Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your Weekly eNews for May 27

Big picture

Hello Parents and Guardians,

    Many years of research has estimated that after the “summer slide,” the average student loses a little more than one month’s worth of skill or knowledge in math and reading by the time school resumes in the fall. And there are some forecasting potential further decline after the virtual periods we have endured. Below are some low-tech options that I will be nagging my children about the coming months:

    • Read a book. My mother is a retired reading teacher so this is a familiar directive, but we are now competing with ubiquitous devices for attention and time. This is a struggle in my home that I fear I am losing but no white flag yet from me.
    • Summer can be the perfect time for high school-aged children to engage in passions they are developing in music, art, or other activities that allow them to explore.
    • Athletic camps or teams seem to gearing up for a more traditional summer of workouts, practices, or games. If interested in joining a Webster Groves High School team, please contact Jerry Collins at
    • Summer is also a good time to sit down and discuss financial aid and other expenses. The Office of Federal Student Aid has prepared checklists geared toward students of all ages.
    • Many high school students might also want to take the time to start developing their skills of collaboration and communication. Finding a part-time job can help students gain valuable experience-being directed by an adult that is not their parent can promote growth in teens.
    • Volunteering is also an option. Youth-oriented summer camps, local museums, animal shelters and, of course, libraries are often looking for extra help during warmer months. This experience is not only valuable for personal and professional development, but it often looks good on college applications. Find opportunities at our Chelsea Center.

    Have a restful summer,

    Matt Irvin

Final report cards will be available on the parent portal on June 2. If you have any questions about your child’s grades, please keep in mind that teachers are out for the summer. The high school main office is open during the entire summer from 8:00 a. m. - 3:00 p. m. Counselors and teachers may stop by during the summer, but will not officially return until late July/early August. If you leave a message on voice mail, please keep these dates in mind, as you may not receive an immediate response.

As you plan ahead, students will pick up schedules as follows:

Students with no fines and who are current on immunizations =

Class of 2022, 8:00 -11:00 a. m., August 9

Class of 2023, 12:00 - 3:00 p. m., August 9

Class of 2024, 8:00 - 11:00 a. m,. August 10

Class of 2025, 12:00 - 3:00 p. m., August 10

Students with fines or those not current on immunizations =

All Classes, 8:00 - 12:00 p. m., August 18

Summer School: June 7 - July 9

Future Leaders Seminar: July 12-15

Important Calendar Changes for 2021-22

New for 2021-2022

  • Advisory Period: A dedicated block of time when a small group of students meets the same faculty member. The focus is social-emotional learning, but can include academic counseling and support. Advisories are convened weekly with long-term continuity--enabling honest, trusted discussion.

  • Academic Networking: Two 30-minute periods each week to allow students to pursue academic work, receive extra help, make up missed assignments and tests, study and receive interventions, and increase overall contact time between teachers and students.

  • Modified Block Schedule

    • In a five-day week, all seven classes will meet (three days a week with alternating blocks the other two)

    • The normal school day is 8:25 a.m. - 3:25 p.m.

    • “A Day” = All seven classes

    • “B Day” = Periods 1, 3, 5, 7

    • “C Day” = Periods 2, 4, 6, and Advisory/Academic Networking

    • Most weeks will observe an AABCA schedule.

  • Late Starts (returning from 2019-20 school year): We will have approximately 19 late-start Mondays to accommodate PLC (professional learning communities) time for our staff. School starts at 9:15 a.m. on late-start Mondays.

See the 2021-22 schedule below.

The schedule provides significant flexibility advantages for both students and teachers:

  • Provides equity of access to intervention time/supportive adult

  • More even in daily/weekly format than “drop 7” schedule

  • Allows more time for creativity, projects, labs, or assessments with longer periods

  • Additional homework time in Academic Networking if not needing help.

As we looked at options and went through all the permutations of schooling this year, we realize there is no schedule that will address all concerns or be a unanimous selection. After our research and processing, we do feel this provides options to provide support for learning and consistency we sought.

If you have any questions about the 2021-22 schedule, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

WGHS Late Start Schedule

A late-start schedule allows time for instructional staff to collaborate in Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs.

