Tupelo K-5 teachers get their assignments

TUPELO – Tupelo Public School elementary teachers got their official assignments Thursday as the district prepares for next year’s reorganization.
“I’m pleased with the progress that being made,” said Tupelo Superintendent Randy McCoy. Teachers will be able to attend open houses at their new schools on April 27, 28 and 30.
The Tupelo district is realigning its elementary schools for the 2009-2010 school year.
Approved by the district’s board of trustees in October 2007, the reorganization uses bigger planning zones that should be more stable in their economic and social demographics and require less shifting to maintain balance on campus.
Instead of seven kindergarten to third-grade elementaries and three fourth- to sixth-grade elementaries, there will be five K-2 schools, and four third- to fifth-grade schools. Milam School will serve as the only sixth-grade school.
The schools are paired so that all the students from a lower elementary go to the same upper elementary. Carver and Church street schools will both align with Lawhon.

Moving with the students
Teachers are staying in the same grade level that they are currently teaching, McCoy said. All sixth-grade teachers, for example, are moving to Milam.
“Teachers generally followed their prinicipal,” if the grade levels aligned.
Following that general rule, K-2 teachers currently at Thomas Street School were assigned to follow Principal Brenda Robinson to Carver. The fourth- and fifth-grade teachers at Carver will follow Principal Kim Britton to Pierce Street School. Pierce Street K-2 teachers will move to Thomas Street with Principal Debbie Davis.
Rankin’s K-2 teachers largely will follow Principal Glenda Scott to Joyner. Joyner third-grade teachers will follow their principal, Brenda Johnson, to Rankin.
Third-grade teachers at Pierce, Thomas, Church and Parkway have been spread among Lawhon, Rankin, Pierce and Lawndale schools. K-2 teachers at Lawhon and fourth- and fifth-grade teachers at Milam also have to move around the district.
“We tried to keep groups of teachers together as much as possible, but it’s not 100 percent,” McCoy said.
The district also tried to balance the ratio of veteran teachers and younger teachers between campuses. McCoy said.
McCoy is anticipating hiring new staff to replace retiring teachers. Additional second- and third-grade teachers also will need to be hired for the district to move to the 15-1 student-teacher ratio in those grades. Authorization for hiring rests with the board of trustees.

Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.

Michaela Gibson Morris/Daily Journal

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