28th Issue, November 22, 2019
Wednesday, November 27-Friday, November 29: No School
Wednesday, December 4th: 7th Grade Band Concert 6pm-7pm
Wednesday, December 4th: 8th Grade Band Concert 7:30pm-8:30pm
Thursday, December 5th: Firenza Pizza Fundraiser 4:30pm-8:30pm
Note from the Principal
Relationships. Perhaps it’s a mark of getting older and more reflective or an aftereffect of having a heart attack, but either way I find myself pausing more. In those pauses, I find myself thinking about relationships more often than before. Last month I attended the celebration of life for an incredible woman. She was a fellow educator who LOVED kids and fully poured her heart into them, whether they were her own or not. She’s the type of educator we admire and hope our kids have each day they come to school. It was fitting that she was buried on her favorite holiday because Halloween is about kids. The priest shared with the packed church, full of family, friends, and former students, that she loved them wholly. Her love was so deep, she battled stage 4-colon cancer for the past four years, enduring 70 rounds of chemo and 2 clinical trials to stay alive, not for herself, but for those she loved. She always had a smile on her face and didn’t complain about the discomfort and pain. There is great sacrifice for a love like that. Many of us have been touched by cancer and have seen firsthand what chemo and cancer does to a body. From her initial diagnosis to final breath, she spent every second focused on relationships and making sure those around her were going to be okay. Relationships.
In the day-to-day with our family, co-workers and friends, we make hundreds of decisions. How many of those decisions are about building/sustaining relationships versus managing our busy lives? Or are they all interconnected and we build those relationships because we make sure there is food in the fridge or are on time for carpool pickup or helped a teammate out? Do we really need to build/sustain relationships with each other to demonstrate that we care or are the daily acts of keeping a household sufficient? When we pause and reflect on our lives, how do we want to be remembered?
The reality is that we pour our hearts into our family, friends and co-workers each day. What we pour into each of them looks different from one person to the next, but we pour just the same. Twenty years from now, how will folks remember what we poured? It’s not a secret that I believe middle school has the most impact in kids’ lives. As middle school educators and parents, it’s easy to feel underappreciated and frustrated by the normal behavior of kids who don’t seem to get it or are super self-involved. It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on those behaviors and letting the frustration of parenting adolescents take hold. However, what we pour into them does not go unnoticed and they get it. In twenty years, they may forget the small details of the life lessons we lovingly poured into them, but they will remember the relationship.
As we head into the seasons of gratitude and giving, I’m truly grateful for what is poured each day into our kids and school. As the principal, I’m able to witness relationships in a variety of ways. Kids in Art 1 created beautiful bowls to donate to the Webster Rock Hill Ministries annual Empty Bowls dinner. They not only learned how to craft these beautiful pieces of art, but how to also serve others in the community who are food insecure. I witnessed students in ELA 7 celebrate their writing by demonstrating vulnerability and inviting each other to read their pieces. In 8th grade PE, a group of young men spent the day collaborating, and learning alongside their differently abled peers at Northview HS. Our parents are presently working hard on the annual Holiday House Tour to provide funds for various projects and programs around the school. Our Character Council students are leading our Food Drive competition with Nipher Middle and Spirit Week to build community. At lunch, I witnessed a group of friends gather around a friend who was having a moment of sadness. They surrounded her in a protective huddle and listened to her talk. They ended by telling her she was amazing and they were grateful to have her as their friend. Last month, I witnessed teachers and the lone brave administrator show kids they still love to have fun and sacrificed themselves for the pie-throwing contest, taking one in the face. It was a moment of kids and adults alike screaming and laughing and standing on chairs, having fun together. Ironically, it was kids telling adults it wasn’t safe to stand on the chairs and told them to be careful (they do care). Relationships.
As we get ready to spend time with our family and friends next week, I hope you enjoy every moment of the well-deserved break. I’m looking forward to all the things that come with a Fall break but most of all, creating more moments with the folks that are close to my heart. In the end, the relationships are what sustain our hearts and lives.
Thank you to each of you for the amazing kids you send to our school each day. We see you in each of them--we see your hearts and we see what you are pouring and it’s good stuff.
Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.
Spirit Days & Food Drive Competition
Webster Holiday House Tour
We are also in need of treats for the boutique. If you are able to provide either store bought or homemade treats, please drop them off at Steger between 9-11am the day of the tour.
Federal Impact Aid Survey Form and Letter
WG Gifted & Talented Nomination Deadline Reminder
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. 16thdeadline.
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.
MLK 22ND ANNUAL RAS JONES AWARDS PROJECTS THEME: Building Character
The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration is pleased to announce its annual invitation to children and youth to submit projects to be considered for the Ras Jones Awards. Mr. Jones was a local activist for civil rights who collapsed during the 1998 Community Celebration of Dr. King and died shortly afterward; we honor his memory and legacy with these awards.
Young people in Kindergarten – 12th Grade are encouraged to produce a piece of writing such as an essay or poem, or an artistic representation such as graphic art*, sculpture*, song, poem, or some other artistic expression* in response to the following:
Dr. King said, “Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education.”
Students in 6th – 12th Grades
What did Dr. King mean by character? What are you learning in school that is developing your strength of character as well as your intelligence?
Students in Kindergarten – 5th Grades
What do your parents, teachers, or other adults say that character means? How are they helping you to build character in yourself?
With your entry, please include your name, school, contact information, and grade level. All projects will be displayed at the Celebration on January 19, 2020.
Submit your entry by mail or in person, no later than December 6, 2019, to:
MLK Ras Jones Awards
Webster-Rock Hill Ministries
111 E. Waymire Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119
The Grade/Categories are:
Kindergarten — Grades 1-2 — Grades 3-5 — Grades 6-8 — Grades 9-12
The award recipient in each Grade/Category will receive funding for a $50 U.S. Savings Bond.
Awardees will be recognized, and their submissions shared during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration at Steger Sixth Grade Center/Givens Elementary School, Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 5:45PM.
*Wordless projects should include a brief explanation of the student’s project.