St. Louis Public Schools Discussion Thread

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Collegiate is on our list of schools to visit.
The group conceived the school as an experiment in changing what a city public high school looks like. Collegiate markets itself as a private school education for a public school cost — which is to say that it’s free. Unlike many other public city high schools, it has its own college admissions counselor, a lecture hall that hosts talks by professionals such as St. Louis University and Washington University academics, and a requirement that seniors complete an internship or a capstone research project before graduating, said Frederick Steele, Collegiate’s principal.
All students take two science classes at a time, in addition to electives such as orchestra and computer coding. The point of the school is to help supply a pipeline of highly skilled workers to St. Louis’ medical, bioscience and technology industries, which are struggling to fill jobs. BJC Healthcare alone has more than 600 openings for nurses in St. Louis.
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... b01da.html
A small suburb of ~16,000 citizens pays their teachers the best.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... c34ea.html
Mark Groth wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:23 pm
A small suburb of ~16,000 citizens pays their teachers the best.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... c34ea.html

You're not that dense, I know that. Small suburb population-wise yes...But one of the Top 25 CBD's in the Midwest.
Median teacher pay is also higher because of longer years of service and a smaller pool of teachers. If a relatively small group of teachers stays in the system for a long time, they get a higher median pay. There's not much of a functional difference between the salary schedules of Clayton, Ladue, Kirkwood, etc.
Word is, this has fallen through:

"St. Louis teachers may soon find affordable housing by living in Wilkinson School..."

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... 8cfdd.html
Does anyone know where I can find boundaries for the neighborhood schools? Specifically at the moment, I'm curious on where I'd need to live to be eligible to send my child to Mason School without having to apply and wait on a list.

Relatedly, I thought I'd just bump this thread.

My kid is only 4 months, but discussions have already begun. I've got family who thinks I'm crazy or even selfish for trying to raise a family in the city and not moving for schools. I've got friends who are skeptical. My wife understands my feelings but isn't as hung ho on things as I am and wouldn't rule out moving to the county for less crime and higher performing schools. The compromise—with her—is probably to see if we can make a school like Mason happen.

I'm pretty staunch in this. I don't want private, I don't want charter, and I don't want magnet. I want a conventional public school. I'm pretty pleased with what I read about Mann, but their numbers aren't there yet, and unfortunately, right now where our crime levels are at, Tower Grove South isn't feeling as safe as I wish it did.

Now, things can and will change, and also as I've expressed on these boards before, I don't read all that much into school performance as I think it has far more to do with the means it's students come from than it does the education happening in the building itself. But, like I said, I'm not the only one who has to buy in, so compromise will need to take place.

In addition to my question about boundaries, I'd love to hear others experience and perspectives on this stuff.
No clue on the school boundaries, but as a TGS resident, here's my current view on the crime issue. While I agree that crime in the neighborhood is unacceptably high at times (carjackings, armed robberies), I've never actually even once personally felt unsafe in the neighborhood. My neighbors are great people and the neighborhood itself is terrific. My understanding is that very few of the crimes in TGS are committed by TGS residents. Basically we are preyed on by outsiders who come into our neighborhood to commit crimes. My wife often talks about moving to a "safer" neighborhood, but my thought is that since most of the crime is from outsiders, what is the guarantee that if we move to e.g. by Mason School or StL Hills that criminals wouldn't just simply decide to travel to those neighborhoods to commit crimes there?
Well, at the risk of getting shouted down, I have to say that criminals do indeed feel more welcome in some neighborhoods than others. St. Louis Hills, for example, would never tolerate a memorial to an armed felon who was running through their neighborhood shooting at the cops.
SouthCityJR wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:09 pm
No clue on the school boundaries, but as a TGS resident, here's my current view on the crime issue. While I agree that crime in the neighborhood is unacceptably high at times (carjackings, armed robberies), I've never actually even once personally felt unsafe in the neighborhood. My neighbors are great people and the neighborhood itself is terrific. My understanding is that very few of the crimes in TGS are committed by TGS residents. Basically we are preyed on by outsiders who come into our neighborhood to commit crimes. My wife often talks about moving to a "safer" neighborhood, but my thought is that since most of the crime is from outsiders, what is the guarantee that if we move to e.g. by Mason School or StL Hills that criminals wouldn't just simply decide to travel to those neighborhoods to commit crimes there?
I agree with every word, right down to the great neighbors. But like you, my wife has her say too, and I can't win every battle. I won't move to St. Louis Hills (we did live their briefly, it's not urban enough for me), but as far as the area inside Mason School boundaries goes, that perhaps may solve the issue of making her feel more comfortable about crime, but the intention there would be for the school itself.

