Possible Changes Ahead For Starkville- Oktibbeha School District

STARKVILLE, MS – (WCBI)  Changes are likely  coming to the school zones of the new Starkville Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District.  Some students and schools would be realigned in order to comply with federal guidelines on racial balance within the new district. 
  Below is a copy of the email sent to parents and staff members of the district outlining the proposed changes, the reasoning behind them, and who would be impacted. 
The United States Department of Justice has issued its report regarding the consolidation of the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, and it will be presented during a special called meeting of the SOCSD Board of Trustees on Tuesday, February 23, at 6 pm.
The Department of Justice has raised concerns about the lack of racial diversity in the student population at East Elementary School when compared to all other schools in the new District.  After evaluating several options with the Department of Justice, the District has proposed a revision to the consolidation plan that would bring all students in grades K – 5 who reside in the East Elementary School Attendance Zone into existing elementary schools of the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District when the new school year begins in August 2016. 
“The school board agrees with the Department of Justice that a racially diverse student population is beneficial and advantageous to our district and to our community,” said Eddie Myles, president of the SOCSD Board of Trustees.  
The proposed plan, which includes moving rising fifth graders to Overstreet and rising second graders to Ward Stewart, would allow the District to preserve small class sizes in the elementary grades.  Overstreet School was an elementary school in the District as recently as 2010.  The District’s alternative education program, which is currently housed at Overstreet, would move to East Elementary School as part of the transition plan.  Sudduth Elementary School would become a kindergarten and first grade school while Henderson Ward Stewart would become at second, third and fourth grade school.  The proposed plan does not include any recommended changes to the school structure or school attendance zone at West Elementary School.   
“The first year of consolidation has brought much success and opportunity to students and faculty throughout the new District, and we expect to build on that foundation in our second year,” said Myles.  “This is an exciting time for our schools and our community, and we look forward  to sharing more details and information regarding future plans for the District.”   
The following sessions are scheduled for employees, parents and stakeholders of the SOCSD:
Thursday, February 18
East Elementary Faculty & Staff @ 3:30 pm
East Elementary School Parents & Community @  5:30 pm
Monday, February 22
Sudduth Elementary School Faculty & Staff @ 3:30 pm
Sudduth Elementary School Parents & Community @ 5:30 pm
Tuesday, February 23
Henderson Elementary School Faculty & Staff @ 3:30 pm
Special Called School Board Meeting @ 6 pm
Thursday, February 25
Ward Stewart Elementary School Faculty & Staff @ 3:30 pm
Monday, February 29
Henderson Ward Stewart Parents & Community @ 5:30 pm
Thursday, March 3
Executive PTO Council @ 11:30 am
Location: Greensboro Center


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