ST. LOUIS – A group of concerned parents and grandparents rallied outside St. Louis’ Old Courthouse on Wednesday. They are calling on the St. Louis Public School District to do more to bridge the gap between students who are excelling and those who are struggling.
“Our ultimate goal here is to make a call to St. Louis to unite,” said Krystal Barnett, executive director of Bridge 2 Hope.
The group is calling on SLPS to use federal relief money to improve education outcomes.
“If we could just make a shift, just use all the spending they’re about to receive to really pour it into these children, we would see a whole another city within the next couple of years,” said SLPS parent Samantha Simpson.
Bridge 2 Hope is calling on the district to create individual academic recovery plans, with tailored solutions for students who have struggled because of the pandemic.
Barnett said the group of concerned parents is looking forward to communicating with newly elected school board members and SLPS Superintendent Kelvin Adams.
“We hope the district will start creating a space for parents to actually understand what’s going on and where their kids are, what their role is to catch them up, and what the school’s responsibility is going to be to catch kids up,” she said.
Barnett is also optimistic the next mayor of St. Louis will be part of the solution.
“Tishaura Jones brought in a spirit of unity and collectiveness that I really appreciate,” she said.
Davida Cooks believes SLPS needs to take immediate action to make improvements. She’s said her child has struggled to learn online.
“Virtual learning is just not working for him,” Cooks said.
Some parents who rallied say more parents need to become stakeholders and get involved in the movement to make changes.
A spokesperson for SLPS said it was too soon to comment on Bridge 2 Hope’s efforts. The spokesperson said the district has yet to receive a specific proposal from the group but would want to fully understand their requests and give any plan thorough review before commenting.