The Student Services Office is located at 1415 N. 26th St., St. Joseph, MO 64506. Contact us by phone at 816-671-4006. This office supervises the following areas: Activities and Athletics, Counseling, Health Services, Safety and Security, Student Discipline, Student Residency, and Transportation.
- Facility Usage
- Families in Transition
- Foster Care Liaison
- Homeschool Information
- Inclement Weather FAQ
- Visitor Information
If your family lives in any of the following situations:
- In an emergency or transitional shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground
- On the street
- In an abandoned building, trailer, or other inadequate accommodations, or
- Doubled up with friends or relatives because you cannot find or afford housing
- Living in a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Abandoned in hospitals
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
- Children living in a trailer that does not have accommodations for all the people living there
- Children living with relatives or friends while parents are incarcerated or in the hospital
- Unaccompanied youth who are not living with their parents
- Migratory children who live in any of the circumstances described above
Then, your preschool-aged and school-aged children may qualify for the Families in Transition program.
Please contact your child's school or the Families in Transition Office.
Senate Bill 291, enacted in 2009, created sections 167.018 and 167.019 RSMo, otherwise known as the “Foster Care Education Bill of Rights.”
These laws require public school districts and child-placing agencies to ensure that foster children do not fall through the cracks when it comes to receiving an education.
Section 168.018, RSMo, requires each school district to designate a staff member as the educational liaison for children in foster care. In the St. Joseph School District, the educational liaison for foster care children is Kim Siela or Kim Hill, (816) 259-5100.
Acting in an advisory capacity, the educational liaison is required to:
- Ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school and checkout from school of foster children;
- Assist foster care students when transferring from one school or district to another, by ensuring proper transfer of credits, records and grades;
- Request school records of a foster care student pursuant to section 167.022, within two business days of a foster care student's placement in a school; and
- Submit school records of foster care students within three business days of receiving a request for a foster care student's records.
Section 167.019, RSMo, requires a child-placing agency, as defined in section 210.481, RSMo, to promote the educational stability of foster children.
The child-placing agency must take into consideration the foster child's school attendance area when placing the child. This section further defines the right of foster children in regard to their continuing education:
A foster child has the right to remain enrolled in and attend his or her school of origin or to return to a previously attended school in an adjacent district.
- The school district shall accept for credit full or partial course work satisfactorily completed by a foster care student while attending a public school, non-public school, or non-sectarian school in accordance with district policy or procedure.
- A foster care student's school district of residence shall issue a diploma to a foster care student under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court providing the student completes the district's graduation requirements.
- A school district shall ensure that if a foster care student is absent from school because of a change in placement made by a court or child placing agency, or because of a verified court-appearance or court-ordered activity, the grades and credits of the foster care student shall be calculated as of the date the student left school, and the student's grades shall not be lowered as a consequence of the absence.
- Subject to federal law, school districts shall permit access of foster care student records to any child placing agency for the purpose of fulfilling educational case management responsibilities required by a juvenile officer or by law and to assist with the school transfer and placement of a student.
Home School Guidelines
According to Section 167.031 of the Revised Statues of Missouri, a parent or guardian of a child, between the ages of seven and seventeen years of age, shall cause the child to attend regularly some public, private, parochial, parish, home school or a combination of such school. Any parent may educate a child at home. The parent does not need a teaching certificate or need to meet education requirement in order to provide in home instruction.
If a parent decides to home school, he or she must offer 1,000 hours of instruction during the school year, with at least 600 hours in the basics, which will be in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. At least 400 of the 600 hours shall occur in the home location.
Home school education enforcement and records pursuant to this section, and sections 210.167 and 211.031, RSMo, shall be subject to review only by the local prosecuting attorney.
- A parent who is home schooling a child must maintain the following :
- A plan book, diary, daily log, or other written record indicating the subjects taught and the activities engaged in with the student;
- A portfolio containing samples of the student’s academic work;
- A record of evaluation of the student’s academic progress; or other written, or credible evidence equivalent to a, b, and c.
- The school year is defined as beginning July 1 and ending the next June 30.
