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Prop S Message to the Community from Superintendent Dr. Kilbride

May 14, 2020

Dear Ritenour Community,

The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging, and yet rewarding, times of my educational career.  The COVID-19 pandemic has created obstacles in education not seen for generations.  We were asked to completely redesign what schools look like in a very short amount of time.  Our amazing staff members and dedicated support teams proved they were up to the task.  

Since March 18, our staff have been working tirelessly to prepare and deliver meals, and reach and teach students in new and often unconventional ways. We’ve also developed new strategies and procedures to keep our facilities clean and safe, provide leadership and guidance in a time of uncertainty, and coordinate all the essential functions that keep our students learning and our district running smoothly.

Thanks to our staff, students and community, we found out that we CAN get through this pandemic together.  We are Ritenour strong.  

It is not easy for us to ask for help from our community in these challenging times, but we truly need your assistance to help spread the word about an upcoming bond issue in June.  

While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the district’s short-term operations, it has not changed our critical long-term facility needs.  As you may remember before all of this started, we provided information and answered questions about Proposition S - a $19.5 million zero tax rate change bond issue that was to be considered by voters in April.  In mid-March, Gov. Parson moved the election to June 2 - which is now less than three weeks away.

Prop S is a $19.5 million bond issue that will not increase the current tax rate.  Voter approval allows the District to address pressing facility and safety needs at all Ritenour schools.  Ritenour has a long history of providing the best opportunities for its students. We also have a 30-year commitment of investing in our facilities to make sure they provide the best environment for learning and schools we can all take great pride in having in our community. We continue to be strongly committed to these traditions. Voter approval of Proposition S would allow our district to do the work necessary to protect the investment in our students and the buildings where they learn today and in the future.

St. Louis County is taking additional measures to make it safe to vote with social distancing markings at the polls and sanitizer available for voters and poll workers.  Pens used to fill out paper ballots will be disinfected after each voter. Especially with what is going on today, every vote is important. That’s why it is critical that you remember to vote on Tuesday, June 2 and remind your friends and family to do the same.  If you need information about absentee voting, please visit the St. Louis County website at:  https://www.stlouisco.com/Your-Government/Elections/Voting-in-StLouis-County/Absentee-Voting  The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Wednesday, May 20.  

We know this is not the ideal time to ask you to share information about a bond issue.  Unfortunately, we can’t change the election date, but we will do our best to help educate our community about the importance of this bond issue.  

Over the next three weeks, we will re-share information about Prop S and continue to answer questions.  On our website is detailed information, a list of projects by school, a FAQ section and much more: www.ritenourschools.org/PropS.  If you have any questions, please email rsdinfo@ritenourschools.org.   

For more than 150 years Ritenour has been there for our community.  Now, we need your help more than ever.  

Sincerely,
Chris Kilbride
Dr. Chris Kilbride
Superintendent of Schools