Dr. Gaines looks to the future in State of the District address

Dr. Gaines looks to the future in State of the District address
Posted on 09/20/2019
State of the District 2019Mehlville School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Gaines delivered his State of the District address on Tuesday and outlined the district’s successes over the past year. He also outlined plans for the future.

Dr. Gaines began by sharing the programs and results associated with the three areas of the district’s strategic plan: student preparation, teacher support and creating an effective and efficient system.

Student Preparation
Student preparation initiatives focused on Portrait of a Graduate, continuous classroom improvement, innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and expanded opportunities like MyPath, MOSAIC, St. Louis Centers for Advanced Professional Students (CAPS) and our Middle School Academies. He also highlighted the Early College program. Students enrolled in this program take courses at St. Louis Community College and have the opportunity to graduate with both a diploma and an associates degree.

As Mehlville School District continues to expand options for students, Missouri Assessment Progam (MAP) and ACT scores are trending upward. Also, the district is seeing an increase in enrollment in special programs students are more engaged learners.

Teacher Support
Teacher support initiatives focused on professional development for employees, smaller class sizes, increased student supports, and enhanced compensation and benefits. 

Some of the positive results for teacher support mirror those of student preparation including improved MAP and ACT scores and more engaged learners. Additionally, the district employee turnover rate is below industry average. While strides have been made to improve employee benefits like insurance, compensation district-wide is still behind competitors.

Effective and Efficient
The process of creating an effective and efficient system began with asking the community for input and implementing some of their ideas. The district has been able to make money-saving improvements to processes, which have allowed for more investments to be made in classrooms. Last school year, the district achieved 1:1 status, meaning that each student now has a computer to use at school each day.

Dr. Gaines mentioned the district has also invested in facilities repairs, and is no longer falling behind. Mehlville School District still has a lot of work to get done to get caught up with needed maintenance and repairs.

Planning for the future
Next, Dr. Gaines outlined plans for the future, including developing the next iteration of the district’s strategic plan. We are spending the year gathering feedback from students, parents, district employees and community members through our Mehlville Listens campaign. Part of the campaign includes a series of ThoughtExchanges. You can view the results of the first exchange now.

The Mehlville Listens campaign also includes a series of community meetings on each of the areas of the strategic plan. Here are the meeting dates: 

  • Sept. 24 - Student Preparation, Bernard Middle School (1054 Forder Rd.), 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 10 - Teacher Support, Buerkle Middle School (623 Buckley Rd.), 6:30 p.m.
  • Mar. 10 - Effective and Efficient, Oakville Middle School (5950 Telegraph Rd.), 6:30 p.m.
  • May 5 - Overview of Feedback, Washington Middle School (5165 Ambs Rd.), 6:30 p.m.

The district is also gathering feedback from school PTOs, 60-Plus Club members, and employees across the district. 

Watch the video to hear the State of the District address in its entirety.

The Mehlville School District strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sex including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity and other characteristics protected by law. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: contact Adam Smith at 314-467-5006 or [email protected].