- Children with disabilities attending a home school program may receive special education services provided by the local school district, in accordance with Section 162.996 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, and the State Plan for Special Education.
If a student is 17 years of age or older, they may enroll in Adult Education at the Webster Learning Center.
To officially notify the St. Joseph School District of your intent to home-school a child complete the form below and submit it to the Student Services office.
When the St. Joseph community experiences inclement weather conditions, the safety of the students and staff in the St. Joseph School District is the most important consideration. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we receive regarding inclement weather.
Q: How is the decision made to cancel school for inclement weather?
The Director of Student Services, along with Apple bus drivers, begin driving routes as early as 3:30 a.m. on the morning of a snowfall or ice storm to test road conditions and driving conditions. Even if the roads are initially satisfactory, the drivers may make several trips if snow continues to fall, or if the weather continues to deteriorate. SJSD administrators also stay in close contact with city officials and authorities to determine the safety of the roads.
By 6:00 a.m, the Superintendent of Schools must make a decision about school cancellations so bus drivers and media can be notified. Prior to that time, the drivers keep in contact and give regular updates regarding road conditions. The superintendent considers several factors in making the final decision: weather predictions, highway department preparedness, time of day, wind-chill factor, as well as the drivers' reports.
Q: Where will information be posted regarding school closing?
The SJSD will post the information in the following places:
Twitter: St. Joseph Schools @StJosephSchools
SJSD Website: www.sjsd.k12.mo.us
Cable Channel 13
SJSD Mobile App: Receive school cancellation notifications directly to your mobile phone and have all your updates and calendars in one place. Go to your Google Play or iTunes store and search “St. Joseph School District” for the free app. Then choose which school(s) you would like to receive notifications and updates.
SchoolMessenger Communicate Alerts: SchoolMessenger Communicate is our phone, text and e-mail alert system. Parents of students and their emergency contacts are enrolled in the program at registration. If you are a community member and you would like to receive alerts please contact the Communications Department at 816-671-4008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local media will be sent information regarding school closings as well.
Q. My part of the city is safe to drive. Why are we canceling school?
St. Joseph has a wide variety of roads and terrain, including areas with narrow, steep hills that can become impassible in certain weather conditions, and rural areas where snow removal can be challenging. Your part of the city may be passable, but that does not mean that buses can safely take children to school in all parts of St. Joseph.
Q: What if bad weather arrives when children are in school?
If inclement weather arrives while students are in school, a decision to close school for the remainder of the day may be made. This decision will be made by 10:00 a.m. so as not to interfere with lunch schedules and preschool schedules. School principals will be contacted immediately. Buses will load students according to the normal dismissal order. All students picked up by parents may leave school as soon as parents arrive.
Q: Will all after-school activities be canceled if school is closed?
Typically, after-school student activities will be canceled when school has been closed all day or closed early. Please check the district website, or your school's website, for specific information.
Q: What can parents do to help their students and schools prepare?
Here are four suggestions to prepare: (1) Review the information you have listed as emergency contacts and make sure that the numbers are updated. (2) Contact your childcare facility, if necessary, to find out what their procedures are for inclement weather. (3) Make plans ahead of time and communicate them with your children so they understand what to expect during an early school dismissal due to inclement weather. (4) Understand that school closings are for the safety of children throughout the district. While the condition of your neighborhood streets may be fine, other areas of the district may be experiencing harsher weather or have more challenging road conditions.
Q. My streets are pretty slick. Why wasn't school cancelled?
We encourage parents and teenage drivers to use extreme caution when driving in less than ideal conditions. Again, while your neighborhood might have more difficult driving conditions, others areas may not.
Q. Other districts are closing for weather. Why aren't we?
Each district has its own unique set of weather, roads and city or county snow removal procedures. Additionally, nearby districts may receive slightly different weather or have different road conditions. We drive routes throughout our district to make sure that buses and cars can get through and make the decision based on the specific conditions in St. Joseph.
Q. Why are closure decisions sometimes delayed until the morning?
Weather is very unpredictable. Frequently predictions of heavy snowfall or extreme cold do not end up causing conditions that would justify cancelling school. Waiting until morning allows us to drive the roads and make the call based on actual weather and road conditions.
