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Normandy Schools Collaborative Gets New Leadership

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Photo: KMOX

Photo: KMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The State Board of Education took steps to break the cycle of low achievement and fundamentally change the way Normandy schools will function by approving the transition of Normandy School District to governance under a new appointed board.

Beginning July 1, the district will be reorganized as a new district known as the Normandy Schools Collaborative. The State Board has appointed three members of a Joint Executive Governing Board: Dr. Charles Pearson, CEO, Innovative Education Solutions, LLC; Training Facilitator, National Institute for School Leadership; Richard Ryffel, Private Banker, J.P Morgan; Board Chair, Beyond Housing and Reginald Dickson, Chairman of Buford, Dickson, Harper & Sparrow; Board Member, St. Louis Community College.

The State Board approved the Department’s recommendation to grant a waiver to Normandy establishing its status as a new state oversight district. The new district will not have an accreditation classification for three years. The State Board will review the waiver status annually. Subject to review and renewal, the waiver may remain in place. At that time, the State Board will make a comprehensive review of the district governance structure. The Department will also engage in continuous review of student progress, and the newly appointed board will make quarterly progress reports to the state Board of Education.

“Students and parents need clarity as to the future of their district,” said Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. “We hope this fresh start will allow all involved to begin building a culture focused on improving teaching and learning.”

The Board also approved Department recommendations in the following areas:

· District staffing – all teacher and administrator contracts will lapse effective June 30, and all employees hoping to return must re-interview for their positions. The Board approved a list of recommended rehires who have already been interviewed.
· Student Transfers – no new student transfers will occur under this status at this time. Current student transfers will be allowed to continue with a new tuition rate determined by the Department’s calculation formula. One exception is the 131 students that were not enrolled in Normandy schools in 2012-13.
· Budget – the Department has proposed a balanced budget to keep the district solvent. Salaries for any employees who are rehired will remain at 2013-14 levels.
· Calendar – the school calendar for 2014-15 will encompass 201 days for teachers, including 183 student days and nearly four weeks of professional development.

Parents, students and staff may find more information about the future of the Normandy Schools Collaborative at dese.mo.gov/Normandy.

Normandy School District was classified as unaccredited on Jan. 1, 2013. The State Board lapsed the district in May to preserve schools in the district.

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