Liverpool School Board takes first step, votes in favor of grade reconfiguration

Community members attend the school board meeting Monday night / photo: Alex Dunbar

On Monday night the Liverpool School Board approved the first step in a plan that could move sixth graders into junior high school and move ninth graders out of a separate annex and into the main Liverpool High School building.

The school board made it clear that a lot of work needs to be done before the plan would move forward. First, the school district will need to see if their existing buildings can accommodate the changes and within their budget. School Board President Don Cook said the process would only move forward if it "can be done in a fiscally responsible manner."

Some School Board members said the plan would allow students to spend more time in one building and be more comfortable. Liverpool parent Maryanne Nash approved of the plan and said her sixth grader already identified better with junior high students than elementary school students.

"Right now kids going into seventh grade, they barely get situated, then they're in eighth grade. One year they're the little fish, the next year they're the big fish and they're gone," said Nash. "And they really don't become part of the community because they're not there long enough."

Some parents didn't see it that way. Steven Blanch said he moved his family to the Liverpool district in part because sixth grade was not combined with the junior high school.

"We like our sixth grader being in elementary school just because in middle school is where all the bad things really start to happen," said Blanch.

If the Liverpool School District does move ahead with the plan, it is not expected to happen before the 2013-2014 school year.