West Side Story 2.0

October 2, 2020

Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world.

New Hybrid Model

Earlier this week, Superintendent Peterson sent a message to families announcing a change to our hybrid model. As you know, our hybrid model divides students into three groups: A, B, and C. We created this schedule to ensure we could maintain 6 feet of social distancing in the classrooms. Our initial numbers of students choosing distance learning only was about 19%.


At this time, 23% of our students are enrolled in distance learning only. With the number of students in hybrid, we can now make the switch safely to two groups, A and B. The new schedule was created with COVID-19 social distancing room capacity as the most important safety factor. Each classroom space has been scheduled so that the number of students and staff does not exceed the Minnesota Department of Health room capacity guidelines based upon square footage and usage. These numbers have been thoroughly analyzed to ensure that we are keeping our staff and students safe according to the most updated MDH guidelines.


The new schedule will begin on October 12th. Hybrid students will be reassigned to an A or B group. A group will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays, B group will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be a day for our distance learning only students to connect virtually with teachers.


This new schedule will provide more consistency, with hybrid students having three school days between attending school, rather than four school days between in person learning. This will also provide dedicated time for distance learners, time our distance learners and teachers have wanted.


As you know, this school year is like no other, and there is no blue print to follow. We will continue to listen to concerns and comments, and monitor and adjust our practices as needed.

New Calendar

Here you will find the new calendar showing A days, B days, D days, and K-12 Distance Learning Days.
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Groups A and B

Our schedule will be A group, Mondays and Tuesdays; B group, Thursdays and Fridays. There will be some exceptions when we get to weeks that are less than 5 school days.


Due to the unique nature of the high school schedule, student groups will be sorted by an algorithm to balance the number of students in each course on each assigned day.


This sorting allows us to maintain individual student schedules while meeting classroom capacity requirements.


Because this is a reboot of the group assignments, previous A or B students may be switched to a different group. You will be notified early next week which group your student has been assigned.



If you have multiple children who are assigned to different days and you would like to keep them on the same day, please call and ask to speak to one of our assistant principals, Mr. Mike Elston or Mr. Andy Krause.

Distance Learning Only Students

Due to our capacity issues, we will no longer be able to offer flexibility in switching from distance learning to hybrid. Those decisions will be granted only if we have space in the classrooms in which your student has scheduled classes.


Beginning October 14th, three Wednesdays a month will have dedicated distance learner time with their teachers. We will run a modified 7 period schedule. Students are expected to log on with their teacher for each of their classes at the beginning of each period.


1st Hour - 12:00

2nd Hour - 12:30

3rd Hour - 1:00

4th Hour - 1:30

5th Hour - 2:00

6th Hour - 2:30

7th Hour - 3:00


Our teachers are excited to have time set aside for their distance learning only students. Please make this time a priority for your student.

Students with Special Plans

Some of our students with special learning needs were able to attend school more frequently on the previous schedule. With this schedule change, ALL students will be distance learning on Wednesdays.


This means that students who previously attended school 5 days per week based upon their individual learning plan will have their services delivered in an online format on Wednesdays.


These students will attend in-person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday based upon their individual plan.


Case Managers will contact families of students who qualify for this level of service.

Get Involved, Scarlets!

Check out these links to find ways to get involved:


Key Club


HOSA

A Message from the Counseling Office...PSAT Information


The PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) will be given this year on Wednesday, October 14th at Mankato West. The PSAT serves as a practice SAT test as well as the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship program. Both sophomores and juniors can take the PSAT, but only juniors are eligible for National Merit Scholarship recognition.


Due to distancing limitations, only juniors will be able to take the test on October 14th, 2020. A separate date will be set up for the sophomores to take the PSAT later in the year.


The PSAT is not a college entrance exam and it is NOT required to take. West offers the PSAT primarily as a National Merit qualifying opportunity. With that said, any junior is free to take the test, but we especially encourage those who rank in the top 20th percentile to participate. There are a limited amount of tests so sign up is encouraged as soon as possible. Registration is online and the cost to take the PSAT is $20.00. More information (what to bring, schedule adjustments, calculator rules, etc.) will be given the week of the test. The following is specific information about the PSAT test date as well as a link to the registration site.


PSAT Test Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Time: Check-in opens: 8:30am Test Begins: 9:00am

Place: Mankato West Gymnasium

Cost: $20.00

PSAT Registration Opens: Open Now

PSAT Registration Ends: Tuesday, October 13th 4:00pm

Register online here: - www.TotalRegistration.net/PSAT/241485

PSAT Student Guides are available in the Mankato West Counseling office for students who have registered to take the test. They can also be accessed online HERE.

MAPS Family Academy

Please join us on Oct 12, 2020 for Mankato Area Public School's Family Academy. There are five breakout sessions to choose from providing families tips, tools and strategies to stay engaged with your student's education. All sessions will be held online. To register: Go to isd77.org and click on Connect and then on Family Academy or call 507-387-5501.

Congratulations!

Jefferson Elementary has been named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School. Jefferson was identified as one of the state's highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between student groups and all students.


Way to go, Future Scarlets!

Custodian Appreciation

Today is Custodian Appreciation Day. Here's a shout out to our amazing custodians. They have been working tirelessly to make sure our building is clean, disinfected, and safe. This summer they moved mountains of furniture to clear out classrooms to ensure our students and staff could be in school and remain 6 feet apart. Thank you to our Head Custodian, Greg Thompson, and his crew: Tyler Anderson, Rick Croce, Jesse DeWitte, Destiny Johnson, Michael McMahon, and Dan Mueller.
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Important Dates

Tuesday, October 6

Distance Learning Day for all students

Seniors will be taking the ACT


Wednesday, October 7

Distance Learning Day for all students


Monday, October 12

New Group A day


Tuesday, October 13

New Group B day


Wednesday, October 14

New Group D day (distance learning only students)


Thursday, Friday, October 15 and 16

MEA Break