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Public meetings set on Richmond County school changes

Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 3:27 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 1:59 AM
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The Richmond County Board of Education will hear public input on proposed “rightsizing” scenarios at four town hall meetings starting Monday before voting on whether to merge, consolidate and close several schools.

Philadelphia-based education consultant Bill Montgomery began collecting school enrollment and county population data late last year. In January, he proposed the following scenarios to accommodate population shifts and solve
overcrowding and under-usage issues:

• Reconfigure T.W. Josey High into grades 6-12 to absorb and close Murphey Middle

• Reconfigure Butler High into a 6-12 school to absorb and close Sego Middle

• Close Collins Elementary

• Relocate Rollins Elementary to the Sego building

• Consolidate National Hills and Gar­rett elementary schools by closing Na­tional Hills

• Build a new K-8 school for the growth in west Augusta

• Add a sixth grade to A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School

The planners suggested closing Col­lins because this summer’s demolition of the Cherry Tree Crossing housing complex will leave the school almost devoid of students. Montgomery said the Sego building is a better fit for the Rollins school to accommodate future growth.

The 6-12 schools were pitched to solve enrollment issues at the high schools, which are under capacity, and to expose younger students to more academic opportunities earlier on, Super­in­ten­dent Frank Ro­ber­son said.
The 6-12 concept is a rela­tively rare model nationwide, with 3,106 public schools using it compared with 15,442 with the traditional 9-12 grades, according to the Na­tio­nal Center for Educa­tion Statistics.

Educators have debated the 6-8 middle school model that became popular in the 1970s and are investing more in K-8 schools. Some large districts that built 6-12 schools did so to boost student achievement and solve facilities issues.

Roberson said moving middle school students into a high school setting will give them access to more academic and college-preparation programs.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Public hearings on rightsizing scenarios

WHEN, WHERE:

• Monday, 6 p.m.; T.W. Josey High School, 1701 15th St.

• Tuesday, 6 p.m.: Craig Houghton Elementary School, 1001 4th St.

• Feb. 10, 6 p.m.: Butler High School, 2011 Lumpkin Road

• Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.: Garrett Elementary School, 1100 Eisenhower Drive

Comments (19) Add comment
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Dixieman
14412
Points
Dixieman 01/31/14 - 06:36 pm
6
2
Transcript (in advance) of school closure meetings:

"Don't close my kid's school!"
"Don't close MY kid's school!"
"You want to close MY kid's school? Never!"
"Close that other school over there!"
"You don't agree with me? Racist!!"
-------------------
Now you know what will be said, you can skip the meetings.

GnipGnop
11891
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GnipGnop 01/31/14 - 10:15 pm
3
3
I'm still confused...

If ARC is growing in leaps and bounds why are fewer schools needed...and I will say it again...12th graders are going to prey on these 6th graders. I bet the sexual assaults in both those schools go way up along with other crimes. Why would anyone want their 11 and 12 year old kids going to school with 18 and 19 year old adults???????

Dave of AGS
11
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Dave of AGS 01/31/14 - 11:38 pm
7
0
About Secondary Schools

I lived in Augusta the 40 years of my life. When our daughter was born the South Augusta schools were so unsafe (a student was shot and killed by another at the bus stop over a stolen car radio) we enrolled her in Curtis until we left. We were not rich by no means. We cut luxuries and barely afforded the school tuition.
We live in Alexandria, VA. They have a Secondary School a block from my house. A Secondary or Combined School will work if you configure the Middle and High School areas somewhat separate, rotate lunch schedules and have crime/discipline under control. We have no issues in such schools here, no more student bullying or crime than in a separate school and that is quite minimal.
If there is a lack of home structure for a child, no teacher or school program is going to shape a child's future in the right direction. Once in a while a Colin Powell or a Condaleca Rice breaks through such barriers and makes it. The elementary school is behind my home, it has 100% PTA participation nearly every year. Those are stunning AND telling stats.
Richmond Co. has worse problems than lack of school buildings. Their policy is to install Band-Aids. Example: Tutt Middle had so much gunfire nearby the school builds a wall to block the bullets instead of stepping up police action to squash the drug dealers and the scum.
God Bless parents that DO spend time with their children, help with their studies and help shape their future. It ALL starts at home.

Augz79
1083
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Augz79 02/01/14 - 01:09 am
0
2
--

--Delete

Dixieman
14412
Points
Dixieman 02/01/14 - 08:34 am
4
1
To GnipGnop:

The age differential is not the problem. The problem is that these are public schools with lax teachers, no meaningful disciplinary system, low standards, etc. Beg, borrow or steal to get your kids into a good private school!

daviddunagan
331
Points
daviddunagan 02/01/14 - 12:16 pm
2
1
Change the name of "Rupert Langford" Middle School

To "Walton Way Middle". Make "WWM" a viable option for West Augusta kids. Renovations are under way now. Go ahead and give it a fresh name and designate a AP, IB or Magnet wing to it. DD

corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 02/01/14 - 08:56 am
4
1
Gnip= the school district's

Gnip= the school district's enrollment has stayed pretty much the same for the last several years.

