By Art Holliday

KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - Saying "this has not been easy," Kirkwood Superintendent of Schools Tom Williams made a promise to the 152 transfer students coming to his district.

"We're going to wrap our arms around them and provide them with what they need to be successful," said Williams. "Them and their families."

The Kirkwood School District hosted an informational meeting about students transferring from unaccredited districts Tuesday night at Kirkwood High School. Kirkwood became part of the student transfer issue last week. That's when unaccredited Riverview Gardens chose Kirkwood as a second option for students who want to transfer to an accredited district. The Mehlville district is the first option for transfer students.

The informational meeting lasted a little over an hour. Kirkwood has 176 slots available for transfers. So far, 152 transfer students have been placed. With two state senators in attendance, some parents were critical of the state legislature for not doing enough to deal with a chaotic student transfer issue.

"A lot of students and families in the metropolitan area are very concerned with these issues," said parent Jane Paradise, "and I wonder why we couldn't get kind of a special session to deal with some of these questions?"

State Senators Scott Sifton and Eric Schmitt tried to explain their personal frustration, as well as the legislature's plans to deal with unaccredited schools at the January legislative session in Jefferson City.

"It's not going to cut it anymore if we are divided by party, North County, South County, West County," said Schmitt. "We need to come together as a region and solve this problem."

The first day of school in Kirkwood is August 20.

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