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April 10, 2020
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School Buildings Closed Through Remainder of School Year
 
This week, Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued an executive order closing all school buildings through the end of the academic year. "Closing buildings does not mean we are closing school," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. "We are committed to continuing virtual instruction for our students." Dr. Cain's complete message to families and staff regarding the Governor's order can be viewed here. For all the latest updates and resources related to the District closure, visit the homepage of the WSD website.
 
Message From Dr. Curtis Cain

What a difference a few weeks can make. Just like schools across the nation, our once bustling hallways, classrooms, lunchrooms and playgrounds now sit empty and silent as we all try to do our part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. We are so very proud of our students, staff, and community for their flexibility and support as we navigate this new normal. Hang in there, watch out for each other, and please stay well. We miss you! Watch the video message from Dr. Cain on WSD YouTube. #WeAreWentzville
 
2020 WSD Film Festival to be Aired on WSD Facebook on Four Nights

The show must go on! Due to the extended closure we will be hosting the 4th Annual Film Festival online via a Four-Night Film Premiere using Facebook Live beginning April 15. Please tune into the WSD's Facebook page at 7:00 p.m. each week to celebrate the work of our amazing students, including the students who are working hard on each show's presentation. Each night we will view the winning film in the categories below to honor the winners and finalist.

Film Festival Premiere Dates and Categories:
April 15 - Animation and Sports
April 22 - Informational and Music
April 29 - Instructional and PSA
May 6 - Story and News

You can find out more information at www.wentzvillefilmfestival.com.

Submissions are NOW CLOSED, but you can start planning for next year with these creator tools:
🎬 Check out the website for rules, categories, and resources, such as tutorials.
🎬 Email wsdfilmfestival@wsdr4.org for any questions.
🎬 Follow the festival on Twitter @wsdfilmfestival
 
2020 Census
 
Every 10 years, the Constitution requires that all who reside in the United States on April 1 be counted. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories and it is particularly important for school districts. The 2020 Census will inform funding for educational programs that benefit our children, such as special education, after-school activities and school meal programs. Each home has received an invitation over the last few weeks to respond to a short questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. The information you receive has a special Census ID number you will use to respond. All responses to Census Bureau surveys and censuses are confidential and protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Under this law, the Census Bureau is required to keep respondent information confidential. Be sure to take the time to fill out the questionnaire - so everyone in the WSD counts! For more information or to fill out your questionnaire, visit 2020census.gov
 
WSD Providing Food for Families in Need
As a service for our students and families during the Extended District Closure, we are utilizing a drive-through model at 19 sites across the WSD to distribute meals for students at no cost on Mondays and Thursdays. All Wentzville School District students are eligible, so if you are in need please fill out this form by the end of the day each Wednesday for pick up the FOLLOWING WEEK (Monday and Thursday). If your family receives weekend food through Operation Backpack during the school year, we ask that you also fill out the form and choose a site to pick up your weekend food on Thursdays. More details about the District's meal distribution during the closure can be found on the District website. Any questions can be emailed to info@WSDr4.org.
 
WSD Teachers Use 3D Printers and Sewing Machines to Help Protect Hospital Staff
District staff members are going above and beyond to help protect those on the front lines of the pandemic in our community. Here are just a few examples of their efforts:

Engineering teachers at the middle and high schools are making plastic parts on the District's 3D printers to use for face shields and they are making ear protectors to be used with surgical masks, and FACS teachers are cranking out cloth masks to help as well. The personal protection equipment has already been dropped off at mutiple hospitals across the region (including Progress West, SSM St. Joseph's West and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis) and for first responders including fire and ambulance crews in our area.

 
Information about Propositions C&S

COVID-19 UPDATE: Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order on March 18 moving the date of local government elections from April 7 to June 2.

The WSD Board of Education voted unanimously to place two propositions on the ballot to accommodate the continued growth of the District, as well as the need for additional staff and wage increases to help close the gap between the WSD and neighboring districts.

PROPOSITION C is a $105 million no-tax-increase bond issue to build a new middle school on the same site where the District is currently building a fourth high school, to expand and renovate the District’s three existing middle schools, to address maintenance issues at existing buildings and purchase items related to school safety.

PROPOSITION S is a $0.49 tax levy to address staffing and provide needed support across the District, improve salaries to address widening wage gaps between the WSD and neighboring school districts, and to update and add safety features across the District.

