Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for April 30

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Hello WGHS Families,

Former Secretary State Madeleine Albright referred to herself as an "optimist who worries a lot." That is a necessary binary disposition in our current circumstances: hopeful for better days ahead but mindful of our current challenges. I just finished a Zoom meeting with some seniors in recognition of that stance of hoping to see one another at future events but knowing the likelihood of the constraints we must manage. That balance has been important since we began our distance learning. We have hoped to create rigorous and challenging learning while recognizing the imperfection of its initial practice and the human vulnerabilities we all encounter. I hope when we look back we have learned, partnered, and declared what we care most about.

Check out our E-learning page for information on the remainder of the school year:


Matt Irvin

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Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8

During the week of May 4, we will celebrate teacher appreciation week for our staff. We are asking for your support in what we plan for this year.

On more than one occasion, our teachers have voiced how much they miss our students and families. We thought it would be nice to have messages from our students and families to help our staff get through this unique time.

We invite you to record a video of you and/or your child(ren) stating how much you/they appreciate our staff. Afterwards, please upload the video to YouTube or Google Drive, and share the link with me, or Please submit your videos by Friday, May 1.

Thank you for your willingness to help us celebrate our outstanding staff!

Teresa Adams

WGHS Receptionist

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • May 3: Virtual Senior Awards Program (sent via link to all seniors and their families)
  • May 6-8: Academic Check-out for Seniors

Summer School 2020 Announcement

At this point in time, we are still planning to have educational programming for our students this summer. However, and with respect for the health and well-being all, our summer programming will be online.

Our high school students (rising 9th through rising 12th grade) will take online classes in a virtual format. High school summer school courses will run from June 1st through July 2nd. WGHS students who have already enrolled in a summer class will maintain enrollment in these virtual courses. Space is still available in some courses and interested students should reach out to their counselors regarding enrollment.

All summer school programming is dependent on full state funding. Any possible cuts to funding may cause us to alter what we are able to offer.

Statesmen Service Awards Information

Remember, you can log all of your service hours for next year's Statesmen Service Awards (2020-2021). The period to log hours runs from April 1, 2020 - April 1, 2021.

Is your student is working for a food bank or making masks for healthcare workers or picking up groceries for the elderly? Now is the perfect time to do some good and give to others! Whether service hours are completed through classes, clubs, youth groups, organizations or individually, students need a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work for a non-profit agency and must not be compensated for the work.


-50+ hours

-Service must not be done within the course of the school day nor pay accepted for the services

-Form must be completed by student and signed by a supervisor who can verify hours completed by student

Note: Volunteer hours are not eligible for hours in the A+ program. A+ hours are acquired through mentoring and tutoring.

Further questions, you may contact John E. Thomas, or Julie Simonson,

April Distance Learning Updates

WGHS E-Learning Website:

Tech help

Tech Hotline: 314-455-7080, 8AM-8PM

Weekly Schedule

In the effort to be mindful of the work around e-learning, we will begin taking each Friday to focus on supporting student engagement and refining our work around distance learning. Each teacher will have their established office hours and no additional instructional material/lessons in the effort to promote mastery of the essential work assigned for engagement. Students can also use those days to contact counselors, prepare for AP test(s), or engage in other pursuits that promote wellness.

Some guiding principles of student support days:

  • Teachers and staff will work to support students and their learning through communication they have already accessed with students and families.

  • Teachers will collaborate with colleagues on best practices for distance learning with district-based support and PLC teams within their respective departments.

  • This will allow students that did not have needed access the chance to have more support and time to finish assignments.


  • Please communicate to your teacher how the work is going relative to workload and stress. It is important to allow us to adjust on the feedback we hear as we do this work.

  • Our staff is focusing on how students can be successful with engagement during this period and providing feedback around the intended learning. We do want to support students in continued acquisition of skills that will support future ready citizens: critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

  • Distance learning period will be a separate grading category/assignment type in Tyler SIS where all grades will be placed while school is conducting distance learning. It will have different weight, with the period prior to distance learning being ⅔ of semester grade and the distance learning period being ⅓, including the final. Students should work with their individual teacher to raise their grade for the semester in addition to the work they are doing during distance learning.

  • This determination was made after consulting DESE guidance and with the awareness that distance learning is impacted by many variables for students: consistent access to digital devices or the internet at home, changes in student support in distance learning, and additional demands on students.

  • Teachers and staff are working with students to maintain their previous level of achievement through a myriad of supports and assessment design. Administrators and teachers are in communication when students are not able to engage and will work to excuse or reduce work missed due to lack of access. Under our current circumstances, we are working to monitor and adjust as needed for students to be successful for the remainder of the distance learning period.

