Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for October 28

Hello Parents and Guardians,

While we have moved past our annual Friendship Dance, we had almost 800 students attend earlier this month. Our daughter will attend a dance at her school next month. As a parent of a high school student, I want most for her to have a memorable and safe night with her friends on a night when some might see the opportunity to engage in substance use. As a school community, we are making efforts to help educate our students in health classes, coordinating visits from Preferred Family Healthcare, and educating students in other settings about the concerns of underage drinking and related activities.

Several years ago I attended a presentation by Clayton Behavioral, a facility that offers many mental health services, including treating substance use disorders. Part of the presentation dealt with the impact of substance use on the developing brain of adolescents and how the mix of families, school, and communities can partner to prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol. They shared data from survey questions were determined to be more predictive of teen substance use. The first question focused on parenting disposition and the child’s ability to approach the parent for needed support, and the second centered on supervision. If students responded with “most of the time” or “always,” there was considerable decrease in the likelihood of consistent use of substances.

Question: “I can talk to my parents about my problems”

a. Never

b. Rarely

c. Sometimes

d. Most of the time

e. Always

Question: “My parents know where I am after school”

a. Never

b. Rarely

c. Sometimes

d. Most of the time

e. Always

Some conversation topics to ask your child prior:

· Before - Know the plans. Ask the important questions: Who’s driving? Who’s going with you? What is their contact information?

· After – Support from the community. Local police departments will be alert and active our respective communities enforcing social hosting ordinances, MIPs, DUIs, etc. to help keep our kids and the community safe.

Few of the above are without conundrums, such as responding to their growing independence while monitoring their safety as well as the knowledge of high stakes around substance use and allowing learning from their mistakes. While a teen's engagement in substance use is not the measurement of good parenting nor is it fully determinant of our children’s worth, we are hopeful to keep our children safe and being their best self at school and at home. If you are seeking resources in this work, please contact your child’s counselor.



Next Week's Schedule: NO SCHOOL, A, B, C, A

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • 10/28-10/30: Fall Play: "10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse," 7pm, Knight Auditorium
  • 11/1: NO SCHOOL; PD Day
  • 11/1: First day of winter sports
  • 11/3: Parents' Club Meeting, 7 pm, Library
  • 11/4: Senior Panoramic Photo, 10 am
  • 11/6: SAT Test @ WGHS
  • 11/7: WGHS Community Open House, 1-3 pm

2021-22 Late-Start Days

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Seniors: Senior Panoramic Photo Next Week

The Senior Panoramic Photo will be taken on Thursday, November 4 at 10 a.m. Details will be sent with all seniors via email. Please click on the order form below if you would like to order.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Social Emotional Learning Survey

In support of our efforts to better care for the well-being of our students and nurture the most welcoming and inclusive environments possible, we will administer a brief, online and anonymous survey to all high school students between October 18 - 29. What they share, next week and in a follow-up survey this spring, will help guide and assess our efforts to better care for high school students in the WGSD. Please reach out to your student's principal with any questions.


  • Senior Parents: Everything you need to know about graduation and your child's senior year can be found here.

Did You Know?

Our WGHS Community Closet has been very busy with daily student visitors. WGHS Community Closet is currently accepting donations of: teenage appropriate clothing (new/clean/very gently used), healthy grab and go snacks, school supplies and toiletries.

Please consider donating backpacks, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants, leggings, socks, winter hats/gloves, sports bras and chapstick. These items are a big need right now, especially as the temperatures drop. Our stock is running low for both boys and girls, all sizes. We appreciate and are grateful for all of your donations! (Please note: We are very well stocked on t-shirts so thank you for those donations in the past.)

Any questions, please contact Julie Simonson, Administrative Assistant - John E. Thomas, Assistant Principal

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To Report an Absence, Please Call:

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Counseling News

Juniors and Seniors

The deadline to register for the Saturday, December 11 ACT is Friday, November 5th. Students should register online at The test fee is $60. Students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch are eligible for a fee waiver from ACT. Please contact your counselor for details.

