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West Madison’s Brand New Pre-K Transformation

Casey Kula, Writer

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One thing many Madison City students, parents, and faculty have noticed is the huge increase in population in the community, which only can mean the schools’ population is also expanding. On January 23rd at James Clemens High School, Superintendent Robby Parker gave his State of the Schools Address which dispersed plans for Madison City Schools in the future.

Since Madison City Schools became its own school system in 1998, the system’s population has doubled in size. There are also 12 campuses holding an average of 11,000 students.

Parker mentioned multiple ways he wanted to expand the school system, including constructing West Madison into a Pre-K. This sudden news bewildered many students and parents.

People wonder if making West Madison a Pre-K would actually be the best option for the community. On one side of the spectrum, expanding the Pre-K can give the children more opportunities which many people are excited about.

The idea to expand the Pre-K has thrilled Pre-K administrator Angela Bush. “Any opportunity to expand Pre-K to more children will be beneficial,” she began. “We have looked at the data and a child who attends Pre-K has lasting benefits throughout their educational career. We hope to be awarded two grants for the two classrooms to be together. Part of our success with Pre-K is the collaboration that can occur between the teachers and their students.”

Parker mentioned during the address, West Madison has twenty-eight classrooms and by developing the Pre-K he believes the school system could offer Pre-K to practically every child who would like to go. Adding a new Pre-K would raise the student population which may be beneficial. Unfortunately, the ability to expand the Pre-K is bleak unless they build a new elementary school by 2021.

Even with the idea possibly helping the school system and community, other people feel like it’s giving a bad reputation to West Madison. Some think that it is astonishing Parker would think of depriving our community of such a beloved elementary school.

“To be very blunt, no I don’t think it is a good idea. They repainted the school in the past year and immediately turn around and talk about changing the school entirely. In my opinion, all of this seems like a waste of money,” said junior and West Madison alumnus Catherine Irrgang.

There have been quite a few renovations to the elementary school recently, including repainting the outside of the school to represent more of the school’s colors and adding a brand new playground for the students. Adding all these renovations to the school and then transforming it into a Pre-K is a waste of money Madison City Schools could have used on a different school renovation project, or it could have been added to the fund for a new Pre-K or elementary school.

With their plan to construct West Madison into a Pre-K, Parker also plans on creating a new elementary school in 2021 that can hold 900 students. $34 million is the estimated price tag, which could be a problem in the future. Not having a new revenue source, the school system will need to figure out a way to obtain the money which could mean an increase in taxes.

Another problem is the school rezoning. Madison City Schools would need to rezone all the West Madison students into new and separate schools. This might cause havoc in the future because even with its tiny size, West Madison is a very great school.

 

Being a West Madison Alumni myself, I am a bit sad that my school is about to be something new altogether. This is a hard decision to make for the administrators, but hopefully they will come to a conclusion that will allow a better future for the Madison City Schools.

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West Madison’s Brand New Pre-K Transformation