Warren County Schools Looking at Moving Sixth Graders to Middle Schools

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) --When the Warren County Board of Education met for a work session Monday evening, they brought up an idea their superintendent says has been discussed before... moving sixth graders into middle schools.

"I think it's been a topic of consideration for a number of years, and after talking with the board last night, it looks like we may be having the best opportunity to move ahead and see if it's in the best interest of our kids and our school community," said Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton.

Clayton says most Kentucky schools have six through eighth grade alignment, and the state curriculum is designed for that setup.
"As it stands right now, the state curriculum is divided K-5, 6-8, and so it does complicate our ability to collaborate amongst our staff when you have the sixth graders in the elementary school, and not with their 7th and 8th grade counterparts," said Clayton.

Clayton says now may be the time to make the change, as the board looks at its current four year facility plan, that allows for growth in the district. That plan originally allowed for the construction of another new elementary school, but could be altered to expand middle schools instead.

"I do believe it would be more efficient to add on to existing middle schools, as opposed to building a new separate elementary school," said Clayton.

While the change is only in the early phase of discussion, Clayton says he understands some parents may have concerns about how this would effect their children.

"There's very little evidence that would suggest the sequence of grades itself has a dramatic impact on student achievement," said Clayton.

Clayton says at the earliest, the change would begin with this year's third graders. He says the school board wants to hear parents' input, and says his State of the District address will provide an opportunity for a town hall style meeting with the public. The address is scheduled for 6:30p.m. on Oct. 17 at Warren Central High School.

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