West Side Story

Iowa City Speaks moves online

Single word magnets lay out on the table for the American Writers Museum waiting for someone to string them together into a poem.

Renee Gould, Reporter

May 4, 2020

With the Iowa City Community School District announcing that school was going to be canceled until at least April 13, Spoken Word club, better know as Iowa City Speaks (IC Speaks) was canceled alongside it. However, the head of IC Speaks, Caleb Rainy, decided to keep the program going throughout the cr...



Misha Canin and Isaac Young

May 3, 2020

“Secure your phones!” You’ve heard it before in the West High classrooms, a common phrase teachers use to remind their students to remain on task throughout the period. However, outside of school it’s much harder for students’ phone usage to be regulated. This often results in a large amount...

Overcoming obstacles

English Language Learners at West face a language barrier while adjusting to the new environment.

Hanah Kitamoto and Isaac Young

April 28, 2020

Language is everywhere and it’s surely unavoidable. Homework, tests, socializing and even a quick trip to your local coffee shop will require you to use language. As English is the most common language in America, it’s not rare to be surrounded by English in our daily lives. Transforming thoughts an...

College admissions process Q&A

College admissions process Q&A

Fareeha Ahmad and Alyssa Skala

April 26, 2020

How should a student go about finding the right college for them?  Under normal circumstances:  “If you're going on a road trip with your family, and you're driving by someplace, go and walk around as much as you can. Getting on a physical campus as much as possible is going to help you ge...

Tackling Tourette’s

Tackling Tourette's

Fareeha Ahmad and Alice Meng

April 26, 2020

About Tourette’s  Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder involving tics, which are involuntary movements or sounds. In order to be diagnosed, individuals must have motor and vocal tics lasting more than a year, according to Tourette Association of America. Kaylee Gibson '23 Early in ...


According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, as of April 23, there were 3,748 cases of COVID-19 in Iowa.

Marta Leira and Kailey Gee

April 23, 2020

Halfway across the world, the impact wasn’t immediate. It all started in late December, when a few individuals in Wuhan, China were diagnosed with pneumonia from an unknown cause. As cases spread throughout the world and death tolls soared, on March 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic. Eventually, the virus reached Iowa City. By then, scientists had given the ominous new threat a nam...

What have your teachers been up to?

Math teacher James Kirpes passes out information about an upcoming competition to math club members.

Fareeha Ahmad, Reporter

April 3, 2020

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, life has been a little less than normal. To stay safe, individuals cannot go to restaurants, the movies or the mall. Even a bike ride with a couple of friends can be dangerous. Boredom has hit students so hard that they miss school and their teachers. So, to bring some li...

Credit reel

LaShaun Lacy sits in bus number 5110. Driving special education students on this bus is one of his jobs. He also works as a correctional officer.

Krisha Kapoor, WSS Intern

March 20, 2020

After every great movie, there is a credit reel for all the people behind the scenes. Almost always you’ll find yourself getting up and leaving before the screen gets past the actors. Do you ever actually wonder who wrote that song, or who made that sound effect? As humans, we are busy and tend to...

Looking back: Clear the smoke

Looking back: Clear the smoke

Camille Gretter, WSS Intern

March 19, 2020

Clear the smoke by the West Side Story Editorial Board September 7, 1979 By administrative decree, cigarettes will no longer smolder on school property. The new ban on student smoking is more than a rule; it’s a law. Though in recent years it has not been enforced, state law prohibits the use of t...

A stroke of good fortune

Paraeducator Farren Kerr poses for Wheel of Fortune submission photo.

Alex Carlon, Online Managing and News Editor

March 15, 2020

The enthusiastic ramblings of host Pat Sejak and tender smile of Vanna White are two comforts that many Americans tune in for on a weekly basis. The high-stakes competition and fun-loving spirit of the program makes Wheel of Fortune a must-see for millions of people daily. West paraeducator Farren ...

Overcrowding in classes blooms opportunity for new teacher

Andrew Bloom, a new member of the West High staff, sits at his desk in room  239, which he shares with his colleague Travis Henderson.

Natalie Dunlap, Online Editor-in-Chief

March 12, 2020

While August is usually the time for students to meet new teachers, get acquainted with classmates and fall into a rhythm with their subjects, a group of American studies and success center kids got a change of pace when they were switched to a new teacher part-way through the second trimester. Andrew Bl...

Looking back: Where to find love?

Abigail Greenleaf searches for love in all the wrong places.

Caroline Mascardo, WSS Intern

March 12, 2020

Originally published in April 25, 2003 issue of West Side Story by Kat Rokhlin Where to find love? eHarmony.com eHarmony.com boasts its ability to find the perfect match for you. It requires you to answer an extensive questionnaire (more than 500 questions) to find the most suitable and compati...

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