West High Newsletter

West High School - Sioux City, IA

November 2019

This Month's Highlights.....

  • Battle of the Blizzards
  • ACT Updates
  • P.A.W.S Parent Group Information
  • After Prom Fundraising
  • Athletics update from Mr. Pace
  • Saturday School dates
  • Food Pantry & Clothes Closet
  • Handle With Care District Initiative

Newsletter: Now Available in 100+ Languages
If you prefer to read the newsletter in a language other than English, please scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to select your preferred language. Simply select the "Translate" button on the lower right, select your language from the drop-down menu, and click "Close." The entire newsletter will then be translated into the language you have selected. Over 100 languages are available for selection.

Boletín Informativo: Ahora Disponible en más de 100 Idiomas

Si prefiere leer el boletín en un idioma que no sea inglés, desplácese hasta la parte de abajo para seleccionar su idioma. Simplemente seleccione el botón "Traducir" en la esquina derecha de la parte de abajo, seleccione su idioma en el menú y haga clic en "Cerrar". El boletín completo se traducirá al idioma que haya seleccionado. Más de 100 idiomas están disponibles para su selección.

P.A.W.S. Meeting

Our new parent group P.A.W.S. met for the first time in October. At this meeting we discussed the school goals, school communication, barriers to student success and the importance of parent and school collaboration.

One action item from October's meeting was the addition of Activities listed weekly on the West High Facebook Page. You can check it out HERE.

Please join us for this month's meeting on November 18th, at 6:00 PM in the Media Center.

FAFSA Completion Day Nov 14th

Do you need help filing your FAFSA, the federal financial aid application for college? Local college financial aid experts will be at West High to work with senior students and their families on Thursday, November 14th between 1:00 and 7:00 pm by appointment only. Call the West High counseling office at 712-279-6746 to set up your appointment and get more details.

After-School Tutoring & Night School

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.

Night School is also available for students that want to continue to work on their Edgenuity courses or need extra help. Tues & Thurs 3 - 7PM and Wed 3 - 5 in room 265

Upcoming Saturday Schools

Saturday school is another opportunity for students to get caught up on missing work, get extra help in classes that they are struggling with, or continue working on their Edgenuity courses. Our upcoming Saturday schools are:

November 16th, 8:00 AM - Noon

December 7th, 8:00 AM - Noon

December 14th, 8:00 AM - Noon

January 11th, 8:00 AM - Noon

Food Pantry & Clothes Closet

West High's Food Pantry, "The Bear's Den," will be open Nov 16th 9AM - 11AM.

The pantry is open for any Westside families to get what they may need. Some clothes and toiletry items are also available.

The pantry is available by appointment throughout the month. Please contact Joe Schmitz schmitj@live.siouxcityschools.com or your student's counselor to set up an appointment.

Marking Period Grades

You can now check Canvas or Infinite Campus for your student's grades. The marking period or quarter grade is not the final grade, but a progress grade that will continue to update until the end of the semester. The Semester grade is the final grade that will show up on a transcript.

After-Prom Fundraiser @Pizza Ranch

Enjoy a night out with the family and support After-Prom by attending Tip Night at Pizza Ranch. Tuesday Nov 12th 4:15 - 9:15.

If you would like more information about After-Prom, or would like to volunteer to help, please contact Nikki Nieman: mnnieman@msn.com

We are Thankful...

As we prepare to take a short break from school for Thanksgiving, I want express my gratitude for everyone who makes it possible for as many students as possible to come to school every day, on time, and ready to learn. Special thanks to:

  • Our students and families that prioritize daily attendance. The habit of regular attendance helps all students do well in the classroom now and prepares them for the future workforce.
  • Our excellent teachers who pour their energy into making West High classrooms engaging for students.
  • Our support staff and community volunteers who provide extra care and attention to the needs of our students and our facilities.

Thanksgiving Break will include an early out on Nov. 27th and days off on the 28th and 29th. School will reopen on Dec. 2nd.

We especially appreciate your efforts to avoid taking extra days off during the Thanksgiving holiday. Just a few missed days here and there, even if they are excused, can add up to too much lost learning time and leave a student behind in school.

Come see the West High Fall Play!

A community theater is having a problem with their murder-mystery play. The playwright, another woman in the community, keeps changing the script. Now they are down to three days of rehearsal and what happens?

The actors are having a hard time memorizing lines because of all the changes. The director has lost her sense of humor, and the play is in disarray. The end result on the West High audience will be one of pure humor and one that will surely entertain those who come. See for yourself! See Play On November 8 and 9 at 7:00 in the West High auditorium. Lots of laughs will make the night go quickly.

Ye Olde Madrigal Feaste - Dec. 13 & 14 7PM

The feaste is an authentic Renaissance banquet serveth by wenches and pages in a

colorful “Great Hall” setting. Dineth with the gentry of the era and enjoy the entertainment as

provideth by the Royale Court, Ladies in Waiting Chorus, Meistersingers, and the Singing

Servants Choruses, Hearald Trumpeters, Royale Orchestra, and Court Entertainers.

