Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for December 12

Hello Parents and Guardians,

We have plenty of information below on finals but I wanted to share another aspect. As parents of children taking finals, we can provide some counsel to coach them along in the process that they should own. I am sharing some items as both a parent and an educator that gives effort in both, not always to the result I sought:

1. Make a finals calendar.

Students should plan out study sessions for exams by looking at the order of finals and gaging how much time they need to prepare. Ideally, start the schedule a week before the first test, and estimate the time to set aside each day for each subject. Students should plan multiple sessions for each exam to maximize the review's impact. “The best deliberate study practice to sustain full concentration, a distraction-free environment, scheduled study time, and access to necessary training resources.”

2. Some recommended study aids.

Consider the most effective way to review, internalize, or practice the information and skills that are covered by each exam. The best resource will be the information the teacher shares in their class regarding sources and the type of assessment questions on the exam. Teachers know what they are asking students to do and will share resources and recommendations prior to the exam.

  • Make flash cards or technology-aided equivalent to help memorize dates/equations/facts
  • Outline notes for complex ideas/essays.
  • When studying at home or with a partner, have someone quiz the student­­ on the information they have already studied. Students tend to recall the information they have been quizzed on compared to reading and review.

It is not unusual for students to feel some level of anxiousness with the exam period ahead. Strategies of breaking down the exam into smaller units or goals, positive self-talk, and thorough preparation can mitigate modest test anxiety. I hope that is of some help to guide the conversation at home and I wish all our students families well as they wrap up the first semester coursework.


Matt Irvin

Sources: Princeton Review and Managing Test Anxiety from Harvard University, Bureau of Study Counsel

Winter Weather and Finals--A Note from Dr. Irvin

With winter weather forecast for Monday, we wanted to proactively share out some potential scenarios and how it may impact on the finals schedule.

If there is no school on Monday, we WILL still have our scheduled final for first-hour on Tuesday.

If we were to miss school on other final days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday) we would continue with the final exam and make up any missed finals when we return from Winter Break. In the event of school closure during finals days due to inclement weather, the final exam(s) will be rescheduled for the first day back after winter break, with a final exam schedule (7:55 - 11:05 a.m.) for that day. Bus transportation and athletics will be modified accordingly, and lunch will not be served.

Currently, we will have school on Monday through Friday next week. With the potential for winter weather, we strongly suggest students take home all materials to prepare for finals over the weekend.

Final Exams at WGHS

A comprehensive examination will be given at the end of 1st and 2nd semesters in all classes. The test will be ninety minutes in length. A comprehensive exam is understood to sample learning from the entire semester. This test will count between 10% and 20% of the final course grade with the exact percentage to be determined by each department. Exams are an important part of the student’s grade and educational experience. Every effort should be made to be sure student is at school for exams and vacations and other commitments are avoided at this time.

No exams will be given early. If a student must miss an exam, a parent must notify the appropriate assistant principal. The student will receive an Incomplete (I) and will need to make up the exam at the teacher’s convenience. For students who are engaged in MHSAA athletics or activities, a grade of Incomplete (I) may have a negative impact on their eligibility.

Students will not take finals in Academic Lab, student assistant periods, Independent Period, Peer Tutoring, or Study Hall. A 90-minute final exam will occur in all other classes. On the first day of finals, everyone is expected to be in attendance, as it is a special schedule. On the exam half-days, students should not be in the building if they do not have an exam or are not studying in Academic Lab; otherwise, they will be assigned to a supervised study hall. Activity buses are for athletes only. Everyone else should promptly exit the building. Students are also prohibited from going to Hixson.

If your student elects to stay home during an Academic Lab exam, student assistant period, Independent Period, Peer Tutoring hour, or study hall, please contact your Assistant Principal’s office for attendance purposes.

In the event of school closure during finals week due to inclement weather, the final exam(s) will be rescheduled for the first day back after winter break, with a final exam schedule (7:55 - 11:10 a.m.) for that day. Bus transportation and athletics will be modified accordingly, and lunch will not be served.

Final Exam Study Sessions

The library will be open for final exam study sessions December 10-12 and 16 from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Instructional staff and student tutors will be available during this time (staff will be available after 3:30 p.m.).

Please see the finals schedule below:

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A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • December 14: ACT
  • December 16: Day 7 (NOT A LATE START)
  • December 17: Special Schedule; Exam 1
  • December 18: Exams 2/3
  • December 19: Exams 4/5
  • December 20: Exams 6/7

See the exam schedule above.

2019-20 Late-Start Days

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  • Congratulations to our Choir for a terrific holiday choir concert on Tuesday evening!

