The Francis Howell School district is scrambling to accommodate St. Louis County's Normandy School students after a recent State Supreme Court ruling that students from unaccredited schools can be bussed to accredited schools in the same or adjacent counties.
Nearly three thousand parents attended a Francis Howell forum Thursday night to voice their concerns.
For almost three hours, parents raised a variety of issues - how it'll be paid for, how it will impact test scores and accreditation - but there was one concern that dwarfed all the others: security.
Normandy schools had been under provisional accreditation for the past year, but had been “on thin ice,” in the words of State Board Member Peter Herschend (R, Branson). He says the district has again failed to meet the minimum nine out of 14 performance standards required for accreditation.
“If you look at the academic results in all of the core content areas, save one, they are at the bottom end of attainment," Herschend said. "Do I think that’s significant? You’re damn right I think that’s significant!”
Normandy may retain that status for up to a year -- however, the State Board could also choose to revoke the provisional accreditation entirely at any time during the next year. State Board Member Peter Herschend says Normandy schools are improving, but not enough to warrant full accreditation.