School applauds addition of middle school



by Kimberly L. Wright
Air University Public Affairs


8/12/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The base school is not the same old elementary school anymore. With the acceptance of middle-school students, Maxwell Elementary School is now Maxwell Elementary Middle School. The formal announcement recognizing the inclusion of grades kindergarten through eight came during an assembly on the first day of school Aug. 5.

42nd Air Base Wing commander Col. Brian Killough commended the school's staff for bringing the middle school together - everything from class plans to lockers. With the school learning less than a month ago that middle school grades would be added, "it's been unbelievable what has been accomplished in such a short time," he said.

"The ability for them to bring everything together is incredible," said Killough. He also commended the parents, whose grassroots efforts and voicing of concerns helped make the school expansion possible. The parents' letters "had such a huge impact," he said.

Principal Melissa Hayes, said the addition of middle school students, brought Maxwell's enrollment to 380, an increase over the past three years.

With the enlargement of the student body, faculty has been added, including new middle school teachers and a full-time nurse.

Hayes informed parents that bus rides are divided by age into three groups. Bus one picks up children in pre-kindergarten through first grade, bus two transports children grades two through four, with grades five through eight riding on bus three. As a result, each bus goes to every stop on the route, including Gunter.

In case of inclement weather or other closure conditions, the school will follow the lead of the base, said Hayes, not Montgomery Public Schools. The school has a one-call system she'll use "only when really necessary."

Killough also encouraged the inaugural middle school students to make their mark. "You have such an incredible, unique opportunity ... to be the very first. The standard you set will be what everyone else will be measured by. ... Revel in that, enjoy that and set the mark high."

Hayes announced a school advisory board meets at noon on the second Monday of every month at the school multipurpose room. The Parent Teacher Organization will meet at 3:15 p.m. Aug. 24 in the multipurpose room.