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December 7, 2019
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WSD Teachers of the Year
Congratulations to our WSD Teachers of the Year! District schools each announced their Teacher of the Year recipient for 2019-20 in conjunction with American Education Week, November 18-22. Candidates were judged on the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues. Selection was also based on their ability to inspire and educate students of all backgrounds and abilities. On December 19, the DISTRICT Teacher of the Year - sponsored by Allstate Insurance agent John Larson - will be announced at the Board of Education meeting. American historian Henry Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” How fortunate we are to have so many exceptional educators in the WSD! Watch the slideshow on WSD YouTube.
 
We Want Your Input! WSD Stakeholder Survey
At the November Board of Education meeting, the Board approved hiring Patron Insight to conduct a random sample phone survey to gauge support for potential ballot items in April. The phone survey is ongoing and we encourage you to take the time to respond should you receive a call asking for your input.

In conjunction with the phone survey, Patron Insight is also conducting online surveys for employees, parents and community members who may not be contacted by phone. Please take the time to share our feedback by clicking the appropriate link below:

Community Member Survey

Parent Survey

Employee Survey

Survey responses are limited to one per person and they are anonymous. The surveys will close on December 12. Thank you for your time and participation!
 
WSD 2020-2021 Calendar Updated with Late Start Dates
The Board-approved Academic Calendar has been updated with next year's late start dates. PLEASE NOTE: the late start dates are subject to change before July 1. The latest calendar can always be found on the WSD website and the District app. Late starts provide valuable collaboration time for our teachers and WSD educators lay the foundation for student success. In fact, research shows that an inspiring and informed teacher is the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement, so it is critical to train and provide ongoing support for both new and experienced educators.
 
WSD Student Earns Perfect Score on ACT
Timberland junior Abby Manner has earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning the top score varies from year to year, on average, only around one-half of 1% of students who take the ACT earn a 36. Among test takers in the U.S. high school graduating class of 2019, only 4,879 of nearly 1.8 million students earned an ACT composite score of 36.

Manner has a 4.3 GPA and is ranked third in her class. She is enrolled in four AP courses this year, her third PLTW Biomedical Science course, and her third year of Spanish. Manner is a junior class officer, and a member of National Honor Society, HOSA, and is a Link Crew leader. She plans to double major in biological sciences and business administration with a possible minor in Spanish, and would like to eventually attend medical school and pursue a career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Read the full article on the WSD Website.
 
Boundary Committee Update
The Boundary Committee met on November 19, completing their six-month process to develop new boundaries for the District’s elementary, middle and high schools. A report was sent to stakeholders on November 21. The new attendance areas will be recommended to the Board of Education at the December 19 meeting. If approved, the elementary boundaries will go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year and the middle and high school boundaries will go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year. Once again, we would like to thank the committee members for the tremendous number of hours they have dedicated to this effort. “We know how much families love their schools,” said Dr. Cain. “Once the boundaries are finalized, we will step back and let our administrators do what they do so well: continue to build positive relationships and develop a welcoming school community for all students and families.”
 
Timberland Senior Selected for Missouri All-State Choir
Timberland senior Emma Giltner has been selected as an alto for the Missouri Choral Directors Association (MCDA) All-State Honor Choir. Giltner was selected for the elite choir based on recorded auditions. The MCDA All-State Honor Choir will meet, rehearse, and perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) Conference January 22-25, 2020, in Osage Beach. Out of 176 altos in the competition, Giltner made the top four, the highest ranking by any Timberland female in the school’s history.

Giltner has brought her voice talents to the stage, and portrayed Wednesday Addams in the Timberland award-winning production of “The Addams Family.” She was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress by the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards, and her voice talents will be bringing to life the role of Anna in a Stages St. Louis production of “Frozen.”

Liberty High School seniors Emily Gann (alto) and Wesley Nichols (bass) were selected as second alternates in the All-State Choir, as well. Read the full article on the WSD Website.
 
Faces of the WSD – Don Hanke, South Middle
Watch the video on WSD YouTube
Our latest edition of Faces of the WSD showcases Don Hanke of South Middle School. His title is Building Instructional Assistant, but his role is a much larger one. Whether he's zipping through the halls on his way to helping a staff member or student, or smiling and waving parents through a speedy pickup line, Don Hanke is a fountain of energy and a great example of the passion and dedication exhibited by our education support professionals in the WSD. Watch the video on WSD YouTube.
 
