Big Changes May Be in Store for North Platte Middle Schools

Posted 2 years ago

By Scott Carlson

Superintendent Marty Bassett

Superintendent Marty Bassett

There may be major changes on the horizon at the two Middle Schools in North Platte.

North Platte Public Schools administrators are proposing that all sixth graders in the district attend Madison Middle School, while all seventh and eighth graders will attend Adams Middle School.

According to Superintendent Marty Bassett, the goal of the proposal is to improve academics at the middle school level.

Bassett says that students come to middle school from the district’s 10 elementary schools.  The consolidation of sixth-graders would allow district officials to ensure that students are getting the support they need, and will also ensure that the curriculum is aligned for all students.  He says the focus would be on the transition from sixth grade to seventh grade both socially and academically.

Administrators believe that keeping all sixth-graders together would be highly beneficial on a social level, and would allow for smaller class sizes and more student focused education.

Also, Bassett says this would allow seventh and eighth graders to be better prepared to enter high school.

School officials would like the public’s input on the proposed changes.

There will be two public meetings to allow comment.  The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 16 at Madison Middle School starting at 6:30 p.m.  The second meeting will take place on Thursday April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Adams Middle School.

The Post has discussed this issue with many parents in North Platte, and nearly all of them have expressed concern about transporting their student to school.  Administrators recognize that this will be an issue for many students and this is one of the issues that will surely be discussed at the public meetings.

Bassett says that, aside from transportation, no additional costs or staff reductions are expected with the proposed change.

The changes will, if enacted, will take place in the fall of 2014 at the earliest.


  • whyareudumb

    That’s retarded and not right dam straight ill be at the meeting!!

    Current score: 2
  • What?

    I think this is an excellent idea. It also prepares the school and students for when 5th grade is taken out of the elementary schools. Yes that is a future possibility. Many other schools in other areas have already done so. Socially and academically there is a great divide between 6th graders and 8th graders. If we do move 5th graders that divide increases. This town is not so big that getting to either of the middle schools would be too difficult to get to unless you rely on your children’s ability to walk. Since the district obviously can afford major pay increases, perhaps we could afford a school bus! Or perhaps our administrators would like to ‘give back’ a percentage of their salaries to help with the cost. The amount of money given in administrative raises would have easily covered the cost of a part time bus driver. I wouldn’t be surprised if this information was deliberately held back until after raises were issued.

    Current score: 13
  • sumting wong here

    you know they could just combine school activitys and sports co mingle
    dances and activitys,do special events where kids could get together,

    Current score: 0
  • dill

    Not a Good Idea period. I am sorry but to start preparing these kids for high school they need to be intermingled at a middle school level then moved forward. It gives them 3 years to do that. You are segregating a whole class by putting them in one school. Also there is not a good resource program at Adams for the kids who need it. they will have to employ more staff for resource. Sorry but segregating i s not a good idea.

    Current score: 4
    • please…

      What about the kids that go to Madison? Aren’t they basically segregated until high school? How awkward do you think it is for them to go to a school and see 3/4 of their class they’ve never seen? Older kids are more mean and cruel than younger, why not introduce them all at a young age where kids are more welcoming and less judging?

      Current score: 4
  • Joe Mama

    I think this is a great idea (aside from the logistics of parents getting their kids to school). Before the new Adams Middle School was built across the street from the rec center, it was located next to the old high school. When Adams was rebuilt, getting kids to school was somewhat of a concern for some people I’m sure, but people got used to it. People are creatures of habit, and have gotten comfortable with the way things are at the middle school level in North Platte, and seem to forget about what is important. Having two separate 6-8 middle schools creates a lot of segregation for the kids when they are interacting socially in North Platte. It becomes a “who’s better than who” environment. Oh? You go to Madison? Your family must live in the ghetto (what a lot of people consider the North side of town to be), and must be poor since you live on the North side. So, you go to Adams huh? You must be a preppy, snobby, rich kid. If all of North Platte’s 6th graders went to Madison, and all of North Platte’s 7th and 8th graders went to Adams, there would be no social segregation. I believe this would allow the kids to better focus on their education, and allow better interactions between the kids at the middle school level. Social interactions play a big part in the outcome of a child, and how they develop mentally in their adolescence. As freshman in high school, there wouldn’t be any issues between Adams and Madison kids (because all the kids would be coming from the same school), and the kids could focus better on their schooling.

    If transportation is an issue, lower the ballooned wages of the school systems administators and teachers, and budget in some busses to transport kids back and forth between Adams and Madison. Kids who are in the Madison district could ride a bus from Madison to Adams during 7th and 8th grade, and kids in the Adams district could ride a bus from Adams during 6th grade. Problem solved!!

