Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for August 22

Hello Parents and Guardians,

Thanks to all our Webster Groves families for their support for an outstanding first week of school. We have seen so many strong indicators for the upcoming year--consistent attendance, many students involved in after-school activities, and earnest classroom settings. Last Friday the Activities Fair, Pep Rally, and Selma Street Dance were pretty amazing--students and our faculty celebrated our first week with energy and excitement.

Our administrative team will be visiting classes over the next week to discuss our PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) program. PBIS is a process for creating safer and more effective schools by structuring the learning environment to support the academic and social success of all students. At WGHS, we have our Statesmen Expectations of “Respect, Responsibility, Involvement, Safety, and Education." Our visits will focus on reviewing those expectations, particularly safety, while discussing school safety practices and recent trainings. When our lock-out/lock-down training occurred last week, we attempted to provide training in the effort to balance continued teaching and learning with tightened security. We were appreciative of the support of local law enforcement, our building staff, and our students for supporting our preparation. I am the parent of two school-age children as well, and I think of them and their safety each day. Part of the work of a school is to build a school culture that recognizes we have a shared responsibility to care and support each other each day.

I invite you to our Open House on Wednesday, August 28. From 5:45 - 6:30, you're invited to purchase spirit wear and sign up to volunteer with Parents' Club. At 6:30 p.m., we'll have a general meeting in the Auditorium, followed by visits to each of your student's classrooms.

Don't hesitate to call us at 314.963.6400 with any questions you may have. We are always here to assist.


Matt Irvin

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • August 28: Open House Kick-off Event, 5:45 p.m.; General Open House, 6:30 p.m., Auditorium
  • August 30: No school; PD Day
  • September 2: No school; Labor Day

Join Us for Open House!

The Webster Groves High School Parents' Club and faculty are looking forward to meeting you at our annual Open House, Wednesday, August 28.

The schedule for the evening is as follows:

5:45 - 6:30 p.m.

We hope you will stop by the Parents' Club welcome table and enjoy a treat while you learn about volunteer opportunities, and then visit the beautiful, new spiritwear store. Your help and participation with the PC supports the WGHS faculty and students through grants and scholarships!

6:30 - 6:50 p.m.

General meeting in the auditorium

6:55 - 8:35 p.m.

Visit classrooms to learn about course offerings, academic and classroom expectations.*

6:55 - 7:05 1st Period

7:10 - 7:20 2nd Period

7:25 - 7:35 3rd Period

7:40 - 7:50 4th Period

7:55 - 8:05 5th Period

8:10 - 8:20 6th Period

8:25 - 8:35 7th Period

*Don't forget to bring your child's schedule.

Please try to find the time to learn about all the exciting things happening at the high school. We feel we have an excellent staff and would love for you to have the opportunity to meet them.

Please call 314.963.6400 with any questions about Open House.

2019-20 Late-Start Days

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  • Congratulations to Katherine Ransden for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award demonstrating extraordinary leadership through a remarkable community service project.

    The Gold Award is a shining example of what a girl can achieve as these recipients have stepped up to generate long-lasting solutions for real-world challenges at local, national and global levels. Open only to girls in high school, these young leaders are taking matters into their own hands and making a difference the worlds of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), education and legislation. Gold Award Girl Scouts like Ransden are creating a brighter future for us all! Ransden was recognized with other Gold Award Girl Scouts during a special ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles this past June.

    For Ransden, earning the Gold Award meant having the full Girl Scout experience. So, she combined her lifelong passion for Girl Scouting with her interest in theater. When her school’s drama department moved locations, Ransden took this opportunity to identify the impact of this change. She learned the costumers were facing new challenges – specifically the lack of a workspace and storage.

    So this G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM took action! Ransden knew she wanted to build a costumer station desk but lacked the necessary construction materials. Leading a team of fellow Girl Scout sisters, Ransden organized a money-earning activity. She invested several days baking and then conducting a bake sale, ultimately earning the funds to purchase plywood, braces, plates, screws, titles, paint and other materials. After spending days building the costumer workspace station, Ransden installed the piece in the new theater space. Randsen’s contribution will be cared for by the Webster Groves High School thespian community for years to come!

