Area districts brace for impact of student transfers for upcoming year

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 15 at 10:21 PM

 (KMOV)  -- A lot of heat has been generated by plans to transfer hundreds of students from two north St. Louis County schools to St. Charles and South County districts.

Several students and their families have opted to transfer to other districts that have yet to be announced.

School districts across the area scramble to gauge class sizes and building capacities as they await the number of students requesting a transfer to their districts.

The Kirkwood School District is meeting on Monday to discuss how it plans to accommodate the extra students this fall.

“We decided we needed to have some guidelines that dealt with tuition, transportation and special education. There’s a just a lot of things, application process and timelines. So we’re developing guidelines we can follow,” Kirkwood Superintendent Thomas Williams said.

One of the problems that is facing several districts in the area is a lack of guidelines in the law that went into effect last month.

He said each district is held accountable for making its own set of rules and regulations for the entire transfer process.

Students can transfer from the Riverview Gardens and Normandy school districts to any district in the same county or neighboring county.

On Monday night, families became frustrated after learning the unaccredited districts will only bus those students to one outside district each.

 

“I feel like the meeting was just crap, they’re telling the parents and those who have children over there you can choose; but really you cannot choose. Riverview Gardens is dictating where the children should go,” said Naomi Shaw, a Riverview Gardens parent. 

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has only issued what they  call recommendations.

“One of the bigger challenges is with the Supreme Court decision just coming down in June and school is starting in August, particularly this year, it’s a very small window of opportunity,” David Glaser, CEO of the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation said.

His organization is assisting the accredited and unaccredited school districts with these transfers in an attempt to make the process easier.

While some districts are apprehensive about the increased student base, Superintendant Williams said Kirkwood is ready for the challenge.

“We strongly believe that every student in the state of Missouri deserves a quality education. So if we can be of assistance to the students who want to come out, we want to do that,” Superintendant Williams said.

The school districts in the area will find out the final number of students requesting to transfer on August 2.

A meeting will be held Monday night at 7 p.m. at Kirkwood School District’s administration building on Manchester Road attached to the North Kirkwood Middle School. 

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