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Education

University City seniors Alex Cunningham, sitting, and Kyhler Cross work out a new beat as part of the audio production course Cunningham started last year. April 23, 2018.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Alex Cunningham is sprawled across the hallway in a corner of the University City High School music department. His laptop rests on his chest. Headphones cover his ears.

“I was trying to get to the studio but the door was locked,” he explained.

Cunningham, an 18-year-old senior, didn’t feel like doing the four flights of stairs down and up again to find a staff member to let him in. So he plopped down in the hall, outside of what could be considered his classroom.

Harris-Stowe State University is celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of two local NAACP chapters are urging the state of Missouri to give equal funding and treatment to the state’s historically black universities: Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis and Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Harris-Stowe’s NAACP Youth and College Branch established the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Higher Education to push for more funding from the state. The St. Louis City NAACP chapter announced Monday its support of that effort and added that litigation may be the next step if the state fails to provide more funding.

Hawthorn students Lanet Williams, at left, and Lauryn Holmes, center, practice taking each other's blood pressure with Washington University medical student Helen Liljenwall on April 13, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Washington University students are working closely with staff at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls in north St. Louis to help students succeed academically and introduce them to new experiences.

As part of the InvestiGirls program, Wash U undergraduates provide after-school tutoring and enrichment workshops for Hawthorn students in sixth through ninth grade. The initiative, which is spearheaded by the university’s Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, recently completed its third year.

Local college students (from left) Dre Williams, Ryan Bieri and Daniel Redeffer discussed the ongoing budget crisis in higher education and its impact on the public institutions where they are pursuing degrees.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Public colleges and universities throughout the U.S. are relying more and more on student tuition and fees to make ends meet, and institutions in the St. Louis region have been no exception to that trend.

Just in the past few weeks, money squabbles within the Southern Illinois University System have made headlines, as did a University of Missouri­-St. Louis committee report that recommends investing in some academic areas while eliminating others, including theater, anthropology and more.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the impact of higher education’s ongoing budget crisis on those at the heart of the whole matter: the students.

Natalie Heath, of Marquette High School, cheers as St. Louis-area high school students speak at a protest outside Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office in downtown St. Louis. April 20, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

High school students from across the St. Louis region took part in another day of action Friday to call for improved school safety and tighter gun control measures.

The protest fell on the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where 13 people were killed. Many consider that event the moment when mass school shootings entered Americans’ consciousness. The Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, has rocketed student activists to the center of the debate over guns.

QUINN DOMBROWSKI | FLICKR

People across the United States are focusing on the youngest in their communities during the National Week of the Child.

Sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the week aims to bring attention to early childhood education.

The Child Development Laboratory Center at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley is celebrating in its own way; first with Tasty Tuesday, where parents and their children made tacos, and then Work Together Wednesday, which involved a clean-up of the playground.

School Illustration
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

LGBTQ youth, particularly in the Midwest, suffer higher rates of bullying than their straight peers, which researchers say can have long-term negative effects on their academics.

Because bullying can lower self-esteem and discourage students from coming to school or engaging with peers, learning suffers. This is magnified for LGBTQ youth, according to Dana Peterson, a criminal justice professor at the State University of New York at Albany.

UMSL criminologists Lee Slocum (at left) and Finn Esbensen discussed a variety of safety issues that students and teachers deal with daily.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Mass shootings in U.S. schools continue to occur and make headlines. Other types of school violence, typically affecting one or two students at a time, garner less attention and more often end in suicide than homicide.

That’s according to University of Missouri–St. Louis criminologist Finn Esbensen, whose recent research in St. Louis County schools alongside colleague Lee Ann Slocum suggests that many young people struggle with school attendance out of fear for their safety.

Caitlyn Kalmer, 7, works on her model of the brain during the Little Medical School after-school program at Stanton Elementary School in Fenton.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Splinters and paper cuts? No. Broken bones? Yes, that’s more worthy of a trip to the hospital. So goes a first-aid lesson for a first-grader.

Treating bumps and scrapes is the first lesson of Little Medical School, a St. Louis County-based company that introduces young learners to health and science.

Provided | Katy Jamboretz

A new project is providing on-the-go reading materials for Metro Transit riders in north St. Louis County.

