Ninth Grade Academy Considered, Superintendent Faulk Proposes Major Changes

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By Dave Freneaux
    The new school complex on Sullivan Road will be home to Central's 3rd through 8th graders this Fall.  Now Superintendent Faulk has asked the School Board to approve using the former Starkey Academy and current Central Intermediate School campus on Joor Road to house the 9th Grade Academy.  Such a move would be temporary, and would alleviate the overcrowding at the High School.
    Plans are in the works to consider options for a permanent solution to create space for the 9th grade.  The proposed immediate move and the implementation of a long term solution should eliminate the need for the expensive temporary buildings currently in use at the high school.  This issue has been referred to a "Committee of the Whole" consisting of all School Board members, for consideration.
    Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Sid Edwards talked with Central Speaks after the meeting.  "As to the academics and logistics involved in such a move, I would have to defer to the Superintendent and others qualified to make those decisions.  Change is always difficult, but I would encourage everyone to keep an open mind as this is looked at.  From an athletics perspective I see an awful lot of potential positives.  Such a move would add practice facilities to the programs and nothing would change in terms of competition."
    Superintendent Faulk also proposed several other changes which will be considered by the same School Board "Committee of the Whole."  A move away from block scheduling at the Middle School has been requested in favor of a traditional seven period day.  Aslo, Faulk proposes adding a Guidance Counselor at the Middle School and having each of the three Counselors assigned to a class, 6th through 8th, and following that class of students as they progress through the Middle School.  Finally, the opening of the new school facility will cause realignment of the younger grades.  The proposed arrangement calls for Bellingrath to house the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes with 1st and 2nd graders attending Tanglewood.