Mentors4College Hosting Zoom re: Playing Sports in College

Playing sports in high school is tons of fun and highly rewarding. Student-athletes create strong team bonds and make memories that last a lifetime. Deciding whether or not to play sports at the collegiate level requires thoughtful reflection and research. When students find the right college fit, playing sports can greatly enhance their college experience. When students make an emotional decision about playing sports in college, the outcome is usually not as rewarding. The best advice from counselors and coaches is, "Pick the college, not the team." Join M4C as we explore what student-athletes need to do while in high school to determine if playing collegiate sports is a good decision and to find the right college for academics and sports. Use the link below to register for our brief webinar.

Mentors 4 College Zoom Webinar-Thursday, November 11; 5:30-6:00 pm

College Sports: Academics, Scholarships & Talent

Registration link:

Is your child interested in learning about the actuarial field?

Encourage them to attend RGA's virtual High School Actuarial Day.

Designed specifically for high school students, this event will feature presentations from several RGA actuaries, who will talk about their education and careers in the actuarial field. The event will conclude with a Q&A session for participant questions.

High School Actuarial Day

Tuesday, November 23

3:30-5:00 p.m.

(Link provided upon registration)

Click here to access a PDF of our flier


Space is limited! Registration is open now through Tuesday, November 16. To reserve a spot, email Kelsie Klingenberg. Attendees will receive a link to the Zoom meeting upon registration.

AP Exam Registration is open and due by Thursday, November 11th.

Students enrolled in AP courses should register now for AP Exams that will be held on May 2nd- 13th in-person at WGHS.

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is an important part of all AP courses, but ultimately optional. If you have questions about whether or not to take the AP Exam, please contact your AP teacher.

The AP exam registration process is two steps, but both can be completed in one sitting when the student and parent/guardian do this together.

Step 1: If you haven’t already, you will need to create an account in AP Classroom and use a “Join Code” to be added to your class section. This Join Code should have been provided by your AP teacher. You will use your join codes and directions to complete the second required step in Total Registration.

Step 2: Visit to register and pay for your AP exams. Exam fees will be paid online so be sure to have a debit card or credit card available before beginning registration. This year each AP exam costs $96.00 + ($4 non-refundable processing fee per student). Registrations made after November 11th will incur a $40 late fee per test.

Students who qualify for Free/Reduced lunch, will pay a reduced fee of $54/per exam.

Please contact Mrs. Jennedy Lombard, AP Coordinator at, if you would like to register for an exam not listed or have any other AP related questions.

Common Application Workshops During Academic Networking

Many seniors will use the Common Application to apply to college. While it is not particularly difficult, it can be a little confusing and hard to navigate sometimes. Students--please join us for a Common Application Workshop during Academic Networking time in September and October to learn how to complete your applications via the Common App. Sign up using the links below:

Last Names A-K

Last Names L-Z

College Admissions Representative Visits are Back!

After a year of virtual visits, we are welcoming college admissions representatives back in the building to meet with interested juniors and seniors. A list of colleges visiting will be posted on our Counseling Department calendar, in Naviance, and shared in our daily announcements. Students should stop by the Counseling Center to sign up and to receive a pass to be excused from class. Be sure to check the calendar regularly as visits are being updated daily.

Individual Senior Planning Conferences

Seniors and senior parents! Would you like to meet to ask questions specific to your needs? We will begin hosting individual meetings with students (in-person) and their parents (either in-person or via Zoom) following Senior Parent Night and our visits with senior English classes. Schedule using the links below:

Last Names A-K (Verstraete)

Last Names L-Z (Lombard)

Sophomore Parents!

South Tech is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year! Students are STRONGLY encouraged to apply during first semester to increase their chances of acceptance.

All of South Tech’s courses are listed here and available to you as electives. Tech provides the REAL WORLD experience and hands-on skills you need to make solid choices about your future while you earn high school and college credit. Tech also offers certifications and licenses that open doors for internships, employment, and advanced placement. We offer everything from Automotive to Veterinary, Health Sciences to Welding, and Firefighting to Web & Computer Programming. With 26 different programs, Tech likely has a class for you!

Transportation is provided and classes are TUITION FREE! To get started on your application today, click here.

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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

Every time you shop at the Spirit Store, you are supporting student scholarships and teacher grants!

News from Dr. Irvin

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