KCMO Considers Reopening Three Middle Schools

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The era of placing all 7th and 8th grade students in the same building as high schoolers may be coming to an end in the Kansas City Missouri School District. Superintendent Steve Green said he's considering a plan that would reopen three middle schools that were closed back in 2010 to help the district save money. Those schools are Lincoln Prep Middle School, the Kansas City Middle School for the Arts, and Northeast Middle School. Those schools were among 26 closed under the prior administration of Dr. John Covington.

Dr. Green says he wants to hold public hearings in the spring to gauge teacher and parent interest but says initial feedback leans toward reopening some middle schools.

"We do hear what seems to be a desire for an arrangement that speaks specifically to their needs, " Green said.

Green added that the district is not considering the move because middle schoolers were mistreated by high schoolers but more so because of issues related to maturity and development.

"It's a challenge and we've noticed in other data yes, their behavior, it's more difficult for them to settle down if they're not getting the kind of social, emotional attention that they need," he said.

The President of the Kansas City Missouri Teacher's Union, Andrea Flinders, said the district should've never eliminated middle schools.

"This is the result of what happens when you have constantly changing Superintendents," said Flinders. She points out that 7th & 8th graders were first combined with elementary students back in 2008 under then Superintendent Anthony Amato. "So now we've got a new Superintendent who says now we're going back to the Middle School Concept and of course teachers and parents are saying that's what we wanted in the first place."

If the Kansas City Missouri School Board approves the plan in the Spring of 2013, three middle schools could reopen in the fall of 2014.

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