The Struggling Myers Middle School May Be Nixed To Make Space For Growing JCPS Programs

Myers Middle School may be a middle school no more come August.

The struggling middle school is one of the lowest performing schools in the state and has been the focus of multiple transformation models aimed at boosting the school’s level of achievement.

Now, the Jefferson County Board of Education will have to decide whether to give Myers Middle another go—or if the building (at 3741 Pulliam Drive off Klondike Lane) should be repurposed to make room for other areas of the JCPS educational system.

“I think we have to think about what is in the best interest of the students of Myers,” Superintendent Donna Hargens said at the school board meeting Monday night.  “They deserve our best thinking and they deserve our best efforts and they deserve us all working together to figure out what we might do for the students for next year.”

JCPS officials have proposed Myers be recongfigured because student population levels are growing and  space deficits are becoming more common.

“We know we have a need for Early Childhood, we know we have a need for English as a Second Language,” Hargens said.

The district could use nearly a dozen new facilities in the coming years, but financially it would be more effective to repurpose existing buildings, according to a presentation by Michael Raisor, JCPS chief operations officer.

Myers has nearly 1,000 seats that could be used for other programs.

And as for Myers, the school board has until May 12 to come up with a plan for the persistently low achieving school, Hargens said.

School officials at Myers are currently working through the process of restructuring the school’s staff by as much as 50 percent and the principal, Jack Baldwin, will not return next year.

Hargens said the situation at Myers is enough to cause her to lose sleep at night.

“I can’t sleep and know that we haven’t tried everything we can try for these kids,” she said.

Board member David Jones, who represents JCPS District 2, which Myers is in, said the board should have no tolerance for a school that continues to show an inability to perform.

Jones questioned how JCPS officials could knowingly welcome incoming 6th graders into the school when the students could go elsewhere and find success.

“By May,” he said.  “Hopefully, we will be able to have something together.” 

Jacob Ryan

Jacob Ryan is the Urban Affairs reporter for WFPL.

@jacobhryan

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