Sunday, May 31, 2020

May-June 2020: Distance Learning

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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

Welcome to the last week of school. What an historic moment in time we are all experiencing!
Thank you to all our students, parents, guardians, faculty and staff for being patient,
kind, and understanding we are all doing our best to provide for students
in this pandemic. We are truly grateful for your support now and 
always as we partner together to education all of our students.
This end of year letter provides more thanks and a calendar 
for the start of next year. May good health, 
kindness, and grace continue to be our
words to live by in the coming 

Dear families and students:  
Your input is important to our district. Last week you received an invitation to participate in a short survey crafted by GUHSD in partnership with Bright Bytes.  This is your opportunity to give valuable input on our Instructional Technology initiatives and your Distance Learning experience. Your responses will help inform our future programs, trainings, and decisions surrounding technology and learning. Thank you for taking the time to let us know what YOU think about technology and learning in the GUHSD. 

Final Week of School: 
This is the final week of school with the last day of school / work accepted on 
Thursday, June 4.  THANK YOU to all parents / guardians and students for returning your instructional materials checked out to you! We are very grateful so we can sanitize them and return them to storage for use in the Fall.

You can still turn in items / pick up PE locker items Monday, June 8 from 11-2:30 p.m.

If you have a Senior, please see this Senior Events Guide for lots of information.

Senior Breakfast at Chik-Fil-A....thank you to all who came to cheer on the Seniors! 

Senior Class Officers got their early to decorate 

About 200 Seniors turned out for drive through breakfast
Many decorated their cars and were smiling as they got to sit and eat with their peers.

Monday, May 25 we had no school. Thank you to all our military service members and their families, active, reserve and  retired, who have served our country. We so appreciate you and your service! 

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We are proud to announce that we are once again a Silver School in the US News and World Report "Best High Schools 2020". Check out our stats!  We are also very proud to be the highest ranked GUHSD comprehensive high school! Thank you parents and students for choosing West Hills and  for making us one of the BEST!

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We are very proud to announce our Valedictorians and Salutatorians for the class of 2020
 (in alphabetical order)


Carson Hansen
Sophie Meier
Parker Murray


Christopher Gomes
Oleksandr Zhukovskyy

            Senior Awards video   Senior Awards video   Senior Awards video   Senior Awards 

Please take a look at our Senior Awards video which premiered this past Thursday, May 28. Each year, Seniors are asked to complete a Senior Awards survey so we can not only award our own school honors, but also celebrate college scholarships, enlistment into any branch of the United States military or Coast Guard, and recognize outstanding achievement among our Seniors. This year was no exception. We hope you will take a look as some of our amazing Seniors highlighted in the movie above. We do our best to include all Seniors who return the survey and apologize if Seniors were not aware of this.

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GRADES / CREDITS / SUMMER SCHOOL: Please review GRADES online in our Parent Portal. There is still time for students and parents to talk with teaches and improve grades if needed.  Any student with an "F" at the semester's end or on their transcript does need to re-take the course for credit. A student needs 220 credits to graduate. These credit requirements are on our website under "Counseling". Summer School is entirely online this year and is scheduled June 08-June 26. Students have already been enrolled in summer school and know through their Counselor what course they are enrolled in. Please look in your email and Infinite Campus portal for more information in the next few weeks as we send out reminders and messages. Any student who is a current Senior (needing only one course to graduate), or a junior going into Senior year have priority in summer school due to limited space. Current Sophomores and Freshman have been scheduled as well as space allows.  Please do not plan to have your student miss any of the 15 days of summer school. There are so few days--each summer school day is equal to one week of a traditional semester. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. April Baker or at 619-956-0420, or the counselor for your student. 

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As we take a break for summer, we wanted to remind everyone, no matter if we 
are on campus or in distance learning, 
always believe we will continue to learn and grow...together!

We are One, We are the Pack!

Thank you to ASBFaculty and Staff who were able to participate in creating this video.
Great job Natalie Reiderer (2020) and Kyle Hammond (2021) in editing this!
Go Wolf Pack!

