Community meeting discusses future of Jackson Public Schools

Community meeting discusses future of Jackson Public Schools

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Big changes are coming to the Jackson Public School District.

A few weeks ago, the JPS Superintendent released a three-year-plan for school redesign. This means closing some schools, and transitioning students to others.

“For the middle school, one of the primary reasons is to expand elective offerings for students. We see this as an opportunity to provide additional offerings in courses like Art, Spanish, Health. These are courses that may not be offered at other schools,” said Freddrick Murray.

Wednesday, another community meeting was held at Blackburn Middle School. Right now there are only 370 students, but by the time students from Hardy Middle move through, 750 students will walk the halls.

“Why would they want to overcrowd like that? Why would they want to move so many students? Why couldn’t they just take the initiative to fix Hardy?”

These are the sort of questions parents like Patricia Stamps want answers too.

“I love Blackburn. They have excellent teachers, they have a great principal, it is a great school. But by them intertwining Hardy with other students who don’t want to learn, they want to be in gang activities, it will bring bad to Blackburn. It will happen.”

Other changes coming included in the school redesign include: shutting down Siwell Middle School with other students transitioning to Cardoza, Barr Elementary closing with students moving to Pecan Park, and restarting Vanwinkle Elementary as a pre-k.

Van Winkle students will attend Bates and Clausell.

But above all else, the JPS Assistant Superintendent for Middle Schools Freddrick Murray says they want to reassure parents that the redesign will only further improve opportunities for their children.

“We feel confident that this is a solid proposal, we hope it is approved and then we can move forward.”

The redesign plan was presented to the school board Monday night. The final decision will be made in January.

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