WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the Wichita Falls ISD looks toward the future with the creation of the two new high schools, there is now talk of creating a sixth grade academy.
WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt presented the idea to the School Board this afternoon.
Kuhrt believes having all sixth grade students in the district at one location will give them transitional experience between elementary and secondary school and expose them to diverse classrooms, effective instruction and a variety of potential secondary course offerings.
Kuhrt also said sixth graders are having trouble transitioning to middle school from elementary school.
“Academics tends to go down and discipline referrals tend to go up. In other words, some of the social, emotional aspects of that transition from an elementary school to a middle school campus haven’t worked out well for students and academically, it hasn’t worked out well either,” Kuhrt said.
The academy would be at Kirby for the next two years and then move to Barwise Middle School by 2024. Seventh and eighth grade would be at McNiel and Barwise, then switch to Rider and Hirschi once the new high schools are built.
From here, there will be community and seventh grade teacher input before anything will be voted on by the School Board. Kuhrt hopes to make a decision on the academy by January.