It's been a hotly debated issue in Quincy for years-- should freshman still be housed at the Junior High?
And now, newly elected school board president Stephanie Erwin is unveiling an ambitious new agenda exclusively to WGEM that would not only fast track the freshman move, but also change the look of the entire school district.
Right now 9th graders are housed on the top floor of Quincy Junior High, but Erwin tells WGEM the Quincy Public School Board is in talks to move them out of this building completely and over to the high school-- and it's a decision she says needs to be made fast.
In just a few weeks Deja Gay and Wynter McKenzie will be freshman. Normally, that means graduating on to high school.
But in the Quincy Public school system, freshmen are still at the junior high.
However, new school board president Stephanie Erwin is looking to change that.
"That's just I feel like a big age difference and parents worry, that's putting a lot of people and a lot of kids in one building and that just may not mix well," said Erwin.
Erwin says in the current setup-- Quincy students change buildings every three years, and she wants to bring a little more stability. She says there are a few options on the table that could change that.
One possibility--- the school board could once again look at neighborhood schools.
Meaning students from kindergarten through sixth grade will go to their closest elementary school.
7th and 8th graders would be at the Junior High.
And freshman would move to the High school.
Erwin says an addition would have to be built on to the back of the high school to make room for more students.
But she says the district shouldn't stop there.
With bonds coming up, and infrastructure changes on the way due to implementation of Common Core, Erwin says now is the time to make the move.
"What an accomplishment it would be to say in 2-5 years we have all new buildings for elementary, we've reconfigured everything and it looks totally different than it does now. That is our goal, we just want the community to see that we are going to act and talk the talk," said Erwin.
And it's a talk Gay and McKenzie understand.
"We should be with our age group and not with the little kids the 12,13,14 years olds because we're 15 and 16," said McKenzie.
"Since we're considered as freshman and we're considered as high school students, we should be with the older kids because that's what we are," said Gay.
Erwin says while nothing is set in stone yet, and there are plenty of different scenarios that could remedy the issue-- she would like to see this project well under way in the next two years.
The public is welcome to come to the district's next building meeting on the 20th at 7:45 a.m. to give input on what they think should be done with the districts school buildings.
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