In a vote five to two the Fayetteville School Board decided to reconfigure grades. This means instead of an 8th and 9th grade Junior High, it will include 7th and 8th grade. Middle school would include fifth and sixth grade.
The reason for this change is because of the new high school which will open in 2015.
“Our new high school campus will be completed and we are pulling 9th grade out of the junior highs to configure a true 9-12 campus,” says Patty Plummer, District Special Projects.
School officials say the realigning of grades will help prevent overcrowding.
”So that the families that are zoned to a particular elementary school can go to that elementary instead of having to have to be overflowing to other schools,” explains Plummer.
But some parents say they wanted the five through eight configuration, meaning less transition for students.
“Even though you've got a great plan for the high school if you don't have a good plan for the middle grades you're going to lose them too , so I don't think we can sacrifice everything downstream in the district just because of what we are doing with the high school,” says parent Stacy Robinson.
But this doesn't mean a big changes for athletics, just yet.
“Ninth grade will still be Junior High even though they are on the high school campus; they will still be participating in junior high athletics. Currently the Arkansas Activities Association is specifically saying that 9th graders can't move up and play on the 7a level which is Fayetteville,” explains Asst. Athletic Director, Vic Rummer.
The board will vote on which school to send students at a later date.