Now that the dramas of the state takeover and the uncertainty of student transfers have mostly passed, the board of the new Normandy Schools Collaborative started working Monday night on their main goal: Raising student achievement.
Missouri's education commissioner Chris Nicastro sat at the board table while some of her assistants presented detailed plans on how to evaluate teaching and learning. The five board members heard the state’s plans for turning the district around.
In their presentation, the process was described this way:
Updated at 10:17 a.m. Tuesday with Pattonville decision, DESE comment on vacation days.
The Missouri state board of education filled out the new board for the Normandy Schools Collaborative Monday by adding Sheila Williams, a member of the elected school board, and Andrea Terhune, a former IT executive with Enterprise.
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.
With some anger, some defiance and some celebration, the elected board of the Normandy school district held its final meeting Thursday night.
On Tuesday, the district will be replaced by the Normandy Schools Collaborative, to be run by a board whose members have not yet all been appointed. Ty McNichols is set to remain as superintendent, but he and other administrators will be working without contracts.
Mike Jones, an adviser to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, speaks during Tuesday's St. Louis County Council meeting. Jones offered a scathing rebuke to Councilman Steve Stenger's criticism over his actions on the state Board of Education.
As promised, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed on Tuesday the wide-ranging school transfer bill passed by lawmakers this year, saying it violates basic principles of public education and does nothing to help students trapped in unaccredited schools.
At the offices of Education Plus in west St. Louis County, the governor listed three main reasons for his action.
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.