    Current score: 27
  • Dude

    Sure. Separate the 6th graders from the rest. As if they don’t feel awkward and isolated already, now you wanna segregate them? What’s next? Blacks at Madison and Crackas at Adams? To prepare kids for high school and the real world, they need to be all together. Major changes need to be made at NPPS school board, not this.

    Current score: 6
    • really

      Crackas?? Really….u think ur in LA or what..has nothing to do with race but we know how u feel bout racism now…..

      Current score: 0
  • mom2four

    I am all for this idea. Our 6th graders need to be together, and uniting them starting at 6th builds a great foundation for high school. the 7th/8th graders are on a whole different level for maturity. Getting everyone on track for schooling and the academics has been long needed. North Platte isn’t all that big of a town, the extra mile it takes to get from Adams to Madison isn’t worth complaining about. There are those of us who already travel to 3 different schools and you get into a routine it all works out. now, if they would stagger the start/end times it would be even easier.

    Current score: 18
  • just wondering

    This is why my children don’t go to NPPS and I drive to Hershey daily. Their school system has been amazing. We came from the McCook school system and it was interesting to see that Hershey taught things that McCook never even considered; Hershey even holds “ACADEMIC” pep rally’s as they hold academics just as high as sports. Hershey even won the State Sportsmanship award for Basketball; these kids and the staff are amazing there. Its well worth the drive!!!

    Current score: 9
    • dumbass

      You’re a moron. Go back to McCook

      Current score: 6
      • just wondering

        Let me clarify; I don’t know anything about the NPPS system other than it appears there is a lot of DRAMA that I don’t want my kids involved in. However I do know that McCook School system is full of dishonesty; racism and backwards thinking that I do not want my children a part of now or anytime in the future. In the past year NPPS has had more than one issue that has been in the news and I hear parents complain daily about one issue or the other. Yes I think Hershey is a great school system. And if kids are getting drunk on the weekends that is going to happen everywhere and that’s the PARENTS not the school that allows such things. Children learn what they live. It’s amazing how some parents in EVERY town around here can’t make the parent teacher conferences but are at the bar every weekend (or so I’m told because I stay home and spend time with my children so they are NOT going out drinking). My wife and I make our children a priority and not a one of them has been in trouble with the law or at school. Calling me a moron shows your simple mindedness…but then again then the screen name you hide behind says it all.

        Current score: 16
        • hey

          Those lil town schools is why I dropped out of school so get over ur idea of hhershy bein a good school everyone opted out of there…u don’t know what snot nosed kids r in those towns..

          Current score: 0
          • just wondering

            At least my “snot nosed kids” will get a decent job because they can SPELL!!!!

            Current score: 0
    • please…

      Yes, Hershey is soo great, that must be why 90% of the kids that were in my grade that went to Hershey were blackout drunk every weekend.

      Current score: 3
      • just wondering

        Kids that are out drinking every weekend is due to what the parents have taught them and what they allow…this has nothing to do with any school system. And this will happen in every town

        Current score: 6
        • please…

          I believe it does have to do with the school system, and the teachers. Not saying that NPHS does a better job, but why even send our kids to school if the system doesn’t continue to teach them right from wrong when they aren’t at home. Parents can’t be with their children all day everyday to follow them around and make every decision for them.

          Current score: 0
          • just wondering

            You’re right in some aspects that we can’t be with our kids all day long but we have to set the example. We send them to school for the education not the babysitting; and yes there are some instances were the school systems don’t work which is what my wife and I found in McCook so we found a system that did work. We don’t send our kids to school and let the school deal with them; we work with the school on a continued basis to make sure things are going well for our kids; by attending parent teacher conferences; sporting events; school programs; and any other thing the kids are involved in to show support for the school, the system and the importance of education and them. However what we teach them at home is what matters. If they don’t learn respect at home they don’t know how to respect their teachers at school. If they learn it’s okay to drink alcohol at home they won’t care at school. If they see their parents reading; spending time learning and encouraging them to learn they see the importance at school. It is not the school systems “Responsibility” to teach my children right from wrong; it is my wife and I’s however it is an Educator’s responsibility to teach my children, with educational tools and by example. And the best parents teach their children when they are small and give them the opportunity to make decisions for themselves because we can’t make the decisions for them; ever really. But we can be there for support and teaching so they grow up making responsible decisions. And honestly this arguing about what school system is better makes us sound no better than the 6th graders comparing themselves because of what school they go to as better or worse. My apologies if I made it sound that Hershey was better than North Platte; my only intention was that while I do think they are all better than McCook (this if from experience) there seems a lot of drama in North Platte I don’t want my children involved in. And in Hershey they aren’t compared on where they live and what side of the tracks they live on. On as for it being smaller classes and wanting to fit in; that will happen but my prayer is that my children will be the example and others will want to fit in with them. Life isn’t all about partying and drinking.

