Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for April 7
Hello WGHS Families,
FUTUREPROOF: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose is a book that has a fairly optimistic view of the clash between rising technology and humanity--think "Terminator 2." It offers some pointed suggestions to combat the wave of technology, much of it rooted in skills schools can greatly impact. In addition to the suggestions around discrete skills, he suggests habits of mind and dispositions, buoyed by the call of “maintaining humane values (empathy) in an age of new machines.”
Below is a list from Kathryn Hume's blog on Education in the Age of AI that mirrors some of the Roose’s suggestions and details some skills that will be in demand for future workforce:
Flexibility and Adaptability
A one-trick pony will not stay relevant long, disruption as we have all experienced will demand a level of malleability. The need to access resources (increasingly via technology) will allow future workers to “embrace the need to constantly learn to stay relevant.”
Climate change, gun policy, and most issues we face are complex and multi-dimensional. Understanding the science of climate change is a start, but working in fields of impact such as the economy and government must also be addressed. Work will demand not a siloed approach but “various disciplines (with) different prisms that refracted a unified whole.” How can we truly endeavor to more fully understand racism without viewing it around history, jurisprudence, financial, art, and cross-cutting scientific concerns?
Framing Qualitative Ideas as Quantitative Problems
The need exists for using quantitative reasoning to address problems and rationally determine a myriad of entrepreneurial or industry decisions. Connecting to mathematical evidence to allow workers and companies to wisely move from “strategy to tactical execution.”
What is our role in this?
Technology and its reach have done more to disrupt than to cause a typhoon in the economy for both repetitive manual labor and cognitive labor. It surely had a role in fostering the fissures in our culture rooted in the vast disinformation and its reach via social media. The Next Generation Science Standards ask students to apply scientific content and to connect knowledge across scientific fields into a scientifically-based understanding of their world. Critical thinking and other complex task that have students “consider explanation, interpretation, application, perspective, empathy, and self-knowledge” are needed across our curriculum. In English, students could read Frederick Douglass' “What to the slave, is the Fourth of July,” James Baldwin book excerpts, and Ta-Nehisi Coates Atlantic article, "The Case for Reparations." Students should consider what is similar and different in historical context, cultural response to the work, and general arguments as well as potential opposing viewpoints. Tasks such as these would go far to support students' deep thinking around their roles as a citizens of a new economy and old democracy, both of which we can impact as a school. As a parent, asking in conversation, “What makes you think that?,” "What supports your perspective?," or general discussion around complex problems in between TikToks can helpful as well!
Next Week's Schedule: A, A, B, C, A
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- April 12: Special Olympics (Juniors)
- April 14-16: Spring Play, 7 pm, Auditorium
- April 15: Top Hat Awards, 7:45 am, Roberts Gym
2021-22 Late-Start Days
Dwight Kirksey Named Assistant Principal of the Year
Juniors Participate in Special Olympics on April 12
Attention Junior Parents:
Your student will be assisting with the Special Olympics for most of the school day on Tuesday, April 12. Information will be given to students through their social studies class nearer to the time of the event. Weather permitting, it is an outdoor event. Students will have a rewarding day either being a buddy for an athlete, assisting with an event, or helping out in the Olympic Village. Contact person for Special Olympics is Cliff Ice in the Activities Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Report an Absence, Please Call:
Echo publications and yearbook students attended the MIPA-MJEA J-Day at Mizzou on March 30. The keynote speaker was Major Garrett, chief Washington correspondent for CBS. Afterwards breakout sessions featuring professional journalists on topics including broadcast, layout, writing and photography were available for the students.
In the afternoon, MIPA-MJEA recognized its All State team, On Site contest winners and the Spring Contests winners.
Echo Yearbook and WG Echo’s online platform earned overall superior ratings.
The Echo newspaper, the Echo News Roundup and Voices of Webster earned overall excellent ratings.
Senior Jackson Parks earned Best of Show for his Online Op-Ed Package “English teacher unfairly suspended.”
