eNews September 2, 2022
A message from the Superintendent, the First Day of School!
From the Superintendent
Dear Clayton Families -
It’s been an amazing first two weeks of the school year! Even though summer provides some great opportunities to unplug and recharge, work never really feels the same unless our buildings are full of students, teachers and the sights and sounds of learning. Being able to be in a school during the first week, and especially on the first day, of a new school year is one of the best parts of my job. There is so much hope, energy and excitement for things to come that it’s simply contagious.
As we look ahead to the work we have planned for this year, a big focus will be a deeper dive into our strategic plan and ensuring all of our actions help make our schools a place for everyone to grow as learners in head and heart. As someone who emigrated from Kenya as a middle schooler, I understand what it means to need to be in a place where you are welcomed and feel like you belong. We all need a place that embraces your unique qualities and celebrates them with you. My parents moved to the U.S. so that my siblings and I could go to school here, so growing as a learner is a value my family instilled in me long before I became an educator. And, finally, self-care and emotional well-being is something that has always been important to me, and something that we all continue to work to be better at.
Last year, our administrators worked together every month to really dig into the ways they can make our schools a place for everyone. (Goal one of our strategic plan.) This year, our focus will be on empowered learning (Goal Two: to grow as learners) and how we as lead learners continue to empower our students to take ownership of their learning. We are also working with our teachers to explore all the different ways we can embed (and evaluate) the competencies in our Profile of a Clayton Graduate throughout our students’ PK-12 educational journey. With all of this as a focus, combined with the learning that is an everyday part of the Clayton experience, 2022-2023 is shaping up to be an incredible school year for all of us.
Even with such a strong focus on academic excellence, we are still dialed in on important things like health and safety. Long lead times and supply chain issues have extended our summer construction into this fall. We are finishing up the second round of safety improvements at our schools which will allow us to better manage visitors and access to our schools, improve our response time in crisis situations and ensure all our students/staff feel safe and supported while at school. We are also still keeping our eye on COVID cases in our schools. Our experience with different routines and evolving mitigation procedures over the past few years has left us well suited to make a change on the fly, if that’s what we need to do to keep our students and staff healthy and learning at school.
I’ve said it before. I'll say it again: This is going to be an incredible school year! I’m looking forward to sharing it with you and your family. Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools.
Nisha Patel, Ed.D
It’s been a great start to the 2022-2023 school year. In case you missed it, click on the picture below for a look at our first day of school last week.
CHS Swim Team Participates in St. Louis Swim Across America
On Saturday, Aug. 27, members of the CHS girls swim team participated in the Seventh annual St. Louis Swim Across America event held at Innsbrook Resort’s Alpine Lake. This open-water swim is much more challenging than swimming in a pool. Over the summer, and as part of the event, the Greyhounds raised $3,300 for Siteman Cancer Center research. Swim and dive team head coach Katelyn Long, a former high school and college swimmer, also participated with the squad. Last winter CHS finished third at the Missouri high school state championships and is poised to have another strong season. Click the picture to watch a short video about the team.
St. Louis Art Fair ~ Volunteer Request
The Saint Louis Art Fair presented by Centene Charitable Foundation would not be possible without our amazing volunteers... Volunteer's just like you! Have you registered to volunteer for this year's Art Fair yet? There's still time! We still have volunteer opportunities waiting to be filled, so please visit this link to register. You can also go to our volunteer page on our website. Critical needs are Artist Relations Snack/Water Delivery, Artist Booth Sitting, and Guest Relations Greeters. Sign up today!!
Same Day COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines
District students, parents, and staff can go to any of these locations to receive a COVID-19 vaccine/booster or for walk-in COVID testing (for diagnostics, screening, and travel). No appointment is needed. This program is available through Visionary Vaccine Services (VVS) available through a partnership between the Clayton and Webster Groves school districts. Representatives from VVS will be doing the testing and individuals will receive a letter documenting the date of service, type of testing, and same-day test results.
CEF - PTO - CPD Sponsored Food & Essentials Drive
Mark your calendars! This year's Food & Essentials Drive, sponsored by the Clayton PTO, Clayton Education Foundation and the Clayton Police Department will take place the week of September 19. Be on the lookout for a list of requested items and more information about when and where to donate.
Focus On: Establishing Good Back to School Routines
We all know getting our kids back into the school routine can feel like a never-ending battle. Establishing a routine early in the school year can help your child feel prepared to tackle any challenge. It will also provide your family with consistency and enhance your child’s learning experience throughout the year. Here a few ways to start your school year routine off on the right foot:
Create a Morning Routine Checklist. This list doesn’t need to be extensive. Simply provide a clear written checklist where your child can check off items as they complete them.
Establish a Study Space & Homework Time. Make this space bright and inviting, stock it with fresh school supplies, supplemented throughout the school year, and add encouraging messages. Setting aside designated “homework time” might be challenging depending on your child’s extracurricular commitments. So, you might see the exact time fluctuate from week to week, even day to day, but knowing there is a set time helps your child succeed.
Create a Schedule - Weekly. And make sure to include some fun activities! Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to review your child’s commitments. Include your child as you plan out what to do when. Let them help write in deadlines, homework assignments, sports practices and games, etc.
Create a Family Reward System. Be sure to include lots of praise. Praise is a wonderful way to empire your child, it will also help boost self-esteem, confidence and so much more. Keep your system simple - extra screen time if they finish all their assigned reading, ice cream on Friday after school if they turn all their homework in on time during the week, Saturday morning breakfast of their choice if they follow their routine all week.
To see more ideas, read the full article here.
CHS Student Selected for Federal Reserve Bank Board of Directors
Congratulations to CHS Senior Anisha Jarang on her selection to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Student Board of Directors! The Fed selected 18 students to this year's board, all who will serve a one year term. Students were chosen through a competitive application process that included an essay and letters of recommendation. Participants will meet monthly to gain a thorough understanding of the Federal Reserve's role in the U.S. economy and learn about its unique partnerships with banks, businesses and the community. For more information, visit the St. Louis Fed's student board of directors’ webpage.
The Board's next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. The Board will hold their annual joint meeting with the Clayton Board of Alderman, approve the 2022 tax rate and review the results of the District's recent public opinion survey. Following each meeting of the Board of Education, The Board Brief is your source for details on Board discussions, actions and items of interest to Clayton students, staff and residents.
- September 2 - No School for Students - Professional Learning Day
- September 5 - No School - Labor Day
- September 7 - Board of Education Meeting Joint Meeting Board of Aldermen/City of Clayton
- September 16 - Next edition of eNews
- September 19 - 23 - PTO Council, CEF & Clayton Police Department Sponsored Food & Essentials Drive