I love TGS. I like Mann Elementary. I'd be comfortable staying and sending him there. But as I said, I've got to be fair to my wife's feelings as well. Having a compromise result in staying in the city, in an urban neighborhood, with a conventional public school would still be pretty good even if it's not 100% what I'd do if I was the sole decision maker.

I'll say that I never fear for my safety in TGS. But I do fear for hers (and now his). Just curious what part of the nabe you live in (if you don't mind)?
jstriebel wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:35 am
Does anyone know where I can find boundaries for the neighborhood schools? Specifically at the moment, I'm curious on where I'd need to live to be eligible to send my child to Mason School without having to apply and wait on a list.

Relatedly, I thought I'd just bump this thread.

My kid is only 4 months, but discussions have already begun. I've got family who thinks I'm crazy or even selfish for trying to raise a family in the city and not moving for schools. I've got friends who are skeptical. My wife understands my feelings but isn't as hung ho on things as I am and wouldn't rule out moving to the county for less crime and higher performing schools. The compromise—with her—is probably to see if we can make a school like Mason happen.

I'm pretty staunch in this. I don't want private, I don't want charter, and I don't want magnet. I want a conventional public school. I'm pretty pleased with what I read about Mann, but their numbers aren't there yet, and unfortunately, right now where our crime levels are at, Tower Grove South isn't feeling as safe as I wish it did.

Now, things can and will change, and also as I've expressed on these boards before, I don't read all that much into school performance as I think it has far more to do with the means it's students come from than it does the education happening in the building itself. But, like I said, I'm not the only one who has to buy in, so compromise will need to take place.

In addition to my question about boundaries, I'd love to hear others experience and perspectives on this stuff.

You seriously sound exactly like me.

This map is surprisingly accurate from some addresses I checked. Mason is our elementary school and we live on the Hill and our daughter is 9 months old and going through the same issue you are going through right now. My wife is completely against city public schools but open to magnet/charter schools. We don't want to pay for private schools but moving to a house in the county would be just as expensive in my eyes. I'm trying to convince her on Mason but it's an uphill battle for sure

https://missouri.hometownlocator.com/sc ... 066169.cfm
jstriebel wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:05 pm
SouthCityJR wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:09 pm
No clue on the school boundaries, but as a TGS resident, here's my current view on the crime issue. While I agree that crime in the neighborhood is unacceptably high at times (carjackings, armed robberies), I've never actually even once personally felt unsafe in the neighborhood. My neighbors are great people and the neighborhood itself is terrific. My understanding is that very few of the crimes in TGS are committed by TGS residents. Basically we are preyed on by outsiders who come into our neighborhood to commit crimes. My wife often talks about moving to a "safer" neighborhood, but my thought is that since most of the crime is from outsiders, what is the guarantee that if we move to e.g. by Mason School or StL Hills that criminals wouldn't just simply decide to travel to those neighborhoods to commit crimes there?
I agree with every word, right down to the great neighbors. But like you, my wife has her say too, and I can't win every battle. I won't move to St. Louis Hills (we did live their briefly, it's not urban enough for me), but as far as the area inside Mason School boundaries goes, that perhaps may solve the issue of making her feel more comfortable about crime, but the intention there would be for the school itself.

I love TGS. I like Mann Elementary. I'd be comfortable staying and sending him there. But as I said, I've got to be fair to my wife's feelings as well. Having a compromise result in staying in the city, in an urban neighborhood, with a conventional public school would still be pretty good even if it's not 100% what I'd do if I was the sole decision maker.

