Sixth-grade classes might be moved

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Richmond County school board members showed support Saturday morning for a plan that would eliminate sixth-grade classes at Tubman Middle School, keeping the school's rising sixth-graders at their elementary school one more year.

Board members, meeting as part of a retreat at The Partridge Inn, said they liked the idea but first want Richmond County schools Superintendent Dana Bedden to meet May 6 with the public to discuss the idea and get parents' input.

Dr. Bedden said the change to have the middle school only for those in seventh and eighth grades starting next school year could help improve the atmosphere at Tubman, where gang involvement, bomb threats and assaults have caused problems.

"This change would decrease the population at Tubman, and a smaller population could make for a better climate," he said.

There would be no facility costs in the change, and sixth-grade teachers at Tubman would be reassigned to the four feeder schools -- Collins, Lamar, Milledge and Monte Santo elementary schools, Dr. Bedden said.

Also at Saturday's retreat, the school board unanimously agreed to further talks regarding a plan to lift a desegregation order implemented decades ago. Some board members said the order should be lifted now because they feel most of its goals have been met. Others, although approving the motion, said they questioned the benefits of removing the order.

The order called for six standards to be met in the areas of pupil assignment, transportation, faculty, extracurricular activities, facilities and classified employees.

All but two -- facilities and classified employees -- have been met, school board attorney Pete Fletcher said at Saturday's meeting.

School board member Jack Padgett said if the desegregation order was not lifted, the community would have questions.

"We've been under the order 36 years, so people will ask if we've done the job, why are we still under it? If not, why haven't we?" he asked.

School board member Marion Barnes said he was not certain lifting the order would be a move forward considering two goals had still not been met.

School board member Venus Cain agreed.

"It's the perception of racism that's hurting us, not the law," Mrs. Cain said.

School board member Jimmy Atkins said the Richmond County school system will be one step closer to equality by lifting the order.

"Why don't we be the board to break down that barrier?" he asked.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

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MartinezWest Augusta
2
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MartinezWest Augusta 04/20/08 - 02:13 am
0
0
How come the evans chronicle

How come the evans chronicle didn't do one story on the kid in evans. Who brought a knife to greenbrier higschool. There have been several fights and drug raids at columbia county schools this and last year. But we haven't seen one article. Could you imagine if a kid in richmond county brought a knife to school. It would be all over the news and the story would have a article online. I guess the evans chronicle friends don't want they property values to come down. Just remember the fight at harlem high between the crips and bloods. Columbia county officials said it was over a girl. Yeah right 30 kids fighting over a girl. Dang was she mariah carey, jessica simpson, or beyonce. There are gangs in columbia and aiken counties. Will you ever report on it or just continue to sweep it under the rug. You can't hide them forever. Don't wait until something bad happens and then say we have a gang problem in our schools.

class1
300
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class1 04/20/08 - 06:27 am
0
0
It make all the sense in the

It make all the sense in the world to leave the 6th grade in elementary school. We need to go back to the old system of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade is junior high. Thus making 10th, 11th, and 12th high school. This will help the discipline problem. However, parents must take charge of their children and stop blaming the teachers.

nahali
0
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nahali 04/20/08 - 07:17 am
0
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You can't really put 9th

You can't really put 9th graders back in junior high any more because of the way our statewide system operates. Ninth graders have to start earning credits toward graduation, and with electives, that would be very expensive to duplicate at the junior high level. I do like the idea of moving sixth grade back to elementary school. I also like the idea that some of the south Richmond County high schools have had of a "freshman academy." Hephzibah used to have a separate building, and when the freshmen had electives, they walked across the campus to the main building for those classes before returning to the academy, where all their core courses were taught. Why not go back to that idea? It seemed to work really well.

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 04/20/08 - 08:23 am
0
0
YES !!!!! It's time to put

YES !!!!! It's time to put the 6th graders back where they belong..... 1st through 6th grade worked well and it wasn't broke but some fool decided to fix it anyway......

nextstep
0
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nextstep 04/20/08 - 09:06 am
0
0
I never understood why the

I never understood why the nation moved 6th graders to middle school. Doing my research, I noticed school systems across the nation stated we were failing in the Jr High schools and not meeting the needs of the children. So the move was on throughout the nation to create middle schools with the thought process it would meet then needs of the children. Now we see it has failed and we are going back to what should hve never changed. FIrst of all 6th and 9th graders are not mature enough to handle the pressure of middle or high school. They are still young children expeted to act as teenagers when they are clueless. The 6th & 9th grades go though a stage because they are not sure where or how the fit in the world. By the 7th and 10th grade they are no longer smelling themselves as we would say in back in the day, they calm down and matured a bit more. Then it's easier to educate them because of they have grown more and ready to handle the task set forth. So this is a great move for the system. Now if we all do our part we can watch our school system grow for the better!

Queen4842
3
Points
Queen4842 04/20/08 - 09:09 am
0
0
Why would Venus say that the

Why would Venus say that the perception of racism is the issue when the school system is 77% black? Is someone trying to get us to believe that the children are being persecuted for their color? By whom?

DesireChange
0
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DesireChange 04/20/08 - 09:26 pm
0
0
Why change 6th grade at only

Why change 6th grade at only one school? The other middle schools especially East Augusta, Murphy, Morgan Road, and Glenn Hills would benefit from the change of moving 6th grade students. Those kids are not ready for middle school and should not be in the same building with 7th and 8th grade students when some of them are 15 and 16 years old.

got-away
0
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got-away 04/20/08 - 11:27 pm
0
0
I agree with DesireChange.

I agree with DesireChange. Why is the board only considering changing one school? I think a good idea would be k-6th,7th-9th and 10th-12th with one year of technical training. That technical training could be set up as a partnership with Augusta Tech. There are a lot of students that qualify for HOPE Grants. It could be the job of the high school counselors to assist with filling out the proper papers including financial aid for those that qualify. This way, the county sets their students up for success instead of giving them their diplomas and sending them on their way. We all know that a high school diploma doesn't carry much weight these days.

toppergem
125
Points
toppergem 04/21/08 - 06:56 am
0
0
I think the move to place 6th

I think the move to place 6th graders back with the K-5 students is an excellent idea and one that should have happened years and years ago. Students in the 6th grade are more like 5th graders than 7th graders in maturity. But, let's not just create this model at one school, let's create the model at all schools across Richmond County. Education should be proactive not reactive...it hurts nothing to try something new every once in awhile.

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