Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for May 18
Hello WGHS Families,
As we set to close out our school year with graduation Saturday night and finals in the next week, I am called to reflect on the year. We had our last baseball game and last vocal concert just last evening, with more finality ahead.
For our seniors, a more sweeping gaze is necessary and connects to the poem, "September, the First Day of School," by Howard Nemerov. The piece begins with a parent dropping off a child at elementary school and takes the reader through the parent’s experiences as a student and their hopes for their own child--very powerful and not fully known. The last stanza speaks to the adults in the school who care for the child:
My child has disappeared
Behind the schoolroom door. And should I live
To see his coming forth, a life away,
I know my hope, but do not know its forms
May the fathers he finds
Among his teachers have a care of him
More than his father could. How that will look
I do not know, I do not need to know.
Even our tears belong to ritual.
But may great kindness come of it in the end.
That line is alarming in the realization of how much time and influence we outsource to our schools and reiterates its importance to us. The final line echoes a line from earlier in the poem and speaks to an outcome not often articulated as an outcome for schools. Our community is bettered by kind, thoughtful, and gracious citizens, and I am hopeful we are sharing in that work for 320 young people Saturday night.
Just a reminder that finals begin next week: On the early dismissal days, students are released at 11:40 a.m. The schedule is below.
Next Week's Schedule:
Monday: A Day
Tuesday: Final Exam A Day; Students will take their 1st period final.
Wednesday: Final Exam Schedule: 2nd and 3rd hour exams; School dismisses at 11:40 am.
Thursday: Final Exam Schedule: 4th and 5th hour exams; School dismisses at 11:40 am.
Friday: Final Exam Schedule (last day of school): 6th and 7th hour exams; School dismisses at 11:40 am.
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- 5/23 - 5/26: Final Exams
- 5/26: Last day of school; school dismisses at 11:40 am.
Final Assessment Information
An extended measurement of learning, or assessment, will be given at the end of 1st and 2nd semesters in all classes. This assessment will count for a specific percentage of the overall grade to be determined by each department. Assessments may include:
Presentation to the class
Not all teachers will be giving a traditional final exam. However, all students will follow the final exam schedule. Teachers will inform students in advance if they are taking a final exam.
Assessments are an important part of the student’s grade and educational experience. Every effort should be made to be sure the student is at school for exams/projects, and vacations and other commitments are avoided at this time.
No final exams or assessments will be completed early. If a student must miss an exam/assessment, a parent must notify the appropriate assistant principal. The student will receive an Incomplete (I) and will need to make up the assessment 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.
Finishing the Semester Strong
Students are encouraged to collaborate with teachers regarding additional opportunities to demonstrate learning throughout the semester. Students and parents are encouraged to monitor academic progress and teachers are expected to communicate concerns regarding learning and growth with parents.
While we want all students to maintain learning and to stay current with assignments and coursework, in the case that this has not fully occurred, students are encouraged to discuss options for improvement directly with their teachers. Students may also reach out to their guidance counselors for support.
Teachers have always been encouraged to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate learning. Opportunities may include:
Quiz/test retakes and/or corrections
Ability to submit late or missing assignments
Completion of alternative assessments
Extended deadlines on assignments
Final Assessment Format and Attendance Expectations
A comprehensive assessment will be given at the end of 1st and 2nd semesters in all classes. Each final exam period will be 95 minutes in length. The final assessment will count between 10% and 20% of the final course grade with the exact percentage to be determined by each department. Students will not take finals in Academic Lab, student assistant periods, Independent Period, Peer Tutoring, or Study Hall. Exams are an important part of the student’s grade and educational experience. Every effort should be made to be sure the student is at school for exams and vacations and other commitments are avoided at this time.
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 are expected to report to class, and attendance will be taken. 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.
Each Webster Groves High School student in grades 9-12 will be expected to read a book over the summer. By setting expectations for summer reading, we are supporting our district-wide initiative to build life-long, independent learners. Students will be assigned reading in connection with their next year’s English class, and they may check out their texts from the high school Library this and next week. In addition, course-specific summer reading handouts will be available in hard copy and on the Library home page.
