Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

TOP STORY>> PCSSD votes to separate boy, girls

Leader staff writer

When some Jacksonville-area students return to classes in August, the boys will head to the junior high campus and the girls to the middle school campus, the Pulaski County Special School District Board decided by a 6-1 vote Tuesday night.

Upon a motion by Bishop James Bolden III and a second by Carol Burgett—both of whom represent some area students—and with assurances that the plan has the blessing of the community and its success would be monitored, all but Gwen Williams approved the motion.

The board approved unanimously a recommendation by its attorney, Sam Jones, to seek release from unitary school status for most provisions of the plan 2000—the desegregation plan under which the district has operated for more than 22 years. Jones said there were three areas in which the district might not be ready to be released from the desegregation plan: assignment of students, discipline and staffing.

The board authorized Jones to continue talking with various parties and negotiating proposed stipulations that would move the district towards getting off unitary status.

Regarding the changes for Jacksonville Middle School students, Marvin W. Jeter III, assistant superintendent for learning services, said that for core curriculum, the boys and girls would be separated, but that for electives, the classes would be coeducational.

Joining the boys in a separate wing of the junior high building will be the area’s alternative education students currently housed at a cost of about $19,000 a year at the old Siam restaurant.

Jacksonville Chamber of Com-merce executive director Bonita Rownd and Pat Griggs, a Pinewood Elementary School parent, were among a small Jacksonville contingent attending the meeting.