St. Louis Public School District

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Administrator wrote: This thread was split from another thread discussing the conversion of <A HREF="http://www.urbanstl.com/viewtopic.php?t=284">Grant School</A> at 3009 Pennsylvania Avenue into residential use.



It's great that the schools are being rehabbed, but what will happen when the population returns to the City, build new schools? That seems like a good idea, but when that happens land will be hard to come by, and private schools may take the public system's place. Cardinal Ritter is an example of using up plenty of land for recreation, and SLU wastes land too. Maybe greenspace could be built on top of the buildings for conservation purposes. I wonder what happens in New York or Japan for land that accompanies schools?
SMSPlanstu wrote:
It's great that the schools are being rehabbed, but what will happen when the population returns to the City, build new schools? That seems like a good idea, but when that happens land will be hard to come by, and private schools may take the public system's place. Cardinal Ritter is an example of using up plenty of land for recreation, and SLU wastes land too. Maybe greenspace could be built on top of the buildings for conservation purposes. I wonder what happens in New York or Japan for land that accompanies schools?




Hehe, I dream of t he day when SLPS is forced to build new schools for rising student population.



Right now it makes sense to convert these old buildings, they are not very efficent, which means the school district has to cut them up for things like computers, elevators for handicapped students, new AC and drop the old high ceilings for duct work and energy efficency.



It makes more sense to build new, modern schools for students, besides the old ones lend themselfs perfectly for renovation to residential.



If I am correct, all the schools that were sold last year are being adapted to other uses, most of them residetial.

The 2003-4 round of school closings was unnecessary. The district has forced overcrowding with its closures.



The Slay machine is banking on newcomers sending their kids to private or parochial school, a trend that started in the 1950's.



The problem is: Most St. Louisans can't afford private tuition. (Both of us went to public schools.) The city schools are necessary infrastructure that unfortunately has been degraded and whittled away. The public schools are under attack right when they need to be strengthened and prepared for days when the population begins to grow again. I hope that crisis can be averted, and that good new schools can be built. This spring is a good time to get involved in efforts to elect candidates to the Board of Education with future focus and respect for the majority of St. Louisans, who are middle and lower class.

Regardless, I think the city HAD to sell the vacant school properties and move students to other buildings. First, this allows them to sell the buildings for cash - which they desperately need. Second, it allows these buildings to be redeveloped, further helping the city. Until a larger population moves back into the city, a larger tax bulk of cash is had, then the city can start building new schools and reduce overcrowding in general.
The City can come back despite decreasing public school enrollment because fewer American households are families with children. And homebuilders realize this in diversifying their product from traditional large, detached, single-family homes.



Ever hear too of the theory that people locate according to their sexual status, income and ideology?



When you're single, you choose apartment, condo or loft communities where you are more likely to find a match. Conservative and middle-income, live in Maryland Heights and party in Westport. Liberal and upper-income, live and play in Clayton.



Then, once you meet you match and settle down, if you have kids, you have choices too, liberals pick University City or Webster, while conservatives pick St. Peters or Chesterfield. Even non-hetero breeders play the game. Gays will locate in CWE, Soulard or South Grand when single but move to Southwest City or Mid-County once older and coupled.



Fortunately, our City with its neighborhoods offers a wide variety for various household types. As for families with children, though, we are only a choice for those with the money to afford private/parochial options or those without any other affordable housing choices. But even if we don't master public education, many other household types will find our City attractive for at least a portion of their life as one's very own status and preferences changes with time.

I must admit, the St. Louis Public School District confuses me. A few weeks back, I was talking with a St. Louis Hills resident who sends his kids to a Catholic school, and he told me that if his kids were enrolled in public schools, they would not attend the grade school that was just a few blocks from his home; they would be in a school halfway across town.



This didn't make any sense to me at all.



