Central Kitsap ninth-grade move ‘ready to go’

There were no supreme challenges that kept the Central Kitsap School Board from holding back on its decision to move ninth graders up to the high schools by the 2014-2015 school year.

During a Wednesday night board meeting, Franklin MacKenzie, director of secondary education, presented his findings to the board that there would not be any “overwhelming barriers” for the district to make the move happen.

“We have not found any overwhelming barriers, thankfully,” he said.

While the vote was made by the board in September, the group decided it wanted to wait until early this year to make sure that the logistics would work out. The board reconfirmed its support with a 5 to 0 vote.

“Thank you all,” said Superintendent Hazel Bauman. “I’m pleased to report we’re ready to go.”

The students enrolled at Central Kitsap, Ridgetop and Fairview junior high schools will move to Olympic or Central Kitsap high schools by this fall. Ninth graders will remain at Klahowya Secondary School.

The move is one year ahead of the original plan and materials will be moved after July 4.

District administrators began discussions with teachers Dec.11 regarding the moves. Final teaching locations are to be determined in the upcoming months, MacKenzie said.

CKHS will need additional work on science labs and portable classroom space. Olympic High School will need some modifications to get the school ready for the new ninth graders. Spaces such as gyms, lockers and the cafeterias all appear to have sufficient space to support the move.

Orientation dates will be set shortly for freshman and sophomores.

Next up, the board will be looking at the junior high schools left with just 7th- and 8th- grade students. Some portions of the schools could be shut down to save on electricity and cleaning, MacKenzie said.

Reconfigurations will start soon, and it won’t be a quick move, the superintendent said. If there are changes to the K-6 program, it won’t go into effect until the 2015-2016 school year.

“It won’t be as easy,” Bauman said of the possibility of moving sixth graders. “There’s more debate.”


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