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March 19

Dear WGSD Families,

First, I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about your children and your families.  While it’s critically important that we practice the science of physically distancing ourselves from one another, it’s also imperative that we practice the science of remaining closely connected in every other way - heart, spirit, mind and through other collective efforts to care very deeply for the children and families of our district community - OUR FAMILY!

Following the decision we made to close our schools and suspend in-person classes preliminarily until April 3, district and building-level leaders have been working with much thought and intention on plans for how to best meet the personal and academic needs of our children, to support staff as they work with one another to educate and support our children, and to partner with families and organizations and agencies for the good of all.  While we don’t have all the answers, we’ll continue to work and learn together in order to care for the children and adults of this community and this region. Do we have a plan for educating and supporting 2 - 18 year olds at home that’s guaranteed to work right away? No, we do not. Do we have a plan that we feel good about initiating that will be continually reviewed and adjusted to meet our needs as we implement? Absolutely! While you’ll soon receive a more detailed plan, please click on Webster Groves Start Up Schedule (attached) for a summary of the work taking place from now until April 3, including a few things you can do as parents/guardians to support student learning while at home.

While there are many things on your mind as it relates to your children and the future, I wanted to address a few of them and to direct you to where you can ask questions and find answers.
 
Food Service
Starting this Monday, March 23, we will provide breakfast and lunch service free for any child between the ages of 0 - 18 at Hudson Elementary School (9825 Hudson Ave, 63119).  You do not have to live in the school district or be enrolled in the WGSD to receive a meal!
Additional details include:
  • Please complete the following anonymous survey if you wish to participate in this program: https://forms.gle/hJtMvLinNsCYVunU7 or call 314-918-4156.
  • Pick-up times from 10:45 - 12:45 pm, Monday through Friday until schools are reopened.
  • At the time of pick-up, participants will have the opportunity to get lunch for that day and breakfast for the next. 
  • The child(ren) must be present during pick-up to receive the meal(s).
  • Children and families will not be required to share their names or whether they attend a district school.
  • If families are unable to be present, delivery of meals may be arranged by calling 314-918-4156 or emailing pelant.nancy@wgmail.org
  • In addition, families can find other local and regional sources for meal support, in St. Louis County and St. Louis City, by visiting the following link: https://sites.google.com/rsdmo.org/allourkids/regional-food-sites

Essential Items from School
Please contact your building-level principal(s) as soon as possible regarding any items you need, currently in the building or not, in support of your child's health and education during this time.  Tuesday, March 24 will be the last day administrators have access to the building in order to retrieve such items.  
 
Technology
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working to determine which families would benefit from computer and/or Internet support in the event we could not be in school.  We will be contacting those families and staff regarding our method of computer distribution and support, Internet and otherwise. You’ll also be provided with a technology helpline for set-up and emerging issues. 
 
Communication
Having clear and consistent channels of communication is paramount in our new education paradigm.  Schools and teachers will establish and communicate such channels of communication with you soon. One way you can get support or share information is by using our schools’ and district phone numbers and emails, which may be found at our district website: https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/.  We will check our voice mail regularly and try to return phone calls within a 24 hour period, excluding weekends.  Each Friday the school district will send out an email blast with updated information. We will also continue sharing information via our Covid-19 web page: https://mo02202299.schoolwires.net/Page/23092, Facebook (WebsterGrovesSD) and Twitter (@WebsterGrovesSD). 
 
As always, Webster Groves School District staff will be here to provide care and support for district children and families.  Given all that is new and the impact of the changes and closures, including those directly affecting our own families, we will ask for and rely on your grace and understanding moving forward.  I can promise that we’ll only get better with each lesson learned over each passing day! 
 
With care and gratitude for you and your family...John