Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your WGHS Weekly eNews for December 16

Hello Parents and Guardians,

We are in some choppy water at times. But in that cloud of malaise, there is often glimmers of promise and hope. During Friday night's A capella concert and boys' basketball game, the severe weather in our region resulted in both events being stopped to move attendees to shelter. Eric Dunn, A cappella sponsor, quieted the large crowd in the effort to have our group finish the last number of the show, in the hallway in front of the Woods classroom, huddled for safety. I saw a large number of audience members recording, so you may have come across it already. Not a great moment initially to have your concert cut short, following a year when it was cancelled. Mr. Dunn and our students created an impromptu concert in a crowded hallway and crafted a memorable moment out of unexpected turn in their concert.

I am always impressed by what our students do in the classroom and in other settings, so ably supported by our staff. Lee Burns, Head of McCallie School '83, addressed the role McCallie School teachers played in difficult times: "They met us where we were and walked alongside us as trusted guides and mentors during the challenging and confusing journey of adolescence. We each needed them. And we are better for them." He was spot on.


  • The boys won and won again on Saturday in one of the more impressive victories in my time at WGHS.
  • Great concerts and one-act plays this week to cap off a end of semester flurry of student talent on display.

I hope everyone will get a chance to connect with what you value and enjoy over the break that is approaching. I recently heard a CEO note that when you run a long race, you need to run some laps at a slower pace. There is increasing support for more modulation of exertion, so here's to the opportunity for your student to sleep in, reduce stress, and exercise growing autonomy. We hope you all have a great break!


Matt Irvin

Next Week's Schedule: Monday: Final Exams 4th/5th hour; Tuesday: Final Exams 6th/7th hour

A Peek at the Week Ahead

  • 12/16: 1st hour final exam
  • 12/17: 2nd/3rd hour final exams (8:25 - 11:40)
  • 12/20: 4th/5th hour final exams (8:25-11:40)
  • 12/21: 6th/7th hour final exams (8:25 - 11:40)
  • 12/23 - 1/2: Winter Break
  • 1/3: No Student Attendance; Records Day
  • 1/4: School resumes; 2nd semester begins

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 90-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

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

Did You Know?

We ask that you call in advance if you're picking up your child early. Unlike elementary and middle school, we do not call and interrupt class to retrieve your child. To speed up the process of picking up your student, we always recommend calling at least 60 minutes ahead of time to allow for:

  • Retrieval of message
  • Locating student and delivering pass to student
  • Checking student out of their offices

(Please note: Our secretaries generally take 30 minutes for lunch.)

Forget to call ahead? No problem! We just ask that you patiently wait 10-15 minutes before your student is able to leave. If you arrive while your child is at lunch, please know that it will take longer to locate your child.

To Report an Absence, Please Call:

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Webster Groves Parent Advisory Council Meeting in January

The Webster Groves Parent Advisory Council (PAC) will meet on Thursday, January 13 at 6:00 pm over Zoom. Everyone is welcome! We will be joined by the Director of Special Education for WGSD, Shantay Wakefield, along with other SSD administrators who will give a brief presentation and answer questions. Zoom link: (meeting ID 960 6327 2230). Please contact Rebecca O’Laughlin at with any questions.

The Webster Groves district PAC was formed by families who expect that children with disabilities and/or unique learning needs are educated effectively, afforded the dignity of belonging, and valued throughout all WGSD learning opportunities and experiences.

PAC representatives communicate regularly and directly with SSD and WG administrators about the needs and interests of students who have IEPs and 504 plans.

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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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