Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for December 8
Hello WGHS Families,
We have plenty of information below on finals, but I wanted to share another aspect. As parents of children taking finals, we can provide some counsel to coach them along in the process that they should own. I am sharing some items as both a parent and an educator that gives effort in both, not always to the result I sought:
1. Make a finals calendar.
Students should plan out study sessions for exams by looking at the order of finals and gaging how much time they need to prepare. Ideally, start the schedule a week before the first test, and estimate the time to set aside each day for each subject. Students should plan multiple sessions for each exam to maximize the review's impact. “The best deliberate study practice to sustain full concentration, a distraction-free environment, scheduled study time, and access to necessary training resources.”
2. Some recommended study aids.
Consider the most effective way to review, internalize, or practice the information and skills that are covered by each exam. The best resource will be the information the teacher shares in their class regarding sources and the type of assessment questions on the exam. Teachers know what they are asking students to do and will share resources and recommendations prior to the exam.
- Make flash cards or technology-aided equivalent to help memorize dates/equations/facts.
- Outline notes for complex ideas/essays.
- When studying at home or with a partner, have someone quiz the student on the information they have already studied. Students tend to recall the information they have been quizzed on compared to reading and review.
It is not unusual for students to feel some level of anxiousness with the exam period ahead. Strategies of breaking down the exam into smaller units or goals, positive self-talk, and thorough preparation can mitigate modest test anxiety. I hope that is of some help to guide the conversation at home, and I wish all our students' families well as they wrap up the first semester coursework.
Sources: Princeton Review and Managing Test Anxiety from Harvard University, Bureau of Study Counsel
Next Week's Schedule: Late-Start A, A, B, C, Final Exam A Day
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- 12/8: WGHS Curriculum Night, 7pm, Virtual
- 12/9: WGHS A Capella Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
- 12/10: ACT @ WGHS
- 12/12: Late-Start A Day; school starts at 9:40 (doors open to students at 9:25)
- 12/13: Winter Orchestra Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
- 12/14: Parents' Club Meeting, 7pm, Library
- 12/14: Holiday Band Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
- 12/16: Final Exam A day; Students take 1st hour final exam
OUR VIRTUAL CURRICULUM NIGHT IS TONIGHT!
Click on the .pdf for the Zoom links:
Senior Olivia Hager won third place for Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Associations November Photo of the Month Contest, and senior Lydia Urice earned an honorable mention.
Congratulations to these instrumental students who were selected as Missouri All-State musicians for the 2022-2023 school year:
Celia Alexander, violin (12) (4th year all-state)
Ethan Sanders, violin (12)
Isabella Pantano, viola (12) (2nd year all-state)
Silas Garrett, cello (12) (2nd year all-state)
Miles Cole, jazz trombone (11) (3rd year all-state)
Zach Andrews, jazz bass trombone (12) (3rd year all-state)
WGHS jazz students once again comprised the largest single-school group in the band.
Shiloh Roash, horn (11) Honorable mention (2nd year honorable mention)
Miles Cole, jazz piano (11) Honorable mention
Final Assessment Information
An extended measurement of learning, or assessment, will be given at the end of 1st and 2nd semesters in all classes. This assessment will count for a specific percentage of the overall grade to be determined by each department. Assessments may include:
Presentation to the class
Not all teachers will be giving a traditional final exam. However, all students will follow the final exam schedule. Teachers will inform students in advance if they are taking a final exam.
Assessments are an important part of the student’s grade and educational experience. Every effort should be made to be sure the student is at school for exams/projects, and vacations and other commitments are avoided at this time.
No final exams or assessments will be completed early. If a student must miss an exam/assessment, a parent must notify the appropriate assistant principal. The student will receive an Incomplete (I) and will need to make up the assessment at the teacher’s convenience. For students who are engaged in MHSAA athletics or activities, a grade of Incomplete (I) may have a negative impact on their eligibility.
