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“Bright and shining days in the life of Suwannee County students”

Suwannee County Schools to reconfigure

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Suwannee County Schools

LIVE OAK — Members of the Suwannee County School Board used words like "monumental" and "landmark decision" to describe new changes coming to three county schools. 

During a meeting Tuesday night, the board voted 4-0 in favor of changing three Live Oak elementary schools into Pre-K to fifth grade schools of choice starting with the 2020-21 school year. 

Suwannee Primary, Suwannee Elementary and Suwannee Intermediate will be reconfigured. Currently SPS is Pre-K through first grade, SES is second and third grade and SIS is fourth and fifth grade. 

“This is truly one of the bright and shining days in the life of Suwannee County students,” said board member Jerry Taylor. “When you talk about choice, we are choice. That speaks volumes as to where we’re headed.” 

Students will not be assigned to one of the three schools by zones, instead families will get to decide between the schools. According to district administration, the district will work to keep the attendance numbers of the three schools even while hopefully granting families their first or second choice.

Several staff members from SPS, SES and SIS were on hand for the meeting. They stood up and cheered after the vote was made.

“From the response that I heard after the vote, evidently staff principals and assistant principals are really in favor of this new school choice,” said board member Catherine Cason.

In a press release, Superintendent of Schools Ted Roush said he and his team will be working throughout the 2019-20 school year to bring plans before the School Board related to enrollment policies, school themes, special curriculum offerings, and school names, among other topics. Board members will receive monthly updates on the progress at future Board workshops.   

Public information sessions will soon be scheduled, according to the release.

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Mike Jones is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press in North Florida.

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