WSD Receives Clean “Unmodified” Financial Audit
The WSD received a clean audit of its financial records, accounting practices and compliance with state and federal requirements during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019. The audit, which was conducted by the Daniel Jones & Associates accounting firm and approved by the WSD Board of Education, reported no findings or questioned costs.

Cory Roper, Senior Accountant with Daniel Jones & Associates, reported to the School Board on November 21, that members of his firm had spent several weeks reviewing extensive documentation from the WSD Finance & Facilities Department. The audit was all inclusive, reviewing everything from whether a purchase order originated following proper procedures, to how a purchase order becomes a check, reviewing bids and contracts, verifying attendance and payroll records, as well as confirming correct receipt of revenue at the local, county, state and federal level.

“This is great news for the District and a point of pride not just for our department, but for everyone across the WSD who is charged with managing school and department budgets, as well as our community,” shared Rick Angevine, Chief Financial Officer. “A clean audit is a reflection of our efforts to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars to maintain the trust of our stakeholders. As we work to manage our continued enrollment growth, we are mindful of that trust and aim to stretch every dollar to meet the needs of all students.”

In 2018-2019, the District’s total operating revenues were $189.9 Million. For additional details about the auditor’s report and WSD finances, visit the WSD website.
 
Wentzville Middle Students Supply Homeless Veterans
Every year, students in Jerry Cannon's eighth grade class at Wentzville Middle start off the holiday season the right way - by helping others. For the 11th consecutive year, Cannon and his students held a donation drive in November for personal care items and clothing, and then personally delivered them on November 22 to the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center for homeless veterans in St. Louis. It's the time of year when we remember to care for those who are less fortunate, and these students have already made a true positive impact this holiday season. KMOV reporter Steve Harris came to the Salvation Army that morning to do a story on the Homeless Veterans Outreach, which aired on Channel 4.
 
High Schools Hold Turkey Drives to Feed Families on Thanksgiving
Holt
WSD students held turkey drives in November to benefit No Hunger Holiday and local families in need. For the ninth consecutive year, Holt students collected the most frozen birds in the District in what has become a friendly competition between local high schools. Wentzville Middle families assisted Holt and in the end; the Indians set a new record and collected 716 turkeys – the most turkeys collected among the St. Charles County high schools! Liberty students collected 68 turkeys, and Timberland students, assisted by South Middle families, collected 196 birds in the effort.

The turkeys went to No Hunger Holiday, a non-profit program that works to put food on the tables of families in need. The program was started in 1990 for St. Charles County families and has expanded to include Lincoln, Warren, Montgomery and St. Louis County families as well. According to their website, the organization will help feed 3,000 families this Thanksgiving. Nine years ago, No Hunger Holiday started promoting the competition among area high schools to encourage young people to get involved in the effort. On November 20, over 2,600 turkeys were collected by students at local high schools. For more information about No Hunger Holiday, visit their website or search and like them on Facebook.
 
WSD Personnel Announcements

At the November Board of Education Meeting, the Board approved hiring Terri Politte as the Assistant Principal at the new elementary school scheduled to open next fall. Mrs. Politte is currently serving as the Assistant Principal at Boone Trail Elementary and will officially start her new position on July 1.



The Board also approved hiring Gwen Doyle as the new Director of Child Nutrition beginning January 2. Ms. Doyle is currently the Assistant Director of Child Nutrition and replaces Susan Raster, who is retiring at the end of December.



Finally, the Board approved the retirement of Cheri Thurman, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, effective June 30. Ms. Thurman has worked for the WSD for 34 years and has worked in education for 45 years. Dr. Cain shared that her contributions to the District have helped to move this District forward for decades and that she is a fierce advocate for kids. "The Wentzville School District has been a leader in all areas of educating all children," said Thurman in her retirement letter. "Our District, through the development of our new CSIP, embraces all that we know about the importance of providing a safe, secure and thriving culture for our students. There are no words to express my gratitude to Cabinet, my team and the Board of Education for your support and the opportunities to grow professionally and to create innovative, outstanding programs for all students and their unique needs. It has been a privilege to work with exceptional administrators, teachers and support staff all my years in the District. Thank you and please always ask 'How are the children?'"

