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Sixth grade is on the move as MAES shuffles classrooms

MORRIS – Morris Area Elementary School's three sections of sixth grade will be moving from the elementary school to a group of rooms on the northeast corner of Morris Area High School starting next year.

There will also be some classroom moves in both buildings to accommodate the sixth grade move and help reorganize the elementary school into pods of the same grades, MAES Principal Ken Gagner told the Morris Area School Board on Monday.

In reports to the school board, Superintendent Scott Monson and Gagner said the classroom locations were chosen because they have access to the bus drive and playground, and because it is a low traffic area once the school day begins.

The sixth grade students will still be part of the elementary school – following the same rules, participating in the same activities and using the same daily structure – but from a different space. Students will also get on the bus in the same place, and parents will continue to contact the MAES office.

Other options to address the space issue included new construction or reconstruction to turn smaller classrooms into larger rooms or reducing the number of sections taught.

Gagner said reconstruction or construction would just be a one-year solution and involve significant cost and time. The district has also committed to keeping class sizes small for younger students and in core subject areas.

Other business

• The board accepted resignation letters from Cindy Perkins, director of Community Education, Jill Beuckens, speech language pathologist, and teachers Mary Huebner and Jody Snow.

• The board approved hiring Angie Smith as a full time payroll/human resources specialist. Smith has been an accountant at West Central Environmental Consultants in Morris since 2006.

• The board accepted a bid from Alextronics for approximately $14,200 to fix the security cameras and DVR equipment in the elementary and high schools.

• The board approved a new cooperative agreement for girls' swimming that includes Benson, Chokio-Alberta and Minnewaska Area.

• The board moved spring conferences for 2013 – 2014 to Monday, April 7.

• The board approved an agreement to provide business services to the Chokio-Alberta School District for a total of $27,000 in 2013 – 2014 and $27,500 for 2014 – 2015.