School Policy Guide
The School Policy Guide is a supplement to the District Policy Guide, and is customized for each school. It may include important phone numbers, transportation information, and after-school childcare options. This guide was formerly known as the school handbook.
- Access to Building
- Animals in School (BOE Policy 4615)
- Assembly and Auditorium Programs
- Bake Sales
- Cafeteria (Food & Nutrition Services)
- Early Graduation
- Elevator Badge
- Emergency Situations – Fire, Tornado and Code Red Drills
- General Care of School Equipment and Facilities
- Graduation Requirements and Credits
- Identification Cards
- Late Arrival/Early Release
- “Lion’s Den” School Store
- Lock/Locker Procedure
- Opt-out of release of information to the military or to institutions of higher education
- Parking and Transportation
- Physical Education Excuses
- Plagiarism and Cheating
- Repeating A Course
- Safety and Security
- Student Visitors
- Transcripts and Records
- Unauthorized Presence
- Unauthorized Presence in Locker Rooms
- Work Permits
The Welcome Center is the ONLY door accessible for entering into the building after 8:10 a.m.
Welcome Center Procedure
Students, staff and visitors should enter West through the Welcome Center after 8:10. No other doors will be open for entrance. Staff and students can gain entrance by showing their school ID. Visitors will be asked to show a photo ID, sign in, and state the reason for the visit. They will then be escorted to their destination. Visitors are asked to sign out and exit through the Welcome Center. Please note that advance appointments are strongly recommended, especially with classroom teachers.
Exiting is available from designated doors throughout the building. We need your help as you move throughout the building in helping us to keep doors, which are locked for entrance, from being blocked or held open by students.
Animals may be brought into schools and classrooms for a variety of purposes (detailed below). Staff wishing to bring an animal to school must secure permission from the SLC Principal (who supports that class) or the head principal.
- Animals Used in Educational Presentations
Animals may be brought into schools by an animal handler for one day or less for presentations to the whole school, several classrooms or a single classroom. The animal handler must have extensive knowledge and experience with the animal and experience providing educational demonstrations on a regular basis.
- Animals Not Handled by Children
Cold-blooded animals that will not be handled by children may be brought into classrooms or school for observation and discussion for up to one semester. There is no limit on the number of extensions.
- Classroom Animals
Animals may be present in a classroom for up to one semester (there is no limit on the number of extensions) when their presence supports instructional purposes and/or the social emotional development of students. In these situations, students may experience daily, direct contact with the animal.
- Animals Excluded from School or Classroom Use by the Policy
Because poisonous, venomous animals are dangerous if mishandled, they are not appropriate in school settings and are not permitted on school premises under this policy. A family pet is prohibited on school premises unless the family pet meets the requirements set forth in this policy
- Animals Exempt From Compliance with the Policy
The following animals are exempt from compliance with this policy:
- Trained and certified (service) animals which support individual students and /or adults with disabilities.
- Invertebrates for specific use with the Grades 9-12 science curriculum.
To give students the best opportunity to reach their potential both academically and socially, students are expected to attend school every day unless they are ill. When students are tardy or absent, they miss out on valuable learning and social experiences that cannot be replaced. All West students are expected to attend at least 94% of the days in the school year (less than 11 missed days per year).
To make sure students succeed in school and to prevent students from missing learning, West has developed a comprehensive approach to attendance improvement. The process can be initiated by the student, his/ her parents/guardians, or the school. Students, and/or their parent(s)/guardian(s) are strongly encouraged to contact the student’s SLC principal or a member of the school’s Student Services Team as soon as attendance becomes a problem to discuss and work together to find solutions that address the reason for the absences. When a student has excessive absences, contact with the student and family may also be initiated by members of the school staff. Student attendance can be accessed on the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.
A significant number of absences will require the school to initiate procedures outlined by Wisconsin State Statutes and school district policy regarding attendance. These procedures are outlined in this section. The following attendance definitions and procedures apply to all Madison students unless otherwise specified.
Parents will be notified by telephone of unexcused absences from any assigned class within 24 hours. (An assignment includes classes and study halls.) Absences are part of a student’s quarterly grade report and at the end of the year become a part of a student’s school transcript. Attendance is included in progress reports via BAG reports.
A. Excused Absences
Listed below are those absences that the school will approve as excused absences. Any other absence may not be approved as an excused absence by the PRINCIPAL. The PRINCIPAL is responsible for confirming and determining, in some cases, whether the reasons for absences are valid. To that end, the PRINCIPAL and/or student services staff may ask for documentation. Except as otherwise provided by law and/or Board policy, if a parent/legal guardian fails to cooperate with school’s request to provide specific information about an absence, and/or if the PRINCIPAL believes the reason for the absence is not valid, the absence may be recorded as unexcused or changed from excused to unexcused. If a request of a parent is denied, the parent should be advised by the PRINCIPAL of the probable penalty for the absence.
The following absences can be excused as per Board of Education Policy:
- There are five recognized legal reasons for absence:
- If a pupil is ill to the extent that he/she is not in proper physical or mental condition to attend school.
- Observance of a religious holiday or participating in not more than 180 minutes of religious instruction per week;
- Upon a parent’s or guardian’s prior written permission, provided a child may not be absent for more than ten (10) days in a school year under this criteria and a student who is excused under this provision shall complete any course work that is missed during the absence;
- If a child is excused in writing by his/her parent/guardian and by the principal of the school that the child attends for the purpose of the student serving as an election official. A principal may not excuse a student under this provision unless the student has at least a 3.0 grade point average or its equivalent;
- Good cause reasons as set forth below.
- The following are good cause reasons for absences from school:
- A serious illness or medical condition of a member of the immediate family (when the student is definitely needed at home);
- Bereavement due to death in the immediate family;
- A student’s dental, doctor, chiropractor, psychologist or other medical appointment which cannot be scheduled at any time other than school time;
- Inclement weather.
B. Pre-Approved Planned Absences
- Although extended absence is highly discouraged, this procedure allows the teacher and student time to arrange for completion of schoolwork in advance or during the absent period. Course syllabi, and grading policies can be found on the Academic Departments page.
- The student must first present a written parent request for a pre-approved planned absence to the learning community office FIVE DAYS before the absence. S/he then takes the Pre- Approved Planned Absence Form to his/her teachers. The form must be returned to the office three days before the absence. Noncompliance may result in absences being unexcused.
- Two copies of the form are issued to the student, one copy to be signed by the parents/ guardian and returned to the learning community office before the absence.
- It is the student’s responsibility to make up all work.
C. Outside Permit
- An outside permit is issued upon written or verbal request by the parent for doctor or dentist appointments. We encourage the request to be presented to the learning community office the day the student has the appointment.
- The student will receive the original copy to show to his/her teachers. When the student returns to school, s/he will present the permit to the learning community office and receive the office copy to present to teachers whose classes were missed.
- Leaving the building for illness or appointments without an outside permit is considered an unexcused absence. Parents should call the SLC office or write a note to excuse their son or daughter. Even with this parental excuse, students must sign out of the building in their SLC office. Talk to an SLC principal or nurse before you leave the building if you do not have written permission from parents. An outside permit will be issued to allow the student to leave and be excused. In the event that a student does not sign out before leaving the building, the absence can only be excused by the SLC principal upon presentation of a legitimate excuse from the parent of the student involved. The principal will excuse a student who does not sign out in the office only once in the student’s high school career.
D. Make Up Policy for Excused Absences
1. For all excused absences (including suspensions) students must be allowed to make up work. A student may not be denied the opportunity to make up participation points, assignments, tests, etc. because of an excused absence. An alternative assignment for equal points or assessment may be provided by the teacher. Teachers’ late work policies can be found on the Academic Departments page.
E. Reporting of Absence
- Each day a student is absent, the parent/guardian should call the learning community office by 10:00 a.m. on the date of the absence.
- Commencing at 5:00 p.m., an automatic telephone system will make calls to the home of students who were absent from, but not excused from, any assignment that day. (An assignment is defined as a class, study hall, or homeroom.) Phone calls to homes will be repeated several times.
F. Reporting to School After an Absence
- If a returning student was excused by a telephone call or note the previous day, s/he reports directly to his/her regular schedule.
- Students are required to check out in the office before leaving for appointments. A returning student who was marked unexcused because he/she missed a partial day without checking out will remain unexcused unless cleared by the SLC Principal.
G. Habitual Truancy
- The school will initiate prevention efforts if a student is at risk for becoming habitually truant. The purpose will be to identify the causes of school absences and the student will meet with the Dean for assistance in identifying solutions. Wisconsin Statute 118.16 defines a habitual truant as “a pupil who is absent without an acceptable excuse under sub. (4) and s. 118.5 for part or all of 5 or more days on which school is held during a school semester.”
- Students who are habitually truant and their parent/guardian will be invited to attend an Habitual Truancy Conference (HTC). The purpose of the HTC is to identify the reasons for the absences, develop an appropriate Attendance Improvement Plan with specific steps to help with missed learning and connecting back into school, and identify supports within the school and community that can assist the student and family.
- It is important to understand that failure to improve attendance is a violation of Wisconsin law and a student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) may be required to appear in Truancy Court. The judge has a wide array of penalties that he/she may impose. The law permits the judge to impose sanctions, and require that the parent/guardian cause the child to attend school. The court may also require that the parent/guardian attend school with their student. The consequences for the student may be that his/her work permit be revoked, driving privileges be suspended, and/or he/she be placed under a curfew. Also the court could order that the student receive counseling and perform community-service work.
H. Prolonged Absence Requiring Withdrawal
When a student will be absent beyond the maximum 10 days for which a parent/guardian can excuse a student, a Request for a Prolonged Absence form must be completed. In such cases, the student may be withdrawn and will be re-enrolled upon return to the District.
