What do you think? Good idea or bad idea? Superintendent Marty Bassett and the North Platte school board are on the verge of putting all sixth graders into Madison school, located on the north side of town. All seventh and eighth graders would attend Adams on the south side.
Cast your vote in our reader's poll at the lower right side of the front page of the Bulletin's website.
If the schools are reconfigured, the students would be bused across town each day to their respective schools. New buses would cost the school district's taxpayers as much as $250,000. And, four drivers would be hired, in addition to the cost of fuel, insurance and wear and tear.
Advocates say the change would give sixth graders the opportunity to get to know their classmates in sixth grade instead of ninth grade, and allow teacher and counselors to better focus on each middle school grade, steadily improving the district's success in grades 6-12.
Critics say the change probably won't help much if at all, is too experimental, destroys the advantages of neighborhood schools, and will require needless transportation that is costly and dangerous.
North Platte academic performance is lagging. In average reading scores, North Platte currently ranks 200 out of 249 districts in the state.
North Platte’s rank is about the same in science (208) and a little better (178) in math.
Madison Middle School students are academically behind their counterparts at Adams, according to the most recent state tests.