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From the District May 27, 2022

A Message From the Superintendent

Dear WGSD Families and Staff:

As the school year ends and our attention turns to the coming summer, I’d like to take a moment to offer my gratitude to families, staff and the community for the wonderful support they’ve provided this year for our students and schools.  I’d like to thank our students, too, for all of their good work. Each of you makes this district a truly special place to learn.

Student success is this district’s and this community’s highest priority and we saw that reflected this week in the class of 2022’s graduation ceremony, a joyous, family celebration of achievement. Dr. Irvin and the High School staff ensured that this important occasion -- held for the first time at the Chaifetz Arena – was memorable for all.

At the same time, our hearts have been filled with sadness and anger over the terrible news coming from Uvalde, Tex., where children and teachers were killed in an elementary school. No family should ever lose a child through a senseless act of violence at school.

We understand how the issue of school safety can cause worry and anxiety. In this district, we take our responsibility seriously to ensure the physical and social-emotional safety of our school community. Each of us plays an important role in ensuring that our schools continue to be safe places to learn and work. Please know that we promise to continually seek out ways to improve our practices and enhance the safety and security of all students and staff. We are honored that you trust us with your precious family members and we thank you for that continued trust.

Thank you for your support of our students and schools. Have a wonderful summer.

John Simpson

WGHS Awards First Seal of Biliteracy

Congratulations to High School senior Myka Stewart, who is the first student in the district to earn a Missouri Seal of Biliteracy on her diploma sealand transcript. This program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing one or more languages in addition to English.The state introduced the program -- which can assist in college applications and scholarships -- in 2017 and offered it to all school districts. Some Missouri universities have endorsed the program and will provide credit to those who meet the requirements.

Requirements include proficiency on the English II end of course examination, a score of three or higher on the Advanced Placement World Language Exam, an essay explaining the value of proficiency in both languages, school attendance record and demonstration of "sociocultural competency" that could include providing translation for a community organization, a community service project involving both languages, active participation in multicultural events or other projects, 

What is Proposition S, the District’s $45 Million No-Tax-Rate Increase Bond Issue?

WGSD voters will be asked to approve the school district's Proposition S on Aug. 2. You can find information about the proposition, a no-tax-rate increase $45 million bond issue, on its website

bond issueThe site contains studies, survey results and fliers describing projects at each building.

You can also find Frequently Asked Questions, some of which appear below.

What is Proposition S?
Proposition S is a no-tax-rate increase $45 million bond issue on the ballot Aug. 2 to address mortar, brickwork and plaster issues; interior and exterior doors, water issues in educational spaces, accessibility improvements, replacement of aging boilers, roofs, tuckpointing and more throughout the school district.  A major project for the bond issue would be building a new Moss Field stadium.

Passage of the bond issue would not raise the district’s current debt service tax rate of 56.99 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

What is a no-tax-rate-increase bond issue?
A no-tax-rate-increase bond issue works much like a home equity loan, where a homeowner who pays down his or her debt can spend up to his or her credit limit again for new projects without paying more in his or her monthly loan payment. 

How much will this cost me?
Passage of the bond issue would not increase the district’s current debt service tax rate. Property owners will continue to pay the current debt service tax rate of 56.99 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

How is the district able to raise $45 million without a tax rate increase?
The reasons include diligent work by the district to refinance bonds at lower interest rates and retire other bonds early, as well as an increase in assessed valuation, so that WGSD can now raise $45 million through this no-tax-rate increase bond issue to upgrade and improve its buildings and facilities.

For more, please go to the Proposition S website

Save the Date Sept. 10 for Family BBQ

bbqThe WGSD Family Barbecue, which had been held at the beginning of the school year for several years, is back in 2022!

Mark your calendars now for this free, all-school event!  

The barbecue will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sat., Sept. 10 at Ivory Crockett Park.

Late Starts for Schools In 2022-23

Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, the Webster Groves School District has added late start days to the school calendar  Late start days will allow for additional time for teachers to use data and collaboratively plan to address the needs of all students.  Families who need help with student supervision on late start days can participate in a program available at each building (K-12). 

You can find information about the late start days in the About Us section of the district homepage. The late start Frequently Asked Questions include information about school schedules, student supervision, breakfast and more

Schoemehl 5K and 10K Run in May Raises More Than $18,000

raceCongratulations to Webster Groves High School marketing students who raised more than $18,000 in the 21st annual Jim Schoemehl 5K and 10K Walk/Run for ALS. WGHS students organize the run to raise awareness and support area families affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The run honors a WGHS teacher’s husband, Jim Schoemehl, who was diagnosed with ALS and died in 2003. Ninety percent of the money raised this year went to the family of this year’s beneficiary, Karen Eisenhauer, who died just two weeks before the run. The remainder of the funds went to the ALS Association of St. Louis.

Videos Honor WGSD Retirees

Earlier this spring, the district prepared videos honoring this year's retirees that were shown at the annual staff reception in May. Since then, the videos have been posted online, where you can view them. They can be found at this link 

YouTube WGSD Retiree Video Channel