• Message from Dr. Davis on Board Decision to Return to In-Person Learning (2-11-2021)

    Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Family, 

    Early this morning the Board of Education reached a decision regarding students and teachers returning to learning in our school buildings.  This morning parents will receive a message asking you to complete a learning model declaration form through the parent portal and select whether your child will return to in-person learning or continue learning virtually.  Parents will have the option to select the best learning model for each child, so a family may have one child learning virtually while another child may be learning in-person.  In addition, parents will be asked to indicate whether their child will use District transportation if their child qualifies based on District transportation guidelines.  The declaration window is open now through 11:59 p.m. on February 17.  Any student who does not have a completed declaration will continue learning virtually.

    High school students who select the in-person learning option will reenter our buildings on March 24.  PreK-8 students returning to in-person learning will have a transition period some time between March 24 and April 2 to get acclimated or reacclimated to their school buildings.  All students who select in-person learning will return to our school buildings by April 12 when we return from spring break.  Students attending in-person learning will be in school buildings Monday-Thursday and all students will continue asynchronous learning on Fridays as they have all year.  

    Teachers will be teaching concurrently meaning that a class will likely have some students learning in-person with the teacher in the classroom while others will be participating in class and learning virtually through Zoom.  A timeline for teachers returning to buildings and other important information will be shared very soon.  The teacher timeline will include dates to prepare classrooms and become familiar with safety procedures and any new technology as well as professional learning opportunities to prepare for concurrent instruction.

    Prior to the Board vote, District Administrators laid out a detailed plan for students and staff to safely reenter our buildings then responded to questions and concerns raised by Board members.  You can view the presentation on our YouTube channel at February 10 Board of Education Meeting.  

    Our students have responded repeatedly to surveys indicating their strong desire to return to in-person learning.  Our most recent student survey showed 61% of our students want to return to in-person learning.  Parents and staff have voiced a desire for more information in order to make an informed decision.  In response to that request and as a result of the work of the District Reentry Task Force, each school has prepared a Reentry Handbook that follows District guidelines based upon current recommendations from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and other health experts.  You can view your school’s handbook at www.fergflor.org/reentry_handbooks

    If you read through the handbook for your child’s school and still have questions, you will find contact numbers in the handbook for school administrators and staff members who should be able to answer your questions and address your concerns.  Please watch for communications from your child’s school with a schedule of virtual back to school meetings and other important information.  In addition our transportation and communication departments have prepared a transportation video to show the steps we are taking to ensure your child’s safety on our buses.  We will continue to share important information and updates as well as a variety of resources for students and families at www.fergflor.org/united.

    As I shared almost a year ago during the press conference when we announced that our buildings would close and students and teachers would shift to virtual instruction, safety is our highest priority.  We have spent the better part of a year learning how to safely bring our students and staff back into our buildings, and I am convinced that we are ready to safely resume in-person instruction.

    I know change is hard, but we also know that this year of virtual learning has been extremely difficult for many of our students.  I always say that the strength of our District is in our people.  I know many of you are anxious as we enter this next phase.  That’s certainly understandable.  I also know that we have amazing students, families, and staff, and I firmly believe our students will begin to flourish if we will work together as families and schools during this needed transition back into our buildings.  Our students and our community will be stronger as we come together once again.

     

    Onward Together,


    Dr. Joseph Davis

    Superintendent

     

    Message from Dr. Davis on Board Decision to Remain Virtual (1-14-2021)

    Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Families, 

    I hope this message finds you well.  I know over 1000 of you joined our Board meeting last night through the District YouTube channel.  Everyone is anxious to know when our students and staff will be returning to our buildings.

    Last night after much discussion and deliberation, the Board of Education made the difficult decision for our students to continue virtual learning through March 1.  This decision came after reviewing COVID data for our community and a presentation by Dr. Jason Newland, Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases at Washington University.

    While we know the academic and social-emotional benefits for students who are learning in our school buildings, the Board wanted to be certain that the District is fully prepared for students and staff to safely return to in-person instruction in our schools.  The Board will hold a study session in the next month, and we will continue to engage students, parents, and staff as we move toward in-person instruction.

