ABERDEEN – Pushed by a need to become more efficient, the Aberdeen school board has decided to restructure grades within the district.
“At the beginning of each new school year, half the students have to learn the layout of the new buildings and the new staff. As a way of saving costs and efficiency, combining the schools will help out in the scheme of things. We’re thinking outside of the box with this move,” said Chester Leigh, superintendent of the Aberdeen School District.
The board made the decision in a special meeting May 21.
Under the restructuring, Aberdeen Elementary and Middle Schools will merge to accommodate grades pre-kindergarten through five and go by the name of Aberdeen Elementary School.
Belle Elementary and Shivers Junior High will combine for grades six through eight and be known as Shivers-Belle Middle School. Aberdeen High School and the alternative school will remain the same.
While sixth-graders will move from Prairie to the new middle school, the board still plans to use the building.
“We’re not looking at closing our facility in Prairie. We’re tossing around ideas of using it as a community events center. We expect all the work at the middle school to cure the asbestos problem will be finished by the beginning of the school year, but in the event it’s not, we’ll bus the students to Prairie until the building is ready,” Leigh said.
Prairie has been used for different community events. The district is open to suggestions as to how the facility can be used in the future.