Fort Smith Schools set to reconfigure grades next year

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"Students will get a lot of choices, a lot of exposure, and a lot of exploration."

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The upcoming school year will look a little different in Fort Smith.

Starting in August, the junior highs in the Fort Smith School District will change to middle schools.

In the 2021-2022 school year, the high school will consist of 9th through 12th graders and the middle school will have 6th through 8th, according to Fort Smith Deputy Superintendent Martin Mahan.

Both high schools will have freshmen centers for ninth graders where they take their core classes, and then they will take electives with the rest of the grades. 

Mahan said this comes with a lot of benefits.

Our students will have a career exploration, they’ll have exploration in athletic opportunities, fine arts opportunities, just a real expansion of opportunities for 6th-grade students as well as 9th-grade students.

MARTIN MAHAN, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT, FORT SMITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Mahan said there’s a lot of excitement and a little bit of anxiety with the change, but he’s confident that it’ll be a smooth transition.

He also said over the summer there will be transition events so both the students and staff will know what the changes will look like.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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