Monday, August 18, 2014

Health Services Reminders for Fall 2014

As school begins, so begins a busy time in the Health Service Office. Here are a few reminders for you to keep in mind as you and your student begin a new year.

• Please complete and return the yellow health census form with health and emergency information.

• Students with chronic health conditions such as asthma, life threatening allergies, diabetes and seizures, need to have an Individual Health and Emergency Care Plan on file in the West Health Office. These plans need to be completed by parents by the beginning of each school year. The forms can be obtained on the District Health Office website or by contacting the West Health Office by calling 387-3488.

• Medications – prescription and over-the-counter – must be brought to the Health Service Office in the original container by a parent/guardian. The Mankato Area Public Schools Consent for Administration of Medication form must be completed before any medication can be given to the student. Students who use inhalers or other emergency medications need to have a parent or guardian complete the medication form and make arrangements with the school nurse. You may get Consent for Administration forms from the office or you may print them off the district website.

• Please inform the Health Service Office of any immunizations (day, month and year) that the student has received in the past year.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Work Permits and Parking Permits

Work Permits for Juniors and Seniors
Juniors and seniors who are on track for graduation may apply for work permits if they have a scheduled study hall during class periods 1 or 7. Students may only have one work permit per semester and must apply or renew applications for work permits each semester. Work permit applications are in the high school office, and these applications require a parent signature.

Parking Permit Information
As students prepare for the new year, many are eager to pick up their parking passes. This year, seniors have been able to pick up registration materials and purchase passes beginning August 20. Seniors will have priority until the first day of school.  Juniors can have their name put on a lottery list. If there are parking permits available after the first day of school, a lottery will be held to  determine which Juniors will receive parking permits. Sophomores are not allowed to purchase parking permits.

The parking passes are $80 and will be issued for the front student lot only. The back lot will be for staff and visitor parking. Free parking is available to any student in the parking lot adjacent the baseball field.  Please remember, in order to obtain a parking pass, students must turn in the completed registration card (remember to fill in your license plate number), with parent and student signatures on the front and back with the $80 payment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Important Dates to Remember - Fall 2014

Are you ready to get back to school yet? With fall activities starting on Monday, the first day of school is just around the corner. We are excited to have some students back in the building again soon.

Here are some important dates to remember for this fall. We will have other fall reminders and information coming soon. Welcome back to our returning students and families and welcome to West all of our new families as well!

Back to School Kick-Off Days (Grade 10-12):  August 20 and 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Freshmen Link Crew Orientation is on Wednesday, August 27, in the West gym from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  

Open House Reminder: Wednesday, August 27 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
This is a great opportunity to meet the teachers of your students, understand the classes they are taking, and see West High School. Parents of ninth graders and transfer students will meet in the auditorium from approximately 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. and will receive an overview of West High School.  As a reminder, 9th graders are invited to attend a Freshmen Link Crew Dance from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the West gymnasium.

Make-Up Picture Day is on Friday, September 12

Homecoming is Friday, October 3. More details to come in September.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held twice during the year–once each semester. 
  • First semester conferences: Monday, October 13, 2013, from 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.
  • Second semester conferences: Monday,  February 23, 2015, from 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mankato West High School Activities Department New Online Registration System Information

ActivitiesLogo small.jpg

The Mankato East and West High School Activities Departments have made a change for the activities registration process.  All activities registrations will be completed online.  The online system allows you to complete the full registration and pay at your convenience.  

Paper versions of athletic and fine arts registration will no longer be available or accepted; however, payments can still be made by cash or check if need be.  If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, your reduced cost will automatically be included in the registration program once you have turned in the application form.

Sports physicals will be the only paperless exception to the online registration process.  The MSHSL requires each district to have a signed copy of a MSHSL sports physical on file for every 7-12 grade athlete.  Athletic physicals are valid for 3 years.  If you would like to submit an updated sports physical, you can scan, fax, or drop off a copy to the West Activities Office during office hours.  Students will not be considered registered until a valid copy is submitted to the West Activities Office and the online registration is complete.

You can also purchase student activity passes through the new registration system.  You will pay by credit card and then pick up your pass in the office once they are ready.  Please print and bring your receipt with you in order to pick up the student activity pass.  

For those parents/students who do not have access to the internet or need assistance with this new registration process, please feel free to stop into the Mankato West Activities Office and use our registration station during office hours.  A parent and student must be present to register.  Also, there is a section on the front page of the website listing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that may be helpful to new users.  

Steps to Register:
    1. Read and familiarize yourself with the home page (please note the tabs across the top of the page and additional printable documents available)
    2. Parents will login to the system using the Google Username and Google Password for your child.  That information is available to view on the “Profile Information Page” of the parent portal on Infinite Campus.  
    3. If you have multiple children, you will be able to view all of them by using just one of the logins.
  1. Once familiar, click “Start Your Registration” near the bottom of the page
  2. Registration must be complete before your student will be eligible to participate.
  3. You will be asked for doctor, dentist, and insurance information as part of the registration process - you may want to have the information with you when registering
  4. If you have questions about registering, please contact the Mankato West Activities Office.  

