Freshmen in Red Wing public schools don't have to worry about being lowest on the totem pole, as the school board has decided to move eighth graders into the high school. This comes from the Post-Bulletin's Red Wing reporter, Brett Boese.
From the article:
The board voted unanimously to approve the framework of a plan that will shift eighth-graders to the high school and fifth-graders to Twin Bluff Middle School for the next school year. It also eliminates study halls and allocates more time to English, math and science classes in a concerted effort to address standardized testing inadequacies. It marks the culmination of more than a year's worth of discussion, though many of the details have yet to be decided. ... The biggest remaining concern centers around social issues in the realignment. Administrators expect the fifth and sixth grade classes to still function similar to their current setups, while seventh-graders will be prepped for their impending transition to the high school. Eighth-graders are also expected to be kept separate from upperclassmen as much as possible based on classroom location.
Wow. That seems to me like a pretty big development, as more schools seem to have 10th, 11th and 12th grades rather than eighth through 12. Personally, I think some parents are going to have concerns about eighth-graders rubbing shoulders with seniors. Seems to me like that's quite a gap, even if the district says the students will be separated for most of the time. Eighth-graders seem old enough to be impacted by some of the negative decisions going on in high school, but one can say that they could be as easily influenced by positive ones, too.
Last December, the school district decided against a performance of "Rent." If they already were concerned about older students being able to handle themes of drug use, sexuality and AIDS, devil's advocates will say they have some work cut out for them.
Anyway, it opens up an interesting debate.