Berwick-area district shuffling students, moving 8th graders to high school to avoid overcrowding

By Amanda Beland, Foster's Daily Democrat (MCT)
Posted Feb. 22, 2012, at 11:46 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — Maine School Administrative District 60 will look very different next year, as the district School Board voted Thursday to rearrange the school system.

The board took an official vote on Feb. 16 to immediately rectify the current and potential future overcrowding issues facing several of the district’s schools, according to MSAD 60 School Board chair Peg Wheeler.

The restructuring is expected to occur over the summer with completion in time for the fall.

The board decided to move the fourth-grade class from Vivian Hussey Elementary to the Knowlton School. The sixth-grade class from the Knowlton School will move to Noble Middle School, which will make Vivian Hussey a kindergarten through third-grade school and the Knowlton School a fourth- and fifth-grade school. The eighth-grade class will move from Noble Middle School to Noble High School, making the Middle School a sixth- and seventh-grade school and the High School an eighth- through 12th-grade facility.

The moves will shift faculty and supplies as well as students, according to Wheeler. The price of the move is still being determined, but Wheeler said it would be a minimal, one-time cost, especially taking into account the removal of several portable trailers throughout the district brought in to alleviate overcrowding.

Wheeler said the increase in the cost of busing would be minimal to nonexistent, as the only change in the bus route would be where children would be getting on and off the bus.

Wheeler said she has received good feedback on the change from faculty. Some parents were initially concerned about moving the eighth graders to Noble High School, but Wheeler said the eighth-grade students will be in their own pod,, so they “would have to go out of their way” to see and hang out with the high schoolers. Wheeler said the shift will potentially allow eighth graders to participate in more athletic opportunities and take part in more advanced academic classes.

“I’m very excited for this,” said Wheeler.

© 2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat

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http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/22/education/berwick-district-shuffling-students-moving-8th-graders-to-high-school-to-avoid-overcrowding/ printed on December 21, 2014