  • Congratulations to our Jazz Band/Flute Choir for their concert at the WG Presbyterian Church!

  • Our student One-Acts are this evening at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre.

  • District families and the community are invited to the Food, Fun, and Fitness event sponsored by the District Wellness Committee on Saturday February 1, 2020 at Steger Sixth grade center from 10:00am-1:00pm. During this free event, scouts will be able to earn first aid badges and there will be many activities around being safe and active. Webster Groves and Rock Hill fire trucks will be on site as well as many resource tables from local businesses. More details to come in January. Save the date!

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Princeton Review ACT Prep Class Offered at WGHS

As a reminder, all juniors will take a district-paid full ACT test on February 25, 2020. This test will be held during the regular school day and is considered a “real” ACT that can be used for college admissions. We will take care of the registration at school, so nothing needs to be done at this time. In order to help support students as they prepare for the ACT, we are partnering with Princeton Review to provide an evening ACT prep class held at WGHS beginning on Saturday, January 11th. This 18-hour class is normally $799, but for WGHS students it is just $399! Please see the attached flyer for more details and for the link to register.

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Critical Information Needed from Parents

Earlier this month, we sent a letter and survey to all parents regarding additional funding available to our school district if either parent was active duty military, employed by the federal government, or otherwise worked on federal property on 9/25/19. We are asking all parents to complete the survey, even if the above does not apply.

Late Starts Due to Inclement Weather

Webster Groves High School starts at 9:25 a.m. on late-start inclement weather days.

The Webster Groves School District will consider opening schools with a “late start” on inclement days when roads are expected to be cleared within a few hours. This option would keep children off the street during the busy morning rush hour. A late start would mean that WGHS would open an hour and 30 minutes later than our usual start time. Quick breakfasts would be available a half hour before the late start opening. Students should arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before the start of school. Morning Adventure Club will be cancelled during late start days.

All schools and Adventure Club would close at their regular times.

Other school start times can be found here.

** Late starts will be announced through the same communication outlets listed above **

Late Start Bus Times

With a late start, bus schedules will run one hour and 15 minutes later than the regularly scheduled time.

Did You Know?

Just a reminder: The course selection process for the 2020-2021 school year has begun. Your child’s current teachers will make their course recommendations for your child before winter break. Students have been asked to input their requests in the student portal by January 3, 2020. Because the master schedule and staffing decisions are based on these requests, it is very important that students make their selections carefully. Course change requests will only be approved under rare and special circumstances. Questions? Please contact your child’s counselor.

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Gifted Program Deadline Approaching

Student nominations for both the Academic and Fine Arts Gifted programs are due December 16, 2019. Anyone may nominate a student. The district has four universal screenings of students in grades 4th, 6th, 8th (this year) and 2nd grade (beginning the fall of 2020). The district allows one* parent nomination during a child’s tenure in the WGSD. Additional information about the WGSD Gifted Programs may be found online. *To honor the prior policy that allowed two parent nominations for a student, and if a student was nominated by a parent prior to the 2019-2020 school year, a second parent/guardian nomination will be accepted until the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

The Academic Gifted Program services students in 2nd - 12th grade. Students turning in forms by the deadline will be evaluated for academic program services this school year. Nominations received after 12/16/19 for the academic program will be accepted but students will only be evaluated for services this school year if time allows.

The Gifted Fine Arts Program services students in 3rd - 8th grade. Screening for the Gifted Fine Arts program is held once a year in the winter. This year, the Gifted Arts Evaluation dates are February 27 and 28, 2020 during the school day with transportation provided to the Service Center. Therefore, second grade students interested in the program for third grade must be nominated in second grade. Please note that Gifted Fine Arts nominations will only be accepted by the Dec. 16th deadline.

Forms for both programs may be obtained from the gifted specialist at your child’s school, or online through the district website. You may also nominate online, using these direct links: Academic Gifted nomination and Gifted Fine Arts nomination.

Feel free to contact the gifted specialist at your child’s school or me if you have any questions,

Pam Washington, Ph.D.

District Gifted Coordinator

Shop at Our Spirit Store and Support Funding for Scholarships!

The Webster Groves Spirit Wear Store is open to all Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members. Shop the Spirit Store for all your Webster Groves Apparel and Accessories.

Spirit Store Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 10:00 am

Late Start Monday: 8:30 am – 10:00 am

All Spirit Wear Apparel and Accessories are also available online at the Parents Club website.

Orders placed online will be available for pick up at the WGHS Front Office.

(for a fee all items can be shipped to your home)

WGHS Front Office Hours: 7:30 am – 3:00 pm

You can also find Spirit Wear at our “Pop-Up” Shops at many school sponsored events.

Thanks for your support!

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