The Richmond Register

July 25, 2011

Opening of new school postponed

By Tim Mandell
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison County students looking forward to being the first to walk the halls of Farristown Middle School will have to wait several weeks before the new school opens.

When the first official day of school rolls around on Aug. 15, Farristown students will begin the year by attending classes at Madison Southern High School.

Farristown is not expected to open until late September, said Tommy Floyd, superintendent of Madison County Schools.

Construction has been delayed because of rain and other weather conditions, he said.

A packet detailing all necessary information was mailed Friday to parents and guardians of the school’s nearly 460 students.

Security measures are being taken to limit interaction between high school and middle school students and to provide a safe environment for all students.

“We have spent so much time planning and discussing opening Farristown at Madison Southern we feel very confident we have covered all the bases,” said Alicia Hunter, principal of Farristown. “We feel very comfortable with the plans and we are willing to speak to any parent who has concerns about those first few weeks.”

Middle school classes will last five minutes longer than high school classes. That way middle school and high school students will not be in the hallways at the same time.

Farristown teachers also will be stationed at classrooms, restrooms and in high-traffic areas.

During class time, hallways and restrooms also will be monitored.

In addition, one set of restrooms has been designated for middle school students only.

“We are comfortable that we have done a sufficient job in isolating our students from the high school students,” Hunter said. “We are prepared to handle getting our students in the routine that will minimize distractions during the school day.”

Students also will need to adjust to the meal schedule.

After receiving their breakfast in a bag, middle school students will go to their designated classroom and remain there until first period begins.

All middle school students will share the same lunch period, which will take place prior to the high school lunch hours.

Athletics will be conducted at Madison Southern, Foley Middle School or Shannon Johnson Elementary School.

Academic teams, such as STLP club, school newspaper, band, yearbook and the mock trial team, also will be available.

The Learn Well Be Well Clinic is available to students and located at Madison Southern.

The packet contains a map of Madison Southern. Areas such as middle school classrooms, the main office, gym, cafeteria, middle-school only restrooms and Hunter’s office are highlighted.

Bus areas and drop-off and pick-up points are shown on the maps.

Parents or guardians needing to visit Farristown students can do so by going to the Madison Southern office.

Farristown currently is equipped with office staff who can be reached at 387-8600. When Farristown opens, that number will continue to be the main line to the school.

Additional information is available on the district website at

Tim Mandell can be reached at tmandell@ or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.