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New webpage summarizes details for moving 6th-graders

MADISON – A new webpage on Madison City Schools’ website summarizes many details about the transition of sixth-grade students to the Liberty and Discovery middle school campuses.

The transition will start with the 2018-2019 school year.

MCS Superintendent Robby Parker and the district’s instruction staff collaborated on the new webpage.

To access the website, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us. Near the window’s center, click the blue button labeled “6TH GRADE TRANSITION INFORMATION.” (Another path is available by clicking “Instruction” in the list on the window’s left; then, click “6th Grade Transition.”)

This webpage includes a FAQ section to answer some Frequently Asked Questions. “Instructional leaders know there are many more questions and will be updating the page as they sort through details for more definitive answers,” MCS Public Relations Manager John Peck said. A broad-based Middle School Transition Committee has been meeting regularly to create an implementation plan.

The district is transitioning for “the best interest of students,” according to the webpage. “Research increasingly shows students at that stage thrive better when they have more than just two years adjusting to the mix of academic and social experiences they’ll encounter in middle schools as they prepare for the transition to high school.”

In addition to benefitting the students, the move “will help (to) optimize the shrinking space we have in our elementary schools.”

Sixth-graders potentially will pay fees for elective courses. “These fees help purchase materials and supplies for those courses. The 2016-2017 Middle School Curriculum Catalog includes the fees currently charged for seventh- and eighth-grade elective classes.” For more information, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us. In the list on the window’s left, click “Instruction”; then, click “Secondary Instruction” and “Curriculum Catalogs.”

The district’s goal is to maintain the current schedule for middle school. Some state requirements for sixth grade will likely force some schedule modifications, but the goal is to have few changes. District and school administration will work to finalize the bell schedule in early 2018.

The district intends to maintain all existing electives for middle school. In fact, administrators plan to add elective offerings. “A survey of 1,200 MCS fifth- and sixth-graders found a strong majority of those students supporting more elective opportunities,” according to the webpage.

Middle-school teachers will have a 75-minute planning block daily, during which they will participate in collaborative planning and professional development. Existing textbooks will move to the middle schools with the sixth-graders.

Uniforms are required for physical education in middle school. Parents can buy uniforms at school for $25.

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