Charleston community favors keeping middle school students at local elementary

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CHARLESTON –– The Charleston community gathered for a forum on Monday to discuss the potential of sending 7th and 8th-grade students to the North Country Union Junior High School (NCUJHS). The meeting, led by NCSU Superintendent Elaine Collins, aimed to gather input from parents and community members.

During the forum, Debbie Brunelle, NCSU Staff Accountant, presented a fact sheet outlining the estimated tax rates for various scenarios, including joining the NCUJHS union or tuitioning the middle school students to the junior high. The cost to tuition the 26 students to NCUJHS would be approximately $430,000.

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Community members raised questions about alternative options, such as allowing students to attend specific classes at the junior high or implementing a school choice program. Superintendent Collins acknowledged the need for well-defined policies and procedures to support such arrangements.

Attendees discussed the benefits of keeping middle school students at Charleston Elementary School (CES), citing the strong sense of community, personalized attention, and close collaboration among teachers. However, they also recognized the advantages of the junior high, which offers a wider variety of classes and extracurricular activities.

Suggestions were made to improve the transition process for students moving on to high school, such as visiting the school during special events and connecting with the career center.

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When asked to vote, the majority of those present favored keeping middle school students at CES. Superintendent Collins pledged to reflect on the community’s input and explore ways to enhance opportunities for students while ensuring a smooth transition to high school.

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