Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your Weekly eNews for April 8

Hello Parents and Guardians,

FUTUREPROOF: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose is a new book that has a fairly optimistic view of the clash between rising technology and humanity--think "Terminator 2." It offers some pointed suggestions to combat the wave of technology, much of it rooted in skills schools can greatly impact. In addition to the suggestions around discrete skills, he suggests habits of mind and dispositions, buoyed by the call of “maintaining humane values (empathy) in an age of new machines.”

Below is a list from Kathryn Hume blog on Education in the Age of AI that mirrors some of the Roose’s suggestions and details some skills that will be in demand for future workforce:

Flexibility and Adaptability

A one-trick pony will not stay relevant long, disruption as we have all experienced will demand a level of malleability. The need to access resources (increasingly via technology) will allow future workers to “embrace the need to constantly learn to stay relevant.”

Interdisciplinary Application

Climate change, gun policy, and most issues we face are complex and multi-dimensional. Understanding the science of climate change is a start, but working in fields of impact such as the economy and government must also be addressed. Work will demand not a siloed approach but “various disciplines (with) different prisms that refracted a unified whole.” How can we truly attempt to more fully understand racism without viewing it around history, jurisprudence, financial, artistic curation, and cross-cutting scientific concerns?

Framing Qualitative Ideas as Quantitative Problems

A call exists for using quantitative reasoning of a worthwhile problem to more fully understand and rationally determine a myriad of entrepreneurial or industry decisions. Connecting to mathematical evidence to allow workers and companies to wisely move from “strategy to tactical execution.”

What is our role in this?

Technology and its reach have done more to disrupt than to cause a typhoon in the economy for both repetitive manual labor and cognitive labor. It surely had a role in fostering the fissures in our culture rooted in the vast disinformation and its reach via social media. The Next Generation Science Standards ask students to apply scientific content and to connect knowledge across scientific fields into a scientifically-based understanding of their world. Critical thinking and other depth of knowledge Level 3 or 4 tasks that have students “consider explanation, interpretation, application, perspective, empathy, and self-knowledge” are needed across our curriculum. In English, students could read Frederick Douglass' “What to the slave, is the Fourth of July,” James Baldwin book excerpts, and Ta-Nehisi Coates Atlantic article, "The Case for Reparations." Students should consider what is similar and different in historical context, cultural response to the work, and general arguments as well as potential rebuttal. Tasks such as these would go far to support students' deep thinking around their roles as a citizens of a new economy and old democracy, both of which we can impact as a school. As a parent, asking in conversation, “What makes you think that?,” "What supports your perspective?," or general discussion around complex problems in between TikToks can helpful as well!

In gratitude,

Matt Irvin

April 9 is a Synchronous Virtual Day

To accommodate the 2nd vaccine for our district staff, April 9 will be a synchronous virtual day at the high school. Students will follow the schedule below via Zooms.
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The MIPA announced its 2020-2021 awards at the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association's 52nd annual J-Day on March 31.

Overall awards included an All Missouri rating for the WG Echo online, superior ratings for the Echo Yearbook and the Voices of Webster podcast, and an excellent ratings for the print version of the Echo newspaper and the Echo News Roundup newscast.

Individuals who earned All Missouri ratings include senior Jaden Fields for her editorial/op-ed “Capitol riot shows inequity of police response,” Fields and junior Zeke La Mantia for their entertainment review “2020 acts as real zombie movie: Echo reviews best of pandemic movies,” and senior Elise Wilke-Grimm and sophomore Calvin Lescher for their online feature package “Restaurants reopening/Indoor dining becoming available.”

Individuals who earned superior ratings include sophomores Maren DeMargel and Izzy Poole for their broadcast news feature “Concerns about COVID-19 change school bussing,” Wilke-Grimm for her editorial/op-ed “Schools should increase mental health screenings,” senior Addie Palmquist for her editorial/op-ed “Woman, Warrior, Legend: Ginsberg's legacy will be remembered,” junior Jackson Parks for his blog entry “Movie Theaters during Covid-19,” sophomore Lydia Urice for her online feature package “Review: Starbucks releases holiday drinks,” and La Mantia for his social media reporting on WG Echo’s Instagram.

Individuals who earned excellent ratings include senior Sophie Schnieders and the yearbook staff for overall theme/concept “History in the Making,” Palmquist for her blog entry “"Manly men": A necessity or a stereotype?” Fields for her online feature package “Voices of Webster: Editorial: Capitol riot shows inequity of police response,” Urice for her online feature package “School nurses share experience during pandemic” and Wilke-Grimm for her news photo “County voters line up to cast ballots.”

Honorable mentions were earned by freshman Joe Harned for his commercial/PSA “Echo demonstrates how to wash hands,” senior Kelly Woodyard for her sports story “Players express views about social distancing in sports,” Fields for her news photo “Responsive students have year's 1st safety drill” and her radio/podcast news feature “Voices of Webster: COVID changes Halloween celebrations ,” freshman Calum Shank for his news photo “Families enjoy re-opened county parks,” junior Myah King for her sports photo “The Best Offense...” and sports feature/reaction photo “Pregame,” senior Ben Miller for his student life/organization photo “Junior embraces snowy half-day fun,” Urice for her radio/podcast news features “Voices of Webster: School nurse shares perspective” and “Voices of Webster: Former principal joins district as Special School District area coordinator,” DeMargel for her radio/podcast news feature “Voices of Webster: Students incorporate masks into Halloween costumes,” and DeMargel and Poole for their radio/podcast news feature “Voices of Webster: Concerns about COVID-19 change school bussing.”

