Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your Weekly eNews for September 2

Hello Parents and Guardians,

Teaching has historically been a closed-door profession where teacher and students worked in a setting that was cloaked by walls and doors. I have two teenagers that have endured my interrogation of “what did you do in school today?” for years in the effort to understand what their schooling experience might look like. In our current realm, the work of teaching and learning has been elevated to a more public forum with Zoom and Canvas, allowing others a purview of the start of our school year.

What I hope has been on display is a school individually and collaboratively developing habits of the mind and with a profound disposition toward innovation and learning. Deep experiences that address complex problem-solving, that require critical thinking around important questions, and incorporate foundational literacies that are focused not on task completion but on learning.

Teachers have to engage in the things that matter, be willing to take a risk and do so in a Socratic spirit, not self-righteousness but a self-critical orientation. In 2017 Dr. Cornell West spoke to the larger purposes of school are rooted in Ancient Greece: “In Plato's Republic, what sits at the center of Paideia is the ‘turning of the soul.’ The turning of the soul is a transformation, a fundamental change that results from the contestation and interrogation of one's assumptions and presuppositions.” Your student should be challenged in their thinking and to engage with people that may think differently than they do. I know we need to make critically thinking part of our everyday student experience as we prepare them for the world they will inherit as citizens.


Matt Irvin

Friday, September 4 is an Early Release Day

Students will attend all four classes on Friday, September 4, but classes will be shortened. Students are released at 12:32 p.m. The schedule for the day is below:

1st Class: 8:25 - 9:22

2nd Class: 9:25 - 10:28

3rd Class: 10:33 - 11:30

4th Class: 11:35 - 12:32

This Week's Student Announcements

Aug 31 - Sept 4, 2020

Other Important News

  • Plan Your Recovery, LLC offers a Three Part Webinar: Parenting Your Teen(s) During Covid-19. Click here for more details and to sign up.

  • Immunization Reminder for our seniors: In accordance with state law and school board policy, we must have proof that a meningococcal immunization has been received after 16 years of age in order for your student to attend the first day of school on August 24, 2020. Immunizations can be obtained at your pediatrician's office, St. Louis County Health Department and some Walgreens Take-Care Clinics. The American Academy of Pediatrics is still encouraging well-care and immunizations during the COVID-19 crisis to avoid risking other health problems as well so please fax the proper documentation to 314-963-6483 or mail to Webster Groves High School. Thank you!

Attendance Matters, Even During Virtual Learning

Call your child's AP office to report an absence during virtual learning. Please let us know if your child is ill or will miss class due to a doctor's appointment. We are monitoring attendance internally, so we can support those students who are not logging into classes regularly on Canvas.

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COVID-19 Information

St. Louis County COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Testing

Getting tested for COVID-19 has never been more important during this pandemic than it is now. More than 260,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in St. Louis County. This crucial to our efforts to contain the spread of the virus and is a major factor in understanding the patterns of its spread.

This includes testing for those who are asymptomatic and anyone who had close contact with the public to get a test – even if they haven’t had direct contact with someone who was positive. Testing is available to anyone who requests it. To make an appointment for a free test through St. Louis County Department of Public Health, click here or call 314-615-0574.

Drive-through testing is done at the following DPH clinics:

6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley

4580 Lindbergh Blvd. in South County

Pop-Up Testing Locations

In partnership with St. Louis County Libraries, pop-up testing will occur at the following branches during the month of September. Testing is by appointment only and can be made online here. All pop-up testing locations are between the hours of 8:00 am and noon. A full schedule is available online at

Samuel C Sachs

16400 Burkhardt, 63017

Thursday, September 3

Lewis and Clark

9909 Lewis-Clark, 63136

Tuesday, September 8

Mental Health

Missouri residents who may be experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19 may call the “Show Me Hope Line” at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 for assistance. The service is available 24 hours a day throughout the week. For additional information, please click here.

Did You Know?

Meal Pick-Up Information

The Webster Groves School District will be serving meals from Steger/Givens, and Webster Groves High School this semester. Meals can be picked up daily from 10:45 to 12:15. We ask that you fill out a meal survey form each week that you wish to pick up meals. You can also opt for certain days based your students, please note that in the allergy/comment section. You can find the form here

Steger/Givens (prek-8th grade) pick up will be by the covered awning next to the doors by the cafeteria

High School pick up will be by Roberts Gym (9-12 grade)

The cost for elementary breakfast is $1.75 (preK to 6th), secondary (7th-9th) breakfast $1.80 and lunch $2.80 for elementary (preK-6th) and $2.85 (7th-9th) for secondary. Reduced meal prices are $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch, free meal prices will be a zero charge to the lunch account.

