There’s now a template for how in-class learning will look once schools reopen in Missouri. Complying with it all will require some complicated geometry. The Missouri School Boards’ Association’s Center for Education published a nearly 100-page guidebook for schools on how to operate while navigating a pandemic. It calls for more cleaning and hygiene while eliminating or curtailing in-school activities like choir, recess and gym class, as well as many after-school ones.
Washington University’s residential advisors want financial compensation after being “randomly evicted” over email while scattered across the country for spring break. With college campuses closed around the nation and students finishing up the semester from childhood bedrooms, older students enlisted as resident advisors are no longer needed to chaperone freshman dormitories.
Carondelet Leadership Academy, a decade-old charter school in south St. Louis, will close permanently after this current academic year. The school’s administration and its sponsor tried to implement turnaround strategies without success, and so the Missouri Charter Public School Commission said last month it will not renew the school’s charter for another five years.
For science educators, the COVID-19 pandemic is the ultimate teachable moment. That’s why a small team of teachers working with the University of Missouri is already developing a coronavirus curriculum and teaching it to high schoolers around the state. And there are plans to get these lessons into even more classrooms this fall, when kids will hopefully be back in actual classrooms. “I think it's really difficult for teenagers,” said Pat Friedrichsen, a professor of science education at MU. “They're very social. They want to be with their friends. And so we wanted them to understand why this policy is going to help us flatten the curve.” University of Missouri Processor of Science Education Pat Friedrichsen For several years now, Friedrichsen has been working to encourage science educators to teach about relevant, real world problems. She’s helped teachers tackle issues like vaping and genetically modified foods. Now, with a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, she is
Lisa Marlow is worried about her students. Marlow is a school nurse and educator with the Murphysboro Community Unit School District 186. The district serves primarily low-income students in a rural part of southern Illinois. When school is in session, Marlow says having eyes on students, especially those with chronic conditions like Type 1 diabetes or asthma, is crucial. “The biggest reason why it's a huge part of our job is because people don't get to access health care anywhere else, or won't or don't have the means to. I have high school students who don't have insurance,” Marlow says. Schools in Illinois are closed through the end of the current school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and students may be missing out on more than just face-to-face time with teachers. They also might be missing an important link in their access to health care: school nurses. Without daily access to students, school nurses like Marlow fear that warning signs of illness or abuse may go unnoticed.
ROLLA — With some data suggesting the region and state hit its peak in coronavirus spread more than a week ago, Missouri University of Science and Technology is planning to start a slow process of bringing people back to campus. School officials announced the plan during a recent virtual town hall meeting, the latest in a series held every week since the coronavirus pandemic reached the area. “The optimism [about the data] points us in a direction of looking at repopulation of campus in a well-thought-out, phased approach,” said Dr. Dennis Goodman, the university's medical director. “Getting ready for that phase that is going to occur in August which will be a large population surge.”
As the coronavirus pandemic shutdown drags on, some schools are considering holding graduation in July or even August. But two St. Louis entrepreneurs are offering another option: robots.
EDWARDSVILLE — The coronavirus outbreak has forced classes at nearly every university and college in the St. Louis region online, and students and faculty face the challenges of learning or teaching through a screen. Some courses, like larger lectures, can transfer online with relatively few hiccups. But others don’t translate so well, because they’re designed to be hands on or geared toward experiential learning.
The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus could roll back state investments in pre-K made since the last recession. That’s the dire warning in the latest preschool yearbook from the National Institute for Early Education Research, which looks at states’ spending on pre-K during the 2018-19 school year.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois schools will not hold any in-person classes for the rest of the academic year. The governor said the decision reached by his administration and the state school board was a hard one. But, he told reporters during a daily press briefing he is confident that schools will expand remote learning opportunities for students.
About a week ago, the University of Missouri-St. Louis announced it had a new chancellor: Kristin Sobolik. Her selection followed a national search that ultimately led right back to campus. Sobolik has been part of the UMSL leadership team since 2017 — first as provost and most recently as interim chancellor. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air , Sobolik joined host Sarah Fenske to share how she plans to lead the university in the uniquely challenging months ahead.
Parents are anxiously looking at the summer calendar for when they can get kids out of the house and into the responsible watch of teachers and summer camp counselors. Educators and camp leaders, however, say that for the most part, it’s still too early to say for sure.
Updated, 4:40 p.m. Tuesday – The economic fallout from COVID-19 could cost the University of Missouri System $180 million, triggering layoffs, furloughs and other cost-cutting measures. “The problems that we see based on the reductions in state support, also the softness in enrollment in the fall, and how the market is doing in terms of our investment outcomes, we expect a significant downtown for the university,” President Mun Choi said Tuesday during a virtual town hall for University of Missouri faculty and staff, “and that does require structural changes.” KCUR Choi said financial decisions made in the coming weeks and months will be reevaluated when the four-campus System knows what enrollment for the fall looks like. “We must plan for severe financial challenges for the next 60-90 days, with forward-looking realism about potential longer term impacts,” Choi wrote in an email to faculty and staff at all four UM campuses. Along with Choi, the chancellors of the other three state
It’s not news that parents are struggling with suddenly being cast into the role of virtual teacher. They didn’t sign up for two jobs, and most of them didn’t train to be educators. So how can parents do the best they can for their children, while staying sane, in the weeks ahead? “Structure up,” said Gina Jeffries, director of SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School. “Make sure that everybody knows what their role is. The roles have changed.”
Missouri schools will not reopen for the remainder of the academic year, Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday afternoon. "I am ordering all Missouri public and charter schools to remain closed through the remainder of this academic year with the exceptions of nutrition services and child care that are outlined in our recent health order," Parson said.
Food service employees are among the few workers in school districts physically reporting for work every day during the pandemic lockdowns, joining front-line efforts to keep needy kids fed and safe. “Our jobs are not necessarily monetarily driven, they’re more mission-driven,” said Irene Wan, director of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District’s food service division. “We’re here to serve people, we’re here to serve our families.”
Schools in the St. Louis region and around the nation have been closed for nearly a month, as one of many social distancing measures aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus pandemic stretches on. In place of classroom learning, schools have implemented instruction delivered virtually. While students can now attend school in their pajamas, it’s not all fun. They’re missing their friends and teachers, and older students will likely lose milestone moments, such as graduation. St. Louis Public Radio wanted to know how students are adjusting and adapting to their new reality, so we asked them to tell us. Take a listen.
Sandy Kearney’s health was improving, she assured her friends and family. She even talked with her grandsons in a video chat from the hospital bed. Co-workers, friends and family were all concerned when they learned Kearney had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus sweeping through the world. But Sandy, they prayed, they predicted, would be fine.
When St. Louis Public Schools was unexpectedly forced last month to hit the pause button on the school year and close all its buildings, it also had to pause its efforts to decide which schools to close for good. SLPS was about halfway through a multi-month process to reimagine its physical presence throughout the city. The original public forums were held, but Superintendent Kelvin Adams never had a chance to present a plan to the school board. Now, it seems like a low priority.
Like parents around the country, Michelle Haffer never imagined having to become her child’s full-time teacher. But Haffer’s daughter is out of school and mostly stuck in the house. And her daughter, Maddy, isn’t loving it. “Well, she’s been struggling. It’s mostly the social distancing, in that nothing is open,” Haffer said.