Ordereth tickets you may, with the form below, at $25.00 per person for dinner and an

evening of revelry. Payment must accompany the order. If you wish to purchase by mail, please

include a self-addressed , stamped envelope. Reservation deadline is Wednesday, November

27th. Advance ticket sales only. Seating is limited. No refunds will be made; however, a waiting

list will be maintaineth for cancellations.

If you wish to sit at the same table with others you know, send request on 1 form. Once a

table is assigned, changes will not be made.

Location: Masonic Shrine Temple Auditorium just off of 9th St downtown Sioux City.

  • Below you can find download important dates and a timeline for the Madrigal dinners the week of the show.
  • Parent volunteers are needed for helping with Madrigal you can sign up on the link below or contact Mr. Hodnefield if you are interested in helping: hodnefb@live.siouxcityschools.com or 712-279-6772 ext. 3767.
  • Next Choir Parent Meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 5:30 pm in the choir room.

Update from Mr. Pace and the Athletic Department

Fall sports season has gotten the school year off and running! We had great participation in all of our activities and our student-athletes worked very hard to improve their skills.

The winter sports season is right around the corner and winter sports team are starting to have sign up meetings:

  • Girls Basketball November 4th 5:45
  • Boys Basketball November 12th 6:00
  • Wrestling November 12th 6:00
  • Bowling November 12th 6:00

As a reminder please make sure your physicals and concussion forms are updated and in the athletic office. No one is allowed to practice without a current physical and concussion form on file. If you have questions about your physical, please stop in the athletic office and ask either Mrs. Miller or Mr. Pace about them, or you may pick either form up in the office as well.

I want to leave you with some tips for parents of participants in sports and activities from the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

Rather than concern with scoreboard wins and losses, PCA hopes that you, as a sports parent, keep your eye on the Big Picture – the life lessons in teamwork, resilience, overcoming adversity, communication skills, etc., that sports can uniquely teach.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of sports – we all want our children to succeed. But before your child’s season starts and emotions run high, write down your goals for your child in sports. Keep this list close by and refer back to it throughout the season to help maintain your focus on the bigger picture.


Please contact the athletic department with any questions that you may have.


Al Pace

Asst. Principal, Athletic/Activity Director



WHS Activities & Athletics Calendar

Click here for all West High Activity and Athletic Schedules

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Students and Staff of the Month

Each month one student from each grade level and department and one staff member will be recognized for living by the WHS motto We Are WEST! In September the following were recognized:
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Siouxland Cares Student Survey

The Greater Sioux City Metro Area Survey on Alcohol and Drugs has been conducted by Siouxland CARES for 20 years in Siouxland. Data is gathered from the Sioux City Community School District, Dakota Valley, South Sioux City Schools, Lawton Bronson, Sgt. Bluff, Correctionville, Bishop Heelan, Moville, and Elk Point. All Sioux City Community School District students enrolled in the 6th, 8th, and 11th grades are scheduled to complete the survey sometime between the following dates: November 13 – December 13, 2019.

The survey is administered by school officials and contains questions related to self-reported substance use, exposure to substance use by friends, perceived ease/difficulty in obtaining alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as well as perception of harm. The data is collected by Siouxland CARES and the scores from all schools are combined and reported in aggregate to community agencies in Siouxland. These agencies use the data to plan programming and resources to fulfill community needs related to the survey findings. If you wish to learn more about the survey instrument and past results, please follow the following link: http://siouxlandcares.org/community-data/sioux-city-greater-sioux-city-metro-area-youth-survey/

The 20-minute survey is anonymous, participation is voluntary, and there is no penalty for declining to participate. Additionally, students who participate may choose to skip any question or questions that they do not feel comfortable answering. If you do not wish to have your student participate in the survey, please complete the online refusal of consent form by November 8, 2019. https://www.siouxcityschools.org/siouxlandcaresrefusalform/

ACT Updates for Next School Year

Last week, ACT announced new options coming to the ACT test starting with the September 2020 national test date. Below are the two major changes, as communicated from the ACT website.

ACT Section Retesting

ACT Section Retesting, which gives students the opportunity to retake one or more single-section tests to best show their knowledge, helps students focus their study efforts solely on the areas in which they want to improve their scores.

Section retesting will be available to all students who have taken the full ACT test. It is the same test – just one section or subject at a time. Section retests are identical in the content covered, timing, and the number of questions for each ACT section test. Section retesting will be offered seven times a year, on the same dates as the national ACT test. Students may take up to three section retests on any one test date, though there are no limits on the number of times a student may take a retest.

ACT Superscoring

ACT has determined that superscores are more predictive of how students are likely to perform in their college courses than other scoring methods. Starting in September 2020 ACT will begin reporting superscores. Colleges will set their own policies regarding superscoring. Therefore, ACT will supply colleges with at least one full composite score along with each superscore, plus all of the scores from the test events that are part of the superscore composite. ACT has encouraged colleges and university to consider adding superscoring to their score-use policy because, as our research shows, superscores are just as predictive – if not more predictive – of first-year grades than other scoring methods.

ACT Testing & SCCSD

Please note, these changes will NOT impact current seniors. Additionally, this will NOT change the way the Sioux City Community School District administers the ACT Test for juniors.

