Jeffco Schools

Jeffco's sixth grade shift for a better fit

Shanna Fortier
Posted 11/7/17

One of the benefits of the sixth-grade shift to middle school is better utilization of building space, Jeffco Public Schools officials say.

Tim Reed, executive director of Jeffco facilities, said …

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Jeffco Schools

Jeffco's sixth grade shift for a better fit

Posted

One of the benefits of the sixth-grade shift to middle school is better utilization of building space, Jeffco Public Schools officials say.

Tim Reed, executive director of Jeffco facilities, said middle school buildings in Jeffco that were designed to hold three grade levels are in general under capacity. The Facilities Master Plan determined middle schools have 5,422 available seats. In contrast, many elementary schools are over capacity.

Transitioning sixth-grade students to middle schools will create balance and allow the removal of 147 temporary classrooms from elementary sites, Reed said.

But some schools will need to continue with the seventh- and eighth-grade model for at least one more year. Because the empty middle school seats aren’t evenly spread throughout the district, some schools will require expansions to make room for new sixth-graders.

The Jeffco Board of Education has already approved funding to build a $10 million addition to Drake Middle School in Arvada and a $4.5 million addition to Dunstan Middle School in Lakewood to accommodate the changes. Reed said construction at both schools will be done and classrooms open by August 2018.

Three schools — Ken Caryl in Littleton, Creighton in Lakewood, and Summit Ridge in Littleton— will delay their transition to the new model because the district estimates it needs to find another $15.5 million to add eight classrooms to each school.

That’s a cost of $32 million over the next two years.

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