District update: fall options, graduation, school board and more

KSD+will+provide+more+information+on+plans+for+the+fall+semester+in+mid-July.+District+properties+are+still+closed.+

Elizabeth Riti

KSD will provide more information on plans for the fall semester in mid-July. District properties are still closed.

FALL SEMESTER AND SCHOOL EVENTS

 

KSD is continuing to discuss options for the fall semester, which include the possibilities of online learning, regular attendance or a hybrid of both methods. Dr. Michael Havener, KHS principal, said the district will create a plan for all three options, and more information on that decision will be available mid-July. 

 

Graduating seniors received an email about graduation, which is planned for July 11. The ceremony will either be completely virtual, with a slideshow or movie, or in Lyons Stadium. Havener said that the administration has measured out the stadium to allow for certain restrictions on and off the field so in-person graduation is possible. 

 

This decision will be made once St. Louis County restrictions have been relaxed, which is scheduled to happen Monday, June 15. Havener said that while there have not been many detailed conversations about the fall within the district, superintendents across St. Louis are meeting regularly with the desire to stay consistent in their decisions. He also said there is a possibility that athletics could begin, with restrictions, in July. 

 

If the district decides to continue with online school, Havener said it will not be the hold harmless method used at the end of the most recent school year. Students will be expected to attend meetings and complete work on time like a normal school day. Starting this year due to state requirements, the school day will begin at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:42 p.m., adding on seven minutes. 

 

Additionally, in response to overcrowding, the KHS administration decided pre-pandemic to allow juniors, in addition to seniors, to have open lunches going forward, which means they would be able to leave school grounds during their lunch period. This privilege has previously only applied to seniors. 

 

RESPONSE TO GEORGE FLOYD’S MURDER

 

KSD released a statement regarding the recent death of George Floyd, a black man killed by the police in Minneapolis on May 25, and the district’s commitment to combat racism. When discussing the recent Black Lives Matter Peace Walk organized by Kirkwood Teachers of Color on Saturday, June 6, Havener said that Kirkwood’s conversation about race is an ongoing one, and that the district is looking into possible curriculum changes, among other potential developments. 

 

SCHOOL BOARD 

 

During a board of education meeting on Monday, June 8 following the June 2 municipal elections, Chad Kavanaugh, Jennifer Pangborn and Nikole Shurn were sworn in to the school board. Kavanaugh was nominated for the position of President of the Board of Education unopposed, and won the election in a vote of seven in-favor, zero opposed or abstained. Jean Marie Andrews won the position of Vice President of the Board of Education and Mark Boyko became the Secretary for the school board. Jennifer Pangborn was elected to be the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) delegate, and Angie Bernardi was elected as the alternate MSBA delegate. Darnel Frost will now be the Special School District (SSD) delegate for the school board, and Nikole Shurn was elected as the alternate SSD delegate. Mike Romay was elected the treasurer of the Kirkwood School District.

 

In addition to the school board position changes, the June 2 ballot item Prop S failed to pass by nearly 1,000 votes. The proposition aimed to build a new elementary school on property owned by KSD off of Lindemann Road and Dougherty Ferry Road, and also add classrooms to Kirkwood elementary schools, middle schools and Kirkwood High School among other renovations.