Learn More

To learn more, you can visit the ACT website by clicking HERE.

Wanting to sign up for the ACT?

Visit here to sign up and log in!

Future Test Dates:

December 8, 2019

February 9, 2020

April 4, 2020

April 21, 2020 (Administered to all 11th grade students at the high school; no cost to students)

June 13, 2020

Order your 2019-2020 Yearbook Now!

Social media and technology are always changing, but yearbooks are forever. Buy your student a lasting memento that will grow in value each year of your student’s life – the 2019-20 West High yearbook.

When you buy your child a yearbook, you are buying a product that will be treasured today and for years to come. This invaluable keepsake of the 2019-20 West High yearbook is only $40. The price will go up as the year goes on so don’t wait.

Buy online with a credit card, debit card or PayPal at yearbookforever.com or at school with cash or check from Ms. Stephens in room 257 at West High.

Order now, so your student won’t miss out when the yearbook is distributed around October 2020, or when the class reunions start rolling around. Senior year happens once… the yearbook is forever.

Important Reminders for the Class of 2020

Jan 15 - Senior Pictures are Due

Jan 16 - Last day of Semester 1

April 21st – Senior Meeting during Homeroom

9:30 AM, Auditorium, Counselors will meet with Seniors to go over end of the year deadlines and expectations

May 16th – Prom

7:00 – 10:00 PM, Hilton Garden Inn

May 16th – 17th After-Prom

May 22nd – Last Day of School for Seniors & Graduation Practice

May 22nd – Senior Honors Assembly

May 23rd – Graduation Tyson Events Center

West High Yearbook Photograph Requirements for 2019-20.

Please read the following requirements for the senior pictures to be used in the yearbook.

  1. The yearbook photograph must be a head and shoulders or waist up composition.
  2. High resolution
  3. Hand gestures may not appear in the photos.
  4. “Selfie” photos will not be accepted.
  5. Attire for photographs must comply with West High School’s dress code.

Senior pictures can be delivered to Ms. Stephens in room 257 or sent via email to stephet@live.siouxcityschools.com. Electronic submission is preferred but not required. The final date for accepting senior pictures will be January 15, 2020.

Important Dates for All Students

November 7th: SportsWorld Assembly

November 14th: ASVAB, and FAFSA Completion Day

November 16th: Saturday School

November 18th: P.A.W.S. Meeting

November 27th:1 Hour Early Release

Nov 28 - Dec 1: Thanksgiving Break

December 7: Saturday School

December 14: Saturday School

Dec 21 - Jan 5: Winter Break

January 11: Saturday School

January 16: Semester 1 Ends

January 17: No School Teacher Work Day

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Handle with Care Initiative Launches in Sioux City

The Sioux City Community School District is launching a new initiative, Handle with Care, in partnership with the Sioux City Police Department (SCPD). This initiative is part of an effort to further advance work to support the emotional needs of students. Handle with Care is an alert system set up to notify the District any time a police officer is dispatched to a student’s home. SCPD will NOT share any details about the call or police activity. The alert will only prompt the District officials to take actions to “handle the student with care” in the days following the call. School staff that closely interact with the student involved will be prompted to observe the student’s behavior. If the student exhibits signs that indicate distress or concern, a professional school counselor will support the student’s emotional needs. The Handle with Care program will launch on December 1, 2019. If you have questions about the program, please call:

· Jen Gomez, Sioux City Community School District: 712-279-6075

· Sgt. Jeremy McClure, Sioux City Police Department: 712-279-4981

Winter Weather Information

With cold weather upon us, it’s important to plan for inclement weather. Please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the colder weather. Suggested apparel includes a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves. If a student needs access to these cold weather apparel items, please contact the school office.

Even during the winter season, the District allows recess and outdoor activities to continue as usual. However, if a student does not have appropriate winter clothing, a school official may ask a student to remain inside.

When the atmosphere reaches a temperature that feels like 15 degrees or less, then all students are kept inside for recess/activities. The “feel” of the temperature is determined based on the National Weather Service’s report.

Thank you for helping us keep students safe and warm this season.

School Closure Information

The winter in Iowa provides us with some days that make it a challenge to hold classes at the regular time, and sometimes we must close our schools early, late, or for the entire day. As you know, our weather is not only challenging at times, it is constantly changing.

Please remember that parents and guardians have the right to make the decision to keep their child home on any day that they feel it is unsafe for their student to be in school because of weather conditions. If you believe the weather provides a sincere reason why you may have to keep your students at home, or take your student home when classes are scheduled to continue, you as a parent or guardian will simply need to contact your child’s school to let them know.

If a decision is made on the day of school to cancel classes or to have a late start, a call goes out at 6:00 AM to all parents and guardians. Parents can also check the following sites for closure information.

1. GovDelivery https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/IAEDU6039/subscriber/new?qsp=CODE_RED

2. District’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SiouxCityCommSchools

3. District’s Twitter @siouxcityschool

4. All media outlets

If the schools are dismissed early or if school is called off entirely, there will be no evening activities. If you have before and after school care, please check with your provider about their procedures.

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.