Other Important News

  • Did you know that the Webster Groves School District Foundation gave over $36,000 in grants to district teachers last school year? These grants have helped bring innovative projects and teaching to your child's school! The Foundation is always looking for volunteers to help with fundraising events (Webster on Wheels, Run for Webster and more). If you have time to give or want to learn more about the Foundation please email

  • Camp Wyman Applications are available for students to pick up in the Activities Office. If you think your student would like to be a counselor for the week please have them pick up an application. They would be at Camp Wyman the entire week if selected. Camp Wyman is the first 4 weeks of October. If you have any questions contact Cliff Ice at 314-918-4185 or

Did You Know?

Webster Groves School District uses the Raptor system for all visitors.

The Webster Groves School District uses a check-in system from Raptor Technologies to improve safety for students and staff by screening visitors, contractors and volunteers at all school buildings.

Here’s how it works: All school visitors will be asked to present identification, such as a driver’s license, which will pass through a scanner. Parents and other volunteers who visit regularly or participate in field trips only need to do this once. If you don’t have government-issued identification, we will enter the information manually. Within a few seconds, the Raptor system will check a visitor’s name and date of birth against a national database of registered sex offenders to ensure that offenders aren’t entering a school without our knowledge. No other information from the ID will be gathered or recorded.

Once an entry is approved, Raptor issues a visitor badge. Should the system find a match in the offender database, however, the school administrative assistant will receive a notification but no details. Only the assistant superintendent of human resources will have access to the results. You can watch a short video about the new system here

The safety of our students is our highest priority. This new system provides the schools a quick and efficient way to identify anyone who might present a danger to students. For additional information, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions, attached.

Thank you for your understanding as well as your support for improving safety in our schools. If you have any questions, please call me at 961-1233.


Dr. Sandy Wiley

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about the Raptor Screening System

Effective January 3, 2018

Will everyone who enters the building, including parents, be scanned?

Yes, everyone who comes inside will be instructed to come to the office to check in.

How long will it take to be scanned?

The process generally takes a couple of seconds.

What if I don’t have my ID and/or any identification?

The Raptor System allows for staff to type in your first name, last name, and date of birth.

Will I need to have my license scanned at each visit?

Not necessarily. If you are an occasional visitor, you’ll be asked for your identification for scanning each time. If you are a regular school volunteer, you may not be scanned at each visit.

How will this work for volunteers who work after school hours, such as at book fairs, after school clubs, etc.?

Volunteers and visitors won’t be scanned after school hours.

Who will have access to the results of the scan?

Only the assistant superintendent of human resources will have access to the results of negative scans.

Will Raptor record my information?

No, Raptor will not record or retain information from your identification.

What criminal databases does Raptor check?

Raptor checks identification against a national database of registered sex offenders.

If you plan to volunteer in a school, please read the information below regarding the application process:

All volunteers must complete an online application (also available on the Human Resources web page) Level 2 volunteers – those who do one-on-one tutoring or monitor children without the direct supervision of a WGSD staff member – must provide a social security number with the online application. The system will not store that information. Once it processes your application, it deletes your social security number.

If you’re a level 1 volunteer (for field trips, book fair, school event, etc.), you don’t need to provide a social security number.

We ask that volunteers complete the application for two reasons. One is so you can let us know which school you’ve chosen for volunteering. In addition, the application allows us to inform volunteers about the district’s confidentiality policy and have them sign it.

How long does it take to be approved as a volunteer?

The approval process for level 1 volunteers takes 3-5 minutes for the online application and seconds for scanning your identification.

The approval process for level 2 volunteers takes about 48 hours.

What does this system replace?

This process replaces the former method that required volunteers to submit paper documents.

If a parent has already filled out the volunteer paperwork for this school year, would he or she also have to fill out the online application?

No, if a parent has already filled out the paperwork, he or she would only need to provide their identification to be scanned at the school.

Will volunteers need to complete the application every year or just once?

The application and the ID scan must be done each year.

Is the online application faster than the old, paper system?

Yes. It’s quick, simple and much more private than completing paper documents and submitting them to schools.

Do you have a paper system for people who don’t have access to the internet?

Unfortunately, no, we won’t have a paper application. However, the schools will make internet access available to those who wish to fill out a form.

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