Gnip, I said the other day that the younger kids would get an education all right...and that's what I meant...I wouldn't want any middle-schooler coming in contact with those older kids, and they will, especially on the buses.

seenitB4
85699
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seenitB4 02/01/14 - 09:55 am
3
1
Thanks Dave of AGS

I 100% understand your choices....I also lived there for 40* years....I just read that Wheeless Rd & Richmond Hill area were the TOP crime reports of the last weeks...my mouth dropped...I lived off Wheeless for many years...
So, some of the county residents who post on here, can you explain this??

It was not that way in the 70s, I know this for a fact..what the hell happened??

countyman
19731
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countyman 02/01/14 - 11:20 am
1
4
Schools

The magnet high school opened in South Augusta last year, and the RCBOE is building a new K-8 school.. The demolishing of Gilbert Manor and Cherry Tree have displaced many former Josey students...

AGS.. I don't know exactly when you lived here(by your comment a long time ago), but there's safe schools in South Augusta.. The graduation rate at Cross Creek(built around 2000) is right on par with the top public schools in the CSRA..

David... The article needs to seperate West Augusta and Southwest Augusta from each other.. Both Tutt and Langford are zoned for middle, upper middle class, and wealthy neighborhoods.. The RCBOE should work on getting the wealthy families to use the public schools instead of Westminster and Episcopal Day School..

The growth on Gordon Hwy/Jimmie Dyess/Belair road is pretty far away, and they need their own K-8 school..

corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 02/01/14 - 12:31 pm
3
1
"The RCBOE should work on

"The RCBOE should work on getting the wealthy families to use the public schools instead of Westminster and Episcopal Day School.."

Hahahaha, I'm rolling on this one, that'll be the day!

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Ain't NEVER gonna happen!

countyman
19731
Points
countyman 02/01/14 - 12:58 pm
2
2
Wealthy

Some of the wealthy families in the county already use the public school system..

The IB program(only one in the CSRA) at Richmond Academy continues to expand..

corgimom
31440
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corgimom 02/01/14 - 03:53 pm
3
0
How do you know this,

How do you know this, Countyman?

Do you know children that are in the IB progtam, and where they live, and that their parents are wealthy?

No. You don't. You are ASSUMING.

corgimom
31440
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corgimom 02/01/14 - 03:54 pm
2
0
For all you know, Countyman,

For all you know, Countyman, the kids in the IB program might not be wealthy at all, and you are just stereotyping.

corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 02/01/14 - 04:45 pm
3
0
Or do you think that only

Or do you think that only wealthy kids do well in school?

Because I am here to tell you, from personal experience, that's not true.

CobaltGeorge
155489
Points
CobaltGeorge 02/01/14 - 06:34 pm
1
0
corgimom

Let me tell you, I totally agree with you on that one.

CobaltGeorge
155489
Points
CobaltGeorge 02/01/14 - 06:38 pm
2
0
countyman

Where can I find a map showing North Augusta, South Augusta, West Augusta, Southwest Augusta, Northwest Augusta, Southeast Augusta, Northeast Augusta, East Augusta and CBD?

countyman
19731
Points
countyman 02/01/14 - 07:10 pm
1
4
The kids who live in both

The kids who live in both Summerville and Forest Hills are wealthy.. Why does somebody who lives in Charlotte believe they know what's happening in Augusta in 2014?

Little Lamb
45320
Points
Little Lamb 02/01/14 - 08:04 pm
3
0
Hey, CG

The only place you'll get a map such as you request would be for Countyman to draw it out for you on a paper towel.

Dave of AGS
11
Points
Dave of AGS 02/04/14 - 10:00 pm
0
0
AGS.. I don't know exactly

AGS.. I don't know exactly when you lived here(by your comment a long time ago), but there's safe schools in South Augusta.. The graduation rate at Cross Creek(built around 2000) is right on par with the top public schools in the CSRA..by countyman

I lived in Augusta from 1959 to 1999. I am not aware of what are the graduation stats in the CSRA but I would like to know if someone here has them.
I went to my step-daughter's last day of school at Meadowbrook Elementary on a student-parent day. The social studies teacher I met there was phenomenal. We had a long talk and I wish there were more like him. I noticed an overhead projector filled with their last lesson. I asked," what are you doing with that?" He said that the powers to be were unable to procure paper for the copying machine so the students spent half of their time copying notes instead of learning in class. So now the children are getting 50% of the education that you all pay for with your hard-earned tax money. That is the problem with school systems that cannot even manage supplies or implement discipline.
We spend 30% more on public education (and the Dept. of Education) than we did 10 years ago and the results are not getting better.
In my family you were expected to graduate and go on to higher learning. Dropping out was never a consideration. Now it is an epidemic all over the country. Not everyone can be a Doctor or an Engineer, but ALL children should have the support system at home and be encouraged to better themselves. It ALL begins there.

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