Who We Are
The School District of University City has a rich history, starting in 1868 when its first school opened, many years before the incorporation of the City of University City. On September 4, 1906, local freeholders saw the need to organize a school system. On February 21, 1911, with a city population of only 2,417 and a student enrollment of 160, The School District of University City was officially established. When school began in September 1912, the school population was 769 students.
The District has an impressive list of graduates, including Tenessee Williams, the rap artist Nelly, the social justice leader Mary Tinker, and hundreds of nationally-recognized doctors, lawyers, scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, actors and visual artists.
Today, The School District of University City enrolls 2,600 students in grades PreK through 12. Graduates move on to prestigious universities and colleges as well as lucrative job training and trade apprenticeships that lead to solid careers. The District has a preschool building, four neighborhood elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and the Lieberman Learning Center, housed in the high school. In the summer of 2021, the District's Central Administration Office moved to a building located at 7700 Olive Boulevard at the intersection of North and South. All elementary schools have gyms, meeting and performance spaces, cafeterias, student gardens, outdoor areas and access to playgrounds. The middle and high schools have gyms, performance spaces, cafeterias, art rooms, science labs, athletic fields, outdoor courtyards and learning spaces. The middle school has a new outdoor learning pavilion, a large Giving Garden for growing food, an apiary for beekeeping and a chicken coop housing about 20 hens. The high school is also home to a natatorium, a new outdoor Lion's Den created by students, a student-run Uniquely U Store, and the historic Muhl-Schemmer Stadium. Thanks to the generosity of U. City in Bloom, all schools have gorgeous outdoor landscaping featuring perennial gardens.
Brittany Middle School and University City High School have rich elective experiences, highlighting STEM, careers in medical fields, entrepreneurship, computer programming/gaming, and sustainability. High school students have the opportunity to earn a dual high school diploma and college associate's degree through the Early College Experience, gaining them two full years of college credit by their high school graduation. Dual credit courses are offered in partnership with Saint Louis University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Students are supported by an active Counseling Office with four academic counselors, social-emotional counselors and social workers, and college and career coaches. The high school offers a full athletics program. The high school conducts multiple student arts performances throughout the year.
The District has a vision of Learning Reimagined, a dynamic plan that strives for:
- Rigorous, relevant and modern instruction, because the world is changing rapidly
- Well-being and joy, because we learn and teach best when we are well
- Excellent staff, supported by professional development opportunities, rich community resources, and performance feedback
- All hands, to leverage local, regional and national partners
- Resources, used wisely and equitably to support the vision
University City remains a diverse, highly progressive city, and Learning Reimagined reflects this culture. Student voice is highly encouraged. The goal of racial equity and inclusion is woven into policy decisions, staff training and everyday classroom experiences. The District's board of education is one of just a few districts nationwide to approve a resolution highlighting the District's commitment to social justice, equity and restorative justice for its community. University City High School is the only school in Missouri to conduct a popular Restorative Practices class in its high school to train its students on the proven social science model. Students are expected to have an active part in creating positive, authentic, healthy and joyful school cultures where relationships and community flourish.
Well-Being and joy is supported by a powerful wellness team focusing on SEEAL: Social, Emotional, Equitable and Academic Learning. The team provides wrap-around services through Wyman, social workers in all schools, partnerships with student and family therapists, training to recognize and remediate racial bias in classroom settings, a Panorama system to measure social emotional health, and continued training and support to become a fully trauma-informed community. Individual schools provide different wellness tools for students, including mindfulness, yoga and mood meters. The District conducts regular community Ubuntu Circles under the phrase, "I am because we are," that provide ways to voice feelings, concerns and viewpoints with the goal of elevating our community.
The District and its alumni have tremendous pride. Indeed, the District mascot is the lion. The District's mantra is "Heart of a Lion," which means we learn, teach and relate to one another with the courage to be authentic, attuned and truly connected. We teach, learn, lead and relate with both the head and the heart.
Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The School District of University City recognizes that institutional racism and other forms of oppression have adversely impacted educational opportunities for students of diverse races, ethnicities, nationalities, abilities, classes, genders, sexual orientations, and other marginalized groups. Therefore, SDUC is committed to supporting innovative projects that ensure accessibility to all students and educators, and invite passion and purposeful learning.