Since academic achievement is correlated with socioeconomic status, if the children of St. Louis Hills were allowed to attend a school in their neighborhood, wouldn't that school be a high achieving school? And if the schools supporting the higher income neighborhoods of St. Louis were full of the higher-achieving children of higher income-earning parents, wouldn't those schools make the neighborhoods they serve more attractive places to live (and with consequently higher property values)?



Am I oversimplifying things?

He was probably referring to a magnet school. The schools in STL Hills are Busch Academy and Nottingham. Busch is some kind of athletic, physical activity oriented school (whatever that means--I still don't know what that's about), and Nottingham is a regualr old school.

DeBaliviere wrote:
Am I oversimplifying things?




Absolutely not.........this is a very important issue that needs to be addressed. A couple of the potential school board members who got beat out the last election by the "slate" of 4 were pushing this issue.



I am no expert on the school system and actually how it is determined where students attend a school, but if it isn't completely by neighborhood, than we need to bring back the "neighborhood" schools and this will go a long way to helping solve some of the problems the district faces. A better neighborhood will than have better schools, attracting more people to that neighborhood, and it will spread from there. It does sound overly simplified, but I believe it is a good start.
I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker the other day. She moved here a couple years ago from LA and she was telling me how much she loves St. Louis and particularly her neighborhood. Her only concern about living in the city is the schools. When she has kids she doesn?t want to pay the cost of catholic schools and she thought the public schools are all bad. When I told her that Metro is the state?s top high school she was pretty surprised, which unfortunately is the common reaction when I tell people that.



It seems whenever we hear something about SLPS in the media it is negative. I think this really takes away from the good things happening in the district. Now we all know that the district has it problems but at the same time there are school like Metro, Central VPA and Career Academy where students perform as well if not better then their peers in suburban districts. My question for everyone living in the city is how well do you think the district promotes the positives happening in the city?s schools? In your neighborhood do most people know that there is a lot of good happening? Also, do you think that if SLPS promoted itself more, people that moved away from the city citing schools might have stayed?

I hate to say it - and i know I'll get a lot of flak for saying it -but I wouldn't send my kids to a city school if you put a gun to my head .... I wish I felt differently but I don't



but then again I probably wouldn't send my kids to any public school ....

I'm not all that knowledgeable on how the SLPS operates, or public education in general, for that matter, but one thing has always confused me.



It seems as if the quality of education a school district provides can be directly correlated with demographics ? in particular, income and the education attained by the parents in the district. Districts with highly educated parents are going to place a greater emphasis on the education of their children than in poor districts, and those children tend to achieve at a higher level



So?



With the exception of a handful of magnet schools, why do the schools seem to be subpar across the board? Why are the schools considered ?bad? in the St. Louis Hills/Lindenwood Park/South Hampton/North Hampton area, where some of the city?s most affluent and educated residents live? Is it a lack of resources? Are the SLPS teachers simply not good teachers? Maybe my reasoning is totally flawed, so somebody help me out here.



If I had kids, SLPS would not be an option. They would either attend Joan of Arc (or the school of whatever parish I happen to live in at the time), or we would move to a district with quality schools. I?m Catholic, and went to Catholic schools, and my fianc?e is not Catholic and went to public schools, so we haven?t figured that out how we'll handle our kids' education, if we choose to have kids.

Random side note of the day, I went to Joan of Arc, it'b be cool to see Debaliviere Jr. there. More randomness, did you go up to the Homecoming?





OK, here's what I think about your approach DB. The demographics are there if it has something to do with how you laid it out, but that segment almost entirely send their children to Catholic Schools, whether because they are Catholic, or don't want to send their kids to SLPS's. The Catholic Schools, while good quality, and a good choice to have, take away fromt the diversity in the public schools in more ways than one. Kind of a Chicken and Egg, did the Catholic Schools become so popular because of the poor Public Schools, or did the Public Schools at least in part suffer because of the popularity of Catholic Schools. Something to think about at least.



