870 new students enrolled in system this yearPublished 7:00pm Thursday, August 4, 2011
When classes begin at Madison City Schools Monday, Aug. 8, they will see an overall increase of 870 new students, with 600 students registered in kindergarten for the 2011-12 school year and an additional 270 students new to the community.
Last school, year 8,650 students enrolled in the local school system with 8,920 students registered for the new year. According to school officials, the increase reflects the exponential growth Madison has experienced over the past years.
Dr. Dee Fowler, superintendent, explained that as the number of students continue to increase and the amount of teachers have decreased because to changes in the state budget the district has been forced to bridge the monetary gap out of the class room.
“Due to these state budget issues, we are allocated less teachers and funding than last year for the same number of kids,” Fowler said. “We choose to be responsible for paying for the necessary teachers without funds being allocated for them by the state. We are trying to keep financial woes out of the classroom so we are adding teachers at our expense.”
Fowler said school officials are “very excited” that Madison continues to grow and certainly wouldn’t want to be in a school system that declines.
“Our biggest challenge is to keep growth positive,” he said. “Our city
fathers are helping us to continue grow and without the help and commitment of community leaders, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Based on the latest data, Madison City Schools are meeting their goal of providing quality education for students.
Bob Jones High School was recently named one of the elite schools by the Washington Post, and are continually listed on the National Elite list. The city’s middle schools and elementary schools are also laying down a strong foundation.
Parents are encouraged to be sure to take advantage of the schools’ safety programs as their children enter school this year.
Dennis James, coordinator of safety, notes that communication is important. Parents should be sure to provide current contact and emergency contact information to the school.
“Be sure to update the school administration with new phone and cell numbers,” James said.
The district recently launched a new website with a link called Notify
Me. If parents go to the Notify Me link they can sign up to receive email and text notifications such as school cancelations, district notifications, emergency situations, etc.
“Parents can rest assure that from the very first day of school that we will work with students regarding emergency plans and that we have comprehensive safety plans at all schools,” James said. “If there is an emergency we have a plan to handle it.”
James also explained that if there is an emergency situation, they would get information to parents as quickly as possible. According to
James, the most common emergency is weather related and the district does have procedures set up. “If we go under a tornado warning under the morning bus route, our buses are required to go back to the school. Text messages and emails will be sent out to parents, however, if parents here a siren or radio announcements those children who are waiting at a bus stop should return home immediately and get to safety as quickly as possible,” James said.