Extra time allotted for instructional staff is the only time teachers of the same course can meet in PLCs to provide a guaranteed viable curricular experience for students, which includes:

  • Essential content and skills students need to know for a particular unit

  • Common assessments to determine if students have mastered those essential skills

  • Adjustment of instruction and design interventions to help students who need additional support, and they design enrichment opportunities for students who already have an understanding of certain concepts

In order to accommodate PLC time, we will have a late start on 19 days out of the school year. School will start at 9:15 a.m., and all periods will be 44 minutes on those scheduled dates. Instructional staff will meet with their PLCs from 8:10 - 9:10 a.m., and the building will be open to students at 8:10 a.m.

Bus transportation will be modified to accommodate the new schedule. Parents who drop off their students before school should make arrangements to drop off after 8:10 a.m. We currently will not schedule any before-school activities/meetings on the late-start days to allow staff time to meet.

2021-22 PLC Days*

8/30, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/18, 10/25, 11/8, 11/15, 12/13, 1/10, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/28, 3/7, 4/4, 5/9, 5/16

*Dates are subject to change until final 2021-22 academic calendar is published.

Big picture

Semester 2/Term 4 Final Exams--Today and Friday

Final exams are scheduled for May 27-28. School will be dismissed at 11:40 a.m. both days. Students will not take finals in Academic Lab, student assistant periods, Peer Tutoring, or Study Hall. A 90-minute final exam will occur in all other classes. On May 27-28, students should not be in the building if they do not have an exam or are not studying in Academic Lab; otherwise, they will be assigned to a supervised study hall. Activity buses are for athletes only. Everyone else should promptly exit the building. Students are also prohibited from going to Hixson.
Big picture

Important Immunization Information for the 21-22 School Year

In compliance with our school board policy and state law, all students will need to show proper documentation of immunization compliance by July 31, 2021 to receive class schedules at registration and attend the 1st day of school next year. This can also include documentation from St. Louis County Department of Health and Senior Services stating that your child has a medical exemption, is in progress of attaining the required immunizations, or has a religious exemption. And a special reminder for our 2021-22 seniors: Documentation of the second meningococcal immunization is a senior year requirement and the aforementioned deadlines apply. Please refer to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website or a physician for additional details regarding the meningococcal vaccine and all other immunization requirements. I am contacting parents and guardians NOW in the hopes that no student will have to be excluded from school for not having this required documentation. And, as always, I’m here to answer any questions as well! Thank you!

Rachel Huertas, RN, BA

Webster Groves High School

100 Selma Avenue

Webster Groves, MO 63119

(314) 963-6400 ext 11929

Fax: (314) 963-6483

Summer Reading Information

Summer Reading expectations have returned to Webster Groves High School, and each student will be expected to read a book over the summer. By setting expectations for summer reading, we are supporting our district-wide initiative to build life-long, independent learners.

Students will be assigned reading in connection with their next year’s English class, and they may check out their texts from the high school Library beginning Monday, May 24th. See this PDF for a comprehensive list of all courses and summer reading selections:

Course-specific summer reading handouts and/or assignments will be available as a hard copy in the Library and on the Library home page by next Monday:

Happy Reading!

Did You Know?

The 2021-22 school year starts on August 23. Sports dead week is August 2-6, and fall sports begin on August 9.

The full 2021-22 calendar will be published on our website in early June.

Counseling Department Updates

As a reminder, WGHS school counselors and social workers are working to support the academic, social and emotional, and post-secondary planning needs of our students. If you or your child are having difficulties or need assistance, please reach out to their counselor or social worker.

School Counselors

A-E Alex King (

F-K Ken Winingham (
L-R Joe Hepfinger (
S-Z Simone Cunningham (

College and Career Counselors
A-K Karen Verstraete (
L-Z Jennedy Lombard (

School Social Workers
Anne Gibbs (
Anne Marie Guntli (SSD) (


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.

COVID-19 Information

We have now moved all COVID-19 information to a separate link. We will update this as we receive new information.

News from Dr. Irvin

Click here for important news, reminders, upcoming events, and celebrations.