    The Board also approved a plan to permit high school student athletes to begin winter sports on January 19.  The District’s Return to Play plan follows MSHSAA and St. Louis County guidelines for a safe return to athletics and activities and was based on feedback from and collaboration with athletic directors, coaches and student athletes.  

    Many students across the nation are not achieving at their pre-pandemic/virtual learning levels.  While we have continued to improve virtual learning, we know there were some issues at the start of the semester as well as other factors that have limited student achievement.  Numerous short and long-term remedies have been explored, and last night the Board voted to suspend Policy 2036- Evaluation of Students.  Suspending this policy permits adjusting the grade cutoff to 69.9-50% for a D.  Students earning below a 50% will receive an F or an I for incomplete.  Students receiving an I will have a limited opportunity to earn a passing grade.  Watch for additional information from your child’s school.

    We are continually monitoring COVID data and meeting with education leaders and health experts from across the region and nation to determine how to safely serve our students.  We will continue to keep safety our highest priority followed closely by our commitment to providing a high quality education for all of our students.  Thank you for your patience, understanding, and continued support in these difficult times.

    Onward together,

    Dr. Joseph Davis

    Superintendent

    January 14, 2021

    Update on Student Learning Model Declaration (12-08-2020)

    Good Morning Ferguson-Florissant Families, 

    I’m writing to let you know that we have heard your concerns; we’re listening to you and pressing pause on student learning model declarations.

    As I shared in my message on Friday, I share your concerns as a parent about the safety of all of our students.  As parents we’re entrusting our loved ones with the District and want them to get a great education, but first and foremost, we want them safe.

    We have shared consistently that we are committed to following the health and safety guidelines from the CDC and St. Louis County Department of Public Health as well as guidance from other health experts and elected officials.  Our commitment to student and staff safety is unwavering.

    Your response to the declaration as well as your emails and phone calls made it clear that most of you are just not ready to commit to a learning model for your child at this time.  This is especially true right now when the numbers are worse than when we shifted from in-person to virtual learning back in the spring. 

    This is a difficult process.  We need to know the number of students returning to in-person learning to plan and prepare schedules, staff, our buildings, and transportation.  At the same time we know it’s difficult for parents to make a decision without answers to questions about those very concerns.

    We will continue to monitor our students’ academic and social-emotional well-being as well as the latest COVID data.  We will continue to provide information including answers to some frequently asked questions and resources for families and students on our website at www.fergflor.org/united.  You can follow the COVID data for our community on our website at www.fergflor.org/coviddashboard.

    As we move into the holidays I hope you will stay safe and follow guidance from health experts and officials, and spend time with those you love.  Please watch for additional updates and surveys as we plan for our eventual return to our school buildings.  I can’t wait to have our students back in schools, but more importantly, I want them safe.

     

    Onward Together, 

    Dr. Joseph Davis 

    Superintendent

     

    Follow Up Message Regarding Student Learning Model Declaration (12-04-2020)

    Good Afternoon Ferguson-Florissant Families,

    I’m writing to follow up on our email Wednesday evening regarding your students’ learning model declaration.  If you did not receive the email or are having difficulty accessing the Parent Portal please contact your child’s school, and they can help.

    As a father of a District student, I want to be sure that he will be safe when he returns to school, and I’m sure that as a parent, you want the same reassurance.  The safety of our children and staff is more important than any other factor.  I want to reassure you that our Board of Education and administration have not wavered from our commitment when we closed our buildings back in March.  Safety has been and will continue to be our first priority.

    We also know that right now we’re in a time when the number of cases has been increasing, and in many respects the numbers are worse now than when schools across the region and nation shifted from in-person to virtual learning back in the spring.  So, why are we asking you to make a commitment now for your child’s learning model for the rest of the year?

    We need to know how many of our students will be returning, so we can make plans that answer the many questions parents have.  So much of our planning depends on how many students will return to in-person learning and the number of students who need bus transportation to and from school.  

    Your declaration helps us prepare student schedules, determine how many staff members will be needed for in-person learning and how many staff members will be needed for virtual learning.  Your declaration helps us know how many students will be in the buildings and the number of days/week we will be able to have students in schools and maintain safety protocols in classrooms, cafeterias, hallways, and other spaces in our buildings and on our buses.

