School board approves reorganizing to grade-level based elementary schools

Published 9:02 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

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NATCHEZ — During a special call board meeting today, the Natchez-Adams School Board approved the reorganization of kindergarten through eighth-grade schools for the 2024-2025 school year.

The reorganized structure makes Susie B West Elementary a pre-kindergarten through first-grade school; Gilmer McLaurin Elementary a second- through fourth-grade school; Morgantown Elementary a fifth- and sixth-grade school; and Natchez Middle School a seventh- and eighth-grade school.

This structure addresses the challenge of finding enough certified teachers to cover the elementary classrooms throughout the district, school officials said.

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The school district as gathered feedback from parents and community stakeholders on the plan over the last month through a survey posted online.

“I presented to the board feedback gathered from our survey,” Superintendent Zandra McDonald-Green said. “There were 183 respondents with 66 percent of respondents in favor of the proposed plan. We believe that this reorganization will be beneficial for our students and teachers.  With any change, there will be challenges. But district leaders will work diligently to minimize the impact.”

One of the greatest concerns about the new structure comes from parents who would have children in multiple schools and how transporting those children two school would be impacted for them, Green said.

“The board has an expectation that district leaders will work closely with parents who may experience some challenges to support them during the transition,” Green said. “The board remains focused on ensuring equitable services for all students from having highly qualified teachers for the upcoming school year. Although the reorganization will not fill all of the vacancies, it decreases the number of teaching vacancies. The district will continue to recruit employees to fill those areas.”

Green said all interested applicants should submit an application at the district website,

Those who are qualified in critical shortage areas of English, math and science are eligible for a $5,000 signing bonus.