Marshall Co. Board of Education members vote to merge Brindlee Mountain middle and high schools

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Marshall County Board of Education members voted to merge a high school and a middle school, and in addition, two other schools in the system could also see changes.

"Combining the two schools will allow us to work more efficiently and more effectively for our students," said Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley. "These two schools are already located on the same campus. They already share the same athletic facilities and the same lunchroom."

The middle and high school students will stay in their respective buildings. "We will have one set of office staff and administrative staff, and then we will be able to redirect those funds to provide more opportunities for our students," Wigley explained. "This allows us the flexibility to redirect those funds to more extracurricular activities and programs for students that we don't currently have."

Wigley said they're not concrete just yet on how much money will be saved, but it is expected to make an impact.

Tenured teachers will stay at the school. The majority of non-tenured teachers will be placed in the school or at another. The system isn't cutting teacher units. The main difference will be a reduction of administrative and general operational staff.  Wigley says the change comes after students, staff, and parents voiced the need for more programs.

Wigley says she would also like to see changes at two other schools in the area. "We would like to take a look at putting the schools back to the way they were, as far as Union Grove Elementary and Grassy Elementary, rather than Brindlee Mountain Primary and Brindlee Mountain Elementary schools."

Brindlee Mountain Elementary is a K-2 and Brindlee Mountain Primary is a 3-5. Both the names and the grades were changed several years ago. Wigley wants to revert both to K-5 schools and says she would like input from parents and the community.

The reorganization of the middle and high school will go into effect by the start of the next school year. Another school in the system, Asbury School, is a 6 - 12 school as well.