Madison teachers, principals say moving 6th grade to middle school is beneficial

Sixth grade class at Heritage Elementary School.

MADISON, Ala. – On Tuesday night, the Madison City School Board voted unanimously to move sixth graders to middle schools beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

Teachers and principals across the school system think it will provide more academic opportunities for the students, and give teachers more time to get to know their students.

Heritage Elementary Principal, Georgina Nelson said it’s an overall great idea.

“As someone who formerly taught fifth and sixth grade, to me, fifth and sixth grade has always really belonged in the middle school,” said Nelson.

“They are very similar to their seventh and eighth grade peers, the standards are part of the middle school standards and the state course of study.”

Between the curriculum, social aspect and relationship between student and teacher, Nelson said it’s all connected.

“It just gives middle schoolers three years to be in the middle school and so there’s more ownership, there’s more accountability for the students and the teachers to get an opportunity over at Liberty and Discovery to get to know those students better so they know them better academically,” said Nelson.

After the students leave Heritage Elementary, some may enter Liberty Middle for their sixth grade year.

Although, Liberty will require some work before the transition.

“We’re going to add some classrooms onto liberty and also some expansions to our gym and cafeteria area to make sure we can accommodate the students,” said Liberty Middle School Principal, Nelson Brown.