Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for September 1
Hello WGHS Families,
This note is a repeat for our parents of grade 10-12 students, but the message is important for the time of year. We are several weeks into the new school year, and this is a time when challenges begin to present themselves to our children. Initial competitions and tests have taken place, and with it an internal sorting begins as we weigh experiences with outcomes. The relentlessness nature of parenting today immerses us in the trappings of high school credential acquisition and the college search process in a manner that can feel overwhelming. It can feel vast when we as parents feel the need to support our teen to fully access all the resources that are available. In these pursuits, we too often chase short-term wins that unfortunately undercut our child’s emotional development and ability to navigate the world around them.
My own over-parenting has been on my mind lately as our children have recent milestones of entering new school settings of college for one and high school for another--both with seeming greater independence and subsequent distance. In spite of their newly earned settings, they still lapse on functional responsibilities. One recent episode occurred when my son neglected to pack something for college that he needed and asked that we bring it up to him. This has now happened on three consecutive weekends! On each incident, we were travelling to campus anyway to see him play; however, like other parents we have the propensity to drop everything and address the issue.
Sometime ago, I listened to a podcast interview of Julie Lyncott-Haims, who has written and spoken around the concern of over-parenting. Her counsel would be to encourage the child to seek out their own resources initially to deepen the child’s toolkit to foster them doing what they can do and can almost do for themselves.
She describes three categories of over parenting:
Over-protective: Bubble-wrapping your child so no perceived missteps or pitfalls will occur to the child.
Over-directive: An overt plan has been created, most often by the parent, with accompanying conditional love earned on the execution of the plan. Another aspect of this is monitoring their grades, athletic statistics and the like as if it were the stock market.
Concierge: The parent handling administrative task such as phone calls and completing paperwork, centering their lives in serving as the pit crew for the their child’s life.
Her advice when greeted with the “I left my backpack at school” or “I left my jersey at home” concierge request:
1) Empathize--Understand the difficulty of how the child may experience that concern. Talk to them like they are your best friend’s kid, less transactional and more human-centered your approach.
2) Say to the teen, “How do you think you will handle it?” This conveys belief of agency and confidence in the child that recognizes this is most elementally their concern. We cannot shelter our children from all stressors that will emerge but can share the process of becoming more resilient when they are encountered.
I am sharing this information as a compass for myself and the collective community as we all navigate the challenges of parenting adolescents. As we gradually release responsibility to our children, we transition from a carpenter to a gardener--less directive in an exacting outcome, but rather seeking to create conditions for our children to grow and flourish better and become more resilient for their journey.
Reminder: Early Dismissal tomorrow; school ends at 12:05 p.m.
Next Week's Schedule: AABCA
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- September 16: Early Dismissal (12:05)
National Merit Semi-Finalists
Congratulations to seniors Nora Jennings and Eric Miranda for being named Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program! Nora and Eric will continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 PSAT. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U. S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. We're proud of you!
2022-23 Late-Start Days
WGHS Attendance Procedures
When calling the main high school number (314.963.6400) to report an absence, please do not press "0" to speak to the receptionist. Instead, please press "2" for the attendance hotline, or call/email your child's Assistant Principal's office directly to report an absence, late arrival, or early departure. We suggest saving the number in your phone from the chart below for quick access!
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/emailing your student out early. Call/email 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.
Is your student texting you from class because they're not feeling well?
Any student who feels ill at school must request to see the nurse. If your student texts you that they're not feeling well and wants you to pick them up, please ask them to go see the nurse. All students should be practicing self-advocacy! The nurse will call you if the illness warrants an early dismissal. Please do not contact your child's Assistant Principal's office to come pick up your child if they have not seen the nurse.
WGSD Climate and Culture Surveys
WGSD values the academic and personal well-being of each student. In continuation of our efforts, district surveys will be administered to students in grades 3-12, families, and staff.
