JPS students go back to school - - Jackson, MS

JPS students go back to school

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - On the first day back to school in the state's second largest public school district, students lined up outside schools like Peeple's Middle.

In just one month, every student attending class inside the Peeple's building will be relocated to a brand new school.

Those zoned to attend Peeple's will relocate to the brand new Peeple's Middle School building, located right behind the current building. It will replace the current aging structure..

Others will attend Cardozo Middle School, built to relieve overcrowding and accommodate South Jackson's population growth.

Both are among four new schools originally set to open the first day of school, but wet weather slowed construction. Now, the new schools are all set to open September 14th.

Until then, students are being relocated to other schools.

"It's kind of scary for her and it is for me too," said Jacqueline Nickelberry, the parent of a Cardozo 7th grader. "I know she's going into 7th grade, but I still have concerns with her starting and one school and then going to another in a month. It's like starting all over again."

Nickelberry dropped her daughter off at Peeple's Middle, where some Cardozo students had been relocated. Cardozo students were to enter the building from a separate entrance. An administrator said they would be in separate rooms from the Peeple's students until Cardozo Middle opens.

Cardozo Middle is part of the largest school construction project in JPS history. The $27.9 million, 165,000 square foot building will be shared with Bates Elementary.

In North Jackson, Kirksey Middle School is also set to open September 14th.

Meanwhile, construction has already been completed on McLeod Elementary's new wing. It's designed to relieve overcrowding and eliminate portable classrooms.

"I have been in a portable. It was a nice portable, but it's so much better to be in the building. When we had bad weather, we would always have to come in," said Bonita Courson, a 5th grade teacher at McLeod. "It's motivating me to be back at school, and I hope it's motivating the children as well."

Other construction projects include classroom additions and a new athletic field house at Forest Hill High School. Four other JPS schools will have new athletic field houses by April 2011. A new Blackburn Middle School is set to open in June of 2011.

All the construction projects are all made possible by a 2006 bond referendum.

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