  • *In the case that there is an undue hardship (i.e., health-related issues, persistent access issues, etc.), administrators will have the latitude to work on behalf of students to make determinations to ensure students are successful.


We are working to have prom and are looking at options and how we might adjust settings and potential dates. We have tentatively rescheduled Prom for June 20, 8-11 p.m., location TBA.

April/May Calendar Events

In accordance with the Stay-at-home orders, we will need to either cancel or postpone our upcoming high school events. Please see the status of our events below for the month of April/early May:

April 18 Prom, New date: June 20

April 22 Jazz Concert, Canceled

April 25 Schoemehl Run, Virtual

April 28 Band Concert, Canceled

April 29 One Acts, Canceled

May 3 Senior Awards, Online Presentation

May 6 STUCO Banquet, Online

May 6 Choir Concert, Canceled

May 7 Statesmen Sports Awards, Online Presentation

May 8 WG A Cappella Extravaganza, Postponed

May 12 Graduation, postponed/TBD (see below)

May 12 Orchestra Concert, Canceled

End-of-year schedule/Finals:

After reviewing survey results from parents and students, we have revised what was originally our finals week (May 18-22).

If underclassmen enrolled in courses predominantly composed of seniors have successfully demonstrated competency in the course through engagement, assessment, and task completion, they may complete the course in the same time frame as seniors. Underclassmen should contact their individual teachers if they have questions.

Week of May 11-15

  • Teachers may teach new content or have students turn in a culminating project or activity with teacher or peer feedback.
  • Friday, May 15 will be a student support day/turn-in work

End-of-Year Plan by Department:

World Language: Continued Learning

Math: Continued Learning

English: Culminating Reflection

Fine Arts: Teacher feedback on projects

Industrial Technology: Continued Learning

Innovation: Capstone Projects

FACS: Capstone Projects

Business: Capstone Projects

PE: Continued Learning

Science: Culminating Reflection

Social Studies: Final Assessment

Week of May 18-22

  • Recap and finalize learning for all students and not for new learning or new assignments.
  • Teachers will schedule time during their set office hours to connect with students.
  • Teachers will make additional efforts and outreach, and support for students, particularly those who are at-risk of not completing essential learning for the semester.
  • Teachers will communicate any missing work and other “wrap-up” types of work with students.
  • Students can submit incomplete or missing work.
  • Students who have completed course expectations will not be expected to meet or check-in. The only students expected to complete work during the week are students who have incomplete or missing work or working to raise a grade.

Check-out Process for Seniors

Seniors, pending they meet all graduation requirements and necessary coursework, will complete classes by May 8.

Graduation Ceremony

We will adjust our original reservation at Chaifetz Arena on May 12. We now have June 26 at 7 PM as a potential reschedule option and July 24 at 7 PM as a back-up. We will share more as we get closer to potential dates.

AP testing

  • There will not be any face-to-face AP exams this year.

  • Students will take AP exams at home.

  • Exams will be 45 minutes.

  • Exams will NOT contain multiple-choice questions.

  • Students with accommodations will be able to use their accommodations.

  • Exams will be administered online between May 11th - 22nd. Make-up test dates will be available for each subject from June 1 through June 5.

  • Exams will be assessing a reduced scope of content, content that would “typically” have been covered before March. Please contact your AP instructor for details regarding your specific course.

  • From College Board, "We're confident that the vast majority of higher ed institutions will award college credit as they have in the past. We've spoken with hundreds of institutions across the country that support our solution for this year's AP Exams."

  • Students have the option of canceling their exam(s), and CB will waive the $40.00/exam late fee they would have charged the school. To cancel, please log into the Total Registration webpage here: and request to cancel your exam.Select "Coronavirus Crisis" as your reason to avoid the $40/exam late fee. Refunds will be processed in batches on a weekly basis.

  • For more information visit the College Board:

Summer School

At this point in time, we are still planning to have educational programming for our students this summer. However, and with respect for the health and well-being all, our summer programming will be online.

Our high school students (rising 9th through rising 12th grade) will take online classes in a virtual format. High school summer school courses will run from June 1st through July 2nd. WGHS students who have already enrolled in a summer class will maintain enrollment in these virtual courses. Space is still available in some courses and interested students should reach out to their counselors regarding enrollment.

All summer school programming is dependent on full state funding. Any possible cuts to funding may cause us to alter what we are able to offer.


With the decision to keep the schools closed and continue with distance learning for the rest of the semester, that unfortunately means the remainder of the spring sports season has been cancelled as well. Coaches will continue to be in touch with their teams for the rest of the spring. We will discuss how we can continue to recognize our athletes, in particular the seniors who won’t get to play their final season. Information on returning any school issued uniforms and equipment will be provided at a later date.

