Board votes to move sixth grade to junior high

On Dec. 13, the Herkimer Central School Board of Education voted to reconfigure the grade levels to house Grades 6-8 in a middle school environment at the Jr./Sr. High School, beginning in September 2018.

The board also appointed Jr./Sr. High School Assistant Principal Zachary Abbe as the new middle school principal, effective Feb. 1. Mr. Abbe will oversee the transition to a 6-8 middle school model and will convene committees of staff members to develop a transition plan.

Months of planning

Discussions about grade reconfiguration began in March between board members, administrators and staff as a way to bring more educational opportunities to students at a younger age while also better balancing the student population between the two school buildings.

In the spring, parents were invited to a public meeting to hear a presentation about the proposal and to offer feedback on the plan. In the fall, a presentation was given during a board meeting, and an online survey collected feedback from more than 80 people, including parents, community members, staff and students. Feedback from the survey was presented to the board in advance of their Dec. 13 vote.

Opportunities ahead

The board’s vote on Dec. 13 is the first step in a process that will continue during the coming months. Every effort will be made to keep families well informed about the transition plan as it develops, and to give families opportunities to provide feedback, ask questions and express any concerns they may have about this change.

“I am confident that, working together, we will continue to offer our students excellent education programs in the new configuration and use the latitude of the new configuration to enhance our student learning outcomes,” Superintendent Robert J. Miller said.