State education officials voted Tuesday in St. Louis to extend state oversight of the struggling Riverview Gardens school district by ordering a Special Administrative Board to remain in place an additional three years.
The State Board of Education made the move as the search for a superintendent is under way in the school district, which lost accreditation in 2007.
Clive Coleman announced in September he would not return at the end of this school year. He said he is seeking a position closer to his family.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said voting to keep the Special Administrative Board in place until June 2016 makes the status of the board and the future of the district clear to applicants.
The Special Administrative Board members — Lynn Beckwith Jr., Mark Tranel and Veronica Morrow-Reel — have been at the helm of the district since May 2010, when the district went under state supervision for the third time.
Their terms were set to expire in June — the extension moves that to June 2016.
The vote was unanimous.
The 6,000-student district in north St. Louis County continues to struggle academically.
During the last few years, the district has fluctuated between meeting 3 to 5 standards of 14 on the state’s annual performance report for districts
Overall, the last three years of test scores have not shown improvement. Math fell to about 15 percent passing this year, from about 19 percent in 2010. In reading and writing, less than 18 percent passed, compared to about 21 percent in 2010.
“There have been a few bright spots here and there, but it’s been an extremely rocky and difficult time for everyone,” Nicastro said in an interview.
Turnover in administrators and principals has been a problem, so it’s important to have the stability of the Special Administrative Board, she said.
Brent Underwood, a superintendent search consultant with the Missouri School Boards’ Association, is working with the board to narrow down a selection of applicants to interview. The board hopes to choose a new superintendent early next year.