Looking ahead to the summer, at this time our coaches are still planning on conducting summer contact days and camps like they have in the past. Please contact the head coach of a particular sport if your son or daughter is interested in participating in those activities.

Students: Are You Overwhelmed With Too Many Google Classroom Emails/Notifications?

Follow these steps to turn off your notifications in Google Classroom:

  • Log in as student using account.
  • Go to Google Classroom (search for it in the address bar or click the small grid in the upper right corner and Click the Classroom icon).
  • Click the 3 bars in the upper left-hand corner of the Google Classroom home page.
  • Click “Settings.”
  • Click the toggle button to turn off specific notifications of your choosing
    • find these under Comments and Classes You're Enrolled In
    • grey is OFF, blue is ON
**Leave the button ON that sends an invitation to join a Classroom**

Video walkthrough to Change Email Notifications:

Change Frequency of Guardian Email Summaries as a Parent

The default is for summaries to come once a week. You can change the frequency of the summaries for all classes at once.

  • Start in the email account where you receive email guardian summaries
  • At the bottom of any class email summary click "Settings"
  • You will be asked to sign in to your Google/gmail account if you aren't already
  • You will see a heading labelled "Frequency," below that click "Daily" or "Weekly"
  • You do not need to click Save or similar, it will just change for all Classroom classes
  • Daily summaries are sent Monday - Friday afternoon, no weekend emails.
  • Weekly summary is sent on Friday afternoon

**Also, please note, if a teacher doesn't add anything new, that class will NOT be listed in the summary.

Video walkthrough to Change Frequency of Guardian Email Summaries:

Need more Google Classroom tips? Visit our website's E-Learning page!

Office Hours by School Subject/Department

Each department will host office hours for hosting virtual meetings with individual students, being available for student questions/concerns, and responding to emails. Individual teachers will also post these office hours on their Google Classroom. Some teachers may offer extra office hours outside of the times listed below, and they will post those as well. Please refer to the table below for each department's posted office hours.
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Visit our website for the most up-to-date E-Learning resources and information.

During this challenging time, we want you to know that we are here to support you as you navigate through E-Learning and sorting out the ins and outs of how it works. The E-Learning tab on our website offers:

  • General information on the importance of E-Learning, expectations, length of assignments and workload, and what to expect while school is closed
  • Resources for support, including counselor contact information
  • Tech hotline
  • Office Hours by department
  • Resources for time management and a custom WGHS Weekly Planner

Visit us HERE or click below for more information!

A Message from Our Counselors

While conducting school virtually, WGHS school counselors and social workers will continue to support the academic, social and emotional, and post-secondary planning needs of our students. Our office hours are from 8:30-9:30am daily (for immediate attention) but we are available by phone or email throughout regular school hours. Please see our contact information below and reach out with any questions or needs you may have. Students can also request assistance by completing this form and their counselor will follow up with them.

Additionally, there are a number of outside agencies and organizations available to provide support to young people and their families during this difficult time. Below is a list of resources available to you and your family.

Virtual Counseling: Parents or guardians should call the numbers below to set up services.

CHADS Coalition: 314-952-8274

Preferred Family Health: 314-729-7050

St. Louis Counseling: 314-544-3800

Online Resources:

Unicef: How Teenagers Can Protect Their Mental Health During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

18percent Coronavirus Mental Health Resources

St. Louis County Resources (including help with food, utilities, rent, and mental health)

Special School District’s Family Resource Page

If you need support and cannot wait, please use one of the crisis numbers below:

Youth Connection Helpline: Call (314) 819-8802 or text BHEARD to 31658

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Child Abuse and Neglect: 800-392-3738

For emergencies, please call 911

As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you all soon!


Alex King

Counselor (A-E)


Ken Winingham

Counselor (F-K)


Joe Hepfinger

Counselor (L-R)


Simone Cunningham

Counselor (S-Z)


Karen Verstraete
College & Career (A-K)


Jennedy Lombard

College and Career (L-Z)


Anne Gibbs

Social Worker


Suzanne Goldstein

SSD Social Worker


Ann Marie Guntli

SSD Social Worker


Barb Smith

Office Assistant

Transcripts and Summer School


Brittany Hill

Office Assistant



Counseling Department Updates

AP Testing Changes

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.
  • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3.
  • We will share information as it becomes available to us. Questions? Contact our AP Coordinator, Jennedy Lombard, at

SLU and UMSL Reopen Registration for Dual Credit

In light of changes with AP testing, UMSL and SLU have decided to reopen registration for dual credit. SLU has already opened their website for registration (Adv. Forensic Science and Oceanography) with a deadline of April 5, 2020. More information from UMSL will be shared as we receive it.

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • April 17: Top Hat Awards, Online Presentation
  • April 20: Band Awards, Online Presentation

Statesmen Service Awards