Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Melissa Schut drew out a problem on the white board at the front of her sixth-grade math class.  

Like she often does, Schut started with three questions.

“Where are you starting?” Schut asked.  “Where are you going? How are you going to get there?"

She paused to study the looks on students’ faces in her cozy classroom at Westview Middle School in Riverview Gardens.

“Go!” Schut said while clicking an electronic timer.

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

Principal Glenn Carter cracks open the door to an Algebra II class at South Pemiscot High School in rural Steele, Mo., where teacher Linda Crawford shuffles four reluctant students into different configurations. Students chuckle as Crawford gleefully moves her volunteers from place to place. One student, 11th grader Alli Jones, laughs and jots down a few careful notes with the rest of the class.

Last year, Jones probably wouldn’t have been here. She skipped school almost every week.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

This story is the first part of Accounted For, a project from St. Louis Public Radio with an assist from KRCU that explores the connection between chronic absenteeism - defined as missing three and a half weeks or more of school - and classroom success.

Riverview Gardens Superintendent Scott Spurgeon roamed the halls of Glasgow Elementary School.  On a recent morning the former minor league baseball player turned educator greets students like players entering a dugout.

Bailey McCormick / KRCU

Renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and author of the best-selling book, America the Beautiful, Dr. Ben Carson, shared his knowledge and experience with the community of Sikeston, Mo. on Saturday.

The Sikeston High School field house filled with students, politicians and others from the surrounding area who wanted to catch a glimpse of the famous doctor. America’s Got Talent winner, Neil Boyd opened the program with patriotic classics like “God Bless the USA”. Meanwhile, Carson spoke directly to a group of 90 at-risk youth in an attempt to encourage them.

Governor Nixon Visits Jackson Middle School

Feb 13, 2014
Michael Ryan / KRCU

Students and faculty of Jackson Middle School welcomed Governor Jay Nixon on Wednesday as he highlighted the Jackson school district's efforts, and the importance of continuing education after high school.

The Jackson school district was honored for their high test scores in the Missouri School Improvement Program 5 exam, but Gov. Nixon also took the time to highlight the importance of higher education in Missouri.