WGSD – March 27

Dear WGSD Family,

I continue to think about your well-being and that of our neighbors, locally, regionally and globally. The virus continues to have an impact on each of us – from small to life-changing ways. Please do whatever you can do to care for yourself, loved ones and all. To those of you whose work and/or care is leading you to help on the “front lines, ” my thoughts and prayers for you are ongoing. Thank you!

Like life, changes in how we “do school” will likely remain dynamic for some time. Our staff members have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort to plan for how to care for, including teach and support, children and families during the closure. That being said, please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions and needs for support. We’re here for you!

Each Friday, I will email a message to families and staff that includes updated, relevant information and resources (see below). The message will also be included on the following blog: eachchildeachdaywgsd.com. You can use the blog as a “warehouse” to view prior messages and access resources once shared.

In the spirit of connectedness and community, each Friday, I’m going to issue a fun challenge to district children! Certainly, no one has to participate.  To view and share a message with students and see this week’s challenge, please click here:

If your child(ren) would like to submit a video, please:

  • email it to simpson.john@wgcloud.org by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1,
  • let me know if you don’t want your child’s video included in my weekly message next Friday, and
  • know that donations related to the challenge will not come from district funds.

With Care,

John

 

Food Assistance

In an effort to support families, we are now serving free “Grab and Go” breakfasts and lunches (food may not be consumed on-site) to all children between the ages of 0 and 18 at Hudson Elementary, located at 9825 Hudson Ave., Rock Hill, MO 63119. This program is available Monday – Friday from 10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., and will continue as long as the district is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The children must be present to receive the meals.  Delivery during that same time frame will also be an option (see below).

So we can ensure we have enough meals prepared, we are asking anyone who is interested in breakfast and/or lunch to respond to this anonymous survey: https://forms.gle/BETXJMMvhKZJCUHLA. If you prefer to share this information over the phone, you can also call 314-918-4156 and leave a message.

Also, please click on the following link to access food support for your entire family within our district community and the St. Louis region: https://www.operationfoodsearch.org/find-food/.

Critical Behavioral and Mental Health Supports

As a result of our participation in the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, several of our partnering agencies are offering free telehealth options during the COVID-19 crisis. The agencies with whom we work that are offering this option are:

CHADS (Coalition for Mental Health): 314-952-8274
Epworth Children and Family Service: 314-727-6294
Jewish Family and Children’s Services: 314-812-9378
Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri: 314-787-5100
Preferred Family Healthcare Inc.: 636-751-3691
Safe Connections: 314-646-7500 (ext: 146)

If you need any support finding a resource to match your need(s), please call or email your child’s counselor or administrator. If you’d like support from a district administrator, please contact John M. Thomas, Director of Student Services at thomas.johnm@wgmail.org or 314-918-4378.

Talking about COVID-19 and Monitoring Children

Please click on the following link to learn from mental health professionals about talking with children of all ages about what’s happening and signs you might look for to seek mental health assistance for them: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z0baGBgRs77oAaksk9LqEPpbuJFbrj8F/view

Illness Prevention and Playgrounds (Click on the item to access more information):

Please click on the following link to learn how to protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 Illness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html.  I’ve received a few reports recently of children and families that are using our playgrounds for recreation.  Research has shown that COVID-19 remains on plastic and some steel surfaces.  Thus, the dangerous virus would live on our playground equipment for some time if utilized by a person infected, knowingly or not.  Please do not use our playground equipment, or any public playground equipment, at this time!

Enrolling New Students Including Incoming Kindergartner

Welcome to the Webster Groves School District! During our extended school closure, we will continue to enroll students through email, phone, etc. You will begin the enrollment process for your child(ren) by emailing a detailed message (including phone#) to Anna Trinh (trinh.anna@wgmail.org) or by calling and leaving a message for Ms. Trinh at 314-961-1233.  You will then be connected to the person who will see you through the entire enrollment process. Following the enrollment process, you will complete online registration through the parent portal. Parent portal access will be emailed to you during enrollment. Please note that online registration for 2020-2021 will not be available until summer of 2020. You will be notified by email when online registration is open for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please know that we do understand that certain circumstances will make this enrollment process unique.  Please click the following link, to view the documents you’ll need in support to enroll your child(ren): https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=26.

2020-21 Dr. Henry Givens Jr. Elementary Open House and Kindergarten Lottery

If you’re interested in sending your child to kindergarten at Givens for the 2020-21 school year, the school will be hosting a kindergarten open house event online Tuesday, April 7 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Please notify Beverly Brooks (brooks.beverly@wgmail.org or 314-610-3529) if you would like to attend the virtual open house and she will reach out with a meeting ID as the event nears.

Families whose homes will be zoned for Givens when the new boundary lines are implemented in 2021-22 can choose to send their incoming kindergarten student to Givens in 2020-21. If your family will not be zoned for Givens in 21-22 and you would like to send your incoming kindergarten student to Givens in 2020-21, you may participate in the lottery which will take place online Thursday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m. Please notify (brooks.beverly@wgmail.org or 314-610-3529) if you would like to attend the virtual lottery and she will reach out with a meeting ID as the event nears.

To find out if you’re home will be zoned for Givens in 2021-22, please click on the following link and type in your address: https://www.myschoollocation.com/WebsterGrovesSD/default.aspx.

Technology Support for District Devices

Online learning is under way! If you’d like to view a variety of resources and “how to” videos in support of your children’s learning, please access the district’s Alternative Learning Plan here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N_JnVYSMFJw0FXQrqHg5xAblI8Ntto3h/view?usp=sharing.

If you need assistance with the district computer you’re using, please contact the Parent Technology Support Line at 314-455-7080, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 – Space for Updates

Dear WGSD Family,

As together we work to care for our students, families and one another during this time, I will use this blog to provide updates, information and resources.  The below information was shared with district families and staff over the past 2 days.

With care,

John

 

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 here for the Webster Groves Start Up Schedule, 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!  Click here to see the flyer!

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.

 

Alternative Learning Plan for Parents and Guardians

Click here to find the Alternative Learning Plan for parents and guardians.  If you have any questions about the plan, please contact your child(ren)’s teacher or administrator, or submit a question through the district web site, after Wednesday, March 25.

 

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