Midway Transition Plan
Midway closing to send children to Pepperell Primary
Posted on 12/12/2014
Bus photo
When the decision was made to close Midway Primary due to the planned construction of the Rome bypass and widening of Highway 101 near the school, the first and most important issue to address was where the children from the Midway attendance area would attend school.  After much work with parents and Local School Governance Teams in the Pepperell community, the decision has been made to have all students in the Midway attendance area go to school at Pepperell Primary School beginning next fall.  "After listening to the concerns of the parents and staff of Midway, this move was the right one for the children and families of the Pepperell area," stated Dr. Jeff McDaniel, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. "Midway has a storied history in our school system and we will celebrate its place in the annals of Floyd County Schools this spring as we also begin to transition to the future destination to graduation for every child in the Midway community."

School system personnel have held community meetings with parents and discussions with Local School Governance Teams for both schools over the last few months.  In the parent meetings there were five major themes that were voiced as concerns or issues that needed to be addressed in the relocation of the students from Midway after the school's closing.  The issues included:
  • The distance children would travel on a bus, especially those living near the Bartow or Polk County lines
  • Splitting children to different schools accustomed to going to school together
  • Splitting the staff at Midway to different schools
  • Selecting a school in close proximity to other Pepperell schools for those with children in multiple schools
  • Children remaining "Dragons"
Midway children attending Pepperell Primary next year will address each of those concerns expressed by Midway parents. 

The Pepperell Primary Local School Governance Team expressed a welcoming spirit when the possibility of Midway children coming to their school was discussed. "These children and the teachers at Midway are already our friends and neighbors as we live close to them, go to church with them and see them in the community," commented Carmen Jones, principal at Pepperell Primary School. "We will welcome them with open arms as the teachers and children join with us to be little Dragons at Pepperell Primary."  Pepperell Primary's student population will climb to approximately 600 students with the addition of the Midway children.  The school lost third-grade last year as that grade level was moved to Pepperell Elementary School so space is available to house the additional students from Midway.  The Pepperell campus has been home to as many as 800 students when the school educated children through fifth-grade.  A new drive is currently under construction at Pepperell Primary that will help handle additional traffic.

The Midway PTO and community have provided many excellent resources for the children at the school.  The Midway PTO and community were especially interested in playground equiprment purchased in recent years following the children to Pepperell Primary.  "Where it is possible, resource items such as the playground equipment and technology will follow the children to Pepperell Primary," commented Dr. McDaniel. Additional teachers and school support staff will also be needed at Pepperell Primary so teachers and staff will also follow the children. "There will be opportunities for Midway teachers who may want to move to a school closer to their home during the transition but most teachers will be at Pepperell Primary next year," added McDaniel. 
There will be opportunities for Midway children and parents to visit Pepperell Primary  in the spring before the end of this school year.  Carmen Jones, principal of Pepperell Primary, and Scott Savage, principal of Midway, will work together to identify a day children will take a trip to PPS and tour the school.  There will also be an evening when parents and children will be invited to visit Pepperell Primary before the end of the school year.  The administrators will also work to have opportunities for the two staffs to meet together before the end of the year.  Details on the dates for these events will be announced by the schools in the coming weeks.  

Flyer with transition plan details.