All Missouri ratings were earned by senior Emily Goben for online feature package “School resource officer takes detective position” and news writing “Anonymous donor makes Little Theater usable again,” juniors Owen Crews and Layla Johnson for sports writing “Webster takes Turkey Day field with interim head coach,” senior Claire Vogl for sports photography “Here to Splash,” senior Bridget Moehlman for sports photography “Here to Rock,” senor J.J. Peel for Sports Feature/Reaction Photography “Here to Putt,” and junior Maren DeMargel for radio/podcast newscast/news feature “Students share opinions about holiday music.”
Superior ratings were earned by senior Max Biundo and senior Ella Mahacek for yearbook specialty design “Fashion Trends Spread,” senior Ava Musgraves and Parks for newspaper/news magazine double truck/centerspread design “Academic burnout plagues student,” senior Roy Smith for sports feature/reaction photography “Here to Hype,” senior Matthew Grace for student life/organization photography “Kirkwood Cheerleaders parody at community pep rally,” senior Gigi Tetley for student life/organization photography “Here to Excite,” Parks and junior Lydia Urice for radio/podcast newscast/news feature “Former football coach resigns to focus on family,” freshman Ali Schulz and junior Eleanor Kanerva for radio/podcast newscast “Churches bring attention to Black Lives Matters,” Biundo and senior Macie Savala for yearbook design “Girls Volleyball Spread,” and senior Emma Forsee and senior Anna Barr for yearbook overall theme/concept “Cover, Openings and Divider.”
Excellent ratings were earned by senior Zeke La Mantia for news feature “LGBT+ discuss community at WGHS,” Parks and Musgraves for online feature package “Students demonstrate for dress code changes,” junior Izzy Poole for news photo “Rally held at Planned Parenthood,” Musgraves for sports photography “Senior Varsity cheerleader Victoria Proffer practices stunt” and sports feature/reaction photo “Turkey Day water break,” senior JJ Peel and Biundo for yearbook traditional package--sports “Girls Golf/Dance Spreads,” and Vogl and Parks for yearbook writing “Field Hockey Spread.”
Honorable mentions were earned by Kanerva and Schulz for broadcast news feature “Churches bring attention to Black Lives Matters," La Mantia and Musgraves for social media reporting, La Mantia for sports feature/reaction photography “Freshman quarterback waits” and news photo “Teens celebrate belated Pride festival,” Urice for news photo “St Louis Gateway Balloon Festival returns Labor Day weekend,” Musgraves for student life/organization photography “Cheer captains share anticipation for Turkey Day” and sports photography “Senior Joel Lazarow snaps the ball,” Moehlman for student life/organization photography “Here to give” and sports feature/reaction photography “Here to Dance,” Parks for student life/organization photo “Volleyball team takes a selfie,” Grace for student life/organization photography “DECA's Night in the Courtyard features games, music,” Poole for radio/podcast newscast/newsfeature “Students talk about fall fashions” and student life/organization photography “Thespians teach survival skills,” and DeMargel for radio/podcast newscast/news features “Junior class sweeps Spirit Week decoration contest” and “Science teacher talks about student stress.”
Also Parks, Forsee, Goben and Urice are on the MIPA-MJEA Honor Roll.
New 2022-23 Staff
EOC Week is April 18-29
Important 2022-23 Immunization Information
Statesmen Service Awards are Virtual This Year
We look forward to announcing our Statesmen Service Award recipients on Friday, April 8, 2022. Although this year's Statesmen Service Awards will not be held in person, their recognition will not go unnoticed!
Assistant Principals will personally deliver the Statesmen Service Award certificates to these students during class in the morning. And one special recipient will receive the Dotty DeLassus Award for volunteering the most hours over four years at WGHS. We will proudly give a shout-out to these students in the daily announcements and showcase these award recipients in our display case at the main entrance. Be on the lookout in the next parent newsletter, email and on social media so you can see what a stellar job these students did giving their time to others!
