Transition Team Begins In-Depth Planning For 6th Grade Shift To Middle Schools
Posted On:
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A broad based committee guiding the shift of 6th grades into Madison City middle schools held its first formal meeting here today. The goal is to form ideas and recommend plans when the transition takes place in the 2018-19 school year.

The 60-member committee is comprised of parents, elementary and secondary teachers, counselors, special ed reps, principals, several board of education members, and school district officials.
Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker said the decision to move 6th
grades into middle schools is more than just a way to help alleviate crowding in elementary schools.
wide angle view of transition committee in board room
“That’s not our motivation,” he told the committee. “It will help our overcrowding in elementary, but the main reason for it is it will give the kids better opportunities” in electives, academic advancement, social benefits, and many other advantages.

Dr. Heather Donaldson, Chief Academic Officer for Madison City Schools, is heading the transition committee. She led the inaugural meeting with a “sky’s the limit” charge to brainstorm ideas that will prove the best benefit. The group will form subcommittees and make recommendations in such areas as curriculum, behavioral support, acceleration, assessments, participation in extracurricular options such as band, and other topics.

The Madison City Board of Education approved the new grade configuration in spring. Multiple board work sessions and internal meetings have been held since, as has architectural and construction plans to equip middle schools for the addition of 6th
grade. 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.

Moving 6
th
grade into the middle school will give those students more course offerings, build helpful relationships between faculty and students, and can align them better to their  course interests.  Madison City’s two middle school principals, Shannon Brown at Liberty Middle and Kim Stewart at Discovery Middle, are co-chairing the transition committee. As plans progress, there will be public input meetings and posts on the website to keep the public informed.