Five schools are the first in Lubbock ISD to pilot the grade reconfiguration program. The plan reconfigures schools so that elementary schools consist of grades K through five. Sixth graders now move to middle school. And for the first time, ninth graders go to high school.
This year, the changes affect Bozeman and Parkway elementary, Alderson and Dunbar Middle Schools and Estacado High School. With two school days over, administrators say the changes are working. Principal Paul Frazier says, "You see the freshman come in and you know immediately they're freshman. They're all wide eyed."
Freshman Justin Bedford says, "It was interesting but fun at the same time, exciting but a little scary." Justin started his first day at Estacado High a little nervous, but now that he has found all his classes and met his teachers his fears are subsiding. Part of the medical magnet program, Justin is excited about what being a high schooler means for his education. He says, "At my junior high, I couldn't take some of the classes I'm taking now. I'm taking biology, which really excites me because I get to go further in my education." Principal Frazier adds, "In Justin's instance, we're preparing him to do some things that he's gonna do great in the future."
Down the street at Dunbar Middle School, the first day as a Panther may have been a little intimidating, but sixth grader Jessica Timmons handled it just fine. She says, "We have a lot more classes and stuff to do." Jessica' mom Robbie McGrew recalls, "She came back and she was really talking about classes and things she wanted to take in order to do things she wants to do later in life." Dunbar Principal Royce Avery adds, "You're giving the sixth grade and 7th grade an opportunity to transition from elementary to an environment real condusive to engaging the young adolescent."
Principals at both schools commend their older students for looking out for the incoming underclassmen. They say minus a little confusion about class locations and lunch breaks, everything went smoothly.
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