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VOL. 128 | NO. 149 | Thursday, August 01, 2013

Fairview to Transition to Optional School

By Bill Dries

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The school year that begins next week will be the last for Fairview Middle School as a conventional school.

The school at the Mid-South Fairgrounds will be converted to an optional school under a resolution approved Tuesday, July 30, by the countywide school board, and will have a program focusing on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – or a STEAM emphasis.

That allows the reconfigured Fairview to incorporate the arts optional school former superintendent Kriner Cash had planned for Humes Middle School.

The school board had approved the so-called Bravo Academy as an optional school at Humes for the school year that begins next week. However, interim superintendent Dorsey Hopson called off the transition after the state-run Achievement School District worked out an agreement with the school system to move its middle school operation for Humes students from Gordon Elementary School to Humes starting next week.

HOPSON

The Achievement School District is for the state’s bottom 5 percent of schools, in terms of student achievement and proficiency. Humes was eligible for inclusion in the school district based on that. Fairview is also ASD-eligible as a conventional school.

“We need to increase the menu of options for Midtown parents,” said Hopson, who went with his child Tuesday to register her for first grade at Peabody Elementary School. “You’ve got Snowden, and everybody raves about it. You’ve got Bellevue. But there’s no real natural feeder pattern for Idlewild and Peabody. So I think having Fairview at a great location with a great facility, right next to the Kroc Center, and just a groundswell of support for parents to do something different – I think we can capitalize on that.”

The Fairview optional school will also keep the link to nearby Christian Brothers University that Cash has advocated as a “college corridor” approach that encourages students to pursue a college education through ties to the nearby campus.

The board will vote again sometime later in the calendar year on a specific comprehensive plan for the transition of Fairview, including the rezoning of students who now attend Fairview.

“You always wonder or worry about students that might be displaced. We are aware of that,” Hopson said. “One option would have those students rezoned to Sherwood Middle School.”

Sherwood is an Innovation School, one of several low-performing schools that the school system grouped together and gave more autonomy.

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