Westerville South High School News

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District continues administrative realignments for succession planning purposes Cynthia DeVese and Caley Nestor Baker

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education approved two more organizational moves to meet the district’s succession planning needs at its April 12 board meeting.

WCSD Food Services department testing new food options for student feedback Bento Box

Westerville’s Food Services department will be testing some new menu options at elementary schools across the district, starting Monday, April 19.

Live-streamed chick hatching makes popular project available across the district Livestream of egg hatch project

The countdown has started on when the living eggs will hatch in Deb Bergmann’s room at Genoa Middle School — a process all Westerville teachers and students can watch through a 24-hour livestream on the incubated eggs.

Westerville Central High School senior organizes Wellness Webinar series for all high school students Dilara Sen

Westerville Central High School senior Dilara Sen discovered meditation when she started high school, finding peace and mindfulness by centering on the light in her heart. She typically starts every morning with Heartfulness meditation and turns to the practice when she feels troubled or faces difficult situations.

COTA Plus rides free for Westerville middle and high school students COTA Plus logo

Westerville middle and high school students are eligible for free COTA Plus rides from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. COTA Plus is an on-demand service that can be hailed via the COTA Plus App or by calling COTA’s Customer Care hotline at 614-228-1776.

Westerville City Schools’ Summer Enrichment Theatre program to perform Oklahoma Informational banner for Westerville Summer Enrichment Theatre program, Oklahoma!

Westerville City Schools’ Summer Enrichment Theatre program is bringing the musical “Oklahoma!” to the stage. 

The summer production, open to all Westerville middle and high school students, will be housed at Westerville South High School and performed July 15-18, 23 and 24 at the amphitheater in Alum Creek Park.

High schools finalizing plans for graduation, prom activities

All of the district’s high schools will be holding commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 in their respective stadiums on Saturday, May 29. High schools are also planning for Prom on May 8, which will comply with the newly streamlined Health Department orders that call for wearing masks and physical distancing.

Virtual Wellness webinar for Westerville high school students scheduled for May 3-8 Wellness Week Webinar from May 3-8

Westerville high school students are invited to participate in a week-long Wellness webinar focused on meditation, self-care and positivity on May 3-8.

Westerville Wild Warbots endure uncertainty to compete in virtual 2021 FIRST Robotics Competition Westerville Wild Warbots compete in virtual 2021 FIRST Robotics Competition

For the seniors on the Westerville Wild Warbots, this was the best robot they’ve built since they’ve been part of the district’s robotics team. And at the start of the school year, they weren’t sure if they’d be able to work with it again. 

Rotary Club of Westerville April 2021 Student of the Month Rotary Club of Westerville's April Students of the Month

The Rotary Club of Westerville recognized its April 2021 Students of the Month during a virtual meeting April 1.

District-wide art show with the Arts Council of Westerville goes virtual 2021 Westerville Virtual Art Show

For years, Westerville City Schools and the Arts Council of Westerville have hosted an annual art show in April to recognize the work of students and their teachers.

Instead of an in-person event, the organizers decided to create a virtual art show this year where parents, educators and community members can view video slideshows featuring more than 160 drawings, paintings, sculptures and other pieces students created during the 2020-21 school year. 

Spring Student Leader Series for middle and high school students starts April 14 2021 Spring Student Leadership Series

Middle and high school students can participate in the Spring Student Leader Series, an interactive online workshop that covers various leadership topics such as decisiveness, integrity, relationship building, problem solving and dependability.

Kiwanis Club of Westerville honors top scholars at Westerville South with 59th Annual Academic Varsity Awards 2021 Academic Varsity Awards - WSHS

The Kiwanis Club of Westerville recognized the top 10 graduates from Westerville South High School on Wednesday as part of its 58th annual Academic Varsity Awards.

WCSD announces “Bridge Plan” collaborative with central Ohio districts to address needs of students & staff due to the pandemic

Westerville City Schools Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg on Monday announced the district’s comprehensive approach to addressing the academic and social-emotional needs of students and staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Whittier fifth-grader teams with mom to help young writers get published Charley Jones

Charley Jones was a third-grader at Whittier Elementary when she saw her words published for the first time. 

She submitted a story about a greedy turkey named Bob whose behavior led him to become a Thanksgiving entree for a writing contest sponsored by the Westerville Public Library. She didn’t win the contest but the story was printed in a book — an empowering moment she and her mother, Leanne, wanted to extend to others.

So they launched My Favorite Story, a nonprofit organization that gives young writers facing adversity the opportunity to creatively work through challenges by publishing their stories. 

DeVese featured in Ohio State podcast about racial disparities in schools Cynthia DeVese

Cynthia DeVese, coordinator of Educational Equity at Westerville City Schools, shared the district’s equity work and implicit bias training with Inspire, a podcast created by Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology.

