Richmond's Binford MS to become arts school

Richmond's Binford MS to become arts school

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond City School Board on Monday voted to transform Binford Middle School into an arts school and college springboard, the most popular of four options for the school that members talked about Monday night.

Board members took up the issue of Binford's future around 7:30 p.m. Monday. They settled on a plan that would transform Binford into an arts school and "college springboard", They agreed they need to explore transportation and discuss ways to make sure current Binford students get to stay at the school.

Reactions to the decision were mixed. 

 "I feel like they should just leave our school alone." said student Jada Tucker. 

"I am very upset with the decision," said counselor  Tranelle Pollard. I am happy however that our current students won't be bothered by it."

Many say they're not ready for change. They think they can succeed without changing their school. 

Here's the new idea- throw more resources at the school- make a run-down school, with not enough students an arts school. 

Attract more students here- but promise a spot to the ones that already exist. 

The curriculum would use the arts to teach students, partnering with local arts groups like the Richmond ballet, symphony, and VCU arts department. 

School board leaders also plan to implement the college spring board program- which will use lessons that help boost preparedness for college. Susann Whittier will send her son to Binford next year- and the new idea is appealing. 

" I don't think it's going to save it," said  Susann Whittier, who will send a student to the school next year. "I just think it's going to enhance it, enabling students to learn both academically, straightforward and then creatively. And merge those two. "

The changes won't happen overnight. The board still wants to iron out their plan for tough pieces- like transportation. 
But, according to board documents, all of the changes could be in place as early as 3 years from now.

The board was quick to point out, they are going to be looking at several schools within the school system.

This is likely the first of the changes.

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