Finishing the Semester Strong
Students are encouraged to collaborate with teachers regarding additional opportunities to demonstrate learning throughout the semester. Students and parents are encouraged to monitor academic progress and teachers are expected to communicate concerns regarding learning and growth with parents.
While we want all students to maintain learning and to stay current with assignments and coursework, in the case that this has not fully occurred, students are encouraged to discuss options for improvement directly with their teachers. Students may also reach out to their guidance counselors for support.
Teachers have always been encouraged to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate learning. Opportunities may include:
Quiz/test retakes and/or corrections
Ability to submit late or missing assignments
Completion of alternative assessments
Extended deadlines on assignments
Final Assessment Format and Attendance Expectations
A comprehensive assessment will be given at the end of 1st and 2nd semesters in all classes. Each final exam period will be 95 minutes in length. The final assessment will count between 10% and 20% of the final course grade with the exact percentage to be determined by each department. Students will not take finals in Academic Lab, student assistant periods, Independent Period, Peer Tutoring, or Study Hall. Exams are an important part of the student’s grade and educational experience. Every effort should be made to be sure the student is at school for exams and vacations and other commitments are avoided at this time.
On the first day of finals, everyone is expected to be in attendance, as it is a special schedule. On the exam half-days, students should not be in the building if they do not have an exam or are not studying in Academic Lab; otherwise, they are expected to report to class, and attendance will be taken. Activity buses are for athletes only. Everyone else should promptly exit the building. Students are also prohibited from going to Hixson.
If your student elects to stay home during an Academic Lab exam, student assistant period, Independent Period, Peer Tutoring hour, or study hall, please contact your Assistant Principal’s office for attendance purposes.
Final Exam Make-up Days
In the event of school closure during finals week due to inclement weather, the final exam(s)/assessments will be rescheduled for the first/second day back after the inclement weather day. The grading cycle will be extended accordingly, so there may be a slight delay in grades being available in the Parent Portal. Bus transportation and athletics will be modified accordingly, and lunch will not be served.
Support the WGHS Orchestra
It's Influenza Season
It's National Influenza Vaccination Week so we're encouraging everyone--especially children and others at higher risk--to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu this season by getting a flu vaccine. Currently, flu activity is elevated in our own community and across the county and there is still time to benefit from the first and most important action in preventing flu illness and potentially serious flu complications: get a flu vaccine! See additional information below on where to obtain yours today!
St. Louis County Department of Public Health
*Walk-ins welcome at all 3 locations from 8am - 4:30pm. More info.
2023-24 Course Selections
The course selection process for the 2023-2024 school year has begun. Your child’s current teachers will make their course recommendations for your child before winter break. Students have been asked to input their requests in the student portal by January 13, 2023. Because the master schedule and staffing decisions are based on these requests, it is very important that students make their selections carefully. Course change requests will only be approved under rare and special circumstances. Questions? Please contact your child’s counselor.
High Demand Occupations
Section 167.902 RSMo, requires that the department of economic development shall annually identify occupations in which a critical need or shortage of trained personnel exists in the labor markets in this state. Additionally, each high school shall provide its students with the information before
November first of every school year. For a direct link to the FY24 High Demand Occupations list, please click here.
2022-23 Late-Start Days
Did You Know?
We ask that you call in advance if you're picking up your child early. Unlike elementary and middle school, we do not call and interrupt class to retrieve your child. To speed up the process of picking up your student, we always recommend calling at least 60 minutes ahead of time to allow for:
- Retrieval of message
- Locating student and delivering pass to student
- Checking student out of their offices
(Please note: Our secretaries generally take 30 minutes for lunch.)
Shop the Parents' Club Spirit Store!
The Spirit Store is open! Hours are 8-9:15 a.m. daily.
The online store is open 24 hours a day at https://wghsparentsclub.org/collections.
Every time you shop at the Spirit Store, you are supporting student scholarships and teacher grants!