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Letter to Families and Staff Following CVPA Tragedy

Subject: A Message from Our Superintendent: Central Visual and Performing Arts High School Tragedy

Dear Ladue School District Families and Staff,

I am at a loss for words after hearing about the horrific tragedy this morning at the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School (CVPA) in the St. Louis Public School District (SLPS). As a superintendent and father, I am deeply saddened, and my heart goes out to the victims' families, CVPA students, staff, and the entire SLPS school community.

I assure you that our students' physical safety and social-emotional well-being are top priorities. Please know that we have plans in place at each school to handle emergencies. In times like this, we must help our children understand that we do everything possible to keep them safe so they can focus on their learning and growth. As adults, we must also check on one another. Our school counseling team and administrators are also ready to respond to students and staff and care for them as needed. 

I want to remind our students, parents, and staff that if you see or hear something that may cause any school safety concern, please report it immediately to a school official, our safety and security coordinator, or SRO. 

As we learn more details about the CVPA tragedy in the days ahead, it will be essential for you to spend time talking with your children and helping them cope with this news. I also want to remind you to hug your child(ren) or loved ones just a little longer this evening. At the end of this letter are some resources for parents and teachers to use when talking with children and answering their questions.

Thank you for your continued trust and support. 


Dr. Jim Wipke

Ladue Schools