In an effort to attract more students, St. Louis Public Schools announced yesterday it is planning on converting Mallinckrodt Elementary in the southwestern part of the city into a school for gifted students. Currently Kennard Classical Junior Academy, on Potomac Street near Sublette Avenue, is the only elementary school in the district (and state) dedicated solely to gifted students. Often the wait list for the school tops 100.
The plan is to open two gifted kindergarten classes (if enrollment numbers allow) and possibly a preschool. As these students move up each year, an additional class will be added, eventually turning Mallinckrodt into a gifted-only kindergarten through fifth-grade school.
Also in the works to offset students lost to charter, private schools and suburban choices is the addition of third grade classrooms at Wilkinson and Stix Early Childhood centers, which currently enroll students in kindergarten through second grade. With these plans in mind, the district is thinking of creating a separate cadre of third- through fifth-grade schools, at a separate location, possibly as early as 2011.
SLPS has earmarked $100,000 for a marketing campaign this year to spread the word about these changes. The district plans to send out letters to those already qualified for the gifted program, and there may soon be spaces available to families who haven’t applied.
For more information, contact St. Louis Public's Recruitment and Counseling Office at 314-633-5200.
By Sharon Linde, Education Blogger for SmartParenting