WHS Newsletter

April 2019

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WHS Activities and Athletics Calendar

Click here for all athletic and activity schedules

West High Students are On a Roll!!

Many students finished the 3rd quarter "On a Roll." These students were recognized in their homeroom with a note from the principal and a free ticket to a Musketeers game. We are excited to honor those students who work hard to maintain regular attendance and focus on learning. With just 9 weeks left, students will continue to engage in meaningful learning lessons and experiences up until the last day of school. Attendance every day is important to help students stay on track!

SCCSD High Schools to Host ACT Exam for all Juniors

On April 9, each of the three Sioux City Community School District high schools will host an ACT exam date for all 11th grade students, in order to encourage college readiness and preparedness for the work force.

Data from this exam will inform the District on how current curriculum aligns with the ACT, as well as suggest areas of improvement. It will also assist in providing students with a smoother transition into college and increase their potential for future success.

In order to eliminate distractions and secure proctors for the exam, 9, 10, and 12th graders will not have school on this date.

Holly Macfarlane named 2019 West High Teacher of the Year

Ms. Macfarlane has served at West High for the last 15 years, and truly represents our motto #WeAreWEST (Welcoming, Engaged, Safe, Trustworthy).

Ms. Macfarlane has the capacity to inspire students of all backgrounds in her courses. In the classroom, she has a way of supporting students from diverse backgrounds and abilities to work together on teams for learning.

Ms. Macfarlane is respected and admired by all. Many know her as “Mama Mac.” Students feel comfortable talking with her and seeking her advice. She provides a welcoming and comfortable environment for students, parents, and colleagues. She has empathy and compassion, treating everyone with care.

Additionally, Ms. Macfarlane has helped students learn more about global food security issues through sponsoring students at World Food Prize events. Her passion for serving others easily spreads to all she comes in contact with.

Ms. Macfarlane is a professional and balances many hats and a challenging schedule with ease. She serves Career Academy students in coursework and internships at the Clark Early Childhood Center each morning and then returns to West High to teach FCS courses. She is always organized and prepared for her varied lessons. She also travels to other schools to deliver professional development in her role. Even with her taxing schedule, she finds a way to make time for students and stay connected with parents and staff.


Congratulations Holly Macfarlane!

WHS Students to Take “Conditions for Learning” Survey on May 1


High school students will take a survey called “Conditions for Learning” on May 1. This survey administration is required by the state’s plan to meet a federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act. Findings from the survey are intended to help schools improve safety, student engagement, and the overall learning environment so that all Iowa students have optimum conditions for learning. To view a copy of the survey, please contact your child’s school. For more information about the survey or to opt your child out of taking the survey, please visit our website at www.siouxcityschools.org/conditionsforlearning/. All opt out forms must be submitted to your child’s school by April 24, 2019.

Reminder – We have school on Snow Make-up Days

We WILL have school on the snow make-up days that have been scheduled into our calendar:

April 5 and May 17.

Here is the link with the current school calendar : https://www.siouxcityschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2018-19-Calendar.pdf.

West High Food Pantry Now Open!

The West High Food Pantry "Bear's Den" is now available to Westside families. Students can make an appointment with their counselor or principal if they are unable to attend one of the open days.

Clothing and Hygiene items are also available.

Bear's Den is located in room 100 right inside door 13. Patrons can park in the back lot and enter through door 13.

Bear's Den is a joint project with the Food Bank of Siouxland, a generous donor, and our WHS Students. The iJAG students and Student Council have worked to create a welcoming space and we are ready to share this resource with those that need it.


We will be open every Tuesday and Friday after school until 4:00 and on the following Saturdays 9AM - Noon:

  • April 13
  • May 11

After-Prom Pancake Feed

Saturday, April 6th, 7-10am

100 Military Road

North Sioux City, SD

The After-Prom committee has an upcoming fundraisers. After-prom's mission is to provide a safe and fun evening for our senior students following Prom.

Please contact Kat Pendleton at 712-899-4286 for more information.

Social and Emotional Health Screener

Between April 15 and May 24, 2019, your child/children in 9th and 11th grade will be invited to complete a Social and Emotional Health screening. This is a survey that asks students questions about their social and emotional health, family and school safety. If you do not wish to have your student participate in the Social and Emotional Health screening, please complete the PPRA Notice form by April 15, 2019.

