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From the District Sept. 24, 2021

Two Chosen as Student Advisors to Board of Education

Two High School juniors have been named student advisors to the district Board of Education for this school year. They are Olivia Hotze and Gavin Wilson. They alternate advisorsattending board meetings each month and share their opinions on issues as representatives of the student body. Both students are passionate about creating change and bettering the community. 

“I wanted to be a student advisor to broaden my horizons on the issues in the community and just different ways that we can help as students in the community of Webster,” Wilson said.

Hotze said that she applied for the non-voting position because she wanted to represent the student body and "make Webster the best that it can be." The student advisors were appointed following interviews and the submission of essays on their interest in the position.

Four Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

National MeritCongratulations to High School students Matthew Curtis, Ella Kelly, Benjamin Miller and Emma Rohrs, who have been named semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

They are among a pool of about 16,000 nationally and represent the top one percent of each state's high school seniors.  They have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million, which will be offered next spring.

Chelsea Center Sponsors Learning in Action Street Fair Oct. 7

The Chelsea Center will present a Street Fair Celebrating Learning in Action 6-8 p.m. October 7, between the gates of Selma fairAvenue, in front of the High School.

Come celebrate with us all the ways students learn by doing at WGHS! See students showcase their learning from the Chelsea Center and Makerspace to the practical arts, fine arts, industrial technology and vocational skills programs.  Enjoy performances from the Drama Department, Chamber Choir and Jazz Band.  Watch students from the Thrive entrepreneurship incubator pitch their business ideas at the Steve McAlevey Pitch Night. Also peruse the array of student clubs and activities available at WGHS.  Dinner will be provided (first come, first served).  All community members are invited to attend. 

Run For Webster Is Back!

 The Ivory Crockett Run for Webster is BACK in-person, with a virtual option as well! The in-person event, sponsored by the Webster Groves School District Foundation, features a one-mile fun run/walk, a 5k and a kids 100-yard dash (ages 12 & under). runWhile you’re out on the course, the High School band, cheerleaders and Dance Team will all be out there to cheer you on. After the run, enjoy brunch from some local restaurants, along with quality time with Fredbird and Louie. Who knows, maybe they’ll try to beat Ivory Crockett’s world record!

You can also choose from a series of virtual 5k runs, with one starting from every Webster Groves School District school, and a special Ivory Crockett Challenge 5k, starting from Ivory Crockett Park in historic North Webster. For information and registration, please visit the Foundation website 

Make sure you register by September 28 to guarantee a t-shirt in your size!

The Ivory Crockett Run for Webster was established in 2004. It honors Ivory Crockett, a 1968 graduate of Webster Groves High School. On May 14, 1974, he participated in the Tom Black Classic held annually at the University of Tennessee. On a wet track and against world-class competition, Ivory Crockett sprinted to a world's best 9.0 seconds in the 100-yard dash, a record which still stands today.

Band, Dance Team at Rock Hill Fall Festival Parade Oct. 2

Don't miss the High School marching band and the High School Dance Team Oct. 2 in Rock Hill's annual Fall Festival Parade. The fall paradeparade starts at Des Peres Avenue at 11 a.m., heading north on North Rock Hill Road.

The festival opens at noon at Hudson School, with a welcome from Mayor Edward Mahan and Hixson student Marcus Davis singing the national anthem. Details are here

Daily Health Check for Students

As a reminder, we ask that you please monitor your children for symptoms of infectious illness every day at home before they health checkcome to school and do not send your child to school with any of the symptoms listed below.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Additionally, our testing guidelines do not allow for the use of home COVID-19 tests for return-to-school purposes. Please consult a healthcare provider for assessment and testing and keep your child and any unvaccinated siblings home while you are awaiting test results. If you receive test results after 3 p.m. on Fridays, please notify the on-call nurse at 314-918-4693.

About the Modified Quarantine Process

This school year, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has begun to employ the “modified quarantine process” in certain cases. An explanation of this process and when it is used is below.

quarantineStudies have shown that, when proper mitigation practices are in place, classroom settings have relatively lower transmission rates compared with other settings. The Health Department believes that Webster Groves School District has demonstrated a commitment to such mitigation strategies, including mask wearing, physical distancing, screening protocols and thorough contact tracing.