The only way I would send my kids to Public Schools is if they can get into Kenard, Metro, etc. I like the Schools I attended my whole life, so I will probably send my kids to whatever parish I am in, and hopefully if I have a boy, he will want to go to St. Mary's like me.
Ok, what is the problem with the schools? Is it mismanagment, the small tax base, what?



Who appoints the board of education, and who draws the district lines?



What is a charter school?



Possible solutions? More local control of the schools?



I really would like to know. I just moved here, and I would like to hear some good answers.





http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/mo/other/2039



Compare that to the state average!

Interesting article from the Post on how the magnet schools are setting aside 35% of their seats for students residing within walking distance. This sounds like a good plan...



http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/s ... enDocument

When I do have kids, which will not be for a long time, how do I get them into Metro? Is this determined by ward?

:shock: Wow, this is a major step in the right direction, IMO. Comments?



City schools will require uniforms

By Steve Giegerich

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

02/14/2006



The St. Louis School Board voted Tuesday night to approve a strategic plan by Superintendent Creg Williams designed to drastically alter the way the long-beleaguered city district educates its students.



The reforms scheduled for the 2006-07 academic year include mandatory school uniforms for students system-wide, ninth-grade academies for students attending the city's three largest high schools, year-round school for ninth-graders, gender-specific academies and the introduction of more "small school" learning academies throughout the district.



>>>READ MORE

I like what I've heard from Creg Williams since he took over. This sounds like a step in the right direction.

I agree, it's nice to see someone taking some drastic steps, there's almost no place to go but up.

I want to send my kids to the public school some day, I hope improvements are made.

Nothing like a dress code to help instill the importance of the education.



Thats another reason why city schools are nice in some ways. The older buildings give dignaty and weight the education of children, something that Rockwood can't do with its big boxes and industrial design.

I've very impressed with the changes. What I like about the year-round program, is that if a student doesn't meet the standards, he has to take another June-June course, creating an incentive to excel.

JMedwick wrote:
Nothing like a dress code to help instill the importance of the education.



Thats another reason why city schools are nice in some ways. The older buildings give dignaty and weight the education of children, something that Rockwood can't do with its big boxes and industrial design.




I think most people would choose the Rockwood "big boxes" over the old city schools any day. The last thing most kids think about when they are in school is how much history the building has. If the inside is crap that's the only thing that matters.



I've very impressed with the changes. What I like about the year-round program, is that if a student doesn't meet the standards, he has to take another June-June course, creating an incentive to excel.



While I can see the merit of the 12 month school year, I don't think it will be much of an incentive. Kids that fail their classes have to go to summer school anyway so this won't change that too much. Still, this part of the plan is good for other reasons.

Expect More = Get More



Currently, school systems have been geared towards teaching to the dumb and have lost those and the rest of the students. Honors courses are a start, but those should be the regular classes. The students who do not want to do the class work or rise to the challenge would be sent to a different high school for teaching towards tech school or whatever Germany has in place.



The basic principle is raisingbar of expectations and students will rise to the challenge.

There?s an interesting article in today?s WSJ (I can?t link it because you need to pay to view articles online :( , it?s on the front page) about a Kalamazoo, MI plan called the ?Kalamazoo Promise?. Basically any child who graduates from one of Kalamazoo?s public high schools gets 65% of college tuition covered at a state college or community college. Anyone attending all the way from K-12 gets full coverage of tuition. The trick is it?s funded by benefactors from the community, not from the city government (as far as I can tell). They estimate it will eventually cost $12 million/year to fund, not bad for an entire city. It has helped the housing market pick up and obviously increased enrollment in city schools.



I know a program like this in St. Louis would cost significantly more, but we also have more wealthy people/corporations to draw from. Philadelphia is studying the feasibility of a similar plan, so I assume it?s not impossible for a larger city. Investing in the education of the region?s kids is something that always pays off in the long run - and talk about drawing middle class families back to the city!