Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for December 9

Hello Parents and Guardians,

We have plenty of information below on finals but I wanted to share another aspect. As parents of children taking finals, we can provide some counsel to coach them along in the process that they should own. I am sharing some items as both a parent and an educator that gives effort in both, not always to the result I sought:

1. Make a finals calendar.

Students should plan out study sessions for exams by looking at the order of finals and gaging how much time they need to prepare. Ideally, start the schedule a week before the first test, and estimate the time to set aside each day for each subject. Students should plan multiple sessions for each exam to maximize the review's impact. “The best deliberate study practice to sustain full concentration, a distraction-free environment, scheduled study time, and access to necessary training resources.”

2. Some recommended study aids.

Consider the most effective way to review, internalize, or practice the information and skills that are covered by each exam. The best resource will be the information the teacher shares in their class regarding sources and the type of assessment questions on the exam. Teachers know what they are asking students to do and will share resources and recommendations prior to the exam.

  • Make flash cards or technology-aided equivalent to help memorize dates/equations/facts
  • Outline notes for complex ideas/essays.
  • When studying at home or with a partner, have someone quiz the student­­ on the information they have already studied. Students tend to recall the information they have been quizzed on compared to reading and review.

It is not unusual for students to feel some level of anxiousness with the exam period ahead. Strategies of breaking down the exam into smaller units or goals, positive self-talk, and thorough preparation can mitigate modest test anxiety. I hope that is of some help to guide the conversation at home and I wish all our students families well as they wrap up the first semester coursework.


Matt Irvin

Sources: Princeton Review and Managing Test Anxiety from Harvard University, Bureau of Study Counsel

Next Week's Schedule: Late Start A, A, A, Final Exam A, Final Exam 2/3

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • 12/9: Holiday Band Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
  • 12/10: A Cappella Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
  • 12/11: ACT Testing
  • 12/13: Late Start A; school starts at 9:15, and doors open at 8:30
  • 12/13: Choir Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
  • 12/14: Jazz Band Statesmen Symphony Concert, 7pm, Auditorium
  • 12/15: Winter One-Acts, 7pm, Black Box Theatre
  • 12/15: Parents for Racial Equity, 7pm, Library
  • 12/16: Final Exam A Schedule (students take 1st hour final exam)
  • 12/17: Final Exam 2/3 (8:25 - 11:40)

Final Exams at WGHS

A comprehensive examination will be given at the end of 1st and 2nd semesters in all classes. The test will be 95 minutes in length. A comprehensive exam is understood to sample learning from the entire semester. This test will count between 10% and 20% of the final course grade with the exact percentage to be determined by each department. Exams are an important part of the student’s grade and educational experience. Every effort should be made to be sure student is at school for exams and vacations and other commitments are avoided at this time.

No exams will be given early. If a student must miss an exam, a parent must notify the appropriate assistant principal. The student will receive an Incomplete (I) and will need to make up the exam 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.

Students will not take finals in Academic Lab, student assistant periods, Independent Period, Peer Tutoring, or Study Hall. A 95-minute final exam will occur in all other classes. 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.

In the event of school closure during finals week due to inclement weather, we have multiple options. If early in the schedule, we could add an additional exam to each day as we did several years ago or have the final exam(s) will be rescheduled for the first day back after winter break, with a final exam schedule (8:25 - 11:40 a.m.) for that day. Bus transportation and athletics will be modified accordingly, and lunch will not be served. We will share information in the event we need to adjust the exam schedule due to weather.

Please see the finals schedule below:

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WGHS Fine Arts Celebrations

MO All-State Orchestra

On Saturday, December 5, orchestra students from all over the state gathered in Columbia, MO at MIZZOU to audition for MO All-State Orchestra. 451 students competed for 68 seats in the group. The following Webster Groves Orchestra students won seats in the orchestra:

Celia Alexander, 11 grade, Violin 1

Isabella Pantano, 11 grade, Viola

Silas Garrett, 11 grade, Cello

Myka Stewart 12, grade, Alternate Cello

Congratulations to them for their hard work and amazing talent.

Congratulations to the following WGHS band students who were selected Missouri All-State for the 2021-2022 school year.

Taliyah Roash, senior 2nd flute, Missouri All-State Orchestra

Sarah Veldhuizen, senior principal oboe, Missouri All-State Band

Evan Christman, junior 1st alto, Missouri All-State Jazz Band

Miles Cole, sophomore 1st trombone, Missouri All-State Jazz Band

Zach Andrews, junior bass trombone, Missouri All-State Jazz Band

Shiloh Roash, sophomore honorable mention french horn, All State Band

Thousands of students from all parts of the state auditioned, and four of our students were selected as the top-ranked players in the state on their instruments--oboe, alto saxophone, trombone, and bass trombone. These students will participate in the Missouri All-State Music Festival at Lake of the Ozarks in late January, rehearsing and workshopping with the best musicians in the state under the leadership of professional musicians.

For the NINTH time, WGHS has more students in the all-state jazz band than any other school in the state; out of 961 eligible schools, WG students have comprised more than 10% of all-state jazz musicians over the last 17 years.

We are very proud of our students’ continued achievements and our community’s endless support of fine arts.

Congratulations to Anna Barr and Mia Fiehler for having their artwork included in the St. Louis Post Dispatch's 100 Neediest Cases!


The course selection process for the 2022-2023 school year has begun. Your child’s current teachers will make their course recommendations for your child before winter break. Students have been asked to input their requests in the student portal by January 7, 2022. Because the master schedule and staffing decisions are based on these requests, it is very important that students make their selections carefully. Course change requests will only be approved under rare and special circumstances. Questions? Please contact your child’s counselor.

Did You Know?

EOC: End-of-Course assessments are taken when a student has received instruction on the course-level expectations for an assessment, regardless of grade level (but typically in high school). EOC tests are required for the courses of Algebra I, Biology, English II, and Government.

To Report an Absence, Please Call:

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2021-22 Late-Start Days

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Counseling News

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.

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)

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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