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From the District Dec. 18, 2020
A Message From the Superintendent
Dear WGSD Families,
On behalf of the staff of the Webster Groves School District, I want to thank our students, families and community for the tremendous support you’ve provided us and our students in 2020. Your timely encouragement and support helped “fuel” our work to meet the personal and academic needs of our students. While our teachers, administrators and staff “brought their best” each and every day in order to meaningfully care for the children and families of our district community, we couldn’t have accomplished all that we did without your support. Thank you!
Moving into the new year, we’ll continue to address the impact of the pandemic on families here and the school district itself. Because of that, the district and the WGSD Foundation launched FUNDING THE COVID-19 GAP, a community fund-raising effort to help care for members of our district family in need and help meet unplanned district expenses related to COVID-19, including those related to distance learning.
Today we are thrilled to report that through monetary gifts from business and individuals as well as donations of food, the Foundation and district have raised nearly $100,000. These generous donations have helped us set up a district food pantry and purchase additional technology for virtual learning. The district has also benefited from over $600,000 in federal funding through the CARES Act, for COVID related expenditures such as face coverings, desktop barriers, disinfecting equipment and more. While grants have helped, they have not covered the expected loss of funding and additional costs incurred due to COVID-19.
FUNDING THE COVID-19 GAP was built around the beliefs that our community is strengthened by every child’s success and well-being. We are humbled by the support that this community has shown our students and staff. Thanks for helping us carry this important work forward.
P.S. Giving is easy:
- Online at https://www.wgsdfoundation.org/funding-the-covid-19-gap.html
- By mail at WGSD Foundation, 400 East Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119
- Food Pantry donations at https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/CommunityCare
- Many businesses match employee donations. Check with your employer to see if they have this program.
John M. Thomas Announces Retirement
John M. Thomas, student services director for the Webster Groves School District, has announced that he will retire at the end of the school year.
During his 29-year career here, he said that he’s “worked with outstanding, caring and talented educators and had the opportunity to be a part of the lives of exceptional, remarkable and pretty cool students.” Besides his current position, Thomas has also been a social studies teacher, assistant principal, A+ coordinator and a coach, all at the High School.
Congratulations, John! Enjoy your retirement!
Celebrating the Holidays Safely
With colder weather, more time spent indoors, the holiday season and about 50 percent of transmission coming from those who do not have symptoms, the U.S. has entered a phase of high-level transmission where a multi-pronged approach to implementing all evidence-based public health strategies is essential.
These protocols include:
• Universal face mask use.
• Maintaining physical distance from others and limiting in-person contacts.
• Avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces.
• Postponing travel.
• Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
These actions will provide a bridge to a future where there is wide availability of vaccines. That’s when safe return to more everyday activities will be possible.
Tips on celebrating the holidays safely can be found at this link https://stlcorona.com/winter-holiday-tips/
Health orders and other useful information will be posted to STLCorona.com https://stlcorona.com/dr-pages-messages/public-health-orders/
Safe Operating Protocols are available https://stlcorona.com/dr-pages-messages/covid-19-safe-operating-protocols/
WGSD COVID-19 Information
For information on local COVID-19 data, see the district’s dashboard for students and staff here https://mo02202299.schoolwires.net/Page/23304 as well other information related to returning to school here.
Help Us Keep Our Schools Safe and Healthy
Please help us keep our schools safe and healthy by screening your children daily before they leave for school for fever (greater than 100.4), ), congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, sore throat, headaches and body aches as well as the high risk symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing and loss of taste/smell. In addition, please keep your children home from school if anyone else in your home is symptomatic or waiting for test results.
Please continue to utilize the school nurse hotline (314-918-4693) on 12/19 and 12/20 to report COVID-19 related illnesses and exposures. This information will help us notify appropriate persons of the potential need to quarantine during winter break.
Trauma Informed Schools Initiative
Information regarding the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative can be found at https://dese.mo.gov/traumainformed Social – emotional learning resources can also be accessed through this website.
Please Return Library Books; Fines Suspended
Do you have school library books that are overdue? Currently school libraries are missing many books districtwide. We are asking that you please return any books that your student has checked out as soon as possible, when school resumes in January. You can drop off books at your students' home schools anytime during regular school hours.
WGSD will suspend library fines through the end of January.
Free Meals at School and For Pick-Up
Webster Groves School District will have free meal pick up at Webster Groves High School next to Roberts Gym this semester, as well as free meals for students who are here for in-person learning. Meals are available for any child 0 – 18 years of age. Meals can be picked up Monday-Friday from 10:45 to 12:00pm. All meals will include that day’s lunch and breakfast for the next day.
In addition to meal pick up, you can opt for free meal delivery, where you will receive that day’s lunch and breakfast for the next day. If you opt for delivery of your meals, you will be registered to receive meals Monday thru Friday until you contact the Food and Nutrition office to cancel your deliveries.
Please complete the survey only if you plan on picking up or registering for delivery of a meal. The survey results help us to plan accordingly for meal preparation and in order to reduce any possible food waste. You have the option on the form to select certain days for pick up or delivery based upon your students’ meal choices. You can find the survey form here: https://forms.gle/D8jwiM8dKfLDSVGS7.
Strict protocols are in place to assure the safest environments possible as the district continues feeding students. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We ask for the safety of our staff and students that a face mask be worn during meal pick up.
K-8 Social Studies Curriculum Revision and Survey
Since 2019, the WGSD has been working to revise the K-8 Social Studies curriculum. As part of our process, we will like to invite feedback regarding the drafts of our revised curriculum documents. The drafts of the revised curriculum and the feedback survey are available through the end of the day Friday, January 8th. We appreciate your time and any feedback you want to share at the link:
School Board Election Update
Adventure Club Has Openings for After-School Care
Staff members of the Webster Groves High School Echo newspaper earned Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Medalist rating for its College/Scholastic Hybrid News Critique.
The judge said, “Publishing a newspaper is no easy feat -- much less during a pandemic emergency. You’ve done a magnificent job under what must be difficult circumstances.
"Good work telling your school community’s story, and doing so frequently and thoroughly. The covers of your print editions are stunning and visually pleasing and unusual (in a very good way!) among scholastic outlets.”