- For a prolonged absence, a Request for Prolonged Absence form must be completed and submitted to the student’s principal before the scheduled absence. The expected date of return to the district is requested on this form. This form can be obtained from the SLC office and requires the signatures of parent/guardian, teacher(s) and the principal.
- The withdrawal will be included in the student’s permanent record.
- When possible, arrangements shall be made for the completion of schoolwork missed over the course of the absence.
I. Physical Education Excuses
One- or two-day physical education excuses written by a parent or guardian go directly to the physical education instructor, not the nurse’s office. Parents are advised to send a separate note to the nurse if you feel the nurse needs to know about your child’s condition. Excuses for more than 3 days require a written physician’s excuse which must be shown to the school nurse. The nurse will inform teachers.
Clubs must sign up in the Ash Office (Room 2037). All bake sales must be cleared through the Ash SLC Assistant Principal. Bake sales should attempt to offer healthier items in keeping with the Wellness Policy (4610). Items cannot include peanuts or tree nuts and must include a checklist noting whether the item contains milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, or soy.
Our Food & Nutrition Department is designed to meet the nutritional needs of our students, staff, and guests. We offer breakfast before school until 8:10 a.m. and lunch between 12:03-12:48 p.m. (11:45-12:30 on early release days). Those who eat at school have a choice of several entrees each day which meets the U.S.D.A. requirements, or an extensive ala carte menu. The menu is posted daily and is available on our website.
Students can purchase their meals with cash or use their student ID number to access money PREVIOUSLY DEPOSITED into their accounts. Students must have their ID card to access their account. Students who lose their ID cards must purchase a replacement at a cost of $3.00. Deposits into student accounts can be made any school day. You can access that website by visiting MyPaymentsPlus to make payments, deposits or to monitor your student’s meal account. Students will not be allowed to use their accounts until the money has been collected.
Families of students eligible for free/reduced lunches must complete an application each year. Applications may now be completed online. Just visit our website for Free and Reduced information. Otherwise you may pick up an application and return the completed application to the student’s learning community office. One application, with all family members listed, must be filled out each year. (Additional forms are available in all learning community offices & the Principal’s Office.)
The cost of the Eatery Meal Deal is $3.00+ and reduced is 40 cents. A la carte prices vary. Milk can be purchased for 50 cents. There will be no charge for students receiving free lunch (whole meal), and the reduced price meal will remain at 40 cents. USDA breakfasts are offered at a price of $1.50+ for paying students and 0 cents for reduced.
During open campus lunch, all students are required to pick up after themselves and dispose of their waste. Food shall not be consumed in the library, resource hall, commons or classrooms. Should you have any questions for Food & Nutrition, please call 204-4127. Thank you for allowing us to provide your students nutritious, quality meals.
Early graduation is open to all West High students meeting the regular graduation requirements. Consideration will be given to those students with parental permission who present a valid reason for early graduation, such as travel, employment, early college admission, or apprenticeship. Interested students must consult with their school counselor and fill out an application. This may result in revoking a student’s membership in the National Honor Society if continuing requirements for NHS during the remainder of the year are not met. Notification by November 1 is preferred.
- Fire drills are conducted every month, and a tornado drill is conducted in the Spring.
- Emergency Preparedness (medical emergency, armed intruders, etc.) drills are conducted twice each year. Drills are conducted to prepare staff and students in the event of an emergency such as an unwelcome intruder.
- Every classroom in all of our schools has an Emergency Procedures pamphlet which provides direction on responding to a variety of emergencies that may be encountered at the school.
To encourage all students to participate in all school activities, including athletics, regardless of the student’s financial situation, it is the policy of the Board of Education to waive the payment of part or all of student fees if the student or the student’s parent/guardian demonstrates an inability to pay such fees, and to notify students and parent/guardian of this fee waiver policy. Student fees for the purpose of the waiver policy include fees for school day field trips and fees that are on the yearly student fee schedule, except for library and textbook fines.
Requests for fee waivers can be completed on line during enrollment. Waiver requests may be completed by the parent/guardian each school year in which a waiver or fee reduction is requested. If a fee waiver or reduction is granted, it shall be for the entire school year unless the student or the student’s parent/guardian subsequently demonstrates the ability to pay such fees.
Which specific courses are required to earn my MMSD diploma?
Because of recent revisions to our graduation requirements (Summer 2016), the specific courses that you need to earn a diploma from MMSD varies depending on your grade level. Some variation may also exist for students receiving Special Education services based on their Individualized Education Plan. Please see the chart below for more information.
For students who are in the graduating class of June 2021 and beyond
English: 4 credits
Including successful completion of English 1 and English 2
Math: 3 credits
Including successful completion of courses in algebraic and geometric concepts
Science: 3 credits
Including successful completion of courses in biological and physical sciences
3 credits: Including successful completion of US History and one semester of Modern US History
- 1.5 credits Physical Education
- .5 credit Health Education
- Civics Exam*
- 1 credit of Humanities
(e.g., Art, Theater, Music, World Language, etc.)
- .5 credit Financial Literacy
PE COURSE SUBSITUTION POLICY (PERC) FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS ONLY
A student who participates in a WIAA sanctioned athletic activity may, upon application and approval, be permitted to complete a maximum of a single additional one-half credit (.5) towards graduation in English, social studies, mathematics or science in lieu of one half credit (.5) of physical education. In order to be eligible for a credit substitution a STUDENT must:
- Have prior written approval from the principal or his/her designee;
- Participate in a WIAA athletic activity for an entire season during Grade 11 or the fall season of Grade 12;
- Be an athlete in good standing during the entire season including regular attendance at all practices and competitions;
- Not have been suspended for any period during the season as a result of a violation of an athletic code;
- Remain academically eligible during the entirety of the season;
- Not have missed more than two weeks or 25% of the season, whichever is less, due to illness or injury; and,
- Submit a written application for approval prior to enrolling in the substitute course.
If a request to substitute credit for physical education is denied, a written appeal may be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools within 10 calendar days of the denial. The Assistant Superintendent shall issue a written decision within 5 business days. The Assistant Superintendent’s decision is final.
B. Petition for Pass/Fail
Under certain conditions, students may request to take a course on a pass/fail grading basis. Students in Grade 9 may not take courses by Pass/Fail except courses specifically designed in that manner. The course must be a sixth-credit course for Sophomores and Juniors and a fifth-credit course for Seniors. If a student drops another course, the Pass/Fail course will become a regular graded course.
The course may not be a required course. It is subject to approval by a teacher, counselor and parent on a case by case basis. The decision to take a course as a Pass/Fail course must be made during the first three weeks of the semester and thereafter not changed. A “D” or above in the course must be maintained for a “Pass” and credit. Proper attendance must be maintained (85% or greater). The course will not be counted in computing the grade point average. Policies for dropping a student from the course will be based on normal procedures. Only one course per semester may be taken on Pass/Fail grading system. Petition must be submitted for approval each semester. Students taking a course on the Pass/Fail grading system will be integrated with students taking a course on an A, B, C grading system.
C. Grades and Grading
- Grades are reported at the conclusion of each quarter.
- Grade Designators
A = (90-100) Excellent
B = (80-89) Above Average
C = (70-79) Average
D = (60-69) Below Average
F = (Below 60) Failure
Pass/Fail (petition required)
WD = Withdrawn (Petition required)
I = Incomplete (Semester grade only)
MD = Medical Excuse (PE only with documentation from physician)
ONLY THE SEMESTER GRADE BECOMES A PART OF THE STUDENT’S TRANSCRIPT.
D. Dropping a Course
With parent/guardian permission, a student may drop/withdraw from any class through the seventh week of first or second semester as long as the drop does not put the student below the required number of credits and courses for the semester and school year. After the seventh week a semester grade of “F” is assigned for any class dropped.
Incompletes must be completed within nine (9) weeks of the following semester. Extensions must be preapproved by student’s SLC Principal. To change a semester grade of “I” to a passing grade, the student must successfully complete the course within a nine-week period at the beginning of the next semester. Any student who does not make up work within the nine-week period and has not received an extension will automatically receive an “F” for the course.
F. High School Courses Taken During Middle School
Board of Education policy 3541 was recently amended to reflect statutory changes allowing school districts more opportunities to award credit to students taking high school-level coursework during middle school. 7th and 8th grade students now have more latitude and opportunity to earn high school credit while in middle school. Application for high school credit is available via a web-based process. Questions on this process should be directed to the student’s middle school principal or the enrollment office 663-4957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
G. Credit for Non-MMSD Non Early College Credit Courses (Educational experiences from outside MMSD)
In SOME cases, high school credit may be granted for pre-approved non-youth options educational experiences taken outside the district if a comparable course is not offered in MMSD. Grades will not be counted in the Grade Point Average (GPA), except for Special Student Guest courses at the UW and MATC. Students must receive PRIOR APPROVAL from both their SLC principal and the chair of the West High School department to which the non-MMSD educational experience is related.
Pre-approval forms are available in the Counseling Office. Note: Students who do not receive prior approval may request to have educational experiences shown on their transcripts, but no credit will be granted for these experiences.
Students are expected to get a digital photo I.D. card and carry it during the regular school day. ID pictures are taken most days from 9:00am – 3:00pm. It must be presented to enter the building after 8:10am, when a staff member asks students to identify themselves, and at Start on Time Stations, when checking out materials from the LMC and other Resource Centers, when accessing the Food Services program and for most school activities, i.e., games, dances, etc. Information on replacements for lost I.D. cards is available in the SLC offices. The cost of a replacement I.D. is $3. I.D. cards for new students are also arranged through SLC offices.
