Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for April 9

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Hello WGHS Families,

I hope you are all well and connecting with your loved ones. Public schools and the people that make them up are a reflection of the community they serve and we are saddened by loss, inspired by the gallantly we witness all around us, and hopeful of better days ahead.

As I shared with our leadership team this week, we are very much like a navigational tool you might utilize to arrive at a specific location. When our course changes, we have to continually rethink both the destination and the best way to arrive. In doing so, we have to "recalculate," perhaps making different turns or pathways but being guided by the same aspirations.

We appreciate our community and our role in ensuring wellness and continued learning for our students. We will be in communication as we recalculate after each new learning we encounter.

If you are seeking more E-learning info, go to our website:


Matt Irvin

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Summary of Message from Dr. Simpson from 4/3

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, 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

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

  • Allow students that did not have needed access the chance to have more support and time

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 Peek at the Week Ahead

  • April 10: Progress grades available on Portal

Statesmen Service Award Recognition

Tomorrow, April 10, we will be celebrating our Statesmen Service Award recipients for the 2019-20 school year. Students and parents--check your inbox tomorrow as we will honor these committed and thoughtful students who have made a difference in their community by volunteering over 50 hours during the year! We will also honor one senior with the Dotty DeLassus Award who volunteered the most hours in his/her last four years at Webster Groves High School.

Reminder....keep a log of any volunteer work you may be doing during this time of distance learning and also during the summer months ahead so you can participate in next year's Statesmen Service Awards. Any questions, contact Julie Simonson (Assistant to John E. Thomas, Assistant Principal) at

Status of WGHS Events Through May 12

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 2-4 Spring Play, Canceled

April 10 Statesmen Service Awards, Online

April 14 School Service Day, Canceled

April 17 Top Hat, Online Presentation

April 18 Prom, TBD

April 20 Band Awards, Online Presentation

April 21 NHS Induction Ceremony, Canceled

April 22 Jazz Concert, Canceled

April 25 Schoemehl Run, Virtual

April 28 Band Concert, Canceled

April 29 One Acts, Canceled

April 30 Senior Awards, Online Presentation, May 3

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 Orchestra Concert, Canceled

May 12 Graduation, TBD

Don't see an event listed above? Please check with individual sponsors for updates. We will send out information as we receive it.

Prom is Postponed: A Message to Our Seniors

Prom is not able to go on as scheduled this year. The Planetarium is closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic on our scheduled April 18th date, and St. Louis City and County have both issued Stay-at-home Orders during that time.

We are still hoping to have a prom this year, and we are considering different options to make this happen. We may be able to hold the event at the Planetarium at a later date, or it may be an option to have it at WGHS. The situation is evolving, but we are doing our best to hold prom in some fashion if we can.

We know that you have been looking forward to prom and are sorry to have to share this news. We will let you know the updated plans when we have more information.

Take care of yourselves!

A Message About Sophomore Service Day

Dear Sophomore Families,

We hope you are taking care of yourselves and each other during our time apart from one another. We wanted to send a quick update on one of the Chelsea Center’s favorite days of the year: Sophomore Service Day. Since Webster Groves School District has moved to a distance learning format, Sophomore Service Day, originally scheduled for April 14, 2020, is canceled. We look forward to supporting your children in serving their communities in the near future!

Team Chelsea
Kerry Arens, Dana Miller, and Chay Turner

Face Mask Strap Activity for 3D Printers

If you have a 3D printer at home, here is an excellent idea!

School Celebrations/Announcements

Columbia Scholastic Press Association announced the winners from its 37th Gold Circle Awards program.

Three Echo staffers were Gold Circle Winners. Senior Ethan Weihl won first place for his Video News Package "Students Walkout to Raise Climate Change Awareness,"senior Lindsey Bennett won third place for her News Feature "New Program Facilitates Student-Created Businesses," and graduate Sean Mullins won a certificate of merit for his Entertainment Review "Electric Retrospective - Review: ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ Reflects Poorly Upon Interactive Media."

This year, these categories attracted 5757 yearbook and digital media entries submitted in 91 categories.

These entries come from publications produced by students at colleges, universities, and secondary schools through the United States and abroad who follow an American education plan.

Entries were accepted from student yearbooks and digital media publications published from October 2, 2018 through October 1, 2019. Student journalists working on these print or electronic media chose from 39 yearbook categories and 52 digital media categories.

Student journalists working on these print or electronic media chose from 39 yearbook categories and 41 digital media categories.

In summary, judges cited a total of 656 winners for yearbook and digital media for either First, Second or Third Place or for Certificates of Merit for those deemed worthy of honorable mention in a category. Entry categories included those for yearbooks and for digital (online) media, in its annual competition for individual achievement by student writers, editors, designers and photographers.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

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.

Summer School 2020

The summer school planning for summer 2020 has been placed on hold in light of our current educational situation. Students will not lose classes in which they have been assigned. Once we receive more direction from DESE we will be able to provide additional information regarding our summer school programming for summer 2020.

Thank you for your patience with programming!