JEFFERSON CITY • A new charter school will open in the Hyde Park neighborhood of St. Louis to serve K-5 students this fall.
The Arch Community School will primarily be a neighborhood school and have a simple focus on getting students to master foundational learning. The new school’s vision is similar to that of North Side Community School, one of St. Louis’ highest-performing charter schools.
“Nothing stands out as exceptionally innovative or glitzy,” said Bill Mendelsohn, director of charter schools for University of Missouri-St. Louis. UMSL is sponsoring the new school.
One of St. Louis' worst-performing charter schools is expected to close permanently in June.
Preclarus Mastery Academy, which enrolls about 150 students from fourth to eighth grade, has scored as poorly as an unaccredited school district for the past three years, according to standards set by the state. The school received just 46 percent of points possible on the state's annual report card of schools last year.
FRANKLIN COUNTY • To find one of the St. Louis region’s best-performing school districts, drive for about 10 miles through Franklin County on a two-lane country road past tree-lined acres of weathered barns, grazing cattle and a tiny church or two.
Eventually, you’ll stumble upon a one-story elementary school building on a gravel parking lot, where 75 students attend class. That’s the entire Strain-Japan School District.