Information & Updates

Westminster is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. General updates will be posted to this page. Current families should stay tuned to emails and consistently check Veracross for updates specific to our community.

Online Learning

  • Schedules

    Instruction, Classwork, and Homework Limits
    These timeframes include both the daily lesson and the daily assignment(s).
    Grade 7–8 — 35 minutes/class each day
    Grade 9–10 — 40 minutes/class each day
    Grade 11–12 — 45 minutes/class each day

    Lessons and Assignments
    To allow students to get an early start on their workday, most teachers will post daily lessons and assignments by 8 a.m. The exception to this timeline will be teachers in math and science who, due to the nature of their curriculum, will still post by 10 a.m. in order to allow students the opportunity to look through feedback and answer keys from the previous day’s work.

    Zoom Office Hours
    Teachers will offer Zoom office hours each day a new lesson is posted.
    1–1:50 p.m. — Business, History, PE, Science and Engineering, World Languages
    2–2:50 p.m. — Bible, English, Fine Arts, Math

    Teachers may choose to offer optional Zoom time for students from 3–4 p.m. daily. This is completely optional for both teachers and students.

  • Who to Contact

    Coursework
    Students should contact teachers for class-specific questions.

    General Online Learning Questions
    Micah Gall, Head of Academic Development
    Deana Vandegriff, Director of Academic Operations
    Heather Marsee, 7th & 8th Grade Principal
    Mallory Rohlfing, 9th & 10th Grade Principal (Deana Vandegriff is fulfilling this role while Mrs. Rohlfing is on maternity leave.)
    Chris Pederson, Grades 11–12

    Illness / Absence
    If a student is ill and unable to participate in e-learning on a given day, please email attendance@wcastl.org, just as you would on a normal school day.

    Guidance & Counseling
    David Ottolini, Director of Spiritual Life
    Mollie Pfuetze, 7th & 8th Grade Counselor
    Martha Hyland, 9th & 10th Grade Counselor
    Jonnell Patton, 11th & 12th Grade Counselor
    Suzanne Goff, College & Career Counselor
    Max Pott, College & Career Counselor
    Lori West, College & Career Counselor

  • Tech Help

    Tech support will be available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    How to Reach Tech Support
    The best way to reach tech support is to email techsupport@wcastl.org. This will generate a support ticket with various members of the Westminster IT staff.

    Additional Resources
    Please check Veracross for additional tech resources including ways to troubleshoot issues at home.

  • Tips for Working from Home

    Plan your Work and Work your Plan
    Good planning can relieve stress for both children and parents. Check in with your children about their plans and help them develop a written schedule not only for the day, but for the week as a whole. Help them prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks, and deadlines, just like adults do when they go to work. It’s important to keep a daily routine. Try to create a loose schedule for your children to follow on a daily basis including times to wake up, get ready, and do homework or a learning activity with breaks in between.

    Monitor your Child’s Work
    Everyone needs accountability. Even though staying home from school might feel like a holiday, remind your children that they’re not on vacation. Assignments, grades, and other requirements are not going away just because classes have moved online.

    One of the worst pitfalls a new remote student will fall into is not giving their work the amount of attention it needs. A classroom limits inevitable distractions. If your child has a Powerpoint or a video to get through in place of a lecture, don’t let him or her scroll through it while the TV is on. It is also advisable to have your child put his or her phone away while doing school work—all it takes is one distracting text or tweet to derail a half-hour of hard work. It may be wise to implement the school’s cell phone policy at home when doing school work online.

    If Possible, Avoid Work in Isolated Areas
    To help your child stay focused on his or her school work, find a quiet but not completely secluded place to work. For many students, working from the bedroom and other isolated areas makes it easier to be distracted resulting in more time than is usually necessary to complete the work. It can also result in lower quality work. Obviously, this means that during “school hours” family members will want to keep noise and distractions to a minimum.

    Communicate with the Teachers
    It is critical that your children check their email for messages from their teachers. Checking their email is the best way to ensure they don’t miss anything.

    If you or your child is not entirely sure about something, send a message, or have your child send a message to the teacher. Explain your problem clearly and show them where you need clarification. For group projects, it’s best to block out time for discussing it with the teacher and others in the group about how the project should move forward.

    Strive to Reduce Stress
    This is a stressful time, for children, for parents, and for school staff. While we cannot eliminate all stress, we can strive to reduce it as much as possible. In particular, we can strive to ensure that stress does not become paralyzing.

    Acknowledge the stress while encouraging your children not to stress too much about the changes and challenges that will inevitably arise. Learning to adapt to changing situations while maintaining our composure is good spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is also an essential 21st century skill highly sought after by employers.

    The situation is rapidly changing every day, and everyone is learning as they go. Together, we will get through this and will grow as believers, adults, and students along the way.

Distance Learning to Continue Through End of School Year

In accordance with the directive of the Governor and consistent with area private schools, Westminster Christian Academy’s campus will remain closed and distance learning will continue through the end of the school year. We are deeply saddened by this. We miss our students and we know they miss their friends and school activities. Nevertheless, the safety of our students, families, staff, and the community is paramount in the decisions that we make.

We encourage you to stay informed of the COVID-19 situation by regularly checking updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The State of Missouri has also activated a hotline for Missouri citizens seeking COVID-19 guidance. The number is 877-435-8411.

Concern over this new virus can also make children and families more anxious. This information from the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses may be of help as you discuss this concern.

In situations like this, it is important to remember that how we react, as Christians, can look different. We do not need to live in fear as Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:17: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”.

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Have questions?

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