Where I've Been:

District Overview

District Profile

Enrollment – 4,157 (2014-15)

Conway Elementary - 324
Old Bonhomme Elementary - 388
Reed Elementary - 422
Spoede Elementary - 431
Fifth Grade Center - 321
Ladue Middle School - 999
Ladue Horton Watkins High School - 1,272

Attendance & Graduation

Student Attendance Days: 178 days (2014)
Graduation Rate: 98.7% (Class of 2014)
Graduates attending a 2- or 4-year college/university - 90% (Class of 2014)

Financial Issues (2014-15)

2014 Per Pupil Expenditure: $14,832.05
Students Eligible for Free & Reduced Lunch (2014-15): 12%
Teacher Salary Range: $40,500-$107,067
Average Teacher Salary: $64,562
Percentage of Total Operating Budget for Salaries & Benefits: 74.9%
Assessed Valuation (2013 Post - BOE): $1,415,304,750

2014-15 Tax Rates:


$3.31 for residential, commercial and agricultural;
$3.24 for personal property

Debt Service: $0.39

Teachers & Classrooms (2014-15)

Full-Time Classroom Teachers: 293
Teachers with 10 or More Years of Experience: 241
Teachers with Advanced Degrees: 298
Average Elementary Class Size: 19.85:1
Students to Classroom Teachers: 21.54:1

ACT Test Scores (Class of 2014)

  % Tested Composite English Math Reading Science
Ladue 88% 25.9 26.3 24.9 26.5 25.2
Missouri -- 21.8 21.6 21.1 22.3 21.7
National -- 21.0 20.3 20.9 21.3 20.8

SAT Test Scores (Class of 2014)

  Critical Mean Math Mean Writing Mean
Ladue 656 648 640
Missouri 596 595 582
National 497 513 487

Ladue Early Childhood Center

More than 725 families receive services through the center through programs such as Parents As Teachers, Parents and Children Together and preschool classes.

An Exceptional District

  • The Ladue School District comprises all or part of ten self-governed communities in St. Louis County, and encompasses approximately 19 square miles with a population of more than 27,000 residents.
  • The student body is socio-economically diverse with a graduation rate consistently exceeding 90 percent with 95% of 2014 graduates continuing on to college.
  • The parents and community residents are highly active in the schools and serve as members of Board of Education advisory committees, strategic planning initiatives, task forces and parent organizations.
  • The district is growing in student enrollment with a 26% increase (858 students) over the last ten years. According to projections, enrollment is expected to continue to increase gradually over the next several years.
  • The district has established a preliminary operating budget of $56.8 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year, and derives 94 percent of its revenue from local sources, the majority of which comes from property taxes.

National and Regional Recognitions

  • Widely recognized as one of the premier public school districts in the nation.
  • For the past 20 years, the National Merit Program has recognized approximately 10 percent of the members of each graduating class as a finalist, semifinalist or commended student.
  • The vast majority of our students take the ACT exam and Ladue Schools’ average composite score remains among the highest in the state for public schools with open enrollment.
  • In its 2014 ratings of “America’s Best High Schools,” The Daily Beast ranked Ladue Horton Watkins High School first in the state, seventh in the midwest and 70th in the country.
  • The district has earned the prestigious “Distinction in Performance” Award from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) each year the award has been given since 2001.
  • The district has five Blue Ribbon Schools (one school has been recognized twice) and three Gold Star Schools (one school has been recognized twice).
  • Ladue Middle School, Old Bonhomme Elementary School and Spoede Elementary School have earned distinction as Missouri Schools of Character. This program is conducted by CHARACTERplus, a division of EducationPlus, and is the most rigorous award process in the field of character education.
  • Ladue Middle School was named a 2014 National School of Character by The Character Education Partnership, a national advocate and leader for the character education movement. The National Schools of Character program recognizes schools that have demonstrated the use of character education and development to drive a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.

Key Initiatives

  • The Board of Education has made a strong commitment to the district’s continued financial stability, emphasis on educational excellence, focus on professional development and planning for facilities to support the learning environment. Recent key initiatives include:
  • In April 2012, voters approved Proposition 1, a ballot initiative adding $.49 to the district’s operating tax levy, bringing it to $3.24. This is the first operating tax increase passed by voters since 1993. The district’s request came after district property tax revenue dropped 8% over the last five years, during which time the district made over $7 million in expenditure reductions. The passing of Prop 1 allowed the district to forego $2.1 million in additional expenditure reductions for the 2012-13 school year.
  • District voters passed three bond referendums over the last 11 years to build and renovate facilities. In 2001, a $40.9 million bond issue was passed to renovate and expand existing buildings. In April 2007, a $29.97 million bond issue resulted in the expansion and renovation of all K-12 buildings, as well as upgrades in technology, safety and security systems. In April 2010, a $32 million bond issue allowed the district to purchase property with existing educational facilities. A new early childhood center was built on this property and opened in the fall of 2012. An existing building was renovated and is opening as the Fifth Grade Center in fall of 2013, alleviating overcrowding in the district’s four elementary schools.
  • A comprehensive 2009-15 Strategic Plan was developed by the community, parents and staff members and provides guidance and focus for the district’s efforts to continuously support its mission and goals. Plans are being made to do a thorough review and update of the plan during the 2013-14 school year.

A Master Facilities Plan has been developed and approved by the Board to provide future plans and guidance in maintaining and developing educational facilities optimal to the learning needs of our students now and in the future.

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Our Superintendent

On February 26, 2013, the Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Donna Jahnke, a 22-year veteran of the Ladue School District, as its next superintendent.  Dr. Jahnke began her new role July 1, 2013, after having served as the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning since 2008.

Dr. Jahnke began her career in the Ladue School District in 1991 as a classroom teacher, after having worked as a Special Education Teacher for Special School District of St. Louis County.  In 1996, she became Director of Community Services, which included responsibilities as the Director of the Ladue Early Childhood Center, the Parents as Teachers program and all district fee-based programs.  In 1998 she was appointed Principal of Reed Elementary School where she remained until becoming an Assistant Superintendent in 2008.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Education, as well as Special Education Certification from Southeast Missouri State University; a Master of Education from the University of Missouri; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University.

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Missouri Legislators Representing Ladue Schools

Legislators need to hear from you on the issues that are important to you. They expect professional educators and members of school boards to advocate in a certain way for various education-related issues, so they put greater weight in the opinions of their constituents, like you.

To determine who your Missouri legislators are and how to reach them (by phone, fax, letter or e-mail), click here. You will be connected to the Cooperating Schools District (CSD) Legislative Action Center. This Web site is offered to the Ladue Schools and other CSD members as part of its membership services. From this site you can learn who your legislators are and how to communicate with them on various issues.

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