Q. Why doesn't the SJSD have late starts instead?
It is extremely challenging for our bus drivers and schools to utilize a late start schedule and can cause additional scheduling difficulties for parents and the schools. While we always encourage good attendance, and we believe that students should be in school whenever it is in session, parents can make the decision to keep students at home if they believe that road or weather conditions make travel to school unsafe.
Q. I am an employee. Should I go to work on a snow day?
Please see Employee Inclement Weather Work Schedule.
Q. Why do we cancel school due to heat?
All three high schools and two of our middle schools are only partially air conditioned, which allows parts of the schools to become extremely hot. If there are several days of heat and humidity in a row, the schools often do not have a chance to cool down at night and may become progressively hotter as the week continues.
Q. How do we make the decision to cancel school due to heat?
Building and district administrators monitor the schools closely, regularly checking temperatures in the buildings without air conditioning. Although it may not seem that hot outside, the buildings may be very hot and humid, especially on the top floors. If there are several days of heat and humidity in a row, the schools often do not have a chance to cool down at night and may become progressively hotter as the week continues.
Q. Why do we do early outs? Do two hours make a difference?
Typically, the hottest part of the day is late afternoon, and the school may continue to heat up as the day goes on. Letting out early still allows us to provide lunch for students while avoiding the hottest part of the day.
Q. Why do we still have activities if school has been let out?
The district follows MSHSAA guidelines for activities, which do not always match up with the process we use for calling off school. Outdoor and indoor conditions are not always identical, and athletes have been through conditioning to allow them to handle the heat during practice. If you have questions or concerns, please talk to your student's coach.
Q. My school has air conditioning. Why is it being cancelled?
Due to busing, at this time it may be necessary to cancel school for the entire district if we have to cancel for heat.
Q. Didn't we pass a bond a few years ago to air condition schools?
Yes. In 2012, we passed a bond to build two new schools and air condition all of the elementary schools. We completed that goal in 2016. Additionally, we were able to air condition two middle schools using a portion of that money, as well as other school district funds. Unfortunately, the bond did not include funding for the remaining middle schools and high schools.
Q. How do we inform parents when we will cancel school due to heat?
We will make the decision before noon, and we will inform parents using our parent call system, the website and social media, as well as alerting the local media.
Q. Will we have to make up the time for a heat day?
An early dismissal for heat will count toward our built-in inclement weather days. If we exceed the maximum number of days, we will need to make up those hours.
Q. I am an employee. Will I still need to work if school is cancelled due to heat?
Please refer to our inclement weather policy. Additionally, we will provide guidance to staff in an all-staff e-mail as necessary.
Keeping students safe is a top priority for the St. Joseph School District. It is important that we know who is in our buildings at all times. Starting in January 2019, the district began using the Raptor visitor management system at each of our schools to keep track of visitors. The procedure enables each school building to screen all visitors against sexual offender registries in all 50 states and establish a consistent sign-in process across the district.
Please understand that the process is not intended to discourage parents from visiting their children's schools. We welcome visitors and encourage all parents to be an active part of their child's educational experience. The goal is simply to enhance the safety and security of both students and staff by prohibiting school access to those who pose a potential threat.
Once the system is in place, all visitors, including parents, will be asked to report to the main office upon their arrival at the school.
- A secretary or other office staff member will request that each visitor provide their driver's license or other state or federally issued ID.
- The visitor's name, address, and photo will be checked for a match to a national sexual offender database.
- If a match is identified, the building principal or designated representative will immediately be notified and respond according to district procedures.
- If no match is found, visitors will be issued a date-specific visitor's badge. These badges must be worn at all times while on the school grounds. School personnel have been directed to escort anyone not wearing a badge to the office. Visitors must check in and receive a visitor badge each time they visit.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the visitor management process and why do we need a visitor management system?
This process helps us make sure visitors follow our district procedures when visiting our schools beyond the school office or checking out a student. Visitors entering a school beyond the office receive a printed ID sticker that must be worn and visible during the entire stay. This makes it easier for our school staff to know who is allowed inside the school.
