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School Board votes to move Huntington Middle School students

The Superintendents' recommendation suggested reassigning the 5th-graders zoned for Huntington to Hines and Crittenden middle schools. Current sixth and seventh-grade Huntington students would attend school together with their teachers in one wing at Heritage High School.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- The acting superintendent presented a recommendation in February to move its students from Huntington Middle School.

On Tuesday, the School Board voted 6-1 in favor of the recommendation.

Board Member Marvin Harris voted against. He wanted to delay the vote until he knew what the city's budget would be, hoping to get money towards the school.

His motion to delay was voted down 6-1.

Due to the building's deteriorating conditions, in December, the school board gave the superintendent authorization to study and analyze the future needs of Huntington Middle School. This also included looking into the need to transfer students for the 2018-2019 school year.

After asking local families for input in December and January, three major themes emerged:

  1. A desire to keep the students together if the students need to transfer from Huntington
  2. A request to keep the students close to home in the southeast community
  3. An appeal to allow the students to continue with the teachers and staff with whom they have already formed relationships

The Superintendents' recommendation suggested reassigning the 5th-graders zoned for Huntington to Hines and Crittenden middle schools. Current 6th and 7th-grade Huntington students would attend school together with their teachers in one wing at Heritage High School.

School board chairman Gary Hunter says the acting superintendent took all the feedback they got from parents and students into consideration before presenting this proposal.

"I assure you there will be two schools within one, they will be in a different wing, the principal, counselors and teachers move, so it'll be Huntington Middle School at Heritage," Hunter said.

Hines Middle and Crittenden Middle would receive about 80 additional 6th-grade students next year, and to maintain current student-teacher ratios, several Huntington 6th-grade teachers will also be transferred.

A final recommendation is expected by March 1, 2019.