Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 2018

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The mission of West Hills High School is to graduate critical thinkers and problem-solvers who contribute positively to society as productive, responsible citizens.

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Mrs. Robin Ballarin

Image result for jeff armstrong west hills   West Hills lost one of our own this past month.  Coach Jeff Armstrong passed away suddenly and unexpectedly October 3. He was a tremendous teacher, coach, mentor and friend to all in the community and is dearly missed. You can read more about his amazing life and legacy here in this San Diego Union Tribune article. While we miss Jeff, his legacy of excellence, loving life, and love of family will remain forever. 
Coach Armstrong taught in our Learning Center and would want me to encourage all students and parents to "stay in the game". For him, this meant do your best, listen to your teachers, coaches, parents, grandparents, guardians and mentors who want the very best for each and every student. Progress grades for the 12 week monitoring will be published and accessible Friday, Nov. 9, however, in Infinite Campus, most grades are visible constantly and there is no need to "wait" to take action if a grade has slipped. Talk with the teacher, attend tutoring, seek out peers who are doing well and get into study groups to support student understanding and learning. Let West Hills help you--reach out to counseling, administration and teachers for assistance. Just like Coach Armstrong was there for West Hills, we want to be there for you. 

Please remember to check into your students' grades and contact teachers if needed. We also have our tutorial schedule posted and encourage all students to talk with teachers and get help as needed. 

Students, teachers and staff made "leaves of gratitude" to "grow" our 
"Tree of Life" in the Administration building. We are grateful for so much and continue to practice thankfulness and gratitude in all we do. 

We are heading into the last 6 weeks of the semester...Fall Sports wrapped up and Winter Sports is happening! Please check out our Athletics page for information on all of our Athletics programs.In February, we will moving our Athletics content to a new platform with SmartPhone friendly apps to make information for each team easier to access and update.  

Image result for Veteran's DAy West Hills is closed Monday, November 12 in honor of all those who serve, past and present. We thank you and your families, for your service and your sacrifice.

In addition, West Hills is closed November 19-25 for Thanksgiving Break
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West Hills Adopt a Family

Positive Acts of Collective Kindness
West Hills staff is once again collecting donations for West Hills Families in need. Our goal is to give each family the freedom to purchase whatever makes their holidays the most rewarding, so we'd prefer to collect donations of gift cards or cash.  Our suggested gift cards would be: Payless Shoes, Famous Footwear, Walmart, Target, (inexpensive) restaurants (including fast food), Kohl's, gas cards, grocery store, entertainment (movies, miniature golf, etc.), and Costco are all appreciated, just to name a few.  
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If you would like to make a donation, please drop off gift cards or cash (no checks please) to our front receptionist, Shelley LaFata. We can provide a tax receipt if requested.
The deadline for collection is Wednesday, December 10th.  Our plan is to get the gifts to the families before we leave on winter break. We thank you in advance for supporting students and families in need.
We are One, We are the Pack!

Image result for infinite campus parent portalParent Portal assistance is available from our staff by calling us at 619-956-0400. There is also a Campus Portal App for SmartPhones. We can assist you with this as well IF you already have your parent account set up with your login and password. If you need technical assistance you can also call our District  ETS office Monday - Friday  7:00 AM - 4:00PM at (619) 956-4357. 

Newly added ability to get Infinite Campus on your SmartPhone...make sure you have the right app by following the directions below:

Infinite Campus Portal App "Campus Parent" and "Campus Student"

   Campus Parent AppCampus Student App
  • You must set up your Campus Portal account BEFORE you can use the App on your Smartphone.
  • Search the App Store for the Campus Parent app and download
  • District Name = Grossmont
  • Enter your username and password that you have already set up

Image result for Boyd Anderson Photography  Boyd Anderson photography still has school photos from students and parents who purchased Graduation or school pictures from last year. Please contact them at (619) 741-0621 Located in the Grossmont Shopping Center next to Panerra Bread, they want all families to receive and enjoy their photos.

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Please check out our ATTENDANCE policies linked in our STUDENT HANDBOOK (see page 19) online at under "Students". Please remember to CALL in 956-0434 all day absences, and send a note for partial day absences. We are sorry, but we are not able to deliver to classrooms forgotten items--if a student knows to come to attendance to come pick up their items, they are welcome to do so without MISSING class. 

