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Construction starts at Liberty for grade 6

MADISON – During Fall Break for Madison City Schools on Oct. 9-13, work crews installed security fencing at Liberty Middle School to prepare for construction to start later in October.

The Liberty facility needs additional space to accommodate students in sixth grade at MCS elementary schools who will shift to the middle school campuses at Liberty and Discovery for the 2018-2019 school year.

Liberty’s construction work will include a new two-story wing with classrooms on the west side and expanding both the cafeteria and gym, along with other changes, MCS Public Relations Manager John S. Peck said.

“Discovery doesn’t need as much renovation because it was originally a high school and is essentially large enough to accommodate the additional grade level of students,” Peck said.

Michael Gunner, MCS Coordinator of Operations & Safety, said the staging area for construction should not interfere with traffic flow around the school. Work will be completed in stages to have minimal effect on school operations. The school district is working with contractors to complete the project on schedule and within budget.

Meanwhile, the Middle School Transition Committee continues to meet regularly to ensure a smooth transition under the new grade reconfiguration. The full committee and subgroups have been developing plans on curriculum, building logistics, staffing, student integration and other aspects.

This 60-member transition team is brainstorming and recommending plans for the sixth-graders’ move in both location and course options. This group includes parents, elementary and secondary teachers, counselors, special education representatives, principals, board of education members and school district officials.

Dr. Heather Donaldson, MCS Chief Academic Officer, is leading the transition team. The team is organizing subcommittees and proposing actions for curriculum, behavioral support, acceleration, assessments and extracurricular options like band.

Discovery Principal Kimberly Stewart and Liberty Principal Shannon Brown are co-chairing the transition team.

The new configuration “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 other advantages, Superintendent Robby Parker said.

Madison Board of Education approved placing sixth grade at the district’s two middle schools in March.

 

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