Trauma-Informed Sexual Abuse Training at WGHS
Beginning last school year, Missouri State Statute 170.045 requires that students in grades 6-12 receive trauma-informed developmentally appropriate, sexual abuse training. The school district shall notify parents or guardians in advance of the training required under this section, of the content of the instruction, and the parent's or guardian's right to have the student excused from the instruction.
In accordance with Missouri state law, beginning this school year and every year thereafter, our district will provide age - and developmentally sexual abuse prevention education to students in 6th - 12th grade. The goal of this programming is to keep your children safe. Under Missouri law this education will include the following components:
Instruction providing students with the knowledge and tools to recognize sexual abuse,
Instruction providing students with the knowledge and tools to report an incident of sexual abuse,
Actions that a student who is a victim of sexual abuse could take to obtain assistance and intervention, and
Available resources for students affected by sexual abuse
Students will complete the training during 2nd hour on April 14, 2022. Families choosing to excuse their student from the instruction will need to complete this form by Monday, April 11, 2022.
As always, our school counselors and social workers will be available to answer questions and provide support to students.
Should you need additional support, please visit these websites with resources for sexual violence and support for students and families.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. Learn more at www.rainn.org.
Safe Connections is one of the St. Louis region’s oldest and largest organizations working to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence while helping survivors thrive. Learn more at safeconnections.org.
A list of helplines for parents and/or student can be found at https://www.essential4kids.org/helplines
A short video from Forensic Interviewer Beverly Tucker is an amazing support for adults: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUNQheFCJuU
As a reminder to families, all school staff are mandated reporters but anyone can report suspected child abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters "who know or have reasonable cause to suspect" are required by law to report child abuse and neglect. The hotline number for making reports is 1-800-392-3738.
If you have further questions, please contact your child’s assistant principal or counselor.
COVID-19 Testing at WGSD
The Webster Groves School District will offer COVID-19 testing for the public from 2-4 p.m. on Thursdays in the board room at the central office, 400 E. Lockwood Ave. Testing will continue to be offered here on Thursdays at this time except for during spring break.
Rapid antigen and PCR testing will be available through Visionary Vaccine Services. No appointment is needed. Masks will be required. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent of guardian. Your insurance will be billed for the service and there are no fees for the uninsured. Everyone tested will receive a letter documenting the date of service, type of testing and results.
Testing will also be offered for the public in other school districts:
Mondays and Wednesdays in the Ladue School District at the Fifth Grade Center, 10900 Ladue Rd., inside the lower level athletic entrance to the building from 9-11 a.m.
On Tuesdays, at the Clayton District's Administration Center, #2 Mark Twain Circle in Clayton, from 9-11 a.m.
2022-23 Bus Transportation
The Webster Groves School District is currently determining transportation needs for the fee-based service for the 2022-2023 school year. If your student will be attending Webster Groves High School or Hixson Middle School and you would like bus transportation for your student for the 2022-2023 school year, you must complete the application at the link below. Even if your student rode the bus last year, you must fill out a new application for the 2022-2023 school year. Please read the information in the link and fill out the form if you want your student to ride the bus for the 2022-2023 school year.
Application deadline is May 15, 2022.
News from the Chelsea Center: WGHS’ In-house Experiential Learning Center
What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential Learning (ExL) is the process of creating knowledge from direct experience. Chelsea Center students engage in ExL learning through community-based experiences & reflection on those experiences.
How can my child get involved?
All students now have access to a Chelsea Center course that connects them to our new online platform, GivePulse. Within GivePulse, students can search for opportunities in service learning, internships, and leadership programming, as well as summer opportunities. We also meet with students one on one and in small groups to coach them through finding the just-right experiences for them. We are in Room 200 at WGHS and are eager to help!
Check out these new opportunities available through GivePulse via the Chelsea Center Canvas course.
