Education
11:23 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Mo. Dept. Of Education Issues Guidelines For Transfers To Accredited Districts

Updated 5:34 p.m. to include comments from Chris Tennill of  the School District of Clayton

The Missouri Department Of Elementary & Secondary Education has issued its own guidelines for the transfer process of students from unaccredited districts to those which are accredited.

Earlier this month, the Missouri Supreme Court declared the state's school transfer law constitutional, a reversal of a May 2012 ruling.

DESE Deputy Commissioner Ron Lankford says students and parents have until August 1 to notify both their current and desired school districts of their desire to transfer.

“We feel like that this guidance, and that’s all it is, it’s non-binding, it’s not regulatory, but these are things that could be taken into consideration in dealing with those requests for students who might be seeking to come in,” Lankford said.

A few of the guidelines, however, do contain regulations. For example, unaccredited school districts must provide transportation to at least one nearby accredited district, and transferring students will be eligible to compete in sports and participate in other school activities.

The guidelines also include developing an admissions process to insure that all applicants get a fair shot, in the event that a school doesn’t have enough space to accept everyone who wants to transfer.  Chris Tennill is spokesman for the Clayton school district.

"In the interim, we are taking names and contact information from any parents that are calling about enrollment," Tennill said.  "We (are working) to develop applications and process and that sort of thing, much like every school district in St. Louis County is doing right now."

Tennill says they expect within a week or two to be able to inform those interested in transferring to Clayton on what they’ll need to do.  

Currently, Missouri has three unaccredited school districts – Normandy and Riverview Gardens in St. Louis County, and the Kansas City school district.

As our Maria Altman has reported, the guidelines don't apply to St. Louis Public Schools because SLPS gained provisional accreditation back in Oct. 2012.

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