MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Most parents traditionally expect learning to take place in a classroom, and not a closet.
However, overcrowding in Madison City Schools has schools utilizing every possible inch of space. This means some tutoring is happening in storage areas.
West Madison Elementary School has at least three closets/storage rooms where tutors actively meet with students to give extra help.
Principal Dr. Daphne Jah said available rooms have been maxed out for several years.
“I joke around and say that we’re going to have to have to have kids on the roof next year because we don’t have any available space," she said.
Jah said students are still able to learn despite the tight quarters. The district reports the school is at 97% capacity.
Madison’s passage of a property tax referendum will create a new West Madison Elementary School, but it isn’t scheduled to be completed until August 2021.
Until the new building is made available, Jah said her administration will have to get “innovative” to address the population.
Similar overcrowding issues can be found at Mill Creek Elementary school. The district said the school was forced to wall off its auxiliary gym into two classrooms, and its teachers are forced to utilize hallway space as a lounge.
Principal Carmen Buchanan said the tax vote is a relief, but struggles will continue in the short term.
“We roll up our sleeves and do what needs to be done. We are very, very, very grateful that the tax did pass. That we will see relief in sight. That’s been our fear, is that each year we’ve had to continue to take spaces and not seeing an end in sight,” she said.
You can read more about the district’s plans for new schools here.