Brentwood School District bond issue on April ballot

The Brentwood School is putting Proposition B on the April 3 election, asking voters to approve the district borrowing $16 million for renovations to Brentwood Middle and High schools. The ballot lists: constructing, renovating, repairing, expanding, improving, furnishing and equipping, for the schools. According to the ballot language (below), “the adjusted debt service levy of the District is estimated to remain unchanged from the current debt service levy of 42.9 cents” per $100 of assessed valuation. The school district has been contacted for a clarification — wondering what “unchanged” means here. Is there a current tax?

Missing snake forces early closure at Brentwood schools

Brentwood High School and Middle School students were released early on Friday because an escaped 9-foot long boa constrictor couldn’t be found, according to reports. It was found, eventually. According to a comment (below): “Boe, the class snake, is a red tail boa constrictor, not a python (as was previously reported). She was adopted from the St. Louis Zoo over 20 years ago and has spent almost all of her life in the classroom.

Mark Twain Elementary named 2017 National Blue Ribbon School

Brentwood’s Mark Twain Elementary was recognized yesterday as a National Blue Ribbon School, the US Department of Education announced on Thursday. It was one of only eight schools honored in Missouri. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap, the department says. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the honorees. “You are visionaries, innovators and leaders.

BHS coding winner leads coding camp at library

Brentwood High School junior (at the time) Emma Stoverink, who was on the winning team at a coding competition at Chaifetz Arena in October 2016, led a coding camp for middle school- girls at the Brentwood Library recently. The library posted a photo on Facebook. Brentwood junior again wins coding contest
Senator Sifton honors Brentwood student

Brentwood, MRH high schools ranked in top 10 in area for math

Brentwood and Maplewood Richmond Heights high schools have been recognized as two of the top ten high schools in the St. Louis area for math proficiency, the Post-Dispatch reports. The rankings are the results of the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP test), which the state uses to assess student progress in public schools. The test determines the proficiency rate of students who score at a level considered proficient or advanced. The statewide average for math proficiency is 48.6 percent.

Brentwood schools superintendent honored

St. Louis County proclaimed Tuesday “Mr. Faulkner Day” in recognition of Brentwood School District’s retiring superintendent, David Faulkner, according to Brentwood Schools on Twitter (@BrentwoodMoSD). Faulkner was superintendent since 2012. He is being replaced by Dr. Brian Lane, former deputy superintendent for the Mehlville School District.

Mark Twain Elementary named a Gold Star School

Brentwood School District’s Mark Twain Elementary has been named one of this year’s Gold Star Schools, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced on Wednesday. The program recognizes schools that perform at high academic levels, or that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students. Eight schools were named statewide. In the St. Louis area, Chesterfield Elementary in the Rockwood R-VI School District and Mallinckrodt A.B.I. Elementary in the St.

BHS Debate goes to state

The Brentwood Debate Team qualified for state competition with their reader’s theater performance about “rape and how society often doubts or shames the rape victim after the fact,” coach Robyn Haug said. She said the team is small, and they were the underdogs at state, but were proud of their district championship and qualification to state and the fact that they were able to take their message to a larger audience. They didn’t advance to finals, but had a great time, Haug said. Also, a sophomore and new team member, Madhu, had a successful year competing, and qualified for state competing in prose interpretation. https://twitter.com/DebateRhaug/status/855430167380070400

Brentwood 4th-graders learn about city government from the mayor

McGrath Elementary and Mark Twain four-graders recently took part in a mock city council meetings at Brentwood City Hall, conducted by Mayor Chris Thornton. In the meetings, Thornton, Director of Planning and Development Lisa Koerkenmeier, City Administrator Bola Akande, Fire Captain David Niemeyer and Assistant Chief Ron Cottrell explained some workings of the city and answered their questions. See videos of the meetings on the Brentwood city website.

Brentwood 4th-graders go to Jefferson City

Brentwood fourth-graders went Jefferson City recently. Mark Twain Elementary Principal Trina Petty-Rice posted photos of the group on Twitter (@tpdiva12). The visit to the state capital was in conjunction and celebration of their study of Missouri, she said. https://twitter.com/gcmitts/status/852570831221907456

“Kinesthetic” desks now at Mark Twain Elementary

Mark Twain Elementary Principal Trina Petty-Rice posted a photo on Twitter (@tpdiva12) of new “kinesthetic” motion desks and tables that allow students to be in motion while they learn, now in use at the school. One dealer of the school furniture says, “This is not exercise equipment – this is an entire teaching methodology that utilizes standing tables, motion chairs and numerous simple movements that allows teachers to actually have more control in their classrooms while providing a classroom experience that is far more conducive to learning than traditional methods.”

