North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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June 5, 2014

Corner, Bagley schools headed toward grade realignment

JefCoEd takes first steps toward fixing problems with Pinson Valley's football field

BIRMINGHAM — The first step in realigning the structure of Corner Middle and Bagley schools has been taken.

Interim Supt. Bobby Neighbors announced Thursday that the two schools would finally embark on a process that had been under consideration for more than a decade — back when he was the full-time superintendent of the Jefferson County Schools.

Under the new plan, Corner would house classes in fifth through eighth grades, while Bagley would be home to kindergarten through fourth grade.

The realignment, which was announced in a special called meeting of the Jefferson County Board of Education, would take place in the 2015-16 school year. Neighbors, who is serving as interim superintendent until the end of the month, said he would have liked to have put the plan in place this year. “But there’s too many parents who have already bought cheerleading uniforms and such,” he joked.

Currently, both schools have kindergarten through eighth grade classes.

The move was made possible by the new Corner High School, which holds grades 9 through 12.

The old Corner school was chosen for the older grades because it has facilities already in place for middle-school sports.

Neighbors had praise for Corner principal Mike Manning and his work on a transition plan. “Mike has been working on this for years, and has this transition down month by month,” the superintendent said.

The realignment is still in planning stage; it could come up for formal approval as early as the board’s next scheduled meeting on June 17.

The board also took steps toward repairing the football field at Pinson Valley High, as well as planning for a new practice field adjacent to the school.

A contract was awarded to LBYD, a civil engineering firm from Birmingham, to assess the situation with the current field and plan for the practice field.

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