No More Junior Highs in 2013
COLUMBIA- Columbia Public Schools will no longer have Junior High Schools in August of 2013.
The Board of Education met tonight to discuss the secondary transition plan.
It aims to eliminate Junior High Schools in Columbia and plans to add a new one in 2013.
"We'll go back to a more traditional setting which is great," said Superintendent Chris Belcher.
Currently, 6th and 7th graders attend middle schools and 8th and 9th graders go to junior high. Tenth through 12th graders make up high schools.
With the new plan underway, middle schools will be made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in August of 2013.
Superintendent Chris Belcher says the community has wanted this change all along.
"That's important to us for a variety of reasons, but mainly because the community really requested that through writing, surveys and so forth," said Belcher.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Wanda Brown said the additional high school will allow secondary schools populations decrease from about 900 students to 750.
"We're reducing the transition and we're creating a smaller learning environment, so that's very exciting," said Dr. Wanda Brown.
The new high school will open in August of 2013.
Currently Hickman High School's population is around 2100, and Rock Bridge's population is about 1800. When the new high school opens, the population of each of the three high schools will be between 1750 and 1800.
"We'll have 35% more opportunity for kids to participate in music, in band, and in football, and in all the theatre, all the things that come with a comprehensive high school," said Belcher.
Belcher says the board of education has already set aside money to cover the starting cost of the new school.