New-comer grabs most votes in Brentwood School Board race

Six candidates ran for the three open seats on the Brentwood School Board. A new-comer took more votes than even two incumbents. Lindsay Spencer, a stay-at-home mom with kids in the school district took the most votes, winning 23 percent of the vote. Spencer grabbed attention in the League of Women Voters forum by being the only one out of five candidates to favor teaching only evolution (“science-based”) in science classes. The other candidates supported teaching both evolution and creationism, when the question was asked.

Brentwood school board candidate’s statement

Brentwood School Board candidate Lois Truman sent this statement to 40 South for publication, received and published on April 3. She suggested that there were some misunderstandings resulting from the forum, and she hopes she’s back on track. The election is Tuesday, April 4. Message from Lois Truman to Brentwood Voters:

We are very near our election day (Tuesday, April 4th) when decisions will be made that impact the future of our Brentwood community. I believe it is important to have one or more professional educators serving on our school board.

Brentwood School Board candidates answer community questions

Five of six candidates for the three open seats on the Brentwood Board of Education took part in a League of Women Voters forum Thursday night at the school district conference center. They answered 16 questions from the audience, read by a LWV moderator, in about one hour and 45 minutes. About 25 attended the forum, including the mayor and a couple aldermen. The election is April 4. (Originally published March 10.)

The candidates sat on the stage in ballot order:

Keith Rabenberg (incumbent)
Dannielle Joy Davis
Daniel Brouille (incumbent, served one year)
Lindsay M. Spencer
Cindy Watson — (not at the forum, a seat there for her)
Lois Truman

There was often agreement on questions, with variations.

Brentwood schools curriculum on evolution: superintendent

Brentwood School District Superintendent David Faulkner on Tuesday sent 40 South News Brentwood’s curriculum regarding teaching evolution in science classes. It was in response to a request from 40 South in mid-March. Faulkner on teaching evolution/creationism in Brentwood Schools:
The science curriculum of the Brentwood School District is in alignment with the Missouri Learning Standards in each content area. In science courses, students are asked to explain those phenomena that may be analyzed utilizing a scientific framework. Missouri Learning Standard LS4.A.1 for high school biology asks students to “Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.”

Brentwood School District seeking citizens to serve on steering committee

The Brentwood School District is inviting community members to apply to serve on a steering committee aimed at updating its K-12 buildings. The invitation is below. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 23. (40 South received this several days ago.)
Dear Brentwood Community Members,

During this school year, the Brentwood School District has extended its facilities planning to discern how we should update our K-12 buildings to meet the community’s needs now and in the future.  Last fall, the District hosted a number of meetings to collect input on a vision for the future of the educational buildings in the Brentwood community.  Many exciting ideas were shared by citizens who attended the events. For the next stage of planning, we are inviting interested and committed members of the community from all perspectives to apply to be involved in a more focused process of making recommendations for our facilities by serving on the Facilities Steering Committee.  For management purposes, the size of the committee must be limited, and selected members of the Steering Committee should be willing to serve for a term of two years.

School board candidates asked to rethink creationism vs. evolution

Brentwood resident, Robin Duntze D.V.M., said in an email to 40 South that she was dismayed to learn that all but one of the candidates in the Brentwood School Board candidates forum on Thursday supported teaching creationism in Brentwood Public schools. (Originally published March 11.)

The majority of candidates in the forum said they supported teaching both creationism and evolution, when asked. Lindsay Spencer was the only one who said teaching should be exclusively “science-based.” She concluded, “Teach evolution.” Duntze said she has been a Brentwood resident since 1989; both her sons attended Brentwood schools from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Brentwood senior in talent competition finals at Fox

Brentwood senior Evan Adams has made to it the final round of Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s 7th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, on April 8, according to a release. The finals are free and open to the public. There are 17 acts (29 students, from Missouri and Illinois) competing in the finals. A complete list of final acts can be found here.

Lois Truman running for Brentwood School Board

Candidate for Brentwood School Board, Lois Truman, sent the following biographical information to 40 South News for publication. She is one of six running for three open seats on the board. A League of Women Voters candidates forum will be held at the Brentwood School District Conference Center on Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m.

From Lois Truman:

I am excited to be on the April 4, 2017 ballot as candidate for the Brentwood School District Board of Education. I am a lifelong educator with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Master of Education in Counseling and Psychological Services, and a Doctorate in Child and Family Studies. In early 2014 my husband (currently on the Brentwood Library Board) and I returned from Dubai to live near our family where we have three grandchildren attending the fabulous Brentwood schools.