Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for September 16

Hello Parents and Guardians,

We are several weeks into the new school year, and this is a time when challenges begin to present themselves to our children. Initial competitions and tests have taken place, and with it an internal sorting begins as we weigh experiences with outcomes. The relentlessness nature of parenting today immerses us in the trappings of high school credential acquisition and the college search process in a manner that can feel overwhelming. It can feel vast when we as parents feel the need to support our teen to fully access all the resources that are available. In these pursuits, we too often chase short-term wins that unfortunately undercut our child’s emotional development and ability to navigate the world around them.

My own over-parenting has been on my mind lately as our children have recent milestones of entering new school settings of college for one and high school for another--both with seeming greater independence and subsequent distance. In spite of their newly earned settings, they still lapse on functional responsibilities. One recent episode occurred when my son neglected to pack something for college that he needed and asked that we bring it up to him. This has now happened on three consecutive weekends! On each incident, we were travelling to campus anyway to see him play; however, like other parents we have the propensity to drop everything and address the issue.

Sometime ago, I listened to a podcast interview of Julie Lyncott-Haims, who has written and spoken around the concern of over-parenting. Her counsel would be to encourage the child to seek out their own resources initially to deepen the child’s toolkit to foster them doing what they can do and can almost do for themselves.

She describes three categories of over parenting:

Over-protective: Bubble-wrapping your child so no perceived missteps or pitfalls will occur to the child.

Over-directive: An overt plan has been created, most often by the parent, with accompanying conditional love earned on the execution of the plan. Another aspect of this is monitoring their grades, athletic statistics and the like as if it were the stock market.

Concierge: The parent handling administrative task such as phone calls and completing paperwork, centering their lives in serving as the pit crew for the their child’s life.

Her advice when greeted with the “I left my backpack at school” or “I left my jersey at home” concierge request:

1) Empathize--Understand the difficulty of how the child may experience that concern. Talk to them like they are your best friend’s kid, less transactional and more human-centered your approach.

2) Say to the teen, “How do you think you will handle it?” This conveys belief of agency and confidence in the child that recognizes this is most elementally their concern. We cannot shelter our children from all stressors that will emerge but can share the process of becoming more resilient when they are encountered.

I am sharing this information as a compass for myself and the collective community as we all navigate the challenges of parenting adolescents. As we gradually release responsibility to our children, we transition from a carpenter to a gardener--less directive in an exacting outcome, but rather seeking to create conditions for our children to grow and flourish better and become more resilient for their journey.


Matt Irvin

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

Reminder! Early Dismissal Tomorrow (school ends at 12:05 p.m.)

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • September 17: Distribute Renaissance Cards to Students
  • September 17: Early Dismissal @ 12:05
  • September 20: Late Start A Day; school starts at 9:15 a.m.; Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

2021-22 Late-Start Days

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Congratulations to our 2021 National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalists: Matthew Curtis, Ella Kelly, Benjamin Miller, and Emma Rohrs!

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.
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Did You Know?

Although our school calendar is online, we have a convenient list of important dates throughout the school year.

September 17, EARLY DISMISSAL @ 12:05


October 15, NO SCHOOL

November 1, NO SCHOOL


Nov. 29-Dec. 10, EOC Exams


December 22-January 3, WINTER BREAK


January 17, DR. M. L. KING DAY, NO SCHOOL

February 18, NO SCHOOL



March 18, NO SCHOOL

March 21-25, SPRING BREAK

April 18-29, EOC TESTING




WGSD Foundation Ivory Crockett Run for Webster is Back

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

Senior Parent Night: The College Application Process Follow Up

Thanks to those who joined us live on Tuesday night. For those who missed it, here’s a link to a recorded presentation and the recorded Financial Aid 101 presentation.

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.

Dual Credit Registration Deadlines Are Approaching

As a reminder, registration deadlines for Dual Credit are approaching.
Missouri State: September 17, 2021
St. Louis University: September 17, 2021

For information about Dual Credit, including a list of WGHS courses offered, click here.

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)

Upcoming College Admissions Tests


Test Date: October 23, 2021

Registration Deadline: September 17, 2021

Register at

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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