Key Dates for 2017-18

Be sure to check the calendar, updated throughout the year, for the most up-to-date information.

View Dates

2017

Fall Semester
Tuesday, August 15 – First Day of School
Monday, September 4 – Labor Day (no school)
Thursday, September 28 (school) and Friday, September 29 (no school) – Fall Parent/Teacher Conferences
Wildcat Weekend & Alumni Homecoming – Saturday, October 7
Thursday, October 19 – End of First Quarter
Friday, October 20 – Faculty In-Service Day (no school for students)
Monday, October 23 –  Fall Break (no school)
Wednesday, November 22-Friday, November 24 – Thanksgiving Break
Wednesday, December 13-Friday, December 15 – Final Exams
Monday, December 18-Tuesday, January 2 – Christmas Break

2018

Spring Semester
Wednesday, January 3 – First Day of Second Semester
Monday, January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no school)
Monday, January 29 – Friday, February 2 – Spirit Week
Friday, February 16 – Faculty In-Service Day (no school for students)
Monday, February 19 – Presidents Day (no school)
Thursday, March 1 (no school) and Friday, March 2 (no school) – Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences
Friday, March 9 – End of Third Quarter
Friday, March 23-Monday, April 2 – Spring Break (including Easter Break)
Friday, April 27 – Faculty In-Service Day (no school for students)
Friday, May 11 – Last Day for Seniors
Monday, May 21 – Graduation
Wednesday, May 23-Friday, May 25 – Final Exams

Westminster100LogoWestminster 100

The Westminster 100 is a six-year program that will require participating students to read 100 great books over the course of their time here. Students will be required to read 25 core books and select 75 other books from the offered list. Books are divided into recommended grade levels to allow students to select age-appropriate books according to both content and reading level. Faculty members will act as mentors for participating students by offering support and guidance along the way.

View the reading list

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do students begin?

After selecting a book, students will check in with the book’s sponsor to start the conversation.

How will students select which books to read?

Each book is categorized by grade level. Level 1 is recommended for grades 7 and 8. Level 2 is recommended for 9 and 10, and Level 3 is recommended for 11 and 12. All families are encouraged to research titles for content and subject matter before selecting books.

How will student reading be tracked?

Each book on the Westminster 100 will have a faculty sponsor’s name beside it. To begin, students will notify the sponsor of their selected book, at which time the sponsor will provide 2-3 guided questions for students to focus on as they read. Students are encouraged to check in with faculty sponsors at various points throughout the reading of each book. Finally, students will meet with the book sponsor after reading each selected book, at which time the sponsor will sign off on that specific title. If a book appears on both the Westminster 100 list and the school’s curriculum, the instructor of the course can act as the sponsor and will sign off on that title for each participating student in his or her class. A running log of completed titles will be kept for each student.

Is any written work required to complete the Westminster 100?

No written work is required.

Given that the Westminster 100 is designed as a six-year program, is there a way for students who do not enter Westminster at the 7th-grade level or who decide to participate after 7th grade to take part?

Yes. To complete the program, students will be required to read 17 books (four from the core list) each year they are at Westminster.

  •      12th-grade entry: 13 choice/4 core
  •      11th-grade entry: 26 choice/8 core
  •      10th-grade entry: 39 choice/12 core
  •      9th-grade entry: 52 choice/16 core
  •      8th-grade entry: 65 choice/20 core
  •      7th-grade entry: 75 choice/25 core

What do students receive upon completion of the program?

This is a program that students can take part in at no extra cost, so there is no “carrot” dangling in front of them to motivate them to participate or finish. In addition to providing students and faculty members the opportunity to build stronger and deeper relationships, we believe the main value and reward for this program is that it encourages students to become more well-read, and in doing so, to be more well-rounded thinkers and engagers of culture.

