Wolfpack Howler

Volume 18 Issue 19

Learn to work and think for life.

Week Two - Remote Learning

Greetings Wolfpack Students and Families,

I hope that you have found a little bit more of a rhythm in your new reality and are finding ways to be fully present with one another. I know with so much additional ‘screen time’ I try to be mindful when I am offline with my own children - playing a board game, listening to their stories, drawing together, going on walks - their perspective is so different that even while they miss their friends and want their ‘teachers’ back - they enjoy getting to spend more slowed down time together (or at least when they’re not in a sibling disagreement).

Yesterday, Dr. Gaborik shared the new grading guidance for this semester. A few major points to note for high school students:

  • Students enrolled in eLearning classes prior to the closure will continue to finish those courses and will have different expectations than those stated below - see Ms. Coria’s email for more details

  • Semester credit will be awarded for work completed prior to the closure

  • Third Quarter grades will be recorded as Semester 2 Grades, unless

    • Teachers can work with students to create a plan for students who want to increase their third quarter grade

    • Seniors may request to withdraw from courses they do not need to graduate - contact your counselor

  • The third quarter grade cannot go down when recorded as the semester grade

  • No final exams for Semester 2

  • Grades earned during Spring Semester 2020 will not be included in students’ cumulative GPAs, but these grades will be used for fall eligibility purposes

  • Teachers will continue to provide continuous learning opportunities to all students based upon the identified essential learnings

  • Feedback, not grades, will be given for work this quarter

As a staff, we discussed this new guidance yesterday and I asked staff to reach out first to seniors and those students were not passing courses at the quarter. From there, students can reach out to staff if they would like to develop a plan to raise their third quarter grade for the semester. Teachers will have discretion on the plans they develop for students to demonstrate their learning and in many instances teachers may identify the fourth quarter activities students are currently working on instead of going back to third quarter work. Also, as these plans are developed and implemented, there may be some numeric ‘grades’ entered in PowerSchool for record keeping, but they will be accompanied with feedback as well.

As a school, we recognize that this global pandemic has created circumstances beyond our control and many of our imaginations. We truly hope that these guidelines will allow families that space and grace I mentioned last week to engage with and find support from our Wolfpack family. While I recognize this change could lead to students thinking this semester is over, I would instead encourage students to see this as an opportunity to lean in to their own learning. School is on - and now with no risk or fear of getting a bad grade or not getting something the first time around and feeling behind. We know that getting feedback on your learning is one of the most effective ways to increase student learning and our amazing teachers can wait to support you in that growth.

Wolfpack Students - I know you and as I’ve said before, you can do hard things. You may feel like you’re at a bit of a fork in the road: there is a paved path or a bit of a hike to choose from and they both lead to the same destination. I’m encouraging you to consider taking the hike, all while knowing that the paved path is there for you if circumstances change, and knowing that all of your Wolfpack family is on the hike with you. We’re here to help you up if you fall and encourage you to keep going. We may not be able to see the whole path ahead, but we are all here to be a source of support through this uncertain time. We need you and we miss you students.

If you have additional questions, please check the Parent FAQs on Grading and don’t hesitate to reach out if your questions aren’t addressed there. There are also some additional links below for you to access: Wifi Hot Spots, Social-Emotional Resources for families, and help for parents navigating technology.

Thanks again and please take care.

Sarah Gillam

Principal, West Valley High School

(907)479-4221 x46501

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.

Student Weekly Schedule - Version 2

Students - I created a 'Version 2' of the weekly schedule if the other one wasn't working for you - there are also FILLABLE pdf files below for both versions of the schedule if that is easier to access.

Need to Pick-up Locker Items from School?

Call our front office at 479-4221 ext 0 to find a time to schedule a pick-up of school items. We can collect items from regular and music lockers (we are still working on PE lockers).

We are also scheduling Chromebook check-outs if your family identified that as a need - again please call the front office.

Counselor Contact Information

WVHS Counseling Office: 479-4221 ext. 46520

Mr. Blackburn - A-G (10th-12th) ext 46525 - willie.blackburn@k12northstar.org

Ms. Everts - H-N (10th-12th) ext 46527 - paula.bettano-everts@k12northstar.org

Ms. Gillis - O-Z (10th-12th) ext 46523 - karin.gillis@k12northstar.org

M. Johnston (interim) - all Freshmen ext 46524 - colleen.johnston@k12northstar.org

West Valley High School

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