During school hours, entry to the school building will be restricted to a single door near the office. Office personnel will check a visitor's driver's license or other state-issued ID, comparing information to a national sex offender database, alerting school administrators if a match is found, or issuing a detailed visitor badge if the person is cleared.
What if a match is found?
Driver's license/ID information is compared to a database of registered sex offenders from all 50 states. If a match is found, a silent alert will go to administrative staff members. School administrators and law enforcement personnel will take appropriate steps to keep the school, students, and staff safe.
Why is the St. Joseph School District using this system?
Safety of our students is our highest priority. Part of keeping our students safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times. The Raptor system allows us to track visitors and volunteers in our schools, as well as manage student checkout. The new process will provide a consistent system to track visitors and volunteers while keeping away people who present a danger to students and staff members.
What if I don't have a valid form of ID or don't want it scanned?
A first-time visitor who does not have a valid ID may be granted access, with the building principal's approval, only after manually running the visitor's legal name and date of birth through the system. Visitors that do not present an ID their first time will only be allowed in the building with an escort at all times.
Will I have to have my ID scanned if I am just dropping something off?
Visitors who are leaving an item and will not enter the building past the office will not need to be scanned. Anyone who goes beyond the office or is picking a student up will have to will need to have their ID scanned.
Do visitors who are children need a state ID?
Children who do not have a valid ID may be allowed to visit as long as an adult who has completed the check-in process accompanies them at all times.
What other information is the school taking from driver's licenses?
We will only capture the visitor's name, date of birth, and photo for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. Additional visitor data will not be gathered, and no data will be shared with any outside organization or authority.
Will St. Joseph School District employees follow the procedure?
St. Joseph School District employees who do not have an employee badge visible must follow the same procedure and wear the school-issued badge. Substitute teachers will follow exactly the same procedure as other employees.
Will volunteers have to follow the procedure?
Volunteers must follow the same procedures as any visitor. Identity must be verified with an acceptable form of identification (i.e. driver's license or state ID).
Will contractors, subcontractors and vendors follow the procedure?
Contractors, subcontractors and vendors must be checked the same as any visitor. If identity cannot be acceptably verified, they will not be allowed on district property. Acceptable forms of identification include driver's license, state ID, U.S. military ID, or passport.
Can the St. Joseph School District require parents to produce an ID before entering the building?
Yes. The district must be sure of who is in our buildings, why they are there, and – particularly if a student is involved (e.g., early pickup) – be able to confirm that an individual is authorized to access the student. We can only do this by knowing exactly whom we are dealing with.
What about grandparents?
Grandparents will be checked against the database and the student's enrollment form to see if they have parental permission to access the student.
What about police officers, firemen, and other uniformed or governmental officials?
Law enforcement and other first responders will bypass the sign-in process if responding to an emergency. If there is no active emergency, police/fire/other officials will be checked in and will be asked to show credentials.
Does the district have to give listed sexual offenders and predators access to the school?
Listed sexual offenders and predators are not allowed on district property or transportation or at district events. See Board Policy KK and Missouri Statute 566.149.1 for further information.
Will the district use the process for after-school activities?
No. The visitor management process will only be used during school hours.
How does Raptor keep my data secure?
Raptor uses firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, host integrity monitoring and port filtering, as well as the latest security processes to protect all of its systems and data. All information entered into Raptor gets encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption. Raptor does not share data with any third parties.
What if I have an outstanding warrant or am undocumented? Will you report me to the police or immigration?
The National Sex Offender Public Registry and the SJSD student information system are the only two databases that Raptor checks. The system will not alert office staff or even know if you have an outstanding warrant or are undocumented.
The St. Joseph School District does cooperate with police. If authorities contact us to alert us to someone who might pose a threat to school safety, this information can be entered into the system so administration gets alerted if that person visits one of our schools.
Do other schools and institutions use a system like this?
Yes. Many of surrounding districts use Raptor or similar visitor management systems to help ensure school and student safety.