Mehlville School District | St. Louis Public Radio

Mehlville School District

Shammara Smith's son, Ahmon, is a sophomore at Oakville High. Her daughter, Ahmiya, is in fifth grade at Blaze Elementary in the Mehlville school district.
Provided by Shammara Smith

With the Riverview Gardens School District regaining provisional accreditation in January, parents who transferred their children to other districts under the state’s student transfer law are considering their options.

Even though the change means Riverview no longer has to pay for transfers, the district has made arrangements allowing all 436 transfer students to at least finish out the school year.

But because Riverview will stop providing transportation in June, Shammara Smith doesn’t know if she’ll be able to keep her son, who’s a sophomore in high school, and her daughter, who’s in fifth grade, enrolled in Mehlville.

What keeps St. Louis teachers returning to the classroom?

Aug 18, 2016
Biology teacher LaJuana Stidmon examins at microscope she received as a gift at Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in St. Louis earlier this month on Aug. 11, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Comparatively low pay. Long hours. High — and often changing — expectations. A sometimes reluctant audience. Two months of vacation isn’t a big enough perk to lure anyone into the teaching profession for long. So what inspires St. Louis teachers to return each year?

With most St. Louis area schools now back in session, St. Louis Public Radio asked local teachers what keeps them coming back, what are their biggest challenges and what advice they have for parents.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | 2012 photo

Updated 12:36 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 with comments from the Kirkwood School District. Voters in locations throughout St. Louis had a variety of issues to decide at the polls Tuesday, including a special election for a state House district.

Mehlville schools got support for a tax hike, while Kirkwood’s efforts were defeated. The Mehlville proposition will raise rates by 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. It passed with 17,905 for and 6,783 against. The Kirkwood measure would have added 78 cents to the school levy. It went down 6,884 to 4,776.

Joseph Davis, the newly selected superintendent of Ferguson-Florissant, gives students a round of applause, saying that they are the reason he's here.
File photo |Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 8:00 p.m. to include details from Wednesday afternoon’s news conference.

Ferguson-Florissant school board president Rob Chabot officially introduced the district’s new superintendent Wednesday afternoon in front of a backdrop of Ferguson-Florissant students.

school buses

One year ago Wednesday, the Missouri Supreme Court threw the lives of thousands of students, teachers, parents and school administrators into a turmoil that shows no signs of stopping.

By unanimously overturning a lower court ruling and allowing students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to nearby accredited schools, the court enforced a 20-year-old law in a way that no one had foreseen would ever happen.

As a result:

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When two buses from Riverview Gardens rolled up to Oakville High School after an hour-long trip south Thursday morning, the first person students met wasn’t the school’s principal or the Mehlville school superintendent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Even though classes start Monday for the Riverview Gardens School District, as of Friday morning Micah Pope hadn’t gotten in to any of the districts where she wanted to transfer. So her mother planned to keep the eighth-grader home rather than have her go back to a school she thinks is inadequate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Threatened lawsuits against the Mehlville School District because of limits it placed on the number of transfer students it would accept are on hold, at least for now, as talks on the issue continue.

As a deadline set by the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri passed, the group – which earlier had announced the pending lawsuits – said in a statement:

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Just weeks away from its implementation, the Kirkwood School District held an informational meeting Tuesday night to answer questions from parents and residents about the school transfer process.

The basic message from speakers was this: The system is flawed, the law is broken, there wasn’t nearly enough planning, the legislature is dysfunctional, and what happens if we get sued?  But we need to do everything in our power to make sure the incoming students get the best possible education we can provide.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Three parents in Riverview Gardens say they will file suit against the Mehlville School District Thursday afternoon unless Mehlville drops its limits on how many transfer students it will accept.

Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon Data is as of Tuesday, 7/30/13

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Mehlville School District is so far the first choice of more than 600 students seeking to transfer from the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Mehlville School District has room to accept only one out of three of the 450 students from Riverview Gardens who have said – so far – that they want to transfer there, Mehlville Superintendent Eric Knost told a school board meeting Thursday night.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If parents who are caught up in the current swirl of controversy over student transfers are looking for someone to blame, Kathleen Brown Sullivan at the University of Missouri-St. Louis says there are plenty of places where fingers should be pointed.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Under Missouri's school transfer law, students who live in unaccredited school districts may choose to attend a nearby, accredited district. The sending district must pay the students' tuition and must designate one district to which it will also pay transportation costs. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Eric Knost, superintendent of schools in Mehlville, remembers clearly the three words he heard Tuesday evening that could bring big changes to his south St. Louis County district.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Riverview Gardens school district has chosen Mehlville in south St. Louis County as the district to which it would pay transportation costs for students who want to transfer this fall.