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Happy 2020!

I hope you had a relaxing and restorative Winter Break.  My eldest son, who is on a sub in the Navy, joined us for the week as we celebrated the holidays with family and friends in Milwaukee and Chicago.  And then, I sat back and enjoyed the downtime.

We get so little of it in schools.

As you may have heard, the district is exploring a new means of long-term planning, one that is built on community, parent, teacher, and student input. This will be a three-year plan centering on rigor, race, and relationships. Since this fits neatly within our current planning, I am excited to see us move toward a more narrative, adaptive method of school planning rather than the technical, siloed method we’ve used in the past.  How can you help? We will be holding a series of informational meetings in the community in late January and February (Centro de Hispano, Boys and Girls Club, Bayview Community Center and at West) to learn what the West community thinks of our current efforts, how we can improve, and in which direction we should move over the next three years. We’ll send more information out closer to these dates.

Are you or a member of your family West alumni?  Consider joining our West Board of Visitors, an alumni group that focuses on increasing alumni involvement in the school, fundraising, and hosting events of community interest.  Our next meeting is Tuesday, January 7th in West’s LMC from 5:30 - 7:30pm.

And yes, school resumes on Monday, January 6th, as we welcome our students back to the fast and furious finish line to the end of the semester.  These precious weeks can make all the difference for students in their semester grades. It’s not too late for students to reach out to their teachers to make sure they have made every effort to receive the extra support they might need to be caught up.  We have lunchtime and after school tutoring, and many teachers provide additional support before school as well. First semester final exams start on Tuesday, January 21st (remember that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 20th). You can find the full schedule here, including meal and transportation information (this information is also posted on our website at https://west.madison.k12.wi.us/).  There are no classes on Friday, January 24th to allow time for teachers to enter grades.

Unsure how to track your students’ progress as far as grades or attendance?  The Infinite Campus Parent Portal is a quick and easy way to find student information.  Yes, it includes grades and attendance, but also progress reports, schedules, teacher information and so much more.  This is especially important now, in early January, when first semester grades can still be improved. For more information, please contact Sheryl Schabel (saschabel@madison.k12.wi.us) in the Highland Office at 608-204-3075 if you need support accessing your account.

Stay warm,

Karen Boran Signature

Karen Boran, Ed. D.

Principal