Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for May 11
Hello WGHS Families,
There considerable information available to advocate for wellness and the impact physical activity can have on it. Long-term benefits of mitigating lifestyle conditions such as obesity, heart disease and dementia have been well chronicled. I would like to address the more temporal concerns of mental health, cognitive function, and positive impact on learning issues such as ADD. The connection between mind and body is crucial to personal growth and development as consistent exercise can help you be better and allow you to do your best work.
Exercise is more for the brain than the body
Consistent purposeful movement improves cognition and learning readiness by increasing alertness and have a positive impact on ADD/ADHD. John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Spark--The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, states exercise is like “taking a little Prozac or a little Ritalin at just the right moment.” Further, increased evidence has suggested that exercise may be a neglected but important intervention in mental health and self-care. While exercise does not impact on all mental health concerns, research supports its impact on the most common among adolescents. A recent New York Times article, "The Benefit of Exercise for Children's Mental Health," noted significant research demonstrating the “clear association between more frequent physical activity and lower levels of depression and anxiety.” Another study declared, “physical activity might be an efficient antidepressant,” while many others promoted exercises ability to reduce anxiety.
Exercise and movement combat the ill-effects of the digital age, promoting better mental health outcomes when connected with increased physical activity and lessened screen time (JAMA, 10/21).
Student-athletes are getting some of the benefit, but not consistently or at the most ideal times.
If students are practicing after the school day, the benefits for their brain are present, but post-competition and practice is after the school day or on a weekend. In addition to the timing not being optimal, a limited number of students participate in after-school activities, with WGHS athletics or otherwise. How much activity are those students getting in their respective off-season? That varies drastically but could be more consistent with a PE class.
Summer School PE allows for credit attainment but limited long-term impact
Summer school PE is similar to cramming for a test in school; a sprint through a condensed curriculum that provides limited exposure to worthwhile wellness goals. It's all done in order to generate a performance for a limited window, just enough to move on to the next credential. I would suggest this is not conducive to long-term impact nor is it providing the protective factors of fitness when students need it most. More concerning, there are entities, led by educators, that foster this corrupt bargain in the effort to capture state monies with their indiscriminate offering of “PE lite.” I do not support that path for most students. We have continued to elevate our course offerings and staffing in this important area at WGHS in the effort to serve our students and families. It is most hope that families give taking additional courses their fullest consideration.
Next Week's Schedule: AABCA
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- 5/11: Statesmen Sports Awards, 7pm, Roberts Gym
- 5/12: Seniors' last day; Senior Checkout is from 10:20 - 3:25.
- 5/17: Spring Choir Concert, 7pm, WG Presbyterian Church
- 5/18: Senior Elementary Walk-throughs, 1:30-2:30pm
- 5/19: WGHS A Cappella Extravaganza, 7pm, Auditorium
- 5/20: Class of 2023 Graduation, 6:30pm, Chaifetz Arena
The Senior Scoop
Stay up-to-date on the latest senior news, updates, and dates!
- Click here for the latest Graduation updates and important dates.
- Click here for information on Senior Check-out.
- Click here for information about sending final/dual credit transcripts and AP scores
Senior Finals Schedule
2023-24 WGHS Calendar is Now Live
Please visit our 2023-24 school calendar here. This live calendar, specific to WGHS, contains all dates and daily schedule for next year.
Freestyle Pool Pass
The Freestyle Pool Pass is BACK for 2023, after seeing 56% growth in usage last summer. The Freestyle Pass removes barriers to the community swimming pool by providing free daily swim passes for individuals and families that require financial assistance. Thanks to the generosity of this community, 944 pool passes were used last summer.
If you currently are in need of financial assistance and are interested in receiving Freestyle Pool Passes (each is good for one daily admission), then please complete the WGSD Free Style Pool Pass Request Form by May 12, 2023, or contact your child’s counselor. The passes will be given to your child the week of May 22nd. During the pool season, Freestyle Pool Passes will also be available at Webster Rock Hill Ministries and inside the Rec Center front desk.
Founded in 2021, the Freestyle Pass program is a joint effort of the Webster Groves School District, the City of Webster Groves, the Alliance for Interracial Dignity, and Webster Rock Hill Ministries.
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.
National Scholarship Searches
College Board’s Big Future
2023-24 Transportation Application Now Available
The Webster Groves School District is currently determining transportation needs for the fee-based service for the 2023-2024 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 2023-2024 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 2023-2024 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 2023-2024 school year.
Please note the criteria needed to get free bus transportation.
Application deadline is May 15, 2023.
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!
WGHS Attendance Contacts
Webster Groves High School
Location: 100 Selma Avenue, Webster Groves, MO, USA
Phone: (314) 963-6400