Clipped From The Northside Sun
Madison schools face another school year in portable classes .Ry JENNY BOURN Sun Staff Writer . WITH ANOTHER SCHOOL "year winding down and no decision reached yet on the contested . Madison County school bond issue, ' school officials arc concerned that overcrowding will become even mote critical next year. Although immediate problems ;arc being taking care of at Madison Central High School with the building building of a new band hall and 10 additional additional classrooms, many south "Madison County students will continue continue to be taught in portable build- build- According to the district's Public Relations Director Ellen Aregood, the district waits for U.S. District Court Judge Tom S. Lee to decide on a motion filed by the school district district to modify its desegregation order. The decision is scheduled to : be made May 17, a year after a $55 ' million bond issue was passed by county voters. The controversy surrounding the bond issue has been ongoing. ; School officials suffered a major blow in November when the U. S. : Department of Justice told the U.S. District Court that the district failed ' to comply w ith the 1969 desegrega-; desegrega-; desegrega-; tion order. " Before the bond issue can proceed, proceed, the district must get the go ; ahead from the U.S. District Court in Jackson. The district's plan has the effect of locking in racial disparities well into the future and docs not serious-: serious-: serious-: ly consider alternative school loca-:; loca-:; loca-:; tions which would increase deseg-" deseg-" deseg-" regation, the justice department ;: said. The government recently ended the last phase of depositions and i will resume again right after Easter, Aregood said. Although officials knew there would be no new buildings ready before the school year of 2001, ; Aregood believes the district can : still meet construction deadlines . originall outlined if the order is set-: set-: set-: tied soon. ;tjee" ri: fi Ten new classrooms and a band hall have helped overcrowding at Madison Central High School MADISON AVENUE Elementary School is one of the south Madison County schools which will continue to suffer as half of their student population finishes out the school year in trailers. "At the end of year, we will reevaluate reevaluate enrollment like we do every year and then we will purchase purchase or shift portable classrooms as needed," Aregood said. "This 10 classroom addition at the high school should free up some portable classrooms that could be moved to some other areas like Madison Avenue whigh will have to have at least four additional classrooms which is two portable buildings." Weather and security concern school officials about students being in portable classrooms. "Anytime the weather is bad, especially during tornado season, you have to bring all of those children children in to the main building. "This is basically a day lost to learning from shifting the students around," Aregood said. Even though communications with the portable classrooms are connected to the main building through intercoms, officials still have security concerns because the students are removed from the main building. "The actual portable classrooms are nice classrooms and learning takes place in those just like anywhere anywhere else, but it is not as convenient convenient mainly because of weather and security concerns," Aregood said. "It is easier to administer the whole school if it is all under one roof." Currently approximately 88 classes are housed in the 44 trailers districtwide. OFFICIALS PROJECT A 10 percent increase in students in South Madison schools for the next year. Schools in the northern part of the county and Flora are basically not growing and they usually either stay the same or lose students, Aregood said. As of the last count ending in February, Ridgeland Elementary has 640 students; Madison Station Elementary, 932; Rosa Scott Middle School, 1,014; Madison Avenue Elementary, 1,171; Madison Central, 1,818; OldeTowne Elementary, 575; and Olde Towne Middle School, 570 students.