Important iPad Update (Grades 7-9)

Last fall, we sent a survey to parents and teachers asking for feedback about Westminster’s iPad Initiative. Based on the results we received, the initiative received a B+ rating. We consider this a huge success and a demonstration of the invaluable partnership between our families and faculty. Over the past three years, the iPad initiative has enhanced student engagement, improved daily organization, and allowed for greater innovation. Why did the initiative not receive an A? One concern consistently raised by parents and teachers is that of distractibility.

Parents ask, “When my student is home, how do I know he/she is completing homework and not playing a game?” This a valid concern and one we view as our responsibility. We recognize that social media and interactive games create a temptation for distraction. Moving forward, we plan to increase student focus by limiting apps downloaded on iPads to apps recommended by Westminster. If a student would like to access social media apps or play a game, those apps should be loaded on a non-school device (e.g. cell phone) so students are not a distracted in the classroom or while completing homework. We are confident this change will further improve learning and help neutralize the concerns raised in the survey.

Student Bookstore/Café Accounts – Balance Limits

Due to recent questions regarding account balance limits for student Bookstore/Café accounts, we’d like to clarify our policy.

Is it true that students are allowed to charge items to their Bookstore/Café account even when there are no funds in the account?

Yes. We do allow students to charge items to their account even when there are not sufficient funds available. We do this because, in most cases, when a student doesn’t have funds in his/her account, it is because the parents are not regularly monitoring the account.

Why do you allow this?

We believe that we would not be serving our families well by denying a student the opportunity to purchase lunch, an after-school snack, a book, or a supply that is needed for class.

Do we limit purchases in the Bookstore?

If students are overdrawn more than $15, they can only make school-related product purchases. We ask that families keep their accounts current to make purchases in the Bookstore.

I don’t want my child to have this option. What can I do?

We’ll be happy to deactivate your student’s account. If you would like to do this, please email Diane Miller. You’ll need to inform your child that his/her account is deactivated so he/she won’t be surprised after going through the lunch line. Students would still be able to make cash purchases.

How can I track my child’s account balance?  

You can view your student’s account balance and recent activity online. In addition to this, parents of accounts with a negative balance greater than $25 will receive a reminder email on the 15th of each month.

Is there a limit on how large my child’s balance can grow? 

Yes. Beginning in August, accounts with balances greater than $75 at the end of the month will automatically be deactivated. The account balance will be transferred to your tuition account and a $25 transfer fee will be assessed. In order to reactivate the account, you’ll need to pay the balance and fee in full.

Immunization Requirements for 2017-18

For the 2017-18 school year, Missouri requires all 8th and 9th grade students to have one dose of MCV (meningococcal vaccine) and all 12th grade students to have two doses of MCV (unless the first dose was given after age 16). In addition, all 7th grade students must have documented two doses of Varicella (chicken pox vaccine). Per state law, documentation of up-to-date immunization status, including month, day, and year, must be on file with the school prior to attendance. Students will be excluded if non-compliant.

If you are unsure as to your child’s immunization status, please contact his/her physician for further clarification, documentation, and/or to schedule an appointment. Immunizations may also be obtained at select pharmacies, urgent care clinics, and your local health department, but we recommend you call ahead to confirm vaccine availability.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Haverstick, Health Services Coordinator.

 

1st Quarter Essay Bootcamp

First quarter Essay Bootcamp is a five-week program to help students (grades 9-11) improve their writing skills by providing them with new writing strategies and one-on-one coaching. Following the 5-week bootcamp, students will receive a certificate of completion and a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

Students should speak with their English teacher to sign up. Space is limited to 25 students.

View the handout

Week 1– September 7: What Am I Going to Write About?
Deconstructing the Essay Assignment, Generating Evidence, Controlling Ideas and Thesis

Week 2 – September 14: The Supporting Paragraph Architecture
Building Your Topic Sentences and Drafting Support Paragraph Starts by Using Your Controlling Ideas and Evidence

Week 3 – September 21: How Do I Begin My Essay?
Constructing an Engaging Introduction

Week 4 – September 28: Examining Support Paragraphs for Drop and Plop
Writing Fluid Quote Introductions with Internal Transitions

Week 5 – October 5: How Do I Get Out of This Essay?
Composing an Effective Conclusion; The Final Edit Process

Attendance Procedures for 2017-18

Absence / Illness
Please notify us in one of the following ways:

  1. Use the attendance email (attendance@wcastl.org).
  2. Call the attendance hotline at 314.997.2901 (press 2). Leave a brief, clear message with the student’s name and current date.