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Paying School Fees is Quick and Easy Online


Do you have school fees that need to be paid? Visit www.siouxcityschools.org and click on the “Parents” tab to pay your fees online. On the drop-down menu of the “Parents” tab, you can select either “Pay Curriculum Resource Fees” or “Pay Lunch Balance.” Both links will take you to “My School Bucks” to complete the payment transaction. Payment for curriculum resource fees can be made under the “School Store” by selecting “Categories” and then “Curriculum Fees.” If you have any questions, please contact our school’s bookkeeper.

9th Grade Required Dental Screening

According to Iowa law, all Iowa children enrolling in 9th grade must have a dental screening on file. According to this law: Screening must occur no earlier than 1 year before enrollment and no later than 4 months after enrollment. If you think you have already sent this form to school, please double check with your student to make sure that they have turned it into the nurse’s office. Screenings can be performed by dentists or dental hygienists.


Here is a link to the dental form. http://www.siouxcityschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Certificate_of_Dental_Screening_9.13.12.pdf Please have this form filled out by your dental provider and turned in to your high school.

Graduation for the class of 2019

Saturday, May 25th, 2:30pm

401 Gordon Drive

Sioux City, IA

Preparations are underway for the 2019 graduation. It is important that all seniors finish strong and complete all of the required credits.


The Tyson Events center will be hosting all three high schools on this Saturday. Information regarding pictures and other details will come on upcoming newsletters.

Students and Staff of the Month

Each month one student from each grade level and one staff member will be recognized for living by the WHS motto We Are WEST! This month our student and staff member of the month are as follows:


Freshman – Leah Buhman

Sophomore – Ana Nimaja

Junior – Javier Fuentes

Senior – Duc Phan

Staff – Todd Siefker

After School Tutoring

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.

Saturday School Available

To provide opportunity for catch up or intervention, WHS will be hosting Saturday school 8AM - Noon on the following dates:

  • April 13
  • May 11
  • May 18

Students that are failing one or more course should plan to attend. There will be teachers available from all content areas to help students get caught up.

Immunization Information for Class of 2020

Iowa Immunization law requires that all students entering 7th grade have both a Meningococcal vaccination and a Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis/whooping cough) vaccination before school starts in the fall.


Iowa law requires that all students entering 12th grade have a Meningococcal vaccination. The requirement is 2 doses of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students in grade 12, if born after September 15, 1999; or 1 dose if received when students are 16 years of age or older are required before school starts in the fall.


The Tdap requirement has been in place since the 2013/14 school year and requires a booster dose of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis containing vaccine for students entering 7th grade, regardless of the interval since the last Tetanus/Diphtheria containing vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe.



The meningococcal vaccine has been required since the start of the 2017/18 school year. Meningococcal disease is a life threatening illness that is caused by bacteria that infects the brain, blood, and spinal cord. It easily spreads in crowded settings. The vaccine is required prior to both the 7th and 12th.




What does this mean for you? You will need to call your physician’s office to make an appointment for these vaccines. You will need to check your home records or call your physician’s office to see what your student’s status is. If you do not have insurance, you can contact the Siouxland District Health Department at 279-6119. Please send a copy of your student’s updated immunization record to the school nurse prior to the first day of school in August 2019. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

The NEW Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress - Coming April 29 – May 17

Why a NEW version of the assessment?

Legislators passed House File 2235 during the last legislative session, which now requires all Iowa schools to give a new assessment called the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP). The new assessment is aligned with the grade-specific Iowa Core Standards, which means the ISASP more accurately reflects student understanding of the information currently being taught in our schools.

Who will take the assessment?

Students in grades 3 – 11 will take the reading, language and writing, and math assessments.
Students in grades 5, 8, and 10 will also take the science assessment.

Why is this assessment given?

In Iowa and in the Sioux City Community School District, the curriculum taught to students is aligned to the Iowa Core Standards. It is important to assess how well students understand the information taught in our schools. Therefore, ISASP will assess each student’s demonstrated knowledge and understanding of grade-specific content.

How will students take the assessment?

Students will take the assessment online.

What should parents/guardians know about the new assessment?

· Results are received quicker.

· Previous assessments relied heavily on multiple-choice questions. The new assessment will evaluate students’ skills using a mix of technology-enhanced questions, including open-ended essay questions.

· Today’s technology-enhanced questions provide greater insights into learning than previous assessments, which were formatted primarily with multiple-choice questions.