The WSD continues to be the fastest growing school district in Missouri, adding on average nearly 600 new students each year since 2001. This past year, enrollment increased from 16,789 students to 17,335 – an increase of 546 students. According to projections in a demographic study released last May by MGT Consulting, there is no end in sight to the District’s continued growth; in fact, the WSD could add more than 5,000 students in the next decade.

For more information, visit the WSD Website Props C&S page.
 
WSD Board of Education Candidates for June 2020 Election

COVID-19 UPDATE: Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order on March 18 moving the date of local government elections from April 7 to June 2.

The biographies that have been submitted from this year's Board of Education candidates have been posted on the WSD website. The bios are posted exactly as they are received from the candidates as an opportunity for stakeholders to learn more about who is running for the Board of Education. Seven candidates will be on the ballot for three open seats in the June 2, 2020 election. The open seats are currently held by Betsy Bates, Barbara Fine, and Heather Reiter, and each open seat is for a three-year term. After clicking the link above, simply click on the candidate's name under their photo to view their submitted biography. #GrowingTogether
 
WSD Internet Resources for Families in Need
 
There are a number of internet providers currently offering free service or special offers for families and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know someone who doesn't have internet access, please share this important information with them.  
 
Staying Connected
Our staff members are doing everything they can to let students and families know they care about them and they miss having them at school. Prior to the Stay at Home Order issued in St. Charles County, staff from Prairie View, Peine Ridge, Stone Creek, Wabash and Lakeview elementary schools drove through the neighborhoods in their boundaries waving from their cars to students and families who held signs saying “hello” and “we miss you!” Peine Ridge Principal Dr. Ryan Andrews shared, “We even had people without kids coming out to wave, it was absolutely beautiful and uplifted so many spirits!” Other schools that had planned similar vehicle parades came up with virtual alternatives to stay connected to students and families. This is just another example of what makes our staff, our families, and our community special.
 
WSD Nurses Help Fight Pandemic
Some of our fabulous District nurses are devoting many hours helping out St. Charles County Public Health during the COVID-19 pandemic with investigating cases and exposures in our area. For the very latest information about the pandemic in our area, visit the St. Charles County website. Pictured from left to right are lead nurse Laurie Castiaux, Valerie Akers from Stone Creek Elementary, Bridget Thomasen from Liberty High School, and Amy Corona from Duello Elementary.
 
Virtual Spirit Week
 
Students, staff, and parents across the District participated in a virtual Spirit Week March 30-April 3 that included showing school spirit, pets, college affiliation and St. Louis spirit. It was a great way to kick off the first week of online instruction. #WeAreWentzville
 
Holt Junior Earns Perfect ACT Score
Holt junior Heath Bana 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.

Bana has a 4.54 GPA, is ranked first in his class, and is enrolled in six Advanced Placement (AP) courses this year. He is a member of National Honor Society, German National Honor Society, is a three-year member of Holt’s Scholar Bowl team and two-year member of Holt’s World Quest team. Bana attended Missouri Scholars Academy last year. He has been active in Boy Scouts for seven years, and currently serves as an assistant senior patrol leader. “I’m honored to be recognized by the Wentzville School District and thankful that it provided me with the tools I needed for success,” shared Bana.
 
2020 WSD STEAM Olympics

The WSD hosted more than 250 competitors at Liberty High on March 3 and March 10 for its sixth annual District STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Olympics. This year, Art was added to the competition, making it the “STEAM” Olympics. What began as classroom STEAM challenges culminated in the finalists performing timed small group challenges that put their skills to the test.
 
 
New Assistant Principals Hired for Boone Trail Elementary
 
The Board of Education approved the hiring of Amanda Buhr and Marc Tiernan as the new assistant principals at Boone Trail Elementary. They replace Candice Belton and Terri Politte, who have been named the principal and assistant principal, respectively, at the District’s new school, Journey Elementary.

Mrs. Buhr has been teaching 7th grade in the WSD since 2012 and this year she was named both the South Middle School Teacher of the Year and the WSD Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Buhr has served on the District Equity Committee, the District Flexible Learning Cohort, and as the STEM Night Coordinator and the Intramural Coordinator for South Middle School. She is also a proud Holt High School graduate.