11th and 12th grade students who have a study hall 1st or 8th period may request late arrival and/or early release privilege(s). Students and parents are required to complete a Request for Release from Study Hall. This request does not take effect until approved by the SLC principal. Students must attend study hall until approval is obtained. Final approval is dependent upon grades, conduct and reason for request. Students are to be off school grounds for the entire release period. Failure to comply with the criteria may result in revocation of this privilege. Students involved in after school activities will not be approved for early release.
The school store is run by students who take the Store Management class. These students work in the “Lion’s Den” and handle all aspects of merchandising from ordering to advertising. They are graded on their work. The store sells West High clothing such as sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweat pants and letter jackets, as well as classroom supplies, computer discs, bumper stickers, birthday balloons, and healthy snacks. The Lion’s Den has some great gifts at reasonable prices with great service. Delivery to rooms is available. 204-3201
Lockers are assigned by the school during the first week of school. West High School provides each student with a combination lock. All students are assigned a locker and a “locker buddy.” Two students are assigned to each locker due to space limitations. No personal locks will be allowed on the lockers. If a personal lock is found on the locker, it will be removed.
All lockers remain the possession of the MMSD at all times and may be searched at the discretion of the school administration. Report to Ash Small Learning Community (Room 2037) for locker concerns.
Phy. Ed lockers are available for use only during the class period. West High School does NOT provide locks for gym lockers. It is EXTREMELY important for students to lock their personal belongings in their locker during gym class. Locks must be removed after each gym class and may be cut off at the end of the day.
A federal law requires, upon request, the release of students’ name, address, and telephone number to military recruiters or institutions of higher learning. According to the new law, you may request that your son’s/ daughter’s name, address, and telephone number not be released. This is done via the online Enrollment process. Once you have completed this request, you do not need to do so again unless you wish to change your previous decision. This request may be made at any time. If you choose to make changes during the year, please notify your SLC office to ensure that your changes have been updated in IC.
THERE IS VERY LITTLE PARKING around West. You can only park for two hours in most nearby street spaces. Cars that stay too long will get parking tickets with fines of $20 or more. Multiple tickets are possible. If you must drive, you are encouraged to carpool to make the limited parking serve more people. Dropping students off a block away from school helps with traffic congestion. YOU CAN PARK ON SPEEDWAY AVENUE until 4:00 p.m. on the west side and after 8:45 a.m. on the east side. Spaces are nearly always open there. Depending on where you park it takes three to six minutes of walking to get to West. Students and visitors who drive to West and stay longer than two hours are strongly encouraged to park on Speedway.
CITY BUS ROUTES - Check at the Welcome Center for schedule changes.
BIKING AND WALKING are good exercise and can be fun, especially when done with friends. There are bike racks on the Van Hise Avenue side of the building.
FOR SAFETY, MAKE DROP-OFFS AND PICK-UPS on Van Hise or Ash Street in designated, marked areas. There is no stopping on Regent Street.
One- or two-day physical education excuses written by a parent or guardian go directly to the physical education instructor, not the nurse’s office. Parents are advised to send a separate note to the nurse if you feel the nurse needs to know about your child’s condition.
Excuses for more than 3 days require a written physician’s excuse which must be shown to the school nurse. The nurse will inform teachers.
West takes academic dishonesty very seriously. Advance procurement of a test, representing another’s work as one’s own, plagiarism, or sharing of answers or solutions on any assigned individual effort is unacceptable behavior and may result in a zero grade or other disciplinary action and will result in disqualification from National Honor Society. Please see the Behavior Education Plan in the Appendix for details.
To increase proficiency/mastery or gain credit, students are allowed to retake a course if an F, D, C or B grade has been earned. There are two categories of course retakes.
- The identical MMSD course, which may be with a different teacher, taken at the next scheduled offering of the course during a school year, or online via Madison Virtual Campus (MVC). The MVC course must be completed by the time the next scheduled offering of the course during a school year is completed. For example a student who failed the first semester/ term of World History in 17-18 must complete the MVC first semester World History course by the end of the first semester/term of 18-19.
- An MMSD “equivalent” course taken during the next available session of Summer School. Each year high school and Summer School principals will determine those Summer School courses which are equivalent, e.g., “U.S. History-semester 1” as the Summer School equivalent to “U.S. History-9, semester 1”.
When students retake a course after the time limit in item A above, the following practices apply:
- Both the original grade and the retake grade are calculated in the GPA. The lower grade is not dropped from the GPA.
- Students who originally failed a course receive credit for retaking and passing the course. Obviously students who retake a course which they originally passed do not receive additional credit for the retake.
The transcript for students reflects all MMSD courses taken and grades earned. For course retakes, both grades, original and retake, will appear on the transcript. The higher of the two grades, original or retake becomes the GPA grade. The lower of the two grades is not included in GPA calculations nor is credit granted. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the registrar to be sure the transcript has the GPA calculated correctly after a course is retaken. Because different levels of a course do not contain the same content, students may not replace a grade by taking a different level of the original course. For example, students may not replace a 2nd-semester grade in Geometry-Honors or AP World History by taking the 2nd semester of Geometry or World History. For grade-replacement purposes, students must retake the exact course in which the grade was first earned; and the retake must occur within the time frame previously explained.
Families play a key role in school safety. At west.mmsd.org/safety, you can read about school-specific resources for helping keep students safe. You’ll find more information on district safety and security, including how we communicate with you in an emergency, at mmsd.org/safety.
In order for a student to bring a guest to accompany him/her to classes on a specific day, the following requirements must be met:
- Student must talk with and receive permission from their SLC principal at least one day prior to the day for which a guest pass is desired. Guests may visit Monday-Thursday with approval; guests are not permitted on Fridays. Guest passes will not be issued the week before or during semester exams. Student must receive permission in writing from his/her teachers at least one day prior to the visitor’s arrival day. Permission forms are available in the SLC office. The permission form must be signed by an SLC principal and all of the host student’s teachers before a visitor’s pass will be issued.
- The guest must be a high school student at a school that is not in session on the date of the visit.
- The student must introduce the visitor to the SLC principal on the visit date and receive a written visitor pass from the SLC principal’s office.
- The student is expected to be with his/her guest at all times and is responsible for making sure that the guest is following all West High rules.
- Children under high school age will not be allowed with the exception of middle school age students approved for an academic visitation.
- All guests must carry a visitor ID. The ID must be returned to the Welcome Center at the end of the visit.
- SLC principals reserve the right to deny a student’s request for a visitor. A student may be denied a visitor’s pass for reasons such as poor attendance or repeated disruptions to the school environment.
Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education Policy 4005 states: A person who wishes to visit the school, or a pupil, teacher or other personnel assigned to the school shall secure a visitor’s pass from the Building Principal. At West, this is obtained at the Welcome Center.
The Madison Metropolitan School District has joined the Wisconsin e-transcript initiative to bring you a quick, confidential, and paperless way to send your transcripts directly to colleges, the NCAA, the Common Application and other destinations of your choice. Transcripts may be ordered at www.parchment.com by MMSD graduates, parents and guardians of students, and by current students who are over the age of 18. Instructions for ordering your MMSD high school transcript are available on the MMSD website.
All application materials requiring recommendations or information about the student must be given to counselors or teachers no later than December 1.
Students must leave the building within twenty (20) minutes after school is dismissed for the day unless involved in an authorized after school activity that is supervised by an adult. Students not engaged in an authorized after school activity but who continually loiter within the school after hours may be subject to discipline under the MMSD Behavior Education Plan. Repeated failure to leave the building after several warnings have been issued by an administrator or security may result in the student being ticketed for unauthorized presence on school property.
When a student needs to withdraw from West, s/he must bring notification in writing from his/her parents/guardian to the learning community principal and complete and return a withdrawal form to the small learning community. The student must clear up all obligations. Upon written notice from the forwarding school, the registrar will send requested documents along with a transcript of the credits to date.
These can be obtained in the Counseling Office, Athletic Office, and all SLC Offices. Bring:
- either a birth certificate, driver’s license, passport or baptism certificate
- original social security card
- letter from parent granting permission to work
- letter from the employer (including address & phone) stating the nature of the job the student will be doing
- $10.00 in cash
Work permits are required for all jobs held by students under age 16.
- Communicating with Teachers and Other Staff
- Parent Classroom Visits
- Progress Reports
- Report Cards
- Required Course Load
- Schedule Change Process
- Study Hall Policy
- Study Hall Pass Procedure (Commons, Guided Study, Resource Hall)
- Tardy Policy
- Teacher Change Guidelines/Grade Concern
- Test Return Policy
We encourage parents to use email as a primary mode of communication with teachers and staff. Staff email addresses can be found on the Contact Us page. You may also leave a message at the Welcome Center (204-4100) to be placed in their mailboxes.
West High values parent engagement in their child’s education. If a parent wishes to visit a classroom, we request that you contact your child’s SLC principal to make arrangements. It is best to make this request with 24-hour advance notice to allow staff to be informed. Teachers will inform the Welcome Center of the date and time of the visit.
Parents should check in at the Welcome Center. Upon notification to teacher of arrival, parents will obtain a Visitor’s Pass and be escorted to the classroom with teacher approval or pre-notification.
West sends progress reports during the fifth week of every quarter. One of the major requirements of good student evaluation is keeping the student and parent informed of the progress (or lack of progress) that the student is making.
In addition, although not mandatory, positive progress reports may be sent, too. Direct telephone calls or emails to teachers are encouraged during the course of each semester.
In the middle of each grading period (4 weeks), a progress report must be sent to all students. If a student’s progress is satisfactory at mid-quarter but then turns to failure or no credit from mid-quarter to the end of the quarter, it is required that parents be notified of the impending failure or no credit.
Progress reports may be viewed electronically using the IC student/parent Portal.
