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DATES TO KNOW (Click calendar image for details)

May 14: Community Conversations series with MRH Admins

May 16: Board of Education monthly meeting

May 17/18: Taste of Maplewood (visit the MRH tent!)

May 19: MRH seniors parade (details below)

May 27: District closed (Memorial Day)

May 30: Last day of school/High School graduation

Click here to read the MRH 5-year Strategic Plan "Honoring Our History, Shaping Our Future" 

The Week in Photos From Around MRH

New Videos Weekly By

HS Mobile Journalism Students

In this edition of What's Happening at MRH:

  • School climate/culture survey for parents/guardians
  • Why regular attendance is crucial for your learners and for the District
  • In-depth: talking speech therapy at MRH
  • Community engagement events this month

Survey Open Now: School Climate and Culture

The MRH School District is taking part in a School Climate and Culture Survey created by the National Center on PBIS. The current DESE accreditation standards require that districts conduct climate and culture surveys with all parents/guardians, all staff members, and students in grades 3-12. 

MRH has decided to conduct this survey twice a year (fall and spring) to learn about our Climate and Culture in a couple of different ways.  

  • How does our climate and culture change from fall to spring in the same year?  
  • How does our climate and culture change year to year?

These surveys are designed to give schools the information they need to promote a positive school experience for all. Please answer thoughtfully. While all questions must be answered for your survey to be submitted, you may mark "I prefer not to answer" for questions about you.


In the fall, we had 300 respondents. Our goal is to meet or exceed that number. We are hoping for 400+ families to participate in the spring survey.


Please take a few minutes to answer the PARENT/GUARDIAN survey at this link.

Responses from all parents will be anonymous. MRH will use this information to improve our climate and culture.


If you have more than one child in school, you have two options:

  • Complete one survey for the entire family, OR
  • Complete one survey for each student if their experiences in their respective schools vary significantly

Students in grades 3-12 will be taking the surveys during school class time.

If you would like more information about the Student Climate and Culture Survey or choose for your child not to participate, please contact Vince Estrada.


Survey information is also available on our website.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Why Regular Attendance Matters (Especially in the Home Stretch!)

We understand that life events occur and that the past three years have posed significant challenges for you and your children. Every day of school is an important opportunity for students to recover from life's uncertainties – to learn, connect to peers and teachers and benefit from classroom instruction. As the school year draws to a close, we want to finish strong, especially in light of end-of-year testing.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) holds school districts across the state accountable for tracking attendance data and working closely with families and students to ensure acceptable engagement and attendance in learning whether virtual or in-person. DESE sets the state attendance standard at 90%. When that threshold is not met, districts face possible reductions in state funding.

Why does attendance matter? If children don’t show up for school regularly, they miss out on fundamental reading and math skills and the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers.

Data shows that overall attendance figures for MRH are not where we’d like them to be. Many student absences are excused and unavoidable, but they still add up to lost time in the classroom. We are asking our families to help make school attendance a priority. You can do this by:

  • Speaking with your learners about the importance of showing up every day
  • Helping them to maintain daily routines such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s rest
  • Doing your best to keep your child healthy
  • Trying to schedule medical and dental appointments outside school hours

MRH Board Policy states that “holding students and their parents/guardians responsible for attendance is part of the District’s larger mission to train students to be productive citizens and employees.” That’s why MRH offers academic, social-emotional and technical support for all our students. If there is anything that a member of our team can do to support you and your child, please let us know. We would be happy to partner with you for your child’s overall success. 

In-Depth: Let's Talk About Speech Therapy In Schools

National Speech and Language Pathologist Appreciation Day is May 18, so we took time to consult our experts at the Early Childhood Center about their role in helping kids tackle essential communication skills. 

We spoke with Sarah Hoyt (SH), Preschool Language Pathologist with MRH since 2018; Kristen Ottenlips (KO), SSD Speech and Language Pathologist at the ECC since 2022 but with SSD since 2017; and Brianna Kapka (BK), Speech and Language Pathologist at both the ECC and MRHE starting this past year.

What do you really want to impart to families about your roles?

SH: Speech and language services at school are the foundation, but building the bridge between home and school will set students up for the most success.

KO: One of the biggest ties to language is with literacy in the school setting. That’s huge, building those preliteracy skills and talking about the books you’re reading, even in the home, and engaging that interest early.

BK: We have been implementing monthly newsletters that talk about activities that target speech and language. That’s a good resource for parents to have to support what we’re trying to do both at home and at school.

What is the process for kids to get services?

