Notes from Dr. Irvin
Your WGHS Weekly eNews for September 19
Hello Parents and Guardians,
We are now six weeks into the semester and well into the instructional cycle of courses. Please continue to monitor--as warranted--your child's progress. If concerns arise, I would suggest coaching your student to connect with the teacher in the effort to better understand what the next steps should be to move forward. The ability to initially advocate and problem-solve are skills that will serve them in future settings.
In alignment with other schools in our district, we have discontinued the practice of printing and mailing progress reports. Progress reports and semester report cards will be available to view in the Parent Portal. Your child's six-week progress report will be available to view on September 27. We will send instructions on how to access and view within the next week. Please look for your notification via email soon.
A Peek at the Week Ahead
- September 20: End of Progress Period
- September 21: WGHS Band Aides Family Picnic, 11:30 a.m.; Old Webster Jazz and Blues Fest, 2 p.m.
- September 23: Late Start 2/3--school starts at 8:57 a.m.
- September 27: Progress grades available on Parent Portal
2019-20 Late-Start Days
Monday, September 23 is a Late-Start Day
School begins at 8:57 a.m. on late-start days.
This is just a reminder that we will have a late-start schedule on Monday, September 23. Students will miss two class periods to accommodate time for teachers to meet in their PLCs, or Professional Learning Communities. For all late-start schedules, school will begin at 8:57 a.m., and two class periods will be dropped.
On Monday’s Late Start, the building opens at 8:00 a.m. Students should enter through the Senior Entrance. Between 8-8:30, students may go to the library or cafeteria. After 8:30, students may enter the building via the Senior, Junior or Roberts entrance and transition to their regular morning routine. Please see the schedule below for a Day 2/3:
- Congratulations to the 29 students who participated in Webster Reads! Students will receive their certificate, a gift card to the Statesman Coffee shop, and a sweet treat. Students are also recognized in a display case.
Vaping Concerns and Resources
In a continuing effort to communicate with and educate students on the dangers of vaping, our administrative team has visited classrooms to broach the national issue of vaping among adolescents and teenagers by speaking of the dangers of vaping for the body and the addiction possibilities to nicotine. We have also teamed with Preferred Family Health, who will be providing presentations and leading discussions around the harmfulness of vaping with our students. The topic is also covered in our Health course, and students who have been seen vaping in school go through an education module and reflection activity to extend learning on the subject.
Vaping is a national epidemic that puts nicotine into the body. Nicotine is highly addictive and can: slow brain development in kids and teens and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood. Vaping also increases the risk of other types of addiction as adults. The Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to finalize a policy in the coming weeks that will enable it to remove many non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes from the market within 30 days. E-cigarettes can also can lead to smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use, may cause serious lung damage and in recent national reports, death. Teenage vaping is escalating across the country, and studies show up to 80% of teenagers believe they are only inhaling flavoring. It is vital that we partner in educating our students on this matter.
Please be aware of the common everyday items that are used as vaping devices:
Cell phone case
We hope you will join us to support our students in initiating these conversations and assisting in the education of the harmfulness of vaping.
Upcoming Counseling Department Events
South Technical High School Open House
South Technical HS provides students with career and technical education (CTE) that prepares them for continuing education and the workforce. Their 26, tuition-free, CTE majors allow students to explore their career interests while earing industry certifications, college and high school credit, and skills that will last a lifetime. Partial day schedules keep students engages in their home high school academics and activities while they make new friends with similar interests from all over South and West County. Students interested in applying to South Tech will do so in their sophomore year of high school in order to start attending when they are a junior. Interested in learning more? South Technical High School is hosting an Open House for freshmen and sophomore families on Thursday, November 7th from 5-7 pm. For more information about South Tech and their programs visit www.southtechnical.org.
All Write Festival Needs Your Help!
The All Write planning committee is now fundraising for our 2020 writers festival planned for this March at WGHS. We would appreciate your generous, tax-deductible donation in making this one-of-a-kind programming available to our students. For more information and to donate, go to www.tinyurl.com/allwrite2020. Questions? Contact English teacher Katie Guymon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your support!
Other Important News
Please Keep Selma/Bradford Safe for All. Please help us to keep Selma/Bradford safe for all. Here's a reminder of the procedures:
The east side of Selma is for bus and parent drop-off/pick-up only. When dropping off or picking up your student along Selma/Bradford Avenues, please be mindful of our students who are crossing the street. We have observed drivers’ not giving pedestrians the right of way, and we ask that you make Selma/Bradford Avenues a safe route for all. We also ask that you pull over to drop off or pick up your student. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Senior Parents: Everything you need to know about graduation and your child's senior year can be found here.
Did You Know?
Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success. Even as students grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job.
It is imperative that we collaborate to ensure students are displaying good attendance to provide better opportunities for learning and academic success. Below is helpful information to help yield better attendance for all students.
Did You Know?
· Once too many absences have occurred, they can affect learning, regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.
• Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
· Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing more than 10% of school days throughout the year— which equates to about two days absent per month. This has a dramatic negative impact on academic performance.
• Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
• By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
• Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
• Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
What You Can Do
• Talk about the importance of showing up to school each day. Make attending school an expectation.
• Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
• Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
• Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety.
• Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
Help Your Teen Stay Engaged
• Find out if your child feels engaged by his/her classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues.If any of these are problems, work with your school.
• Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
• Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
• Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.