The Superintendent of Normandy Schools unveiled his plan to take the district back to accreditation.
Ty McNichols held a forum Monday to correct any misinformation about the district and lay out the 100-day plan. McNichols' plan focuses on improving graduation rates and attendance. The largest immediate obstacle for the district a huge financial shortfall. Normandy has to cover the costs for 1,000 students who transferred. That equates to a $15 million bill. McNichols says nothing is off the table to balance the budget, including staffing cuts and class consolidations.
Parents are invited to a second forum, Tuesday night at 6 PM, at the Indian Trails Library.
JENNINGS, Mo. (AP) - It wasn't long ago that the Jennings School District in north St. Louis County was on the verge of losing accreditation, just like the neighboring Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts did. Instead, Jennings is now in the midst of a turnaround.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that parents are more involved, attendance is up, test scores are rising and discipline problems are declining in Jennings.
Many credit superintendent Tiffany Anderson, who has gotten rid of underperforming teachers and principals and hired about 30 new teachers. She also reduced central office staff to free up money for classrooms and extended the school year for students in an accelerated middle school program.
Under Missouri's new rating system, the St. Louis Public Schools will lose accreditation in two years if things don't improve. And under the state's transfer rules, students who live in unaccredited districts can transfer to schools in better performing districts at the expense of their home district.
The potential transfer crisis losing accreditation could create prompted an unprecedented meeting Tuesday between the elected and appointed city school boards. It's the first time the two school boards have considered joining forces.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the two groups spent two hours discussing one idea: asking the state to grant accreditation status to individual schools rather than entire districts.
Superintendent Kelvin Adams says under that system, almost half of the city's schools would still be unaccredited, but the rest -- 38 of the district's 71 schools -- would receive at least provisional accreditation.
Adams and others argue that means only students in the city's lowest-performing schools would be eligible to transfer and some might choose to go to better performing schools within the district. After all, 20 schools in the city meet state accreditation standards, some with distinction.
Monday is the first day of school for public school students in the city of St. Louis. And 20 district officials spent their Sunday morning in church, delivering a message to families, it's critical for children to attend school when classes begin.
Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams delivered his message to congregants at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis.
"The data shows the students who are in school on the first day have a dramatic difference in terms of achievement and attendance," Adams said.
Adams also told church-goers that the state isn't doing enough to help the unaccredited Riverview Gardens and Normandy school districts, which he predicts will go bankrupt by January.
This is the first time in five years that the St. Louis Public Schools have begun the school year as an accredited district.
Many parents in the unaccredited Riverview Gardens school district are unhappy after district officials announced they'll bus students to the Mehlville School District in order to comply with a Missouri Supreme Court ruling. The South County district is about 30 miles from the failing one in North County.
Parents aren't the only one's expressing concerns. Mehlville's superintendent says his district lacks the space for transferring students. Eric Knost says his district welcomes the transferring students, but warns that Mehville's classrooms are already at capacity.
Riverview officials say they're working to re-earn accreditation quickly and hope that parents will keep their kids enrolled there.
The assessment runs from April 14 to 17. Illinois State Police was the first state police agency that the commission accredited. That happened in 1986. The commission's accreditation is valid for three years.
State Police Director Hiram Grau says accreditation "sets the tone for excellence and ensures that police service is administered efficiently and professionally."
The bill given initial approval Tuesday night is aimed mainly at the Kansas City School District, which lost its accreditation in January 2012.
Under current law, Missouri officials must wait until at least June 30, 2014, before intervening in the Kansas City district.
The Senate legislation would let the state intervene immediately after a district loses its accreditation. The state Board of Education could prescribe conditions under which the existing local school board could continue to oversee the school, or it could set up an alternative governing structure.
Those alternatives could include creating a special administrative board, merging the district with neighboring ones or splitting the district into several new ones.