Notes from Dr. Irvin

Your Weekly eNews for March 18

Hello Parents and Guardians,

Another great week last week: Women's basketball made history heading to the Final Four this Friday, band put on a concert in Knight Auditorium last weekend, and so many district staff had their first COVID vaccine on Tuesday.

This past weekend saw a confluence of events as my daughter shared her history project, centered around darkening clouds of World War 2 in 1939. Coincidentally, I stumbled into the WGHS handbook from 1939 as well in our archives. No mention of the foreboding world events--just policies around student smoking, Senior Prom, and the hope the new handbook would produce "fewer needless questions." I am curious how history will record this school year and think of the work students and staff at WGHS has done over the last century in the shadows of pandemics, world conflict, and historic economic uncertainty. Likely, they have similar things--focused on caring for each other, while creating worthwhile experiences that foster the next generation to perhaps avoid some of the missteps we have witnessed. While we staff at WGHS are directed to give EOC tests, that is the higher standard and a more worthy outcome.

We wrap up a surreal three quarters of the school year today, and I hope you all have the opportunity to "unplug" and enjoy each other during spring break.

In gratitude,

Matt Irvin

Today is the last day of Term 3. Grades will be available in the Portal on April 1.

Bus Payment for Semester 2 Due TODAY

Bus Payment for semester 2 is due by March 18. Checks can be written to the WGSD and mailed in or dropped off by your student to Leigh McKittrick in Office 308.

One way bus transportation is $80, and AM/PM transportation is $160. This fee is prorated to only reflect our in person days this semester. If you have any further questions, please email or call Leigh McKittrick at or 918-4139.

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Schedule for March 29-31

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Term 4 Schedule

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Term 4 Schedule for Virtual Program

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Term 4 FAQs

My student is virtual. How does the Term 4 schedule work for the Virtual Program?

Virtual Program students will follow the same schedule as Responsive Learning students. Virtual Program students will log into Zoom sessions as they always have, except they will follow the new schedule.

So my student who currently attends in the afternoon will expected to attend in the morning during Term 4?

Yes. All afternoon session students will now attend classes in the morning from 8:25 a.m. -12:51 p.m., whether Responsive or Virtual. If your student attends in person and normally rides the bus in the afternoon, we have already established morning bus routes with our transportation company, and Mrs. McKittrick has sent out new pick-up times to families and personally contacted students. If you have any questions about district busses, please contact Mrs. McKittrick at

What about social distancing in the classroom?

We are currently working to set up our classrooms for the return of all students. While community and school transmission rates continue to decline, we are still configuring classrooms to be a safe as possible for our students. Our in-person class sizes remain relatively low since many of our students are in the Virtual Program.

What are the benefits of another schedule change?

Benefits of all students returning to in-person learning from 8:25 - 12:51 daily include:

  • More instructional time

  • Longer class periods

  • 1 additional day per week of in-person instruction

  • More opportunities for synchronous support

  • More direct access to teacher support

Data in our region supports students returning to in-person learning. Further, we are not conducting lunch, where students are unmasked and unrostered, nor are we in session for an entire day. Medical council has shared that hallway traffic transmission risk is very low with 5-minute passing periods. A vast majority of our classes have well under 20 students for just about an hour with mitigating strategies of open air flow and others that increase air circulation.

We have soberly looked at the data and sought the input of experts in the field in the effort to mitigate risk and increase schooling opportunities. Dr. Simpson, Superintendent, presented information about Term 4 benefits and consequences here.

What are the expectations for students in the afternoons?

On M, T, TH, F, students will check in during live Zooms with their teachers according to the schedule. This time will look different for each teacher. Teachers may conduct live instruction, have a quick check-in and assign work, conduct small group instruction, assign work but stay logged on to Zoom for assistance, etc. Regardless of the type of instruction/format of the lesson, students are required to check in via Zoom, and attendance will be taken in Canvas. Students in Academic Lab, study hall, student assistant, or peer tutoring will not be required to join their afternoon Zoom session for that assigned block.

On Wednesdays, students are not expected to attend any classes via Zoom after 12:51 p.m. Teachers will be involved in PLC work (Professional Learning Communities) from 2 - 3:05 p.m.

What is "Learning Support?"

Each day from 3:05-3:25, all teachers will be available virtually via Zoom to assist students.

Essentially, this time is used for teacher office hours, questions/answers, and extra help if needed. A Zoom link for learning support will be shared by all teachers.

My child attends an after-school activity but does not have transportation at 12:51 p.m. What is he/she supposed to do?

School activities won’t start until the end of full school day--3:25 p.m.--except for “early release” travel to events. Students who are on the roster for WGHS athletics and activities and do not have access to transportation at 12:51 p.m. will be supported by a learning center in the PV Commons from 12:55 to 3:25 p.m. Devices will be available for their afternoon virtual learning. They will be allowed to eat lunch (socially distanced) in the Cafeteria/PV Commons. Please contact our Activities Office if you need to take advantage of this option.

Juniors Taking ACT on Tuesday, March 30

All juniors will take the ACT on March 30 from 8:30am-noon. Detailed information about test administration and testing locations will be emailed to students and parents prior to Spring Break. Prior to April 1, all students should enter their “Student Code” in their MyACT account. Please refer to an email sent by Karen Verstraete on 2/25/21 for directions and your child’s individual Student Code.