Important Information

Registration Opens: Thursday, July 17
Fall Practices Begin: Monday, August 11
West High School Fall PAC Meeting: Tuesday, August 5 @ 7:00 pm in the West High School Auditorium (all fall athletes and parents of fall athletes are asked to attend this meeting)
Participation Fees:
High School Athletics: $160
Middle School Athletics: $100
Free Lunch = Free Participation Fee
Reduced Lunch = 25% Participation Fee
Family Max: A family maximum for participation fees is set at $550 per year

Dakota Meadows Middle School Athletics - Practices Begin: Monday, August 25
Dakota Meadows Middle School Athletics - PAC Meeting: Tuesday, August 19 - 6:00 pm @ West HS Auditorium

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tree Planting Tomorrow Honors Social Studies Bob Ihrig’s 40 Years of Service as Teacher in Mankato

On Wednesday, June 4, at 2:00 p.m., there will be a tree planting ceremony to honor Social Studies Teacher Bob Ihrig’s 40 years of service as a teacher in Mankato Area Public Schools. For those interested in attending this ceremony, the tree will be planted toward the south side of the building on Stoltzman Avenue.

Ihrig’s 40 years of service at West have been rewarding. He said, “I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the students, teachers, parents and community of District 77 as a classroom teacher, coach, and leader in curriculum and professional teacher activities. I have been allowed to use my talents and passion to make my mark and shape the lives of many. This has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I am not the same person I was 40 years ago when I started at West. It has been a wonderful journey that will be with me forever.”

Ihrig has particularly enjoyed the varied nature of teaching. He calls every day “a new adventure with opportunities and challenges to take on.” He appreciates the fact that boredom has never been an issue for him over the years. Ihrig said, ”I have truly enjoyed coming to West each day with anticipation and excitement about what would happen with students and colleagues.”

As Ihrig moves into retirement, he will remember both students and colleagues fondly. He explained, “The 6000+ students who have crossed my path during my 40 years will always be with me. I have been blessed to have taught and coached so many motivated and talented students in the classroom and in co-curricular activities. The opportunities to see them light up as they learn new knowledge and acquire new skills have been enriching.” Ihrig also has appreciated the “talented and fun-loving colleagues throughout the district” and said “the adult interaction has stimulated me over the years and added richness to my life.”

Leaving the classroom brings more freedom of time and schedule. Ihrig plans to spend more time with his wife, his five-month old grandson, his daughter and son-in-law, and his birth family in Switzerland and Germany. Additionally, he plans to travel around the United States to see both family and friends. Ihrig will continue working with the Minnesota State High School League as the manager of the state debate tournament and the assistant state speech tournament manager. He also plans to read, to cook, to be involved with his church, to judge speech, and to teach a debate class at Macalester College over the summer. Whatever the future holds for Ihrig, he would like “to take on new opportunities as well as maintaining current commitments that are important to me.”

For more information about the tree planting, call West High School at 387-3461.

Monday, June 2, 2014

West Fashion Students Travel to New York City

Recently, 13 students and 7 mothers went on a five-day fashion trip to New York City with Family and Consumer Science Teacher Laurie Hagberg. The group had the opportunity to tour the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), to see a Costume Vault and Textile Collection, and to go on a Fashion Accessories walking tour. The group also got to take a backstage tour of Radio City Music Hall and see theater performances of Wicked, Rocky, and Newsies. The group also was able to schedule time for individual preferences.

Hagberg said that the trip provides students with a way to experience historical sites and build self confidence while navigating the subway, map applications, and a large city. Junior Lynn Braun described the trip as “amazing” and enjoyed the experience of being in New York City. She said, “I learned how big the city of New York really is. It put a whole new perspective on our country’s size.” Braun also learned more about brand names in the fashion industry and sees these brands in a different way since she has returned from the trip.

The students and the chaperones gained a historical perspective on fashion. At the FIT, the group learned about how fashion has evolved from the 1900s to the present. This presentation deepened the perspective of both students and chaperones. Braun said, “I also learned how delicate clothing from the early nineteenth century was and the measures taken to protect the clothing.”  West English Teacher Sarah Kane went on the trip as a chaperone with her daughter, and Kane appreciated the guided tour of the FIT and seeing the different fashion silhouettes through the decades.

The guided tours and the experience of being in New York allowed students to learn in a different way. Hagberg enjoyed being a part of this experiential learning. She said, “Watching students become excited when they spot their class project designers' boutique and their decade represented during the Fashion Institute of Technology presentation are my favorite rewarding components of the trip.”

The students and chaperones enjoyed other parts of the cultural experience of New York. As someone with an interest in theater, Kane liked the plays the group saw. Kane said, “Mrs. Hagberg acquired great tickets, and the marvelous Gershwin Theater, set,and Broadway-quality actors made the production marvelous. We ended the night riding a plastic-enclosed, bike-pulled ‘taxi’ home through the pouring rain. It felt like we were on an amusement park ride.” Braun liked seeing famous places like the Empire State Building and Central Park. She said, “Taking the subway was fun as well because it’s the type of thing you would see in the movies.”

Students’ excitement from the trip continued when they returned back to school, and students frequently shared what they learned with their peers. Additionally, the students are proud to wear their “I love NY” t-shirts and hoodies.

Hagberg has been doing this trip for many years. Over the years, she has found that both students and chaperones remember the trip fondly. Hagberg said, ”Many years later when students or their parents stop me in public to talk about "that NY trip" is also gratifying.

The picture below shows the group at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Graduation Parking Information

We have arrived at our final week of school and a big week for the class of 2014!  For those who are attending Commencement on Wednesday, June 4, please be sure to park in lots 20, 21, 22 or 23 at MSU.  Commencement begins at 8 PM.

Handicap parking is also available as noted in the map below.