Upper School

Final Assessment Schedule 2017

Please be aware of the final assessment schedule.

Spring Semester (May 2017)

Wednesday, May 24:

  • 9 a.m. Science and History (Middle School)
  • 9 a.m. World Language (Upper School)
  • 12:30 p.m. History (Upper School)

Thursday, May 25 (Last Day of Middle School):

  • 9 a.m. Math and Bible (Middle School)
  • 9 a.m. Math (Upper School)
  • 12:30 p.m. Bible (Upper School)

Friday, May 26:

  • 9 a.m. Science (Upper School)
  • 11:45 a.m. Make-up exam (Upper School)

*Please note the special schedule for middle school finals. On Wednesday and Thursday, the middle school day is from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (a late start and early dismissal). There are no athletics in the afternoon, so please make transportation arrangements based on the 1:30 p.m. dismissal time.

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.

Upper School Attendance Improvements

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. 8-10).

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

  1. Use the attendance email.
  2. Send a note with your student, preferably in the morning. A student should bring the note to the Welcome Desk in the Grand Entry prior to the class he/she will be leaving.

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. 9-10).

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.

 

For questions regarding attendance, please email Jenny Rockwood or Deana Vandegriff.

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

Summer Reading 2017

As we work together with families to create lifelong learners, Westminster expects students to continue reading over the summer. View the 2017 summer reading assignments corresponding to students’ 2017-18 grade level.

If you have any questions regarding summer reading, contact Heather Marsee or Micah Gall.

7th Grade  ·  8th Grade  ·  9th Grade  ·  10th Grade  ·  11th Grade  ·  12th Grade

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

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

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.

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 Student Services Office (juniors) or the Upper School Office (seniors).

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.