Middle School

2016-17 Tuition Information

If you chose the 10-month pay option, March was the last month your account was billed for the 2016-17 school year. Please verify that your tuition account is paid in full by logging onto your Veracross account.

Project Give Well 5K Fun Run

Due to the inclement weather and the amount of rain that has already fallen, we have decided to cancel the 5K. We apologize for any inconvenience but are so grateful for your support of this project and the Lamb of God School students in the Congo. All profits will still go to the Lamb of God School, but if you would like a refund (minus the cost of the t-shirt), please contact Ashley Woodall.

Key Dates for 2016-17 

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

2017

SPRING SEMESTER
First Day of Second Semester – Tuesday, January 3
Spring Break – Monday, March 13-Friday, March 17
Easter Break – Friday, April 14-Monday, April 17
Final Exams (Middle School and Upper School) – Tuesday, May 23-Friday, May 26
Last Day of School – Friday, May 26

Middle School Attendance Policy Improvements

Only one attendance policy change applies for middle school as well as upper school. First-hour tardies may now be excused up to three times per quarter when parents 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).
  3. Send a note with your student.

Review the tardy policy in the Student/Parent Handbook (p. 9-10).

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.

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
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, February 5-Friday, February 9 – 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

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why is an original Netflix series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The show highlights a main character who kills herself and leaves recorded cassettes for the specific people she holds responsible for her death.

This show has caught the attention of many adolescents, including our students. 13 Reasons Why depicts disturbing scenes such as bullying, rape, and a graphic suicide. These are only a few of the unsettling images shown that stay with young students.

Read more

A large part of the attraction to the show is its relatability. Adolescents are sensitive to difficulties, challenges, and loss – both personally and among their peers. Their developing brains cannot fully grasp the finality of death. This is also the time in their lives when they are most easily influenced.

In turn, vulnerable students struggling with depression or other mental health issues that wrestle with hopelessness could be led down an especially dark path. We find that adolescents attempt to identify the why and what behind their feelings, and they use television and movies as ways to assess what is going on internally. Exposing themselves to weighty themes such as these allows students to incorrectly connect to and articulate what they are truly experiencing.

Considering the emotional and spiritual development of our students, our counselors would not recommend our students watch 13 Reasons Why. To further examine this topic, we’ve included two articles below from Daystar Counseling in Nashville, a Christian counseling agency that highlights important thoughts related to the show.

A Counselor’s Response to 13 Reasons Why
There are More Than 13 Reasons Why Your Life Matters and What You Can Do About It

Craig Walseth
Director of Guidance and Counseling

Martha Hyland
Upper School Counselor

Mollie Pfuetze
Middle School Counselor

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 & Upper School Programs

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).

 

Students

Guidance and Counseling

Systematically addressing academic, social, emotional, spiritual, and college/career concerns is the foundation of the department.

 

Girl in Classroom

Student-Parent Handbook

Learn about our academic and athletic policies, health and safety regulations, and other important information.