WCSD Board approves school fees for 2021-22 school year

The Westerville City School board approved school fees for the 2021-22 school year at their March 22 meeting. The fees, which include supplies, instructional materials, tests and athletics, will not increase next school year.

Westerville South student’s painting selected in 2021 Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition Westerville South High School student Harper Fullen and her painting, "Vice," which was chosen for the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition.

The assignment in Amy Roush’s art class at Westerville South High School was to create a series of mini paintings that tell a story or show a scene. 

Westerville South senior shares her experiences with food allergies in a new book Alia O'Brien

Dairy. Eggs. Peanuts. Tree nuts. Avocado. Banana. Kiwi. Coconut. Rice. Chocolate. Peas.

For Westerville South High School senior Alia O’Brien, navigating life with all the food she’s allergic to has been a challenge. But she’s thankful for the experience — a sentiment she wrote about in a new book called “It’s a Beautiful Life,” which features stories from individuals managing food allergies.

Kendrick Lamar lesson at Westerville South explores poetry, music and social movement Students in Emily Swank-Kavanaugh's IB English class discuss institutional racism as part of their Kendrick Lamar unit.

The students in Emily Swank-Kavanaugh’s International Baccalaureate English class at Westerville South High School have spent the past week in a new unit that explores the connection between Kendrick Lamar’s music and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

But before students could examine Lamar’s works and their lasting impact on the fight for racial justice, Swank-Kavanaugh wanted her students to wrap their minds around some serious terms.

WCSD qualifies for Auditor of State Award with Distinction for ninth-consecutive year

Westerville City Schools has qualified for the Auditor of State Award with Distinction following its state audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. It is the ninth consecutive year the district has received the commendation.

Rotary Club of Westerville March 2021 Students of the Month Rotary Club of Westerville's March Students of the Month

The Rotary Club of Westerville recognized its March 2021 Students of the Month during a virtual meeting March 4.

Spring 2020 testing calendar released

Westerville City School officials announced the release of an updated Spring 2020 local testing calendar for students. 

New graduation plans provide opportunity for entire school team to be part of students’ high school journey Westerville South High School freshman Sam Gurgiolo logging onto his Transeo account

When Westerville South High School freshman Sam Gurgiolo started thinking about what classes to take this fall, he decided to create a schedule for the remainder of his high school career, outlining course requirements and electives that would set him on a path towards his engineering studies. 

The exercise served as a primer to developing his own graduation plan — a new initiative Westerville school counselors rolled out with ninth- and 10th-graders this week.

District officials anticipate high school graduations in stadiums this year

Given the state’s recent revision to spectator attendance guidelines for indoor and outdoor athletic venues, Westerville City School District officials are developing plans that would allow Class of 2021 graduation ceremonies to be held in each high school’s respective stadium.

Westerville Parent Council announces 2020-21 GEM Award recipients 2020-21 GEM Award logo

Westerville Parent Council and Roush Honda have announced the recipients of the 2020-21 Great Educator Mentor (GEM) Award, which is presented to individuals who go the extra mile to make a positive impact in the classroom and schools.

District continues administrative realignments for succession planning purposes Tami Santa

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education approved another organizational move to meet the district’s succession planning needs at its Feb. 22 board meeting.

Tami Santa now serves as the director of Mental Health & Wellness, assuming some of the responsibilities of Debbie Meissner, director of Health and Safety, whose retirement is effective July 31. 

WCSD to create Portrait of a Graduate: Reimagining the Student K-12 Experience

Westerville City Schools is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders in the creation of a Portrait of a Graduate. During a year filled with unpredictability and challenges, it is clear that students not only need to engage in learning experiences aligned with state standards, but they also need experiences that promote a variety of skills and competencies.

Board members voice opposition to state testing, unanimously approve resolution urging emergency legislative action by lawmakers

Westerville City School District Board of Education members on Monday discussed the merits of boycotting this year's administration of mandated state tests. They then unanimously approved a resolution urging the Ohio General Assembly to waive all state-mandated standardized testing requirements for the current school year. The resolution also encourages lawmakers to request a testing waiver from the U.S. Department of Education and declares the Board's support for House Bills 67 and 40. These bills would fulfill both requests and declare an emergency, thereby making the measures effective immediately.

WCSD rolls out implicit bias and racial equity training to address students’ experience in schools bias image

Since the start of the school year, the entire Westerville school community has taken steps to better understand the racial climate in their buildings and examine the barriers that prevent underrepresented students from access to opportunities. Across the district, school leaders, educators, staff members and parents have dived into the Be the Change!: Implicit and Institutional Bias training which explores implicit bias and racial equity in schools.

