High Schools | St. Louis Public Radio

High Schools

Black teens were the only racial group to show an increase in reported suicide attempts, according to new research from Washington University.
LA Johnson | NPR

Black teenagers in the U.S. are attempting suicide more often — even as suicide attempts have dropped for teens of other racial groups.

Suicide is the second most common cause of death among American teenagers. 

Suicide attempts for black teenage boys have been climbing since the early 1990s,  and research from Washington University suggests a similar trend for black girls.

Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

Small towns love their high school football team. 

So much so, that every year around this time there are scam artists who try to prey upon that pride to get money from local businesses.

The scam works like this: An out-of-town printing company calls businesses saying it is printing items to promote the high school team, and asks them to be sponsors by buying an ad. 

But the money doesn’t go to support the team, and the items may never be printed.

 Steelville High School senior Caleb Dicus is honored at the event in Waynesville for his decision to enlist in the Army. More than 90 students from 12 high schools were recognized.
Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

Many high school students choose college as their destination after graduation, and receive lots of attention for that decision. A collection of high schools near Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood wanted to bring that same recognition to students who join the military.

McCluer High School theater students rehearse “Man of La Mancha” at the Florissant Civic Center. Feb. 21, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis schoolchildren in well-funded school districts often enjoy newer amenities like updated textbooks and newer technology. They may also have an advantage when it comes to the arts.

The disparity of resources is illustrated by theater departments at two local high schools. Clayton High School, whose students are mostly white, gets more help from the district and the community. In Florissant, predominantly African-American McCluer High School largely relies on the theater director, Doug Erwin, for funding.

Students stand together as sophomore Ali Brock speaks to Ladue schools Superintendent Donna Jahnke at a student protest on Nov. 16, 2016.
File photo, Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When students at Ladue Horton Watkins High School staged two walkouts in November, they called for a stronger response to racial aggressions on campus — particularly an incident after the presidential election. A little over a month later, 16-year-old Niesha Ireland says the atmosphere at school still isn't perfect, but it's gotten a whole lot better.

“I still get those remarks in the hallway that aren’t too racist, but when you think about them, it’s like, ughhh,” Ireland said, rolling her eyes. “But at the same time it was way worse [before] — and the teachers wouldn’t catch it. Now the teacher will be like, ‘Excuse me, what did you just say?’ Maybe not all of the staff, but I do feel like they are hearing us out.”

SLPS science teachers Ninfa Matiase, LaJuana Stidmon and Jeremy Resmann practice an experiment Aug. 3, 2016 during training provided by the National Math and Science Initiative.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Two weeks before the new school year, St. Louis Public School teachers Ninfa Matiase, LaJuana Stidmon and Jeremy Resmann cut red agar into squares before dropping them into vinegar. It’s an experiment to test how quickly the cubes absorb the vinegar — one of several lesson plans the teachers have learned over the past two weeks during training provided by the National Math and Science Initiative.

Stidmon, a science teacher at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy, says the training has given her a framework to focus her AP biology class.

Danielle Washington of the Wyman Center walks Ozzie Furlow through financial aid literacy training at St. Louis Graduates' High School to College Center. Furlow plans to enroll as a freshman at Arkansas Baptist in August 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

When Ozzie Furlow graduated from Hazelwood East High School in June, he planned to attend Missouri Western State University in the fall.

But there was a problem.

“They wanted me to be part time, and I have nobody to stay (with) down there,” Furlow said.

Michael B. | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1MbTzFk

Morgan Hagedorn asked a question of Curious Louis that we’ve heard echoed at least 1000 times in 1000 different situations all over St. Louis.

Why are St. Louisans so fixated on where other people went to high school?

Field of students at a graduation
j.o.h.n. walker | Flickr

An NPR report shows Missouri's high school graduation rate increased five percentage points  between 2011 and 2013, good enough to rank 10th in the country. But that number may not tell the whole story.

The Truth About America's Graduation Rate looks at factors affecting the graduation rate around the country, and why the national rate of 81 percent — an all time high — may not be as good as it seems.

Students and counselors meet on the opening day of St. Louis Graduates'  High School to College Center.
Barlow Photography

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 5, 2013: Christian Coffman, 17, just graduated from Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School and is looking forward to studying accounting at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in the fall.

“I’m the first in my family to go to college,” said Coffman. “There’s a lot of questions I need answers to like how I’m going to pay for it, if I’m able to take a job while studying and just advice on being independent.”

Take 5 with five transplants about St. Louis

Apr 9, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 9, 2012 - On Thursday night, a group of transplants gathered in a city that’s known for its neighborhoods, its ball team and its one defining question. Where did you go to high school?

Lots of transplants like to answer that question and then watch the inquisitor squirm or look confused. Thursday night, St. Louis Transplants hosted the event with both insiders and transplants to examine how to promote growth in the region.

Quinn to call for higher dropout age in Ill.

Jan 27, 2012

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will endorse legislation in his State of the State address next week that would raise Illinois' high school dropout age to 18, according to a statement from the Democrat's office.

The proposal would answer a call from fellow Democrat Barack Obama, who in his State of the Union address on Tuesday urged states to keep students in high school long enough for them to get their diploma.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 19, 2011 - Randy Vines' least favorite T-shirt at STL-Style is also one of the store's most popular. It reads: "Where'd you go to high school?"

"I'll be honest," he says. "We hate that one."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 19, 2011 - So, where did you go to high school?

That question seems to follow people here around like the neighborhood stray that nobody wants but everybody feeds. It's regarded both fondly, as a St. Louis thing, or as the seven words that sum up everything wrong with St. Louis.

Sometimes both.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 14, 2011 - Inside Casey Croy's kitchen, the cheery windows and a mid-century dinette stay true to the home's post-war 1940s period. But outside her front door, it's a new day in the neighborhood.

When her parents bought this compact two-bedroom with the "expandable attic" in south St. Louis in 1952, the families who lived on the street were all white. Most of them were either Catholic or Lutheran, says Croy, 68, who acquired the house after her mother died several years ago.

Documentary Brings Attention to Student Stress

Feb 3, 2011

Students pushed to the limit.  Burned out teachers.  Worried parents.  These are the characters in Race to Nowhere, a documentary screening at community events around the country, including three screenings in St. Louis over the next few weeks.  Filmmaker Vikci Abeles has called the film “a call to mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. ”

Ready for your closeup? It's senior photo time

Jul 26, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 26, 2010 - Summertime and the high-school seniors are posing. Cameras are clicking, and the interest is high.

This is the season when seniors prepare for their senior photo sessions. They're busy deciding which clothes and how many outfits to wear, what photos to get, which hobbies to incorporate in the photos, how much money to spend -- and which photographer to use.

FFA: Beyond bib overalls to an expanding job market

Apr 16, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 16, 2010 - Yesterday, high school students from across the state - about 8,500 teenagers and their guests - began converging on the University of Missouri in Columbia for the 82nd Missouri FFA Convention. The two-day program will include agricultural leadership and career development events, meetings of student and faculty leaders, interviews, contests and, this evening, celebration.

After months of preparation, Rob Calvin's students, members of the FFA chapter from Troy Buchanan High School, will compete in a total of 18 contest events at this year's conference. Expectations, Calvin says, are high.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 17, 2009 - Samantha Buress began her sophomore year at Hazelwood Central High School last Thursday with a 4.0 average and a belief that she'll become a good lawyer one of these days. Besides plans to join the student council and the school choir, the 15-year-old intends to continue helping classmates struggling with English, math and science. That's her solution to the achievement gap, an issue about which she and many other students have strong opinions.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 2, 2008-  As another season gets underway for college and high school athletes across St. Louis, coaches have dreamed up - and in some cases already delivered - opening remarks to their teams.

The playbook: Start with some inspiration, then hit 'em with the serious stuff. Don't drink. Don't do drugs. Don't skip class. Increasingly, there's another element to the speech. Don't show yourself doing any of these things on Facebook or MySpace.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise is on a mission. He wants to see every high school student graduate, ready to succeed. The author of "Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation," Wise is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Excellent Education, which pushes for reforms in secondary education. We caught up with him at Webster University where he spoke Tuesday.