Behavior Attendance Grade (BAG) reports
Behavior Attendance Grade reports will be included in progress reports for 9th graders (4 times a year) providing additional information on student progress in areas beyond grades. These are mailed directly to the student’s home.
Progress reports as discussed above, are completed by the teacher and mailed home only if indicated by parent on disclosure statements on the electronic enrollment forms.
Report cards are issued approximately every 9 weeks (4 times a year). Students and parents are encouraged to monitor student progress throughout the quarter via the Parent Portal on IC.
When parents/guardians are divorced or separated, both have the right to receive information on their child’s progress unless the court has ruled otherwise. Please stop by your SLC office to confirm communication or arrangements in these situations. Grade reports will only be mailed home if indicated by a parent on disclosure statements on the electronic enrollment form.
Freshmen = 6.5 credits total year
Freshmen are required to take five classes each semester, plus one semester physical education.
Sophomores/Juniors = 5.5 credits total each year
Sophomores & Juniors are required to take five classes per semester plus one semester of Physical Education and one semester of health.
Seniors = 5.0 credits total year
Seniors who have completed more than the minimum number of credits in grades 9, 10 & 11 are still required to take five classes (the equivalent of 2 ½ credits each semester, excluding work experience). Seniors must be full time WHS students (excluding work experience in order to apply for a WHS scholarship.
Credits required to graduate - 22.0
Physical Education Grade Policy
The Madison Board of Education Policy requires students to earn 1½ credits of Physical Education and ½ credit of Health to graduate. A minimum of three semesters of daily physical education are required at three different grade levels (9, 10, 11 or 12). Students may elect to take more physical education classes in their junior and senior years. If, for medical reasons, a student is permanently excused from physical education, the credits may be made up in another subject area. Temporary medical excuses for a semester must be made up in another physical education class. Health will receive a letter grade which will be included in the student’s GPA. All other physical education courses will be letter graded (A,B,C,D,F), and are automatically included in the grade point average (GPA).
Students will have the option of NOT including their physical education grade in the GPA on the transcript only (semester grade). During the first three (3) weeks of each semester students and parents may sign a statement opting for exclusion of their physical education grade in that semester’s GPA on the transcript only. The option cannot be reversed for that semester. Health class grades are included in the GPA.
Physical Education Replacement Credit
If students participate in an MMSD board approved sport, students have the opportunity to apply for Physical Education Replacement Credit (PERC) in their junior or senior year. Through PERC, 11th and 12th grade students can apply for permission to substitute a half-credit of English, math, science or social studies (above and beyond graduation requirements in those areas) for a half-credit of PE. There is an application process and applications must be completed and submitted before your athletic season begins.
There are also eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive credit:
- Students must be an athlete in good standing for the full sport season
- Students must meet all academic eligibility requirements
- Students cannot incur any suspensions during the sport season
The list of board approved sports can be found in the Board of Education Procedures #3160: Interscholastic Athletics and the policy language governing the PERC process can be found in the Board of Education Procedures #3540: Graduation Requirement.
For more information, contact the West High School Athletic Office 204-4103.
Schedule changes will only be made during enrollment or before school starts if:
- A student did not pass a class that was required and/or the student’s schedule does not meet grade level or graduation requirements.
- A student did not pass a class that was a prerequisite for another class.
- A student’s Youth Options course or other approved MMSD course conflicts with the student’s schedule.
- Summer school course work necessitates a change in the student’s schedule.
In addition, schedule adjustments during the first seven weeks will only include the following:
- Students can drop an extra class while still maintaining a minimum credit load. A study hall will be added in its place.
- If the extra class that is dropped is a yearlong class, or if the dropped class is a prerequisite for a second semester class, a new class for second semester may be added in the same period as the dropped class.
- Teacher-initiated level changes for a student no later than the seventh week of class.
An appeal form needs to be submitted to the Highland Office within the first week of each semester.
All students not scheduled for a class during the school day are assigned to a study hall. All 9th and 10th Grade students will be assigned to Resource Hall in Room 2026 and 11th and 12th graders will be assigned to West Commons in Room 101/103. Attendance is mandatory for all students and quiet study is the expectation.
Resource Hall – 9th & 10th Grade:
- Study tables available staffed by retired teachers, students, community members and Americorps tutors.
- Seating is assigned.
- Quiet study atmosphere.
West Commons – 11th & 12th Grade:
- Open seating and quiet study/socializing.
- Assigned study tables for students at risk of failing one or more classes.
- All students may, with a pass from one of their academic teachers, go to the LMC or that teacher’s office.
Students must obtain a pass, in advance, from one of their academic teachers. Students who intend to work in the Library DO NOT report to Study Hall but go directly to the LMC. Study Hall teachers MAY NOT write passes to the LMC. These students must sign in on the computer in the LMC and study hall monitors will verify their arrival electronically. Once in the LMC, the student will stay in that location unless they have a pass from academic staff.
A student needing tutoring, assistance from a teacher, or make-up work with another teacher must obtain a pass in advance from that teacher and present the pass to the Resource Hall/West Commons supervisor. After signing in, the student will be allowed to leave the Resource Hall/West Commons for the purpose and destination intended by the teacher who issued the pass.
All students are expected to be in class when the second bell rings. A warning bell will ring one minute before the start of class. Students are expected to be in their classroom once the final bell rings. The only exception to this rule is when the student has an excused pass from a staff member and that only after the first 10 minutes of class. No unexcused late passes will be issued from SLC offices. Students are either present or tardy when the second bell rings. NO passes out of class for the first 10 minutes. If a student fails to serve an assigned teacher consequence, he/she will be subject to progressive disciplinary actions.
Chronic tardiness or behavior referrals may result in the inability to attend athletic events and/or dances.
Start on Time (SOT)
Start on Time (SOT) is a schoolwide program intended to encourage on-time behavior and increase learning time for all students.
It works as follows: When the final bell rings for class, teachers close their locked doors. Students who are not in class at that time ready to learn go to the nearest Start on Time Station to get a tardy pass using their student identification card. Start on Time Stations are staffed by West teachers. After receiving a tardy pass, the student should then proceed to their classroom, knock on the door twice, and be admitted to the classroom by the teacher.
Students who accrue more than 3 tardies in a week will be required to serve one lunch detention. If a student does not serve their lunch detention, they will be placed on the Restricted Regents List, which means they are not allowed to attend certain school events. To get off of the Restricted Regents List, they must serve their lunch detention. Failure to serve lunch detentions can eventually result in further consequences.
Overall, Start on Time has provided the easy reminder and consequences to help students remember the importance of getting to class on time, ready to learn.
West High School promotes the positive principle of good teacher, student and parent communication. The teacher is the first person a student should consult when academic problems arise. Teachers usually provide information to students about their availability at lunch, before or after school. It is also beneficial for students to make an appointment with their teacher to discuss any academic or other issues they may be having. Please remember student schedules and teacher assignments are computer-generated to balance student/ teacher ratios and address SLC teams in a fair and equitable manner. If a student or parent is interested in requesting a teacher change, the following guidelines need to be met:
- The student or parent must have tried to resolve the issues with the teacher.
- Tutoring has been considered as an option if needed.
- A conference with the student, parent, SLC principal, and other appropriate staff needs to be held to discuss the issue and develop a plan, with a timeline, to address the issue.
- The student or parent needs to explain why they are requesting the teacher change, what the above attempts to be successful have revealed, and why they feel the change will be beneficial to them.
- The SLC Principal will make the final decision for a teacher change.
If a parent has a concern about a grade, the student or parent should contact the teacher to try to resolve the issue. If the concern is not resolved satisfactorily, the student or parent should contact their SLC Principal.
A parent/guardian or student may orally or in writing request of any teacher tests and other graded materials to be utilized in the building for study purposes. Teachers may choose to have students sign an honor pledge or have the parents sign the exam stipulating that the tests will not be copied or used for cheating. A materials review might occur in the school office by the parent/guardian or student at a mutually agreed upon time. The student will not have access to the test until all students in that particular class have taken the test.
If a parent/guardian, teacher or student feels that compliance with the policy is compromised, he/she is encouraged to contact the head principal for assistance.
Semester/final exams may continue to be reviewed with the teacher per existing policy. We would encourage students to use whatever services are available to them to help them prepare for all tests.
West follows the Board of Education’s Dress Code. Please note new additions to the Dress Code: Students may not wear clothing with words, pictures or caricatures based on negative stereotypes of a specific gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Students may not wear shirts, hats or other attire with Native American team names, logos or mascots that depict negative stereotypes. A list of team names, logos and mascots prohibited under this provision is available at all schools and on the District website.
Thefts from lockers are a continuing problem. Students should not bring valuables to school and never left unattended. All student possessions should be kept on their person or kept in a secure (locked) locker. Locks on hallway and PE lockers should be used at all times. While West takes every precaution to help students keep valuables safe, students are strongly advised to leave valuables at home.
- Academic and Career Planning (ACP)
- Advanced Learning Programming: Advanced Placement, Early College and Honors Coursework
- Academic Supports
- English Language Learners (ELL)
- Honors/High Honors
- Global Education Achievement Certificate (GEAC)
- Honor Societies
- Human Growth/Development and Human Sexuality Education
- Library Media Center
- Literacy Interventions
- Resource Hall/Commons
- Student Services/Counseling
- School Nurse
- Special Education
- Credit Opportunities outside of MMSD
Academic and Career Planning (ACP) is a process by which students grades 6-12 chart, refine, and progress toward setting short and long-term goals focused on exploring who they are and what they want to do after graduation. Through ACP, students take ownership of their learning to ensure that they graduate with the skills, knowledge, dispositions to be college, career and community ready. ACP lessons are embedded within the existing curriculum to ensure that students are making a connection between what they are learning in class and their future goals.
