NORMANDY, Mo. (KMOX) – There was no easy answer for the parents of the Normandy School District who gathered at a town hall meeting Monday night.
The parents are trying to decide what to do since the district lost accreditation and is facing more than 20 percent of its students walking away.
Some parents are frustrated because they don’t want to keep their children in a failing district but believe Francis Howell will be a hostile environment if their kids go there.
“I have a senior. He’s doomed if he goes wherever we have him going because he’s not going,” one mother said. “He doesn’t need those obstacles. He doesn’t need another headache, he already has one.”
The meeting, hosted by Normandy Board of Education member Terry Artis and alumni, left parents like Mathew Webb heated over their prospects.
“All I’ve ever heard from Normandy School District is ‘we need our accreditation,'” he said. “Not one time have I ever heard anybody say ‘I want Normandy to be the best school in the nation.'”
Normandy lost accreditation this year after 20 years of provisional accreditation. Some parents signed a petition at Monday’s meeting, asking Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to repeal the transfer law to keep students, and their tuition dollars, in Normandy so the district doesn’t fall apart. That petition has about 75 signatures.
More than 750 students have applied to transfer thus far. The exodus could cost the struggling district millions of dollars, leading to bankruptcy and closure in coming years.
Artis said the problem was 20 years in the making and called on the community to make a change.
“Your anger should be with the Board of Education at Normandy School District. That’s where mine was. I ran for the board because they failed us,” he told attendees.
Artis says there has been no accountability in the district and he says he will work to change that. No definite plan of action was decided on at the meeting.