First day with transfer students no big deal for Francis Howell students

5:17 PM, Aug 8, 2013   |    comments
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By Mike Rush

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KSDK) - Students from the Normandy School District wrapped up their first day at Francis Howell schools Thursday.

In the past few weeks, we've seen parents on both sides express their concerns about these transfers, but students NewsChannel 5 spoke to don't seem to see a problem.

As the busses roared in and out of the campus of Francis Howell Central High School Thursday morning, the excitement ramped up.

"It's the first day of school. If you can't be excited about the first day of school, I think something's wrong with you," said Sonny Arnel.

Okay, maybe that's easy for Arnel to say. He's the principal of Central High. But students we talked to also had a positive attitude about welcoming nearly 500 Normandy students to the Francis Howell District.

"You know, they took that long drive just to come here, I think they're excited and I'm excited to welcome them and show them around if they need any help or anything like that," said senior Nicole Sutton.

Speaking of long drives, that was about the only hitch Thursday, according to the superintendent. Some buses were late. One was 40 minutes behind arriving to Central High because the driver went to the wrong high school.

Newschannel 5 documented a bus that took at least an hour and a half to get from Normandy to a Francis Howell school.

As for other issues adults had, here's how senior Sean Earl sums that up.

"Parents aren't here every day. They don't know the situation. They're worried about the overcrowding and the violence but really I think that the students coming from Normandy are more scared of us than we are of them because they're coming into a school with 1,600 students that they've never met before," said Earl.

Principal Arnel says parents' concerns about quality of education and class size are valid and issues he says he'll stay on top of.

"We're looking to if we need to add sections to make sure our class sizes stay approximate, so our teachers can meet our kids' needs," he said.

A spokesperson tells NewsChannel 5 there were no disciplinary issues on this first day of school relating to the transfer situation.

As for the bus issues, the superintendent says problems like that are normal on most first days as drivers and students get used to routes.

Those are problems she says the district will work out with the Normandy district.



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