UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. ( - University City school administrators announced Friday that their school year will begin online.

Superintendent Dr. Sharonica Hardin-Bartley announced her district would start virtually and that administrators would look at a later date for providing in-person options for parents and students. Hardin-Bartley said she wanted a plan that was gradual, safe and kind to students and staff.

The district is made up of eight schools and 2,600 students.

"I am not going to dictate to another community. I know my community, and the role I have been given as superintendent. I am responsible for many families and many children who I adore and care about tremendously. I felt this was the best decision for our University City community. Based on science, based on medicine and everything, and honestly, what we don't know about COVID-19," said Hardin-Barltey.

To help ease concerns for parents and close the digital gap for students without laptops, the University City Public Library is working with the school district to hand out hot spots and Chrome Books to families.

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