Upon pick up, meals will be charged to your student’s account using their lunch pin. Please have the name of your student, lunch pin, and school the student attends ready when meals are picked up. If you would like any additional meals, we can provide a meal for a younger sibling or adult for an additional adult meal charge of $2 for breakfast and $3.40 for lunch, which will be charged to your student’s account.

Parents can pick up the meals without the students present, and students are welcome to pick up their own meals as well. Breakfast will be picked up for the next day when lunches are picked up. If you don’t want breakfast, please be sure to indicate that on the meal survey form. Completion of the form each week will help us serve your students. Please only complete the form if you plan on picking up meals.

Menus will still be posted in Nutrislice on the websites of the schools that are participating in the meal pick up. In addition to the menu items, a vegetarian meal option is available upon request on the weekly survey form. We will be offering meal delivery for our students as well. Once you are on the list for meal delivery, you will stay on the delivery list and breakfast and lunch will be charged to your students’ accounts daily, unless there is a notification to cancel your delivery.

Free and reduced meal applications can be filled out any time during the course of the year and are completely confidential. However, a 20/21 free and reduced meal application must be on file to receive free and reduced meals. You can also access an application by clicking on the following link.

We ask for the safety of our staff and students that a face mask be worn during meal pick up.

We look forward to serving your students their breakfast and lunch while they start their learning online. For any questions, please call Nancy Pelant at 314.918.4156 or email at

Chartwells/Webster Groves –Child Nutrition Service

Nancy Pelant

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Canvas Help/Tutorials

Here are some quick helpful tips when trying to log in to Clever to get to your Canvas courses, as well as attend your Zoom sessions.

  • If Zoom is not working through Canvas, please go to and click on Join Meeting. Do not go through Clever or from the URL that was previously provided. Teachers are being advised to post their meeting id number and password for the session on their Canvas pages and through their email.

  • When logging into Clever, please make sure that you are first signed out of all gmail accounts except for the student's wgcloud email. Then, navigate to and then click on Login with Google (NOT LOGIN WITH CLEVER).

After logging into Clever, you should then see the red Canvas icon. Please click on Canvas to then view your student's courses.

For all Zoom sessions, you should go to the teacher's course page and be able to click on the Zoom session link there. Each teacher was advised to put the link in a visible spot with the password there. If you do not see the link or password please reach out to your classroom teacher. At no point will a student need to login to Zoom.; they will click on the link provided and enter the password for the meeting.

Still Need a Pairing Code? Here's How to Get It

Canvas utilizes a feature that allows parents to see what is in the course for their children. The parent will be seen as an observer but will not be able to complete any work or interact with their child or other students. To get a pairing code, you will first need to login to Clever as the student and launch Canvas. Then, click on Account and Settings. On the right side of the screen under Ways to Contact, you will see a button for Pair with Observer. This will give you a code to use when creating your account.

Click here for a video tutorial on how to get your students pairing code:

Your next step is to go to and you will click on “Click Here For an Account.” You will be directed to type in your name, your email, and password, re-enter password, and the student pairing code.

*The student pairing code is case sensitive.

Clever, Canvas, and Zoom Status Updates

The District add a link on the Return-to-School section of their website to check the status of Clever, Canvas, and Zoom. These pages will display any outages. Please click here for live updates.


For students or families having technology issues, please do the following:

  • For specific Canvas issues, contact Ms. Liz Forderhase at or call her at 314.963.6400, ext. 11928.
  • Below is a link to the technology support ticket system we are utilizing to help give our learners and families the most efficient system to help us keep track of technology support requests. Use this site to submit when you are having technology difficulties with your child's equipment/access/accounts/etc.

As always, you are welcome to contact us at 314.963.6400 for assistance.

Stay Connected

Weekly eNews: Every Thursday via email, parents with a valid email address in our student database will receive automatically. This is sent via Smore Newsletters.

Progress reports/Report cards: We will send an email with instructions on how to view at the end of each progress period via the Parent Portal. If you have any questions about this service, please call Mickey Erb at 918.4123.

School Messenger: Important news via email or phone blast. We use this service most often for communicating with families.

Customize How You Receive Communications from Us

Please see the link below to set up how you receive messages from WGHS.

Opt in to Receive Texts from Us

The Webster Groves School District uses the SchoolMessenger system to deliver text messages straight to your mobile phone with important information about school closings, safety alerts and more. If we have a mobile phone number for you on file, you can participate in this service just by sending a text message of “Y” or “Yes” to 67587. You can opt out of these messages at any time by simply replying to one of our messages with “Stop.”

If you don’t want to receive texts, please know that the district will continue to use phone notifications for important messages.

News from Dr. Irvin

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