Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for September 21
Hello WGHS Families,
A recent broadcast from the Harvard Graduate School of Education noted the need to take a holistic approach to student wellness by schools. 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 most recent conditions have driven some difficulties we have experienced previously.
In our third year, we hope that our advisory system 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 (and when students don’t travel during Academic Networking) allows 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 with “creating space for check-ins, talking about and normalizing discussions of students sentiments, and following up with students who are struggling.” 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.
We look forward to continuing to grow our program on behalf of students.
Next Week's Schedule:
Late-Start A, A, B, C, A
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- 9/25: Late-Start A Day. School starts at 9:40, and doors open for students at 9:25.
- 9/26: Junior Parent Night, 6pm, Auditorium
- 9/28: Picture retakes
- 9/28: MAP/EOC scores sent home via Backpack
- 9/29: End of Progress Period
Monday, September 25 is a Late-Start day!
Students Selected for Field Science Career Experience Program
Angelina Lopolito and Andrew Gerst were selected for the Field Science Career Experience program hosted by Earth's Classroom. These students will earn a field science certification that will help them toward their career goals. They were selected competitively from applications from schools in Saint Louis and Franklin counties. They will learn about Environmental Science, Caving, prairie fire management among other topics.
REMINDER: Picture Retakes are Scheduled for September 28
Are you dissatisfied with your child's school pictures? September 28 is scheduled for picture retakes. 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.
Environmental Club traveled to Creve Coeur Lake to kayak on September 19. Their next adventure is going caving on October 1.
Look for Your Student's MAP/EOC Scores This Week
2023 MAP/EOC scores will be distributed to all students during their advisory on Thursday, September 28. If your student does not have an Advisory, the unit office will send for your student after Thursday to distribute their score reports.
WG Parents’ Advisory Council
Does your child have a 504 or an IEP? Then let’s meet!
No matter what level of support your child needs to achieve, we are stronger together! The purpose of the Parents Advisory Council is to support one another for our children to have an inclusive school experience.
For the 2023-24 school year, the Parents Advisory Council is scheduled to meet four times. Each meeting will consist of a topic and/or guest speaker and time to get to know one another. Feel free to bring in your own meal or snack.
Meetings will be on the following dates at Global Brew in Rock Hill on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For questions please contact JJ Gossrau at JJ.Gossrau@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
Culture and Climate
In continuation of our efforts to support the academic and personal well-being of each student, district culture and climate surveys will be administered to students in grades 3-12, families, and staff. Surveys will solicit participants' perspectives about learning strategies, culture and climate, and experiences in the classroom and/or school.
The surveys will allow for students, families and staff to offer feedback specifically about school safety, their sense of belonging, teacher-student relationships, cultural awareness and diversity and inclusion. For comparison purposes, the same surveys from 2022-2023 will be used this year.
The survey window for students and families will be October 2-13, 2023 and March 25-April 5, 2024.
To learn more, including survey previews, aggregate data from last year, and how you can exclude your child from participating in the surveys if you choose to, click here.
Chelsea Center Student Spotlight
Next, she began working as the student ambassador to the Board and became a founding member of the Women in STEM club. This summer, Janya was selected for the Young Scientist Program, an intensive paid internship at WashU, and next fall she is enrolled in our Real World Problem Solving course where she will explore the ways in which bias and injustice play into public health and the medical field. We are so proud of Janya’s accomplishments and can’t wait to see where she goes from here!
BRIDGing Our Stories
The BRIDGing Our Stories - (Building.Relationships.Inclusion.Diversity.Growth) program allows WGSD middle and high students and staff to tell their stories through art. Students and staff members can express themselves through art such as poetry, photography, music, dance, painting, etc. These creative expressions will be placed in a Community Gallery for the public to view, learn, and appreciate. In addition, the art will be used in a professional development session for staff to learn about the power of storytelling, relationship building, and building community. The grants are able to cover funding for some art supplies. Students will be asked a year later to share how being a part of the project impacted their classroom experiences. This program is grant-funded by the WGSD Foundation and Lindenwood University.
Help Support OPUS
OPUS (Orchestra Parents United for Students) is a parent-led organization committed to enriching the Webster Groves Orchestra program through fundraising opportunities and community events.
Did You Know?
- Lost and Found on south entrance to Cafeteria: Water bottles, school supplies, clothing, and other "non-valuable" items
- Office of Officer Bell, SRO (students should visit him in the main office): Phones, personal devices, earbuds, watches/jewelry, and other valuable items
WGHS Attendance Procedures
Call your child's AP office to report an absence, late arrival, or early departure. Checking out early? When leaving school during the day, students must check out through the assistant principal’s office.
Student Early Release:
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.
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.
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.
Please note the date change for Juniors taking the PSAT - Juniors who have already registered for the PSAT (registration is now closed), will now test on Thursday, October 12th at 8:00 a.m. for JUNIORS ONLY.
Sophomores will test on the regularly scheduled date, Wednesday, October 11th at 8:00 a.m.
All PSAT test-takers will need to bring their school-issued Chromebooks, fully charged, for PSAT testing on their scheduled date. If students need to request a school-issued Chromebook for use on the PSAT, they can request using this form.
More details, including test day procedures and location, will be sent in early October.
Junior Parent Night - NEXT WEEK!
Please join us on Tuesday, September 26th at 6pm in the Auditorium.
We will review a timeline for all things college related: college admissions testing, conducting a college search, an overview of the admission process, financial aid, and more. We will also hear from our WGHS Chelsea Center, who will highlight the opportunities available for students to find their passion outside of the traditional classroom. While students are always welcome, they will hear the same information in Advisory and in a visit from us to their US History class in late September/early October.
Webster, Kirkwood, Lindbergh, Mehlville, Oakville Regional College Fair is Wednesday, October 4th from 6:00-7:30pm at Lindbergh High School.
All students are welcome to attend.Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling (MOACAC) collaborates with high schools all across the state to host college fairs for students and their families. At these fairs, you will have the opportunity to meet with up to 150 admissions representatives from colleges all across the country.
Webster Groves School District uses ParentSquare for school communication, primarily with email, text and app notifications. ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent, using their preferred email address and phone number. We encourage parents to access their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified.
Create a Canvas Account to Stay Connected
To stay connected with the learning in our classrooms, please create a Canvas Observer Account which is our district's learning management system. You will find three helpful documents below:
- Canvas Informational Letter
- Creating an Observer Account, Logging into Canvas, and Setting Notifications
- Student Accessing Canvas
If you have any questions please contact Tim Brown, Director of Student Assessment, Data and Learning Technologies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop the Parents' Club Spirit Store!
The Spirit Store is open! Hours are 8-9:15 a.m., Tuesday - Friday.
The online store is open 24 hours a day at https://www.wghsparentsclub.org/spiritwear.
Every time you shop at the Spirit Store, you are supporting student scholarships and teacher grants!