MANCHESTER — With their proposed middle school model under criticism, Manchester school officials have scheduled “listening sessions,” which will be held at the four elementary schools that are feeders to Southside Middle School.
All four sessions are scheduled for an hour starting at 6:30 p.m. The Jewett School session is slated for Jan. 13; Highland Goff’s Falls for Jan. 21; Bakersville School for Jan. 27 and Hallsville for Feb. 4.
Manchester school officials want to move fifth-grade classes to middle schools in an effort to free up space in elementary schools. School Superintendent Dr. John Goldhardt wants to move fifth-graders to Southside starting in September 2021.
Fifth-graders would move to Hillside and McLaughlin middle schools the following September. The model is already in place at Parkside middle school.
The move is not without controversy. Last month, Manchester aldermen refused to issue debt to prepare the schools for the move. And a newly elected school board member, Jim O’Connell, has called it flawed.
The school district announced the listening sessions online. It said any school family can attend the meetings.
“However, the focus of these sessions will be for Southside’s Feeder School Families,” the notice reads.