Webster Groves School District opened its doors to 23 transfer students from unaccredited districts to Webster Groves School District, five to the high school, according to student services director John M. Thomas.
Rebecca James, freshman transfer student from Normandy, said, “I chose Webster because it’s better and has more choices in what classes you take than some other schools like Normandy.”
Principal Jon Clark said, “I really feel that the students came from a tough place, from what I’ve heard and seen. I just want to make sure students are welcome as high school students. So far, everyone has been welcoming for them to join Webster Groves High School.”
“It’s bad at Normandy. There are only four classes a day, and they are easier than Webster. The teachers at Webster are much better and more helping than Normandy. The teachers there just walk in, sit down, talk the whole time, and we learn and do nothing,” James said.
“Once they came to us, we called them up and said, ‘Yay! Welcome to Webster Groves School District. We’re glad to have you, and this is what you need to do to get enrolled,’” superintendent Sarah Riss said.
According to Clark, the biggest difficulty for Webster is transportation, because the students have to provide it themselves as Webster has no busing from these districts.
Normandy and Riverview Gardens designated one receiving district where they provide transportation. It’s the responsibility of the parents to provide transportation to any other school district, according to the Webster Groves district website.
For transportation, James said she goes to her cousin’s house on Sunday nights, which is in Webster, and stays there for the week. On Fridays, she goes back to her house for the weekend.
“Webster’s been welcoming so far. One thing that’s been different about Webster is it has a whole lot of different colored hair,” James said.
Clark, Riss and Thomas all said they thought the school district handled the whole situation well.