Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your Weekly eNews for December 10

Hello Parents and Guardians,

Building a Bridge to the Next Year and Beyond

I am very indebted to Dr. Jon Clark for the trajectory he and others in his charge put WGHS on for many years. His wisdom in hiring and putting many successful programs in place have weathered an important standard for success: they have lived on beyond his time as principal at Webster Groves High School. I would borrow from a notable program that our school has acknowledging our “proud past” coupled with an “inspired future.”


Munir Prince, our current Activities Director, shared the metaphor of a bridge connecting the school’s rich history and our desired future. Our current state of schooling in the pandemic has exposed our gaps and limitations as well as provided the opportunity to ask questions of standard practices we too often fall into without necessary contemplation. We hope to emerge from our necessary COVID-centric work to one that allows us to safely travel to the other side, in not a different institution but rather a more evolved version. Much of that work happens in addition to our daily tasks.


I have shared some updates and examples below:


  • Scheduling for 21-22: We are currently polishing next semester while also looking on the horizon to next year’s course selection. Returning underclassmen students once again will make determinations about courses, as will our current 8th grade class at Hixon. Information will be out in the next week.
  • Academic Networking: We have embedded Academic Networking into our 2021-22 schedule that we had planned for this school year. Academic Networking allows students to pursue academic work, to receive extra help, make up missed assignments and tests, study and receive interventions, and increase overall contact time between teachers and students.
  • New courses for 21-22: We are adding brand new courses for the 2021-22 year, including Kinetic Wellness, Technical Writing, and Civil Engineering and Architecture through Project Lead the Way.
  • Supporting virtual students: Staffing adjustments, continued home visits, Virtual Student of the Week recognition, creating more opportunities for Zoom visits and interaction with teachers, offering more support to students who are struggling
  • Adoption of Canvas as our learning management system and use of Zoom for parent conferences
  • Schedule revision: We began over a year ago asking if our drop schedule, which has been used for many years, allowed us to best meet the instructional and student needs. Varied groups of staff, and soon parents and students, will have input into some options prior to doing more learning and processing to prepare for a potential adjustment when we are safely able to conduct school as we did pre-pandemic.



As historian Anne Gordon Reed noted with her observations of particular historic figures, “You take the bitter with the sweet.” While we continue to battle conditions of the pandemic and wearily march forward each day, we are hopeful we are better after our shared challenge of crossing the bridge.


Regards,

Matt Irvin

Daily Schedule

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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.
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Bus Passes

Bus Payment is now due to Mrs. McKittrick in Office 308. Letters were given to students who have collected their bus passes with this term’s cost. If students have not picked up their passes, please have them do so before or after school. Every bus rider needs to have a bus pass at this point. Please email Leigh McKittrick with any questions: mckittrick.leigh@wgmail.org

Art Students Showcased

Congratulations to Camryn Riley, Harper Kehl, Henry Rohrs, and Owen Svoboda, whose photographs were chosen for the Beginnings 2020: The High School Photography Exhibition! There were 307 images submitted, from 161 students, at 18 schools, in 4 different states. The work was juried by Webster University Photography Faculty members. Their work is displayed online at the May Gallery Website: https://spark.adobe.com/page/MsvIqZxk43WBU/
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A Note from the Nurse

  1. Please keep your student home if notified they were exposed to COVID-19
  2. Please keep your student home if a COVID-19 test is pending in student or household member
  3. Please keep your student home if your student OR another member of your household, including siblings, is exhibiting symptoms that need to be verified as non-COVID-19 versus COVID-19.

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Webster Groves Parent Advisory Council Last Meeting on December 16

The Webster Groves Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is holding its last meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, December 16 from 6:30-7:30 pm over Zoom. We will be joined by representatives from MPACT. MPACT is a statewide parent training and information center that serves parents of children with all disabilities. Its primary goal is to assist parents in their effort to effectively advocate for their children's educational rights and services. The Webster Groves PAC was formed by families who expect that children with disabilities and/or unique learning needs are educated effectively, afforded the dignity of belonging, and valued throughout all WGSD learning opportunities and experiences.


