Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for September 14
Hello WGHS Families,
This note is a repeat for our parents of grade 10-12 students, but the message is important for the time of year. We are several weeks into the new school year, and this is a time when challenges begin to present themselves to our children. Initial competitions and tests have taken place, and with it an internal sorting begins as we weigh experiences with outcomes. The relentlessness nature of parenting today immerses us in the trappings of high school credential acquisition and the college search process in a manner that can feel overwhelming. It can feel vast when we as parents feel the need to support our teen to fully access all the resources that are available. In these pursuits, we too often chase short-term wins that unfortunately undercut our child’s emotional development and ability to navigate the world around them.
My own over-parenting has been on my mind lately as our children have entered another year of high school and college--both with seeming greater independence and subsequent distance. In spite of their newly earned settings, they still lapse on functional responsibilities. One recent episode occurred when my son neglected to pack something for college that he needed and asked that we bring it up to him. This has now happened on three consecutive weekends! On each incident, we were travelling to campus anyway to see him play; however, like other parents we have the propensity to drop everything and address the issue.
Sometime ago, I listened to a podcast interview of Julie Lyncott-Haims, who has written and spoken around the concern of over-parenting. Her counsel would be to encourage the child to seek out their own resources initially to deepen the child’s toolkit to foster them doing what they can do and can almost do for themselves.
She describes three categories of over parenting:
Over-protective: Bubble-wrapping your child so no perceived missteps or pitfalls will occur to the child.
Over-directive: An overt plan has been created, most often by the parent, with accompanying conditional love earned on the execution of the plan. Another aspect of this is monitoring their grades, athletic statistics and the like as if it were the stock market.
Concierge: The parent handling administrative task such as phone calls and completing paperwork, centering their lives in serving as the pit crew for the their child’s life.
Her advice when greeted with the “I left my backpack at school” or “I left my jersey at home” concierge request:
1) Empathize--Understand the difficulty of how the child may experience that concern. Talk to them like they are your best friend’s kid, less transactional and more human-centered your approach.
2) Say to the teen, “How do you think you will handle it?” This conveys belief of agency and confidence in the child that recognizes this is most elementally their concern. We cannot shelter our children from all stressors that will emerge but can share the process of becoming more resilient when they are encountered.
I am sharing this information as a compass for myself and the collective community as we all navigate the challenges of parenting adolescents. As we gradually release responsibility to our children, we transition from a carpenter to a gardener--less directive in an exacting outcome, but rather seeking to create conditions for our children to grow and flourish better and become more resilient for their journey.
Next Week's Schedule:
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- 9/20: Hixson/WGHS Choir Festival @WGHS, Auditorium
Congratulations to seniors Tessa Garrison, Samuel Hewitt, Timothy McBride, Claire Miller, and Matthew Muldrow for being named Semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program! They will continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. High school juniors entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 PSAT. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U. S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. We're proud of you!
Echo publications and the Echo Yearbook staffs earned honors from Quill and Scroll and Missouri Interscholastic Journalism Association. The Echo publications was one of 15 schools to earn a International First Place Award in Quill and Scroll's overall Comprehensive News Multimedia critique. The content being evaluated was the print, online and social media produced by the 2022-23 Echo publications staff.
MIJA awarded the Echo Yearbook staff a Superior rating in its overall critique of the 2023 Yearbook, which had the theme of "Wonder."
WG Parents’ Advisory Council
Does your child have a 504 or an IEP? Then let’s meet!
No matter what level of support your child needs to achieve, we are stronger together! The purpose of the Parents Advisory Council is to support one another for our children to have an inclusive school experience.
For the 2023-24 school year, the Parents Advisory Council is scheduled to meet four times. Each meeting will consist of a topic and/or guest speaker and time to get to know one another. Feel free to bring in your own meal or snack.
Meetings will be on the following dates at Global Brew in Rock Hill on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For questions please contact JJ Gossrau at JJ.Gossrau@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
Culture and Climate
In continuation of our efforts to support the academic and personal well-being of each student, district culture and climate surveys will be administered to students in grades 3-12, families, and staff. Surveys will solicit participants' perspectives about learning strategies, culture and climate, and experiences in the classroom and/or school.
The surveys will allow for students, families and staff to offer feedback specifically about school safety, their sense of belonging, teacher-student relationships, cultural awareness and diversity and inclusion. For comparison purposes, the same surveys from 2022-2023 will be used this year.
The survey window for students and families will be October 2-13, 2023 and March 25-April 5, 2024.
To learn more, including survey previews, aggregate data from last year, and how you can exclude your child from participating in the surveys if you choose to, click here.