    It is possible that students who choose in-person learning may still have some days of virtual instruction based on the number of students we can safely accommodate in our school buildings, and it is possible that the return to in-person instruction could be delayed or revert to fully virtual learning based on the COVID data in January and throughout the spring.

    We have shared frequently that we are committed to following the health and safety guidelines from the CDC and St. Louis County Department of Public Health as well as guidance from other health experts and elected officials.

    While we can not answer all of your questions yet, we do have more information including answers to some frequently asked questions and resources for families and students on our website at www.fergflor.org/united.

    This virus has hit our community especially hard.  The holiday season seems so different without big family gatherings and our usual traditions, but I know our people.  You are amazingly strong, and we will get through this together even if we’re physically apart.


    Onward Together,


    Dr. Joseph Davis

    Superintendent

     

    Message Regarding Student Learning Model Declaration (12-02-2020)

    Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Parents/Guardians:

    The Ferguson-Florissant School District remains focused on the academic, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of our students and the staff who care for them each
    day. As a parent/guardian we know there may be anxiety and concern around sending your child(ren) to school. We have known from the beginning of the school year that the
    in-person model would and could include full in-person, hybrid or virtual formats. We are asking you to declare a learning model for your child for next semester so we may
    prepare our schools, classrooms and staff to welcome students back to in-person learning when the school board determines it is safe for return. Please note, your
    declaration will remain for the entire semester. Once your determination is made, you will not have an option to change. More information will be forthcoming in the next few
    weeks.

    The parent portal can be accessed: https://sis.fergflor.org/FF360x3/login.  Please complete your declaration by 12:00 midnight on Sunday, December 6th.

     

    Virtual Learning to Continue Through Remainder of First Semester (10-15-2020)

    Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Family,

    Last night the Board of Education made the decision to continue virtual learning for the remainder of first semester, and at this time, we areplanning to return to in-person learning in our schools with the start of second semester on January 19.

    The Board reached this difficult decision following a thorough review of COVID data specifically for the Ferguson-Florissant School District.  At this time we are seeing an increase in the number of cases in our area.  The CDC recently released findings that many of the new cases come from small family gatherings.  Knowing that the holidays are fast approaching, it’s likely that the number of cases will continue to increase.

    As one Board member said, “This is probably the hardest decision we have ever had to make as a Board.”  While our virtual learning experience has improved greatly since the start of the school year, we know there is no substitute for face to face, in-person instruction between our students and teachers.  As one of our parents stated, “Please don’t base your decision on feelings or agendas… I would rather my kids be mad and live…”  That’s a sobering thought, but we have many in our community who have personally experienced the loss of loved ones from COVID.

    As a district we are committed to the four pillars we stated last spring, Safety, Access, Schedules, and Supports.  Safety continues to be our highest priority and the driving force behind last night’s decision.  You will find information related to virtual learning as well as information and answers to frequently asked questions on our four pillars and links to a variety of supports on our website at www.fergflor.org/united.

    I know these are difficult times.  I know some of our students, families, and teachers are disappointed that we are not returning yet, but our hope and belief is that the Board’s decision is the safest step, so that we can all return together for second semester.  I appreciate all that each of you do for the sake of our students.

    Onward Together,

    Dr. Joseph Davis
    Superintendent

    October 15, 2020

     

     

    Recalibration of Friday Schedules (9-28-2020)

     Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Family,

    I’m writing to provide an update on our schedule for virtual learning.

    This evening the Board of Education approved a recalibration of our Friday schedule.  Students will now have a full day of asynchronous learning on Fridays for the duration of virtual learning.  What that means is that students will be working independently on Fridays.  They may use the time to complete assignments, review material covered during the week, or dig deeper into a topic of interest.  Teachers are not required to provide additional lessons to fill the day.

    Friday afternoons will continue to be used for professional learning for teachers or other important work including professional learning communities and collaboration on how to provide the best learning opportunities for students.  Friday mornings will be reserved for teachers to do the work that they need to do independently to provide the highest quality educational experience for their students.

