Dear Families, Community, and Others,
Since 2001, the Webster Groves School District has expressed and demonstrated a
commitment to creating an equitable learning environment for all children, staff, and
families. While progress has been made, much work is left to be done, which led the Board of Education to adopt a resolution in the spring of 2017 that acknowledges the equity gap that remains between the current learning environment and the one to which we aspire. The resolution also states values and beliefs which must be central to our work moving forward.
In order to change the patterns of inequity, we must disrupt traditional beliefs, systems, structures, and practices which favor those privileged by race, economics, gender, etc. Traditional ways will continue to yield traditional results. Beyond the beliefs and values outlined in the Equity Resolution, we must hold true to our district vision, which calls us to innovate or think and act differently. Doing so will allow us to better support children as they engage in self-discovery and help empower them with the beliefs, knowledge, and skills to flourish in a global society. Cultivating such a school environment isn’t just good for some children, it’s good for all children.
To view many of the district and building-level strategies initiated this year to help move us toward a system that benefits everyone, click on the link below my signature. While every microstrategy or effort can’t be listed, many of the major efforts under way or soon under way, are noted. In order to be attentive to the ever-changing needs of our students and the world in which they live, we will remain fluid, flexible, and adaptable with our strategies and agile in our approach. For this reason, the list will remain in draft form and we will add to it, moving forward.
Trust that we know these strategies or actions, as well as all those initiated prior to the 17-18 school year (not listed), aren’t alone going to solve all the issues with equity inside our schools. However, we do believe they’re contributing to our organization’s movement in the right direction, and we’ll continue to learn, grow, and act in support of our positive momentum.
Each child, Each day…John
- Congratulations to WGHS student Nicolaus Braun who earned a perfect 36 on the ACT! Fewer than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT receive the top composite score.
- Four students at Webster Groves High School have been honored in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Noah Erb and Mary Katherine Townsend received certificates of achievement and will advance to the state level of competition. Margaret O’Brien and Caroline Fellows received certificates of merit as runners up.
- Dr. Jon Clark was awarded the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Missouri State Thespians for his support and dedication to the WGHS Thespians and his support of the arts in general
- Steger Science Teacher Chantell Mason won the 2018 METC Making IT Happen Teacher Award which honors educators in their use of education technology integration. Ms. Mason was the one educator selected from our region and there were approximately 34 winners from around the globe.
- Statesbots teams competed on Sunday in the Flo-Valley Community College FTC Qualifier. The Orange team placed 6th out of 34 teams and received the Control Award for their outstanding programming. The Black Team placed 20th and received the PTC Design Award for their “unique design of a 3D printed screw for enabling better controlled use of a grabbing device.”
- During the high school’s Social Justice Week, Speak Up! Student Leaders (students trained by the Anti-Defamation League and further supported by WGSD staff) facilitated courageous conversations and learning opportunities for their peers on topics such as hate symbols, assumptions, and stereotypes. They will continue to facilitate activities with their peers and with other student and adult groups across the district.
- The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District is hosting a free showing of this movie on February 15.
- If you would like to receive critical information regarding legislative activities and proposals around issues that could impact education, please click on the following link to subscribe: https://goo.gl/forms/Bq1fH0J0Aj3nHlav2 . The majority of these messages will be sent January through May to correspond with the Missouri General Assembly session.
- Please click on the following link to view the results of the latest enrollment report, including 5-year projections, for the WGSD: Final Enrollment Report January 2018.
- The WGSD Foundation continues to make a difference in the lives of district children via its grant program. To read about some of the recent opportunities the Foundation provided, go to: http://www.wgsdfoundation.org/news.