Culture and Climate Survey Data
We greatly value student input at Webster Groves High School, and this year we invited students to participate in our school culture/climate survey that was twice administered during Advisory through the Panorama Survey platform. Counselors and administrators analyzed the data and created a plan to improve our school based on the patterns and trends that were demonstrated in the data. We appreciate the insights gained from the surveys and look to improve the students' experience at Webster Groves High School.
The Senior Scoop
Graduation Live-Stream links to share with your loved ones:
https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/wghs: Our website's main page will feature a link to the live-feed of the ceremony.
https://www.youtube.com/c/WebsterGrovesSchoolsMO/live: The live stream will be featured directly on our Webster Groves Schools YouTube channel. The video will broadcast live just before 6:30 p.m.
A professional photographer will take a picture of each graduate as he/she receives his/her diploma. If you wish, you may purchase these pictures. Since the picture of each graduate is being taken, no one will be allowed in the area where the graduates are seated during the ceremony. We encourage you to take photos before seniors report to practice at 4:45 p.m. See instructions for ordering from Inter-State Studios on the link below (“Full Graduation Information”).
Arena Contact Information
For specific ceremony questions or lost and found inquiries
Main Phone Number: (314) 977-5000
Guest Services: (314) 977-5018
Final Reminders for Our Graduates:
1. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DECORATE YOUR CAPS.
2. Please don’t chew gum once the processional begins.
3. Graduates should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion: collared shirts, slacks, skirts/dresses, and appropriate shoes. Wearing shorts under the gown is not appropriate. No flip flops are allowed.
4. All graduates are expected to conduct themselves with dignity in the manner befitting this occasion. Participation in the graduation ceremony is not compulsory. Any graduate who misbehaves, or who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substances, will not be permitted to participate in the commencement exercise. No signs are allowed on your caps and disruptive behavior during the ceremony will result in your immediate removal.
5. Please go to the Olive/Compton Garage for parking. ADA Parking is available in the Olive/Compton Garage. Designated drop-off / pick-up area for ADA guests is located on Compton Ave. moving south, which is located on the east side of Chaifetz Arena. This drop off area is located near Gate C.
6. The after-Graduation Party/lock-in begins at 10:30 pm on 5/20 at WGHS. You should have received information from the Parents’ Club about this event.
Review the full graduation information we shared on April 28: Full Graduation Information
Congratulations, WGHS Class of 2023!
Field Hockey Summer Camp Offered
Learn the fundamentals of field hockey and sign up for camp June 6-8! Campers in grades 3-12 will have the opportunity to work with high school coaches and varsity field hockey players. We will have individual instruction and small games.
Register and learn more here.
Scholarship Opportunities and Searches:
St. Louis Area Scholarship Search
St. Louis Graduates Scholarship Central (Note: Many of these applications have not opened up yet so keep checking back.) This is also where you can apply for Interest Free Student Loans from Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis.
Where can you find other scholarships? There are a number of national scholarship databases out there. While it can seem a little overwhelming, it can be rewarding if you put some time into it.
News from the Chelsea Center: WGHS’ In-house Experiential Learning Center
The Anytown Leadership Institute, a program of NCCJ St. Louis, is a unique 7-day residential program for high-school-aged youth. Anytown's goal is to prepare youth to be effective leaders and change agents who are dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry, and oppression. Youth participate in experiential learning activities and dialogue sessions designed to increase their understanding of human relations issues and of their own responsibility to create a community based on inclusion, trust, and mutual respect. The Chelsea Center can provide funding for up to 3 students selected for this program who are also willing to simultaneously enroll in a Chelsea Center course.
Looking for other experiences?
If your child is looking to explore a passion area or career, have them visit the Chelsea Center to learn more about local opportunities, ways they might earn credit for engaging in these opportunities, and potential funding available to support experiential learning in the summer as well! Students can access wgsd.givepulse.com with their school Gmail account information to explore upcoming experiences as well.
2022-23 Late-Start Days
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 https://wghsparentsclub.org/collections.
Every time you shop at the Spirit Store, you are supporting student scholarships and teacher grants!