Here are this week's highlighted Chelsea Center opportunities:
To get your student involved, or to learn more, have them follow this link and log in with their school-district gmail account: https://wgsd.givepulse.com/group/518837-Webster-Groves. Keep in mind, the website is only accessible for students only and they must log in with a wgcloud.org email address.
BRIDGing Our Stories
The BRIDGing Our Stories - (Building.Relationships.Inclusion.Diversity.Growth) program allows WGSD middle and high students and staff to tell their stories through art. Students and staff members can express themselves through art such as poetry, photography, music, dance, painting, etc. These creative expressions will be placed in a Community Gallery for the public to view, learn, and appreciate. In addition, the art will be used in a professional development session for staff to learn about the power of storytelling, relationship building, and building community. The grants are able to cover funding for some art supplies. Students will be asked a year later to share how being a part of the project impacted their classroom experiences. This program is grant-funded by the WGSD Foundation and Lindenwood University.
Did You Know?
Oct. 17, 18, 19 PARENT/TEACHER
October 19 & 20 NO SCHOOL
November 1 NO SCHOOL
Nov. 22-24 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Dec. 18-21 SEMESTER EXAMS
December 22-January 2 WINTER BREAK
January 3 RECORDS DAY
January 4 SCHOOL RESUMES
January 15 DR. M. L. KING DAY–NO SCHOOL
February 16 NO SCHOOL
February 19 PRESIDENT’S DAY—NO SCHOOL
March 4-5 PARENT/TEACHER
March 15 NO SCHOOL
March 18-22 SPRING BREAK
April 15-26 EOC TESTING
May 10 SENIORS LAST DAY/CHECK-OUT
May 18 GRADUATION
May 21-24 2ND SEMESTER EXAMS
May 24 LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
WGHS Attendance Procedures
Call your child's AP office to report an absence, late arrival, or early departure. Checking out early? When leaving school during the day, students must check out through the assistant principal’s office.
Student Early Release:
We require at least one hour notice when calling your student out early. Call the Assistant Principal's office before the designated time and report the absence. You may also send a note with the student to be presented to the Assistant Principal's office before school.
At the designated time, your student will receive a pass to check out if you called ahead. The student will check out in the Assistant Principal's office.
You will NOT enter the building if you have called the absence in and communicated a pick-up location with your child. However, if you choose to pick up your child in the building, you must do so at the main entrance on Selma Avenue. Upon entering the building, check in with the receptionist. Please bring your driver's license if you are checking in. The receptionist will contact the Assistant Principal’s office to send for your student. Please be aware that not calling ahead to schedule an early release can take up to 30 minutes to send for a student.
For Seniors who are applying to college and need to request transcripts or letters to accompany their application, please reference our College Application Guide.
Juniors and Seniors are invited to attend our College Representative visits during the school day. Please visit our counseling webpage to view the calendar and stop by the counseling office for a pass.
Important Upcoming Dates:
September 26th -Junior College Planning 6 p.m. Parents of Juniors. Students are welcome to join.
October 4th - College Fair @ Lindbergh High School 6-7:30p.m. All are welcome to attend.
Dual Credit and Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Registration is Open!
Did you know that there are more than 30 classes at WGHS offering college credit for students? An email was sent to all students (and their parents) in qualifying classes earlier this week. If you missed it or just want to plan ahead, view this document for details. Pay special attention to the following deadlines:
· MO State Dual Credit: https://dualcredit.missouristate.edu/ (Deadline: 9/18/2023)
· UMSL Dual Credit: https://www.umsl.edu/continuinged/acp/ (Deadline 9/13/2023)
Save the Date!
Junior Parent Night, Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00pm in the WGHS Auditorium
Junior parents! Please join Mrs. Lombard and Ms. Silverstrand as we “kickoff” college planning for the Class of 2025. Topics will include: college admissions testing, a timeline for the college search and application process, tools for conducting your search and more! Students are always welcome to attend but will hear a similar presentation in their English class prior.
Webster Groves School District uses ParentSquare for school communication, primarily with email, text and app notifications. ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent, using their preferred email address and phone number. We encourage parents to access their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified.
Create a Canvas Account to Stay Connected
To stay connected with the learning in our classrooms, please create a Canvas Observer Account which is our district's learning management system. You will find three helpful documents below:
- Canvas Informational Letter
- Creating an Observer Account, Logging into Canvas, and Setting Notifications
- Student Accessing Canvas
If you have any questions please contact Tim Brown, Director of Student Assessment, Data and Learning Technologies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop the Parents' Club Spirit Store!
The Spirit Store is open! Hours are 8-9:15 a.m., Tuesday - Friday.
The online store is open 24 hours a day at https://www.wghsparentsclub.org/spiritwear.
Every time you shop at the Spirit Store, you are supporting student scholarships and teacher grants!