Components that support students in completing the process include:
- participating in contact time to explore self, careers, personal planning, self-management, and education/training
- developing a close and consistent relationship with adults and peers
- setting goals and tracking goal progress through an ACP plan and portfolio
- participating in real-world learning experiences inside and outside of the school building
Who am I? Where am I going? How do I get there?
Identify goals and plans for getting there.
Progress toward goals.
The vision of the MMSD is that every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student to graduate ready for college, career, and community. Among the core values underlying this vision is the belief in the excellence of MMSD’s young people. We will ensure that our youth develop core competencies and engage in deep learning through rich, challenging, inclusive and culturally responsive learning experiences, in academics, the arts, and social-emotional development. The Advanced Learning Department supports MMSD’s vision by working to provide challenging, systematic, and continuous instruction based on each student’s learning profile, interest, and content knowledge.
Advanced learning experiences in high schools include a broad range of rigorous learning opportunities. Advanced supports should occur in all classrooms through curricular differentiation, and are also available through advanced course selection (e.g. Honors, AP, Dual Credit, etc.). Additionally, many student groups such as Black Student Unions, student government (Student Senate at district level), and National Honor Society provide spaces for students to develop their talents and interests throughout their high school experience.
Advanced Learning supports are determined by ongoing evaluation and assessment of individual student needs. Each middle school has an Advanced Learning Specialist (ALS) who supports ongoing consultation and transition to high school. Once in high school, students with AL needs will be served primarily through course selection in collaboration with school counselors. For further information contact Leanne Born at 663-5246 or email@example.com.
Contact: Soulou Her, Room 2023, 204-3196
CRIS is a temporary alternative program designed to help students recover credit. It can be used as a bridge between a regular school placement and a long-term alternative program. It could also be used in conjunction with regular West High School classes to help students get back on track. Students can stay in CRIS for up to one semester. Students may be referred to CRIS throughout the school year. Referral forms need to be completed by school staff and signed by parent. The CRIS team will screen the referral to determine if the student is an appropriate candidate for the program. Parents and student will then be contacted for an interview. Once accepted, students work individually using online curriculum developed packets, and/or independent learning projects. CRIS classes are offered Monday through Friday 6th, 7th and 8th hour in Room 2023 at West High School.
Lunch and Learn
Lunch and learn is a combination of schoolwide lunch and access to instructional time for student organized clubs to meet and teachers and staff to hold office hours to address student academic, social and emotional needs. This occurs daily, 12:01-12:51.
MSCR Homework Club
MSCR Homework Club runs Monday-Thursday. It is located in the Resource Hall/Rm 2026 and begins right after school until 5:00pm. Students work in groups, individually or with tutors. Snack is provided!
Peer Tutorial and Honor Guard
Contact: Carol Schumacher, Room 2026
Both Peer Tutorial and Honor Guard are support programs using West High student volunteers and are excellent academic resources for any student at West High. Both programs are located in the Resource Hall (Room 2026) and are available to all West High students. Volunteers in both programs are capable, caring students with teacher recommendations.
- Peer Tutors are matched one-on-one with students requesting study help. Students can conveniently arrange tutoring sessions according to their schedules (before/after school, at lunch, or during study halls). Study Help Request forms are available in the Resource Hall.
- Honor Guard members are usually juniors and seniors who have a strong knowledge of the courses offered at West and are available for drop-in help (homework completion, test preparation and study skill strategies) during all periods in the Resource Hall.
Honor Guard students may receive credit for their work.
Contact: Jeff Fenchel, Room 2026
Achievement Connections tutoring provides students with individualized academic tutoring and coaching in order to improve their academic performance in high school and readiness for college and career. The program is aimed at meeting the needs of students who are low performing in math (particularly algebra) and may benefit from extended learning opportunities. Our goal is to increase the number of students passing algebra by 10th grade with a grade “C” or higher. Achievement Connections tutoring is part of a partnership with United Way and Americorps.
Contact: Melanie Thiel, Assistant Principal
This program is for limited English speaking and bilingual students at West who need English language skills and/or survival skills. Depending on the student’s previous experience and English ability, the options range from a complete bilingual program for all subjects (including vocational) through an English course for foreign students who are mainstreamed for their other academic work.
BILINGUAL RESOURCE SPECIALISTS
Room 2079, 204-4990
Cathryn Abrajan firstname.lastname@example.org
Chao Herr email@example.com
Ana Canedo firstname.lastname@example.org
Anima Vanpietersom email@example.com
Sidiki Bitie firstname.lastname@example.org
- To be eligible for Honors or High Honors, a student must have attended an MMSD high school for a minimum of three full semesters, including the final semester.
- High honors and honors are calculated using the seventh semester grade point average.
- High Honors: A student must have a rounded grade point average of at least a 3.85 at the end of the seventh semester of the senior year. (Grade point is rounded from the thousandth.)
- Honors: Same as above except that the rounded grade point average is at least 3.50. (Grade point is rounded from the thousandth.)
- To be eligible for Honors or High Honors, a student must meet the graduation requirements established by West High School and the Madison Metropolitan School District.
- A student must complete in good standing a minimum of 2.0 credits per semester through his/her senior year. This could include a combination of both high school and pre-approved college/ post secondary level courses.
- Early College Credit courses will be recorded on the student’s transcript and will be figured in the GPA. Note: The Youth Options grade could affect consideration for certain scholarships such as Academic Excellence. Note: Only up to 2 Youth Options or non Youth Options courses per semester.
- Students enrolling in special/guest student courses at the U.W. for high school credit (non-youth options) must complete a declaration form and receive prior approval before the start of the course.
- If a student carries college courses, they will be counted toward course load according to this scale:
1 college credit = 1/4 high school credit
2 college credits = 1/2 high school credit
3 college credits = 3/4 high school credit
4 college credits = 1 high school credit
5 college credits = 1 1/4 high school credits
- Audit courses will not be considered as part of the above requirements.
- Work experience credit will not be considered as part of the above requirements.
- Early Graduation:
- Six semester graduates will have their GPA determined on the basis of five semesters.
- Seven semester graduates will have their GPA determined on the basis of six semesters.
- Students who are not attending West during any given semester must assume the responsibility for providing an official transcript for that semester.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Global Education Achievement Certificate is a nationally recognized program that awards distinction to students who demonstrate readiness for a 21st century global society. Student Global Scholars who complete the program receive an official certificate from DPI.
The goals of the program are to:
- encourage and recognize students for language and global learning experiences
- provide ways for students to showcase their language and global learning to colleges and employers
- build language and global learning opportunities across the district
What is the attainment criteria for GEAC?
- 8 Credits Coursework
- 4 credits of single world language (including English courses for English Language Learners)
- 4 credits from multidisciplinary courses with a global focus or perspective in curriculum
- Cultural Literacy: independent review & reflection on 8 works of media, including 4 books
- Participation and leadership in 4 co-curricular and other School-sponsored Activities
- Community Service: 20 hours of volunteer service to a project on an intercultural or global issue
National Honor Society (NHS)
The purpose of this organization is “to recognize academic achievement while developing characteristics essential to citizens living in a democracy.” In addition to academic record, these qualities include leadership skills, strong character and commitment to public service. In the spring of each year new members are added at a semi-formal Initiation ceremony. All NHS members are expected to follow the NHS honor code, the Madison Metropolitan School District Behavior Education Plan and MMSD Athletic Code. Membership in the National Honor Society is NOT AUTOMATIC and is not determined by 3.5 GPA alone.
NHS Student Officers Advisors: Karly Frisch, Jabalja Gussine
NHS Selection Committee: Gary Powell, Chair
There are several steps in the selection process which is conducted after the end of first semester of the junior year.
STEP #1 Service and Activity Records
West High’s NHS Chapter emphasizes service. One of the requirements for joining NHS is the completion of at least 60 hours of service while in high school. No more than half of the hours can be in any one project. Starting in 9th grade, students should begin to accumulate service records. SERVICE is defined as volunteer work for which a student does not receive compensation. It CANNOT be an activity for which a student receives pay or a grade, is part of a class or club requirement, or is a family responsibility. Membership in a club or on a team, belonging to a scout troop, participation in artistic performances, or work on school projects are NOT considered service. Local volunteer opportunities are plentiful to get students ready for NHS. Service forms are available from the West High webpage or from the Counselor’s Office (Rm 2003) and should be completed for each service activity.
STEP #2 Academic Achievement and Self-Nomination
Juniors who have been at West for at least one year, who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the end of five semesters of high school work and have no unresolved behavioral issues will receive a letter notifying them of their eligibility. A qualifying student interested in NHS will submit an application consisting of two short essays addressing the topic of character and leadership and at least two service forms documenting the 60 hours of service. The deadline for submitting completed applications as stated in the letter from the NHS Faculty Committee MUST be adhered to. LATE MATERIALS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
STEP #3 Final Selection
Students interested in applying for membership in NHS must demonstrate good character and leadership by complying with school regulations and the school honor code. Any documentation of a violation of school rules, particularly a suspension, may become a factor in a student’s application. West High Faculty will have the opportunity to review the list of students with the appropriate GPA and will provide feedback to the NHS Selection Committee. The Committee will review all materials submitted by students seeking admission to NHS and feedback from the West High School staff. The NHS Faculty Committee will then make the decision on membership and notify all students in writing. Anyone who has questions about the decision should contact the West High School Principal’s office.
STEP #4 Final Acceptance
Once accepted into NHS, members will receive letters of acceptance in the first weeks of April and will be honored at the Induction Ceremony, which is required to attend. Members must continue to adhere to the written NHS Code of Conduct, maintain a 3.5+ GPA, be responsible for the service hours required during their senior year and commit to NHS club activities.
