St. Peter School celebrates lessons from ye olde Renaissance

By Kalen Ponche

Elementary students at St. Peter Catholic School in St. Charles toured a medieval castle Friday, meeting monks, sword makers and knights along the way.

Middle school students explained life during the Middle Ages to the younger students at the end of a weeklong Renaissance program.

The school hosts a Renaissance Week every few years, said Mary Blechle, a teacher who organized the events this year. This year the school received a $1,000 Governal/Ryan Memorial Development Grant from the Archdiocese of St. Louis that helped fund the program, so Blechle had the eighth graders perform a children’s version of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” for the whole school.

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St. Charles School Board wants info on cost to reopen Blackhurst

By Kalen Ponche

St. Charles Board of Education members Thursday pushed off a decision on reopening Blackhurst Elementary School.

Superintendent Randy Charles had presented nine ways the district could accommodate growth in elementary enrollment to the community and the board in February. Several of the options included reopening Blackhurst Elementary, one of two elementary schools that was closed in 2007 because of falling enrollment.

On Thursday, Charles suggested the board narrow the nine options to three: reopen Blackhurst as a regular elementary school, reopen Blackhurst as an early childhood center to include kindergarten or reopen Blackhurst as a “school of choice,” which would function like a magnet school.

Charles said he hopes the board will select a plan in May so staff members can implement it in time for the 2011-12 school year.

But board members said they weren’t ready to eliminate any of the nine options yet. Board member Wayne Oetting said he thought the public needed to know the cost for each choice. Continue reading

Warren County Schools cut summer school

 By Kalen Ponche

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade won’t have access to a summer school program at Warren County Schools this year. The Board of Education voted 6-1 to cut the elementary and middle summer school program and several high school summer courses, saving the district $240,500.

The summer school program will be limited to classes for special education students, make up classes for high school students who failed, and physical education and world history courses for high school students who want to finish those requirements early.

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Trailers approved for Green Tree Elementary School

By Kalen Ponche

The Wentzville School District will make room for kindergarten students at Green Tree Elementary School in the fall by putting in two modular buildings behind the school.

The Lake Saint Louis Board of Aldermen on Monday unanimously approved a special-use permit that allows the district to install the two buildings, commonly known as trailers. The district will have to request a new permit every six months.

The buildings will provide the school with four more classrooms needed to accommodate full-day kindergarten. Children in older grades will be the ones who attend school in the modular units, however. The district already owns the modular buildings and will move them to the school this summer.

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Francis Howell wrestles with summer school options

By  Kalen Ponche

The Francis Howell School District may still offer summer school this year for elementary school students, despite concerns about a potential drop in funding.

The Board of Education on Thursday voted 4-3 to cut the original budget for summer school from $1.3 million to $1.1 million. Board members directed the administration to bring a new plan for summer school funding to the next meeting.

District spokeswoman Jennifer Gasper said administrators will create a smaller plan for summer school that will try to incorporate as many of the programs as the district has had in past years.

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Wright City passes school bond

Wright City voters overwhelmingly supported a $1.4 million bond issue to finance the purchase of 85 acres for a new high school.

In the Warren County School District, incumbent Jan Sutherland won reelection to the board of education and joins newcomer Scott Costello, manager for an insurance agency, who also won a seat.

Wright City bond issue

Wright City School District’s bond issue won 64.8 percent of the vote Tuesday. Just 879 people voted on the issue, and of those, 35.2 percent were against it.

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Orchard Farm School Board candidate loses by 3 votes

By Kalen Ponche 
 Jane Baum, athletic development director at Lindenwood University, narrowly lost reelection to the Orchard Farm School District to Joe Bushdieker, who is retired after 40 years in construction. Bushdieker won 472 votes compared to Baum’s 469- less than one percent difference. 

The third candidate, Carrie Doza, a marketing communications manager for Agritain International, won 35.23 percent of the vote. 

Baum could decide to file for a recount, but she said she’s not sure if she’ll do that. The results from the election will be certified April 15, so Baum said there’s still hope the official count could change. Baum said after three years serving on the board, she’s disappointed with a loss. 

“I feel I gave a lot to the district and I wanted to do so much more,” she said. 

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