The administration states this plan is necessary because our sixth graders have such a hard time transitioning into junior high. They state that roughly 20 percent of our sixth graders are failing when coming into sixth grade, continue to fail, and eventually drop out. The “plan” is to move the sixth grade from the middle school to the west hallway of the elementary which now houses the third grade. The third grade would be moved to the hallway with the Kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades. John Davis would no longer be administration, stepping down as the Middle School principal and become a counselor focused on the lower 20% of students helping them to improve grades and stay in school. The Middle School would cease to exist and SGCS would then consist of k-6 and 7-12 buildings. A second administrator in the elementary would be hired to assist Nicole Singer with the extra load of students. Two elementary computer labs and the elementary teachers’ lounge will be moved to the high school, as well as moving a sixth grade science lab and sound-proofing the new computer labs next to the HS music rooms. Mr. Darnell thinks the physical move will cost “approximately $20,000.”
So, essentially we will have half of the student body crammed into one-third of the building. The sixth graders will no longer be roaming the halls with seniors, but our first graders will. We weren’t told exactly what would happen to the classrooms vacated by the sixth graders because we were only given half a map. The administration doesn’t even know what gym the sixth graders will use. So if they need to use the middle school gym, they’ll have to make quite a trek. And I have yet to speak to an elementary or middle school teacher that is 100% behind this.
Do I think the sixth graders need some more TLC for their transition? Yes. My sixth grade son had a rude awakening this year. Do I think SGCS needs to do something about the graduation rate? Definitely. Should John Davis be allowed to do what he is best at–counseling? Absolutely. Should we have to reconfigure the entire school to make that happen? Absolutely not. I am asking the school board to vote NO when this is presented to them at the December 7 meeting. There has to be other options, and I feel none other has even been considered. Please contact the school board members and let them know your opinion on this important matter.