Board Approves Redistricting and Restructuring of Muskogee Schools
MUSKOGEE, Okla. - The Muskogee Public Schools Board of Education approved the recommendation of the Long Range Planning Committee for school restructuring and redistricting on Tuesday night.
The board approved the recommendation to move district sixth grade students to the Grant Foreman site (800 Bacone St.) for the 2019-2020 school year forming a sixth grade center.
The recommendation of moving district seventh and eighth grade students from Alice Robertson Junior High to the Ben Franklin site (300 Virgil Matthews Drive) for the 2019-2020 school year.
The move of district sixth graders out of the elementary schools was recommended to allow students to develop both educationally and socially. The transition will allow students to receive more content and subject specific learning through a teaming approach. A smaller learning community will afford students the opportunity to be more engaged and connected before reaching junior high school.
Moving seventh and eighth grade students to Ben Franklin was recommended by the committee to allow the Alice Robertson building to be further examined as it nears 80 years of existence. The Long Range Planning Committee will continue to discuss the future plans for the Alice Robertson site including repairs and renovations through a possible bond issue.
The Ben Franklin site is suited for a teaming approach as well. With classrooms adjoining to an open pod space, this will allow four teachers to work closely together with “teams” consisting of approximately 120 student. The large auditorium, gymnasium, and science labs are conducive to the needs of seventh and eighth grade students. These spaces will allow the junior high to continue the journey of project based learning school wide.
The Long Range Planning Committee consists of 31 stakeholders recommended by the Board of Education and Superintendent. The committee has met six times since October 2018 reviewing enrollment data, current district maps, and other data to come to the recommendations presented Tuesday during the regular board meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are these changes necessary?
Sixth grade students will benefit from smaller learning communities that will allow for their development both academically, emotionally, and socially. The subject specific learning will better prepare students for junior high school.
Moving seventh and eighth grade to Ben Franklin will allow for the 80 year old Alice Robertson building to be examined closely and future plans developed for the site. Junior High students will also benefit from a teaming approach while also expanding project based learning school wide.
Who is affected by these changes?
With Ben Franklin and Grant Foreman being repurposed as the junior high and sixth grade center respectively, the attendance zones for the remaining six elementary schools have been redrawn and may impact some students.
Students entering the sixth grade will attend classes at Grant Foreman and those entering the seventh and eighth grade will attend junior high at Ben Franklin beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
Where will my student attend school now that Ben Franklin and Grant Foreman are no longer elementary schools?
Students that attended Ben Franklin and Grant Foreman will attend an elementary school based off their place of residence. Elementary school boundaries have been redrawn and can be viewed by clicking here.
Will I be able to transfer to another site in the school district?
Students currently in the third or fourth grade may request to remain in the school they are attending currently moving into the 2019-2020 school year, based on space availability. Siblings, who are in kindergarten through second grade, who would like to stay in the same elementary school as the older sibling will need to request a transfer as well, based on space availability. Students whose transfer request is accepted will not receive district transportation.
Will the seventh and eighth grade move back to Alice Robertson?
The Long Range Planning Committee will continue to assess the best options for the Alice Robertson site in the coming months. Returning the junior high school to that site is among the options being considered.