 
WSD Participates in Annual Holiday Parade
On December 1, the WSD and the holiday school bus took part in the annual Wentzville Holiday Tree Lighting and Parade to the delight of dozens who braved the cold and lined the streets of the parade route. Members of Cabinet and the Transportation Team walked the route with the bus, distributing candy to families along the way. Thanks so much to David Wilson and the rest of the Transportation Department for such a great job of decorating the bus once again this year! The event started with the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the intersection of Pearce and Luetkenhaus Boulevard. There was live musical entertainment at Pete's Drive-In provided by the Heritage Harmonizers, and Mayor Nick Guccione performed the official tree lighting across the boulevard. A variety of student groups participated as well, including the Holt and Liberty Key Clubs. The parade ended at the fire department headquarters with hot chocolate and cookies and a visit with Santa. A slideshow with additional photos can be found on the WSD YouTube channel. #WSDcommunity
 
Dates to Remember
December 9
Late Start Day
Grades K-12

December 19
Finals Early Release
Grades 9-12

December 19, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Education Meeting
Administrative Center

December 20
Early Release Day
Grades K-12

December 23, 2019 - January 3, 2020
Winter Break
No Classes

January 6, 2020
Classes Resume

January 16, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Education Meeting
Administrative Center

January 17
Professional Development Day
No Classes

January 20
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
No Classes

January 27
Late Start Day
Grades K-12

 
Connect with the WSD
 







 
Tech Tip from WSD Technology Department
What is Digital citizenship? Thinking critically and using technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate. These skills are developed in classrooms, but they can also be fostered at home. This family activity from Common Sense Education can help, and certainly get your family thinking about how technology is such a huge part of our lives.
 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Teacher of the Month Contest
Nominate YOUR favorite teacher! Teachers make lasting impressions on their students daily. These dedicated professionals go above and beyond what is required to make sure their students receive the best education possible.

Show YOUR appreciation for the tireless leadership and guidance teachers provide in and out of their classrooms every day. Nominate a current elementary through high school-aged teacher to show your appreciation!

Winning submissions will receive a $250 gift card and be featured monthly in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and on STLtoday.com.
 
Liberty Hosts Speech and Debate Tournament
Speech and Debate season is well underway, and Liberty High School hosted the second conference tournament of the Greater St. Louis Speech Association, November 16-17, where 24 schools from around the metro area competed. The two-day event started on Friday with the speech portion of the competition, and concluded Saturday with the debate portion. Liberty sophomore Sanjana Anand not only placed in the top 10 in Prose Reading on Friday night (eighth place), but also in the Lincoln Douglas category (seventh)–where she debated about subsidizing fossil fuels. The team’s sponsor and coach, Liberty English teacher Mandy Franke, said, “Lucy Hunter and Zoe Carpenter competed and learned a lot about teamwork and cybersecurity.” She said a lot more students would have competed if not for so many team members participating in the school’s play that weekend. Franke said, “Thanks to the LHS Family, we were able to provide an amazing opportunity for our kids. So many community members provided food, snacks, and encouragement to the kids and me. Coach after coach kept telling me how beautiful all our classrooms were, and how our building oozes a positive environment for our kids.” The next competition will be held at Pattonville High School in December. Holt and Timberland did not compete in Liberty tournament.
 
Holt Career Connection Fair
On November 14, about 600 students visited the Career Connection Fair, hosted by the Holt chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and Educators Rising. Attendees got to meet with professionals from business and industry to learn about careers and related industries, their educational requirements, and what a typical day is for these adults. 35 business and industry presenters came out to share their knowledge with the students. Holt FCCLA advisor and Family and Consumer Science teacher Lori Krug said, “Through this annual event, which has been held for over 10 years, students are able to align the coursework taken in high school to the various career clusters and specific jobs. The students are excited to learn about various industries and the professionals are eager to share their knowledge with our students. You never know who or what will inspire them!”

Presenter highlights included the Wentzville Police Department’s high-tech drone, as well as a Respiratory Therapist from BJC Healthcare, who brought a pig lung to demonstrate what the lungs do during respiration. This annual event will be changing to semiannually, rather than every year, to accommodate Veterans Day; the two events coincide on the calendar.
 
"Be Kind" Club at Timberland
Liberty juniors Braden Bond and Olivia Coughran created a touching video asking both students and teachers what kindness means to them. They belong to a "Be Kind" club at Timberland where students are encouraged to make a positive impact on the school culture, one act at a time. “I took away many new views on being kind,” said Braden. “And I loved how many people I saw smile while writing down what they thought.” Students in the group have been tasked with making videos each month about kindness, so we look forward to sharing more throughout the school year. Watch the video on wevideo.com.
 
St. Charles County Teen Anti-Drug Summit
Middle school students from the metro area, including some from WSD schools Wentzville Middle, Frontier Middle and South Middle, attended the C.R.U.S.H. (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin) assembly at Lindbergh High School on November 19. C.R.U.S.H is an initiative established May 2015 by the Office of St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar. The initiative involves schools, law enforcement, treatment providers, community leaders and health care organizations to address the growing heroin epidemic. More than 20 schools attended, counting 14 students from Frontier, 16 from Wentzville Middle, and 20 from South Middle. Joe Vitale, former National Hockey League player and radio analyst for the St. Louis Blues, kicked off the ceremony, followed by a stirring re-enactment of a heroin overdose accompanied by a real 911 call. Among other presentations, undercover police officers showed the kids what drugs and drug paraphernalia, and students also heard a testimonial from a recovering teenage addict. To learn more about the C.R.U.S.H. initiative, watch this video. To watch the SCCAD overdose reenactment video, visit their YouTube page.  
 
Eagle Scout Project Helps Heritage Campus
When Holt High School senior Grant O’Leary began working on a project to not only improve the campus of Heritage Intermediate, but also earn his Eagle Scout rank, he couldn’t stop at just one improvement. The school needed shelves in their storage sheds to help with organization and space, and O’Leary gathered a crew to install eight of those; but while doing so he found the outdoor classroom in a state that the young man felt compelled to revamp. O’Leary and his crew hauled out overgrown vegetation and also made the classroom look neater by cleaning out small sticks and raking the sand and rocks. With all the hours of planning and manual labor, O’Leary was grateful for the help he received. He is yet another example of how we’re one District, rather than a collection of schools, by helping a school he didn’t attend. One of the WSD’s original campuses, O’Leary saw a need and made a positive impact. He said, “I did not go to Heritage; however, my mother (Jeanna) is a secretary there, which allowed me to get a connection to the school. Heritage has a very nice outdoor classroom, and I thought that if it were just fixed up then people would really see that. I believe that it is important for not just students, but everyone in a community to find their own way to help out or give back to it. I feel that if everyone in our community did even a small thing to benefit it, we would see tremendous growth and progress all around.”
 
Eagle Scout Project Benefits Timberland Tennis
Timberland freshman Jackson Carlton wasn’t looking for inspiration; he was just enjoying a family reunion. But that gathering moved over to a set of tennis courts, and Jackson noticed the court had hitting boards for players to hone their skills independently and decided that would be a great addition at Timberland. He had been seeking a project to help him reach the Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts, which only 4% of Boy Scouts reach. “I thought that the boards were so cool,” he said. “Since my older sister (Camille) has been playing tennis since her freshman year, I thought that our school could use one.” Jackson, a member of Troop 973, has been a scout since he was eight years old. Not a tennis expert himself, he was more inspired to help others, specifically his sister and the Timberland tennis team. “It’s been fun to watch my sister get better throughout the years,” he said, “and I was making this hitting wall hoping that it could be an advantage for the team and to help them improve.” Jackson had to wait to install the wall until the girls’ season was over, which took a little longer because they went undefeated and sent three girls to state–including Camille. Jackson said, “I am very excited to see how they use the wall next year and to see if they improve their hitting.”
 
Liberty Football Wins First-Ever District Championship
Congratulations to the Liberty football team for capturing their first-ever District title on November 15 by defeating Hannibal 23-8! Though their season ended in the quarterfinal round for the Class 4 state championship, it was an amazing year for the team. A story about their victory is available for reading on stltoday.com.
 
Player and Coach of the Year
Congratulations to Timberland High School volleyball coach Nathan Harman and senior Bri Myers on their GAC Central end-of-year honors! Harman was named Coach of the Year and Myers was selecter for Player of the Year.
 
National Letters of Intent
Congratulations to all our senior student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent so far this year. The list can be viewed on the District website and you can see each photo by clicking on the student's name.

The WSD is proud of our students' accomplishments in the classroom and on the playing field and we wish them well next year when they will compete at the collegiate level while earning their degrees.
 
