The North Hills School Board on Thursday unanimously approved a recommendation by the administration to transfer sixth-graders to the middle school to make room for the district’s growing elementary school population.
Superintendent Patrick Mannarino’s recommendation is for the move to occur at the start of the 2020-21 school year. The superintendent outlined details of the plan at the board’s Jan. 24 meeting.
The decision is being driven by demographic predictions indicating that over the next several years, the district will begin running out of room in its four, grade-school buildings.
The superintendent said the district should have enough capacity in the elementary buildings to deal with the projected number of incoming students next year.
But if that numbers exceeds estimates, a contingency plan could be implemented that includes assigning grade-school students who move into the district after June 1 to a building outside their assigned attendance area.
Demographic studies commissioned by the district indicate that the increase in school-age population will continue through 2025.
The estimated cost of implementing the change is $835,000 a year to cover the salary and benefits for an assistant principal; school counselor; nine teachers; and two support staff.
The district’s administration will use the year leading up to the transfer to work with teachers and parents to develop the intricate details of the plan that includes scheduling transportation and after school activities.