Currier Memorial School to drop 6th grade and become preK to 5th-grade school

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DANBY — Currier Memorial School will no longer have a sixth grade next year as the school changes to pre-K through fifth, sending sixth-graders to one of three middle schools in the district.

The Taconic & Green Regional School District board accepted the recommendation to make the change proposed by Jackie Wilson, superintendent of the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union.

The change is being made to help alleviate crowding conditions at the school after the move of the pre-K program from the Mount Tabor Town Offices to Currier this year.

While the pre-K move has been a positive, increasing participation in the program, it has resulted in a lack of space.

Wilson said there is plenty of capacity in the middle school program to accommodate the change.

For example, the social aspects are big for that age group and having the opportunity to interact with more kids their age has advantages over just being part of a small group of kids. Currier has only eight fifth-graders this year.

"The social aspect hasn't kicked in as high as it will in seventh grade," Wilson said. "But, there's a benefit to interacting with more kids."

It was also pointed out that the traditional middle school age group includes sixth-graders and a three-year middle school experience offers the students more opportunity to take advantage of the different environment, which means the Currier students will be on track.

The sixth-graders at Currier will be assigned to Manchester Elementary and Middle School. But, because the T&G district offers choice for sixth-graders, the students will be able to also choose to attend The Dorset School or Flood Brook School in Londonderry.

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If Dorset or Flood Brook were to reach capacity for sixth-graders, there would be a lottery system instituted to determine which students would be able to attend that school.

Wilson said she had not yet received any negative feedback on the plan.

She pointed out there had been a meeting with Currier parents to discuss the plan and there was no pushback on the idea.

"A lot of parents sent in email feedback saying, 'We're in support of this,'" Wilson said.

One question asked about the plan was about the traditional move-up ceremony, similar to a graduation ceremony from elementary to middle school, that has taken place for sixth-graders.

Wilson said there will be two classes moved up this year, with fifth-graders and the current sixth-graders transitioning through the traditional ceremony.

Another question asked was about the end-of-year field trip sixth-graders take to celebrate the end of their elementary careers. Wilson said a field trip would be explored for this year's fifth-graders as well.

The measure passed unanimously.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.

This story was edited  Feb 15, 2019, to correct where the Currier preK was held before it moved to the school.


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