Black History Month programs at Westerville high schools inspired by national events Black History Month program at WCHS

The Black History Month programs at all three Westerville high schools this year share a common inspiration: the widespread protests over the death of George Floyd and the racial unrest that followed.

The students behind the programs at Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South high schools have taken different approaches to respond to the conversations from the summer. 

Children’s Hunger Alliance recognizes WCSD for its response to feeding children during a pandemic Children's Hunger Alliance recognizes WCSD for its response to feeding children during a pandemic

Westerville City Schools has received the Children’s Hunger Alliance Child Nutrition Award for the Food Services department’s work in feeding students during the pandemic. 

WCSD receives highest rating in open records compliance by Auditor of State Auditor of Ohio seal

Westerville City Schools has received the highest rating in Auditor of State Keith Faber’s new approach to monitoring transparency in government and measuring compliance to Ohio’s open records laws.

WSHS counselor named a 2021 BASE Education winner of National School Counselor Week Justin Ferguson

Justin Ferguson, a counselor at Westerville South High School, has been named a 2021 BASE Education winner of National School Counselor Week. He is one of three winners across the country.

Robert Frost’s new Black History Month program celebrates Westerville Black history Magnus Hunter in front of his ancestor's grave, Joseph Hannibal Caulker

All Magnus Hunter knew about Uncle Joseph was his name and that he was a prince.

When Robert Frost Elementary English Learners teacher Breanne Reamsnider wanted to profile his ancestor in the school’s Black History Month program this year, Hunter discovered that Uncle Joseph was Joseph Hannibal Caulker — the third Black student to attend Otterbein University. He traveled from Sierra Leone to attend Otterbein in 1896. 

Rotary Club of Westerville’s February 2021 Students of the Month Rotary Club of Westerville's February Students of the Month

The Rotary Club of Westerville recognized its February 2020 Students of the Month during a virtual meeting Feb. 4.

WEC launches educational opportunities on suicide prevention for Westerville community Westerville Education Challenge logo

In addition to its tremendous support for the Westerville City School District’s new “Hope Squad” suicide prevention initiative, the Westerville Education Challenge (WEC) organization is launching a community education component open to anyone interested in acquiring the skills needed to help prevent suicide as well as learn more about mental health.

New WCSD webpage offers stress-management, organizational support for students

In conversations with student well being staff this year, Westerville students said they need help managing stress, organizing their school work, and keeping track of their day-to-day activities. 

In response, the district’s Office of Student Well Being and Mental Health launched a new webpage that features 11 videos with tips and strategies to help students manage stress and develop skills to manage their tasks.

Three Westerville seniors earn full-ride scholarships to prestigious universities through QuestBridge QuestBridge recipients

Three Westerville students are now college-bound after receiving full four-year scholarships through QuestBridge’s National College Match, a program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with scholarships to the country’s top universities.

Westerville City Schools Board of Education approves meeting schedule for 2021

Westerville City School District Board of Education members approved the following 2021 meeting calendar during their Jan. 11 organizational meeting.

Free school meals available through the end of the 2020-21 school year School lunch image

Families can sign up to receive meals for their students during their remote learning weeks.

District begins succession planning, announces reorganization of leadership structure

Westerville City School District Superintendent Dr. John R. Kellogg this week announced a restructuring of his district-level leadership team, which is intended to address succession planning needs, as well as strengthen academic and operational support.

Educators and staff deliver meals, supplies to meet the needs of families Mark Twain counselor Serena Casale visits families at Abbey Lane Apartments

The backseat and trunk of Serena Casale’s SUV are packed with plastic bags filled with packaged meat, milk, eggs, cereal, fruit cups, noodles, juice and other food items for several students at Mark Twain Elementary.

Casale, a school counselor, has often visited students at home since the start of the pandemic, dropping off what families struggle to pick up: Chromebooks, class assignments, school supplies or — as was the case last Friday — food.

Westerville Intra-District Open Enrollment Applications Available

Parents or guardians wishing to apply to have their children attend a school different from their school of attendance must complete and submit an Intra-district Open Enrollment Application. 

Eleven proposals awarded 2020 Fall Grant from the Westerville Education Foundation Westerville Education Foundation

A girls empowerment program, classroom sets of ukuleles, and a community-wide reading initiative focused on books about anti-racism are among the 11 proposals awarded a 2020 Fall Grant from the Westerville Education Foundation (WEF). 

WCSD nurses outline COVID-19 procedures in schools

The school nurses at Westerville City School District have collaborated on communication to help families better understand the procedures they are following in school related to COVID-19.

School meals free through the 2020-21 school year

All students enrolled in the Westerville City School District can receive free school meals through the end of the 2020-21 school year.

The update stems from a decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the free meal program for the rest of the school year.