Sixth grade will be moved into middle schools in Madison City, beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
The Madison City Board of Education approved Superintendent Robby Parker’s grade reconfiguration at the March 7 board meeting along with actions to secure an architect, renovation options and cost.
The renovations would be mostly to Liberty Middle School in the form of additional classrooms and an expanded cafeteria and gym. Discovery Middle is larger because it was Bob Jones High School prior to 1996.
Mr. Parker said moving 6th grade into the middle school will give those students more course offerings and opportunities. “It will be a benefit to our students from an academic standpoint as well as optimizing the space we have,” he said.
The grade reconfiguration will delay the need to build a new elementary school - which are now at 95 percent capacity - by about 10 years. More importantly, the change will give 6th graders additional course and elective opportunities and more time for them and school staff to get to know one other. School leaders also point to studies showing better student performance in a grades 6-7-8 configurations than only a 7-8 mix.
The Board also agreed to hire a construction manager to oversee the Liberty renovations and modifications at Bob Jones, Columbia Elementary, Rainbow Elementary and Discovery Middle.
Work at the other schools is related to aligning the district's special needs classes mainly to lessen the number of school changes students make as they ascend in grade.
Board members agree a construction manager will help with cost controls and keep the projects on schedule.
Click here for Mr. Parker's report. on options on how to deal with district growth, led by his recommendation to move 6th grades into middle school.