Superintendent proposes moving 9th grade to HCMS

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2007

WINTON – Could HCHS become a senior high school?

That could well be the situation next year if public schools Superintendent Dr. Michael G. Basham’s proposal to the Hertford County Board of Education is approved.

During his closing remarks Monday night, Dr. Basham told the board he would like for them to consider moving the ninth grade to the campus of Hertford County Middle School (HCMS) in Murfreesboro.

Dr. Basham said moving the Ninth Grade Academy from its current location at Hertford County High School (HCHS) to Murfreesboro would eliminate the need for modular units on both campuses and would balance enrollment.

“I think this is a good idea,” Dr. Basham said at the board of education meeting. “I think it will make a difference in providing educational opportunities.”

Dr. Basham also presented the board and citizens with a memo listing the advantages and disadvantages of moving the Ninth Grade Academy.

The advantages included:

* eliminate modular classrooms at HCHS;

* balance the number of students between HCHS and HCMS;

* reduce crowded hallways at HCHS;

* ninth graders would still be able to participate in clubs and activities;

* courses would be contained in one area;

* ninth graders would effectively be in their own school;

* increased ability to implement interdisciplinary lessons;

* improve the ninth grade transition to high school; and

* ability to monitor ninth grade students.

The issues to be considered included public perception that ninth graders would be remaining in middle school and the difficulty in offering electives to students. Others included lack of interaction with upperclassmen and scheduling use of shared spaces.

Dr. Basham said the only cost he could see thus far would be transporting students from the HCMS campus to the high school campus for band and athletic practices.

The plan would call for the Ninth Grade Academy to remain under the jurisdiction of HCHS Principal Jerry Simmons. An assistant principal and a counselor would be located in the academy to handle those issues.

“Basically we’re talking about the current Ninth Grade Academy simply moving locations,” said board member J. Wendell Hall.

Board Chairman John D. Horton said he would like to have the discussion of moving the ninth grade added to the agenda for the 6 p.m. called session on April 4. His board consented to his request.