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Students are invited to join GUHSD's summer reading program: Growing ReadersGo to to create a FREE account using an account. Once logged in, students may access Quest Maps to complete a variety of challenges to earn points and badges, level up, and earn prizes! Keep playing all summer with new quest options added weekly! Questions? Email Ms. Sannwald (

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Image result for school calendar 2016 GUHSDReminder: School starts WEDNESDAY AUGUST 12 for the 2020-21 year! Please check this document for full information regarding the calendar for vacation dates, end of the semester dates and end of year for the next two school years, including the 2020-21 year. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

March-April, 2020

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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

Thank you to more than 500 parents who were able to attend our 
PACK Day on Friday, March 6! 
We hope you enjoyed a glimpse into your students' West Hills world.

Given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to stay 
in touch with you via our student and parent portal. 
We encourage SOCIAL DISTANCING and keeping 
informed via the 

Please see this presentation for students and parents with resources
and know the Grossmont Union High School District is working on
a long distance learning plan for ALL students to begin
after April 13. This message below has been on social media
which may "sum up" how educators are feeling
right now:

Dear Parents and students: 
The next week or two starts a new chapter in public education. There is a huge learning curve that students and teachers will be navigating together!!

As we embark on this thing called “distance learning,” we are asking our friends, neighbors and community members  to refrain from publicly scrutinizing their children’s teachers/schools/district for the way they are teaching or the lessons they are assigning.

Please offer grace to your child’s teacher(s) and other school personnel. We promise that educating your children is still our #1 priority. ❤️

We are about to navigate unchartered waters with little, to no formal training or prep time. This is a crisis, not a time to be playing armchair quarterback. We love our kids and will be doing our absolute best!

We continue to offer FREE breakfast and lunch at Santana High School 
from 10:30-12:30 p.m. each school day with "curbside" service.
Families are welcome to pickup one breakfast and one 
lunch for each student 18 and under. Students do not need to be with you.
On April 9, additional food will be given to take home due to the
closure for Good Friday on April 10. 

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We are proud to announce that 
Mrs. Tina Westergren  (below) is our 2019-20 Grossmont District "Gold Star Volunteer of the Year". Tina has had three students graduate from the Wolf Pack and been involved as a parent on campus since 2008. She has been a pivotal volunteer within the PTSA as the Co-Chair of the Supply Day Drive and the Hospitality Committee. In addition, for many years, she has sold tickets at football games, worked our school dances, been at HOWL Parent nights, staffed School Business Day, volunteered at the Rummage Sales to raise funds for the Senior Scholarship and done so much more!  Tina will be honored with other GUHSD volunteers in a  special  Board awards night on May 1 here at West Hills . Thank you  Tina and your entire family for all you do for the Wolf Pack!

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PTSA thanks everyone who donate items or funds / gift cards for Supply Day! Teachers and staff really appreciate YOU and thank you for your generosity!

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!

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Sponsored entirely by the PTSA, the Class of 2020 GRAD BASH at Universal Studios is happening!  Please check out the information at the PTSA website for a GREAT night of fun for our Class of 2020 after graduation day! 

Image result for Teacher of the YearPlease join me in congratulating Mrs.Tanya Morrison  wonderful Social Science teacher selected as our site and GUHSD District "Teacher of the Year"!  With 14 years teaching experience, Mrs. Morrison has been and continues to be a district leader in many ways, including with technology,  writing and piloting curriculum in our Global Studies courses as well as leading our Positive Behaviors and Supports efforts as well as our WASC Coordinaor. A former ASB teacher, Tanya is an active participant in our Department Chair and Leadership Team. She also "bleeds Silver, Blue and Black" and exemplifies the "West Hills Way", dedicated and focused on the needs of students, and their all-around success. Congratulations Mrs. Morrison...we are lucky to have you on faculty! 

Principal Ballarin congratulates Mrs. Morrison on being
selected WH "Teacher of the Year"

2019 AP Scholars recognized by College Board | Details   AP Testing Will Still happen--via distance testing!

Current AP students and parents were notified by the College Board the plan to continue to test millions of students amid the coronavirus epidemic. Please see this GUHSD communication for additional information and links to the College Board resources to help explain the testing format and resources for students as they prepare. 

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 The West Hills Drumline 2020 show "Mission to Mars"  went well. Here they are at their first competition. Of the 17 students who participate in drumline, only 7 of them are percussionists---the other 10 are wind players who learned new skills to participate! If your student is interested in Drumline, please see Ms. Reinhart in PA1!

