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The District Celebrates Character Day 2016
1 day ago
At 9:22 am on 9/22 (Sept. 22), in classrooms and offices across The School District of University City, students and staff explored "The Science of Character" as part of Character Day 2016.
Joining more than 85,000 groups and 121 countries around the world, U City screened the eight-minute video, which investigates the neuroscience and social science that proves that we can shape who we are and who we want to be in the world. Students and staff joined a global online Q&A to catalyze deeper conversations about character development.
One of the most touching tributes was at Brittany Woods Middle School where Superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley surprised 7th grade student Mia Robinson. Mia, under her own initiative, took the time to place kind notes and words of encouragement on the lockers of her fellow students to keep them motivated. She had special words for one of her teachers, Mrs. Hubbart, whom she said , "changed her life." (Check out the above video of a very surprised Mia).
"Taking a moment to put school on pause and celebrate character goes a long way toward building the kind of climate and culture that speaks to who we are as a District," said Gary Spiller, Executive Director of Student Services and Innovation.
The "The Science of Character" video is available at http://www.letitripple.org/films/science-of-character/.
For more information about Character Day, visit http://www.letitripple.org/character-day... and remember #CharacterDay2016.
Majority of Water Testing Meets EPA Compliance
1 day ago
The School District of University City recently engaged PSI, a nationally recognized consulting, engineering and testing firm, to test water in all buildings currently in use in the District. PSI began collecting samples on August 30, 2016 starting with Brittany Woods Middle School and collected samples at all operating schools.
PSI collected 210 samples and sent them to TekLabs in Collinsville, Illinois for independent testing. Five samples from various sources came back with levels exceeding the EPA standard. The District moved quickly to remediate those sources including isolating the source and replacing fixtures. None of the water sources are currently in use by students or staff.
All samples exceeding EPA guidelines will be scheduled for re-testing with PSI once remediation is complete.
Any additional remediation and testing, if necessary, will be completed in a timely manner and will continue until the sources meet EPA guidelines.
“Although there are no federal or state guidelines for routine testing of water for school districts, we are developing a strategy for proactive maintenance and review in accordance with best practices suggested by PSI,” said Superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley. “Our priority is the safety and well-being of our students, staff and visitors to the District.”
The District has also developed a plan for routine testing of water based on recommendations from PSI. Karl Scheidt, Executive Director of Operations, said the new plan is in addition to routine preventive maintenance.
“We currently inspect and perform basic maintenance on plumbing fixtures throughout the District on a minimal monthly basis,” Scheidt said. “We are enhancing our preventive maintenance of these fixtures by regularly cleaning and or replacing aerators as well as conducting extended water flushing to identify any discoloration or flow abnormalities.”
The District has adopted the following testing schedule:
· Conduct annual testing in the month of June.
· Facilities with elevated levels will be tested on an annual basis.
· Facilities that have not tested at elevated levels will be tested every two years.
· Any facility that demonstrates higher than recommended levels will revert to the annual testing cycle.
If a facility meets EPA guidelines for three consecutive years, it will move to an alternate year testing cycle. Significant repairs or replacements of a fixture in a given school year will result in that fixture being put in the annual testing cycle. The testing cycle will be modified as needed.
From Drab to Fab! Classroom Makeover at University City High School is a Hit
1 day ago
University City High School teacher Erin Bratkowski's classroom is the place to be thanks to a new makeover funded through Donors Choose and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"My students need a variety of seating to help make reading more engaging and comfortable. Just look at the variety people are offered when they go into a coffee shop," Bratkowski wrote on her Donors Choose page.
"My students are a very social group and I try to promote reading as a social activity but it is hard to do when you have a boring old desks and chairs. And like all people they want to be comfortable when they work, she added."
Comfort and community were foremost in Bratkowski's mind when designing her new classroom space. In her request she asked for new tables, comfortable seating, bright rugs and task chairs for her students. On Friday, the items were delivered to the high school thanks to the generosity of members of the community and matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Read the article below excerpted from Donors Chose to learn more about Erin Bratkowski's project:
For some students it is about filling the gaps, while others just need to find "that" book to love and engage in. I have found the money to fill my selves with a variety of books written at different levels, now, I just need to make my room comfortable. When I go into Starbucks people are reading or working in different types of seating. I want learning to be like going to a coffee shop!
I found tables to help make my room more fit for collaborative learning. But I admit sitting in the students' chairs are not comfortable. How can I expect them to learn when they aren't comfortable? So I'm requesting funds to purchase a variety of chairs to be used at the tables from office chairs to stools and even balance balls. Then to add to the atmosphere of the room, I would like some area rugs. And one of my tables is a bit small for 4 near grown students and sits at the back of the room, so two students' back are always facing the front of the room. Therefore, I'm also seeking two bar height tables that can comfortably hold 2 students each that will allow all students to see the front of the room comfortably. Some of my students suffer from ADD and I've been researching for ways to help keep them focus. And I believe balance balls to be the thing that can keep their focus while kind of sitting still.
Companies like Google and Facebook don't have typical work space because it discourages creativity and thinking out of the box. If I want my students to be readers and thinkers for the 21st century, I know a comfortable and creative learning space would help.
University City Homecoming 2016
1 day ago
Students, families, friends and alumni are anxiously anticipating homecoming festivities set for October 1, 2016. This year's theme is "Under the Big Top." The homecoming parade steps off at 10am in the Delmar Loop and proceeds along the traditional route along Delmar to Hanley Road and into the stadium. Parade entry applications are now available. (Click here for Parade Entry Form.)
For more information about homecoming activities, contact us at email@example.com.
Monsanto Fund Grant Supports Elementary STEAM
1 day ago
The School District of University City has been awarded a $55,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund’s K-12 Math & Science program to support STEAM initiatives in kindergarten, third and fifth grades. The initiative, titled U-Design Primary, provides students with authentic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) experiences through the use of Motorized Mechanisms, We Do, and EV3 Lego Education modules. The modules, in collaboration with district’s Elementary Science Curriculum, will strengthen STEAM confidence and aptitude.
U-Design will enhance students’ abilities to engage in the engineering design process (ask, imagine, plan, create, improve) to program and design robots during the school day connected to their Forces and Interactions science unit.
“We believe that integrating STEAM experiences through the teaching of the design process, leads to 21st century career-ready and innovative citizens who demonstrate the ability, confidence and inclination to deepen problem solving skills,” said Beverly Velloff, math and science curriculum coordinator.
The Monsanto Fund’s Math & Science Education K-12 grant program is designed to support programs in the St. Louis region that inspire and nurture students’ interest in math and/or science, offer innovative approaches to teaching or learning in math and science, and foster student achievement in math and/or science. Priority is given given to programs using evidence-based methodology.