Middle school district lines in Jefferson may change

CHARLES TOWN — About 250 Jefferson County middle school students could be affected by a proposal to redistrict three of the county’s four middle schools.

[cleeng_content id="397244321" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]Schools Superintendent Susan Wall presented the plan at a recent Jefferson County Board of Education meeting, with board members unanimously agreeing to ask for public comment concerning the proposal.

The proposal would affect the Wildwood, Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry middle school districts. The Charles Town middle school district would not be impacted by the proposal.

“We are sending out letters this week to all parents explaining the proposal,” Wall said.

Wall said the reason for the proposal is because Harpers Ferry Middle School’s renovations will be finished in April. Students who were moved to Wildwood will move back to Harpers Ferry.

“Wildwood Middle feeds the greater Ranson area. Wildwood Middle is at capacity right now,” Wall said. “With the opening of Harpers Ferry, the developments we took by shifting students to Wildwood, we can put back in Harpers Ferry and prevent overcrowding at Wildwood.”

The redistricting of some students from the Shepherdstown middle school district to Wildwood was also proposed, Wall said.

The goal of the proposal is to make sure students are taught in traditional buildings and not in portable classrooms, she said.

“Harpers Ferry Middle had 40 percent of the school, the whole eighth grade and part of the sixth grade, outside in portable classrooms,” Wall said. “Instructionally, first and foremost, as well as safety, it is better to have the children in a traditional building.”

The proposal would even out schools according to capacity, Wall said.

Communities that would be impacted by the proposal include Gapview, Meadow Brook, Stafford, Norwood, Amber Knolls, Engle Crossing and Uvilla. Areas and roads impacted include Hidden River community, Wide Horizon community, Harry Shirley Road, Archer Road, Wide Horizon Boulevard, Middleway Pike from Leetown road to the Berkeley/Jefferson County line and roads and streets within the above-named roads.

Teachers and staff at the middle schools could be affected if the proposal is approved by the Board of Education. Some teachers and staff could be transferred to other schools.

“If the board approves the redistricting, the next step would be to look at realigning staff,” Wall said.

Wall is hopeful that the Board of Education approves her proposal. “Our goal is to implement it next year,” she said.

Comments can be emailed to Wall at swall@access.k12.wv.us or assistant superintendent Patrick Blanc at pblanc@access.k12.wv.us. All comments will be compiled and shared with the Board of Education.

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