Learn at the Black Rep
Founded by Producing Director Ron Himes, The Black Rep is one of the largest, not-for-profit professional African-American theatre companies in the nation and the largest African-American performing arts organization in Missouri. From the stage to the classroom, The Black Rep seeks to fortify our relationships with our community through theatre. Starting this Saturday and running through May 28, the Black Rep is offering 3 courses. Join them for Teen Tech (ages 11 - 18), Youth Actors Ensemble (ages 8 - 12) and Young Adult Actors Ensemble (ages 13 - 18). Express your interest via GivePulse.
Does your child have a part-time or full-time job this summer? Encourage them to sign up for the Personal Employment summer school course. In this Chelsea Center course, students will learn how to articulate their learning from work in polished anecdotes, perfect for future interviews for jobs, scholarships and college applications! Through this course, students can earn elective credit as they earn their paychecks.
Is your child looking to serve the community while also strengthening their resume for their post-high school plans? Encourage them to sign up for the Chelsea Center Service Learning course where they can earn elective credit by volunteering. Team Chelsea will happily help them find volunteer opportunities within community organizations connected to their areas of interest.
Counseling Office Updates
College Fair at Maryville University on April 24
The Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling is hosting a college fair on Sunday, April 24th from 1-3pm at Maryville University. Click here to see a list of colleges and programs attending.
Interested in attending a selective university? Concerned you don't know the expectations for applying and for acceptance to a selective university? Worried about how to pay for college once you are accepted? Whether you are a freshman, sophomore or junior, if you are considering applying to a selective university, there will be valuable information shared in these webinars.
Please join us for free virtual presentations on April 13 & 14. Get the Inside Scoop on Selective University Admissions directly from admissions officers from University of Chicago, University of Miami, Wake Forest University and Tufts University.. Two topics will be presented each night followed by time for Q & A with the two admissions officers presenting. Registration will give you access to both evening presentations (you may attend one or both sessions). See details below.
Wednesday, April 13; 7:00-8:00 pm CDT
Preparing for College - Will Smith, University of Chicago
Applying to College - Charles Cammack, University of Miami
Thursday, April 14; 7:00-8:00 pm CDT
Alternative Approaches to Starting College - Susan Faust, Wake Forest University
Paying for College - Rae Deveney, Tufts University
Click this link to register for the Zoom webinars on April 13 & 14:
Digital Strike Will Award Online Google Career Certificates
Local digital marketing firm, Digital Strike, has announced they will be awarding 20 area high school students an opportunity to complete an online Google Career Certificate.
Upon completion, this certificate will propel students on the fast track to in-demand jobs within fields that are and will continue to be crucial to our country’s economy, including technology, science, business, finance, energy, and more.
For more information and to apply visit https://www.digitalstrike.com/google-growth-with-digital-strike/
College Admissions Testing
We have fielded a lot of questions regarding the ACT and SAT lately. Here's an article with answers to some of the top questions we hear.
2022-2023 Course Selections
Counselors are meeting individually with all students (during their Science class) to review student transcripts and finalize course requests for the 2022-2023 school year. Parents can view their child’s course requests in the parent portal by selecting the 2022-2023 school year (dropdown menu in upper right hand corner) and selecting “Course Requests” (menu on left). Please reach out to your child’s counselor if you have any questions.
In Person College Visits are Back
Beginning this week, admissions representatives will visit to meet with prospective juniors and seniors to share information about their institutions. Students who would like to meet with admissions representatives should sign up in the counseling office ahead of time and will receive a pass from class. To visit the full calendar, click here. Check back frequently as visits are being added daily.
Upcoming ACT and SAT National Test Dates (Saturdays)
Junior parents: Is your child planning to attend a four year college or university? While many colleges have been “test optional” for the past two years as a result of covid, plans for next year are not yet clear and many colleges will still require ACT or SAT scores for admission and/or scholarships. Here are the ACT and SAT test dates for the rest of the school year.
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!