We are excited by the collaborative work from our staff on behalf of students that is materializing this fall. Much of the work is generated in our Late-Start mornings--thanks to all for accommodating that time for our staff to think deeply about the learning experiences and supports for classes.
A recent broadcast from the Harvard Graduate School of Education noted the need to take a holistic approach to student wellness by schools. Dean Bridget Long said, “Healthy kids translates into the opportunity for high-quality learning. And the opposite is most certainly true. . .simply put, it’s hard to concentrate and to learn when your health is suffering.” That residue of stress and duress from the most recent conditions have driven some difficulties we have experienced previously.
Hello WGHS Families, zoom_out_map We are several weeks into the new school year, and this is a time when challenges begin to present themselves to our children. Initial competitions and tests have taken place, and with it an internal sorting begins as we weigh experiences with outcomes. The relentlessness nature of parenting today immerses us in the trappings of high school credential acquisition and the college search process in a manner that can feel overwhelming. It can feel vast when we as parents feel the need to support our teen to fully access all the resources that are available. In these pursuits, we too often chase short-term wins that unfortunately undercut our child’s emotional development and ability to navigate the world around them.
As we enter into September, calendars are getting more crowded with national testing dates, a litany of high school activities, and numerable community options. Please take time for yourself and your child to slow down, to linger, to connect with each other. Parents of high school students often scurry from one event to another and have not prioritized the time we have remaining to see and listen to each other. My wife and I have aging parents that warrant, not yet demand, our limited time. Our oldest is in college with our youngest in high school--the time has gotten away from us in our home, it feels. When looking back, our remorse centers around times we oriented our lives around something that in retrospect seems trivial now. I hope you take the time to count the cost of each item you and your child say yes to in your day. Engage in those you select, and do not look back on those you declined.
Thanks to all of our Webster Groves families for their support for an outstanding first week of school. We have seen so many strong indicators for the upcoming year--many students involved in after-school activities, earnest classroom settings, and students prepared to learn. Tonight we have the Activities Fair and Selma Street Dance, where our students and faculty will celebrate our first week with energy and excitement.
Hello WGHS Families, Many years of research has estimated that after the “summer slide,” the average student loses a little more than one month’s worth of skill or knowledge in math and reading by the time school resumes in the fall. And there has been evidence of further decline after the virtual periods/instructional disruption we have endured. Below are some low-tech options that I will be nagging my children about the coming months:
In making final cuts of my graduation speech, I cut this excerpt from the school year book from 1920: "Another vacation and we are back at school, but not for long. Twice our school work has been interrupted by the influenza epidemic but nevertheless, we study hard and pass our tests. 'A cork cannot be kept under long.'"
There considerable information available to advocate for wellness and the impact physical activity can have on it. Long-term benefits of mitigating lifestyle conditions such as obesity, heart disease and dementia have been well chronicled. I would like to address the more temporal concerns of mental health, cognitive function, and positive impact on learning issues such as ADD. The connection between mind and body is crucial to personal growth and development as consistent exercise can help you be better and allow you to do your best work.
Anthony Kennedy served as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court after Reagan nominated him from 1988 until stepping down in 2018. After retiring, he spoke of a “crisis of civility” facing our nation, a lack of devotion to responsibility and rationality. Historically when the nation has been in a real or perceived predicament, education has served to salvage our republic. Part of the effort relates to the developing character in individuals and the collective community we share. However, character cannot be downloaded; it resists swift attainment in spite of the desire by caring adults and schools. Character is "engraved," "deeply etched,” according to Kierkegaard and the product of years of imprinting through experiences, both good and bad.
Above is a piece from last week's AP art display, one of many that students produced that caused me to pause and ask questions of the artist. In this case, she had created a series that marked the progression through a grieving process that concluded with this piece.
With a hint of disbelief, we find ourselves in a rite of spring: a hurried sprint to the finish line for the 2021-2022 school year. It's been a big week as we hosted the Special Olympics with big help from our junior class, SSD staff, and Ms. Spencer with her Best Buddies team. We had multiple adult representatives share their complimentary observations of our students for supporting events and fellow students.
FUTUREPROOF: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose is a book that has a fairly optimistic view of the clash between rising technology and humanity--think "Terminator 2." It offers some pointed suggestions to combat the wave of technology, much of it rooted in skills schools can greatly impact.
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2002 football state championship team to be recognized
Board of Education Approves Refunding of Bonds, Saving District $1 Million The Board of Education has approved a resolution authorizing the issuance, sale and delivery of general obligation refunding bonds, series 2022. This bond refunding will save the district approximately $1 million....
Free meal pick-up at the High School