KO: There’s a lot of intervention that goes on in the general education setting first. Things that teachers or parents can implement, but if students make it all the way to special education evaluation that’s when we would usually get involved with the testing. And then, if they qualify for special education in the area of speech or language then they would become part of our case load.  

SH: The referral process looks similar in preschool. We have an MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support) team to provide interventions before referrals are made for students to receive special education services.

Is there anything newly emerging in the field?

SH: I’d say the use and need for technology for communication purposes has grown tremendously.

KO: In the field in general there’s a shift towards considering neurodivergent processing of language. It’s called gestalt language processing, an understanding of how some students might learn language has really evolved in the past ten years. Some kids learn language one word at a time versus some learn whole phrases. And understanding how to enhance children’s learning skills via their way learning is something I’m trying to get a deeper grasp on.  

How do you support families of teachers?

SH: We collaborate with the whole team. We have a "SETT" process to talk about the student, environment, task, and tool. We have an Augmentative & Alternative Communication Facilitator who is an expert in this area. Special School District has many resources and trainings. We offer check-ins for families.

How many kids are you seeing at the moment?

SH: 38.

KO:30-35, fluctuating.

BK: About the same, 17-18 at ECC and the rest are at the elementary school.

How was this affected by the pandemic? Masks and distancing must have been a big challenge for these types of services…

KO: It was really difficult to work on speech when masks were required. You couldn’t see or read the mouths as we usually do when working with sounds.

SH: I had lots of PPE and held many virtual speech sessions. I felt like a magician engaging students! Parents did a lot on their end too. I feel that the short time we did that made all of our relationships stronger. It was a great way to connect home & school.

KO: Having the door opened for them to see what we’re doing every day, and parents were really involved with therapy.

Do you use group sessions?

BK: Its depends. They are usually mixed between individual and group depending on student needs, depending on scheduling. I see a lot of kids in a small group.

SH: We individualize and tailor our lessons to each child. Scheduling can interfere, but we work closely with the teacher on when is a good time to see students. Groups can become larger closer 

BK: We might pull students out, but sometimes we push into their classrooms as a way to help them generalize the skills they’re learning in a different setting. Being able to support them that way can help them because they’re still around their peers.  

And the teacher gets to witness how you help them?

BK: Yes.

So, you alluded to it before, but is scheduling the main challenge you discuss?

KO: You have to be thoughtful about what the student needs and you don’t want them missing too much in the classroom but still getting these services. Being cognizant about all the other needs throughout the day. But this is a fun team to work with.

SH and BK: It is!

Summer School Waitlist

We're thrilled to announce the overwhelmingly positive response to our Summer Journey program! We've received a high volume of interest applications, and as a result, most of our classes are now full.

Confirmation emails have been sent to families whose students have been successfully enrolled. If you haven’t received a confirmation email or text please contact Dr. Chris McGee. 

If you haven’t expressed interest, there may still be a chance. We encourage you to complete the Summer Journey interest form located within PowerSchool. By joining the waitlist, you'll be notified of any openings that become available as we finalize staffing.  Directions are available here.

We appreciate your patience. As we secure additional staff, we'll be working our way through the waitlist on a rolling basis, giving priority to those who have been identified as having the most academic need through district assessments and then by application time.



Board-Sponsored Scholarship Fund Needs a Boost

Established in 2019, the Nelson Mitten Scholarship is awarded annually to Maplewood Richmond Heights High School graduates who embrace the cornerstones of leadership, stewardship, scholarship and citizenship. The scholarship provides financial support paid directly to the student’s college, university, vocational or trade school, and funds can be used for tuition, books, supplies or other related educational expenses. Awardees receive scholarship assistance in both their freshman and sophomore years of college, ensuring continuity in support for their academic endeavors. Named for MRH Board of Education emeritus director Nelson Mitten, the scholarship exemplifies Mr. Mitten’s tireless advocacy for MRH students and their educational goals.

MRH sees a growing number of students now pursuing post-secondary opportunities, and the Board of Education is dedicated to their success. The Nelson Mitten Scholarship shows our students that they have the backing and confidence of their entire MRH community.

To donate, please visit our website. Thank you!

Stay current on ongoing construction and facility improvements made possible under proceeds from Proposition E.

Click the hard hat for the latest reports and videos.

Stay connected with our local libraries, which offer ongoing enrichment programs for children and adults.

Unsure Who to Contact With Questions or Concerns? Click Here for a Handy Guide.

MRH District Central Office (314) 644-4400

Contact MRH Communications Staff

The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation and/or perceived sexual orientation, or genetic information in its programs and activities. View Notice of Non-Discrimination or Board Policy AC.