Junior high is best option for secondary


The Altoona Area School District has operated for six years now with a junior high system. Altoona has had a junior high school with grades seventh through ninth. When a student is in ninth grade, they are considered a freshman in high school but,  they are still in the junior high. The junior high should remain a junior high school for several reasons.

The junior high has been doing well since it opened. There have been very few problems and everything just fits into place.  The seventh graders experience what it’s like to be the youngest in a new school and learn from the mistakes to make their time in the junior high better. The ninth graders experience what its like to be the oldest in the school and learn from their mistakes to keep those mistakes from happening in the high school.

The junior high has many electives to choose from. In seventh and eighth grade students are given electives unless they pick to be a part of the music department. In ninth grade students have the opportunity to pick what electives they would like to take. There isn’t a huge problem with electives affecting the transition, but there is a school newspaper and yearbook. The staff on those electives are strictly ninth graders. In the high school there is a separate newspaper and year book staff. If the transition were to happen, what would happen to the newspaper and year book elective if there are no ninth graders to be a part of the staff?

Altoona Area School District sports are very well known.There have been students to break records, move on to college sports, and have their picture hang on the wall of fame in the high school. Ninth graders have several sports that are just played by ninth graders. The others sports are high school sports. The freshman in high school are able to tryout and participate in high school sports except football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and wrestling. If this transition were to happen all of the sports teams may have to come together as one in the high school. The problem is, students make a sports team based on ability and well developed skills. The chances of a ninth grader making the team for a high school sport are very slim due to the fact that there are three other grades competing for that spot on the team. The way sports are set up now works perfectly fine because athletes have a higher chance of making the team because it’s only their grade trying out for the sport. High school students have more experience so they have higher of making the team as well.

The number of students in the junior and high school are currently working out fine. It’s not too crowded during transition from class to class and dismissal isn’t too hectic for the junior high. The proposal was made due to the overcrowding of elementary schools. If they were to move the sixth graders up to the junior high, the hallways and dismissal would be crazy due to the overload of students. The high school is already crowded enough. Dismissal is very crazy due to the buses that are parked in front of the school for transpiration. Junior high  students have to walk over to the high school in order to get their ride home. If it’s crowded, the chances of the students missing their buse is very high.  There is barely enough room on the bridge that some kids decide to walk outside to avoid the traffic caused by walking through the bridge. If there were to be 600 plus students added to the high school, the traffic would be insanely crowded.

Everything works out well when it comes to the junior high and high school. If there were changes made, it would a lot of problems that could be avoided if things stay the way they are now.

Are you in favor of changing the junior high to a middle school?


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