Wildcats News

West Middle School

Principal - Scott Cole / Assistant Principal - Rachelle Wiersma / Dean of Students - Zach Davis

February 2020

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Upcoming Events

2/4 Choir Candy Bar Fundraiser kicks off

2/5 Choir Candy Bar Fundraiser kicks off

2/10 Valentine's Dance @ WMS 4-5:45 P.M. WMS students only / $2 pre-purchase admission / $1 for pizza, pop & glowsticks / no cell phones allowed

2/11 My Life, My Choice @ Longlines (7th grade) 1 group @ 9:00 A.M. and 1 group @ 11:10 A.M.

2/11 6-12th grades Orchestra Concert @ WHS 6:00 P.M.

2/11 OURS Parent Group Meeting @ Career Acadmeny 6-7:00 P.M.

2/15 Annual Freedom Fund NAACP Banquet @ S.C. Convention Center 6:30 P.M. (WMS art winners recognized)

2/16 31st Annual Youth Art Exhibition Awards Ceremony @ S.C. Art Center Atrium 2:00 P.M. (WMS art winners recognized)

2/19 Incoming 6th grade Parent Informational Meeting @ WMS 5-6:00 P.M.

2/20 Dr. Gausman Lunch with WMS Student Council @ WMS 12-1:00 P.M.

2/20 Strong Foundations Honor Band @ EHS (afternoon) / Concert @ 6:00 P.M.

2/26 SPED to NAIA 9:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M.

2/26 Conferences @ WMS 2:55-5:35 P.M.

2/27 Conferences @ WMS 8:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M.

2/27 No School for middle school and high school students

2/28 No School districtwide - Conference Exchange Day

Note from the Principal...

There are several pieces of celebration and information within our newsletter this month.

The first celebration is The Iowa Department of Education has released the State of the Schools Report. I’m excited to announce that West Middle is the highest ranking secondary school in the district! It is nice to see the hard work and dedication of our students and staff are paying off. It is also rewarding to know that what has been implemented at West Middle is working for our students.

Our next celebration is that again this year WMS students have placed first, second and third in the MLK art contest. It is wonderful to see our students being recognized for their work in the arts. A thanks also must go out to Mrs. McManigal, our art teacher, for pushing our students in art class.

Our 7th grade students held a Future Ready Expo this past month showing the work they have been doing in math, science and English. The projects and information shared were very informative and showed the hard work of students and staff. The event was well attended by parents and school staff. Thanks to the Future Ready team for the experiences you are giving our 7th grade students.

Several students recently participated in a local math contest at NECC in South Sioux City. All did well with Chance Riley placing second in his division. Congratulations!!

On January 14, WMS held our first Title I Parent Engagement night. We will be holding more engagement nights as the year progresses. Please watch for additional information in upcoming newsletters.

Conferences are coming in February. They are the 26th from 2:55 – 5:35 and the 27th from 8:00 – 8:00. We will be using the myconferencetime website again to sign up for conferences with your child’s advisory teacher. We will send more information on the website and how to sign up as the dates draw nearer.

There is information in the newsletter on IB (international baccalaureate) and what we will be working on with students this month. This is an effort to keep you informed with IB and what we will be doing. Hopefully you find it informative.

Scott Cole 279-6813

IB Update

West Middle's IB Learner Profile focus for January was THINKERS and COMMUNICATORS. Teachers discussed, modeled and practiced these learner traits within their content lessons in the month of January. In February, we will discuss the trait PRINCIPLED. We would encourage parents to ask children about the different ways learners can demonstrate thinking, communication, and being principled as life-long learners.

As IB learners, we strive to be THINKERS. We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

As IB learners, we strive to be COMMUNICATORS. We express ourselves con­fidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

As IB leaners, we strive to be PRINCIPLED. We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

How can parents encourage children to be....


  • Encourage your child to try to think of solutions to problems independently. Pose different real-life problems and questions to your child.

  • Ask your children questions when they are working on a problem:
    • " Do you have any ideas about how we might begin?"

    • " How can we do this differently?"

    • " I had never thought of that. Tell me more about it."

    • " What other ways can we show that?"

