Parents trying to leave Normandy schools hear plea to stay
Superintendent Tyrone McNichols listens, with his hands in his pockets, to their frustrations. And then he tries to persuade them to stay. He tells them about the new reading curriculum at the elementary schools. He tells them about the principals he’s put in place at the high school and middle school.
He tells them about the sharper focus on science, technology, engineering and math that they’ll see throughout the district. And he promises to get them answers whenever they need them.
A few parents have decided to stick with Normandy. Most have not.
The only thing that’s going to work is if he convinces the babymammas of the area that southern St. Charles County is full of Kluxers and that there’s a rope factory in St. Peters.
But this won’t do the trick:
McNichols said he’s putting a team in place to get his schools on a better path. He has hired Derrick Mitchell away from St. Louis Public Schools to lead Normandy High School. Mitchell served as principal of Vashon High School in St. Louis, where improvements in academics and behavior have caught the attention of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who visited the school last year to highlight reform efforts.
McNichols has also hired GeNita Williams away from Jennings School District, where she led the turnaround of Jennings Junior High. McNichols expects Williams to do the same in Normandy.
Going from Vashon and Jennings to Normandy is like going from the frying pan to the fire. And nobody will be lionizing Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Williams once all the cheating at those schools is found out.