            Current score: 4
      • *smiley*

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. Hershey never had a drug problem until the north platte rejects had to come there after getting kicked out of North Platte. Also I’m marrying a k-12 north platte student who parties a hundred times harder than I ever have. You have no clue what you are talking about. There’s good n bad kids everywhere. Its not about where you are from. I sure hope you never have children n teach them to be as shallow minded as you.

        Current score: 2
        • please…

          I’m not being shallow minded, just stating the truth. And this was many years ago before “rejects” starting going there. In fact there was only one girl who left our grade and went to Hershey and she wasn’t a drinker before she went so you can’t blame NPHS kids for that year. And blaming kids from NPHS is being a bit shallow minded in itself. Hershey is a small town with few kids in a grade. People want to fit in, so they are going to want to do what everyone else is doing. At least at NPHS there are plenty of different kids to hang out with so the kids don’t have to do something they don’t want to so they can fit in. And stating that your finance parties as in present tense really makes me wonder how they choose teachers, and perhaps he/she should think it’s about time to grow up.

          Current score: 1
        • hey

          Hershy always had drugs and booze!!!!! Not Cuz of NP kids either

          Current score: 0
  • dill

    joemama you have a point about the whos better than who issue. The problem with that starts at home not at school. When parents think they are better and say things like were are better than jim shmoe then the students believe it and carry it to school with them.

    Current score: 5
  • my concern

    I understand all of the reason why you should do it and I don’t disagree. However, some of us do rely on our children walking to and from school. SO, transportation for us is a HUGE issue. I live within walking distance to Adams which means that I would now have to figure out a way to provide transportation for my child to attend Madison. When you have more than one child attending more than one school and still have to be at work by 7:15, and now there is no morning Kids Club at the elementary schools, it poses a bit of a problem.

    Aside from that, if the district can present a reasonable solution to the transportation issue, I have no issues with the move. I went to school in a district where junior high was 7-9, 6th grade was still in the elementary school. I agree that maturity wise there is a huge gap between 10-11 years olds and 13-14 years olds.

    Current score: 3
    • madison mama

      I’m right there with you, only Madison is within walking distance of our home. But I am thinking I will have the same mess when I have a freshman at the highschool. Initially I am thinking this is not a bad idea :)

      Current score: 2
    • What?

      I, too, went to school where junior high was 7th – 9th and elementary was thru 6th with a big graduation ceremony at 6th and 9th grade. There are many school districts who are ranked much higher than NP that have gone to Primary Schools (Pre K- 3rd) then elementary (4th-6th) , middle school (7th-9th) and then high school (10th – 9th). There is also a push towards level teaching instead of grades. This prevents students being ‘held back’. As infants and toddlers there can be as much as a 6 month variance in a child’s development yet we expect them to all be on the same level by age 4 or 5 and continue as such through school. Children who don’t are considered ‘slow learners’ when in actuality they may well be on track with their own personal development. However, once they fall behind the acceptable bench marks based upon a calculated ‘average’ they continue to fall behind. This is due to a lack of understanding and addressing the specific physical and social development of the individual. Remember, learning involves brain development and not all brains develop in the same manner and at the same rate, just like the rest of the body. So what does this have to do with the topic? Well, putting all 6th graders together is one step in the right direction, but this school district needs to start addressing the needs of the students as individuals, stop teaching to the tests and work towards the healthy development of the Whole Child. When it comes to hiring new teachers, hiring those that can start at the bottom of the pay scale is more of a priority than skills and competency. The arts and sciences have become all but non-existent in the lower grades. This is a shame because those are disciplines that help to develop higher level, critical thinking skills.

      Current score: 2
  • mom of boys

    This is ridiculous! As a single mother of more than one child, what would be the point of having 2 of them at the middle school level if I have to drive all over town to take them to school? Who is going to help pay for the extra gas? Really??? Whoever thought of this..please let us know when you get back from fantasy land because I will be waiting here in reality.

    Current score: 6
    • please…

      If transportation is your only issue then why not find someone to carpool with? I carpooled with a friend all the way from 2nd grade until graduation. What about the parents who already drive all over town taking one child to an elementary school and another to a middle school? You don’t hear them complaining…

      Current score: 8
  • wow

    That’s ridiculous to propose that. GREAT idea! My child will be a 6th grader in two years and I think this is a really good idea. and, those of you that are screaming ‘SEGREGATION”, this actually DESEGREGATES because it puts all children of the same age together — which means all economic levels together.

    Current score: 8
  • YES

    This is STUPID. Not a good idea at all. Leave it the way it is please.

