Local Superintendent Reaches Out To Struggling Schools

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - One local district is ready to welcome transferring students from the Normandy and Riverview Gardens School Districts with open arms while at the same time offering to help them regain accreditation.

Ferguson Florissant Schools have room for up to 1300 students.  The district will begin accepting registrations Monday, July 15 from students who have received their home district's permission to transfer.

"We're fully committed to giving students what they need and treating each child as our own," said Ferguson Florissant Supt. Art McCoy Friday.
"But we also have a commitment to our communities so the most important piece is that we support Riverview and Normandy in being the best they can be," he added.

McCoy is offering help to both districts in areas where Ferguson Florissant has succeeded.  He is willing to share curriculum, lessons, staff development training and advice on creating after school programs.  The district already manages student data for over fifty districts in Missouri.  The information helps administrators plan for the future and identify district needs.

Some 13,000 students attend the 24 schools in Ferguson Florissant.  McCoy said 90 percent of the students graduate from high school in four years.  82 percent are minority and 68 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunches.

McCoy urged a collaborative, community approach to solving the districts' shortfalls.  "If the schools go, the communities go and if the communities go then they will go somewhere and that somewhere will be in the general region."

At age 35 McCoy is the youngest superintendent in the region.  He grew up in St. Louis City and north St. Louis County before his family moved to the Rockwood School District seeking a better school.  He graduated from Lafayette High School and returned there as a math teacher before moving into administrative jobs.

He was among a group of educators who testified this week before a legislative committee studying education issues in Missouri.

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