News from West Ottawa High School

January 2015 Update from the Principal

Hello students, parents, and community members,

Get ready to enter the busiest stretch of the school year.  As seniors are beginning to think about graduation and juniors are preparing for the ACT, we are also beginning to make plans for the 2015-16 school year at WOHS.  In February, the high school scheduling process will begin for all 8-11th grade students.   Our interactive online course offering guide is a great place to start checking out course options for next fall.  As parents, you should have important discussions with your students about the scheduling process.  Most students’ schedules will include many required Michigan Merit Curriculum courses. However, all students need to make important decisions regarding elective offerings and their enrollment in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Careerline Tech Center classes.  Your student will receive scheduling information in their seminar class in early February.  The scheduling process will occur through the months of February and March.   The counseling department will work closely with your student throughout the scheduling process.

Counselors, administrators, and teachers continue to communicate with colleges and universities regarding the placement of WOHS graduates.  College admissions officers consistently tell us how important it is for students to take as many rigorous classes as possible while in high school.  Grade point average is somewhat subjective from school to school. For example, The University of Michigan wants to see that students have taken as challenging a course load as their high school offers.  This includes the second semester of their senior year.  We are fortunate to offer both AP and IB courses for our students.  In addition, WOHS students may excel in any of our elective departments at high levels.  Rigor is always better!  Rigor leads to college success!  Do not be afraid to challenge yourself by taking advanced courses.

First Semester Grades

First semester exams were recently administered and final grades are now updated in Infinite Campus. All students and parents should be able to access their report card electronically via Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  Another great resource is the Infinite Campus Mobile App. This app will allow you to access your student’s school information from anywhere on your mobile device.


There are many important dates for our Seniors and parents of the Class of 2015.  You can find many of these important reminders here or on our Counseling Department page on the WOHS site.   Please be sure to make plans to attend one of our free Financial Aid help sessions.  College financial aid officers will give parents and students a step by step guide to assist with questions about applying for college financial aid.


FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid

WOHS will be hosting a FAFSA Workshops every week  in February.  There are four sessions available.  Financial aid advisors and guidance counselors will be on hand to help you and your student complete the FAFSA on school computers.  Completing the FAFSA is a must for any student who is considering going to college.  Click here for more info. Please bring all relevant tax material to one of the following workshops:

  • February 2, 5 pm Lab A108 North
  • February 10, 3 pm Lab A108 North
  • February 17, 5 pm Lab A108 North
  • February 26, 3 pm Lab A108 North

Remember, the FAFSA is required by nearly all colleges and universities.  Last year, over $150 billion was awarded via the FAFSA to help millions of students pay for higher education.

Here are a few FAFSA facts to consider:

  • FAFSAs are required by virtually all colleges and universities and are used to determine a student’s eligibility for nearly all types of federal, state, and college-sponsored aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.
  • Financial aid—particularly grants and other forms of college-sponsored aid and assistance—is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you submit your FAFSA after January 1st each year, the better your chances of receiving consideration for the maximum amount of available financial aid for which you may be eligible.
  • Even if you don’t qualify for need-based financial aid, you must still complete a FAFSA to be considered for most federal student loans.

SnowBall Winter Formal is Coming

The WOHS winter formal SnowBall dance will take place on February 7 from 8-11 pm in the north building. All students are invited to attend. Tickets will be on sale during lunches beginning January 28. SnowBall is sponsored by CTEE.

8th Grade Parent Night and High School Showcase

On February 11, 2015 WOHS will host its second annual High School Showcase Night. This event is intended for anyone interested in learning more about the vast array of courses and opportunities offered to students at the best high school in West Michigan. To learn more about this unique event, click here.  It is especially important for 8th grade parents and students to attend but is open to the entire WO community.

With Panther Pride,

Mr. Tulgestke

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