Local schools shift locations to save money

Kathryn White, senior education major, teaches a lesson on adjectives to a class of second graders at Bemis Elementary School. These students will be divided among other schools in Madison County in order cut costs. | Photo by Abigial Harris

TEACHERS REGRET LOSING STUDENTS BEFORE MIDDLE SCHOOL TRANSITION

By Elizabeth Waibel

The Jackson-Madison County School Board recently approved moving several elementary schools, students and teachers in order to be more cost-efficient.

The West Jackson Learning Center will move to Parkview Montessori Magnet School, and Parkview Montessori will move to Bemis Elementary School. Teachers and students from Bemis Elementary will be divided between several other schools.

Kat White, senior elementary education major, is a student-teacher at Bemis Elementary.

She said the plans to reorganize the schools have elicited mixed reactions from teachers — some feel it is unfair they have to move schools, while some are certain they will get good placements in other schools and are fine with the changes.

“I can see both sides of it,” White said. “To run the alternative school downtown takes a lot of money … but, on the other side, that school was an intermediate school last year, and now it is an elementary school.

“Closing and opening a school in a year is hard, and it’s kind of hard on the teachers because they want that stability, as well as the kids. So, having that transition so quickly is difficult for them.”

White said this is the second or third year that many of the children at Bemis Elementary have had to change schools. Last year’s issue was rezoning.
She said it is strange for the students to not know where they will be in school next year.

“They’ve gotten used to being with these kids and so they kind of expected to be with these kids until fifth grade and then move to middle school,” White said.

“But it will help them, hopefully, socially — knowing, ‘OK, I can make new friends at different schools.’”

White said she thinks the students at Bemis Elementary will be fine despite having to move to new schools.

She said she has not heard whether the move will affect student-teacher placements, but the new Parkview Montessori building may mean more room for students who want to observe the classroom.

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