Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for November 14

Hello Parents and Guardians,

In the last week, administrators have gone into classes to share information on how students can be more involved and connected at Webster Groves High School. In that time, we share that students that are involved beyond the school day on average have better school experiences and outcomes, such as higher attendance and academic performance. I have recently connected with a book called Deeper Learning, written by researchers Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, in which they conducted observations and interviews of students and staff over six years from purportedly successful innovative high schools that were suggested as “leaders” in preparing students for the demands of twenty-first century life.

Sadly, they noted most students experienced lack of engagement, and “bored, disengaged compliance” during their day. However, in these recommended model schools, pockets of vibrant learning settings and a “hidden curriculum” in extra-curricular and electives that allowed students to do deep learning and rise above the norm with intellectually dynamic experiences. Mehta and Fine observed “…we stumbled into spaces that initially lay outside of our study—art classes, debate club meetings, newspaper, Model UN, athletic practices—these same students looked and sounded totally different. In these spaces, they were actively engaged and eagerly assuming roles as leaders.” Yesterday we celebrated multiple student-athletes who signed their letter of intent, knowing we are only sharing a chapter in their growth and development as scholars and competitors. My belief is that these students have had exposure to an alchemy that will serve them well--we are as optimistic as we are proud.

A parent recently shared their impression of their child’s experience at the end of four years in a fall activity. They shared their appreciation of the program and its leader’s intentionality in the development of participants’ character and creating a belonging, inclusive community. I am hopeful that thoughtful note is representative of many extracurricular settings that act as well-designed learning environments for our students. Cheers to all that participate, mentor, and support "the game" with a gaze that moves from the immediacy of the scoreboard to the promise of the horizon.


Matt Irvin

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • November 16: WGHS Robotics Meet, 8 a.m.
  • November 18: Late-Start Day, doors open at 8 a.m.
  • November 25: Spirit Week Begins

Monday, November 18 is a Late-Start Day

School begins at 8:57 a.m. on late-start days.

This is just a reminder that we will have a late-start schedule on Monday, November 11. Students will miss two class periods to accommodate time for teachers to meet in their PLCs, or Professional Learning Communities. For all late-start schedules, school will begin at 8:57 a.m., and two class periods will be dropped.

On Monday’s Late Start, the building opens at 8:00 a.m. Students should enter through the Senior Entrance. Between 8-8:30, students may go to the library or cafeteria. After 8:30, students may enter the building via the Senior, Junior or Roberts entrance and transition to their regular morning routine. Please see the schedule below for a Day 5/6:

2019-20 Late-Start Days

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Critical Information Needed from Parents

In the next few days, we will be sending a letter and survey to all parents regarding additional funding available to our school district if either parent was active duty military, employed by the federal government, or otherwise worked on federal property on 9/25/19. We are asking all parents to complete the survey, even if the above does not apply. Please look for this in your mailbox soon!

Updated December EOC Schedule

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Did You Know?

Turkey Day Week is right around the corner! See the agenda for the week below.

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Volunteer for the ChiliFest

The ChiliFest team could use your help. We still need volunteers for this year's event. ChiliFest is one of the largest Parents' Club fundraisers of the year. Proceeds go to scholarships, teacher grants and the senior party. You can make a big impact with a minimal time commitment. There are even opportunities for students to volunteer. It's a great way to get community service or Statesmen Service Award hours.

You can sign up using the link below. Please join us in supporting our school and our kids!

Gifted Program Deadline Approaching

Student nominations for both the Academic and Fine Arts Gifted programs are due December 16, 2019. Anyone may nominate a student. The district has four universal screenings of students in grades 4th, 6th, 8th (this year) and 2nd grade (beginning the fall of 2020). The district allows one* parent nomination during a child’s tenure in the WGSD. Additional information about the WGSD Gifted Programs may be found online. *To honor the prior policy that allowed two parent nominations for a student, and if a student was nominated by a parent prior to the 2019-2020 school year, a second parent/guardian nomination will be accepted until the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

The Academic Gifted Program services students in 2nd - 12th grade. Students turning in forms by the deadline will be evaluated for academic program services this school year. Nominations received after 12/16/19 for the academic program will be accepted but students will only be evaluated for services this school year if time allows.

The Gifted Fine Arts Program services students in 3rd - 8th grade. Screening for the Gifted Fine Arts program is held once a year in the winter. This year, the Gifted Arts Evaluation dates are February 27 and 28, 2020 during the school day with transportation provided to the Service Center. Therefore, second grade students interested in the program for third grade must be nominated in second grade. Please note that Gifted Fine Arts nominations will only be accepted by the Dec. 16th deadline.

Forms for both programs may be obtained from the gifted specialist at your child’s school, or online through the district website. You may also nominate online, using these direct links: Academic Gifted nomination and Gifted Fine Arts nomination.

Feel free to contact the gifted specialist at your child’s school or me if you have any questions,

Pam Washington, Ph.D.

District Gifted Coordinator

Science Fair Night Coming Soon

Come learn about the science fair and how to complete a project on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in the Edgar Road Elementary library at 6:00 pm. If you cannot attend or would like more information, please contact district science fair coordinator, Shayla Pott, at

Turkey Day Yard Signs Support Cheerleaders

We still have some signs left! Order your Turkey Day sign at!

Shop at Our Spirit Store and Support Funding for Scholarships!

The Webster Groves Spirit Wear Store is open to all Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members. Shop the Spirit Store for all your Webster Groves Apparel and Accessories.

Spirit Store Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 10:00 am

Late Start Monday: 8:30 am – 10:00 am

All Spirit Wear Apparel and Accessories are also available online at the Parents Club website.

Orders placed online will be available for pick up at the WGHS Front Office.

(for a fee all items can be shipped to your home)

WGHS Front Office Hours: 7:30 am – 3:00 pm

You can also find Spirit Wear at our “Pop-Up” Shops at many school sponsored events.

Thanks for your support!

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