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School district heads toward 6th grade at MadisonTell North Platte what you think
 
Courtesy Photo­Image
Photo by North Platte Public Schools
'Pros' from the school district website
Photo by North Platte Public Schools

After months of study and public meetings, no decision has officially been made on converting Madison Middle School into a sixth-grade-only school, North Platte School Board President Kathy Phares said Tuesday.

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“I know some people out there say differently, but the decision is not made,” Phares said during a discussion at the school board meeting. “None of us would ask the committee to go all that work if the decision were already made.”

The sixth-grade only plan will be discussed at 5 p.m. Wednesday when the “Shaping Our Future” committee meets at McKinley Education Center, Superintendent Marty Bassett said. All meetings are public.

The committee appears to already clearly support sixth grade only at Madison, if not the school board. A slide show on the school district’s website touts the advantages of the conversion with no negatives mentioned.

An "all positive" brochure was also handed out at two recent public meetings, where one resident at a time could talk for a minute each to a panel of committee members. About 140 people attended the two meetings, with about 40 percent of the audience comprised of supportive committee, paid employees and school board members.

The study committee will officially make a recommendation to the school board soon. The board will officially discuss the recommendation in two weeks (Nov. 26), Bassett said.

The school board will vote will in December, Bassett said.

Bassett said at the earliest, the conversion would be implemented at the start of school in 2014. But, he said the board would review the plan early next year and if there are more details to work out, implementation could be delayed until 2015.


In other action, the board:

• Heard a financial report from Business Manager Stuart Simpson. The district's cash flow is following projections, he said.

• Recognized the Bulldogs of October, Lance Oltmanns and Lily Wilkinson, for outstanding achievements in classrooms and extra-curricular activities.

• Officially approved the North Platte Education Association, the teacher's union, as the collective bargaining agent that will negotiate contracts for the 2015-16 school year.

• Went into closed session to discussion teacher contract negotiations for the 2014-15 year.

• Discussed the procedure for a routine review of Marty Bassett's job performance. Bassett said an evaluation form will distributed to school staffs, parents and community members.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/13/2013
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