Superintendent Weighs in on Separate GINW Middle School


A Grand Island school district has once again entered into talks about creating a separate middle school after the idea to split led to a failed bond six years ago.

Grand Island Northwest's Superintendent Matt Fisher said the problem hasn't gone away just because the board hasn't been talking about it.

The school board is now hearing about those ideas discussed by the curriculum committee recently at Monday night's meeting.

Fisher said last time this talk took place Northwest had just joined with area schools to make a district. Now, he believes, that district is more cohesive and ready to again discuss the idea.

Currently the district has two levels of schools -- the high school and schools that run from kindergarten through eighth grade.

The superintendent said that without a separate middle school, some schools aren't able to offer extra classes like art, industrial tech, home economics or agriculture. However, he said there are some drawbacks to having a middle school despite the benefits it could bring.

"When you're talking four or five students like we have in some of our schools, it's pretty hard to put a band together or to put a vocal music program together and really have meaningful performances," said Fisher. "The very small setting that we have in some of our K-8s right now provide a lot of opportunity for one to one contact between student and teacher and obviously there's a benefit to that."

In the end, he believes the pros of a new middle school outweigh the cons.

This idea is just in the preliminary stages. After Monday night's meeting the discussion will likely go to the facilities committee where they'll discuss the cost of a new building versus converting an existing K-8 school into that new middle school.