    Board President, Dr. Donna Thurman shared during the meeting, “Teachers, we hear you.  We are concerned and want to help.”  She went on to say, “Families, we hear you too.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents, and others we know you’re working hard to support your children.  We’re listening and we want to help you too.”

    The change to the Friday schedule will take effect on October 2.  As a reminder, tomorrow, Thursday, September 24 is a half day for students, Friday, September 25 will remain as previously scheduled.

    The Board and administration are continuing to monitor the COVID data as well as recommendations from health experts and at this time plan to review our virtual learning plan and a possible return to our buildings at the end of first quarter on October 23.  Please watch for a survey seeking your input on virtual learning and returning to our buildings.  This survey will be coming soon.

    Families, teachers, our other staff and community members, I know you are all working hard on behalf of our students.  Keep persevering!  Please know that you are appreciated, and you are not alone.  I hope you will take advantage of resources and other supports from the District and our partners.  That information may be found at www.fergflor.org/united.  Remember, we will get through this together.


    Onward!


    Dr. Joseph Davis

    Superintendent

    September 28, 2020

  • Message from Dr. Davis for First Day of School with Schedules, Meal Distribution, Student Expectations and More

    Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Families,

     

    Tomorrow, Monday, August 31 is our first day of school, and we can’t wait to see our students virtually.  As we prepare for the start of a school year like none other, I want to acknowledge that together we are facing many challenges.  While we have provided our teachers and families an additional four days to gain familiarity with our new learning management system, Canvas, Zoom, and other tools, I realize there is so much that is new, and the stakes are high.  Our students deserve a great start to a year filled with high quality teaching and learning, and our teachers and staff have been working hard to ensure that happens.  

    I’d like to address several topics that will provide our families with the information needed to have a strong, successful start to the year.

    Admissions and Registration

    Due to the large number of families registering over the last week including many families who are new to the District, we are experiencing some delays in processing registrations, and our phone lines have been overwhelmed.  We have assigned additional staff to assist with this process, and they are working hard to get all students in our system as quickly as possible.  If you know of new students who wish to enroll in the district they can begin the process at New Student Enrollment.

    Chromebook Distribution

    Technology services has arranged expanded hours and additional days to accommodate family schedules and get Chromebooks to our remaining students as quickly as possible.

    • Days and Times
    • Monday - 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
    • Tuesday through Friday - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

     

    • Locations
    • Ferguson Middle/Ferguson Middle Annex
    • Cross Keys

     

    Please remember the following information applies to Chromebook distribution for students across the District:

    • The student must be enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year.
    • If you have just enrolled your child you will be notified when your child is registered and may pick up your child’s Chromebook the next business day.
    • You must be the parent or guardian of record, or a student 18 or older and have a photo ID.
    • The parent/guardian will sign a 1:1 device agreement.
    • All Chromebooks in the family must have been returned to pick up new Chromebooks.
    • If you have a Chromebook to return, you can return it when you pick up your Chromebook for the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Families will remain in your vehicle; however, the parent/guardian receiving the Chromebook will need to wear a mask.  If you do not have personal transportation and need to make other arrangements, please contact your child’s school.  We want to help.

    Schedules

    Early Childhood Special Education AM

    Early Childhood Special Education PM

    Pre-K Full Day

    Pre-K Half Day

    Kindergarten

    First Grade

    Second Grade

    Third Grade

    Fourth Grade

    Fifth Grade

    Middle School (6-8)

    High School (9-12)

    Meal Distribution

    Meals will be Distributed on Wednesday and Friday.  Wednesday meal distribution will include Wednesday lunch, Thursday breakfast and lunch, Friday breakfast.  Friday meal distribution will include Friday lunch, Monday breakfast and lunch, Tuesday breakfast and lunch, and Wednesday breakfast. 

    Meal Distribution by Bus Order

    Meal Distribution by Street Alphabetical Order

    Student Expectation Code

    On Wednesday, August 26, the Board of Education approved a revised Student Expectation Code.  Please review the expectations with your child.  While we are currently learning in a virtual environment, our expectations remain for students to conduct themselves as if they were physically in our buildings and conduct themselves accordingly.  Please see specific expectations by grade level below.

