The extended winter break continues for Johnson-Wabash Elementary students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. A sprinkler head burst Tuesday night, causing significant water damage to the school and forcing officials to cancel classes for the rest of this week.
District officials say they don't want to keep kids home until all of the repairs are made. So, starting Monday, classes will be held at the First Baptist Church of Ferguson in the 300 block of North Florissant Road.
District officials plan to meet with families Thursday at 5:30 at Johnson-Wabash Elementary School to share information about the temporary relocation.
Suspended Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy says he's still not sure why the school board placed him on administrative leave. McCoy spoke with the press and about 50 supporters at Shalom Church in Berkeley Tuesday afternoon.
McCoy says he learned from media reports, and not the school board that there was a concern about the reporting of attendance numbers in August of 2012.
He says someone four-levels below superintendent actually reports the attendance data. "My expectation for my staff is to review the data and make it accurate," he said. "That's my only involvement, my only conversations about it. No conversations with the board, and no knowing of them even having an issue with it."
McCoy says both he and his attorney have asked for a meeting with the board. But Board President Paul Morris issued a statement saying they've received no such requests since placing McCoy on leave November 6th.
The backlash over Dr. McCoy's suspension may not be fully felt until the next school board election.
Arthelda Busch, chairwoman of the district's Citizens' Taskforce on Excellence in Education stood by McCoy Tuesday afternoon as he spoke to the press and supporters in Berkeley.
McCoy told the crowd that he's never actually been told why the school board voted 6-1 November 6th to place him on administrative leave. Busch says that's one reason she's calling on Board President Paul Morris to step down.
"Mr. Morris' past affiliations with the district and the board's current decisions have created huge concerns and distrust among the community at large," Busch said.
In his statement, Morris said an investigation into several accusations against McCoy is underway and he hopes to resolve the situation soon.
Parents, local politicians and other are demanding to know why the Ferguson-Florissant School Board placed Superintendent Art McCoy on administrative leave.
About 1,500 gathered Wednesday night at McCluer North High School to demand answers from their school board. Dozens spoke at the board meeting for more than three hours. Some hurled allegations of racial motivations at the all white board. McCoy is black.
Board President Paul Morris denies race was a factor. He told the crowd that the issues revolved around McCoy's failure to comply with board directives. Morris also told the crowd that he couldn't say more because privacy rules prevent him from being more specific in a personnel matter.
"This would be a whole lot easier if I could say what's going on," Morris told Fox 2 News, "but I can't."
One parent told the board he planned to file a "Sunshine Law request" Thursday morning.
The board took no actions regarding McCoy's status at last night's meeting, but a decision on the superintendent's future is likely in the the next week or so.
Ahead of a school board meeting Wednesday, students at a pair of Ferguson-Florissant Schools staged demonstrations in support of their superintendent.
Last week, superintendent Art McCoy was put on paid administrative leave for unspecified reasons. Fox 2 reports that today around 200 students at McCluer North High School jammed the hallways between classes in support of McCoy. At Cross Keys Middle School, 40 students protested in support.
A planned school board meeting Wednesday night has been move to the gym at McCluer North High School because a large crowd is expected.
Property taxes will remain the same for homeowners in the Ferguson-Florissant School District after voters rejected the district's first tax hike request in 21 years.
Only 42 percent of voters in Tuesday's election approved the measure that would have raised taxes by 75 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation. The tax hike would have raised about $6 million for district schools.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the district is facing a projected $4.6 million shortfall for the coming school year, despite cutting before- and after-school programs and freezing teacher pay.