To learn more about the district culture and climate surveys click here. Families wishing to opt-out their children from participating in the survey can do so here. Opt-outs will need to be completed by 11:59 p.m. on September 23.
Run for Webster
The Webster Groves School District Foundation is hosting the Ivory Crockett Run for Webster, Saturday, October 15 at 8:30 a.m. in both 5k and 1-mile fun run options. The 5k route is here. Please register by September 28 to be guaranteed a t-shirt.
In addition, there is also a series of virtual 5k runs, with one starting from every WGSD school and a special Ivory Crockett Challenge 5k, starting from Ivory Crockett Park in historic North Webster. Registration for all activities begins on September 1.
You can learn more and register here.
Senior Parent Night Follow Up
Thanks to all of the senior parents who were able to make it to Senior Parent Night on Tuesday, September 13. It was great to see so many of you in person! For those who missed it, here are links to view the presentations:
College Application Workshops
Seniors! Do you need help completing your college applications? Sign up for our College Application Workshops held during Academic Networking. Sign up for one or both Academic Networking sessions. Workshops will be held in computer lab 320 and are limited to 20 students per session. Click here to register.
Junior Parent Night, Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00pm in the Auditorium
Junior parents! Please join Mrs. Lombard and Ms. Verstraete as we “kickoff” college planning for the Class of 2024. Topics will include: college admissions testing, a timeline for the college search and application process, tools for conducting your search and more! Students are always welcome to attend but will hear a similar presentation in their social studies class prior.
College Admissions Representative Visits
Juniors—are you ready to start learning about colleges? Seniors—do you have questions about the application process for schools on your list? College representatives will visit WGHS through November 1. This is a great opportunity to hear from colleges all across the country in the comfort of your own school. 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 to meet with schools they are interested in and to receive a pass to be excused from class. Be sure to check the calendar regularly as visits are being updated daily.
The St. Louis Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Alumni Association’s 5th Annual Scholarship Summit is November 5
You are invited to the St. Louis Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Alumni Association’s 5th Annual Scholarship Summit on Saturday, November 05, 2022 at the Harris Stowe State University Community Impact Education Center. Morning sessions will include student and parent workshops on essay writing, ACT/SAT prep and finding scholarships. Afternoon sessions include an HBCU panel and an HBCU fair with local HBCU Alumni representatives. The Scholarship Summit is fun, educational, free and open to the public. For more information and to register visit http://www.stlhbcualumni.org/ by October 31, 2022.
US Military Academy Day on Saturday, September 17, 2022 9:30am-noon at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO
Representatives of the US Military Academy at West Point, the US Air Force Academy, the US Naval Academy, the US Merchant Marine Academy, and the US Coast Guard Academy will attend. RSVP with Donna Hickman at email@example.com.
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!
October 28: Last Day for $60 Early Bird Pricing
January 27: Last Day for $65 Pricing
January 27: Last Day for Guaranteed Pre-Order
Important Senior Dates & Links
October 28: Senior Quotes Due (Click here to submit)
Senior Baby Photo Submission Form
Senior Quote Form
Did You Know?
September 16, EARLY DISMISSAL @ 12:05
Oct. 11, 12, 13, PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES
October 14, NO SCHOOL
November 8, NO SCHOOL
Nov. 23-25, THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Dec. 16-21, SEMESTER EXAMS
December 22-January 2, WINTER BREAK
January 3, RECORDS DAY
January 4, SCHOOL RESUMES
January 16, DR. M. L. KING DAY–NO SCHOOL
February 17, NO SCHOOL
February 20, PRESIDENT’S DAY—NO SCHOOL
March 6-8, PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES
March 17, NO SCHOOL
March 20-24, SPRING BREAK
April 17-28, EOC TESTING
May 12, SENIORS LAST DAY/CHECK-OUT
May 20, GRADUATION
May 23-26, 2ND SEMESTER EXAMS
May 26, LAST DAY OF SCHOOL