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Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,816
4,066
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
I think I am missing something because I don't understand the concerns - are they proposing 5th graders share classes with the older kids or something? :dunno:

no, but mixed ages works quite well in montessori school settings. that isn't what's proposed here though. It seems that the elementary schools are out of room in their buildings and are looking for a solution. But, I don't think we have all the facts.
 

momof2kids

Beach Fanatic
May 17, 2007
797
115
Santa Rosa Beach
From what I have heard (which isn't much) is that Bay is also bursting at the seams and the 5th graders will be from both Butler & Bay. I don't know how many kids are at Bay, but there are well over 800 (maybe closer to 900?). I think there are 8 third grade classrooms now, and with new classroom size rules something will need to be done.

I'm confident that when my child reaches 5th grade if she is required to be with 6,7 & 8th graders that we will have raised her to be aware of her surroundings & make right choices.

Even though I don't always agree with the decisions our Board makes I do think they are not going to make decisions that put children in harms way. The grades will be housed properly. The 5th graders now are kept separate from the kindergartners now and they are all in one building. (Yes - I know there is a big development difference from 5th to 8th grade).

I also heard it rumored that Bay may close?? Can't remember where I heard that, but that's the rumor. There is no where for them to add on since it's a historic building, and they have no land left there to use... Yes - we need another Elementary school, and fast!
 

organicmama

Beach Fanatic
Jul 31, 2006
1,639
338
back in SRB
Not to step on friends' toes, but some of the people posting don't have children. It's not that you don't have your own experience from when you were a kid, but there is a difference in being a kid and being a parent regarding this. I can look back on my own childhood and honestly say that I am glad we had K-5 and 6-8. It also makes a difference as to whether the school system was set up that way. Walton County wasn't and then suddenly this is thrown at parents in the last quarter of our children's 4th grade year. It is upsetting to a lot of people.

I understand that there are parents who don't see that this is a problem. That is perfectly fine because we all have different parenting styles and focus on different issues.

Personally, I do have a large problem, as I was never planning on putting my children into middle school at ECMS.

Since moving back to SoWal, I have been looking at other options, like the possibility of Seaside School or Oh Institute. One of the options we were looking at was virtual school, yet our two oldest do not qualify for the upcoming year because we didn't move back until Dec. 1st and there is a requirement to be enrolled in FL schools during Oct & Feb of the previous school year.
 

Romeosmydog

Beach Fanatic
Nov 6, 2007
458
314
here
I hope that this is not history repeating itself. The last Walton County Superintendent and School Board moved 6th graders into the high school.

A few differences: that move required 10 year olds to share buses, bathrooms, the library and lunchroom with 18 year olds...and if you were not in full support of the move you lost your job as an educator. The only people interested in separating the middle and high school were the teachers and parents of young middle schoolers. The Board said many times that South Walton would never fill the new high school... That a middle school in Santa Rosa Beach would never have enough students. With very little community support, the board approved the move and the firing of 11 of Walton County's (may I add finest) teachers. The first year, the middle schoolers had math class in a closet... So much for not filling the school.

So let's just recap the last ten or so years...First, there was the option to go to Freeport, or Seaside. Then Butler added 7th grade...Then middle Schools had two South of the Bay options; go to Seaside, or go to Bay. Then they moved Bay into SWHS. Next they moved them back to Butler, added on a wing and called it ECM Now they built a school and want to move more than middle school in it. I have heard it said before: In Walton County, it's isn't just Middle School....it is "Stuck in the Middle" school.

I hope parents of middle schoolers show up. Ask the important questions like "What are your LONG RANGE goals for middle school." I also hope that they not discourage those that don't have a dog in the fight. Without community support, you will not win.
 
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Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,816
4,066
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
Not to step on friends' toes, but some of the people posting don't have children. It's not that you don't have your own experience from when you were a kid, but there is a difference in being a kid and being a parent regarding this. I can look back on my own childhood and honestly say that I am glad we had K-5 and 6-8. It also makes a difference as to whether the school system was set up that way. Walton County wasn't and then suddenly this is thrown at parents in the last quarter of our children's 4th grade year. It is upsetting to a lot of people.

I understand that there are parents who don't see that this is a problem. That is perfectly fine because we all have different parenting styles and focus on different issues.

Personally, I do have a large problem, as I was never planning on putting my children into middle school at ECMS.

Since moving back to SoWal, I have been looking at other options, like the possibility of Seaside School or Oh Institute. One of the options we were looking at was virtual school, yet our two oldest do not qualify for the upcoming year because we didn't move back until Dec. 1st and there is a requirement to be enrolled in FL schools during Oct & Feb of the previous school year.


I love that we have several options in our little community, but they can be costly, especially if you have more than one child. Still, we have options!

Thanks for letting us hear from all of you about concerns - it truly helps give our readers a better understanding of parental concerns - parents and non-parents!

Its a learning process for the entire community - even for those who do not have children. Everyone needs to be aware of the public school issues, long range plans, etc in order to be well informed and supportive. Every public school and every private school serves and represents our community - I believe we should all educate ourselves and remain interested in the quality, delivery, safety, and overall excellence of all educational programs in our community.

ecms%20FLYER.jpg


NWF Daily News
Some Walton County fifth-graders might move to middle schools
March 18, 2011 4:40 PM
Katie Tammen
Daily News

WANT TO ATTEND?:
Walton County Superintendent of Schools Carlene Anderson will meet with parents of Freeport Elementary School students at 6 p.m. Monday in the gym at Freeport Middle School. She will meet with parents of students at Bay and Butler elementaries at 6 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium at South Walton High School

see NWFdaily news for article




 
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momof2kids

Beach Fanatic
May 17, 2007
797
115
Santa Rosa Beach
Does anyone know if this is open to the public? Although my child will not be in 5th grade in the fall, I'd love to know what will happen over the next few years to alleviate this problem. Also - does anyone know if Seaside is willing/able/talking about to take siblings that will be in 5th grade?

It's time to get to the Board meetings folks!
 

bigskybeachmom

Beach Lover
May 20, 2008
50
6
Does anyone know if this is open to the public? Although my child will not be in 5th grade in the fall, I'd love to know what will happen over the next few years to alleviate this problem. Also - does anyone know if Seaside is willing/able/talking about to take siblings that will be in 5th grade?

It's time to get to the Board meetings folks!







Yes, it is open to the public - the more the more informed!
 

Andy A

Beach Fanatic
Feb 28, 2007
4,403
1,730
Blue Mountain Beach
I don't have a dog in this fight but having raised six children, I do have an opinion.
A lot of this could have been avoided or corrected if we would do away with mandated class size, the one size fits all, created by the vote of the people. The local school board is much better suited to handle class size but the stupidity of those versed in school matters has spoken.
 
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