Mr. Tiernan currently works at Wentzville Middle School and he has been a physical education teacher in the WSD since 2012. In that time, he has secured over $7,000 in grants for the his school and the WSD. Mr. Tiernan was named the MOAHPERD St. Louis District Middle School Teacher of the Year (2018), the MOAHPERD State Middle School Teacher of the Year (2018), and he earned the Missouri Association of School Librarians Teacher Collaboration Award in 2018. In 2017, he was awarded the Dr. James Herauf Young Professional Award. Mr. Tiernan is also a proud Holt grad and he has participated in the WeLEAD program for aspiring administrators and served as a teacher leader for physical education teachers throughout the District and the state.
 
Liberty Students Earn High Marks at Educators Rising State Competition

Several Liberty students earned high marks at the Educators Rising state competition on March 4 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Educators Rising competitions are performance-based events for aspiring teachers to exhibit their skills and knowledge in the field of education. Senior Katie May scored first place in the Impromptu Lesson Planning category, and sophomores Athena Widlacki and Amanda Yoder took first place in Children’s Literature Pre-K. Sophomores Sruthi Ramesh and Jaden Zelidon achieved fourth place in Children’s Literature Pre-K, while seniors Julia Deters and Dylan Lindke earned an honorable mention in Children’s Literature K-3.             
 
Holt Wrestler Wins Second Consecutive State Championship

Holt sophomore Esther Han was crowned State Champion in her weight class (142) at the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Girls Wrestling Championship at the University of Missouri-Columbia February 20-22, 2020. This is Han’s second consecutive championship; last year, as a freshman, she was crowned the State Champion at 136 at the inaugural MSHSAA Girls State Wrestling Championship.             
 
WSD Student Wins Mizzou Music Competition
Timberland senior Adam Routt has won third place in the High School Jazz Division of the 2020 Creating Original Music Project at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Routt’s musical composition, “Groove Grave,” will be  performed during the Senior Division recital at the 2020 Creating Original Music Project Festival at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The recital has been postponed to the fall of 2020. This is the second consecutive year that Routt has placed in the project; in 2019, he won second place in the High School Jazz Division.

Routt is currently enrolled in two Advanced Placement (AP) courses: AP Statistics and AP Macroeconomics. He is in the improv group at Timberland, performed in both one-act plays produced by the theater department this year, and is a member of the concert choir. Routt plays the piano, guitar, and takes vocal lessons, and has been composing music for the last six years. “Adam loves music and composing,” said Ronda Fields, Timberland Choir Director. “He is very talented and driven to compose.”

In recognition of his musical achievement, Routt will be awarded a $500 prize, and Timberland High School will also receive $500. In addition, he will receive a scholarship to attend the 2020 Missouri Summer Composition Institute June 21-27, 2020, at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
 
Liberty Belles Win State Championship; Dance Teams Compete at Nationals

The Liberty High School Varsity Dance Team captured first place in Division 4 at the Missouri Dance Team Association (MDTA) State Competition held on Saturday, February 29, at the Hy-Vee Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. The Liberty Belles accrued more points than any other team in their combined categories, earning first place in Precision Jazz and first place in Pom.
 
Holt Junior to Study in Austria on Rotary Youth Exchange Program Scholarship
Holt junior Makenna Seghers has been awarded a scholarship through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program to study in Austria. Seghers will spend an entire academic year in the country, representing her school and the United States as she learns more about the Austrian culture, traditions and language.

Seghers has a firm grasp of languages; she began taking German this year and is currently enrolled in Spanish III. “I am truly grateful to have been able to receive this opportunity to go to Austria through the Rotary Club. There are so many things I hope to learn while in Austria,” shared Seghers. “I'd say I am most excited to really get to immerse myself in a new culture, a new language, and new people. I am looking forward to becoming more knowledgeable about the world as a whole, and become a more critical thinker and be able to apply my new found skills and knowledge into my community back home once I return.”             
 
Four WSD Yearbooks Featured in Herff Jones “Best-of” Publication

Four WSD yearbooks were chosen to be highlighted in the 2019 Herff Jones Portfolio, which showcases best-in-class yearbook work from students across North America. All three WSD high schools - Holt, Liberty, and Timberland - as well as Wentzville Middle School, were included in the Portfolio that features 477 schools chosen across multiple categories out of the thousands of yearbooks printed last year by the company.

