The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 2, 2014

Sixth-graders get ready for big move

GOOSE LAKE — By the start of the new school year, Northeast Middle/High School will be ready to welcome the sixth-grade class, which formerly was housed in the elementary school.

Middle/High School Principal Alicia Christiansen is excited to welcome the grade into her building. School staff are already working to prepare class rooms for the new grade within the existing middle school wing. During the past two weeks, building custodians have been painting classrooms, including the three that will become sixth-grade classrooms.

Last summer, the Northeast Board of Education approved a proposal to move sixth grade from the elementary school to the middle/high school building. At that time, Elementary School Principal Diane Schumacher projected that enrollment and class sizes would require her to need 22 classrooms when she only had 21.

She explained that her building was built to hold kindergarten to sixth grade and the addition of preschool classes had put a strain on space. This year, an elementary school speech pathologist was put in a closet and special-education rooms were located in small places.

“Getting people back into classrooms that are more appropriate for their needs will be a plus,” Schumacher said.

Both Schumacher and Christiansen felt this move would have benefits to the students as well as both schools. With the ongoing construction of a new addition to the building, it was believed the middle/high school would be better equipped to house the students.

“Space right now is a little tight, as the new facility is delayed, but we are being flexible and we will be able to house everyone,” Christiansen said. “The sixth-grade classrooms have been painted and additional furniture added to support the academic needs of the students.”

Christiansen hopes having students from sixth to eighth grade in the same building should allow the district to implement Common Core and a systemic multi-tiered support system. Teachers will be given time to “provide rich instruction and interventions aligned to the Common Core Standards.”

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