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Plans mature for sixth-grade transition to middle school

MADISON – In the 2018-2019 school year, sixth-graders in Madison City Schools will move from Madison’s elementary schools to the two middle schools, Liberty and Discovery.

MCS Superintendent Robby Parker, staff and a Sixth-Grade Transition Committee have been planning for the move, which one administrator described as “a massive undertaking.”

School personnel are documenting the work of the transition committee and school leaders as plans are finalized. To access the website, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us. Then scroll down and click the blue button labeled “6TH GRADE TRANSITION INFORMATION.”

The district plans to add an administrator at each middle school, either as an additional assistant principal or an ‘aspiring administrator,’ which is an educator with an administration certificate who is pursuing an administrative position. MCS staff also will add a counselor at each middle school with the addition of sixth grade into the middle school.

In February, the district will finalize the elementary teaching staff that will move to the middle school. Administrators will consider all sixth-grade teachers to move to the middle schools; teachers received preference forms in December 2017.

Parker and his staff do not plan to install portable classrooms on the middle school campuses. When additions are complete, each middle school can accommodate approximately 1,400 students. The student population for grades 6-8 will not place the middle schools over capacity.

At Liberty, workers are adding a 16-classroom wing at the existing southeast side of the building. The lower floor of this addition will serve as a designated storm shelter.

Liberty’s cafeteria will be expanded by 3,970 square feet. The gym will be expanded to include visitors’ bleachers on the north side. The home side also will get new bleachers.

Before students return to class on Aug. 7, Liberty and Discovery will host an open house to give parents and students an opportunity to visit classrooms, meet the administration and visit teachers.

In addition, schools will conduct parent transition and curriculum meetings in spring 2018. Also this spring, students will visit the middle schools. Schools also will schedule times for parents and students to visit the school over the summer.

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