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First day attendance drops at St. Louis Schools

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Interim Superintendent Diana Bourisaw tours a city school. The first day of school was Monday. (KWMU photo)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The interim chief of the St. Louis Public Schools says the first day of class got off to a good start Monday, even though fewer kids came to class than last year.

Preliminary numbers show more than 23,000 students came to school, or about 72% of the total enrollment. That's down from years past, when the numbers hovered around 80%.

Despite the net loss, interim superintendent Diana Bourisaw had high praise for school personnel who reorganized the district. "We opened a new alternative school, we have opened new ninth grade centers, we have opened small high schools," she noted. "It's been nothing less than a monumental feat to get this done in the brief amount of time that we've had."

Bourisaw became interim superintendent just a few weeks ago, after the ouster of Creg Williams.

The district will release end of week attendance figures early next week. Bourisaw is optimistic that those numbers will climb by the end of the week: "We believe that the quality of our schools will attract additional students. So while we may not have the numbers that we want today, we will have the we will have additional numbers in the future."

Until Monday, first day attendance figures had increased each year since 2002.

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