Normandy School District Loses Accreditation

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NORMANDY, MO (KPLR)-- The Normandy School District has lost its accreditation. The Missouri State Board of Education voted unanimously in Jefferson City Tuesday to reclassify the district.

It all boils down to academic performance. The state says Normandy's 2012 MAP test scores are in the bottom of the state below the St. Louis Public School District, which lost its accreditation a few years ago.

Citing low academic performance and administrative turnover, the Commissioner of Education, Chris Nicastor made the recommendation and the Missouri State Board of Education voted unanimously to declassify the district from provisionally accredited to un-accredited.

The St. Louis Public School District, Review Gardens, and Kansas City have all lost accreditation.

Normandy has two full years to improve academic performance, if it is to regain accreditation.

School system leaders and parents are speaking out about the decision.

Normandy School Board President Sheila Williams opened Wednesday morning`s press conference with a somber tone: 'The matter which brings us together today is a rather serious one.'

It`s a matter school officials believe was also handled unfairly by the state.  Superintendent Dr. Stanton Lawrence explains, 'What we were told a year ago by the State Commission of Education is that in order for our progress to continue as a provisional district, we had to demonstrate some evidence of academic progress and distinctly she said, next year I need to see a map point. And guess what she saw this year? A map point.'

The state`s decision means the district will be unaccredited beginning this January until January of 2015.  The deadline is just months away, but the superintendent still hopes the decision can be overturned.

School officials plan to argue a map point improvement on graduation levels with state officials. But if the decision remains and various improvements aren`t made in two years,
then the state will take over the school system.

Parent Maisha Knight wishes a state takeover would happen right now.  She says, 'I mean, why two more years? [The schools] are in really bad shape, my son is passing with straight F`s for the past three years.'

Still, others feel it`s important to unite behind the school system, and say they`ll support Normandy no matter what.  Parent Kim Morris explains, 'I`m sorry that we are unaccredited but I`m praying for us to fight to come back up. I`m not gonna jump ship, I`m a Viking.'

Special hotline & email address for parents w/ accreditation questions: 314-493-0468; accreditationinfo@normandysd.org.

See a summary of Normandy student performance here: http://mcds.dese.mo.gov