By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MADEIRA - Last-minute changes by school officials mean more Madeira students than originally planned will be going to a Milford school in August.
Madeira school officials had proposed that only grades 5 and 6 transfer to Main Middle School in the nearby Milford school system during construction of Madeira's new Sellman Middle School.
Madeira is replacing two of its three school buildings - Sellman and Dumont Elementary - with new buildings scheduled to open in August 2006.
But school officials pushed an expanded plan during Monday evening's board of education meeting that also moves grade 7 to the Milford school, which is less than five miles from Sellman, beginning in August. The board approved the plan, which also calls for Dumont's fourth-graders to move to portable classrooms in August, by a 3-1 vote. Dumont had been a K-3 school.
The board's vote means that about 440 students, including about 330 Sellman students going to Milford and about 110 Dumont fourth-graders moving to portable classrooms, will start the next school year in different locations. Nearly a third of Madeira's 1,500 students will be affected.
"This was a very emotional and complex issue," Superintendent Stephen Kramer said. "This plan may not be ideal but it will be effective."
Milford schools spokeswoman Valerie Miller said the Main school is currently used by nearly 1,000 students. Milford is opening two new elementary schools in August, leaving the Main building, at 527 Lila Ave., available for Madeira students while the new Sellman Middle School is constructed.
Kramer said negotiations with Milford school officials have begun and that the school board may vote to approve a final agreement with the Clermont County school system at the board's May 17 meeting.
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