Tim Lloyd

Education Reporter

Tim Lloyd grew up north of Kansas City and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Since joining St. Louis Public Radio in 2012, he has won seven Edward R Murrow Awards in categories that include Writing, Hard News, Continuing Coverage, Use of Sound and Sports Reporting.  In 2015 he won the Education Writers Association's national award for best beat reporter, broadcast.  In 2010 he received the national Debakey Journalism Award and in 2009 he won a Missouri Press Association award for Best News Feature.  Previously, he launched digital reporting efforts for Harvest Public Media, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded collaboration between Midwestern NPR member stations that focuses on agriculture and food issues.  His stories have aired on a variety of stations and shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, ​Marketplace, Only A Game and Here and Now.  

Ways to Connect

Credit Cast a Line / Flickr

Updated 8:44 p.m. with statement from Normandy schools:

As the school year begins around the area, some districts in north St. Louis County are particularly wary following unrest in Ferguson over the weekend.

In Jennings, where students walk to school, the opening of classes Monday was postponed to Tuesday, to ensure student safety.

In a letter to families and staff released early Monday morning, signed by Superintendent Tiffany Anderson, the district said:

Courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis

Paul Sorenson was working his way toward a master’s degree from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work when he kept bumping into the same questions over and over again.  

As an intern for the nonprofit health-care provider Grace Hill, Sorenson was supposed to connect poor families with resources that could help get them caught up on rent and utility bills. But what if one of these agencies  had its funding reduced, moved its offices or was no longer open?  

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

As summer break winds down, East St. Louis School District 189 is gearing up to begin spending $10.5 million in federal money to kick start academic performance at its two middle schools.   

In the coming days the district will begin the hiring process for 20 new positions to focus on everything from professional development to community engagement. The grant will also pay for an extended school schedule.       

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

 This is how the conversation usually goes when Dejah Cox tells her friends she has a job.

“They’re like, ‘oh really, what do you do?’” they’ll ask her.

Dejah: “I’m a beekeeper.”  

“They’re like, ‘no!’” Dejah said with a chuckle.  “They’re shocked.”

On a recent Saturday morning, the teenager donned full beekeeper regalia and flipped open the top of a hive in a vacant lot in north St. Louis.  The honey she harvests will be used for an array of products, from lotions to body butter under the label Honey Masters.  

File photo

(Updated 1:29 p.m., Fri., July 18)

Even though the University City School Board has voted to change course and accept students who are qualified to transfer from Normandy, uncertainty surrounding the transfers remains.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Even though Barbra Pener teaches science and robotics, she likes to start the school year with a quick history lesson.

She points to a picture of the famous late 19th and early 20th-century scientist Marie Skłodowska-Curie that hangs on her classroom wall.

“Her husband Pierre is in the photo, and she’s holding the baby,” Pener said.  

She then rattles off for her eighth-grade students Skłodowska-Curie’s list of accomplishments, including multiple Nobel Prizes and the discovery of two radioactive elements.

St. Louis Public Schools

While plenty of work is left to be done, St. Louis Public Schools has established a foothold in its effort to raise academic performance and reverse decades of sagging enrollment. 

That's the big takeaway from a report by the Chicago based IFF, a nonprofit that released a similar study in 2009 when city leaders were considering the best locations for a wave of charter schools.

(Flickr/Cast a Line)

Updated at 5:07 p.m., Fri., June 27.    

The University City School District’s board voted Thursday evening no longer to accept transfer students from Normandy.

The 80 students who were signed up to return to the district but can no longer continue in the transfer program join the 350 students who, a week ago, were told they could no longer go to school in Francis Howell.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis region needs more immigrants to help bolster the economy.

That's the basic premise behind the St. Louis Mosaic Project, an initiative to make the St. Louis region the fastest growing major metro area of foreign-born residents by 2020.  

A key part of the project – which is supported by an A-list of St. Louis city and county officials – is retaining international students. Area universities figure they can pitch in and are gathering at Washington University Tuesday to discuss the best ways for St. Louis to hang on to international students after graduation. 

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Anxiety crept through SheRon Chaney when she heard that the Francis Howell School District would no longer accept about 350 transfer students from Normandy who were signed up to continue in the program. 

“Last year we were hopeful, this year we’re fearful,” she said. 

