Reimagining Education

GUEST BLOG: How Normandy reclassification impacts students

Next week the Normandy Schools Collaborative will officially be reclassified as a provisionally accredited school district. While this is great news for the district officials, it is horrible news for many families and students who have gained access to higher performing school districts through the transfer program which will effectively be ended as a result of the districts reclassification.

The story of these families’ fears and frustration has not been told in the rush to congratulate Normandy for its supposed improvement, despite the fact that the district’s 2017 MAP scores show that 80.7 percent of students are still not proficient at math and 66 percent of students are still not proficient in ELA.

Kayla Hooper, a former Normandy student who has benefited from the transfer program (along with her younger brother Dakota) since 2013, is sharing the following blog to let people know how the reclassification of Normandy Schools Collaborative is impacting students:

As a former Normandy student who has benefited from the transfer program, I have a few things I want to say about the recent decision to grant Normandy provisional accreditation.

I’m only 14 in 9th grade and I’m reading at an 11th grade reading level. This is the best I’ve ever been in my life.

I know if I go back to Normandy I would totally go right back down because during Kindergarten through 4th grade I was put through so much at Jefferson Elementary and Normandy Middle.

I can’t even begin to explain the pain and physical abuse I went through at that school. I was threatened with a pair of scissors and I thought I would be killed. I was stabbed by a pencil, pricked by a pin on the bus. I was smacked in the face by one of the other classmen in that school.

How can anyone think this school, or for that matter, any other Normandy school is academically stable. How can they feel safe if there are fights going on, bullying, drugs? At the middle school, there were girls smoking weed in the bathrooms. They would lock the doors so no one could get in. The security guards would have to bust down the door just to get through. I’d like the Missouri Board of Education to explain to me how you think this school is safe for any student.

I will not spend another day in a Normandy school ever again.

I know they say there has been teacher training, but I don’t understand how the teachers are going to adapt to the school when the students can’t even listen to them, can’t even learn from them because they don’t know how to teach the material? They aren’t being told what to do.

In 6th grade, my social studies teacher left mid-year. We had substitutes every day after the day she left. She didn’t come back. Those students were uprising against her during class. She couldn’t even teach what was supposed to be taught. And what did the school do? Absolutely nothing. They let her leave. She just up and left one day. She didn’t come back. How are students supposed to learn?

The only reason that kids are graduating from Normandy schools is if they actually want to learn. They aren’t getting what they need! If kids can’t get what they need how are they supposed to grow up and become what they want to become.

I want to be a forensic anthropologist. I want to be able to help the world with all the criminals out here. And the kids in some of these schools are growing up to be some of those criminals.

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