Last night, the Bismarck School Board voted unanimously to move 6th graders to middle schools in the fall and 9th graders to the high school level.
Board members didn’t want to put additional stress on the elementary schools, which currently have 54 large class sizes and more students enrolling weekly. The lastest predictions are that the school district could gain an additional 340 students next year, most at the elementary level. With up to 30 portables needed and little room to put them on elementary school sites, the Board voted to move 6th graders to create elementary space.
At the high school level, Bismarck High and Century may get some portables. Administrators are also exploring a way to provide space at the Career Academy and/or the Hughes building for students who will eventually go to the new high school. A 60-person Boundary Committee is working on boundary changes, which will be presented in January.
The Board also reviewed proposed revisions to the district’s administrative rules regarding school transfer requests. In order to balance enrollment and alleviate potential overcrowding, the revised rules would only allow transfers in “rare” circumstances, and not for athletic or extracurricular reasons.
The Bismarck School Board also adopted a calendar for the 2013-14 school year, which will start Tuesday, August 20, two days earlier than recent years. In the future, the Board plans to consider calendars which end after Memorial Day and possibly start after Labor Day, with graduation in June.