    Current score: 2
  • dumbass

    That is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve heard yet. There going to be a packed house with this meeting. If I wanted my kids to go to Madison I would have bought a trailer over there

    Current score: 4
    • please…

      Seriously? Not everyone that goes to Madison lives in a trailer, and who cares if they do, perhaps it’s for reasons that cannot be helped. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a nice huge house in they best part of town.

      Current score: 4
    • Uhmwhat?

      dumbass your attitude would be one of the reasons I would 100 % back this idea! I grew up in North Platte, went to Adams and do remember the attitude towards the kids that went to Madison. It was very difficult to then put these two groups together and expect them to buddy up at the 10th grade level! Having them get to know each other at the 6th grade level, and them never knowing the seperation at the Jr High level can only be of benefit to the children! Help them have a stronger bond as friends and classmates. Think of the children growing up in North Platte instead of only thinking of what side of the tracks they grew up on.

      Current score: 14
    • phatt T

      dumbass I think your stereo type for the North Side is forgetting a few things. Theres alot of shantys and HUD housing to !! And ALOT of riff raff.

      Current score: 4
  • No Thanks

    I don’t mind the idea of what the school board is thinking on seperating our age groups. I always thought that 6th graders going to middle school was a bad idea. However, our school system does not provide busing and the location of the schools would make transportation difficult for many of us. We live South of NP and this change would mean that in a couple years from now I would have one child going to Lake School, one to Madison, and one to the High School. Getting them all to school and myself to to work on time will be bad enough, but what about picking them up afterwards? No thanks, just mark me up as a non-supporter.

    Current score: 2
  • Jane

    Hey there Dumbass! I live on the north side of town and don’t live in a trailer but who cares if people do! It doesn’t make them any different! Are you saying that you are better because you live on the south side of town in your big mansion that probably us tax payers are paying for? You probably get everything handed to you and can’t accept the fact that your child may have to attend school with a child whose family works for everything they have. It doesn’t matter where a person lives so get off of it. I guess if this passes, then we will all have to do what we can.

    Current score: 9
  • fuquen.siders

    To keep the age groups seperated is one of the most ridiculous things Ive heard in a long time and you people that are eating that up are absolutely stupid !!! Whats the ages of 6th-8th grade ??? Just a few years difference ?? I aint buying that crap ! If this super thinks it will help boost piss poor acedemic scores hes in for a rude suprise. North Plattes schools are some of the lowest scores in Nebraska. Combining grades wont fix that problem !!There has to be an alterer motive we are not seeing yet. Im sure it wont make economic or educational sense whatever spews for the school board !!

    Current score: 3
  • singlemom

    They tried this in Ogallala with the kindergartners and it was an epic fail!!!!! They didnt get introduced into the population then went into shock when they went into 1st. I do NOT want my child to go to Madison. Its not just the school but what happens outside AFTER school! I do NOT live on the north side and DO NOT have the time nor the gas to be running back and forth across the viaduct (7 miles from my house) to get a child. I will be at the meeting… The middle schools have been seperated for how many years and there arent any issues… so now instead of leaving stuff alone we have to comform to a bunch of idiots in an office that are WAY over paid!!! And to the ones talking about hershey who gives a rats &&& we arent talking about hershey and if your kids dont go to NPPS then this has nothing to do with you and your opinion really doesnt matter anyway!

    Current score: 1
    • They have Cozad schools set up the same way, Kindergarteners go to one building with 1-5 in a seperate building. I agree it’s a shock to them the next year when there’s 5x the kids around them. Bad juju. Also, for all the people talking crap on the North side of town, let me tell you, the South side has its fair share of shizzacks. That said, I think this idea is stupid. Go to school K-5, only 6th, then 7-8th and 9-12th? Yeah, that makes perfect sense….not. smh

      Current score: 0
  • dill

    maybe if they would redistrict the elementary schools to half and half (5 and 5) then it would help with some of the issues that people have about each school. But separating a whole class is just wrong.I dont care how far I have to drive or the fact that I have 2 kids at different schools. It is just wrong to seclude a class by itself no matter how hard you try you are going to have animosity between students any time you join schools together. It will just be pushed together at an earlier age by shoving around 400 6th graders together who are already a socially awkward. The academic issue has nothing to do with this at all. Parents need to be involved with their children and make them accountable for their homework and actions.

    Current score: 1
  • ok?

    son My idea go back to keeping 6th grade in elementary. If all this came about because of sports then make changes there. I am sorry but I won’t go track down a bus when we live 2 blocks from Adams just so my son can go to madison. Also being a single father I may not always make it to where buses drop kids off then what am I to do? STUPID IDEA!!!

    Current score: 2
  • hmmm

    I think everyone is dodging the true reason is due to low test scores and not about the kids what so ever…. Look into it before you step on your soapboxes.

    Current score: 1