Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for September 23

Hello Parents and Guardians,

A recent broadcast from the Harvard Graduate School of Education noted the need to take a holistic approach to student wellness as we restart school. Dean Bridget Long said, “Healthy kids translates into the opportunity for high-quality learning. And the opposite is most certainly true. . .simply put, it’s hard to concentrate and to learn when your health is suffering.” That residue of stress and duress from the conditions of the pandemic has driven some unfortunate difficulties schools have experienced at the start to the new school year. We have been fortunate at WGHS that our students have access to our team of counselors and others to directly support them. Increasingly, research has suggested exercise that students can derive in PE classes or athletic teams may be an overlooked but important intervention in mental health and self-care.

We hope that our advisory system we have initiated this fall can support traditional classroom settings with student relationships and support. Below are some key concepts from the broadcast to allow us to support student vibrancy:

  • Re-establish and repair trust. Institutions, such as schools, have suffered from varied levels of distrust internally and externally. “To combat mistrust at all levels, listen to concerns first.” We hope over the next few years, Advisory along with conventional opportunities in academics, activities, and athletics allow opportunities to connect and listen to our students.
  • Create psychologically safe spaces for students. Rates of anxiety and depression increased substantially in the last 20 months. Advisory can be a “building it” (preventative) model to support student wellness rather than a “fix-it” program. Teachers can support students by creating time for student check-ins and following up with students might need additional supports. Teachers are not counselors for students but can aptly serve to connect to needed resources, model problem-solving skills, and create space to students to feel care and support.


Matt Irvin

Next Week's Schedule: Late Start A, A, B, C, A

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • September 27: Late Start A Day: School starts at 9:15; Doors open at 8:30
  • September 28: Junior Parent Night
  • September 30: Picture Re-takes
  • October 1: End of Progress Period

2021-22 Late-Start Days

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Congratulations to our 2021 National Merit Commended Students: Andrew Bacon, Ivy Clark, Finn Jeanmougin, and Ethan Musial!
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Picture Re-Take Day is September 30

Are you dissatisfied with your child's school pictures? September 30 is scheduled for picture re-takes. We will call students out alphabetically over the PA to have their pictures re-taken by Inter-State Studios. They need to bring their picture packet if they are unhappy with it (we are passing them out this week). This will be the last opportunity to have their picture taken to be included in the yearbook.
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We are asking all parents to follow these attendance procedures when your child is absent or leaving/arriving late.

Please do not call the main high school number to report an absence. Instead, call your child's Assistant Principal's office directly to report an absence, late arrival, or early departure. We suggest saving the number in your phone from the chart below for quick access!

Checking out early? When leaving school during the day, students must check out through the assistant principal’s office.

Student Early Release:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Is your student texting you from class because they're not feeling well?

Any student who feels ill at school must request to see the nurse. If your student texts you that they're not feeling well and wants you to pick them up, please ask them to go see the nurse. All students should be practicing self-advocacy! The nurse will call you if the illness warrants an early dismissal. Please do not contact your child's Assistant Principal's office to come pick up your child if they have not seen the nurse.

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Friendship Dance Update


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our communities, families and schools. Kirkwood and Webster Groves school districts remain committed to keeping our students as safe as possible so they can continue learning in person in the classroom. With this in mind, Kirkwood High School and Webster Groves High School have jointly decided to hold separate Friendship Dances this year. This will ensure space for social distancing and the ability to follow other health and safety mitigation practices. As planning is finalized, the schools will share additional details about their Friendship Dance with students and families. We appreciate the understanding as we work toward a safe, fun evening for students.

Why the Change of Date?

We debated the date change hardily with firm counsel from the Department of Public Health to move the event outside. Due to this, we felt it was best to change the date. Below are a few of the reasons:

  • Most area high schools have mid-fall homecoming dates; however, we typically host ours in the second week in November, when it's considerably colder. We looked at the historical temperatures for the last five years on the same date, with 4 of the last 5 years in the 30s at 8 PM. We spoke to the Student Council about potential for change in date as well in the effort to avoid those circumstances--they voiced no opposition.
  • Event planners suggested having a second date as a rain date, and most high schools do not provide that option (they are simply giving refunds). We did not feel having a second date later in November was a viable option.
  • Additionally, we considered outdoor heaters but understood them to have limited impact in large spaces and an anticipated crowd of potentially over 1,000 students.

Dance Dress Expectations from STUCO

Our normal school dress code is enforced for dances. In addition, no head coverings are allowed unless for religious or medical purposes. Please plan to wear appropriate dress for a school dance. For semi-formal dances (Friendship) students should wear collared shirts, slacks, or dresses. Please do not wear hats, shorts, t-shirts, ripped jeans, or athleisure wear. Please keep these requirements in mind when dressing for these activities, as we want all students to be able to participate. Students will not be admitted to the dance if they do not meet the dress expectations.

If you have any clothing items that might be donated to another student, please bring them to Office 124. If you have any questions, please contact your assistant principal.

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Did You Know?

The Ivory Crockett Run for Webster is back in-person, with a virtual option as well! The in-person event features a one mile fun run/walk, a 5k, and a kids 100-yard dash (ages 12 & under). While you’re out on the course, the WGHS Band, Cheerleaders, and Dance Teams will all be out there to cheer you on. After the run, enjoy brunch from some or our local restaurants, along with some quality time with Fredbird and Louie. Who knows, maybe they’ll try to beat Ivory Crockett’s world record!

We are also offering a series of virtual 5k runs, with one starting from every Webster Groves School District school, and a special Ivory Crockett Challenge 5k, starting from Ivory Crockett Park in historic North Webster. All of our activities are listed below, with dates, times, locations, and other details. Registration for all activities begins on September 1st.

Make sure you register by September 28th to guarantee a t-shirt in your size!

The Ivory Crockett Run for Webster was established in 2004. It honors Ivory Crockett, a 1968 graduate of Webster Groves High School. On May 14, 1974, Ivory participated in the Tom Black Classic held annually at the University of Tennessee. On a wet track and against world-class competition, Ivory sprinted to a world's best 9.0 seconds in the 100-yard dash, a record which still stands today.

Register to run or volunteer at today!

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Counseling News

The annual Webster-Kirkwood-Lindbergh-Mehlville-Oakville College Fair is Wednesday, October 6, 2021 from 6:00-7:30pm in the gym at Lindbergh High School. Students should register ahead of time at to receive a barcode to share with college reps. For a listing of colleges currently registered to attend, click here.

Junior Parent Night: Getting Started with Making Plans for After High School

Please join us for an overview of all things college and career planning related on Tuesday, September 28th at 6pm. While students are always welcome, they will hear same information when we visit them in US History beginning next week. This will be a live Zoom presentation. Zoom link will be shared soon! Can’t make it? A recording will be shared after the event.

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.

College Fair

Our Webster-Kirkwood-Lindbergh-Mehlville-Oakville College Fair is set for October 6, 2021 from 6:00-7:30pm at Lindbergh High School. We typically have 100+ college admissions representatives in person to tell you about their schools and to answer any questions you may have about their application process. A complete list of attending colleges will be shared closer to the event. All students and their parents are welcome to attend!

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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