French Honor Society
Contact: Jennifer Muchka, 204-3511, email@example.com
The West High chapter of the national French honorary organization, Societé Honoraire de Français, was founded in 1988. Admission requirements are as follows: A student must be in the 10th, 11th or 12th grade, must currently be enrolled in French at West beyond French II, must have maintained an A- average or higher in French during the three semesters immediately preceding the spring semester of initiation, and must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all subjects. Initiates are welcomed into the French Honor Society at a banquet in the Spring and remain members for the duration of their years at West. Projects of the society include fundraising for the initiation banquet and an annual contribution to Medecins sans frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).
German Honor Society
Initiates of the German Honor Society must have three semesters of A work. Current members are recognized and new members are initiated at a banquet in the spring.
Spanish Honor Society
Contacts: Kathleen Schneider and Tammy Klaproth, 204,3511, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Spanish Honor Society, the Horacio Quiroga Chapter of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, was founded at West in 1986. Admission is based on three consecutive semesters of A work, beginning with Spanish II. Activities involve fundraising for the yearly spring initiation banquet and projects that benefit Hispanic peoples in this community and abroad. The chapter has “adopted” a school in Nicaragua.
The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) has been committed to Human Growth and Development (HG &D) instruction for several decades. The District’s Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee, composed of parents/legal guardians, teachers, school administrators, pupils, health care professionals, members of the clergy and other residents of the District, reviews the District’s HG&D program. The HG&D curriculum is based on relevant portions of the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for health education and provides current and accurate HG&D information to meet the present needs of students. A special note is made of the emphasis placed on the role of parents and family in establishing individual and family values and their impact on decision making.
During this school year your daughter/son will be receiving instruction in Human Growth and Development & Human Sexuality which is developmentally appropriate for each grade level. The objectives of the instruction by grade levels are:
Grades 9-12, the student will:
- Analyze the responsibilities and possible consequences involved in sexual relationships including sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy
- Know how the various contraceptive methods work and factors affecting contraceptive choices
- Know the process of fertilization, menstrual cycle, fetal development and birth
- Examine values and other factors in choosing acquaintances, friends and potential mates
- Be aware of the reproductive changes that occur over the life span
- Accept that both sexes become disadvantaged when sex role stereotyping is part of behavior
- Analyze decision-making and communication skills as they apply to social/sexual situations
- Demonstrate how to access community and school-based resources that can provide help regarding sexuality issues
Parents/legal guardians who desire additional information on the HG&D Program and would like to view the curriculum and other instructional materials prior to instruction may do so by contacting the building principal. Parents/legal guardians may exempt their child from all or part of this unit of instruction by filing a written request for exception with the SLC principal or classroom teacher. Appropriate alternative learning experiences will be provided.
The West High LMC is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Books, e-books, magazines, newspapers, and equipment for class projects are available at school as well as on the internet at https://madison.campusguides.com/westlmc/
Read 180 is a technology-supported reading program designed to support older students who have basic skills in decoding but are functioning at least two grade levels below their peers in reading. It is an intensive intervention. Students move through a series of instructional stations, rotating through computer work, small group instruction and independent reading in order to develop their grade-level comprehension skills. Students may enter this class only after testing and/or teacher recommendation.
System 44 is a technology-supported phonics curriculum designed to support older students who are struggling with basic decoding skills. It is an intensive intervention. This is taught using a workshop model rotating through computer work, small group instruction and independent reading. Students may enter this class only after testing and/or teacher recommendation.
Language! is an intensive reading intervention designed to rapidly accelerate reading achievement. It integrates five essential components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Language! is taught in a teacher led small-group setting and does not use the computer. Students may enter this class only after testing and/or teacher recommendation.
READING REWARDS Multi-syllabic is a direct instruction approach for students who have decoding skills but struggle with words that are three or more syllables. This is a one semester class that targets the essential reading skills of phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Students may enter this class only after testing and/or teacher recommendation.
Resource Hall centralizes academic interventions and makes them more accessible to all students by incorporating academic resources into the physical space of traditional study halls. If students do not have a study hall, they may select to have a Resource Hall if 9/10 grade, Commons if 11/12 grade, or may be referred by their Student Support and Intervention Teams. In Resource Hall, study tables for academic core areas will be staffed by Honor Guard tutors/mentors, adult volunteers who have been recruited through PTSO or Peer Tutorial, teachers and EA’s. Resource Hall is offered every hour of the day. All freshmen and sophomores are automatically scheduled into a Resource Hall for any periods not filled.
Commons is offered every hour of the day. Upper classmen who feel they might benefit from having access to the Honor Guard Study Tables can request assignment to the Resource Hall as opposed to Commons.
Chair: Taylor Newman, 204-4124
When students enter West in 9th grade, they are assigned to one of the four Learning Communities. Each community has counselors who will provide guidance throughout high school as well as post high school planning for all students, grades 9-12, in their Learning Community. Administrative and pupil services staff meet weekly to collaborate and plan interventions to assist students. These teams are called Student Support and Intervention Teams (SSIT). Parents and/or faculty can make referrals to SSIT.
Counseling Department – Room 2003
The mission of the school counselors at West High School is to involve all students in the development of their academic, personal-social, career and college attributes in order to become career, college and community ready (responsible, productive, and self- supporting individuals). Counselors develop and implement a comprehensive school counseling program that aligns with the National American School Counselor Association and Wisconsin School Counseling state standards which:
- Supports students’ accomplishments of instructional standards
- Coordinates the efforts of students, parents, school staff, community and business partners.
- Attends to the needs, interests and issues related to each stage of students’ development and learning.
- Incorporates a variety of preventative and instructional strategies.
- Facilitates students’ transition through these diverse developmental and learning stages.
Counselors work cooperatively with teachers, parents, the Multicultural Services Coordinator, psychologists, social workers, tutoring service, reading consultants, nurse, and special education services to better understand and meet the educational and emotional needs of individual students. Outside referrals are made to agencies and individuals as deemed necessary.
The high school developmental guidance programs expand on a comprehensive program begun in middle school and incorporates individual counseling, conferencing at the 9th and 11th grade levels and counselor-led activities within academic classrooms. The curriculum is designed to help students develop an individual learning plan by providing information on academics, career pathways and post-high school planning. Social/Emotional information is also provided individually and in small-group presentations.
9th graders: Special attention is given to the student’s smooth transition into high school and successful adjustment to the social and academic expectations of high school. Students and parents may meet with counselors to discuss adjustment to West, academic achievement, extracurricular participation, etc. Students will meet with their counselor multiple times over the course of the school year through, a personal conference with their counselor in the fall, developmental guidance, and course embedded Academic Career Planning (ACP) time. Students will continue working on their individual Academic Career plan started in 8th grade.
10th graders: During the 10th grade year, students meet with school counselors to review their career decision-making process, to assess their personality traits in relationship to potential careers on a computerized self-directed search, to explore careers and classes available at West to support further career exploration, and to become familiar with resources on Career Cruising to further evaluate potential career possibilities.
11th graders: Juniors continue researching academic, career options and post high school plans, continuing to add to their Academic Career Plan (ACP) on the career Cruising Website. Juniors have three sessions of developmental guidance with counselors, one of which is their junior conference, held between January and February of their junior year. The goal is the development of an individualized post high school plan for each junior along with steps on how to achieve this goal. The remaining developmental guidance sessions provide further information and support around this goal.
12th graders: Counselors help students finalize career and educational plans as well as assist in the post high school application process and applying for financial aid and scholarships. This work is done through lunch time and after-school seminars and individual conferences with students.
All counselors have special responsibilities in addition to supporting the students they are assigned. Examples of these responsibilities are the scholarship program, the career unit at each grade level, support groups, evening parent meetings, National Merit, parent communication, financial aids, newsletters, Youth Options programs, Advanced Placement Program, testing (ASPIRE, WKCE, PSAT, ACT, SAT), college rep visits, and the Career Resource Center.
Students and parents are encouraged to contact the counseling staff whenever the need arises, or visit our counseling website.
Counseling Career Center – Room 2003
The Career Center offers information for post-high school planning through the website www.careercruising.com. Each MMSD student has a log-in that consists of their school ID number and followed by their six digit birth date and their first and last initial. We welcome parents to visit the website with their student to view the planning tools available and to review the information their student has completed in their portfolio through developmental guidance.
Multicultural Services Coordinator
Alicia Grant, Room 2036B
The MSC serves as a liaison between students of color, staff, administrators, and community agencies in the academic development and achievement of students of color. Duties include post-secondary, career, jobs, personal and academic counseling, and parent engagement. For additional information regarding the PEOPLE programs and events, please call 204-3081
Stephanie Gramann, Room 2071
Any student who is found at a school function or at school under the influence of alcohol or other drugs must, as mandated by the School Board, go through an AOD screening/evaluation. The screening may be conducted by any of our school social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors and/or nurses.
Sky Chandler, Room 2003
The Bilingual Counselor works exclusively with students who have ELL (English Language Learner) classes or receive ELL support. She provides assistance to ELL students and their parents and works as a liaison between school and home.
CSE/Coordinator of Culture and Climate/Deans
- Corvonn Gaines, CSE, Room 2091B, 204-3275, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ellen Pryor, Coordinator of Culture and Climate, Room 2008, 204-3087, email@example.com
- Amy Cassiday, Dean, Room 3027B, 204-3206
- Micheal L. Jones, Dean, Room 2037 B, 204-3538
The role of the MMSD Coordinator of Student Engagement, (CSE) is to build relationships among the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), families and community members in the Madison area with the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement. The Coordinator of Culture and Climate, along with the Deans, provides leadership for school-wide and classroom-level positive behavioral support to ensure a positive culture and climate within West High School. They coordinate and monitor implementation of a school-wide restorative approach. They develop, coordinate and support staff in implementing a school-wide behavior response system. They work to include all student groups through shared power and decision-making processes. They help support efforts to involve families in decision-making related to school culture and climate practices. Ultimately, they contribute to a positive school climate through coordinating activities that build community and morale among staff and students.
