Proposal to fix Frost Middle School is changing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Proposal to fix Frost Middle School is changing

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a Louisville school where nine out of 10 students failed state tests in reading and math.  A proposal to fix Frost Middle School is changing as the JCPS school board plans to vote Monday night. 

"We want to make it more unique than it ever has been," says Chuck Haddaway of the JCPS Board of Education.

The idea is to change the middle school into a 6th grade academy and send all 7th and 8th graders to Valley High School, then make the school day longer, add a month of summer school, and hope test scores rise at both campuses.

But that's not an idea that sits well with all parents, including one who told WDRB News earlier, "If I had a 12-year-old daughter, I do not want her around high school boys or visa versa, with my boy and high school girls."

JCPS hosted 12 feedback sessions addressing concerns about keeping kids apart with different bell schedules and saying classes will not be overcrowded.

7th and 8th graders from Frost will occupy the part of Valley's campus currently used by the Phoenix School of Discovery.  The Phoenix School will move to the second floor at Frost.

Still, reviews are mixed and JCPS board member Chuck Haddaway tells WDRB News that bold idea is changing:  "A lot of the extended education, like the extended day program, we were doing 2:30-5 three days a week was mandatory and the summer bridge program, that's the big thing that has changed.  It has now become optional."

When asked whether making that program optional takes some of the muster out of the plan, Haddaway responded, "Depends on what side of the fence you're on. Educators will inundate you with data saying extending learning is helpful.  But the reality in this world, especially at Frost, it's difficult for parents to adhere to that."

The urgency is now for Frost. JCPS already shuffled all the teachers, but that didn't work. A new principal left after one year. And the latest report from the Department of Education says only one in 10 children can read or do math at grade level.

The consensus is this -- whether its a freshman academy or something else, change is coming to the troubled middle school.

Frost parent Joyce Corum says, "I think it's a great idea, I really do....It's kind of like it's a lost school and I think it will help the 6th graders being away from 7th and 8th."

Haddaway adds, "We can't sit back and let Frost continue at the one percentile. They've been a priority school since 2009. We are not meeting our kids' needs.

The school board tabled turnaround plans for Shawnee Academy and Myers Middle school to address Frost and Valley first.

The meeting begins Monday night at seven.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All rights reserved.

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