Recommendation – Combine Coan and King Middle

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt April 2, 2014
Coan Middle School. Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

Coan Middle School. Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

Superintendent Erroll Davis is recommending that the Jackson High School cluster combine Coan and King Middle at the end of this school year.

Davis’ preliminary proposal was made available this week. Davis is on his final stretch as superintendent and will soon be replaced by the Board of Education.  The Jackson Cluster includes Kirkwood.

Under Davis’ proposal, Coan and King Middle would be combined at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Students in the new middle school would attend classes at the Coan campus for one to two years while King Middle undergoes a $10 to $20 million renovation.

“Enhanced student supports and social services (e.g., security, social workers, counselors, etc.) would be staffed at the Coan building as part of an active plan to ensure a smooth transition for all students,” the recommendation says.

If the recommendation is implemented, starting in July 2014 the middle and high school principals would hold a six-month discussion with the rest of the Jackson cluster schools “to define and design the type of rigorous, innovative programming they would want to see implemented at the new middle school.”

After that, the group would spend the next six months collaborating with the district to find a “university partner” to develop a “teaching lab school agreement.” The group would also decide what to do with the Coan site once the students move back to King.

“Several ideas have been presented for the repurposing of the site, including a professional learning center, a pre-K center and a career academy,” Davis’ recommendation says.

People are required to complete a short survey before reading the recommendation, which can be found by clicking here.

Some Toomer Elementary parents had hoped Davis would support their proposal to turn Toomer Elementary into a K-8 school, but Davis declined. “I want to pursue innovation in middle schools in the entire cluster, not just the eastern portion,” Davis told the School Board in February.

Davis will present his recommendation to the school board on April 14.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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