Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for October 12
Hello WGHS Families,
Anthony Kennedy served as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court after Reagan nominated him from 1988 until stepping down in 2018. After retiring, he spoke of a “crisis of civility” facing our nation--a lack of devotion to responsibility and rationality. The intervening years since Justice Kennedy's comment have not seen improvement. Historically when the nation has been in a real or perceived predicament, education has served to salvage our republic. Part of the effort relates to the role formal schooling has on developing character in individuals and the collective. However, character cannot be downloaded; it resists swift attainment in spite of the desire by parents and schools. Character is "engraved" and "deeply etched” according to Kierkegaard and the product of years of imprinting.
That imprinting happens in small moments, guiding conversations, and in response to difficult events in life and in schools. Those moments happen at WGHS, fostered in the classroom, outside during athletics and activities, and at times, completely independent of us. I am convinced the most fruitful opportunities come in moments of cool feedback, failure, or whichever term used to represent when things are not perfect. I was with Navy Seals in their training setting this summer and they spoke of the "perfect fragiles," that never experienced struggle until their Seal training, where they were unable to navigate the lack of success.
This work and responsibility is so much larger in scope, then preparing for an intervening period of four years to attend a university, enter a career, or calling to service. We work with our students with the ambition of launching a life of purpose and kinship.
In this past week alone, we had students working to support our Hixson students at camp, working in elementary classrooms, and serving our community through our Chelsea Center experiences. I am heartened by the journey our students are on at Webster Groves High School.
Next Week's Schedule:
A, B, C (NO SCHOOL on TH or F)
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- 10/12: PSAT Testing for Juniors
- 10/14: WGHS Band Mattress Sale; Ivory Crocket Run for Webster
- 10/17: In-person Parent Conferences, 4:30 - 8:30pm
- 10/18: Herff Jones graduation/ring orders @ lunch
- 10/18: Virtual Parent Conferences, 4:30-8:30pm
- 10/19: Virtual Parent Conferences, 8:30 - 3:20. NO SCHOOL
- 10/20: 2nd Quarter Bus Pass money due
- 10/20: NO SCHOOL
NO SCHOOL on Thursday, 10/19 and Friday, 10/20
Culture and Climate Surveys
In continuation of our efforts to support the academic and personal well-being of each WGSD student, district surveys will be administered to students in grades 3-12, families, and staff.
These surveys will solicit participants' perspectives about learning strategies, culture and climate, and experiences in the classroom and/or school. The last day to take the family survey is Friday, October 13.
Take the family survey here. If you have students at more than one school, please fill out a survey for each school.
The surveys allow for students, families and staff to offer feedback specifically about school safety, their sense of belonging, teacher-student relationships, cultural awareness and diversity and inclusion.
WGHS Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences
Tuesday, October 17
In-person at WGHS, scheduled
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 18
Virtual, via Zoom
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 19
Virtual, via Zoom
8:30 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Departments will have a rotating 10-minute break on each day.
This fall, conferences will be held in person on Tuesday evening and virtually via Zoom on Wednesday evening, and all day on Thursday. All conferences are scheduled using PTCFast.com.
The purpose of the conference is to give parents and teachers an opportunity to discuss student progress and to work together to ensure student achievement. Parents should know the names of the teachers they wish to visit within each department. We urge you to schedule as many of your child’s teachers as time permits. Up to SEVEN minutes will be allotted for each conference.
We will be using the PTCFast system for scheduling conferences. Please see instructions below on how to schedule conference times.
As you prepare for conferences, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Teachers will call all parents who they have the greatest need to meet.
- Please check your child's progress online in the Parent Portal. This will assist in determining whether you need to schedule a conference/meet with a teacher.
- You may choose not to see all or any of your child's teachers, depending on their progress.
- For specific questions, an email to the teacher may suit your needs.
We look forward to meeting with you. If you desire more than the seven minutes allowed at these conferences, please set up an individual teacher conference by contacting the teacher directly.
How to Schedule Conferences with Your Child's Teachers
All conferences will be scheduled online using www.ptcfast.com (even in-person conferences on Tuesday evening). Please note that you must have a personal email account (ex. Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) in order to schedule a conference for your student. Conferences will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. You must register your student for each teacher with whom you wish to meet.