Please remember to UPDATE your home address or phone number with the West Hills office staff if you move or you have changes.This is critical if your student has an emergency and we need to reach you. Simply call 956-0400 and tell us you need to update your information. The PRIMARY parent or guardian listed in our parent portal can also do this online via their login

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Information for All Grade Levels

  • Tutorials for all students for many subject areas are available - find the schedule here

    • As we enter into the last chunk of this semester and finals approach, students should continue to work hard and seek out additional help as needed because semester 1 grades are officially posted to student transcripts at the conclusion of finals December 18th, 19th and 20th. Progress report grades for the 2nd progress report will be available this week.

  • Links to documents from Counseling presentations are always available and will be updated online on the Counseling web page: View here

12th Grade

  • Seniors and parents: Sign up for text message alerts from the counseling department by texting the message @whcouns19 to the number 81010

  • SDSU gave a presentation for our students at lunch in L-1 on October 11 and 7 students attended, LSU gave a presentation for our students at lunch in L-1 on October 17 and 7 students attended, and USC gave a presentation for our students at lunch in L-1 on October 19 and 3 students attended. Please encourage your students to take advantage of the many opportunities we provide to help them through the college admissions process.

  • Seniors should be filling out the Financial Aid application (FAFSA) now. We will have Financial Aid specialists on campus for our Cash for College event on Thursday, November 8th in rooms B-1 and B-2 from 4pm - 7pm. You can come during those hours and stay for as long as you want/need to complete the application and get questions answered. If you would like to attend, please sign up here.   Please bring your student, their Chromebook, and your 2017 tax returns with you to the event.

  • 2 year and 4 year college application tutorials available through November 28

    • Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2 - 3 pm in the Career Center room L-1

11th Grade

  • Juniors and parents: Sign up for text message alerts from the counseling department by texting the message @whcouns20 to the number 81010

  • Counselors visited 11th grade US History classes on October 18th and 19th to discuss post-secondary options and to work through the career exploration tool “Career Cruising” with students

    • The presentation can be found by clicking the link: Post-secondary presentation

    • Students have access to Career Cruising at all times - the link and log-in information is accessible via the Class of 2020 Counseling Google Classroom

  • 11th grade students planning to attend a 4 year university should take the SAT and/or ACT this school year

    (more information can be found on page 2 of the presentation mentioned above)

    • Sign up for the SAT and see testing dates here

    • Sign up for the ACT and see testing dates here

10th Grade

  • Sophomores and parents: Sign up for text message alerts from the counseling department by texting the message @whcouns21 to the number 81010

  • Counselors will visit 10th grade English classes on November 8th and 9th to discuss post-secondary options and to work through the career exploration tool “Career Cruising” with students

    • The presentation will be updated to the website once available

    • Students have access to Career Cruising at all times - the link and log-in information will be accessible via the Class of 2021 Counseling Google Classroom

9th Grade

  • Freshmen and parents: Sign up for text message alerts from the counseling department by texting the message @whcouns22 to the number 81010

  • 9th grade teachers offer a multitude of opportunities to help their students succeed. We sent out a message through Infinite Campus a few weeks ago with a list of those opportunities. Here it is again: 9th grade opportunities

West Hills Wolf Pack Theater proudly presents "Guys and Dolls." November 2, 3, 9, & 10. Tickets: Students $8; Adults $10

Around campus in October....

What a great HOMECOMING Week October 8-12! Thank you to all faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, guardians, and STUDENTS who worked with Clubs for the Homecoming Festival. A big THANK YOU  to Mr. Riego and ASB for the terrific week of activities and the neat Assembly on Friday. Congrats to our Wolf Pack Football team for their win over Escondido Friday night (21-7) even with the rain, thunder and lightening delays!

We also owe everyone a huge THANK YOU for our PSAT Administration on Wednesday, October 10. What a great opportunity for students (802 took the exam) and for us to look at our data and check in on our academic program. When scores are reported from the College Board, we will offer information sessions to students and parents about how to understand the scores and what to do with that information. 

Check out some photos from Homecoming....
 ASB pulled off the week! 

The gym looked AWESOME!

Best Buddies Club and the Cheerleaders had a fun "flash mob"--Individual Instruction Aide and Head Cheer Coach Krystal Kammeyer led the effort--way to go Krystal, Best Buddies and Cheer!

Teachers and staff participated and enjoyed the Assembly......

Victoria Catlett (GIS) and Savannah Addy (Science) had fun 
in second assembly with the same challenge! 

From left to right:
Andrea Young (Social Science), Randy Cambou (Social Science), Pete Bentley (Social Science) and Jennifer Romanowski (English) marvel at our faculty / staff rappers.

  Cece Boehme (English / Yearbook) gets into the colorful spirit of Oz....
And then there was the game and dance....

