TUPELO - When Milam Elementary becomes a sixth-grade school this fall, students will find classes that they usually don't get until middle school.
Band, strings, art, Spanish, chorus and art are being planned as electives, Principal Travis Beard told the Tupelo School Board of Trustees at its Tuesday meeting. Students will get to choose two.
Pre-Advance Placement courses also are being considered, but that program is still being developed, Beard said.
"We're going to train all the teachers in Pre-AP techniques so we have it across the board," Beard said.
For the 2009-2010 school year, Tupelo elementary schools are reorganizing into five schools of kindergarten to second grade; four schools of third to fifth grade; and a single sixth-grade school.
"I think it's a real opportunity" to help students transition between elementary and middle school, said board President Mike Clayborne.
Parents can get more information at an April 30 meeting at the school.
Physical education will likely be rotated into the elective schedule, as it currently is at the elementary level, to make sure students meet state requirements, said Tupelo School Superintendent Randy McCoy.
Although there are no competitive school sports at the sixth-grade level, students will have an intramural program, Beard said.
Much of the funding for programs like band has already been budgeted, but the school board would have to approve any new positions, such as a sixth-grade band teacher, McCoy said. Because of the tight budget year, the program may have to be staffed with an existing music teacher.
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.