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Missouri Board of Education votes to dissolve Normandy District

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI)-The existing  Normandy School District will go out of business at the end of June.  But the Missouri Board of Education voted Tuesday to replace it July first with a new version of the district within the old boundaries and a new governing board.

Missouri education leaders hope the changes will give the unaccredited and struggling district a fresh start.  State Board members voted unanimously to re-create the school district under state oversight.  All contracts with employees will be terminated although State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said, ' It is likely many staff will be rehired for the fall term.'

Normandy was facing bankruptcy at the end of June because it had to  spend millions of unbudgeted dollars to cover tuition bills for some 1000 students at accredited districts in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties.  Missouri law permits students to transfer from an unaccredited district to an accredited one and it requires the home district to pick up the cost.

Normandy Supt. Ty McNichols, who does not know his own future,  said he believed the new plan would technically stop more students from transferring out of Normandy, but he was not sure how the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would rule.

Nicastro said many questions about the new district and the future of current transfer students remained to be answered.

She said the first year will be a transition year, but she hoped the Normandy parents will find hope in the state`s actions.  'We are on their side, we are standing with them in an effort to provide quality school choices in the Normandy school district for families of children.'

Nicastro and the State Board of Education will decide who runs the new Normandy District in the coming weeks.

More than 100 Normandy District supporters attended the State Board of Education meeting in Columbia Tuesday.  Many held signs saying, ' We Are Normandy Strong.'

A State Board appointed task force presented its findings before the vote.  It called for a newly defined district with a new local school board that included one to two members of the currently elected board.  But the Missouri Education Department`s final recommendation to the state board did not duplicate the task force report.  Instead it took pieces of plans presented over a several month long hearing process.

State Board President Peter Herschend said the board shared part of the blame for the district`s loss of accreditation.  He compared Normandy to an educational house that is on fire and needs to be rescued.

Some Normandy supporters and the currently elected school board members have argued they should be allowed to move forward with their new plan to reinvigorate instruction.

The next meeting of the State Board of Education will be in mid-June.

Resolution approved by MO State Board of Education:

http://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/Normandy%20Task%20Force%20Final%20May%2014%2C%202014.pdf

DESE News Release:

http://dese.mo.gov/communications/news-releases/normandy-schools-will-continue-operate-new-board

More coverage:
Normandy students head to Jefferson City to save their schools

Normandy School District officials laid out plan to regain accreditation

Normandy votes to pay transportation bills

Betsey.bruce@tvstl.com
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22 comments

  • CNC

    Sure let’s take an unaccredited school system and rename it. Then POOF it is magically brand new! But has anyone really resolved the original problem? I think not.

    • Cit Riverview

      Steve I don’t believe that. But if they as a group need to stop shifting the blame, and start look at themselves for the failure.

  • Sunni

    To the Missouri Board of Education and the state legislature: I am employed by Special School District, but have worked in the Normandy School District for 11 years. My first Normandy school was only 1 of 8 Blue Ribbon Schools in the state (for educational gains). Your took it upon yourselves to merge failing districts into one that was improving at an alarming rate. So went the opportunity for Normandy to succeed. Then, you allowed students to bus to other districts, so the families where education was a priority moved to the wealthier districts. Now, you have dissolved this district, where teachers work hard and deliver a better quality education than the students at Pattonville, Ladue and Rockwood (yep, been there too – rich area, with Nannies and tutors and everything!). Go ahead and govern or replace dedicated teachers/other employess (not all, but MOST) – Appoint your own school board. Get into these neighborhoods and spend some time with these families. While you’re at it, deliver meals to the kids who only eat at school and help the kids who can’t sleep at night because they must parent their siblings (and for many other reasons). Take home laundry for the kids whose parents were short of quarters. Be sure to bring extra fruit and healthy food, to give the students the nutrition they need. Take away test anxiety, raise Intelligence Quotients, change a culture, raise test scores – in the district YOU TARGETED FOR FAILURE. Ya better roll up your sleeves folks. Get ready to find out what YOUR STATE LEGISLATURE has done to kill this district! I’ve walked these halls for 11 years and I’d side with Normandy (dissolved today) over the STATE OF MISSOURI any day, any time, and in any way!!! The day you do better than Normandy teachers do will be the END OF TIMES. LIVE IN THIS REALITY and you’ll get a clue….Perhaps then, you’ll fund this district the way it SHOULD be funded. GOOD LUCK! Should we meet together in the district called REALITY LAND, I will be totally entertained by your successful approach! NOT! Your merging districts, allowing voluntary transfers and lack of funding will be the cause for YOUR OWN DOWNFALL….and, that’s all I have to say about that. Oops, one more thing! CONVINCING CHILDREN THAT MEMORIZING A TEST IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SURVIVAL is JUST WRONG!!!

    • Normandy Strong

      You forgot that Missouri forced Normandy to pay millions in transportation costs to the brightest kids who transferred! This is not justice – It’s RACISM!

    • Jules

      Just a thought Sunni… Shouldn’t it be the PARENTS responsibility to ensure that there children have a quality education? A little personal responsibility goes a long way. How about this? If you don’t give 2 cents about the type of life your children are going to have – then don’t have them!

    • Cit Riverview

      BOO WHO. I’m a victim. This is the mantra of the victim class that has gone on for the last 30+ years. I’m sure all those evil NON-AFRICANS came into those areas destroyed the homes, destroyed the families (have children without a two parents) Grandmothers raising their grandchildren. Not teaching their children to respect themselves. Relying on a government to protect them, as long as that government gets their Zombie vote. Oh I forgot the most important aspect of being a Victim, WHITE PRIVILEGE!

  • Normandybezstong

    Fur reel if dos wite people wold pa more dis school wud b da beft school up in norf st.luis

  • lsl guy

    Just drop a bomb on Normandy and start over, but get your deliquent kids out of Francis Howell.

    • Nat Sirius

      I seriously hope you’re kidding… The kids that transferred to Francis Howell have worked incredibly hard this year. Just because they come from a not-so-great neighborhood doesn’t mean they’re hooligans, @$$hat.

  • morrow

    So, What will or what has happen to the property values in Normandy since people are always being told that, a bad school district brings down property values?

  • BCatherine42

    I can’t believe so many would be against this. It astounds me. When a district loses accreditation, the board should automatically be replaced. They mismanaged their school district; they lose their job. Not that hard. The replacing of the board could be a good thing, but people are being so reactionary (kind of like they were when Normandy students were sent to FHSD schools–in the end it was much ado about nothing), no one is giving this a chance. When you mismanage funds and don’t spend them properly, it is impossible for teachers to get what they need and therefore for students to get a decent education.
    As far as the Normandy students who came into the FHSD schools, to the parents who opposed it: guess what? The sky didn’t fall (neither did your property values), our schools didn’t become militant zones in need of metal detectors, etc. Need I go on?
    I am all for the Normandy School District starting over and getting another chance–they deserve it. The kids deserve it. The community deserves it. Strong schools help communities, and this district needs a chance again with a new board to become a stronger school district. For everyone’s sake.
    (I’m not from StL originally, and I doubted how racist people said it was here, but wow–it’s really repulsive and ugly.)

    • Cit Riverview

      Its more then what you said. I’ts the culture that these children spring from. What I want to know, and can’t find it out is how well are the students who transferred last year to FHSD. What are their grades compared to what they did at Normandy, and compared to their peers in FHSD?

  • Ken

    Never fear, Common Core is here!

    Once everyone everyone has achieved the same level of stupidity, all will be well and have a nice day.

    No COMMON sense, rotten the the CORE.

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