips@herffjones.com.

She also had some 2020 tassels for sale on Tuesday, more information can be found at: http://bit.ly/wvhHerffJones2020

What if I didn't order a cap and gown and want to borrow one for pictures?

-Great question, we have a handful of extra caps and gowns from previous graduations, please email Tina Henne in our counseling office or reply to this email and we can help try to find one that will work for you and can schedule a pick-up time.

TO DO: Name Pronunciation

Students, I want to be sure I pronounce your name correctly when I read it - please complete this form for me so I can do my best!

TO DO: Sign-up for Zoom Tassel Moving Meeting

Moving your tassel was important to you, so Ms. Gillam will be hosting 20 seniors at a time on Zoom to "Move their Tassel" every 15 minutes between 12 and 3pm on Monday, April 27th.

This is will be recorded and included in our Graduation Ceremony. Please sign up for a time by clicking on the link below - then log on to the Zoom with your cap and tassel on.


TO DO: Senior Photo DropBox

There are some seniors that we don't have a yearbook photo for, if you need to upload a picture, you can do so here through DropBox. OR maybe you have a photo in your cap and gown, you'd like to share. You can do that here too.

Please rename your file "LastName_FirstName" before uploading it into the DropBox.

Access the DropBox Here.

TO DO: Senior Survey for Senior Trading Cards on Social Media

FOR YOU: Class of 2020 Yard Signs

We've been working with our business partner Dateline Digital Printing to get yard signs printed for all of our graduating seniors. We've utilized yearbook photos and West Valley alumni, Geoff Welch's creative designing to develop this design.

As soon as they are done, we will work on a distribution plan.

FOR YOU: Social Media & Radio Campaigns

In the month of May, we will use the information you share in the Senior Survey to do a social media campaign highlighting all of our amazing seniors. Please be sure to complete the Senior Survey so we can highlight you!

Also you can share your own photos on social media, use the hashtags #WVClassof2020 and #PackPrideAK

Additionally, iheartMedia will be doing a "Celebration fo Seniors" highlighting the class of 2020 between May 11-29 each night at 20:20 (or 8:20pm). More information to come when we know our students will be recognized. They will also have an online yearbook to highlight students.

FOR YOU: Yet to Come...

We will keep working on other ideas including a "drive-through" diploma pick up and having a professional photo booth available. More information to come as we work on details.
Wolfpack Class of 2020 - Graduation Celebration Website

All of the above information is also on our website, and you can check back later for updates.

West Valley High School

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” – Rudyard Kipling