Dominick Maldonado (Performing Arts)  leading the Blue and Black Brigade

HOCO King Colton Grover and Queen Tessa Anderson celebrate with HOCO Court and loyal Wolf Pack fans who survived rain, thunder & lightening to complete HOMECOMING festivities in the gym! Go Wolf Pack!

HOCO Dance almost ready to open doors! Way to go ASB!!

View image on Twitter

Thank you again for the terrific Homecoming Week! With four bell schedules in one week--we did it!

News from the Classroom....

On September 22nd it was great to see the turnout for parking spot painting! Many students showed up and some even had help from family and friends or former students. . There are still 10 spots available in the senior lot and many more in the junior lot for $45 each. See Mrs. Addy for a packet and purchase your spot in the finance office.

Class of 2019 senior shirts will be coming out soon. Be sure to purchase one in the finance office for $15 to get your guaranteed size and a great piece of memorabilia you can enjoy all year long!

At the 6 week grading mark Mrs. Addy's chemistry students reflected back on all the labs they had done so far. Students answered questions to help them think about how they could apply what they learned to other areas of life and to help them analyze how far they have come in their science skills. Students are pictured presenting eportfolios to their tables for peer review.

Health Pathways sponsors Life Sharing Organ Donation guest speakers with over 400 students in October.

Over 400  biology and physiology students learned a bit about the science of organ and tissue donation form the non-profit Life Sharing organization. and heard personal stories from organ donor recipients. Students were able to connect their classroom studies to real people who benefited from medical research, emergency medical protocol knowledge, and regional health care efforts to save lives with vital organ and tissue donations.  Mrs. McDowell, Health Pathways Coordinator, physiology and biology teacher, worked with other science teachers to bring real-world connections into our students lives on a daily basis. Our students go on to successful and varied educational opportunities after high school including our Health Occupations Center right next door, part of the GUHSD Adult School program and 2 year and 4 year college programs. 

Badminton Tournament: healthy lunch time competition

During the week of October 15-19, our Exercise and Nutritional Science (ENS) Program
hosted a lunch time tournament with all of our top freshman badminton players from all classes.  Congratulations to our  First Place team:  Braden Oberg and Max Conaway

Congratulations to our second place team:  Justice Lamboy & Finn Leblanc

Best Buddies Club is selling flowers on campus

The Best Buddies Club is selling $5 bouquet of flowers for students to purchase and take home! 

How: Students pre-order their bouquets with Mrs. Jimenez in PD-4 and pay $5 then the bouquets are ready for pickup the following Monday at lunch and break. 

This is a great learning opportunity for students in the Best Buddies program to build on their job skills and a wonderful way for student customers to support Best Buddies while showing their friends and family some colorful gratitude!
Here is an example of some Buddies with complete bouquets for $5!

Image result for La Manada Yearbook  Yearbook: The 32nd edition of La Manada will be available in May 2019.  We have sold out every year for the past four years, so we recommend ordering early to guarantee your student will get a copy.  Books are $80 in Finance, on the ASB website, or at yearbookforever.comAt, you can also order a senior memory ad, starting at $30.  This is a great way to include those funny photos you've been saving since your grad was a baby, let Gramma and Grampa wish your grad the best, or even shout out to a coach, teacher, or team for supporting your grad in the journey.  Ads will be sold until Feb 20, 2019, or until we sell out of space.  Contact with questions.  
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WHHS AVID students attend the "Leaving a Leadership Legacy" workshop offered through Disney's Youth Education Series at California Adventure on Wednesday, October 24th. In addition to making wonderful memories with their friends, students learned about the impact of first impressions, the importance of establishing and living by their core values, the power of themselves as a brand, and the importance of leadership principles, such as empathy and integrity.

And from the World of Sports....

Congratulations to the Girls Golf Team for winning League and going on to CIF!

West Hills girls golf put up several wins with a 15 and 1 record and carried coach Armstrong in their hearts and in their golf play and won the league title.  They won their  CIF play in match, where senior Sierra Streit took first in league match play and Senior Victoria Nease took second.  Thank you to coaches Armstrong and Peterson for all your coaching and dedication.

From left to right:Tara Bandi, Alyssa Borbolla, Alainna Bolton,
Coach Peterson,Haley Tritthart, Victoria Nease, and Sierra Streit

(From left to right) Victoria Nease, Coach Todd Peterson, Sierra Streit 

Image result for October Women's Cancer Awareness  Thank you to ALL of the Clubs, Athletics and individuals who continue to WEAR PINK in October in support of this important awareness and education month. Below, the Girls Varsity Volleyball team got into the spirit as well. 

