Overcrowded Middle School

Monday marked one week since school started in Gadsden County, and some students at one of the middle schools have yet to get textbooks or attend other classes. School officials say they've been working around the clock to solve the problem. In fact, they were at the school board office until 4 a.m. Monday morning trying to get the schedules on point.

Lisa Guancial's son is enrolled at James A. Shanks Middle School. She says for the past week her son and his classmates have been confined to their homeroom class.

"They have been sitting there from 7:30 in the morning to 2:20 only leaving for a lunch break. They're not getting text books, they're not changing classes. The classroom has 36 students in it," says Lisa.

The principal, don white, says last year 750 students attended the middle school, this year it's close to 900. White says teachers will not be supplied with textbooks until an accurate student count is made. He also says they're doing everything they can to make a smooth transition.

"We may have some overcrowding in the classes right now, but we will take a number count this afternoon with the staff and we will adjust those out tomorrow," says White.

But that brings little comfort to Guancial.

"I am afraid that this has been a "D" school for the last four years. This past year it went to a "C" school. I think the school needs all the teaching it can possibly give these students because it shows they are struggling," Guancial says.

School officials are asking parents to be patient with them. They say they hope to have scheduling and textbooks in the hands of students by the end of the week.

The reason behind the big influx of students is there is that there are a large number of 6th and 7th graders at the school. The principal says he intends on asking human resource for additional teachers to alleviate the overcrowding.


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