St. Louis Public Schools Case Study

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Background As a young educator with aspirations of school and district leadership, I attended almost every School Board meeting during my two years in St. Louis Public Schools.  Some of these meetings were sparsely attended, with only a handful of community activists and parents participating.   However, one major issue managed to galvanize public interest in School Board dealings to the point where dozens of would-be participants had to be turned away on a monthly basis due to capacity constraints.   Facing a huge deficit, St. Louis Public Schools was forced to close a number of schools, among those closed were alternative schools for students who had committed severe, violent, disciplinary infractions.   These school closings resulted not only in the mainstreaming of these students,…show more content…
The major Board/Community debate was over how to address the disciplinary issues.   While the Board looked to find innovative ways to address disciplinary concerns, many parents suggested that the district simply enforce the rules that were already on the books and tighten up in administering consequences. During my time in SLPS, the district did not have a detention or in school suspension plan, leaving schools with just suspensions and expulsions to use as consequences. But being an unaccredited district, school leaders and the Board realized that students had to be in the building to get as much instructional time as possible. Also, students themselves knew that during the standardized MAP tests, it was highly unlikely that they would be suspended or expelled for any infraction. The result was an inconsistent application of consequences which resulted in serious disciplinary

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