Pending Lumberton consolidation to affect K-8

By BUSTER WOLFE,
Lumberton’s current two schools will become three schools after they are consolidated into the Lamar County School District July 1, pending approval by the Mississippi Department of Education.
 
Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith presented the change to the school district’s Board of Trustees during its meeting at Oak Grove Middle School.
 
“Lumberton currently has a two-school setup – an elementary school and a high school,” she said. “We are going to change it to three. Basically, what you have in a three-school concept is that there will be an elementary school, a middle school and a high school. I need to do this process so that we can get proper numbering and verification.”
 
The elementary school, which now includes grades K-8, will be split into elementary school with grades K-4 and middle school with sixth through eighth grade. The high school will remain grades 9-12.
 
Smith said accountability scores played a role in working with three schools in Lumberton.
 
“I wanted to do an attendance center concept – K12,” she said, “but it is currently mathematically impossible for a K-12 to obtain an A rating in the State of Mississippi. We completed research/comparisons using current data to determine the best outcome for all. Also, the K-5 concept has had good results in the Lamar County School District.”
 
Smith said she is working on a letter to the state Department of Education for approval of the change. 
 
“The letter is a work in progress,” she said. “By the time it is finalized, we’ll have the school codes on there and we are working on 911 addresses for each of the school sites. There are actually improper addresses now; we’ll get that corrected and then get a third address (for the middle school).”

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