MIDWAY — It was a public hearing meant to get comments on potential restructuring of the Midway School District. But two speakers and 15 minutes later Monday night, the hearing was over and no decision had been made.
The Sampson County Board of Education held the hearing just prior to its regular meeting Monday night at Midway Middle School.
Karen Garcia ,representing the Midway Middle School faculty, spoke against the changing of the grades at the middle school. She said that any moving of the grades from the school would negatively impact the students.
“Transition into middle school is difficult enough for those entering the sixth grade, but if that transition was made at the eighth grade level, it would present another disruption for those students and could affect their participation in athletics and present additional problems as they begin to take high school course work,” Garcia noted.
In her discussion with the board, she also remarked that moving the sixth graders would prevent them from benefitting from many of the middle school offerings.
“Because of state requirements, the costs of additional staff to provide required programs would have to be shared among schools, all of which would have a negative affect on the students,” she stressed.
Russell Honeycutt questioned where the board would get funding to make the changes that restructuring would require.
“I cannot speak from an education standpoint but I can as a parent and taxpayer. I do not see how in this bad economic time we would have the money to make these changes.”
The board listened to both speakers, then chairman G.H. Wilson reiterated the intent of school officials, saying it was never meant for a decision to be made this week.
“We are not planning on making any decision on restructuring the Midway District tonight,” Wilson emphasized. “What we are trying to do is to gather as much information as possible in order to make a well informed decision in the best interest of the educational process for our children.”
Wilson stressed that the board was attempting to work out their long-range plans related to the use of the old Midway High School site and the overcrowding issues facing the district. “The information we are gathering now is for planning purposes only; no action is planned at this time,” concluded Wilson.
Midway District Advisory Board chairman Gene Jernigan addressed the board to share his appreciation for their dedicated efforts to provide the best education opportunities possible for the children of Sampson County. “Thank you for all you have done to make us proud of all the schools in our district.”
He then proceeded to express concern over the issue of the use of the old high school facility. “I am very concerned of the use of the old high school building. We do not want to see it face a similar fate as the old Plain View school. And we are concerned over the overcrowding issue facing our district. It should be your priority and should be handled in haste as to what should be done regarding the utilization of the old high school facility and make the best possible decision that will affect our children’s education.”
In other board action, the consent agenda consisting of the approval of a one-time additional local supplement payment for permanent employees, a budget amendment and the introduction of two revisions in policies was approved by the board by unanimous vote.
The next board meeting is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
To contact Billy Todd, call 910-592-8137 ext. 117 or e-mail email@example.com.