· The new assessment will provide parents/guardians with actionable information about their child’s learning.

· Over time, parents will also be able to access year-over-year analysis of how their child performed from one year to the next.

How can parents/guardians help prepare students for the assessment?

Practice tests are available online at http://iowa.pearsonaccessnext.com/test-prep/. Parents/guardians can help prepare students for testing by reviewing the practice tests online. Throughout the school year, and especially during testing periods, parents/guardians can ensure optimal student performance by making sure children get enough sleep, eat a good breakfast, and arrive to school on time. Most importantly, encourage students to try their best.

¿Por qué hay una NUEVA versión de la evaluación?

Los legisladores aprobaron el Archivo 2235 de la Cámara de Representantes durante la última sesión legislativa, que ahora requiere que todas las escuelas de Iowa realicen una nueva evaluación llamada Evaluación del Progreso Estudiantil del Estado de Iowa (ISASP). La nueva evaluación concuerda con los Estándares Básicos de Iowa específicos para cada grado, lo que significa que el ISASP refleja con mayor precisión la comprensión de los estudiantes de la información que actualmente se enseña en nuestras escuelas.

¿Quiénes tomarán la evaluación?

Los estudiantes en los grados 3 - 11 tomarán las evaluaciones de lectura, lenguaje y escritura, y matemáticas.
Los estudiantes en los grados 5, 8 y 10 también tomarán la evaluación de ciencias.

¿Por qué se da esta evaluación?

En Iowa y en el Distrito Escolar de la Comunidad de Sioux City, el currículo que se enseña a los estudiantes concuerda con los Estándares Básicos de Iowa. Es importante evaluar qué tan bien los estudiantes entienden la información que se enseña en nuestras escuelas. Por lo tanto, ISASP evaluará el conocimiento demostrado y la comprensión de cada estudiante del contenido específico a su grado.

¿Cómo tomarán la evaluación los estudiantes?

Los estudiantes tomarán la evaluación en línea.

¿Qué deben saber los padres/guardianes acerca de esta nueva evaluación?

· Los resultados se recibirán más rápido.

· Las evaluaciones previas se basaron considerablemente en preguntas de elección múltiple. La nueva evaluación evaluará las habilidades de los estudiantes utilizando una mezcla de preguntas aumentadas con tecnología, incluyendo preguntas abiertas de ensayo.

· Las preguntas de la tecnología mejorada de hoy día proveen una mejor comprensión del aprendizaje que las evaluaciones previas, que eran escritas principalmente con preguntas de elección múltiple.

· La nueva evaluación proveerá a los padres/guardianes información útil acerca del aprendizaje de sus hijos.

· Con el tiempo, los padres también tendrán acceso al análisis de año tras año, de cómo se desempeña su hijo de un año al siguiente.

¿Cómo pueden los padres/guardianes apoyar a sus estudiantes para prepararlos?

Los exámenes de práctica están disponibles en línea al http://iowa.pearsonaccessnext.com/test-prep/. Los padres/guardianes pueden ayudar a preparar a los estudiantes para los exámenes por medio de repasar los exámenes de práctica en línea. Durante el año escolar, y especialmente durante el periodo de los exámenes, los padres/guardianes pueden asegurar el rendimiento mejor, por supervisar que sus niños duerman lo suficiente, desayunen bien, y lleguen a la escuela a tiempo. Lo más importante es de animarlos a que hagan lo mejor posible.

Maintaining A Safe and Healthy Environment

The Sioux City Community School District is committed to providing an environment where students and staff members are treated with dignity and respect. We recognize that we are not unique, in that we experience the challenges of school and community-based bullying, yet we want to be unique in serving as a District that works to make a significant and positive difference in this arena. Please, join us in the effort to maintain a safe and healthy school environment. Visit our website, www.siouxcityschools.org/anti-bullying-harassment-hazing/, to learn more about our anti-bullying policy, view resources to help us combat bullying, or report concerns. We also welcome your feedback. Consider sharing your ideas or concerns using the Let’s Talk tool on our website.

Let's Talk

An engaged community makes our District stronger. That is why we have made it easy for you to connect with us whenever it is convenient for you. We encourage you to take advantage of Let’s Talk! our 24/7 online submission site, by reaching out with your ideas, questions, concerns, and praise. To make a submission, please visit http://www.siouxcityschools.org/lets-talk/.
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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.