Important Graduation Announcement

We are committed to holding a graduation observance on Friday, May 14. The location has yet to be determined, but we would suggest that due to capacity restrictions and safety limitations at any location, we will limit the number of guests per graduate. We will share more details on this in the near future as we firm up details.

Thrive Incubator Team Wins Big in The Big Pitch

by Cathy Vespereny

Congratulations to Webster Groves High School students Chris Hollandsworth and Kam Tessler, who have taken second place in two local pitch competitions for their sneaker resale company, Refreshedkicks. The two students set up the company through the school’s Thrive incubator class in which students create and run their own small business. Kam and Chris purchase high end sneakers during shoe drops and resell their stock to customers.

Refreshedkicks has had over 415 combined sneaker sales. In addition to selling sneakers locally, they also sell on Instagram, StockX, and GOAT. The students have won a total of $4,000 coming in second at Battle of the Saints ($500) and The Big Pitch ($3500). The Big Pitch is organized by Catalyst (Clayton, Brentwood, Ladue, and University City school districts); Battle of the Saints is organized by Parkway School District’s Spark! program.

Two Accepted to Missouri Scholars Academy

Lydia Urice and Josephine (Posey) Bischoff were accepted into the Missouri Scholars Academy for this coming summer. The MSA is “is a three-week residential program for 330 of Missouri’s academically gifted students who are ready to begin their junior year of high school. . . [It offers] a specially-designed curriculum with interdisciplinary courses, and a variety of stimulating extracurricular activities[;] the Academy enables students to be part of a unique learning community” (per their website, Congratulations, Lydia and Josephine!

Statesmen Service Awards Update

Spring is coming and so are the annual Statesmen Service Awards!! We understand that this year has not allowed for as many in person volunteer opportunities so we are decreasing the minimum number of hours required to 25 (instead of last year’s 50 hours). So now is the time for your student to take full advantage of their generosity to others and submit their 25+ volunteer hours so they can be honored for their awesomeness!!! Forms are due by 3/18 – just before Spring Break. Forms are in Office 124. Questions? Contact Julie Simonson, Administrative Assistant, ( or John E. Thomas, Assistant Principal.

Form and additional information can be found HERE:

Did You Know?

Stay up-to-date on events by visiting our school calendar.

Sadly, so many events have been canceled this year due to COVID. We update our school calendar regularly to reflect last-minute and monthly changes. Please visit our official School Calendar on our website to stay informed.

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Learning at WGHS

Please visit our website for all the latest information regarding in-person learning, the virtual program, schedules, and support for our students and families.

Free Breakfast and Lunch Available for All WGSD Students

During in person learning and distance learning, Webster Groves Students will continue to have access to FREE breakfast and FREE lunch Monday-Friday.

Meals are available for pick-up at Webster Groves High School and home delivery. Students who have opted for in person learning, will be able choose their meal choice daily in the classroom.

For home delivery or meal pick up , please sign up using the below link .

Please contact us at with any questions.

Check out our menus at or download the Nutrislice app!

Counseling Department Updates

The 2021 Missouri Public Affairs Academy will be a virtual program (July 12-16) that brings together talented upcoming high school seniors who have an interest in making a difference in their world through leadership and community engagement.

The Academy offers a variety of experiences related to public affairs. Participants will learn from guest speakers from the not-for-profit community, government, Missouri State University faculty, and each other. They will also engage in dialogue and service projects with each other, and each will develop a written plan for a positive community change.

Cost and College Credit

The Missouri Public Affairs Academy is free! In addition to learning materials, speakers, etc., participants will earn one college credit from Missouri State University at no charge.

Application Process

Find the online application here. The application deadline is April 1, 2021.

Attention Sophomores! The deadline to apply for South Technical High School for the 2021-2022 school year is April 15th. They are currently accepting applications for Auto Collision Repair, Cisco Networking Academy, Construction Innovations, Design and Entrepreneurship, Electronics/Robotics Engineering, Pharmacy Sciences, and Precision Machining. For more information about South Tech and to apply visit

Juniors Taking ACT on Tuesday, March 30

All juniors will take the ACT on March 30 from 8:30am-noon. Detailed information about test administration and testing locations will be emailed to students and parents prior to Spring Break. Prior to April 1, all students should enter their “Student Code” in their MyACT account. Please refer to an email sent by Karen Verstraete on 2/25/21 for directions and your child’s individual Student Code.

Exploring Career Speakers Series

The Greater St. Louis Area Exploring Program is excited to offer young adults ages 14-20 the opportunity to virtually meet and network with professionals from a variety of career fields. What education or training do you need for this career? What does a typical day look like? What do you like most about your job? These are just a few examples of what you might learn in the career workshops. The workshops are free and you may attend as many as you like.

All virtual programs will start at 5:00pm

· Wednesday, March 24th- Working with Animals Careers

· Wednesday, April 7th- First Responders Careers

· Wednesday, April 14th-Meet the CEO's of companies in St. Louis

· Wednesday, April 28th-Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

· Wednesday, May 12th -No College required-careers not requiring at college degree

Visit to register.

Scholarship Information for Seniors

St. Louis Area Scholarship Search St. Louis Graduates Scholarship Central (Note: Many of these applications have not opened up yet so keep checking back.) This is also where you can apply for Interest Free Student Loans from Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis.

Where can you find other scholarships? There are a number of scholarship databases out there. While it can seem a little overwhelming, it can be very rewarding if you put some time into it.

National Scholarship Searches
College Board’s Big Future

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.