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 St. Louis Schools Sensitive To Needs Of Alternative Students 
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Post St. Louis Schools Sensitive To Needs Of Alternative Students
by: Patricia Hawke

The efforts of St. Louis Schools to serve the needs of its alternative schools are admirable. Through the implementation of new summer schools programs, a virtual school, and 3 new alternative campuses, the district of St. Louis Schools strives to serve all students throughout the city. The district Vision and Mission Statements, as stated on the St. Louis Schools website are as follows:


The St. Louis Public Schools are the district of choice for families in the St. Louis region [and] provide a world-class education and are nationally recognized as a leader in student achievement & teacher quality.


We will provide a quality education for all students and enable them to realize their full academic potential.

St. Louis Schools consist of 56 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 10 high schools, 5 alternative/special schools, with a total of 93 in all. The student population is 39,554, and has a drop-out rate of 18.7%. St. Louis Schools employ 4,333 full-time staff, and has a total operating budget of over $342 million.

St. Louis Schools plan to launch a new K-12 initiative at the start of the 2007-2008 school year. It is designed specifically for disruptive students. Enrollment at each school will be limited to 150 students. Bonita Jamison has been named principal of Des Peres Elementary; Sean Nichols will be principal of Turner Middle School; and Kacy Seals will take the reins of Kottmeyer High School. “We have hired instructional leaders with a strong understanding of the needs of alternative students,” said Diana M. Bourisaw, Superintendent of St. Louis Schools. “Our goal is to offer curriculum that encourages students at all levels to achieve academically and socially.” This new initiative is being implemented with assistance from The Big Picture Company. This is an organization that specializes in developing individualized instruction for students.

St. Louis Schools are also in the process of developing a virtual school for the 2007-08 school year. The school will allow K-12 students the ability to attend school from any computer. “Virtual education represents another way in which we are expanding services to our students,” said Superintendent Bourisaw. “Through the Internet, we will offer a broad range of courses and flexibility in scheduling.” The classes will be taught by Missouri’s highly qualified certified teachers.

More than 14,000 St. Louis Schools students are registered to attend summer school. The number of enrolled students is 3,000 more than originally projected. This summer, the district is offering summer school to any Missouri student, tuition free.

“Our district staff has worked very hard to ensure that all of our students receive the type of academic curriculum needed to continue their learning process,” said St. Louis Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Bourisaw. “Our teachers are welcoming students with open arms and will challenge students to remain academically engaged this summer,” she added. This year, the summer program for St. Louis Schools is designed to accelerate the learning process in two key areas: Communication Arts and Mathematics.

It is evident, through the description of the services discussed above, that St. Louis Schools are sensitive to the needs of its alternative students.

About The Author
Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit

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Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:50 am
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