- Please click on or enter the following web address into your browser window to get started: https://www.ptcfast.com/schools/Webster_Groves_High_School_1
- Next, select your child's teacher; you can select more than one if applicable to your family.
- You will then register your child's name, then your name and contact information. This creates a registration for each child and sends you a confirmation email with a link to choose a conference time for that teacher. It is a two-step process, as the first registration just gets you into the system. Going to the email that is generated from your registration and clicking on the active link will allow you to choose a conference time for the teacher.
- Once you have chosen a time for each teacher with whom you wish to visit, you will receive a confirmation email with the schedule.
Did You Know?
If your child feels ill during the school day, encourage them to see the school nurse.
If your student contacts you directly to report an illness please ask them to go to the nurse. She is able to excuse students with guardian/parental consent, and this will allow for better disease surveillance that will ultimately enhance control efforts.
Also, please note that any medications for your child must be administered by you or the school nurse. You cannot drop off any medications.
We are seeking feedback on our College Planning events, please complete this 3 question survey.
For Seniors who are applying to college and need to request transcripts or letters to accompany their application, please reference our College Application Guide.
Juniors and Seniors are invited to attend our College Representative visits during the school day. Please visit our counseling webpage to view the calendar and stop by the counseling office for a pass.
AP Exam Registration is now open! Students/Guardians enrolled in eligible classes have been emailed detailed registration information. Click here to begin registration. Registration deadline is November 10, 2023.
Important Upcoming Dates:
October 12 - PSAT testing date (Juniors Only) 8:00 a.m. Students should bring fully charged school-issued device for testing.
October 29 - National College Fair @ Saint Louis University 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
November 10 - AP Exam Registration deadline
Parent Prom is back! All WGHS parents are invited to attend this fun evening of music and dancing to raise money for faculty grants, student scholarships, and the senior party. More details to come, but for now, mark your calendars for APRIL 6 and start planning your fabulous prom attire.
Thank you to Mash Pit by Zoey's Attic for being our title sponsor. We are looking for volunteers to help plan, donations for raffle items and food/drink, and more sponsors!! Please contact Tracy Brangle (email@example.com) if you are interested in being a part of this special night.
Congratulations to the 2023-24 Parents' Club Educational Grant Recipients!
This year, the Parents' Club gave $10,000 in grants! We are so grateful for your support!
WGHS Attendance Procedures
Call your child's AP office to report an absence, late arrival, or early departure. Checking out early? When leaving school during the day, students must check out through the assistant principal’s office.
Student Early Release:
We require at least one hour notice when calling your student out early. Call the Assistant Principal's office before the designated time and report the absence. You may also send a note with the student to be presented to the Assistant Principal's office before school.
At the designated time, your student will receive a pass to check out if you called ahead. The student will check out in the Assistant Principal's office.
You will NOT enter the building if you have called the absence in and communicated a pick-up location with your child. However, if you choose to pick up your child in the building, you must do so at the main entrance on Selma Avenue. Upon entering the building, check in with the receptionist. Please bring your driver's license if you are checking in. The receptionist will contact the Assistant Principal’s office to send for your student. Please be aware that not calling ahead to schedule an early release can take up to 30 minutes to send for a student.
Webster Groves School District uses ParentSquare for school communication, primarily with email, text and app notifications. ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent, using their preferred email address and phone number. We encourage parents to access their accounts so they can download the mobile app and update their preferences on when and how they are notified.
Create a Canvas Account to Stay Connected
To stay connected with the learning in our classrooms, please create a Canvas Observer Account which is our district's learning management system. You will find three helpful documents below:
- Canvas Informational Letter
- Creating an Observer Account, Logging into Canvas, and Setting Notifications
- Student Accessing Canvas
If you have any questions please contact Tim Brown, Director of Student Assessment, Data and Learning Technologies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop the Parents' Club Spirit Store!
The Spirit Store is open! Hours are 8-9:15 a.m., Tuesday - Friday.
The online store is open 24 hours a day at https://www.wghsparentsclub.org/spiritwear.
Every time you shop at the Spirit Store, you are supporting student scholarships and teacher grants!