WGSD Celebrates 150 Years of Excellence in Public Education

  • This year, the Webster Groves School District is celebrating 150 years of achievement with activities that kicked off with a decorated school bus in the July 4 parade in Webster and a districtwide back to school picnic. In addition, each school will mark the anniversary in its own way during the year.

    The WGSD story began when 21 citizens met at the Missouri Pacific Railway depot and voted unanimously to form a school district. A Board of Education began organizing by taking a census of children, hiring teachers, renting space for classes and planning a school (named the Webster School) which would be built on Gray Avenue, where Bristol School stands today. It should be noted that a school in the community serving African-American children did predate establishment of the school district.

    By 1900, the district employed seven teachers and enrolled 312 children. The following year, it added two schools: Tuxedo Park School, which became Avery School (named for a family of settlers) on Bompart Avenue and Old Orchard School, near Big Bend and Laclede Station roads. Old Orchard School later moved to Newport and Page avenues and became Lockwood School. Eventually, the district numbered 15 schools. Once the Baby Boomers left the system, however, the district closed several buildings.

    Today, the Webster Groves School District ranks among the top public school systems in the state, educating students from preschool through 12th grade.