NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) – Some students looking to transfer out of the troubled Riverview Gardens and Normandy school districts are facing another tight deadline. Families who didn’t get into one of their first three choices of districts in the first round of applications have until noon Monday to 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 get into a new, accredited district.
“At this point if they haven’t gotten back to us by tomorrow at noon, we’ll assume they want to stay in their home district,” CSD’s Sherrie Wehner said Sunday.
Some 2400 students from Normandy and Riverview Gardens have already been transferred, but about 200 families, almost all in Riverview, were left looking for “plan b” after slots in Mehlville and Kirkwood were filled. Those are the two districts for which Riverview Gardens will provide transportation. Those 200 families need to resubmit, and will have to provide their own transportation to a new district.
Some have already decided to make that move. Chandra Smith’s family didn’t want to see her granddaughter bussed all the way to Mehlville, and signed up for Ferguson Florissant schools.
“I really don’t like it, but I would like my child to have a better education, my grandchild,” Smith said of the move.
She says the child’s current grade school near home is fine, but she has other concerns.
“What I’m worried about is when she goes to middle school and high school. I hope they do recover, but right now it doesn’t look good at all.”
That future is made bleaker for both Riverview and Normandy schools by the financial hit they’ll take. Tuition for one child averages about $15 thousand in metro St. Louis. The two districts will pay that for hundreds of kids, plus transportation.
“We’re taking close to 35 milliion dollars out of these two school districts. And that’s what I worry about,” Wehner said. “How do these school districts do the things they need to do to regain accreditation with this kind of financial struggle? That is my concern for those school districts, yes.”
Smith also worries about the ripple effect.
“The property value is going to go down,” she says, fearfully. “I’m just worried about the community itself.”