If your student has missed five or more days in any class, please review the Attendance Policy in the Student/Parent Handbook (p. 10-11).

Early Dismissal
Please notify us in one of the following ways:

  1. Use the attendance email.
  2. Send a note with your student. Students should bring their note to the Upper School or Middle School office when they arrive on campus.

Should there be unforeseen circumstances in which case you do not know about the dismissal before school, please call us at 314.997.2900 before coming to pick up your student.

First-Hour Excused Tardy
Please notify us in one of the following ways:

  1. Use the attendance email.
  2. Call the attendance hotline at 314.997.2901 (press 2).
  3. Send a note with your student.

We want to extend grace on those days when you or your student may be running late due to traffic or other unforeseen reasons. Excused tardies are limited to three per quarter; any additional tardies will be counted as unexcused. You can review the tardy policy in the Student/Parent Handbook (p. 10-11).

Dismissal for Medical Reasons
If your student contacts you during school hours to report that he/she is not feeling well, please advise him/her to go to the nurse. The nurse will then contact you, as necessary. If your student is leaving school due to illness, we expect that you will pick him/her up unless we are notified otherwise.

Questions?
For questions regarding attendance, please email Stacy Isaacs or Deana Vandegriff.

Theatre Arts Boot Camp

Wednesday, August 16, 3:15-5:15 p.m.
Friday, August 18, 3:15-5:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 22, 3:15-5:15 p.m.
Thursday, August 24, 3:15-5:15 p.m.

Middle School students report to the Black Box Theatre.
Upper School students report to the Theatre.

We invite all interested theatre students to attend our Theatre Arts Bootcamps that will be held during the first two weeks of the school year. This year, we are hosting a choreographer from COCA who will be working with middle school and upper school students separately in building our dancing skills. In the other hour of Bootcamp, we will be informing students about the upcoming season, giving out valuable information for auditions, and letting students know how they can become involved in Drama Club and other theatre-related events.

There is no need to sign up, but interested students should report to their designated locations, as listed above. While attendance at all four sessions is not necessary, it is recommended. Make sure that you bring shoes that you can move in. Contact Kathy Eichelberger with questions.

Student Leadership

At Westminster, student leadership is servant leadership. In the spring, student leaders will be chosen through a process that includes an application, recommendation, and interview. Student leaders are expected to work closely with the faculty leaders to guide the meetings and events planned by the groups.

Leadership Opportunities

Middle School

To provide a seamless transition to our Upper School Leadership Program, 8th grade students will be given the opportunity to join the Middle School Leadership Team. The application process will take place in September. Students will be required to complete an application and an essay. Membership is not limited to a certain number of students in middle school due to the fact that these students will filter into many leadership opportunities in upper school.

Upper School

The Student Leadership Team is a multi-grade level group of upper school students who work together to build community and practice hands-on leadership in the planning and executing of school-wide activities. These students will work closely with grade-level faculty leaders and the Director of Student Services to plan class and school-wide activities. Eight to ten leaders will be chosen for each upper school grade.

Other upper school leadership opportunities in Student Life include senior peer counselors and PC juniors (mentor small groups of middle school students throughout the school year); fresh connectors (seniors who meet with 9th graders who are new to the Westminster community); chapel band and chapel leadership team (assist with planning and implementing chapel); ambassadors (assist the Admissions Department with open houses, community events, and school visits); and club leaders (work alongside the club sponsors to plan and carry out club events throughout the school year).

Junior/Senior Privilege

If you are a parent of a junior or senior who has a study hall and you wish to give him/her permission to experience junior/senior privilege during the first semester, please complete the appropriate form and return it to the Academic Hub.

Junior Privilege Form

Senior Privilege Form