ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Missouri’s education board voted Tuesday to relinquish state control of two provisionally-accredited school districts, Normandy and Riverview Gardens, in north St. Louis County.
The decision will allow local governance of both school districts for the first time in several years and creates an opportunity for full-elected school boards in 2024, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Under Missouri DESE standards, both districts are considered provisionally accredited, not quite meeting the bar for academic performances and other standards of accreditation.
Normandy Schools Collaborative Superintendent Dr. Michael Triplett says the district is encouraged by the decision as it seeks improvement.
‘We look forward to the hard work continuing as we move the district towards full accreditation,” said Triplett. “Although we do not have the preliminary data from the state’s MAP Assessments, our interim (benchmark) assessment is a close predictor of how our students will perform or have performed, and we expect we will see increases in student scores in math and reading and decreases in the number of students performing in the lowest two proficiency levels.”
Next April, voters will have the opportunity to elect three new board members in Normandy and two new board members in Riverview Gardens. Board members previously elected by a state board will finish up their current terms through June 30, 2024.
“Strong local governance is key to the success of any school district,” said Missouri DESE Commissioner Margie Vandeven. “The Normandy and Riverview Gardens communities have expressed a strong commitment to ensuring community support and effective board governance.”
Missouri DESE says Normandy and Riverview Gardens district leaders have been pushing for local governance since Dec. 2021.
“DESE’s decision to return the selection of all board members to us, the residents of Normandy and the school district, fills me with a sense of hope and optimism for the future,” said Ronald L. Roberts, President of the Normandy Joint Executive Governing Board.