The program, which launched this week, is a partnership between the St. Louis Promise Zone, St. Louis County Library, Bi-State Development, the Metro Transit and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. It will provide free books and other reading materials through “community library boxes” at four Metro Transit centers including: North Hanley, Wellston, Rock Road and North County.

Visitors to schools likely are used to seeing a sign on the entrance prohibiting firearms. Now a proposed Missouri law would require districts with armed staff to warn attackers they'll be met with "deadly force."
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Most visitors to schools are used to seeing a sign on the entrance making it clear that firearms are prohibited on school property.

Now a proposed Missouri law would require districts that allow some teachers to carry guns to post a sign reading: "Under Missouri law, this school and its staff are authorized to meet threats to student safety with deadly force if necessary."

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth / St. Louis Public Radio

A new curriculum aims to simplify how students transfer general education credits from a Missouri community college into one of the state’s four-year public universities so that students don't have to retake general education courses.

CORE 42 was approved earlier this month by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education and will go into effect next fall.

Several Missouri school districts arm their employees to prevent mass shootings. More schools in the state are considering it following a school shooting last month.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A small number of rural Missouri school districts are allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns. Instead of following a state law that sets out how districts can arm teachers, the schools are using a private security firm to oversee training.

Some say that raises legal and liability questions.

Nearly 100 Missouri school districts contain parts of the Mark Twain National Forest but can't collect property taxes on it. A program splitting timber revenue profits between the U.S. Forest Service and those schools was renewed.
John W. Iwanski | Flickr

The federal spending plan approved by Congress this week renews a program splitting lumber profits between the U.S. Forest Service and rural school districts within federal forestland, after the equal sharing agreement lapsed in 2014.

Nearly 100 schools in southern Missouri contain parts of the Mark Twain National Forest. Some pruned budgets and put off buying buses after drops in timber payments of more than $100,000 each of the past two fiscal years.

BluePrint4SummerSTL

A St. Louis-based mobile app and website aims to help parents find summer activities for their kids, all in one place.

Blueprint4SummerSTL aggregates a list of wide-ranging activities for parents to choose from based on a child’s specific needs, including the cost, distance, interests, age, before and after care, as well as scholarship availability.

Saint Louis University High School sophomore Bryce Van Bree (at left), music director Jeff Pottinger (center) and senior Emanuel Parker discussed what the serendipitous experience was like on Tuesday’s show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Last week, Jeff Pottinger and his band of 40-some Saint Louis University High School students were enjoying a trip they knew they’d remember for years to come when it suddenly became exponentially more unforgettable.

They were partway through a musical performance just outside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican when Pope Francis himself approached the group, listened to them play, then talked with them and even took a few selfies with the teens.

“Magical” is one word that Pottinger used to sum up the experience while discussing it on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air with host Don Marsh.

Several Missouri school districts arm their employees to prevent mass shootings. More schools in the state are considering it following a school shooting last month.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Glenwood Elementary School sits along a state highway between West Plains and the Arkansas border, in far south-central Missouri. If the school has an emergency, the Howell County Sheriff’s Department is more than 10 minutes away.

Superintendent Wayne Stewart said it’s a situation that makes the district of 240 students especially vulnerable if a shooter ever attacked.

“Very likely, the deed would be done by the time emergency responders got here,” he said.

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson | St. Louis Public Radio

More than a dozen high school students from the Jennings School District brushed up on their job skills Thursday as part of a program through AT&T.

The company’s Aspire Mentoring Academy, in partnership with Jobs for America’s Graduates program, held its "Passport to Success" event at the company’s headquarters in Des Peres. The program allows students to learn essential job skills through mentorship.

Jeremy Meuser, 13, refects during the school walkout at Maplewood Richmond Heights.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Students in St. Louis — and around the country — walked out of school Wednesday morning as part of a national call for improved school safety and tighter gun-control measures.

Richard Gaines, center, of the Special Administrative Board, speaks during  a joint meeting with the St. Louis Elected School Board Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

The first joint meeting between St. Louis’ two school boards could be seen as the starting gun many in the community have wanted to hear for a decade. For others, it’s a reminder of a troubled past for the school system. But a return of St. Louis Public Schools to elected control likely won’t be a sprint, but rather a slow walk to June 2019.

The seven-member Board of Education flanked a three-person Special Administrative Board, or SAB, during a special meeting Tuesday night at SLPS’s headquarters to begin the process of transitioning back to democratic control.

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