Girls on the Run
Girls from the WSD were on the run in November in downtown St. Louis, including teams from Lakeview, Prairie View, and Stone Creek elementary schools. Braving the chilly winds that morning, teams from schools around the metro area made up more than 2,300 participants in a 5K race in celebration of all the lessons learned by the girls through the program. Tiffany Loness, a Stone Creek teacher and Girls on the Run St. Louis coach, explained, “The Girls on the Run program helps our young ladies build social, emotional and physical skills that they need in order to be strong confident young women. Through this program we encourage and watch our girls grow to be sound supporters of each other, confident in their choices and wonderful leaders in the building. They make connections outside of their classrooms and grades while participating in lessons on physical and mental health as well as leading to the importance of being good community members.” An example of which was when the team did a fundraiser to support the fight against diabetes that earned hundreds of dollars. “Being a coach for this program is such a blessing, I get to work with students from many grade levels and see them grow before my very eyes without the typical classroom and curriculum.” And coaches got to see the girls run, as well, the empowerment and built-up self-esteem manifested in a brisk dash toward the finish line.
 
Area Church Provides Turkeys for Pearce Hall Families
Members of the congregation of Wentzville United Methodist Church provided 13 turkeys for families at Pearce Hall just in time for the holiday. Educational Support Counselor Bonnie Luna coordinated the effort at Pearce Hall, gathering additional donations from the Wentzville Save-A-Lot, Schnucks, and Target stores, and filled Thanksgiving Boxes for the 13 families who took home a box filled with all the fixings for a complete Thanksgiving meal. Pearce Hall is home to five different WSD programs: the High School Alternative Program, Missouri Options, Anabranch, the Middle School Intervention Program, and the District's Substance Abuse Prevention program.

Members of WUMC supply all of the food for the District's Operation Backpack program at Heritage Elementary, Wentzville Middle School, and Pearce Hall throughout the school year. Operation Backpack provides a bag of food every Friday for students in need so they have something nutritious to eat over the weekend. Church members also donate food once a month for the Operation Breakfast Program at Pearce Hall, which is designed to jumpstart our students' day and provide them with the best chance of being successful at school. Thank you for all you do WUMC to support our students and our families!  
 
Local Business Provides Thanksgiving Meals for WSD Schools
Thank you to Hough Orthodontics, who provided six Thanksgiving meals for families at Crossroads Elementary, Frontier Middle School, and Liberty High School! This is the third consecutive year that Hough Orthodontics has sponsored food drives at their O’Fallon and Manchester offices and delivered frozen turkeys and all the fixings for families in the WSD!
 
Recent Videos from the WSD
Veterans Day Ceremonies 2019


Discovery Ridge Student Gets Ride to School from Lake Saint Louis Police
Watch the video on WSD YouTube


Drive for the WSD!

             

Dr. Cain & Chief Frisz Message


Portrait of a WSD Learner

 

Amazon Smile
Did you know if you go to smile.amazon.com you can choose a charity and Amazon will donate $0.5% of what you purchase to that charity? You still have access to everything on Amazon at the same prices, but the charity of your choice will benefit from your purchase. Some WSD school PTAs have registered on smile.amazon.com and the WSD Foundation is a registered charity too. The WSD Foundation gives teachers and high school seniors over $30,000 annually in mini grants to support innovative teaching strategies and scholarships to seniors for college. Support your school or the WSD Foundation when do your holiday shopping and throughout the year. For the direct link to support the WSD Foundation, go to Amazon Smile.                         
 
Late Start Information
The next Late Start is scheduled for Monday, December 9. The supervision for students in Grades K-6 is $10 per child for each late start day. This is separate from our Before Care Program through Chautauqua, and only for students NOT already enrolled in the Chautauqua Before School Program.

Late starts provide valuable collaboration time for our teachers across the District and yet we understand these days can be a challenge for working parents especially. The supervision option was established to assist those parents who need it. Additional information about late start supervision for students in Grades K-6, as well as the link to pay via PayPal can be found on the District website.
 
WSD Inclement Weather/School Closing Information
Timely communication with our District families is always a priority, but especially important in inclement weather/ emergency school closing situations. Please be sure to notify the school office about any change in your personal contact information. Visit the WSD website for complete Inclement Weather/School Closing Information.
 
Have You Downloaded the WSD App?
Are you new to the WSD? Be sure to download the app to have important information right at your fingertips. The app is available for both android devices and iPhones. On the app, you can:
• View news stories
• View calendar info
• View lunch menus
• Access school and staff info
• Receive important alerts
• View sports scores
• Locate Directory Information


 
WSD NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION