District News

UCHS Robolions Rounding Out Great Year at World Event

1 day ago

The UCHS Robolions have enjoyed a spectacular year. Here is a summary (written to team sponsors) from Lead Mentor, Ed Dietzler:

The 2015-2016 has been an amazing year that has exceeded expectations. Here are just a few of the things the team has accomplished: The Robolions began meeting last August, five months prior to “build season.” During the fall semester, team members mentored an elementary school FIRST Lego League (FLL) team and assisted a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)team with ideas for fundraising. They raised funds by selling concessions and holding a “100 sponsors in 100 days” fund drive. They volunteered to set-up and break down the FLL Warm-up and the Brittany Woods FLL qualifier. They supported and advised teams at both events with programming and build assistance. They built a float for the school’s homecoming parade. The team completed two off-season builds - a SeaPerch underwater ROV and a holonomic drive prototype - with veterans helping rookies. They completed tool safety training and attended mentor-taught JAVA classes. They demonstrated their robot at the school’s club fair, elementary school science nights, and the Raspberry Pi Jam at the Danforth Plant Center. They hosted visitors to their lab including Scout troops, community members, and sponsors.

One of the most exciting evenings for the team was a Skype session with UCHS alum and Back to the Future series author, Bob Gale.On January 9th, the Robolions attended the 2016 kick-off where FIRST issued this year's game challenge Stronghold.The team learned that they needed to build a robot having a perimeter of no more than 120 inches, no taller than 54 inches, and weighing no more than 120 lbs. It needed to be capable of scoring points by launching boulders (balls) into goals, crossing any of 9 obstacles, and / or climbing 7 1/2 feet into the air. The entire robot needed to be complete by February 23rd. They had a strategy and fast prototype lock-in, learned all about launching mechanisms and related geometries, explored drive systems (chain or belt, 8 inch solid wheels or 10 inch tires?!?), and tested winch - encoder systems. Some of the team members learned to cut metal and bend Lexan for the first time.

Team members CADed and reCADed robot designs, worked with the local technical college to have components machined and welded, designed electrical systems to fit in an 8" x 24" space, and built a fully operational test prototype. Needless to say, the team relentlessly tested and retested code and learned that programming a vision system is not as easy as it seems.

Parallel to building a highly complex robot, the Robolions put together a business plan, a Chairman's Award report, video, and presentation as required for the NASA grant they received to go to the Rocket City Regional in Huntsville, AL.

On February 23rd, the Robolions put their competitive robot, named El Fuego, in a bag. It could cross obstacles and accurately score in the high goal in both autonomous and tele-operated modes. The team waited to compete at the St Louis Regional three weeks later. In St. Louis, the team placed 23rd of 49 teams, was selected as an alliance partner with Raven Robotics of Francis Howell and Ratchet Rockets of Wentzville. They made it to semi-finals where they were 12 points away from being in the finals.

Two weeks after St. Louis, the team participated at the Rocket City Regional in Huntsville, AL. They toured the University of Alabama in Huntsville, visited their Space Hardware Club lab, and had a private tour of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center where they saw Saturn V test stands and visited the control room for the International Space Station. At the competition, the team competed with Hall of Fame robotics teams, used gracious professionalism to help rookie teams, and found out how quickly NASA welders can repair a brokenlauncher arm. They ended up ranked 16th of 51 teams going 7 and 3 in qualifications. While they did not make alliance selections, they were the team that was on the mat and ready to be a backup if needed through the quarter finals, semifinals, and finals.

To cap off this amazing season, the team learned that they are invited to compete in the 2016 FRC World Championship in St. Louis, April 27-30. And if that weren’t enough, as one of the top 26 teams in the state, the Robolions were also invited to compete at the Missouri State Robotics Championships in Sedalia on May 14th.

Throughout the robotics build season and competitions, the students did their homework, kept their grades and GPA up, and participated in school sports and clubs. They did their chores at home, worked at jobs, and received driver's permits or licenses. We could not have accomplished all of this without the generous support of our sponsors. Your involvement in this program makes all the difference for our students, and we are grateful to you.

We hope to see you in St. Louis this weekend and show you our team in action.

Thank you again, Ed Deitzler, Coach / Lead Mentor, FRC Team 3397, University City High School Robolions

UCHS Students Accepted to STARS Program at UMSL

21 hours ago

        Tall, Tschampel Selected for Prestigious Scientific Research Program

The University of Missouri–St. Louis pre-collegiate research program Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) has a record 96 high school juniors enrolled this summer including two from University City High School--Coumba Tall and John Tschampel.

Running from June 13 to July 22, STARS will pair academically talented students with more than 60 local scientists who work in fields such as biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, physics and psychology.

The mentors are top researchers from Array Bridge Inc., Confluence Discovery Technologies, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the host institution, UMSL.

“The opportunities offered to these students turn into more than advance preparedness for college,” said Ken Mares, director of the STARS program – now in its 28th year. “These students have gone on to shining futures as doctors, conservation scientists and chemical engineers, to name only a few of the many successes.”

Besides the individual attention and experience students gain in the lab, the STARS program also hosts lectures by nationally lauded scientists based in St. Louis. Those lectures span topics from medical ethics to bees to nerve injury and more.

“STARS really opens up the world of science research to high school students on so many levels,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “They benefit from the lab experience, but also the exposure to so many researchers with expert knowledge. And this is all while experiencing college and campus life.”

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Thank you for helping us transform the life of every student every day!
Board Hosting Retirement Event for Dr. Pruitt
The University City Board of Education invites the community to a retirement celebration honoring Dr. Joylynn Pruitt on Sunday, May 1 from 2-5 p.m. in the Brittany Woods Gymnasium, located at 8125 Groby Road (63130).

This event is free and open to the public.

Second Annual Fathers Night in the U to Honor 15 Community Men (and One Special Lady) April 29

3 days ago

Garry Aronberg
Clarence Cole
Derrick Coley
Zach Hollowell
Man of Valor, Inc.

Fathers Night in the U
The Joy of Fatherhood

Dr. J Michael Pressimone
keynote speaker

Halbert Sullivan
master of ceremonies

Friday, April 29, 2016
7 p.m.
University City High School

Dr. Joylynn Pruitt
Steve Baden

Michael Maclin

Elder Joe Louis Middleton

Man of Valor, Inc., invites the community to attend the second annual Fathers Night in the U - The Joy of Fatherhood with keynote speaker Dr. J Michael Pressimone, president of Fontbonne University, and master of ceremonies Halbert Sullivan, founder of Fathers' Support Center, St. Louis.

This "Night of Empowerment, Encouragement & Motivation" begins at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2016 in the University City High School Auditorium, located at 7401 Balson Ave., 63130.

Honorees include:

  • Distinguished Father of the Year: Steve Baden, President/CEO Royal Banks of Missouri
  • Man of Valor 2016: Michael Maclin, Principal/University City High School
  • Spiritual Father of 2016: Elder Joe Louis Middleton - Pastor/City of Life Christian Church
  • Pillars in the Community Honorees: Garry Aronberg, Clarence Cole, Derrick Coley and Zach Hollowell
  • Honorary Fathers For 2016:  Joseph Anderson, Clarence S. Burgess, Antonio Ellis, Aaron Jackson, Joseph Mosby, George Perkins, Jerron Sutton and Byron Thompson
  • Luther Baker Jr. Excellence in Education and Man of Valor Special Recognition: Dr. Joylynn Pruitt. Superintendent of Schools/School District of University City
Special gifts are waiting for the first 30 fathers to arrive and include a raffle for 32" television.

For more information, visit www.ManofValorInc.org or contact event coordinators Man of Valor, Inc.’s CEO Bishop Luther Baker and COO Everett Thomas via email manofvalorinc@yahoo.com or call 314-290-4103.

District Names Nancy Luebbers Teacher of the Year; Two Named Educational Support Persons of the Year

3 days ago

Nancy Luebbers, 5th grade teacher at Barbara C. Jordan Elementary School is congratulated on her Teacher of the Year award. From left are Elizabeth Gardner, Director of Instruction, Dr. Joylynn Pruitt, Superintendent, Luebbers, Principal Shenelle DuBose and Dr. Cathy Carlock Lorenz, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.

Nancy Luebbers, a 5th grade teacher at Barbara C. Jordan Elementary School has been selected as the 2016-17 Teacher of the Year for The School District of University City. Luebbers who will have the opportunity  to compete for the state Teacher of the Year title, was notified of her selection in a special surprise announcement at the school on April 5, 2016. 

"Nancy Luebbers is an instructional leader inside and outside of the classroom. Her students thrive in the positive learning environment that she creates, which fosters collaboration, mutual respect and thinking at high levels. Her colleagues benefit greatly from her as well because of her dedicated involvement in many building and District-level committees," said Elizabeth Gardner, Director of Instruction.

The District has also named the Educational Support Person of the Year (ESPOY) for 2016-17. This year, two superstar staff members will receive the award.  Barbara Dickerson, Administrative Secretary at Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center and Terry Johnson, Building Aide at Pershing, Elementary School. Johnson has 14 years of service  in the District and Dickerson has 21 years of service.

ESPOY nominees included:

Portia House, Administrative Secretary at Flynn Park, 17 years of service

Claudette Scaife, Building aide at Flynn Park, 14 years of service

Evelyn Williams, Food Service Cook, Julia Goldstein, 20 years

Patricia Wilson, Nurse, Julia Goldstein, 20 years

Dickerson, Johnson and Luebbers will all be honored at the April 14, 2016 Board of Education meeting and again during the District's year-end Honorees & Retirees Reception.

Barbara Dickerson, center, is congratulated by Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt , immediate right and Crystal Cauley, Director of the Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center, immediate left, on being named Educational Support Person of they Year.

Terry Johnson, back row center, is congratulated by Principal Herbert Buie on being named Educational Support Person of the Year. Johnson is a building aide at Pershing Elementary. Dr. Joylynn Pruitt, Superintendent, is to Johnson's immediate left. Also congratulating Johnson are from right, Dr. Cathy Carlock Lorenz, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Elizabeth Gardner, Director of Instruction.

Join us in celebrating more than 60 individuals...

1 day ago

The School District of University City is proud to recognize the contributions of retiring staff and outstanding community supporters during the annual Honorees and Retirees Reception scheduled for Thurs., May 12, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Jackson Park Elementary School, 7400 Balson Ave., University City, MO 63130. The community is invited to be our guests for this heartwarming celebration. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

This year's District retirees to be recognized include Beatrice Johnson, Mary Johnson, Andrea Jones
, Nicole Martineau, Angela Porter, Dr. Joylynn Pruitt and Richard Scott; along with Calvinette Cleveland and Patricia Dziuba, who are Special School District retirees who have served the students of University City.

The success of the schools is the result of the efforts of the people involved: staff, parents and community. It is the people who make the ideas, programs and initiatives work. Therefore, the District acknowledges community members who have set the PACE (Positively Affecting Community Education) by having a significant impact on the students and staff of this District through their service above and beyond the call of duty. This year's PACEsetters include Bishop Luther T. Baker, Kelly Butler, Kim Long, Ed Deitzler, Barbara Dickerson
, Chuck Fulks, Jennifer Schiffman, Kristin Soifer, Rebecca Soriano
, the Sosa and Matlalcuatzi Family and Jan Vieth.

Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt personally selects the Superintendent’s Choice award recipients for their unique contributions to the District during the course of this school year. The 2016 Superintendent’s Choice awardees are Abe and Nicole Adewale, Taylor Bass, Christine Brooks, 
Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Hannah Cunningham, 
Ed and Kim Deitzler, Pablo Flinn, Chuck Fulks, Barbara Haddox, Jon and Celina McGinnis, Dr. Jyoti Parwatikar, 
Dr. Tom Peters, Cindy Thierry and Christine Woodward; along with University City Police Department members: Chief of Police Charles Adams, Detective Larry Becton, Sergeant Michael Davis, Captain Larry Hampton, Captain Carol Jackson, Lieutenant Fredrick Lemons II and Detective Daur N. Nodari; and University City High School's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA): Korinna Brandt, Joseph Chunn, Della Cox, Eniah Harris, 
Tave Hollins, Alexandra Jolliff, Joshua Mayfield, Christine Politte, Makore Rashkis, Joshua Stueck, Mia Hicks-Thomas and Daniel Williamson.

In 2012, the District began a tradition of awarding years of service pins in five-year increments. Employees who are celebrating their 25th and 30th anniversaries with the District, will receive special recognition during this year’s Honorees and Retirees Reception. District's 25-Years of Service pins will be awarded to Bessie Besta Beal, Lillian Blackshear-Bryant, Kenneth Brown, Heidi Morgan, 
Monica Rice and Terri Thomas; with a special 30-Years of Service award presented to Andrew Purley.

Also, join us in congratulating University City’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year (TOY) Nancy Luebbers, Barbara C. Jordan Elementary School; and University City’s 2016-17 Co-Support Persons of the Year (ESPOY) Terry Johnson, Pershing Elementary School, and Barbara Dickerson, Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center, while we say thank you to the 2015-16 TOY Jaquin McBride, Pershing Elementary School, and ESPOY Barbara Haddox, McNair Administration Building.

Questions regarding this event may be emailed to communications@ucityschools.org or call 314-290-4001.

Click here for a PDF of the event poster featured below.

State Board of Education Approves New Learning Standards for the 2016-17 School Year

3 days ago

State Commissioner of Education

Margie Vandeven

Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Joylynn Pruitt

The State Board today approved new Missouri Learning Standards. Schools will begin to implement the standards during the 2016-17 school year.

“These standards represent thousands of hours of work, the majority of it done by volunteers,” said State Board President Charlie Shields. “These are true Missouri standards, developed by Missourians, and we should be proud.”

Local districts will now determine curriculum to meet the new standards. The Department will work with educators during the transition and will develop new assessments to measure student progress. The new assessments for English language arts and math will be administered in spring 2018.

"The School District of University City has been keeping apprised of the changes to the learning standards; we are prepared to begin implementation immediately with the appropriate professional development and training for our teachers and staff," said Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt.

Work groups made up of educators and parents developed proposed standards over the past year. The Department received more than 3,600 comments from Missouri lawmakers, educators, academic researchers and the public during a feedback period on the proposed standards. That feedback was carefully considered for inclusion in the approved set of standards.

"We are pleased with the end result,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Missouri’s challenging standards will help ensure our students are prepared for post-secondary success and for life.”

Ensuring that students graduate ready for college and career is a primary goal of the Top 10 by 20

initiative, which aims for student achievement in Missouri to rank among the top 10 states by 2020.

RFT Profiles Brittany Woods Teen Entrepreneurs

3 days ago

Brittany Woods Middle School students Gunnar Wurst, left 13, and Daivion Crawford, 14, discuss their business model with Riverfront Times editor Sarah Fenske. Wurst and Crawford started MXTRO MVB, a streetwear clothing line, in 2015. (Curtis Conyears photo)

The Riverfront Times Newspaper recently profiled two Brittany Woods Middle School students who started a clothing line...in their spare time. RFT Editor Sarah Fenske spent an hour at BWMS with Gunnar Wurst, 13, and Daivion Crawford, 14, who started MXTRO MVB in 2015.

From the MXTRO MVB website:

We are two eighth grade boys who have always had an interest in fashion. We started collaborating during the winter of 2015 and decided to start our own clothing line. We live in a suburb that shares a common border with St. Louis and it has an urban feel that we love.  The downside is that we don’t have access to the high end streetwear we crave.  Our goal is to offer quality apparel that kids like us can afford.We didn't create this fashion line for bragging rights or extra money. We are driven by self-expression and the desire to represent the culture we see around us. Our apparel symbolizes our generation in branding and price point.~MXTROMVB

Here's an excerpt from Fenske's article.
"Wurst, 13, and Crawford, 14, founded MXTRO MVB in the winter of 2015, inspired by Supreme and the other streetwear brands they stalk online. The way they describe it, the whole undertaking sounds remarkably easy. "Within one to weeks, we made a logo, put it out and got ideas going," Wurst says. They launched their website soon after, initially offering two shirts and two hats.
Since then, they've expanded to add two more shirts, but they've got much bigger plans for the future. Their classes at Brittany Woods Middle School have included sewing (part of the Family Consumer Sciences program) and fabrication, prototyping and modeling (part of their class in Industrial Arts). They want to begin cutting and sewing their clothing — "jackets, pants, and a lot of things that are harder to do," Wurst says. " For the entire RFT article, click here.

Two Dates Left for Community Engagement Meetings

4 days ago

Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt and Destination U. City Schools Co-Chair Nicole Adewale will co-host a series of community engagement meetings to discuss the final stages of our Destination U. City Schools projects and report out on the District's progress in four critical areas:

  • Academics
  • Finance
  • Facilities
  • Parent & Community Involvement.

University City families and stakeholders are invited to learn of our progress at the remaining two public meetings. The next meeting will be held on May 4, 2016 from 6-7 pm at Brittany Woods Middle School, 8125 Groby Road. The final meeting is scheduled for May 14 from 9:30 until 10:30 am at Flynn Park Elementary School, 7220 Waterman Avenue.

For more information, please call 314-290-4001 or email us: communications@ucityschools.org.

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