News from West Ottawa High School

April Update from the Principal

Welcome back students, parents, and WO community members,

We hope you found spring break to be restful and relaxing.  As we begin the fourth quarter of the school year it is important to note that there are some very important testing dates for our 11th grade students coming soon.  Students, please be prepared for revised school schedules during the weeks of April 13 and April 20.  It is VERY important that ALL Juniors are present on the testing dates below:

Juniors will complete the Michigan tests in ELA, Science, Math, and Social Studies on the following days.

M-STEP Week 1:

Tuesday 4/14/15 Wednesday 4/15/15 Thursday 4/16/15
ELA Test No testing Science Test

M-STEP Week 2:

Tuesday 4/21/15 Wednesday 4/22/15 Thursday 4/23/15
Math Test No testing Social Studies Test

All other students will be participating in grade level activities while the Juniors are testing. We will run a normal school day schedule for all students on all of these dates. These tests are mandatory and completion of the tests is a WOPS graduation requirement. You can find more information and all daily schedules on our WOHS Spring Testing Update page.

Midterm Progress Reports

April 1st marked the half way point of second semester.  Teachers have finalized midterm progress grades in Infinite Campus.  Midterm progress reports are now available on Parent Portal for you to view at any time. Please take time to log in to Parent Portal and discuss midterm progress reports with your student.  If you have any questions about a grade, please contact your child’s teacher immediately.  We will only be mailing progress reports home to students who are at risk of failing one or more courses.  All others may access their progress reports online or come in to either high school building office as we would be happy to print a copy for you.  It is important that students understand the importance of passing all courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

Seniors

Senior Breakfast, Convocation, and Graduation are approaching quickly.  The end of the year will be here before you know it.  Teachers, assistant principals, and counselors have been meeting with seniors frequently to make sure all senior requirements are being met. For a list of important end of year dates please see the Important Dates link at the top of this page or by visiting the Class of 2015 page.  Seniors, please make sure you are checking your grades in all classes frequently and communicating with your counselor regarding your eligibility to get your cap and gown. Seniors who are at risk of failing a course needed for graduation will not be given their cap and gown on April 23 but will have it held until all requirements have been met.  Please make sure you do not put yourself in this position.

WOHS receives visits from State legislators and educational leaders

West Ottawa High School has been the site of three recent visits from state dignitaries. Within the past few months we have hosted  separate visits from State House Representative Amanda Price as well as House Representative Daniela Garcia (’96). Representatives Price and Garcia both requested visits in order to learn more about what we are doing for students and families at WOHS. During these visits, administrators were able to meet with the legislators in order to engage them in conversations about successful programs we have built to encourage academic advancement as well as discuss new state graduation requirement changes, future education related legislation, as well as issues facing public schools.

On March 26, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan visited WOHS and spent the afternoon with a team of district administrators, school board members, parents, students, faculty, and members of the media.  We were able to hear the perspective of the state’s highest educational authority on what the future holds for Michigan’s public school system. Topics included standardized testing, funding issues, teacher training and educator evaluations among others. Superintendent Flanagan also heard about how West Ottawa High School is building a college-going culture as part of its mission to Prepare all students to be College, Career, and Life Ready.  Some of the information shared include significant graduation rate increases over the past 5 years:

  • All Students: 81% in 2010 to 94% in 2014
  • Students Qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch: 68% in 2010 to 88% in 2014
  • English Language Learners: 60% in 2011 to 88% in 2014
  • Migrant Students: 72% in 2010 to 87% in 2014

 

College Adviser Jessica Leacher also detailed how WOHS is working hard to find the best fit college option for all seniors through our college advising program.  We have been busy educating students about college options and that college-bound does not always mean a 4-year university for everyone.  Building a college-going culture has taken many forms at West Ottawa, but more and more students are understanding that some form of post-secondary education is a necessity in the 21st century. Superintendent Flanagan commented that “remarkable things are happening at West Ottawa.” Click here to read the MLive article.

Scheduling for 2015-16

Many thanks to our teachers and guidance counselors for their hard work during scheduling season. We began scheduling fall 2014 courses for all current 8th-11th grade students in mid February and recently completed the process.  Our guidance department does a great job of organizing course information for students and parents.  We run our scheduling sessions much like a college process, directly involving students in choosing courses.  We have nearly 200 course offerings which makes for a lot of choices for students.  It is important for students and parents to understand that once a student chooses their schedule in the spring, there will not be room to change classes after that.  Our schedule is typically very tight, meaning that there are not many open seats for students to move into a new course during the summer or fall.  If you have concerns regarding your student’s course choices, please take time this spring to meet with their counselor to discuss options still available.

It is my hope that you and your family have a restful and relaxing spring break and that we all can enjoy some better spring weather when we return to school on April 13.

With Panther Pride,

Mr. Tulgestke

 

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