24:1 Municipal Partnership
The Normandy Schools Collaborative is a public school district serving 23 municipalities in North St. Louis County. The district operates one comprehensive high school which includes an alternative education program, five grade 1-8 elemiddle schools, and one early learning center (for preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten students).
In 2014, the Missouri Board of Education removed the local Normandy School Board from power, dissolved the school district, and removed state accreditation for poor academic performance. An appointed Joint Executive Governing Board replaced the elected board, and the district became a new entity directly controlled by the state called the “Normandy Schools Collaborative.”
Since its inception in 2016, the 24:1 Municipal Partnership has actively sought to improve educational outcomes for students in the Normandy school district. For example, one of its earliest actions was to secure a $750,000 grant for school resource officers.
Parents, the appointed board, officials in the 24:1 Community, nonprofits, and an army of benevolent wrap-around service support providers have worked together to fight for the sovereignty of the district and improve their children’s education. Through mostly local and regional philanthropic interventions, the district has made some progress against the Missouri School Improvement Program standards and was provisionally re-accredited in 2018.
Despite these steps forward, six years after the state takeover, Normandy students remain significantly behind their peers across the state.
Since 2013, more than $40 million has been redirected to neighboring districts in transfer tuition and transportation payments while the district struggles to make investments in instructional quality and infrastructure improvements for the remaining children, who number more than 3,000. These challenges are now further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic pressures.
Not Without Us Initiative:
The municipal leaders of the 24:1 Community have pledged their full support to the children of the Normandy Schools Collaborative, their families, and the school system itself to evolve the district into the region’s leader in urban education. They are committed to starting an ongoing conversation with the community, anchored in these beliefs:
- Public education can prepare young people of any race, ethnicity, economic demographic, and background to be future leaders.
- Locally elected school governance and accountability is important.
- Our community can attract and retain quality teachers who understand the complexities of teaching in an urban environment.
- All students deserve healthy living and learning communities.
- Ensuring sufficient funding for high-quality education must be a collective priority.
To learn more about the 24:1 Municipal Partnership’s Not Without Us initiative, download their position paper.
This Q&A has more information about how charter schools work and how the Not Without Us initiative aims to collaborate within the Normandy school district.
Updates about the Not Without Us initiative will be posted under Education on our241.com.