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California PTA and the Census 2020: Why it is CRITICAL for everyone to participate!  Please check out the facts here and look for census 
collection surveys from the United States Census Bureau 
beginning this month. 
Strengthening Safety: New Visitor Check-in Procedures
As we continue to strengthen our school safety practices, GUHSD will begin using 
the Raptor Visitor Management System at all comprehensive campuses in 
May, 2020.

Please be aware that upon entering, visitors will be asked to present a picture ID. 
Once entry is approved, a visitor’s badge will be printed with identifying information
 and the purpose for the visit. Your support of our new security feature is 
appreciated as it will help us distinguish authorized guests and help maintain 
a safe and orderly learning environment.

Click here for further information.

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Senior memory ads are closing this Sunday, March 15, at 9 pm PST.  There's still space 
available.  Make yours at  Memory ads are a great way to celebrate 
your child's accomplishment and include personal messages from family far away.  

Here's the handout.  

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 The AVID Program has had a successful Spring semester thus far and is excited to 
share a number of updates: 
We had a great turnout at Freshman Showcase with student speakers and 
ambassadors showing off our amazing program. We received over 70 applications
for our freshman class next year and are excited about the buzz around AVID.
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Our junior/senior AVID students recently completed a Job Skills unit, involving resume 
writing and interviewing. A variety of campus faculty and staff as well as community
business members arrived as guests on our campus and ran mock group interviews, 
challenging our students to put their best professional foot forward. This experience was
well-received by all parties and we are so thankful for the community support we 
received this day (and every day).
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On February 25th, interested AVID students joined Mrs. Jokerst and her Engineering 
students for an interactive S.T.E.M. field trip to iFly. During our time there, 
students heard a STEM lecture/presentation, participated in a physics lab, and flew 
in the indoor wind tunnel.


On March 6, Ms. Edwards, Ms. Worth, 3 AVID College Tutors, and 51 students attended 
the Southern California AVID Night at Knott's Berry Farm. This fun field trip was a great 
way to reward our students for the hard work they put in each and every day. As an added
 bonus, we felt good knowing that a portion of all ticket sales went towards the
 Orange County Dollars for Scholars scholarship program. 

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Junior & Senior AVID students are currently in an Adulting unit, where they are researching
and then teaching their peers a wide variety of life skills, ranging from sewing a button and
tying a tie to raising your credit score. Big thanks to principal Mrs. Robin Ballarin for kicking
off the unit with a demonstration of how to change a flat tire. These real-world lessons will
surely help our students as they transition into the next phase of their life after high 
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Connect with the library @WestHillsLIB: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

March 2020 Calendar: Behold the Eyes of March - Visual Literacy ( -
The first week of March is #WillEisnerWeek. The library has joined in the celebration ( to promote graphic novel literacy, free speech, and the sequential arts. Following this theme, the March calendar highlights visual literacy resources throughout the whole month. Print your own copy of the calendar to follow along. Also, if you want to see books that staff members shared as favorites from when they were little, check out our
February calendar (

Resource Snack Time - The library regularly highlights instructional resources in a bite-sized format for teachers, but students and families may also find this information helpful. Below is a recent sampling:
ILA’s What’s Hot in Literacy Report ( - When looking at findings from
the International Literacy Association, we celebrate all of the WHHS teachers who
collaborate with the library to increase student access to high-quality, authentic texts.
As of March 3rd, we’ve already surpassed the number of library checkouts by 17% when
comparing the current school year with all of last year.

News Literacy Week ( - There are many types of literacies. The last
week of January was #NewsLiteracyWeek. Check out curated resources we shared
from the News Literacy Project.

GUHSD Discovery Search ( - Students now have access to a discovery search tool when searching for information in online databases. This allows our students to start practicing college-level research skills.

Google Scholar ( - Another option now available for searching online databases is Google Scholar, now linked with our GUHSD subscriptions. 
Smithsonian Open Access ( - The Smithsonian recently released nearly 3 million images under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licensing and our students (and others) may now use them for creating projects.

Instapoetry ( - Many students enjoy reading poetry both online (especially on Instagram) and in published print versions. Explore some #instapoets!