New school year to bring some changes, growth to Madison City Schools

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - The new school year is bringing some changes to Madison City Schools.

Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler says there's a lot to be excited about in the district.

Two schools have undergone major construction projects.

Bob Jones High School received a complete renovation that should be nearly complete by the time students return on August 5.

Madison Elementary received an extensive overhaul of its HVAC system and lighting, along with other improvements.

There are also some changes to curriculum in the district.

Last year, Madison City Schools began offering exploratory classes to 7th and 8th grade students.

The classes covered subjects the students had signified an interest in, such as computers and veterinary medicine. The program was such a success, system leaders decided to expand the classes this year, making them available to 5th and 6th graders, as well.

High school students will find some changes of their own.

Both Bob Jones and James Clemens are on a four-block schedule. However, this year, students will have the option of adding a zero block or fifth block.

Zero block classes will be offered before the official school day begins. Fifth block classes will take place after the official day ends.

In addition, online classes that were first offered over the summer will continue into the fall.

The changes reflect the administration's goal to give students more flexibility in their education.

Dr. Fowler says, "I believe that education has changed more in the last two to three years than it has in the last 35 years."

Further changes are occurring at the administration-level.

"We're very excited about new leadership inside the school district," says Dr. Fowler, adding, "we have 11 schools and six of the schools have a different administrator as principal or assistant principal."

Administrators are also excited about the recent release of ACT Aspire scores, which showed Madison City students scoring well above the national average in math, reading and science.

Such scores help support the system's reputation as one of the best school districts in the state and guarantee it will continue to grow.

Dr. Fowler says, "we always say one of our biggest challenges is keeping growth positive."

The system is currently approaching an enrollment of nearly 9,700. Another 200 to 300 students are expected to enroll during the course of the year.