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UPDATE: School Closure Extended Through April 22, 2020

Please see the below letter sent at 4 p.m. March 23, 2020, to all SDUC staff and families regarding the closure of SDUC school buildings now through April 22.


 

 

Superintendent Hardin-Bartley letterhead

March 23, 2020

Dear U. City Families:

Today, The School District of University City in partnership with other regional education leaders are complying with the current length of the St. Louis County Executive’s  “Stay at Home” order. For now, we are lengthening the closure of all school buildings through April 22. This decision extends our original building closure period by about two weeks. 

Our buildings will remain closed for all activities, including direct classroom instruction, through April 22. Staff and support staff will be available by phone and email, but will not be in school buildings so as to adhere to the county’s Stay at Home order.

As we already know, things change daily regarding the coronavirus. In that light, I will share the below adjusted basic information with you pertaining to the extended building closures: 

Student distance learning
On Friday (March 20), I shared in an emailed letter to all families an overview of our Student Distance Learning program scheduled to begin this Wednesday, March 25. That start-date remains the same. We expect all students to participate. You will be receiving more direct information from teachers and school principals about lessons and the use of technology early this week. Most of the basic distance learning plan remains the same, however, now our team will work to extend and refine it. That includes evaluating how to manage extended learning while focusing on our students' overall well-being. Stay tuned for more information.

Technology for grades 3-5
Laptops will be available for curbside pick up later this week. More information will be sent to families in those grades soon.

Meals
The Grab & Go breakfast and lunch program for all district students continues. Go to www.ucityschools.org/GrabandGo for more information on the program. Please note, the meal support program is considered an essential service and exempt from the St. Louis County “Stay at Home” order. Families are still allowed to leave their homes by car or on foot to pick up meals at one of our five locations.

Events
All District events are canceled through April 22. This includes all team sports practices and games, student performances and exhibits and, unfortunately, prom. We hope to be able to reschedule this significant event later in the spring. For all of our students - especially our seniors - we promise to recognize and celebrate you in safe ways that adhere to current public health recommendations and mandates.

Well Being
Our school therapists and counselors will continue to work with our students remotely and will initiate regular check-ins with students and families currently utilizing their services. I also want to remind you that the District has put together a comprehensive list of community resources at www.ucityschools.org/CommunityResources2020 that I encourage you to utilize if you need a helping hand during this difficult time.

DESE news
Missouri has canceled statewide testing (the MAP test, end-of-course examinations, etc.) for the remainder of this school year due to school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, schools will not be required to make up calendar hours lost due to the COVID-19 and missed calendar hours will not impact the calculation of average daily attendance, which is used to calculate state aid payments. Information regarding AP assessments will be shared soon. 

Once again, we must readjust and adapt. Extending the closure of buildings and classrooms was something that I suspected would come to pass, but it is, still, very hard news to share with you. We miss you and your students. However, we must remember that our community exists in spirit - not just in physical spaces - and together we will remain U. City Strong in support of our children.

I pledge to be as transparent and timely with new information as possible. Please check the District’s website at www.ucityschools.org for the most up-to-date information. If you know of a family that is not receiving these email updates, please have them contact the District Communications Office at communications@ucityschools.org for help. As always, I am available for your questions and concerns at shardin@ucityschools.org or 314-399-0941 (cell).

In Service of Our Children,

Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, PhD, PHR
Superintendent of Schools