Psychology and Social Work Services - Room 2070
This department serves students, parents and staff. With a focus on problem-solving, it offers many services such as short-term individual counseling, evaluation, program planning, casework consultation, group work, staff in-service, and agency referral. It also handles AOD (alcohol and other drug) screenings and depression. When appropriate, support groups for students are organized. Parents are welcome to call the above offices for individual questions or referrals.
Stephanie Gramann, a pediatric nurse practitioner, is at West full-time. A second part-time registered nurse, Lauri Ysen, will also be available. The health office is open from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Nurse activities center around the management of chronic health conditions, acute care of illness and injury, consultation, health education/promotion, and referral to health services. Prescription and over the counter medication must be kept and administered in the health office. Medications can only be administered with written physician and parent consent. The necessary medication forms can be obtained in the health office or online at the district’s web page under the health services tab.
There are four main sources for scholarships for seniors:
- Scholarships provided directly by the college/ university/vocational college they plan to attend,
- those offered by national organizations and businesses,
- those offered by various clubs, organizations, businesses, churches, synagogues etc., and
- West High School scholarships.
College/University/Vocational School Scholarships
There are three different ways colleges inform students of scholarship opportunities:
- On their Financial Aid webpage
- Inviting accepted students to apply for certain scholarships based upon the characteristics of their application
- Awarding scholarships to students directly as part of their financial aid package.
Each college handles the scholarship process differently. Students need to contact the Financial Aid Office of the colleges they applied to obtain this information.
National Organizations and Businesses
There are many scholarship search websites: fastweb.com, scholarshipexperts.com, etc. Senior students can register with these websites and be connected with scholarships across the nation that meet their application characteristics.
Every year the Counseling Office receives numerous state and local scholarship opportunities for seniors. We publicize these scholarships in the “Scholarship Scoops” throughout the year and email these scoops to senior students. This information is also posted in the Counseling Department (room 2003) and on the West High Counseling webpage (click on “Counseling”, then “Scholarship”).
West High Scholarships
Each year, nearly 40 local organizations generously provide scholarships for deserving West High School seniors. The scholarship donors establish the criteria for their scholarships. The criteria vary but may include one or more of the following: academic achievement, improvement in academic performances, leadership, school/community service, financial need, athletic participation, special interests/talents, intended area of study and specific college choice.
The West High School Scholarship Committee meets during second semester to review applications and select recipients for these scholarships. In mid-January, seniors will access the web-based West Scholarships application. Information on how to access the application will be provided at that time. In order to be eligible for a West High Scholarship, students must have been a full-time student in the Madison Metropolitan School District for a minimum of three full semesters, one of which must be the 8th or final semester. GPA for scholarships and eligibility for honors are calculated using 7th semester grade point average. The online application must be completed and submitted no later than 4 p.m. on the deadline date(s) which will be posted on the web page. We cannot accept applications after the deadline.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a West High School scholarship is encouraged to contact the Counseling Office (204-3073).
Wisconsin Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarship
The State of Wisconsin awards scholarships to the top students in high schools across the state who plan to attend a public or private university, college, or VTAE post-secondary institution located in the State of Wisconsin. Every year, five West seniors have been awarded this scholarship. The scholarship Award is $2,250 per year renewable for up to 4 years.
Requirements include: being a high school graduate planning to attend an institution of higher learning in the State of Wisconsin or being a legal resident of Wisconsin and a US citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. The criteria for selecting Wisconsin Academic Excellence recipients (in rank order) are: highest GPA for 7 semesters of work and an ACT score (taken no later than December of the senior year).
Tie-Breaking Procedure for the Academic Excellence Scholarship and the Wisconsin All-State Scholars Scholarship
Some high schools may have as many as 20 or more seniors with cumulative GPAs of 4.0. In previous years top rank for students with 4.0 GPAs had been determined by using the highest composite ACT score (or highest converted SAT score) from a student’s best single ACT or SAT exam (exams taken no later than December of senior year). MMSD will use the more accurate ACT “sum of scores” from a student’s best single ACT exam to determine this rank. The “sum of scores” adds together the English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning scale scores. This is a more precise comparative number than the ACT composite score because the composite score is the average of the sum of scores rounded to the nearest whole number. See the ACT Research Statement below for a thorough explanation of “sum of scores.” The SAT will no longer be considered because there is no accurate way to correlate SAT scores with the ACT “sum of scores”.
In June each school’s Scholarship Committee will notify every rising senior with a GPA of 4.0 that during the senior year it is possible he/she might be a candidate for the Academic Excellence Scholarship and that any ties existing among the candidates will be resolved using the ACT “sum of scores.” Interested students who may not have taken the ACT test may then take the ACT in September, October or December of their senior year.
If after using this method a tie still exists (i.e., six students all share an ACT “sum of scores” of 120), the school’s Scholarship Committee will declare that a deadlock exists. In this event, there is no other method to fairly and objectively separate one outstanding candidate from another. Therefore, the names of the students tied at each test score level will be entered in a random lottery to yield a final rank ordering. The lottery will be supervised by an assistant principal.
Tech Ed Scholarship
Technical Excellence Scholarships (TES) are to be awarded by the State of Wisconsin to Wisconsin high school seniors who have the highest demonstrated level of proficiency in technical education subjects.
The current TES scholarship program began awarding scholarships in the 2015-2016 college academic year. The scholarships are only for use at a school within the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) located within the state. The value of the scholarship is up to $2,250 per year, to be applied toward tuition.
The Madison Metropolitan School District’s Division of Special Education works closely with secondary schools in the identification and programming of students with disabilities who require special education and related services. These services are provided in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law reauthorized in 2004 that guarantees that all students with a disability receive a free, appropriate, public education.
The special education needs of students are met through a coordinated effort between regular education and special education staff. Every attempt is made to provide these services in the student’s school of residence and, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the regular education classroom. Each student has the opportunity for educational experiences appropriate to his/her intellectual and academic skill levels. The Madison Metropolitan School District’s schools have been recognized for creating inclusive learning environments where students with disabilities are valued members of the learning community.
Support staff at our schools include school psychologists, social workers, nurses, speech and language clinicians, and occupational and physical therapists. These individuals provide related services, when necessary, to support a student’s individualized special education program. Both special education and related services are documented in the student’s individualized educational program (IEP) plan and are based on the student’s individual needs as determined by the IEP Team. The parent and regular education teachers are full participants of the IEP Team in all decision-making.
The Madison School district bills the Wisconsin Medicaid program for medically necessary services provided at school to Medicaid eligible children. Please contact the district school based services coordinator at 663-8427 with questions.
The Early College Credit Program (ECCP) allows high school students the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin public (University of Wisconsin) and private universities. Students looking to take courses in the fall semester or over summer, must turn in the application to their high school representative by March 1 of each year. For spring semester, the deadline for submission to their high school representative is October 1 of each year.
Start College Now (SCN) allows high school students the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Students looking to take courses in the fall semester must turn in the application to their high school representative by March 1 of each year. For spring semester courses, the deadline for submission to their high school representative is October 1 of each year.
STEM Academy (STEM) - the Early College STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Academy is a partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District and Madison College. The Academy is designed to expand access to college courses in science, technology, engineering and math and to increase opportunities for students to earn college credit in high school at no cost to them or their families. Students enrolled in the program will have access to a range of courses at Madison College that include options for transfer to a four-year college or university. Students can choose to focus on one area interest or to explore multiple options, based on their personal goals. For general questions about the program, contact Jabalja Gussine and Lisa Lehman (608-204-4129/608-204-4132).
Part-Time Open Enrollment (PTOE) allows students to attend public school in a nonresident school district (including online or virtual district options) for the purpose of taking a course offered by the nonresident school district. A pupil may attend no more than two courses at any time in nonresident school districts. See the MMSD website for applications and more detailed information.
- Extracurricular Activities Sampler
- Student Council
- Parent Organizations
- Social Events and Dance Policies/Procedures
- Music, Drama and Art
- School-Sponsored Student Publications
West High School offers numerous extracurricular activities. This is a sampling of what is usually available. Not all extracurricular activities are listed here or are active each year. For a comprehensive list with description, advisor names and contact numbers, contact your SLC office.
- African Nations Club
- Agg Club
- Animation Production Club
- Anime Club
- Art Club
- Asian Club
- Botanical Club
- Camp Randall Rowing Club
- Capoeira (MSCR)
- Computer Security Club
- Debate Team
- Diversity Alliance
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Economic Literacy Among Neighbors
- Empower Hour
- Environmental Club Up Club
- Familia Latina
- Forensic Team (not a club)
- Gamers Club
- German Conversation Club
- Get it Done
- Girls Up
- Girls Ultimate
- Good Times Roll Club
- Green Club
- GSA(Gender-Sexuality Alliance)
- Homework Club (MSCR)
- HSAC (High Schools Against Cancer)
- Jazz West
- Key Club
- Latin Club
- Leo Club
- Madison West Men’s Ultimate Frisbee
- Magic Gathering Club
- Mandolin Club
- March for Our Lives West
- Math Study Group
- Math Team
- MEGA for SEGA
- MENS Club
- Microfinance Club
- Mock Trial
- Model United Nations
- Mountain Bike Club
- National History Club (NHC)
- National Honor Society
- NHS Officers Mtg
- No Phone Club
- Open Gym Club
- Peer Partners
- Progressive Club
- Public Health & Advocacy
- Raise Your Voice
- Recreating Renovation: Future Painting
- Regent Review
- Restorative Justice Club
- Rocket Club
- Salsa & Salsa
- Science Bowl
- Science Olympiad
- Ski & Snowboard Racing Team
- Spanish Conversation Club
- Spanish Honor Society
- Star Wars Club
- Student Council
- Student Support Foundation
- Super Smash Bros. Club
- Taiko Drumming
- Taller de Espanol --Spanish workshop, Make-ups
- Veterinary Club
- West Film
- West Winter Running & Fitness Club
The purpose of the Student Council is to provide a voice for all students, build school spirit, represent the interests and goals of the SLC’s, serve as an advisory body to the administration, impact change, event planning (dances--which includes spirit week, decorations, social media and auds) and complete service projects. Students interested in joining Student Council may petition to become a member. Petitions are available in every office. The President and Vice President of Student Council are elected by the student body in the Spring for the following year, and must be current members of the Council to be eligible to run.
