611 North Tenth Street, Suite 525
St. Louis, MO 63101
Chief Executive Officer
Candice Carter-Oliver, Ph.D.
Serving the City of St. Louis
University of Missouri—Columbia
The MU Office of Charter School Operations monitors school operations throughout the year and provides an annual statement regarding how well a school is complying with its stated charter goals. These web pages provide information about the school, including
- Academic Performance
- Governance and Operations
Based on this and information gathered in other monitoring activities our office conducts, we provide the adjoining Sponsor Statement.
Sponsor Statement SY2018 Confluence Academies
Confluence Academies experienced significant change in the first year of the renewed charter.
Dr. Carter-Oliver completed her first year as CEO under the new administrative structure and the board successfully completed the move of Grand Center Arts Academy into the Confluence Academies’ charter with MU. This report is structured by the expectations set forth in the Performance Contract with MU. Confluence Academies is compliant with all provisions of the Performance Contract except Academic Outcomes, which has mixed outcomes.
• The Confluence Academies Board of Directors abides by all relevant laws and regulations regarding meetings and conducts business in accordance with accepted business and procurement practices. The Board and administration have continued implementation of the Strategic Plan approved in 2017, addressing Teacher Recruitment, Retention and Reward; Curriculum; Finance; and Community and Family Engagement. The board receives regular updates on progress towards Strategic Plan goals and its impact on plans for facilities, programs, personnel, etc.
• Throughout the year, the Board of Directors discussed the need to recruit new members, consistency of participation from current members, and was routinely concerned about having a quorum. Confluence Academies, in collaboration with the Charter School Office, has employed Charter Board Partners to help with recruitment and the active board engagement that is essential to an effective governing process.
• Confluence Academies continues to meet expectations regarding finances. The Governing Board addresses financial matters at each meeting with more detailed attention from the Finance Sub-committee, which also meets monthly. The sub-committee includes Governing Board members and others with financial and real estate expertise. The ASBR, external audit and other reports were filed on time. The audit had no significant findings or qualifications, but noted concerns about decreasing revenues the last couple of years due to decreased enrollment and cited actions Confluence is taking to address this. Confluence reported a fund balance of 16.76% in 2018.
• Confluence Academies meets all federal and state reporting requirements in a timely manner. Any concerns raised in Tiered Monitoring or other reporting are addressed immediately. School leadership addresses student, human resources, and other issues within board policy and proposes policy revisions to ensure effective operations.
• All concerns from parents or the community that have been brought to the Charter Schools Office(CSo) have been addressed in a timely manner by school leadership. CA notifies the CSO of significant matters raised by parents, the community, or the press so that we remain informed and can respond appropriately.
• CA made staffing changes for 2017-2018 to direct more funding to individual buildings and instruction. Several central office positions were eliminated with duties reassigned, outsourced, or eliminated. Dr. Carter-Oliver now directly supervises building principals. Over half of building administrators were replaced or reassigned. Aspire and Old North had new principals and assistants were reassigned. The new principal at Old North was replaced mid-year by a veteran administrator from the Resource Office. The governing board and Resource Office recognize that such turnover in school leadership is a concern for school culture, yet, saw these actions as necessary to foster dramatic improvement in system processes. and are working to remedy the situation.
• The organizational and personnel changes initiated by the Resource Office in early 2017 had an impact on school stability. Confluence began the academic year in August 2017 with only three teaching vacancies and lost only three teachers first semester, in contrast to 26 and 27 the prior two years. Increased emphasis on teacher support provided a summer institute for teachers new to Confluence and more comprehensive teacher coaching throughout the year.
• When Confluence brought GCAA into the MU charter, we revised the performance contract to reflect the change. In so doing, new targets were set for 2018 and following years that were consistent with the 2016 performance contract. Confluence met Attendance, Graduation, and APR targets, but not ELA and Math MAP goals. Performance varied by individual school. Confluence’s 2018 APR was 77.9%. The Governing Board addresses academic matters during Academic Sub-committee monthly meetings. The committee members include board members, school leaders and the CEO.
Confluence Academies Overview
Confluence Academies is a network of schools serving the entire City of St. Louis. Aspire Academy and Confluence Old North serve students PreK-6 in North St. Louis and Confluence South City serves students PreK-8 in South St. Louis. Elite Academy serves students in grade 7 and 8 from North St. Louis and Confluence Preparatory Academy serves students 9-12 from throughout the City of St. Louis. Grand Center Arts Academy serves students throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area in grades 6-12.
Mission (provided by school)
Confluence Charter Schools provides the highest quality public education for our students. Every day, students are engaged and encouraged to excel in reading, math, science, technology, visual arts and performing arts.
Vision (provided by school)
Confluence Charter Schools will provide a world-class public education to prepare our students for success in college, career and life.
Leader Statement (provided by school)
Dr. Candice Carter-Oliver, CEO of Confluence Charter Schools, is dedicated to ensuring that all children achieve at high levels. “High expectations, along with high levels of student support, will continue to move us forward,” she said. Along with this focus on student achievement, Confluence Charter Schools is determined to be a catalyst for the communities it serves.
Academic Highlights (provided by school)
Throughout the Confluence Charter School system, each school offers classes and programs to benefit the needs of its students. We offer career pathways, a program for high school students to learn more about business and marketing. All elementary Confluence Charter Schools offer free Pre-K.
In addition to tailoring programs to fit each school’s needs, we refine programs to help each child’s individual education. We are a one-to-one chrome book school; we offer WIN (What I Need) time, 75 minutes of extra support time for students within each school day; and we are a trauma-informed school system.
Extra-Curricular Highlights (provided by school)
Confluence offers sports programs including basketball, football, track and field, and volleyball. In addition, we have partnerships with organizations like Girls on the Run, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and STL Alive and Well.