Zoom link: https://wustl.zoom.us/j/94773919805 (meeting ID is 947 7391 9805; no passcode required)


Please contact Rebecca O’Laughlin (rebeccamichellelinz@gmail.com) with any questions.

School Meals Are Safe

Please click on the attachment below for important information about grab-n-go meals and food safety through Chartwell's.

Did You Know?

Students can get credit for their volunteer hours for this year’s Statesmen Service Awards (2020-2021). The period to log hours runs from April 1, 2020 - April 1, 2021.


If you’re working for a food bank or making masks for healthcare workers or picking up groceries for the elderly - now is the perfect time to do some good and give to others. Whether service hours are completed through classes, clubs, youth groups, organizations or individually, students need a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work for a non-profit agency and must not be compensated for the work.


Criteria:

-50+ hours

-Service must not be done within the course of the school day nor pay accepted for the services

-Form must be completed by student and signed by a supervisor who can verify hours completed by student. BLANK FORMS ARE IN OFFICE 124.


Note: Volunteer hours are not eligible for hours in the A+ program. A+ hours are acquired through mentoring and tutoring.


Further questions, you may contact John E. Thomas, thomasejohn@wgmail.org or Julie Simonson, Simonson.julie@wgmail.org

Counseling Department Updates

Need Help Coping with Covid?

Show Me Hope’s Disaster Distress Helpline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic incident. This is a free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service. Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.

Phone: 800-985-5990 Text: "TalkWithUs" to 66746



Seniors: As a reminder, colleges will use information from your FAFSA to determine your federal, state, and their own institutional financial aid. Complete the FAFSA online at https://fafsa.ed.gov



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 (king.alexandra@wgmail.org)

F-K Ken Winingham (winingham.ken@wgmail.org)
L-R Joe Hepfinger (hepfinger.joe@wgmail.org)
S-Z Simone Cunningham (cunningham.simon@wgmail.org)


College and Career Counselors
A-K Karen Verstraete (verstraete.karen@wgmail.org)
L-Z Jennedy Lombard (lombard.jennedy@wgmail.org)


School Social Workers
Anne Gibbs (gibbs.anne@wgmail.org)
Anne Marie Guntli (SSD) (guntli.ann@wgmail.org)

COVID-19 Information

St. Louis County COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Testing

Getting tested for COVID-19 has never been more important during this pandemic than it is now. More than 260,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in St. Louis County. This crucial to our efforts to contain the spread of the virus and is a major factor in understanding the patterns of its spread.


This includes testing for those who are asymptomatic and anyone who had close contact with the public to get a test – even if they haven’t had direct contact with someone who was positive. Testing is available to anyone who requests it. To make an appointment for a free test through St. Louis County Department of Public Health, click here or call 314-615-0574.


Drive-through testing is done at the following DPH clinics:

6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley

4580 Lindbergh Blvd. in South County



Missouri residents who may be experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19 may call the “Show Me Hope Line” at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 for assistance. The service is available 24 hours a day throughout the week. For additional information, please click here.

Procedures for Quarantine/Isolation Due to COVID-19

What do I do if my child is in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19?

If a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 while at home, the parent/guardian is asked to:

  • Keep their child at home; he/she should not report to school

  • Notify the pediatrician/physician and contact the child’s assistant principal’s office

  • Seek medical attention for their child as it relates to symptoms

  • Speak to the school’s nurse for the purpose of contact tracing

  • Provide updates to the school nurse and classroom teacher


If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation or quarantine, the absence will be treated the same as any other extended absence. Teachers will provide assignments for students who are quarantined. Students should check Canvas pages and email teachers if they need assistance. Teachers will clearly state what the expectations are for students who are quarantined. Parents and students are encouraged to reach out if they have questions.

Technology

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


  • For specific Canvas issues, contact Ms. Liz Forderhase at forderhase.liz@wgmail.org 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.


https://wgsd.on.spiceworks.com/portal


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

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News from Dr. Irvin

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