    Website

    Our website has a wealth of information and valuable resources.  Listed under the Parent section is a link to Software Tech Support for issues related to Canvas, Zoom, Gmail, Parent Portal, Student 360, Seesaw, Clever, Galileo, or any other instructional resources.  Also listed in the Parent section is a link for Chromebook Tech Support for any issues with the Chromebook hardware.

    You can find information about virtual learning and other resources for families at www.fergflor.org/united.  You can find information about our learning management system, Canvas, including materials from our Canvas Parent Training at www.fergflor.org/canvas.  We are continually adding content to those pages, so please check them regularly.   

    We know that this is an incredibly tough time across the globe.  I want you to know that we are working diligently to be responsive and supportive.  We want all of our students to have a great year even with the challenges we face.  We will get through this together!

    Onward!

    Dr. Joseph Davis

    Superintendent

  • Message from Dr. Davis Regarding Start of School and Student Schedules

     

    Greetings Ferguson-Florissant Family,


    As the start of the new school year is rapidly approaching I hope this finds you well.  I know that there are many questions regarding virtual learning, schedules and even the start date for the year. 

    Last night the Board of Education met and approved moving the first day of school to August 31.  This shift in the start date for students will permit a smoother start to the year and allow our teachers to become more familiar with our new learning management system, Canvas.  The later start also will permit students and teachers time to connect and ensure that everyone is ready to learn prior to the first day of virtual classes, and we will have a district-wide check in prior to the start of school.  You will be receiving a separate email with details about your specific check in times.  Our expectation is that everyone will log on during the check in period and practice navigating Canvas, Zoom, and any other online learning tools. 

    In light of the change to the first day of school, first quarter will now end on October 23 rather than October 21 as previously scheduled, and third quarter will end on March 23 rather than March 19 as previously scheduled.  The last day of school will still be June 3.

    A schedule for distribution of Chromebooks and other materials will be coming from your school very soon.  Your school also will have a schedule for virtual meet the teacher and virtual open house nights. 

    Students’ daily schedules for virtual learning are included below and will be on your school’s website as well as www.fergflor.org/united where you will find important information on safety, access, schedules, and supports including resources for families as we navigate the school year in these challenging times.

    PreK-5th Grade Schedules

    Secondary School Schedules 

    I realize that you would appreciate having information as soon as possible, and it’s taken longer to communicate than we would like.  We want to meet your expectations, but we also want to be sure that the information we share is as accurate as possible.  There are so many aspects to the decision making process to ensure that students have access to high quality learning and that teachers are equipped to provide high quality instruction in this new virtual learning environment, and addressing all of those aspects takes time.  I appreciate your patience as we work hard to provide the best education possible for our students while maintaining safety as our highest priority.  We will get through this together.

    Onward,

    Dr. Joseph Davis
    Superintendent

  • As the Ferguson-Florissant School District plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year on August 25, we are committed to keeping our families, staff, students, and community members informed.  The Board's decisions and the District's actions focus on four main themes, Safety, Access, Schedules, and Support.  With a primary focus on safety, the Board of Education has approved 100% virtual learning at least through October 21, the end of the first quarter of the school year, with monthly reviews to determine when a return to our buildings is safe.  This approach will ensure our students continue to have access to a high-quality educational experience.  A detailed plan will be available in the coming days that includes how students and families will access devices, the internet, curriculum and other needs.  The plan also will include student and teacher schedules for all levels. You'll find information and links to a wide variety of supports on this page as well.
     
    We will continually assess the conditions of the pandemic we are facing and the progress of our educational programs in order to determine how we will proceed throughout the remainder of the year while keeping the safety of students and staff as our highest priority.  Please know, we are providing the best possible return to the learning environment under guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, St. Louis County, the State of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
     
    This web page serves as a hub for updates related to the reopening of our schools.  The situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving with time. We will regularly update this page as our plans continue to take shape. We encourage you to keep checking back for the latest information as we Move Onward with the 2020-21 school year.

Board of Education Special Meeting

  • Watch the special Board of Education meeting held on Wednesday, July 22, where the BOE and administration staff discussed and presented the re-entry guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year.