    • " How did you figure that out?"


  • Encourage your child to stay in touch with relatives and friends who live in other countries by writing letters, using the phone or sending email.
  • When working on mathematics homework, encourage your child to explain his/her answer to you orally or by drawing a picture.
  • Work with your child to improve his/her listening skills. Being a good listener is an important part of communicating with others.


  • Involve your child in deciding on the rules for a game or activity and then ensure that they stick to the ones that have been decided upon.
  • Encourage your child to play games that involve teams. Discuss with your child the qualities of a team player. What sort of person would they want on their team?
  • When your child wins a game insist that he or she is a well-mannered winner. They might thank their opponent or shake hands with them if it’s appropriate.
  • When playing a game, don’t change the rules or let your child win. Being a gracious loser is just as important as being a good winner.

8th grade Highlights - Science...

Making Up Everything!

8th grade Science students have been learning about different concepts in Chemistry. Now they will begin to explore what makes up all matter that we know of and that is the atom! Students will be able to describe how atoms behave and how they fit on the Periodic Table. They will learn how to read the Periodic Table, where all of the properties of elements are listed. Students will research how the different properties of elements combine to make different materials that we use daily. Ask your student about the difference in steel for a bridge and the knife that you cut fruit with. Students will also research what happens when different atoms come together to create a chemical reaction.

Yearbooks on Sale Now

Help make the year unforgettable by purchasing a 2019-2020 West Middle Yearbook during the month of February!

Buy online with credit card, debit card or PayPal at yearbookforever.com or bring $20 to Mrs. Michaelson in the library. Order now, so you won’t miss out when the yearbook is distributed the last week of school.


Remember that handwashing is an important way to prevent the spread of infections like colds, influenza, strep, pinworms, pink eye, etc.

Art Winners

31st Annual Youth Art Exhibition

Congratulations to the students whose artwork has been selected for the 31st Annual Youth Art Exhibition: The Art of Middle School Students at the Sioux City Art Center.

There was over 200 entries from surrounding schools. West Middle students did exceptionally well with 13 pieces chosen to be exhibited which three students placed in the top three for their grade level and three students received an honorable mention.

The exhibition will be on display in the Art Center’s Jensen, Everist and Terra Galleries, located on the third floor, from February 15 through April 12, 2020. The opening reception will be held on Sunday, February 16th from 1:30-3:00 A.M.. The awards ceremony will take place at 2:00 P.M. in the atrium. The students and their families are encouraged to attend.

6th Grade

Mercedes Olivares

Aaron Palmersheim

Keiry Estrada-Perez -1st place

Nyamal Koang - Honorable Mention

7th Grade

Evelyn Pineda

Omar Orozco- Perez - 3rd place

8th Grade

Daisy Topete

Julio Santos - Honorable Mention

Marygrace Fairchild - Honorable Mention

Keegan Cummings - 1st Place

Bethzy Nicolas

Kiah Davis

Kaden Nguyen

West Middle Sweeps the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Art Contest

All winners are invited to attend the banquet, at which time they will receive an award. The Annual Freedom Fund NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Banquet is on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at the Sioux City Convention Center. Social hour begins at 6:30 P.M. with dinner being served at 7:00 P.M. All winners are requested to be there by 6:30 P.M. The banquet tickets will be paid for each winner (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and one of their parents/guardians.

1st Place WMS – Mya Comstock

2nd Place WMS – Moises Alferez Cruz

3rd Place WMS – Angie Amaya Hidalgo

Congratulations students!

Shop with a Cop 2019

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Math Winners

The following students competed in a math contest in South Sioux City on Thursday, January 16. They represented West Middle well, and we are proud of their efforts. Congratulations to Chance Riley for placing 2nd!

Ethan Frazee

Gabe Enszer

Chance Riley - 2nd place

Langston Saint

Brady Hughes

Fairuza Vallejo

Marik Torevell

Dylan Hahn

Zoey Riessen

Jacy Jackson

FutureReady Expo

Over the last few months, our #FutureReadySC seventh grade students have been focusing on this essential question: What are the effects of changes in relationships? In ELA and science, students researched and collaborated on a genetics project. In math, learners used equations to create calendars and clocks. Students had the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments in a #FutureReady Expo at West Middle School's Media Center on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Student ambassadors shared about our collaboration with Harvard geneticist Dr. Christina Rodriguez. Additionally, ambassadors shared how teachers use gamification along with badges to motivate students to try their best at West!

