School Board To Explore Adding Middle School

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Cannon County's Board of Education will begin discussing the possibility of adding a middle school when it meets for a school board retreat later this month.

During a board workshop Monday night to go over the agenda for Tuesday night's board meeting at East Side School, chairman Randy Gannon asked fellow board members if they wanted to put the topic of incorporating a middle school into the system on the list of things to discuss at the retreat.

Board members Shannon Davenport and Chris Blackburn both indicated a middle school is a subject they have received inquiries about recently from several parents and citizens.

Gannon said he also wants to get input from the community on both the need and desire for a middle school.

Currently Cannon County has six elementary schools, serving students through the 8th grade, all feeding into one high school, for grades 9 through 12.

While the middle school topic is not on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting at East Side School, which begins at 6 p.m., it will be for the board retreat which is scheduled for March 29.

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, a middle school is often used instead of junior high school when demographic factors increase the number of younger students. Whereas junior highs tend to only include grades 7 and 8, middle schools are usually grades 6, 7, and 8 (i.e. around ages 11–14), varying from area to area and also according to population vs. building capacity.

Another common model includes grades 5–8. The middle school format has now replaced the junior high format by a ratio of about ten to one in the U.S.

The major topics on the agenda for the school board meeting Tuesday are:

* Approval of West Side School applying for an HCA Foundation grant to be used for Promethean ActivBoards, ceiling mounted projectors, ActivSlate boards and installation for each classroom. The grant amount being request is $28,444.84.

* Approval of a list of Jr. Lions football coaches and assistant coaches. The list includes head coach Randy Farnsworth and assistants John Robinson, Chris Robinson, Brad Hall, A.J. Matthews and Bernie Berniger.

* Approval of Rules of Conduct and Rules Of Eligibility for the upcoming Cannon County High School senior trip.

* Karen King, principal at East Side, will also address the board concerning the installation of a chain link fence at the school to create a barrier between the outside basketball court and Manustown Road.
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