SLPS BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES CONSOLIDATION PLAN FOR 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
ST. LOUIS, MO. – After more than a year of discussion and careful consideration, the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis voted yesterday evening to consolidate seven schools in the Saint Louis Public School District and reassign Carnahan from a high school to a middle school.
The action will allow the District to reallocate staff and resources to provide a more supportive, engaging and equitable educational experience for all students.
“Our district has the talent and resources it needs to provide every, single student with a world-class educational experience,” said SLPS Superintendent Dr. Kelvin R. Adams. “However, that talent and those resources become less effective when they are stretched over 68 buildings, some of which have fewer than 200 students. By consolidating, each school and every student will benefit.”
Consolidation upgrades will include increased discretionary funds for schools and additional educational and extracurricular activities. Positions that traditionally have been part-time or split—for example an art teacher or nurse assigned to two different buildings—will now be full-time at one location. No staff layoffs are expected as a result of consolidation.
The vote came after more than 12 months of meetings and discussion around how to best “right size” the District to serve the current enrollment of roughly 21,000 students in grades PK-12. The schools scheduled to close at the end of the 2020-2021 school year are:
No changes will occur until the 2020-2021 school year concludes. Current seniors will not be impacted. Additionally, juniors will have the option to stay with their classmates for the 2021-2022 school year and graduate from their current high schools, while receiving instruction at a different school site. Carnahan will revert to a middle school, as was its original purpose, over a three-year period. Current sophomores and juniors will have the choice to stay at Carnahan through their senior year or transfer to another high school. Sumner High School had also been recommended for closure. In its motion, the Board postponed that decision until March 2021. Some of the buildings slated for closure may be used for other District business. Others may be leased or put on the market for sale. In preparing the list of schools recommended for consolidation, Dr. Adams and his team conducted a thorough review of data, including housing and populations trends. Feedback provided by the community in the spring at community visioning sessions directly informed the criteria used to evaluate schools:
“When the District was forced to shut down in March due to the coronavirus, we had just completed a comprehensive series of community visioning sessions that solicited feedback from every stakeholder of Saint Louis Public Schools: students, parents/guardians, staff, community partners, clergy, and the community at large,” said Dr. Adams.
Consulting firm Emerging Wisdom led the sessions, and reviewed and processed the feedback from hundreds of people who participated. The firm’s summaries and comprehensive report were completed and published online at www.slps.org/workshops in late April.
Preparations are now underway to ensure a smooth transition for elementary and middle school students in school year 2021-2022.
“Now that we have a plan in place, we will focus our attention on assisting families with these changes and keeping them informed as we prepare to start the next school year,” said Dr. Adams.
Student Recruitment and Placement specialists will contact every impacted family to answer questions, provide additional details and assist with selecting a new school, as needed. Additionally, parents/guardians or students with questions may call the Office of Student Recruitment and Placement at 314-633-5200 or email Stephen.Anderson@slps.org.
About Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS): Saint Louis Public Schools has been preparing students for a bright future since 1838. The District serves approximately 21,000 children in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. With more than 60 schools and academic programs, including magnet and choice schools, SLPS has a school to fit every child’s needs. For more information about SLPS, visit the District’s website at www.slps.org and follow the District on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.