Park Hill School District chooses long-range facility plan

The Park Hill Board of Education last week voted to move forward with a long-range facility plan paving the way for the eventual elimination of the sixth-grade center. This brings to an end a nearly two-year process to set the future course for the district to address enrollment growth. As this is a future plan based on population growth, no timetable for implementation will be set at this time.

Currently, the district has about 10,700 students with the plan expected to carry the district through the next several years and up to about 13,000 students.

With a split vote, the board approved Concept A, which calls for the construction of two new elementary schools and a fourth middle school over a period of multiple years. The current sixth grade center would be eliminated.

All four middle schools would house sixth through eighth grade students. Additionally, a center would be built to create an alternative third high school, which students from both current high schools could attend for special programs, such as the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS).

The number of schools in the plan will allow for a clean feeder pattern, with no need to split classes of elementary students as they move to middle and eventually high school. The change will eliminate one transition for students, allowing them more time to develop relationships and a sense of community in their schools.

Sixth graders would still be separated from older students and will interact almost exclusively with others in their own grade level.