The West High Student Government is composed of representatives from clubs and organizations, as well as any student who petitions to be a member at large. Petitions to join Student Government are available in every office.
The Student Council also serves as an advisory body to the administration and provides a forum for student participation. Members are expected to attend all meetings.
The exact guidelines for the Student Council are contained in its charter. If you are interested in becoming a member of Student Council, please get a nomination form from your SLC office.
- Cross Country (Boys and Girls, 1)
- Football (2, 3)
- Golf (Girls, 1)
- Soccer (Boys, 2)
- Swim & Dive (Girls)
- Tennis (Girls, 1)
- Volleyball (Boys & Girls, 2)
- Basketball (Boys and Girls, 2)
- Gymnastics (Girls)
- Hockey (Boys & Girls, 1)
- Swim & Dive (Boys)
- Wresting (1, 3)
- Track & Field (Boys and Girls, 1)
- Baseball (2, 3)
- Golf (Boys, 1)
- Soccer (Girls, 2)
- Softball (2)
- Tennis (Boys, 1)
1: These sports currently have space for all participants.
2: May have a separate Freshman team (if numbers are adequate).
3: All Gender teams compete together. Wrestling is an up and coming girls sport with some
separate girls competitions.
Football and wrestling are gender neutral and girls can and have played on these teams.
*Separate freshmen teams are usually available in these sports (if numbers are adequate). In other sports, freshmen athletes compete on either the varsity or junior varsity teams.
Other Athletic Teams
The co-ed Spirit Squad is a stunt and tumbling-based cheerleading squad. The squad performs at varsity football games, boys and girls varsity basketball games and school assemblies. Tryouts for the fall sports season are held in the spring of the prior school year. Tryouts for the winter season are held in the fall. For more information, please contact the Athletic Office.
The dance team participants are selected at tryouts in the spring. Students must try out for the squads each year. There is both a performance and competition squad, dancers can be on both squads. Practices are held after school (in the evening after school). Performances are during halftime at home football games, basketball games and school assemblies as scheduled. These competitions are a cost to the student athletes.
Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO)
The West High School PTSO is a parent-run organization open to all parents, students and staff at West. It exists to improve communication and cooperation within the West High School community, to enhance the learning environment in numerous ways, and to increase community awareness of and involvement at West.
Ongoing PTSO projects include assisting with Go-To-School-Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences, preparing the Regent Reporter (monthly school newsletter), publishing the Regent Roster (student directory) and sponsoring various parent education programs as well as an orientation program for incoming ninth graders. In addition, the PTSO is frequently called upon to provide volunteers to assist at school functions. The PTSO is an active, contributing group in the school’s life, providing parent input whenever possible. Contact Deb Neff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 236-4682 to volunteer or Eve Pollack at email@example.com for the PTSO.
Madison West Athletic Booster Association (MWABA)
Each sport has a parent representative who serves on the MWABA Board. An elected executive board of parents works with these representatives and the Athletic Director, in coordinating fundraising and other activities related to the athletic program. For more information, visit www.mwaba.org.
Music Booster Clubs
All of the music students at West benefit from the additional support of parents, family, and community members through fundraising, community outreach, advocacy, and other related volunteer activities. For more information about each the music-specific booster groups, contact the teachers below:
- Choral Boosters (Choir) - Anthony Cao, Room 3043, 204-3519, acao@madison, k12.wi.us
- Sounding Board (Band) - Kevin Rhodes, Room 2082, 204-3092, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Orchestra Parents (Orchestra) - Eric Miller, Room 2083, 204-4107, email@example.com
Orchestra Parents, Band Parents
These groups assist in organizing fundraisers and provide hospitality and refreshments at band and orchestra concerts. Contact Kevin Rhodes for more information.
West High School has implemented dance policy and guidelines to assist in providing a safe, healthy, respectful environment at which students can socialize. The Guidelines are as follows:
- A signed Dance Agreement form must be on file in student’s SLC office to purchase a dance ticket and attend a dance. This form can be found on our website: Dance Agreement
- Student must have adequate attendance to purchase a ticket for a dance.
- Students suspended two weeks prior to a dance will not be allowed to attend.
- No guests allowed except for Prom.
- Dances are scheduled from 8:00pm-11:00pm.
- ID cards are needed to purchase dance tickets and enter the dance.
- Dance entry is through the cafeteria doors located in the parking courtyard.
- West High Dances are tobacco, drug and alcohol free events.
- Passive Alcohol Detection devices will be used at the dance entry at random intervals and with reasonable suspicion.
- All school rules are in effect at dances.
School dances include 9th Grade Party, Homecoming, Midwinter, and Prom. These dances are planned by the SLC Commissions and committees and are open to all students with the exception of Prom. Only seniors are allowed to purchase tickets for Prom. Tickets are sold in advance for all dances, not at the door.
The Ninth Grade Party, planned and organized by the PTSO, is held in September. All new ninth graders are encouraged to attend this informal evening of sports and social activities.
The Senior Class Party is an evening gathering sponsored, planned and chaperoned by Senior parents. Held just before graduation for West seniors only, the evening includes music, games, food, photos, and prizes.
All tickets are sold in advance in learning community offices. There will be no admittance to dances after 10 p.m. even with tickets.
Colucci Gallery (Originally Mini-Museum)
The art department and students are responsible for the selection and installation of monthly art exhibits in the Colucci Gallery. Other activities may include lectures from guest artists and visits to local studios and museums. For more information, please contact a member of the Art Department.
Offered to students with an interest in jazz improvisation. Students rehearse and perform in a small combo setting at concerts, Fine Arts week and other possible gigs throughout the year. Rehearsals are mostly at lunch, but times and instrumentation may change based on interest and experience of students.
Offered to music students as an extracurricular performance organization and is West’s advanced jazz ensemble. Students perform and learn about music in a number of jazz styles. Membership is by audition with meeting times scheduled Monday evenings and during lunch.
Learn backstage aspects of Theater. For example, set building, lights, sound, costumes, hair and make up. You can pick a crew as a focus. This club occasionally meets during lunch and after school throughout the year. Location changes based on crew. (Aud and room 3045). Holly Walker-Drama Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Cappella Groups
Students can learn the rafts of singing harmony, singing lead and beatboxing as they perform pop classics and hits of today in one of our A Cappella groups:
*Mixed A Cappella--This is a group open to anyone regardless of singing/choir experience, voice type, or gender identity. This group rehearses at lunch once or twice a week and performs. in choir concerts, Fine Arts Week and various community events throughout the year.
Membership in our auditioned a cappella groups is determined in the first 3 weeks of every school year. Singers with solid choral/solo voices, strong sight-reading skills, great ears, and a determined work ethic are encouraged to apply. Visit the choir bulletin board or social media (Instagram @madwestchoirs; Facebook @MadisonWestHSChoirs) for more information. These groups rehearse during lunch and after school at least twice per week and perform in concerts, Fine Arts Week, and many community events throughout the year.
- Chromatic - Open to Tenor/Bass voices, all grade levels
- Colla Voce - Open to all voice types, all grade levels
- Ten - Open to Soprano/Alto voices, Junior/Senior only
Fine Arts Week
Fine Arts Week is a special event each spring during which students are able to display their work and talents in a unique format. It is an entire week of choral, instrumental and dramatic performances; sculpture and pottery demonstrations; and varied art and photographic exhibits. Auditions in late March/early April are available for students currently enrolled in a Visual or Performing Arts class to be part of our Library Music Recitals, Dance Recitals, One-Act Plays, and Rock-Band Concerts.
The school-supported student newspaper is written and published monthly by an editorial staff of about 15 to 20 students. Editors are selected in the spring. Reporters are recruited by the editors or may volunteer. Some articles are submitted from the journalism class. The Regent Review is the ONLY school-sponsored student newspaper.
West’s literary magazine is published yearly in the spring. Any student may submit material for the magazine. Students may volunteer to work on the staff. Meetings are four times a month. Editors are chosen from those who have had some experience. Organizational meetings begin in October and continue on Wednesdays in Room 3000.
Westward Ho: Yearbook
The yearbook is created with the use of Adobe Creative software and the hard work of students enrolled in the year-long class. Editors’ positions are filled by qualified juniors and seniors who apply in the spring to work on the following year’s annual. Students take on the roles of photographer, writer, editor and designer through a collaborative process. The book is finalized through 5 deadlines over the school year with the final deadline being in April. The yearbook is ordered and paid for during enrollment. A limited number of yearbooks are available for purchase on the distribution days. Distribution is at the end of the school year and announced in the school newsletter. Students must have a photo ID when picking up their book and can only pick up their own.
Note that many items in these guides are specific to teaching and learning within school buildings, and we know that adjustments may need to be made. Please use this as a starting point and connect with your school if you have specific questions.