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No St. Louis schools have been tagged for closure as consolidation plan gets underway, superintendent says

No St. Louis schools have been tagged for closure as consolidation plan gets underway, superintendent says

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Student leaves school bus in St. Louis

A St. Louis Public Schools student makes his way to a waiting car after exiting a school bus on Tuesday Aug. 13, 2019, at Garesche and Lucille Avenues in St. Louis. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

In a letter Friday to principals, St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams assured them that no schools have been identified for closure.

The Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that the district’s enrollment has fallen below 20,000 for the first time, and that any school with fewer than 200 students could be considered for closure before the 2020-2021 school year.

The district is “reviewing our footprint,” Adams wrote to principals in response to the article.

“Schools with several years in a row of low enrollment will likely be part of that conversation, but that is not the only factor. Other considerations include — but are not limited to — housing and population trends, academic performance and building condition.

“As a school district, our top priority is to educate students and keep them safe. Heating, cooling, staffing, securing and maintaining 68 buildings for 22,000 students diverts money away from the classroom.”

Town hall meetings will be held in January and February to discuss potential consolidation options and get feedback from the community, Adams said.

The city school district now enrolls 19,801 full-time students in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to data released Thursday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Before 2011, St. Louis was the largest school district in the state. It is now fourth-largest, behind Springfield, Rockwood and North Kansas City. When preschool students are included, St. Louis is second-largest in the state, behind Springfield, with 21,848 students.

The smallest enrollments include Farragut Elementary in the Greater Ville neighborhood with 115 students, Dunbar Elementary in JeffVanderLou with 119 students and Peabody Elementary in Peabody Darst Webbe with 137 students.

TABLE: St. Louis Public Schools with fewer than 200 students enrolled

Any St. Louis school with fewer than 200 students could be under consideration for closure this spring, according to the district.

Source: Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education, September 2019 K-12 enrollment

School K-12 enrollment
HENRY ELEM. 199
HODGEN ELEM. 198
FANNING MIDDLE COMMUNITY ED. 196
NORTHWEST HIGH 193
LACLEDE ELEM. 188
ASHLAND ELEM. AND BR. 186
MERAMEC ELEM. 179
WALBRIDGE ELEM. COMMUNITY ED. 178
HUMBOLDT ACAD OF HIGHER LRNING 176
COLUMBIA ELEM. COMM. ED. CTR. 175
HICKEY ELEM. 176
FORD ELEM. COMM. ED. 166
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER ELEM 166
FROEBEL ELEM. 166
BRYAN HILL ELEM. 152
SHENANDOAH ELEM. 145
JEFFERSON ELEM. 139
PEABODY ELEM. 137
CLAY ELEM. 132
NOTTINGHAM HIGH 122
DUNBAR AND BR. 119
FARRAGUT ELEM. 115

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