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Riverview Gardens Begins School Without Many Students

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, MO (KPLR) -The community celebrated the first day of classes for Riverview Gardens, even as the struggling district sent hundreds of kids to other schools.
 
Parents dropping off their kids pulled up and heard: “Welcome back, welcome back!”
 
Community leaders set up a cheer section in the high school parking lot knowing many students left the unaccredited school system.  But, they had a message for the kids who stayed.
 
“We feel that they can still get a good education at their home schools,” said Judy-Ferguson Shaw, of the Iota Phi Lamba Sorority.  “And that whatever they need if we’re able to support them, we are going to do what we can do.”
 
“We have tutoring programs that we just initiated this past summer,” said Pastor Tommie Harsley of the nearby Grace New Covenant Church.  “We think that’s important for any additional help that a student might need.”
 
Riverview parent Tracy Phillips said he just wanted to know where his daughter would start her freshman year.
 
“They say, ‘Well, all the kids are in the cafeteria, because we don’t have schedules,’” he explained.  “I say, ‘Well, how long will schedules be here?’  They said, ‘About an hour.’”
 
Assistant principal Tiandre Bland said the school was ready with class schedules.  But, she admitted to dealing with other questions from parents on day one.
 
“’I was in. I was out. What do I do? I’m returning,’” she explained parent’s concerns.  “We are dealing with those situations.”
 
Meanwhile school officials dealt with having to pay tuition for students going to other districts this year.  But, she said Riverview parents are keeping their attention focused on their home schools.
 
“Our parents are usually worried about what is going on here,” Bland said.
 
Phillips said he was also concerned about what was happening at Riverview Gardens High.
 
“We’ll give them two weeks,” he said.  “Maybe then, they will have it all together.”
 
So, he packed his patience for the first day of school.
 
Officials invited parents to go to the website to find resources and resolutions to any concerns.

Find out more: http://www.rgsd.k12.mo.us/Default.asp?PN=Schools2

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