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Fort Smith School District approves grade reconfigurations

Grade reconfiguration is a transition to the grade models in the district. There will now be elementary, middle school and high school, but no more junior high.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Fort Smith School District is reconfiguring some of its grades as part of its vision 2023 plan. The announcement was made Monday (Jan. 11) night at the board meeting.

Grade reconfiguration is a transition to the grade models in the district. Meaning there will now be elementary, middle school and high school, but no more junior high.

Fort Smith elementary schools will house K through 5th-grade students as well as pre school. Junior high schools will now become middle schools with 6-8th grade students.

High school grades will be 9-12th and on the same campus. 

This all starts next school year (2021-2022) when 9th graders will also begin at the freshman centers on the high school campuses 

Along with students, teachers also have the opportunity to move around. Some will move up to middle school or high school.

It's an opportunity Bonneville Elementary 6th-grade teacher Bridget Borges says is great not only for the students but the teachers and will make it easier knowing they’re all in this together.

“It’s a change in opportunity for us also and to be apart of the experience so the kids know that we are having to adjust and learn as the process goes because it’s not going to be perfect the first time so I think it’ll be great for the kids to see us learning and growing and changing," Borges said.

All teachers in the district are given the opportunity to stay where they are or move schools to stay with their current grade. The first job posting will be on Jan. 18 for teachers to consider and apply.

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