Families with students looking to move out of the Normandy and Riverview Garden Districts have to have their applications filed by 4PM, Monday.
Students who transferred this year also have to inform their new district that they will be returning next year. Students whose applications are approved will learn which school they will attend next year, sometime this summer.
NORMANDY, Mo. (AP) - The Normandy School District in St. Louis County is changing course and will pay transportation costs for students who transferred away from the unaccredited district.
But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Normandy is still refusing to pay tuition costs.
A Missouri Supreme Court ruling requires unaccredited districts to pay transportation and tuition costs for students who transfer to better-performing districts. Normandy board members voted last week not to pay.
In a special meeting Thursday, the board agreed to pay $108,000 to the bus contractor hired to bus about 440 children to the Francis Howell School District. The board did not reconsider the $1.3 million in September tuition payments for the 1,000 or so students who have left to go to Francis Howell and 13 other districts.
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.
Normandy school officials are eyeing cuts to cover the $15 million in tuition costs for 1,600 students who transferred out of the unaccredited district. Superintendent Ty McNichols says he's begun identifying teachers and programs that will fall to the budget ax.
McNichols told a group of about 40 people gathered a a policy breakfast at the Show-Me Institute Tuesday that he's also working to bolster academics, attendance and the graduation rate in the failing district. But he says he doesn't expect to make big advances before the next transfer application deadline rolls around in February.
Normandy has just two months to pay the first of the tuition bills which arrived last week, or the Missouri education department will withhold funding.
475 new students from the Normandy school district are attending classes some 20 miles from their school they used to attend.
The new students began boarding buses as early as 6 a.m. today. The transfers are the result of a Missouri Supreme Court ruling five weeks ago that allowed students in unaccredited districts to transfer to better performing schools.
Sheri Wilson has two daughters currently at Francis Howell Central High and tells KTRS News, "My girls are open-hearted and they don't see this as any different as any other child transferring in from any other school so they're looking forward to it."
All but one bus made it on time after going to the wrong high school. Students were taken to Francis Howell High instead of Francis Howell Central High and arrived 40 minutes late.
The second phase of the lottery to place transfer students is underway.
Students who did not get selected for any of their first three choices are being asked to provide three additional choices. There are 300 students in this additional lottery round. Officials with the Cooperating School Districts hope to have all students place by later this evening.
Student leaders and over a hundred mentors spent time transitioning Normandy students to the Francis Howell School District.
475 Normandy students made the leap to the accredited district. The number breaks down to 168 elementary school students, 164, middle school students, and 143 high schoolers. The kids spent the day getting tours of the schools, participating in team-building activities, and locating their lockers.
The first day of school is Thursday.
As the start of the new school year fast approaches, more than 300 students who want to transfer out of the troubled Riverview Gardens and Normandy school districts still don't know where they'll attend classes. That's because of the limited availability of open seats in some districts they've applied to attend.
Many students didn't get into one of their first three choices of districts, or didn't list more than one choice. So officials with the Cooperating School Districts have extended the application deadline for the still unassigned transfer students.
Families can submit a new list of choices. Those who don't re-apply on the Cooperating School Districts website by noon Monday will not be able to transfer out of the unaccredited districts.
All of the Normandy students transferring to Francis Howell Districts did get their requests filled. About 2,400 Riverview Garden students have also received transfer assignments.
Mehlville School District officials are giving an update to parents and students in the district about the impending transfer of students from Riverview Gardens.
Riverview Gardens is paying to bus students to Mehlville. Parents in both districts objected to the decision. The school board meeting is being held at the Mehlville School Administration Building at 7 PM.