Normandy Schools Collaborative

Normandy Schools Collaborative (formerly the Normandy School District) is a public school district serving 23 municipalities in northern St. Louis County, Missouri. The district operates one comprehensive high school which includes an alternative education program, five grade 1-8 elementary schools, and one early learning center (for pre-school, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten students). The district is named for Normandy, Missouri, one of the primary municipalities served by the district. The Missouri Board of Education voted to end the school district on June 30, 2014. It lost state accreditation that year for poor academic performance. An appointed board replaced the elected board, and the district became a new entity called the “Normandy Schools Collaborative.” The state had direct oversight of the schools.[3] The District was featured on an episode of NPR's This American Life that aired on July 31, 2015.[4]

Normandy Schools Collaborative (formerly Normandy School District)
3855 Lucas and Hunt Road
St. Louis, Missouri
United States
District information
SuperintendentMarcus Robinson[1]
NCES District ID2922650[2]
Students and staff
Students3,300 (As of May 2018)[3]
Teachers241 (As of 2012)[2]
Staff293 (As of 2012)[2]
Other information


The first recorded account of the schools in Normandy is found in the minutes of the Board of Directors of Schools dated July 12, 1894. [5] It was then a three-director rural district with three public schools already in operation. It was known as District No. 2, Township 46, Range 6 East, Eden, St. Louis County, Missouri. The first school built was Washington School, constructed in 1894 on one acre in the northeast corner of what is now Valhalla Cemetery. [6] Since that first school, the district grew to nine schools which included Normandy High School, Normandy Junior High/Middle (and later 7th-8th Grade Center), in addition to the elementary schools. The district would later add an Early Childhood Center to its offerings.

Normandy Schools (1894-present) [7] Washington School - 1894

  • Washington School - 1930

Roosevelt School - 1897-1938 Lincoln School - est. 1900 Garfield School - 1906 McKinley School - 1907 Harrison School - 1907

  • Bel-Nor School - 1926
  • Jefferson School - 1929

Bel-Ridge School - 1953 Pine Lawn School - 1971 Normandy Junior High School - 1949 Washington High School - 1907

  • Normandy High School - 1925
  • Lucas Crossing School Complex - 2004
  • Barack Obama School - 2010
  • Normandy Early Learning Center - 2019
  • Currently operating as schools.

Normandy School District maintained a stellar reputation throughout most of the 20th century, but was negatively affected in the 1970s and 1980s when, as was the case in many major cities in the midwest, factories began to close and residents were unable to maintain their working/middle-class salaries. The area was also impacted by white flight, when many of the Caucasian residents fled the inner-ring suburban area for locales further west and south. The reduction of industry, businesses and homeowners took a toll on the district and the surrounding municipalities. The changes in the demographics and economy also had a negative effect on the finances.

In 2010, Normandy School District absorbed the failed Wellston School District under orders of the Missouri Board of Education.[8] Prior to its absorption by the Normandy School District, the Wellston district had about 600 students, one high school, one middle school, and one elementary school. All three schools closed at the end of the 2009–2010 school year.

In September 2012, the Missouri Board of Education voted to remove accreditation from Normandy School District due to ongoing academic issues.[8] Superintendent Stanton Lawrence was angered by the decision, given the district's willingness to absorb Wellston School District in 2010.[8] Lawrence announced his resignation shortly after the state decision.[8] On March 7, 2013, the Normandy School Board selected Tyrone McNichols, an administrator in the Hazelwood School District, as its new superintendent of schools.[9]

In May 2013, discipline incident rates at Normandy High School were the second-highest among all schools in the state and the highest in Greater St. Louis.[8]

The Normandy School Board voted on October 24, 2013 to close Bel-Nor Elementary School and lay off more than 100 teachers in response to the district's ongoing financial problems, a move that would save the district about $3 million.[10] The Board also voted to stop paying tuition and transportation costs for students who transferred from the district (about $1.3 million to 14 districts in Greater St. Louis).[10] Several Missouri legislators, including those who represent districts that include school districts that received students from Normandy, began pressuring the Missouri Board of Education to take over the Normandy School District.[11] On October 26, 2013, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro noted that the State Board of Education is examining the possibility of removing the local Normandy School Board from power,[11] which it did on May 20, 2014, after over $8 million in transportation and tuition expenses for children in 20 other school districts left the District almost insolvent. The District sued Missouri the next day, charging there was as much as $10,000 per child spent over the actual cost of the transfer, which has been for approximately 1,000 students.[3][12]

Educational and financial crisisEdit

At the beginning of the 2013–2014 school year, Normandy School District had 4,590 students. 97% of Normandy students are black, 1.4% are white, and 1.1% are Hispanic. 91.7% of students receive free or reduced price lunches.[13] The district did not make adequate yearly progress toward state goals in communication arts, mathematics, graduation rate, or attendance rate for 2011.[13]

The August 2014 performance report from Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education lists Normandy School District as the worst-performing district in the state. The district earned only seven of the 50 points possible on the assessment, an almost 4% drop from the previous year.

In 2014 the NSD had five million dollars in debts, and paid lobbyist Andy Blunt $135,000 to seek bailout funds from the state legislature of Missouri.[14][15][16][17]


As of 2013-2014, the Normandy School District operated one high school, Normandy High School. The district also operated several other schools,[18] including:

  • Normandy High School
  • Bel-Nor Ele-Middle School
  • Barack Obama Ele-Middle School
  • Jefferson Ele-Middle School
  • Lucas Crossing Ele-Middle School
  • Washington Ele-Middle School
  • Normandy Early Childhood/Kindergarten Complex
  • Normandy Alternative Learning Center (CASA)

A New StartEdit

In 2014, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education declared the Normandy School District as unaccredited and re-established the district as the Normandy Schools Collaborative. The new entity struggled financially and academically those first few years. However, the new district began to make gains on the Missouri Annual Performance Report.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Crouch, Elisa. "McNichols resigns as Normandy superintendent". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Normandy". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Missouri education officials say Normandy not authorized to pay for lawsuit". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 22, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Ira Glass (July 31, 2014). "Episode 562: The Problem We All Live With". This American Life (Podcast). National Public Radio. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  5. ^ Normandy School District: The First One Hundred Years
  6. ^ Normandy School District: The First One Hundred Years
  7. ^ Normandy School District: The First One Hundred Years
  8. ^ a b c d e Elisa Crouch (May 5, 2013). "Normandy High: The most dangerous school in the area". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  9. ^ "Normandy Schools selects new superintendent". St. Louis American. March 8, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Margaret Gillerman (Oct 25, 2013). "Normandy school board votes against paying bill for transfers". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  11. ^ a b Jessica Bock (Oct 26, 2013). "After Normandy district refuses to pay transfer tab, legislators pressure state board to take over". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  12. ^ Crouch, Elisa (2014-05-21). "Normandy School District sues state, other districts over school transfer law". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ a b District and School Information (Report). Missouri Comprehensive Data System. 2013.
  14. ^ "APNewsBreak: Troubled Mo. school pays for lobbying". Washington Times. 2014-01-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Lawmakers question Normandy School District's hiring of lobbyists".
  16. ^ "Normandy Lobbyist Draws Criticism, Support". 27 January 2014.
  17. ^ "CBS St. Louis".
  18. ^ "Normandy School District". Missouri Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education. Retrieved May 22, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit