By Mary Kay Morrow
During the regularly-scheduled meeting of the Hickman Mills C-1 Board of Directors May 20, final names were determined for the district’s eighth- and ninth-grade center and sixth- and seventh-grade center.
“We must declare official names for our centers,” said Superintendent Dr. Marge Williams before proposing new names.
There was no discussion or dissent.
Beginning with the 2010-11 school year, the district’s eighth- and ninth-grade center, located in the current Hickman Mills High School, will be Hickman Mills Junior High School. Smith-Hale Middle School, which will house the district’s sixth- and seventh-grade center, will remain Smith-Hale Middle School. Ruskin High School will remain Ruskin High School. Voting was unanimous, with six board members in favor and one board member absent.
In January, the board approved a Boundary Committee recommendation to reshape the district beginning with the 2010-11 school year, creating a single high school for grades 10-12, an eighth- and ninth-grade center and a sixth- and seventh-grade center. In February, the board approved a proposal making Ruskin High School the district’s high school, Hickman Mills High School the district’s eighth- and ninth-grade center and Smith-Hale Middle School the district’s sixth- and seventh-grade center. The current Ervin Middle School will be used for other district programs and staff.
In a related vote, the full board confirmed a recommendation from the Boundary Committee to move 38 students in View High Apartments and View High Estates from Truman to Johnson Elementary.
“The goal is to alleviate crowding at Truman and Engels,” said Jennings, adding that no solution has yet been found for crowding at Engels.
The move will affect students living in an area roughly east of Raytown Road, south of Bannister and north of I-470.
The group has talked with the district’s bus company and found that the shift will mean “about four more minutes on the bus for these kids.”
With school districts city-wide in a state of flux, overall Hickman elementary enrollments are expected to decrease another 300 on top of declining enrollments over the last decade.
The committee has said they will hold a meeting to review changes with View High families who will be affected by these changes.
The Boundary Committee intends to continue to discuss district changes for the foreseeable future.
“We’d like to keep moving, keep going” said Jennings. “We need to look at elementary boundaries as a whole and look at efficiencies.”