I'll say that I never fear for my safety in TGS. But I do fear for hers (and now his). Just curious what part of the nabe you live in (if you don't mind)?

I'm in Heights, close to Gustine. Do you have other neighbors in TGS talking about leaving because of crime? Honestly, to me that scares me more than the actual crime itself...the possibility of large amounts of people looking to sell all at once because of crime.

I'm not familiar with City schools much...if you stick with the traditional schools instead of charter/magnet, what high school would a kid go to after graduating Mason? Is Roosevelt the only option?
SouthCityJR wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:53 pm
I'm in Heights, close to Gustine. Do you have other neighbors in TGS talking about leaving because of crime? Honestly, to me that scares me more than the actual crime itself...the possibility of large amounts of people looking to sell all at once because of crime.

I'm not familiar with City schools much...if you stick with the traditional schools instead of charter/magnet, what high school would a kid go to after graduating Mason? Is Roosevelt the only option?
Gotcha. Right now we're on the other side, west of Morganford. Though I don't consider crime necessarily better or worse where we are. Frankly, though it seems to be a slightly less invested in area, my impression is crime may actually be slightly less where we are for whatever reason.

Anyways, no I can't say I've heard any neighbors having the conversation. In fact, our neighbors on either side of us have been around for quite a while, including one who's raised their family there and are now just about empty nesters. The neighborhood is surely quite a bit better off than what they've seen, so they may not share any fears.

Really, I don't mean to act like I view TGS as a bastion of crime either. I don't. But you hear just enough about muggings or car jackings or shootings or whatnot to give my wife pause from her morning walk with the dog or run or from sitting in the car while it heats up. My opinion is it's really not all that bad, and I'd tend to take my chances but I can't deny some validity to her feelings either.

I should also note, we'll be moving one way or another. We own a two-family, live downstairs and rent the upstairs. That's a great set up, but it's only enough room for a family for so long, so eventually we'll have to find new building. I always said I wanted to stay as nearby as possible, but the reality is becoming that we may need to look in other areas.

As for high schools, to be honest, I don't know. And the reality is the options may be pretty different in 14 years than they are now as the population shifts. I'll also be more willing to consider less conventional options as he gets to that age. I'll have had a chance to see if my theories on public schools are right, and if I need to have adjusted by then to set him up for a strong post-high school education, I'll do so. I do want to educate myself on what the options currently are, but I'm also a bit less concerned with that than I am with elementary and middle schools right now.
joelo wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:40 pm
You seriously sound exactly like me.

This map is surprisingly accurate from some addresses I checked. Mason is our elementary school and we live on the Hill and our daughter is 9 months old and going through the same issue you are going through right now. My wife is completely against city public schools but open to magnet/charter schools. We don't want to pay for private schools but moving to a house in the county would be just as expensive in my eyes. I'm trying to convince her on Mason but it's an uphill battle for sure

https://missouri.hometownlocator.com/sc ... 066169.cfm
I think if I can get us into Mason, I can satisfy my wife. I don't know if it's what she'd do on her own, but I think she's with me enough on this and has read enough positive things about Mason to be accepting of that. Now I'll just have to figure out how we do that (if that is indeed what we do). I'm all of 7 blocks outside of that map right now *sigh*. Of course, as I said in the post above, moving out of our current building has to happen at some point anyways, so we'll see where we land.
Parents in Missouri can now claim tax deductions for private schools.

This looks like it will be a huge blow for the St. Louis public school system where most upper class residents send their children to private schools. Just another way for republicans to shut down the evil public school system.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... 588b.html#
GoHarvOrGoHome wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:49 am
Parents in Missouri can now claim tax deductions for private schools.

This looks like it will be a huge blow for the St. Louis public school system where most upper class residents send their children to private schools. Just another way for republicans to shut down the evil public school system.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... 588b.html#
Or a huge boost for the city as this makes city living for families more economically feasible if they decide that a private school is the best choice for their children.
GoHarvOrGoHome wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:49 am
Parents in Missouri can now claim tax deductions for private schools.

