April 24, 2014

Region 4 Begins Study on Options for Sixth Grade

REGION 4—  The Region 4 school boards have formed a study committee to review options for the district’s sixth grades, including the possibility of moving sixth grade from the three elementary schools to the John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River.

Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy said Thursday the study committee would hold it’s first meeting this week, with a goal of presenting a report to the district school boards by April 2013. The study committee, with about 18 members, is comprised of board members, administrators, teachers, and parents.

Levy said anticipated declines in student enrollment could free up classroom and program space at the middle school for the sixth graders now attending the elementary schools in Chester, Deep River, and Essex. John Winthrop Middle School, which underwent a renovation and expansion completed in 2005, currently serves seventh and eighth grades. But middle school programs in many Connecticut school districts now include sixth grade.

Levy stressed the study is not intended to set the stage for a building project proposal for the middle school. She noted the study would help determine whether there is space at the middle school to accommodate the sixth grades. Any move of the sixth grades to the middle school would require approval from all four of the Region 4 school boards, along with approval from voters of the three district towns at a district meeting or referendum.