MISD Expands With High School Five

MISD+Expands+With+High+School+Five

Amanda Granato, Staff Writer

Mansfield ISD will open a fifth high school for the 2012-2013 school year. As the student population continues to grow and overcrowding becomes an issue in both the Mansfield and Timberview High Schools, Superintendent Bob Morrison believes the addition of a fifth high school will provide students with more chances at success.

“Every time you add a high school you provide students with additional leadership, athletic, or fine arts opportunities,” Dr. Morrison said.

In 2006, as the district was growing 8 percent annually, MISD projected the need for the fifth campus. Following the economic crash in 2008, during which growth slowed to 3 percent, the plan to build the school went on a year’s hiatus to allow for additional growth. Principal David Wright believes the school will help distribute students more evenly across the campuses.

“Legacy and Summit are not crowded yet,” Mr. Wright said, “however, Mansfield and Timberview are getting to the point where there are too many students.”

Construction on high school five will total $60 million, $23 million below the original projected cost. As the high schools transition to the eight-period hybrid schedule in the coming years, the district will save four million dollars as they open the fifth high school. However, sophomore Zach McCartney thinks the current financial situation will make staffing the school difficult.

“With all the teacher cuts in the state, I can’t believe that we have the resources to support another set of staff,” McCartney said.

According to Mr. Wright, the district will exhaust all possible open positions within MISD before hiring any outside staff. The eight period schedule implemented at the middle schools next year and at the high schools in 2012, which requires fewer teachers than the block schedule, opens up MISD teachers for positions in the new high school. Also, whatever percentage of the other four high school’s student populations displaced by the new school will also be the same percentage of teachers that will move with their students. Chemistry teacher Celeste Mullis doesn’t think transferring teachers between schools will cause an issue.

“The teachers moving are not usually as controversial as the students moving because there are usually enough teachers who move on a volunteer basis,” Mrs. Mullis said. “Some people want to be a department chair, so they can go over and have a better chance at being the department chair, which is the same way students look at it. If they’ve always wanted to be the valedictorian, they can move and have a better chance at being the valedictorian.”

With the district predicted to grow to over 40,000 students in the next eight years, Dr. Morrison believes the addition of fifth high school will provide students a wider ranger of opportunities.

“The football team will need a new starting quarterback,” Dr. Morrison said. “The band will have a new drum major. Multiply that throughout all programs, and you have given students, who would not have had that opportunity, a chance to grow.”

Zach McCartney, a band member, also sees the benefits of the new school to students.

“I think it’s nice that some students will have more opportunities to be in leadership positions,” McCartney said. “There are always the prodigies that you feel you have no chance of beating, but [the new school] will give kids who didn’t have a chance an extra edge.”

 

 

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