And in November, we bring awareness to ......

Image result for november men's cancer awareness month  Movember (a portmanteau of the Australian-English diminutive word for moustache, "mo", and "November") is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during themonth of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide.  

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On the "not so positive note....", we continue to be vigilant regarding vaping and smoking on campus. We have had numerous suspensions for vaping in the last two weeks and we will continue to intervene and hold students accountable. We have also informed parents about this issue and included visuals to let you know how the various devices look and the ways students are accessing funds to buy the vape devices and the "vape juice" to put in it. The Federal Drug Administration is sending all public schools anti-vaping posters to post in restrooms and on campus as well. Thank you to all who continue to assist us with informing and educating our students about this illegal and unhealthy activity. Thank you to our 9th Grade ENS teachers for including it in your curriculum as well!  

Sports Medicine Pathway students present College and Career information

Third period second year Sports Medicine students presented to Ms. Edwards Freshmen AVID class on various health care careers during AVID College and Career month. Nine groups presented various colleges and career schools that included Sports Medicine related careers like Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapist, Chiropractic and several others. Students in Sports Medicine noted that a "real audience made us take this much more seriously". One AVID student said that "listening to the presentations made me think about careers I have never even heard of. Usually I just think about doctors and nurses in the medical field but this was a lot more than that!" This type of cross-content collaboration makes learning connections and relevance for all. 

Manufacturing Pathway students take a Field Trip for College, Career, and Life Readiness

The students in the Manufacturing Pathway are in full swing designing and making things.  Advanced Manufacturing (seniors) went on a three-day tour of colleges in the Los Angeles area on November 1-3.  They visited the Huntington Library (for a taste of culture) and Knotts Berry Farm (to explore the physics of roller coasters).  The Intro to Manufacturing students (juniors) are deep into learning and applying Solidworks (a solid modeling software) to various projects.  They are also learning how to
and make objects using the laser engraver/cutter and other machines in the shop using G-code and robotics.  This class will visit General Atomics during the spring semester. The Drafting & Design students (sophomores and a few freshmen) visited Taylor Guitars to tour the manufacturing floor.  They learned about processes and were treated to a panel of employees from various parts of the manufacturing process to answer questions.

As the students progress through the pathway, they learn how to design a project, develop a prototype, make adjustments, make new prototypes, and eventually produce an object.  Many times the object is part of a design challenge. All classes visit manufacturing companies around San Diego County and are treated to guest speakers from a wide range of occupations.  We are always looking for guest speakers from the fields of engineering, manufacturing, product development, etc. Please contact Kathy Worley at for more information.

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November “Your Vote Counts” Calendar Challenge - Inspired by an AP Government student, who also happens to be one of our library student aides, this month’s calendar shares information and resources related to voting and civic engagement. Feel free to print your own copy and follow along!

AAC Awareness with Wolf Pack Readers - Ms. Tropiano’s students have been busy reading books in their English class, and they are communicating about their books using a mix of communication methods, including writing, talking, and using AAC. What is AAC? AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication. Check out this video to see one of our students using AAC!
Research Tip: Add Search Context Terms - As students worked on research projects this month, one search tip shared is to experiment with adding context terms when searching Google. For instance, if their topic was media literacy, rather than just search for “media literacy,” they could try searching for “media literacy literature review,” “media literacy statistics,” etc. Click here to see a list of more sample context terms.

Meet a Mythological Monster Virtual Gallery - Inspired by the Halloween season, two WHHS student library aides worked collaboratively during the month of October to create mythological monster art and informational displays for the ends of bookcases. Original wire sculptures of monsters from different world mythologies are accompanied by informational posters. Enjoy a scroll through the virtual gallery!

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 Join the free resource for information if WHHS has urgent information for you regarding an EMERGENCY or for a timely TRAFFIC update. Text @bf6c9d to 81010 from your cell phone to join. This is a "one way" messenger only and you control if you want to continue receiving the texts or not.

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Seniors: If you are a member of PTSA, keep an eye on the Counseling Scholarship page. PTSA sponsors scholarships each year for deserving Seniors but you have to be a PTSA member to apply AND you have to complete the application and turn it in. PTSA membership forms are in the main Admin building in reception.

Did you know that if you shop at and choose "whhs PTSA", Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase (at no cost to yourself) to WHHS? is the same exact pricing and website as the traditional Amazon url but it allows you to select a non-profit organization for Amazon to support. 
Please "share" with family and friends and help WHHS!

Go Wolf Pack! 

The "Wolf Call" is a monthly news blog for students, parents and community partners.