Madison Middle School
Two forums are set to discuss reconfiguring North Platte's middle schools, with the first one to be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Platte High School Performing Arts Center.
The second forum will be held at the same time and place on Monday, Nov. 4.
A committee has been considering converting Madison Middle School to sixth grade, and converting Adams Middle School for grades 7-8.
Currently both schools educate students in grades 6-8.
Madison and Adams Middle Schools will be open before the hearings for tours from 5-6:15 p.m. on both evenings. Committee members will provide tours and discuss the reconfigurations.
Test scores have been below state standards at Madison for three years and the school is in jeopardy of undergoing state sanctions.
School superintendent Marty Bassett said the goal is to improve academics at all grades, and allow sixth graders from the district's 10 elementary schools to mix and mingle in an environment without pressure from upper grades.
Sixth grade teachers and counselors could collaborate better if they all work in one building too, Bassett has said.
Currently, the enrollments are:
Madison Middle School: Sixth-66. Seventh-83. Eighth-70.
Adams Middle School - Sixth-232. Seventh-210. Eighth-215.
The reconfiguration would require more transportation. Students who live near one of the schools would travel across town twice a day to attend the proper school.
For instance, students living near Madison on the north side of town would travel across town for both 7th and 8th grades.
To transport students, the school district would buy three more yellow buses for an estimated total of $150,000, according to projections by business manager Stuart Simpson.
Simpson said the district would need four more bus drivers, costing a total of nearly $41,500 a year. Two of them would be part-time drivers ($5,700 per school year.)
Also, two more full-time workers would be hired. They would drive buses half a day and work a half day in maintenance. They each would be paid $15,400 a year, according to Simpson's analysis.
One of the part-time drivers could be dropped if parents take a sizeable number of students to the schools.
Also, Simpson said the projections presume that the schools would start at different times. If both schools start at the same time, the district would need to buy two more buses, or five in all, he said.
Bassett said the format for the community forums will be similar to a legislative hearing. Bassett will open with a brief presentation and moderator Marge Beatty will explain the format.
Those wishing to address the panel will come to a microphone, state their name and address and have three minutes to speak.
The panel members will be Jo Ann Lundgreen, Judy Peterson, Rita Hernandez, Clarine Eickhoff, Danny McMurtry and Bassett.
The committee will also consider written comments if the comments include the name and address of the writer.
Panel members will answer questions to the best of their knowledge and ability, Bassett said.