The Columbia County Board of Education gave final approval to the name of the new middle school in Grovetown on Tuesday night.
We'll give you one guess.
That's right: Grovetown Middle School.
Officials now are working on a mascot for the new school, which is expected to open after the Christmas holidays.
The planned midyear opening is causing concern among parents, school board trustee Roxanne Whitaker said.
"This is the first time we've split a school in the middle of the year. Is there any way we can allow the eighth-graders to choose if they want to go to the new school?" Whitaker asked Superintendent Tommy Price.
Price said only seniors have been given the option to choose schools when a new school opened. He said allowing pupils to decide could cause transportation and staffing problems. Parents of rising eighth-graders will be surveyed to determine their interest.
"If you are going to do that, we would have to know up front how many were going to do that so we would know how many teachers were involved. I have no idea how many would be interested in that, but it will create more problems than if we made a clean sweep. If you are asking for a recommendation, I would stay away from it," Price told the board.
The plan is to divide Harlem's 850 pupils and its teachers into two schools at the beginning of the year. Grovetown Middle's pupils and teachers, for the most part, would be placed in the 16 portable units now at Harlem Middle School.
When school resumes after the holidays, those teachers, pupils and furniture would be moved to the new school.
Also at the meeting Tuesday night, the board tentatively approved a zoning option for the new school, one that splits the Euchee Creek zone in half from Louisville/Old Louisville Road to Reynolds Farm Road. The board had considered three rezoning options, using the existing boundaries of Grovetown Elementary School, Euchee Creek Elementary School and North Harlem Elementary School to feed into the middle schools.
The plan approved Tuesday will place North Harlem Elementary School pupils at Harlem Middle School. Grovetown Elementary School pupils will attend the new middle school when they move up to sixth grade.
The $8.3 million school will have 40 classrooms capable of housing 650 pupils. The zoning option that trustees favor will place 430 pupils at Harlem Middle School and 410 at Grovetown Middle School.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.