Wentzville Middle School’s yearbook, “The Power of You” was featured three times in the showcase for its portraits section, closing spread, and cover, and the Portfolio included two interviews with the yearbook’s advisor, Cathy McCandless. "I am incredibly proud of how hard the middle school staff works each and every week during the entire school year,” said McCandless. “They take thousands of photos and support each other by keeping in constant communication about what needs to be done. We are not a club. We are a family that happens to publish a book for the student body each year."

In addition, the Holt High School yearbook, “Pow Wow” was featured for its sports spread, the Liberty High School “Talon” yearbook was featured for its clubs spread, and the Timberland High School “Wolf Tracks” yearbook was featured for its student life spread and cover.

A printed Portfolio was presented to each of the featured schools and an online showcase of the Portfolio is available Herff Jones Portfolio site. 
 
New Assistant Principal Hired for Lakeview Elementary

The Board of Education has approved the hiring of Jessica Hanks as the new assistant principal at Lakeview Elementary. She replaces Laura Rowe, who has been named the new principal at Frontier Middle School. Ms. Hanks has been teaching in the Wentzville School District since 2011. She currently serves as the Department Chairperson for the 5th-grade team at Heritage Intermediate. Ms. Hanks is a member of the District's Professional Development Committee and the District Assessment Committee. She has served as a Summer School Principal and she has participated in the District's WE-Lead program for aspiring administrators.
 
WSD High School Students Excel at Regional Science & Engineering Fair

WSD students competed in the High School Honors Division of Missouri’s Tri-County Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at Holt High School on Saturday, February 29. Holt junior Ethan Dunsworth received first place for his project "Exploring the Mechanisms of Major Depression and Antidepressant Response Using Gene and miRNA Expression" and will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Anaheim, California, May 10-15, 2020. Dunsworth was also awarded the Air Force Research Award and Navy Research Award for his project.             
 
 
WSD High School Musicians Qualify for MSHSAA State Music Festival

Congratulations to our high school musicians and singers who qualified for the MSHSAA State Music Festival by receiving an Honor I (highest possible) rating on their solos and ensembles at the MSHSAA District Music Festival held at Fort Zumwalt East High School on Saturday, March 7. These musicians would have advanced to perform at the State Festival at the University of Missouri – Columbia on Saturday, May 2, 2020, but that event, like so many others, as been canceled due the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full article to see the list of qualifiers. #WSDproud 
 
WSD Students Excel at Regional Science & Engineering Fair
Students in kindergarten through 12th grade from the Wentzville School District competed in Missouri’s Tri-County Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at Francis Howell North High School on Saturday, March 7. This year there were 257 individual entries, 59 partner projects, and five classroom projects that qualified for the regional fair. At the end of the day, 31 individual projects and three classroom projects from the WSD received awards, including 24 first and second place awards. Click here to see the winners on the WSD Website.
 
New Boundaries Approved for the WSD
The WSD Board of Education has approved new boundaries for all elementary, middle and high schools in the District to accommodate continued growth and a new elementary school and new high school under construction. The new schools were part of Proposition E, a $125 million no-tax-increase bond issue passed by voters in April 2018. The new elementary boundaries will go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year when the new elementary school being built on Interstate Drive in Wentzville is scheduled to open. The new middle school and high school boundaries will go into effect beginning in the 2021-2022 school year when the new high school being built near West Meyer Road and North Point Prairie Road in Wentzville is scheduled to open.

Visit the WSD website to view the new school attendance areas.
 
Dates to Remember

April 15, 7:00 p.m.
WSD Film Festival Premiere Night 1
Tune into WSD Facebook

April 16, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Education Meeting
Virtual - link to open session will be posted on website

April 22, 7:00 p.m.
WSD Film Festival Premiere Night 2
Tune into WSD Facebook

April 29, 7:00 p.m.
WSD Film Festival Premiere Night 3
Tune into WSD Facebook

May 6, 7:00 p.m.
WSD Film Festival Premiere Night 4
Tune into WSD Facebook


 
Connect with the WSD
 







 
 
Tech Tip from WSD Technology Department – Tips for Good Digital Parenting (STEP 3)
In Episode 2 of the 7 Steps to Good Digital Parenting video series, viewers watch a family discuss Steps 3 (Use Parental Controls) and 4 (Set Ground Rules and Enforce Consequences). By setting family rules and enabling parental controls, family members gain clarity on tech privileges and how to use devices and services safely.

