CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI) – A giant lottery to match 2,600 transfer students from two unaccredited St. Louis County school districts with accredited districts could last into the weekend. Work began Friday morning but was delayed briefly by a computer shut down at the Cooperating School Districts office.
By 4:00pm Friday, Normandy students who had selected the Francis Howell district in St. Charles County were assigned to one of 18 schools there. Parents must register students this weekend at their new schools.
Francis Howell staff began calling families in mid afternoon, but those who listed Francis Howell as their first choice had been sent a letter alerting them to the weekend enrollment process. The Francis Howell registration will take place Saturday from 8:00am to 3:30pm, and Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Classes begin there on Thursday, August 8.
Riverview Gardens students who selected Kirkwood as their first choice were matched up where there was room at their grade level. CSD staff expected to complete Mehlville assignments by the end of the Friday evening.
Saturday, CSD staff will work to align students who are left with districts where there is no free bus transportation. Those who do not receive one of their first three choices because of their random lottery numbers will be contacted and offered slots in other accredited districts.
"We will have room for everybody; we have a lot of capacity out there," said Sherrie Wehner of the Cooperating School Districts. "I would say to the parents, hang in there. You are going to get a call if you don't get your first, second or third choice, you're going to have some options."
Wehner compared the size of the unprecedented transfer process to moving an entire school district in other parts of Missouri. "That 26-hundred student population is greater than 86 percent of the districts in Missouri," she explained.
A few parents came to the Cooperating School Districts offices on Craig Road near Creve Coeur Friday in hopes of clearing up what they called paperwork problems caused by the unaccredited districts.
One woman said she had filled out paperwork on July 2 and 3 at Riverview Gardens for a transfer to Hazelwood only to discover Thursday some documents she needed were missing.
Another said she had been told to return with more documents by Normandy officials two times but never told the transfer application process would shut down Thursday at 12:30pm. She thought she had until the end of the day, but was turned away when she arrived Friday at 2:00pm.
Normandy School District is holding a rally for students and parents Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm in hopes of convincing families to re-enroll there instead of transferring away from the unaccredited district.