Madeira Beach Fundamental a 'perfect marriage'

During a scavenger hunt, principal Chris Ateek, right, snaps photos of teacher Jennifer Duncan at Sign of the Dolphin gallery on the Madeira Beach Causeway. Teachers Sara Courtney, left, and Sarah Belcher watch.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

During a scavenger hunt, principal Chris Ateek, right, snaps photos of teacher Jennifer Duncan at Sign of the Dolphin gallery on the Madeira Beach Causeway. Teachers Sara Courtney, left, and Sarah Belcher watch.

MADEIRA BEACH

It started nearly a year ago as the Pinellas school district searched for ways to make up for a projected $40 million budget shortfall.

Besides closing six elementary schools, district officials realized they could save money by merging Kennedy Middle with Coachman Fundamental in Clearwater and Madeira Beach Middle with Southside Fundamental in St. Petersburg.

The district also decided to combine Madeira Elementary and Madeira Middle into a K-8 program, prompting parents, children and teachers to wonder how things would look for the 2009-10 academic year.

They'll find out next week when school begins.

From the start, Chris Ateek, principal of the newly created Madeira Beach Fundamental, decided that his school would be a "perfect marriage."

"We're taking the best from three good schools — Madeira Beach Elementary, Madeira Beach Middle and Southside Fundamental — and making one really great school," Ateek said.

"It's all about team building."

Schools

by the numbers

50-50 Approximate ratio of former Southside Fundamental teachers to former Madeira Beach Middle School teachers.

Where students came from for grades 1-5

55 percent from Madeira Beach Elementary.

44 percent from other public schools or private schools.

Where students came from for grades 6-8

27 percent from Madeira Beach Middle.

27 percent from Southside Fundamental.

46 percent from other public schools or private schools.

Madeira Beach Fundamental a 'perfect marriage' 08/18/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 4:55pm]

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