• Set content and time limits on your kids’ devices
• Routinely check privacy settings on social media
• Monitor your kids’ use and their screen time
 
Stay tuned for all seven tips to good digital parenting from the Family Online Safety Institute.
 
WSD Students Recognized for STEM Accomplishments
Three District seniors were honored on March 6 for their accomplishments in STEM-related studies at the 11th Annual STEM Celebration Breakfast, hosted by EDC Business & Community Partners of Greater St. Charles. Sarvani Kunapareddy from Liberty High School, Hannah Holmes from Holt High School, and Sharon Kardasz from Timberland High School were all recognized for being outstanding STEM students. The breakfast was held at Piazza Messina in Cottleville, where high school students from 18 county schools earned awards for their work in STEM-related areas. Dr. Cain and Dr. Margie VanDeven, Missouri Commissioner of Education, both spoke about the importance of engaging students at a young age to develop STEM-related skills. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a national and regional effort to better prepare the workforce of tomorrow by encouraging today’s students to engage in studies, events and careers involving science, technology, engineering and math.                         
 
WSD Teachers Earn Scholarships

Boone Trail Elementary Librarian Mernie Maestas (left) and Green Tree Elementary PE Teacher Sally Schulte (right) both received the Akehiko Takahashi Greater St. Louis Region MSTA (Missouri State Teachers Organization) Teacher Scholarship, worth $500. The scholarships, named after a retired educator from the WSD, is for teachers working toward an advanced certification, an advanced degree in education, or an advanced degree in a content area. Only four of these scholarships are distributed each year in Missouri, but due to the number of compelling submissions from around the state, this year they awarded five scholarships. Schulte is pursuing her doctorate from Maryville University. Maestas is seeking her doctorate in Library and Information Sciences from Emporia State University, proposing research on the self-directed professional learning of school librarians.             
 
Symphonic and Concert Bands Earn Exemplary Ratings
Congratulations to the three WSD high school Symphonic and Concert Bands for receiving Exemplary and Outstanding ratings at the MSHSAA State Large Ensemble festival held at Holt High School on March 5. The Holt Concert Band, under the direction of Jacob England, received their 12th Exemplary (Honor 1) rating and the Holt Symphonic Band, under the direction of Jim Cunningham, received their 44th consecutive Exemplary rating rating by the judges for their performances at the festival. The Timberland Concert Band, under the direction of Matthew Hayes, received an Exemplary rating, and the Timberland Symphonic Band, under the direction of Courtney White, received their 9th consecutive Exemplary rating. The Liberty Concert Band, under the direction of Patrick O'Donnell, received an Outstanding (Honor 2) rating, and the Liberty Symphonic Band, under the direction of Sarita Magno, also received an Outstanding rating. This was Liberty Symphonic Band's first time performing for ratings at the MSHSAA State Large Ensemble festival. #WSDproud
 
WSD Doodle for Google Competition Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the WSD version of the Doodle for Google competition!

Lauryn Schmersahl - Grade 2 - Peine Ridge Elementary (K-3 winner)
Kelsi Branson - Grade 5 - Peine Ridge Elementary (4-5 category winner)
Julia Fick -Grade 7 - Wentzville Middle School (6-7 category winner)
Kayla Bushart - Grade 9 - Holt High School (Tied, 8-9 category)
Angel Waliszewski - Grade 9 - Holt High School (Tied, 8-9 category)
Callista Hull - Grade 10 - Holt High School (10-12 category winner)

This year's official Doodle for Google competition theme is "I show kindness by…" and students were asked to illustrate how they would bring a little more kindness into the world. All District submissions (over 100) have been sent to Google to be judged for their international competition. Doodle for Google started in 2008 to encourage eligible U.S. school students in grades K-12 to use their creativity to produce their own interpretation of the Google logo and potentially have it featured on Google.com, as well as win some great scholarships and tech packages for their schools.
 
WSD Instructional Assistant Provides Food for Local Families
Emily Prendergast is an instructional assistant at Heritage Primary and following the announcement of the District closure, she was moved to do something to help local families. “As heartbreaking as this school closing is, I would never want a family to go hungry if I could help,” she said. Emily took to social media to collect donations of food and personal care items and, not surprisingly, our community responded with open hearts. She then packed her SUV full of items and donated them to the LINC center in Wentzville, which serves families from her school.  
 
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.
 
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 shopping throughout the year. For the direct link to support the WSD Foundation, go to Amazon Smile.                         
 
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


 
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