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Linthacum: Plans underway for two high schools

Linthacum: Plans underway for two high schools

October 7th, 2017 by Phillip Sitter in Local News

Larry Linthacum hosted Coffee with Larry in the lobby of Miller Performing Arts Center. He talked about diversity in the district, progress of the new high school and new boundary lines that will be drawn.

Photo by Julie Smith /Fulton Sun.

Jefferson City Public Schools shared more details of its two high school projects Friday — which was also Superintendent Larry Linthacum's 50th birthday.

The district's Chief of Learning Brian Shindorf began the monthly community outreach and coffee meeting at Miller Performing Arts Center while Linthacum was delayed with a pre-arranged surprise visit at home from family and a cookie cake awaiting him at the meeting.

Shindorf said 1,200 suggestions had been submitted by the close of collection Wednesday for the name of the second high school to be built on Mission Drive — although that total doesn't account for duplicate suggestions received. A committee of 21 people will review the submissions, which included a rationale for each suggested name provided.

The committee will narrow the suggestions to present to the Board of Education, which will then present a list to the community to vote on, Shindorf said.

JCPS Director of School-Community Relations Amy Berendzen said the committee includes three students from Thomas Jefferson Middle School, one from each of three middle school grades. Thomas Jefferson was selected because its students will be the ones to attend the second high school, she said.

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"We don't anticipate coming out publicly with the name until January," Shindorf said.

Berendzen added the second phase of crafting the second high school's identity — its mascot and school colors — will begin in the fall.

Shindorf said another set of preparations underway is focused on curriculum: "What does this look like when we no longer have a ninth-grade center (and) we now have two 9-12 high schools, because your articulation, your sequences and your courses can change now; we have a lot more opportunity."

The Architects Alliance's Cary Gampher said his team hopes to finish the schematic design phase of the new high school by next week. "Schematic design is the floor plan layouts, exterior views, relationships between and most importantly scheduling and budget," he explained.

He said Nabholz Construction has already held a summit at the district's Dix Road Education Center to solicit local contractors to learn about the high school projects.

"We had a very good turnout there, where they explained their process, and there will be more of those meetings at the Dix Road facility to present the project from a construction manager standpoint to the various trades and suppliers here in town," he said.

"We hope by this spring — at the latest, spring/summer — to have finalized at the start of the school year next year, 'Here's our boundary lines,' so folks would have a year out before school starts (notice) of what the boundary lines would be," Linthacum said in regards to the upcoming re-drawing of elementary attendance boundary lines.

Linthacum also shared JCPS has started a faculty council with a representative from each of the district's 18 buildings. He said the effort has been well-received, and the council will meet on the first Wednesday of each month so faculty can share with each other what's going on at their buildings.

The next community outreach and coffee meeting is scheduled for 7 a.m. Nov. 3.