Meeting Planned to Discuss Normandy Transfers Tonight

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(KTVI) - Parents in Normandy were set to meet with the school board there Wednesday night, looking for answers surrounding a transfer program from the unaccredited school district that seems to be growing more frustrating.  But that’s not stopping moms and dads from pulling their kids out and sending them to other districts.

About 10% of the Normandy district’s student body has already applied to go to an accredited district in St. Louis or St. Charles County.  And that number seems almost certain to grow.  At the school district’s administration building Wednesday, business was booming with parents signing their kids up to move on.

Normandy has chosen the Francis Howell district as the target location for their students, but many parents are uneasy about sending their kids there after a contentious town hall meeting made headlines, with parents in the predominantly white district expressing concern about their children being robbed or stabbed, and asking for metal detectors.

“That was really just a stereotype when she made those statements of being worried about her children being stabbed or shot,” Normandy parent Portia Porter said of one particular statement she saw on television.  She says it was enough to make her handle her son’s transportation herself, and move him to Rockwood instead.

“As far as Francis Howell, I don’t know too much about Francis Howell, but after seeing all the interviews with the parents who live out in St. Charles and their views of Normandy district moving out there, their views are…yet to be desired.”

Francis Howell is receiving plenty of applications.  Officials there say they’ve already received 196 applications for the fall, mostly from Normandy students.

The Mehlville School District, which was chose by Riverview Gardens as their prime place to send kids, has gotten 227 applications.

But other districts are hearing from parents in the two unaccredited spots.  Ferguson-Florissant has had 123 applications, while Hazelwood has received more than 40.

And while they don’t have numbers on actual applications yet, officials in Clayton say they’ve had more than 250 inquiries on their website.  Even St. Louis City schools, which just recently got their accreditation back, have had 22 inquiries from parents in the two trouble north county districts.

Caught in the middle of all this, about 12 thousand students in Normandy and Riverview Gardens, many of whom are clearly frustrated.

“I’ve been to like, three different high schools, maybe four.  Yeah.  And every school it’s been something.  Riverview, aren’t they splitting them up too?  I’ve been there,” Heaven McKinney told us after applying to Hazelwood.

Meanwhile Porter says she’s worried both about her son, and the school district where she lives.

“He’s not liking it at all, but he’s going into seventh grade and he’s accepting it.”

She sighed while talking about Normandy.

“Reality is hitting.  Reality is hitting Normandy district.  And they’re really seeing that if they don’t get it together, pretty much they’ve got to get it together now.  If they don’t they’re gonna close.”