It’s the result of a district restructuring proposed earlier this year by Beeville Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Sue Thomas as a strategy to produce higher test scores.
The plan, approved by the BISD board of trustees at its meeting Tuesday, affects every school in the district.
Starting with the fall, 2013 semester, first- and second-grade students will attend classes at FMC Elementary, third- and fourth-grade students will be taught at R.A. Hall Elementary and fifth- and sixth-graders will go to school at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will report to Hampton-Moreno-Dugat Early Learning Center.
Leaderships at the schools have also changed.
The principal at HMD will be Jaime Rodriguez, former principal at A.C. Jones High School.
Rodriguez, who lives in Pettus, announced about a month ago that he wished to step down as leader of the high school because the workload didn’t allow the time he needed with his children and family.
Martina Villarreal moves from R.A. Hall Elementary to be principal at FMC; Belinda Aguirre switches from being principal at HMD to be principal at Hall Elementary; Thomas Jefferson Elementary will be directed by Principal Jean Blankenship; and DeeDee Bernal, former FMC principal, will be principal at A.C. Jones.
Under the restructuring, sixth-grade students revert to elementary school status rather than being part of the student body at Moreno Middle School.
Thomas says the plan is enjoying an 80 percent approval from both teachers and parents, who gave almost total approval of the switch of the sixth grade back to elementary school.
The superintendent chose Thomas Jefferson Elementary for fifth- and sixth-graders because it used to be a junior high school.
“It has a band room and a large auditorium,” she says. “I would like to start offering music in the fifth grade, giving the students a head start.”
To help parents get their children to school on time, Thomas plans to initiate staggered hours this fall, but with board approval for the plan only hours old, she has no specifics.
She says the restructuring will not place additional burden on the district’s transportation department, already hampered by a continued shortage of bus drivers.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.