Chaney transferred her middle school aged daughter BrenNae to Maplewood Richmond Heights last year.  And even though Francis Howell’s decision —  made during a closed session of its school board — doesn’t affect her directly, it has Chaney and hundreds of other parents holding their breath.  

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
(via Google Maps screen capture)

The Francis Howell School District announced today it will no longer accept transfer students from Normandy.  The district was expecting roughly 350 students who transferred last fall to continue during the coming school year. Last summer, the soon-to-be-dissolved Normandy School District selected Francis Howell as its transportation option for students. 

Because the Normandy Schools Collaborative will have no accreditation status, the Francis Howell district said it is no longer legally obligated to accept transfer students.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Yvaunna Brown just graduated from Hazelwood West High School and feels like the future is wide open.

She’s thinking about community college, or maybe the University of Missouri-St. Louis is a better fit. Brown is dead set on one thing, though: becoming the first person in her family to go to college.

“And that’s pretty exciting,” Brown said. “That’s a big deal for me.” 

It’s also daunting. Loads of paper work must be completed and the deadlines will start coming fast.

Courtesy Normandy School District

While policy debates and legal battles swirl around the new Normandy school district, Savonna Stacey has a more personal question:

Where can her son attend first grade when the new school year starts?

The Stacey family lives in the Normandy school district, and last summer, Stacey took advantage of the state law that lets students living in unaccredited districts enroll in nearby accredited ones. She enrolled Jonathan in kindergarten in Ritenour.

Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

Just in time for summer vacation, Girls Inc. of St. Louis unveiled its updated north St. Louis County facility today. The goal is expanding education opportunities for poor girls.

The organization, which serves girls ages 5 to 17, provides both summer and after-school classes in subjects ranging from art to economic literacy. The upgraded 44,000-square-foot facility in Northwoods can serve up to 400 girls.

Carole Basile, the dean of the college of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said the programs provided help students stay sharp. 

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

  Updated Sat., May 31

Bosnia won the match against Ivory Coast 2-1.

Our previous story:

The Bosnian National Soccer Team squares off in a friendly match against Ivory Coast this evening at the Edward Jones Dome. It’s a safe bet it will feel a bit like a home game for Bosnian players.

Over the decades, the ties between St. Louis and Bosnia have grown deeper and deeper. As refugees from the Bosnian war found new homes in St. Louis, the region became home to what is estimated to be the largest Bosnian population outside of eastern Europe.     

St. Louis Public Schools

The Special Administrative Board (SAB) for St. Louis Public Schools has approved funneling $5 million in federal money into an intense tutoring program.

The district hired three outside vendors to give the program a try with 2,174 students at 23 schools this past school year. Based on benchmark exams, students who participated in the program on average made greater academic strides when compared to those who did not get the extra help.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Wendy McGregor had all the glow of a mother watching her oldest daughter earn a high school diploma.   

“I am the mother of Tasha McGregor,” she said.  “Yes, Yes, Yes! We did it!”

Despite an unclear future, the tone at what is likely to be the unaccredited Normandy School District’s final graduation under its current structure was one of pride and perseverance.

“Right now we’re just trying to focus on them,” McGregor said.  “Even though it could be Normandy something else, we’re all still Normandy strong.”  

/ Tim Lloyd, St. Louis Public Radio

 It’s just after 7 a.m., and SheRon Chaney already has her family packed into an SUV and ready for school.

“On a good day like today, I’m hoping it only takes about 35 minutes,” she said.

Leave just a touch later and they could be stuck in traffic for more than an hour. It’s a quirk of St. Louis' commuter culture that Chaney picked up when she decided to transfer her seventh-grade daughter, BrenNae, out of the Normandy School District in favor of Maplewood Richmond Heights.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Yinzi Liu sat in the café at Washington University’s Medical School and nervously fiddled with the sleeve on her coffee cup.   

The 28-year old will graduate tomorrow with a doctorate in developmental, regenerative and stem cell biology.  While earning her degree she spent countless hours glued to a microscope, peering into zebrafish embryos for clues that could one day lead to the early detection of human birth defects.

By most accounts she should be brimming with excitement. Instead she’s loaded with anxiety.

“The clock is ticking,” Liu said.     

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Once a week, our team of education reporters would like to share stories that look at trends in education here and across the country. In particular, we want to focus on people, research and even gizmos that may help make kids learn better.

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