Parents have say on cutting MLK 7th,8th grades proposal - WKRN News 2

Parents have say on cutting MLK 7th,8th grades proposal

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Parents at Head Middle Magnet School in Nashville will get their say Monday night about how eliminating seventh and eighth grades at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School would affect their students.

Kids from Head Middle currently can go to prestigious MLK if they qualify academically.

Last Thursday, Schools Director Dr. Jesse Register sent a letter to families who have students at Head and MLK informing them of the proposed change.

He cited overcrowding and more kids qualifying for MLK in grades 9-12 as a reason for the proposed change.

Parents of students at MLK and Head are just getting their arms around the proposal.

Most question why would the district would want to shutdown two grades in one of the most coveted and top performing schools in the Metro school system.

"I hope the school board might consider other options," said Jeannie Taylor, who has an eighth grade daughter currently at MLK.

She told News 2 the PTO organization at MLK met the day after Dr. Register's letter was sent last week with a list of options other than eliminating the two grades.

Denise Queener, who has daughter now at Head Middle thinks Metro schools "would be going back on a promise."

"I went to all the forums, looked on line and did my research where Metro touted kids at Head would going to MLK if they qualified, that's why my daughter is there," she told News 2.

She cited the concerns that Head Middle currently does not offer the same range of programs in seventh and eighth grade as MLK.

Head Middle Principal Dr. Tonja Williams says part of the proposal would be "an opportunity for us to have more advanced classes."

She said Head has had several years consecutive of increase test scores and its been a Tennessee Rewards School for two years running.

"I think change always brings a certain amount of angst," she told News Two. "Our great teaching doesn't stop in the sixth grade when some of those students move on to MLK."

They include tightening academic requirements, pathway options for schools feeding into MLK and possibly adding portable classroom.

Monday's meeting at Head Middle begins at 6 p.m. Two other meetings on the proposal are planned for Thursday at MLK and at the Martin Center on September 25. 

Both meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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