This looks like it will be a huge blow for the St. Louis public school system where most upper class residents send their children to private schools. Just another way for republicans to shut down the evil public school system.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... 588b.html#

Oh my.....
robertn42 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:40 pm
GoHarvOrGoHome wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:49 am
Parents in Missouri can now claim tax deductions for private schools.

This looks like it will be a huge blow for the St. Louis public school system where most upper class residents send their children to private schools. Just another way for republicans to shut down the evil public school system.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... 588b.html#
Or a huge boost for the city as this makes city living for families more economically feasible if they decide that a private school is the best choice for their children.
That's a big skeptical maybe from me. And even if that scenario were to come into play, it overlooks the kids who need the funding and involvement in public schools most. This is just more separating of the haves from the have nots.
Not sure how it overlooks the kids that need funding. Schools are supported by property tax, which is still paid at the local level, private school tuition is deducted at the federal level.
jstriebel wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:05 pm
robertn42 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:40 pm
GoHarvOrGoHome wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:49 am
Parents in Missouri can now claim tax deductions for private schools.

This looks like it will be a huge blow for the St. Louis public school system where most upper class residents send their children to private schools. Just another way for republicans to shut down the evil public school system.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/educ ... 588b.html#
Or a huge boost for the city as this makes city living for families more economically feasible if they decide that a private school is the best choice for their children.
That's a big skeptical maybe from me. And even if that scenario were to come into play, it overlooks the kids who need the funding and involvement in public schools most. This is just more separating of the haves from the have nots.
How does a deduction from my state taxes overlook the St Louis public school system that receives my money regardless of where i send my kids to school? If anything, it brings more families to the city that can now afford to send their kids to a private school and increases funding for the public schools.
shadrach wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:48 pm
Not sure how it overlooks the kids that need funding. Schools are supported by property tax, which is still paid at the local level, private school tuition is deducted at the federal level.
Fine. It doesn't overlook the funding. It overlooked the involvement and achievement factor of the parents and kids who otherwise could be helping improve the performance and daily resources of public schools.

I'll say it again. Public schools don't struggle because they're full of bad educators. They struggle because high achieving kids and/or parents that care about their children's education and/or have the resources to devote their time or money to their children's education are avoiding them.

Maybe this increases property tax funds for those schools (MAYBE), but it will just continue the trend of abandonment. And that's the part that's really killing our public schools.
shadrach wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:48 pm
Not sure how it overlooks the kids that need funding. Schools are supported by property tax, which is still paid at the local level, private school tuition is deducted at the federal level.
I believe this is a federal change that now allows states to allow state tax deductions for 529s for private primary schools. It's clearly a benefit to private schools and less state taxes (that help pay for public school funding)..
^What STLrainbow said and,

I think funding is more complicated than that. Sure, public schools get the bulk of their funding from local taxes, such as property, sales, and in this case payroll taxes. But the Feds give grants both to the states and I think in some cases directly to the schools, and the states then distribute those grants and often times additional funding. So there's money coming from all levels. (And even private donations. To public schools, no less.) So yes, when we give private schools a tax break at any level (and we always did and doubtless always will), be it waving property taxes or allowing tax deductible donations, that's money that could have gone to general revenue to be distributed by the government as needed. And now it's not. So there is an aspect of at least telling the haves they needn't support the have nots quite so judiciously. Though again, it's more complicated than that, since the Catholic schools do provide free and reduced tuition to quite a lot of students, if I understand it correctly. There are potential issues of state sponsorship of religion, but they're more than a little labyrinthine. If we also supported our public schools adequately I don't think I'd mind it. But so much gets done in the name of avoiding some disliked other, or some distasteful fact . . . It's a real problem when we've reached a point where we can't even manage to form some kind of a consensus on what is real.
On a more general note, stlgasm, if you guys printed a "Future SLPS Kid" or "Proud SLPS Parent" tee/onesie/whatever makes sense or some combination of the sort, I'd be all over it.