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Plan of Action

Citywide Plan Work Groups

December 21, 2021



In Winter 2020, St. Louis Public Schools partnered with Emerging Wisdom to conduct six community visioning workshops reaching 600 participants that were 55% Black, 72% female, 29% SLPS parents, and 48% SLPS employees. In addition, six roundtable focus groups were held reaching 26 students, 40 teachers, 106 principals or assistant principals, 33 representatives from 25 non-profit organizations, and 65 clergy members. The qualitative data obtained in these sessions was used to identify possible workgroups for the Ad-Hoc Citywide Plan for Education as well as possible topics to be addressed by those groups. While the themes from the report produced by Emerging Wisdom were arranged around the district’s strategic plan (Highly Qualified Staff, Safety, Enhanced Culturally Responsive Curricula, Parent and Family Engagement, Equitable Practices), these workgroups give consideration to the needs of the entire system of public schools in the City of St. Louis as well as the planning process.


Guiding Principles:

All workgroups are guided by and rooted in equity and data. Rather than these being standalone workgroups, equitable and data-driven principles must be intentionally incorporated into every step of the planning process.


Scope of the Citywide Plan:

All schools and LEA’s have their own identity, as such, there are many areas of improvement for public education in St. Louis that cannot or should not be addressed by the Citywide Plan for education. The Citywide Plan is not intended to produce a system of identical schools serving students with identical needs or goals. Some decisions must be made at the school or LEA-level including curriculum and assessments; parent-teacher organizations and family engagement; budget allocations; marketing and communications; the role of philanthropy; and alumni engagement.


Other Needs:

In addition to the changes necessary to create a system of excellent public schools, community feedback also highlighted a number of other areas in which change is needed to improve the quality of life for students and families. These other areas, including medical care, food/groceries, housing, internet service, utilities, and clothing, provide an opportunity for public schools to partner with government or non-profit agencies. Partner agencies can use school sites to deliver services in alignment with their missions.


Technical Experts:

Given the scope of the Citywide Plan for Education, it is likely workgroups will require technical expertise, data, and knowledge from individuals and organizations beyond the workgroup membership. Potential areas for this technical expertise include community engagement; a building and facilities audit to address capacity and condition; demographers; St. Louis culture and history; economic impacts; transportation; and student mobility



Work Group

Topics Addressed

Wellness, Health, and Safety (Physical, Mental, and Emotional)

  1. Racial Bias within the System (e.g. racial segregation, funding, resource distribution)
  2. Creating Inclusive Schools
  3. Trauma-Informed Schools
  4. Discipline
  5. Addressing Community Violence
  6. School-to-Prison Pipeline
  7. Health concerns (e.g. lead, asthma, asbestos)

School Experience

1.     Academics - Increased Achievement and Improved Outcomes

a.     21st-century skills

b.     Electives

c.     College and Career Readiness Programs

d.     Tutoring Programs

e.     Summer Learning


2.     Non-Academic Opportunities

a.     Field Trips

b.     Extra-curricular Activities and Athletics

c.     Before/After Care

d.     Summer Programming


3.     Technology


4.     Special Populations (e.g. students-in-transition, English language learners, special education, early childhood, and gifted)


5.     Enrollment

Workforce Considerations

 1.     All Staff

a.     Working conditions, culture, and morale

b.     Mental Health Supports

c.     Compensation and Benefits

2.     Teachers

a.     Reducing Staffing Vacancies

b.     Increasing Teacher Diversity

c.     Recruitment Pipelines and Retention

d.     Collective Bargaining

e.     Trauma-Informed

3.     Substitutes

4.     School Leaders

5.     Professional Development

    1. Collaboration within and between LEAs
    2. Pedagogy
    1. Subject and/or Content
    2. Culturally relevant/responsive; Trauma-Informed, etc.


  1. School Location and Population
  2. New School Openings, Expansions, and Closings
  3. Student Transportation
  4. Buildings & Facilities
    1. Maintenance & Upkeep
    2. Security
    3. ADA Compliance and Updates
    4. Outside spaces (e.g. athletic fields, playgrounds, outdoor classrooms)
    5. Science & Technology Labs
    6. Libraries and Media Centers
    7. Cafeterias and Food Service


a.     Impacts of School Closures (District & Charter)

a.     Vacant Buildings

1.     Upkeep

2.     Reuse

3.     Sale or Lease

4.     Tear Down

b.     Neighborhood Impacts

c.     Economic Impacts


  1. Community-centric Offerings
    1. After hours programming
    2. Voting
    3. Coordination with other institutions - libraries, universities


  1. Parent Education and Supports
  2. Adult Education
  3. Civic Engagement
    1. Voter Registration
    2. Policy Advocacy


  1. Neighborhood Improvement
    1. Cleanup


All workgroups will also include educators, LEA administrators, policy-makers, and university faculty.  Policymakers include school board members, charter board members, DESE, state- and city elected officials. Colleges and universities that could be invited to participate include UMSL, HSSU, SLU, Washington University, Mizzou, STLCC, and Ranken. In addition to these participants, workgroup members will include specialists and experts as appropriate to carry out the work.