ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - One hour and 28 minutes. That's how long it took one school bus taking transfer students from the unaccredited Normandy district to Francis Howell High School Thursday morning for the first day of school.
Nearly 2,600 students from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts are leaving for better-performing schools in other districts. The two troubled districts are required to pay an estimated $30 million to accommodate the moves. Francis Howell is taking the most transfer students of any district.
Dr. Pam Sloan, superintendent of the Francis Howell School District released the following message to students on Thursday:
"The 2013-2014 school year got underway in all schools today. The staff and students were excited to get down to business with beginning of the year work and lessons. There were lots of smiles from the returning students and a few tears from our new kindergarteners as they separated from their parents for their first full day of school.
"At this time, transportation from the Normandy School District seems to be the only area where there were some minor issues. These kinds of complications often occur at the beginning of each year as new bus routines are established. We will continue to work with the Normandy School District and their transportation provider to make the needed adjustments to ensure that students arrive to schools on time.
"The FHSD enrollment process over the weekend went extremely well. Each of the schools did a great job of processing the incoming families quickly and making each student feel welcome to their new school and our district. Transition days on Tuesday at the secondary level went well, too. Our FHSD student leaders and staff created a fun day for all new students to get acclimated to their schools and routines, thereby, easing some first-day jitters.
"Thanks for all you have done to help us through this challenging time for our school district. It has taken the greater FHSD community to make the necessary preparations to launch this particular year. Our staff have worked diligently since May to prepare for a great new year of learning, and we are ready to take on the school year.
"I wish you and your family a great 2013-2014 school year."