PEP Graduation

On January 30th, 14 West Middle students graduated from a semester-long program preparing them for the future. The program is called PEP- Ponca Tribe Professional Enrichment Program---The goal of the Ponca Professional Enrichment Program is to increase the academic, professional and career success of Native Americans aged 14-18. These students worked hard to complete the PEP curriculum during the first semester. They were helped to set an academic goal about what they want to do with their lives after high school! Their graduation included a certificate of completion, shells with sage presentation, cake & soda, and the picking out of a beaded lanyard! Congratulations are in order as West Middle had the FIRST 8th grade class to graduate from the PEP!

Free Tutoring @ WMS

Free Tutoring at West Middle

Room 332 / Mrs. Moerman

7:00-7:35 A.M. Mon.-Fri.

1:45-2:30 P.M. Monday

2:45-3:30 P.M. Tues.-Fri.

More Tutoring Available

Media Center / Assorted Teachers

2:45-4:15 P.M. Tuesday-Thursday

All students are welcome. A free activities bus will be available for students to ride to the feeder elementary closest to their home at 4:30 P.M.

OURS Parent Meeting

Outreach, Understanding, Responsibility, Support...

The OURS Parent Committee invites you to a parent (guardian) meeting regarding middle school and high school course registration.

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Time: 6:00 P.M.

Location: Sioux City Community Schools' Career Academy, 627 4th St.


Health / Fitness Tip: 7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System for Winter

1) Wash Your Hands Often (use warm, soapy water on all parts of the hand, including the top and between fingers, for 15-20 seconds each time)

2) Clean Your Tech Devices Regularly (disinfect your smartphone, tablet, laptop, keyboard, etc.)

3) Eat a Healthy & Balanced Diet (try adding natural virus and bacteria killing foods like broccoli, cauliflower & garlic to your meals)

4) Stay Hydrated (drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day is just as important in the winter as it is during the summer)

5) Exercise Outdoors (exercising in the fresh air can kill off germs & improve your immune system)

6) Avoid Stress / Relax Often (take some time each day to take care of you)

7) Get Plenty of Sleep (7+ hours a night is recommended for adults and more than that for children)

* Ideas adapted from "by adidas Runtastic team" @ runtastic.com

Community Service Project - Donations Made

In Business and Marketing, students are learning about helping the community through service learning projects. They implemented the IB principles of Inquirey and Reflective. With some help from the rest of the students and staff the following donations were made.

Food Bank: 40 bowls were painted and donated to raise hunger awareness along with $963.26! That's enough money for the Food Bank to buy over 12,000 pounds of food!!!! The WMS Library also collected 503 non-perishable food items that were donated to the Food Bank as well.

Warming Shelter: 146 Care Bags were made and donated. These bags included items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, hand warmers & snacks.

WAY-TO-GO, West Middle. A big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed!

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Climate Survey

District and School Climate Survey: Coming Soon

Every voice matters in Sioux City Community Schools. That’s why we need to hear from all parents and guardians. Provide feedback using our District and School Climate Survey, which is open February 4 - March 13. The survey is available in English or Spanish.

How to take the survey:

· A link will be sent to parents/guardians by email, text message, and voicemail.

· If you do not receive a link, please contact 712-224-7471 to request a link.

· Paper surveys are available for pick up at your child’s school.

· Take the survey online at your child’s school while at conferences.

The survey asks for feedback on student and academic support, safety and behavior, school leadership, and family involvement. We will use the results to better understand our students’ needs, determine our strengths, and identify opportunities for improvement.

All survey responses are strictly confidential. The District has partnered with an independent research and communications firm, K12 Insight, to administer the survey and compile the results. District employees will not know who participates or see individual responses.

If you have questions, please contact Mandie Mayo, Director of Communications, at mayoa@live.siouxcityschools.com.

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.