KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – The mood was calm Tuesday night as Kirkwood School District parents and teachers met to talk with the superintendent about 150 incoming transfer students from the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District.
The parents and teachers nearly filled the auditorium of Kirkwood High School as Superintendent Tom Williams answered questions.
Most parents were supportive of the plan, including resident John Davidson who handed Williams a $100 check to help the incoming students with transportation and other needs.
Still, some worried that the move could bankrupt Riverview Gardens, leaving them unable to pay the tuition of transferring students.
“What’s going to happen to the kids? There’s no solution for that,” one woman warned. If that were to happen, the state would pay a portion of the tuition and Kirkwood would not accept additional transfer students.
Another concern was the effect incoming students would have on Kirkwood’s academic rankings.
“They’re saying that once these students are here, they will be judged along with the Kirkwood students,” one resident said, addressing Williams, “so that concerns me. Does our accreditation go down now because we’re taking on more students that obviously are not at the same level?”
Others in the crowd of over 600 were worried about transfer students using too many resources but Kirkwood Middle School Principal Tim Cochran says this year, his school will actually have fewer students than last year, even with the transfers.
“We graduated a large class last year so our numbers were down in the first place,” he explained.
Despite the concerns of some, the calm and supportive mood at Kirkwood High presented a stark contrast to the angry, combative tone heard at a similar meeting in St. Charles last month.