Statesmen Service Awards Update

Due to the importance of vaccinating our staff on April 9, 2021, the Statesmen Service Awards will be virtual this year. The award recipients will be announced on April 9 and will be given their certificates/awards when they return the following week of April 12, 2021.

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Term 4 Schedule

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Term 4 Schedule for Virtual Program

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Did You Know?

Stay up-to-date on events by visiting our school calendar.

Sadly, so many events have been canceled this year due to COVID. We update our school calendar regularly to reflect last-minute and monthly changes. Please visit our official School Calendar on our website to stay informed.

Learning at WGHS

Please visit our website for all the latest information regarding in-person learning, the virtual program, schedules, and support for our students and families.

Free Breakfast and Lunch Available for All WGSD Students

During in person learning and distance learning, Webster Groves Students will continue to have access to FREE breakfast and FREE lunch Monday-Friday.

Meals are available for pick-up at Webster Groves High School and home delivery. Students who have opted for in person learning, will be able choose their meal choice daily in the classroom.

For home delivery or meal pick up , please sign up using the below link .

Please contact us at with any questions.

Check out our menus at or download the Nutrislice app!

Counseling Department Updates

Dual credit registration for the following courses is now open:

· AP English Language (Ms. Gray and Ms. Moore)

· AP Honors US History (Mr. Luparell and Ms. Pursell)

· Women, Gender, and Diversity (Ms. Moore)

· Ceramics 1 and 2 (Mr. Throm)

· Drawing and Painting 1 and 2 (Mr. Throm)

To register, visit

Tuition: $68 per credit hour

Registration Deadline: April 11, 2021

Requirements: 3.0 cumulative GPA for sophomores, 2.5 cumulative GPA for juniors and seniors

Note: For students in Honors US History or AP English Language: You have the option to earn 3 credits each term for a total of 6 credits. You may have already registered for one or both of these classes in January. Not sure? Follow the registration link and you will be able to view any courses you have already registered for.

The 2021 Missouri Public Affairs Academy will be a virtual program (July 12-16) that brings together talented upcoming high school seniors who have an interest in making a difference in their world through leadership and community engagement.

The Academy offers a variety of experiences related to public affairs. Participants will learn from guest speakers from the not-for-profit community, government, Missouri State University faculty, and each other. They will also engage in dialogue and service projects with each other, and each will develop a written plan for a positive community change.

Cost and College Credit

The Missouri Public Affairs Academy is free! In addition to learning materials, speakers, etc., participants will earn one college credit from Missouri State University at no charge.

Application Process

Find the online application here. The application deadline is April 1, 2021.

Attention Sophomores! The deadline to apply for South Technical High School for the 2021-2022 school year is April 15th. They are currently accepting applications for Auto Collision Repair, Cisco Networking Academy, Construction Innovations, Design and Entrepreneurship, Electronics/Robotics Engineering, Pharmacy Sciences, and Precision Machining. For more information about South Tech and to apply visit

Exploring Career Speakers Series

The Greater St. Louis Area Exploring Program is excited to offer young adults ages 14-20 the opportunity to virtually meet and network with professionals from a variety of career fields. What education or training do you need for this career? What does a typical day look like? What do you like most about your job? These are just a few examples of what you might learn in the career workshops. The workshops are free and you may attend as many as you like.

All virtual programs will start at 5:00pm

· Wednesday, April 7th- First Responders Careers

· Wednesday, April 14th-Meet the CEO's of companies in St. Louis

· Wednesday, April 28th-Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

· Wednesday, May 12th -No College required-careers not requiring at college degree

Visit to register.

Scholarship Information for Seniors

St. Louis Area Scholarship Search St. Louis Graduates Scholarship Central (Note: Many of these applications have not opened up yet so keep checking back.) This is also where you can apply for Interest Free Student Loans from Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis.

Where can you find other scholarships? There are a number of scholarship databases out there. While it can seem a little overwhelming, it can be very rewarding if you put some time into it.

National Scholarship Searches
College Board’s Big Future

As a reminder, WGHS school counselors and social workers are working to support the academic, social and emotional, and post-secondary planning needs of our students. If you or your child are having difficulties or need assistance, please reach out to their counselor or social worker.

School Counselors

A-E Alex King (

F-K Ken Winingham (
L-R Joe Hepfinger (
S-Z Simone Cunningham (

College and Career Counselors
A-K Karen Verstraete (
L-Z Jennedy Lombard (

School Social Workers
Anne Gibbs (
Anne Marie Guntli (SSD) (


For students or families having technology issues, please do the following:

  • For specific Canvas issues, contact Ms. Liz Forderhase at or call her at 314.963.6400, ext. 11928.
  • Below is a link to the technology support ticket system we are utilizing to help give our learners and families the most efficient system to help us keep track of technology support requests. Use this site to submit when you are having technology difficulties with your child's equipment/access/accounts/etc.

As always, you are welcome to contact us at 314.963.6400 for assistance.

COVID-19 Information

We have now moved all COVID-19 information to a separate link. We will update this as we receive new information.

News from Dr. Irvin

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