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October 2019

Dear West Family,

Welcome to Fall.  At a recent gathering of friends, we debated whether fall starts on September 1st (meteorological fall) or September 21st (the autumnal equinox).  Either way, it’s my favorite time of year.  The kids and teachers are back and the school year is in full swing.

This is the start of my third year at West, and I feel I’m hitting my stride.  We’ve taken note of what’s worked with respect to teacher collaboration, student voice, and ways to accelerate student success.  During our planning over the summer, we focused on systems and structures that we were currently using and found that they already built on each other but we had failed to recognize and accentuate those areas of overlap.  Those areas are incorporated into our School Improvement Plan for 2019-20, and although it’s early, I’m already seeing more coherence in instruction, a more respectful tone in our hallways, and more collaboration among staff.  Yay!

We started the school year with the Freshman Party on Saturday, September 7th -- if you haven’t attended as a volunteer, you may not realize what a great event this is.  It’s only open to 9th grade students -- they arrive singly and leave in clusters of new friends.  Our Homecoming parade is Friday, October 4th; the Homecoming game that night is against Janesville Parker, and the Homecoming dance is Saturday evening, October 5th.  It’s a busy weekend but so full of fun and student energy.  

Progress Report Grades are sent home on Thursday, October 3rd.  This is an excellent time to review your student’s grades, attendance and behavior results.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns you may have -- Parent/Teacher conferences are on November 19th, 20th, and 25th (a long time away in the life of an adolescent) -- and it’s better to make those connections as soon as you begin to see challenges emerge.

We will host six community members as part of the Foundation for Madison Public Schools on Tuesday, October 8th and we’ll continue to focus on our partnerships with BMO, the Geneva Campus Church and the City of Madison.

There is no school on Friday, October 25th for a teacher institute day.

A special shout out to the 19 West students who are National Merit Semi-Finalists (once again, the highest number in the state): Grace E. Augspurger; Cyrus W. Bjurlin; Theodore W. Bjurlin; Akashdiya Chakraborty; Charles E. Deck; Jessica E. Deschenes; Dayi E. Dong; Noah R. Fehr; Gavin M. Frings; Zachary Heintz; John H. Marek; Celia S. Michaud; Simon B. Pioli-Dunham; Rachel A. Runzheimer; Patrick D. Severson; Samuel L. Striker; Edwin R. Upham; Steven S. Wilke; and Maya E. Williamson Shaffer.  Wow!  A further shout out to Genevieve Nashold, a sophomore member of West’s Cross Country Team, who last week beat her state-title winning pace by 30 seconds, and the course record by 44 seconds.

Once again, I want to thank you for your continued support of West and our work in helping your student make great choices as they prepare for success in life after high school.

Thanks, and Go, Regents,

Karen Boran Signature

Karen Boran, Ed. D.