Both WGSD as well as Health Department believe that in-person classroom learning, when it can be safely conducted, is essential for both cognitive and socio-emotional growth in children. Because of this, the Health Department has implemented the modified quarantine process, which applies to kindergarten-12th grade students who may be exposed to COVID-19 in a classroom setting.

Modified quarantine is restricted to exposures occurring in classroom settings because mitigation practices can be assured and the evidence demonstrates that these settings are relatively lower risk. As always, new scientific evidence and/or current local outbreak conditions may change or discontinue the implementation of modified quarantine at any time, as determined by the Health Department.

Modified quarantine allows certain close contacts who have been exposed to COVID-19 while in school to continue essential academic activities, such as in-person classroom learning, during their quarantine period as long as specific criteria surrounding mitigation strategies are met, including the use of a universal masking policy. Outside of essential academic activities, a student must remain quarantined inside his or her home for the full quarantine period. The child may not participate in any school or non-school sports or activities.

The goal of modified quarantine is to allow students to continue their classroom learning without disruption when it is safe to do so. Although sports and extracurricular activities promote physical and socio-emotional growth in children, safely maintaining consistent classroom learning is essential to children’s cognitive and academic development. Because of the possible exposure to another group of students, before/after care is not permitted for students participating in modified quarantine.

How quarantine decisions are made
The Health Department determines how close contacts are identified and if/when they are required to quarantine in any way. These determinations are based on criteria such as physical distancing, proper masking and the symptoms of the positive case.

Key takeaway regarding current quarantine guidelines
When staff and eligible students are vaccinated and mitigation practices are properly implemented, quarantine for students is often not required when an exposure happens at school.

Message from Chartwells K12 Regarding National Supply Chain Issues

Over the past few months, you may have seen news stories about disruptions in the supply chain across the country, resulting Chartwells messagefrom effects of the pandemic. Industries, including food and foodservice, as well as construction and automotive, have been impacted by manufacturing and labor shortages across the country in ways that we’ve never experienced before.

In the Webster Groves School District, students and families can continue to count on us for great-tasting meals kids love to eat every day, but as you may have already seen, there will likely be more frequent menu changes based on product substitutions from our suppliers.

Understanding that these supply chain challenges will likely continue for the next several months, we wanted to reach out and let you know we’re doing everything we can to proactively address issues before they inevitably arise. Working in partnership with Foodbuy, our group purchasing organization and the largest procurement organization in North America, some of the proactive steps we have taken, include:
• We have changed our ordering schedules to allow distributors more time to identify new sources for out-of-stock products in the event it occurs.
• We’ve identified alternate suppliers and products where we found that existing ones wouldn’t be able to meet our needs. For example, we learned our previous supplier for pizza dough would not be able to commit to serving our schools, so we contracted with a new one that can.
• In June, we planned menus for this fall and began placing orders for food at that time. This process was designed to help suppliers and distributors plan well ahead for stock we need to serve kids now.

If there’s one thing the past 18 months has proven, it’s that flexibility is in our DNA. From turning cafeteria operations into emergency feeding programs overnight when the pandemic hit to serving kids in classrooms and through meal-kit pick up sites through the past school year, our team is passionate about the meals we serve your students and they’re skilled at quickly adapting to ensure that kids are always fed.

One additional note for families with students who have allergies: Please remind your child to be sure to check with the cafeteria manager regarding product substitutions that may not be reflected in the menu posted. We will make every attempt to update Nutrislice in real-time, but out of an abundance of caution, please do not solely rely on the digital nutrition panels to accommodate allergies or medical conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your student’s meals, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Nancy Pelant 314-918-4156. Thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility during this time.

Community Members Tour New Additions and Improvements at Hixson Middle School

Last Sunday, Hixson  Middle School opened its doors to the community to show off the improvements made through passage of Proposition E, including a beautiful new library media center, a two-story academic wing, expanded cafeteria and more. In this photo, Board of Education President David Addison welcomes visitors before the ribbon-cutting. 

At left are Principal Shenita Mayes, Superintendent John Simpson and Mr. Addison. Holding the banner, which was cut to mark the official opening, are Webster Groves Mayor Gerry Welch, Rock Hill Alderman Jennifer Davis, former School Board member Steve Loher, Board Vice President and state Rep. Jo Doll, board member Christine Keller, board member Allen Todd and former board member and Webster Groves City Council member Emerson Smith.

 Hixson open house